When it comes to keeping in touch with your clients, video communication is a key tool; it allows face to face contact, real time chat and interaction as if you were in the same room as the other person. This is a really important tool to use, especially when you’re not always in the same location as your team members. Video communication is ideal for holding meetings with your clients when they are traveling and meeting with potential or current clients. The advancement of modern technology ensures that most video communication means are on laptops as well as phones and tablets; your key contacts are always just a call away, no matter where you are.
We’ve taken a look at five video meeting apps that you should definitely try out.
If you’re an Apple user – whether Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch or the iPad – FaceTime is proving itself to be a very convenient tool. With one tap, video calls can be made over Wi-Fi or over mobile networks on the iPhone or iPad too (be aware of network charges in doing so, as the data usage is high). If you have an Apple account, FaceTime comes as part of the package; there is no need to sign up for anything additional. You can call anyone in your address book who also has an Apple device and a call request will show up at their side.
Calls can be made in either portrait or landscape mode, and if you’re using a phone or tablet the back camera can be used to show the viewer something else in your surroundings. When using a decent signal connection, video and audio quality are excellent, and FaceTime does not need to be running on the other persons device in order to connect (which Skype does), saving battery life. FaceTime essentially feels like a phone call with video. If you do not want to use the video function at any time, simply call using the audio function instead. At the present time, FaceTime can only be used to call one other contact at any time.
If you regularly use video calls to talk with multiple people at once, Google Hangout is definitely an option to consider. Completely free, you can call up to 10 people at one time from your contact list in Google and hold a video conference. With one simple touch you can be in a call with seconds, and add additional people once the call has started.
Hangouts work on all computers and there are now Apps for both Apple and Android devices enabling you to connect with everyone. The only requirement is a Google account. Hangouts can be accessed from within your Gmail or when you’re using Google+ or Chat. When you’re finished with a conversation, you can easily get back to them later on to access what was talked about and anything you need to listen to again.
If you want to share your video with more than ten people, Hangouts On Air could be ideal. This is good to suggest to your clients for events such as conference keynotes or panel discussions, when video can be streamed live to the public. The recording is then available afterwards to share on YouTube and social media channels.
If you’re looking for more of a ‘tap on the shoulder’ video experience like you would in an office environment, Sqwiggle is a good tool to test drive. A reliable face-to-face means of communicating, this program runs in the background while you are working but allows you be to quickly connected to team members within your own work contacts when you need to.
To get in touch with someone, you simply click someone’s face and are connected automatically at their location. Very similar to being able to turn to face someone in the office and say hello, this tool very much allows for a more constant presence than others, and is suitable when you have team members in many locations. More than one person can be connected at any time, making it very suitable for group chats.
Despite running in the background all of the time, it uses minimal bandwidth. Prices start from free to $9 per month for up to 10 people and additional storage. It is $25 per user per month for unlimited group chat and larger storage.
Quite similar in Skype in many aspects, Viber is a free video call tool that allows you to make calls to anyone who also uses the software. It syncs with your contacts on your phone and tablet and detects who already uses the software, and allows video calls over your mobile data connection or Wi-Fi.
Available on Apple and Android devices, it is also available as an App for Windows 8.1 and above. There is no need to sign up to anything as your phone number is used as an identifier and only one person can be in a video call at one time. Viber is still in its early days but is certainly a useful video tool to have.
Skype is a fantastic tool to use as a VA to stay in touch with your clients regularly. Available on your computer and tablets and phones, this enables you to have meetings and regular contact no matter where in the world you both are.
Talking over video exactly how you would face to face, it is also a great tool to meet potential clients for the first time. Completely free to use, it can also be used to call numbers globally (at a cost). Some of its best features include being able to share screens which is perfect for talking through something with a client as you can see exactly what each other is seeing.
When you have reliable internet connections, signal is good. The only main drawback to Skype is that the other person needs to have the app open and available in order to receive a call. Therefore Skype is better for pre-arranged meetings. See more great features of Skype here.
Image is copyright of Skype.
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