Save time and money using better communication software

Whether you own, or work for, a multinational corporation or are part of a small business with clients across county or state
lines – or even international borders – the odds are good that traveling for work is part of your reality. Not only do face-to-face
meetings help improve
business communication, after all – tone is difficult to infer from an email or instant message, but they allow
you to see and hear your clients, which can help you understand them better.

Unfortunately, business travel can be expensive monetarily and in terms of productivity – and if flights are canceled, delayed
or rerouted, those costs can rise even higher. In addition to the impact that business travel has on your company, travel
also impacts your employees by exposing them to chronic jet lag, unhealthy levels of radiation, weakening their immune systems,
and disrupting their home life – all because you, or your team, needs to meet with a client.

Of course, some in-person meetings are important, but for those times when they're not imperative, there are communication solutions that allow you to see and hear your clients even when you're miles apart. Yes – video conferencing is the key to reducing travel. But not all solutions are created equally, so choose your communication software wisely, and try to find an option that includes:

  • Multi-party HD videoconferencing. Look for business meeting apps that give you plenty of room on the line, and on the screen, for everyone to join in. And make sure that you have access to HD video and audio. This way, you'll be able to see and hear everyone clearly.
  • Content sharing. In virtually any meeting, content is shared – usually on a screen in a conference room. So it only makes sense to look for a video conferencing tool that allows all parties to share documents, apps, URLs, presentations and screens seamlessly. In addition, look for a solution that allows you to collaborate on documents in real time – which will make working together even easier.
  • Integrated producer controls. With producer tools built directly into the business communication app, you can manage the entire meeting from your control panel. Some tools even give you the power to choose which attendees see which content, so you can more tightly manage your meeting.
  • Single-touch join. The more steps users have to take, the less likely they are to use a product, so look for communication software that makes joining meetings simple. With one-touch access from a meeting reminder, calendar, etc., meeting participants can join a meeting with minimal effort.
  • Third-party hosting. By using a business communication solution that's hosted by a third party, you won't have to make any infrastructure investments in order to get the tools and functionality you need. And all of the upkeep is the responsibility of the host, which can help you save money, as well.

Flying even one or two of your team members to a meeting can cost thousands of dollars in flights, hotels, meals, and taxis or car rentals – not to mention the time lost in transit. And if that happens multiple times per year, the costs to both you and your team can really add up. So, if you're looking for a solution that can not only help you save money, reduce the stress on your employees, and allow you to maintain clear and open business communication with your clients, take a look at some of the video conferencing software available today. It has come a long way in the decade or so since it was initially introduced, and it just might be a game changer for your organization, and your clients.

About the author

The Microsoft 365 team is focused on sharing resources to help you start, run, and grow your business.

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The Growth Center does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.