11/6/2014

4 Industries Where Video Calling Just Makes Sense

Katie Smart's profile picture
Katie Smart Sr. Manager, Global Marketing Communications
As video calling is becoming a bigger part of our personal lives for catching up with friends or staying in touch with family, many industries are starting to realize the potential. Businesses everywhere need to continue to innovate to stay ahead of competition. Enterprise collaboration and customer service have been two places that video calling has gained momentum, but there are many industries where video calling makes sense both for customers and for a company’s bottom line.

The Virtual Classroom

The rise of online education has led to an increase in availability of education to many people who might not be able to make time in their busy lives. Attending night classes works in some cases, but long commutes or dealing with work schedules can make even those classes difficult. The rise of online universities has also helped, but even those are missing the key elements of learning such as visualization, context and personalization. Video calling is changing that. Minerva Institute is a brand new university that is working to provide an education that is as close to traditional schools as possible, while still being offered exclusively online. Minerva has found bright minds from around the world who want to continue education but might lack the resources or ability to get to a traditional school in the United States. To make up for this gap, Minerva offers a video experience for students to attend lectures, ask questions and meet with other students for studying. To deal with a shortage of health care providers in Missouri, especially in rural areas, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy will be offering an education from their school to students attending Missouri State University in Springfield. Students will attend class in one of three video call equipped classrooms in Springfield with a live video coming from professors in Kansas City. In this way students at Missouri State and UMKC can receive the same healthcare degree while remaining on their own respective campuses. It is solving the problem of increasing health care professionals without increasing the burden on students. College isn’t the only place where video can help boost education. Secondary, Middle and Primary schools are all great targets for improving student engagement and stimulating young minds. Students in New Jersey recently had a reading study class with students in Texas. The two classrooms share classes together on occasion to gain a more diverse view into the world in which they live. They were brought together by a service called ePals, which is like the modern spin on pen pals, but happens instantly and puts a face and voice to the words exchanged between students. Video calling is helping students gain a more diverse view on the world in which we live.

Video Calling Your Lawyer

As a lawyer, it would be helpful to have clients contact you without delay when a problem arises. Wouldn’t it make sense to have the initial consultation right when things happen, while the details are still fresh in your client’s mind? You aren’t able to have an appointment on location due to any number of factors like distance, availability or time. However, you might be able to take a call. Right now that is the best a lawyer can provide but what if video was added to the equation? Being able to speak with a client right away is a big advantage in hearing all the facts before they fade in a client’s memory, but so is seeing the context of the situation and being able to see the client. Any good lawyer will tell you that he or she can learn much more from body language than from the things a client is saying. Context is everything and video calls provide that essential element. There are also advantages in the legal process beyond a lawyer speaking with a client. The Michigan State Supreme Court currently realized that transporting prisoners between court in Lansing and prisoners being held in the Upper Peninsula is costing too much money. For initial hearings and simple legal clarifications there is no need to make the 12 hour drive, wasting taxpayer money on gas, guards time and all the security measures that are required. Instead the court can proceed with live video calls and only transport the prisoner when it is absolutely necessary. They are also using live video to record all court proceedings, making them available to the public to review and stay informed. Video calling is making government more efficient and reducing costs to everyone.

Boutique Clothing Stores

What is the biggest advantage small businesses have over the big box stores? Personal touch. Customers who frequent small businesses typically do so because of the feeling of getting personal attention that only small retailers can deliver. Currently, physically going into the store is the only way to get that touch, though. On the other hand even small businesses can’t ignore the role the internet plays in growing a successful business. How can a small business owner continue to move into the future without losing the competitive advantage? Adding live video customer support for customers that require that personal touch. Imagine providing your customers who visit virtually the opportunity to speak with a stylist. Now imagine that the stylist and the customer can see exactly the situation, build trust and provide recommendations based on the customers’ needs. The stylist also has the opportunity to offer suggestions on accessories or other pieces that will help complete any outfit, providing more opportunity for your employees to increase sales and help the business grow. As customers realize that they can receive the same personal care your store has always provided but now from the comfort of their homes, it will be impossible not to continue doing business with you.

Telebanking

A few banks have started to realize the advantages of having a live video call for customer service during drive-through banking trips, but the potential for more is waiting to catch on. Imagine being able to have a discussion about retirement or investments with your financial advisor from the comfort of your home or office. An initial consultation is the perfect time to utilize a video call, providing a chance for both the advisor and client to discuss what goals the clients has without a major commitment of time or resources from either party. Talking to a financial advisor is a scary thing for many people but teleconsultation can help put a client’s mind at ease. Providing video calling options puts the client in control and allows him or her to have the first conversation in a place of comfort. What industries do you see video calling having a big impact? Discuss in the comments below.

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