Despite distribution of a vaccine, businesses should still be prepared for several more months of stay-at-home orders before normalcy returns in late 2021. Most businesses deemed nonessential have had to either close their doors completely or figure a way to  interact with customers without contact. Businesses have increasingly turned to video, and integrated the feature into their technologies or completely created new systems to help maintain connections, while remaining socially distanced.

Creating relationships without in-person interactions is something that companies had to grapple with as COVID spread. Businesses turned to video technologies, not only to interact with customers but also with employees, and collaboration tools have stretched to many new uses to substitute for the lack of face-to-face communication.

As an internal communication tool, many companies turned to video conferencing like Zoom, Google Meet, Lifesize and Microsoft Teams for keeping their teams working in-sync. Microsoft reports that the number of video calls on “Teams” grew over 1,000 percent in 2020. Compared to December 2019 when Zoom had on average 10 million daily meeting participants, in December 2020 it boasts 350 million.

The addition to the infusion of video into business operations was at first a panic-solution to replace in-person meetings, but use of the technology will continue to grow in 2021. The world got very comfortable doing things via video in 2020 and the desire for convenience is not going away, even after the pandemic fades from memory. A few ways it will maintain part of everyday life include:

Replacing in-person meetings with video appointments

Video conferencing software helped companies realize that they were able to create strong customer relationships via video. In-person meetings were not the only way to connect with customers. Companies found they were able to save customers/employees travel time and still allow for critical relationship building. More frequent, shorter check-ins via video are actually better for moving beyond transactional relationships. People quickly acclimated and saw the value of being able to do this meet online, instead of in-person.

Video content rises to meet demand

Client engagement is essential to securing business. From webinars, to explainers, to websites and social platforms – video content creation was a way for companies to further their reach and stay in touch with clients in 2020. Increasing investment toward producing video content will only grow throughout 2021. Well produced video content is a great method to establish a business as a reliable leader in the space. Engaging content also drives traffic, creating opportunities to gather data on customers and deliver more personalized experiences.

Customer service 

Some of the traditional ways of communicating with customer service representatives have either been by calling, emailing, or through a chat at the company website. This has also changed during the last year to integrate video as well. Instead of a text chat popping up, an option for video chat has been introduced. This allows customers to directly speak with a representative and see another human on screen. By having real-time person-to-person interaction via video, customers feel a closer connection to the company they are dealing with. These experiences in-turn increase sales and create better outcomes both for the customer and company.

As 2021 goes on, this is something that is going to be continued to be leveraged to improve customer experiences and build stronger relationships – internally and externally. There will be an end to the pandemic and things will reopen, but the value of integrating video elements into business will be long-lasting. As we look to the future of customer and employee engagement, video elements aren’t likely to be left behind. Whether it be live or pre-recorded and produced, companies are going to lean on video to meet the need for personal connections.

Jeanae DuBois is the Chief Marketing Officer of Bitwise Industries Jeanae DuBois is an accomplished marketing and branding leader with over 20+ years in the industry. Joining Shift3 Technologies in September 2019, Jeanae manages an integrated marketing team, focusing on inbound and outbound marketing strategy, campaign execution, branding, client development, public relations, corporate events and internal sales enablement. Jeanae was recently named the CMO of Bitwise Industries, the parent company of Shift3 Technologies.

Conference stock photo by Girts Ragelis/Shutterstock