While the world was already turning digital in many regards, the pandemic accelerated our use of technology to meet the demand for virtual services across every industry. Over the past 18+ months, many of our daily interactions have been virtual, including the way we do business.
While human connection and personalization remain in a virtual video setting, there are still notable differences when considering how to conduct a successful video appointment. The biggest difference? Many of the nonverbal cues that we use to communicate in person aren’t relevant in a virtual setting.
Having proper posture during a video appointment will help you appear more approachable and more professional, assuring your customers that you can provide them the expert guidance they’re looking for. Here are a few tips for improving your posture:
Sit straight up with your back against your chair
Keep an open posture with arms relaxed at your side
Lean forward from time to time when your customer is talking to acknowledge you are actively listening to their needs
Maintain eye contact
One of the more difficult things to achieve during a video appointment is good eye contact. That’s because it’s hard to stare directly into the camera when you want to pay attention to your customer at the same time. This might take some practice, but there is a healthy balance of looking straight into the camera (effectively making direct eye contact with your customer during the video appointment), and looking at the screen to read nonverbal cues from your customer.
It might feel awkward at first, but the more you practice looking straight into the camera, the easier it will get! You could even record yourself before the appointment to ensure you are maintaining eye contact.
Use facial expressions
Let’s face it… your face will be the majority of what your customers see during a video appointment. That’s why being attentive to your facial expressions and proactively thinking about how you’re presenting yourself will make all the difference. In fact, facial expressions are just as powerful as strong body language, so here are a few tips:
Smile regularly to help maintain a friendly, open environment
Nod and smile to acknowledge you are actively listening to your customers
Keep your expressions focused to ensure your customers know you hear them
Most importantly, be authentic! While thinking about the balance of eye contact, smiling, etc. it’s also important to relax your face muscles and focus on being attentive above all else
Tone and voice
Tone and voice can have an impact on how friendly, approachable, and professional you come across to a customer. Various fluctuations in one’s voice, such as tone, pitch, rhythm, inflections, and volume can have different meanings. These cues can have a powerful effect on communication, and can help you establish trust with your customers. Here are ways to maintain professionalism in your voice:
Smile before you begin talking - it helps establish your tone and makes you sound more friendly
Speak at a medium volume so you sound confident and can be heard clearly
Record yourself so you can hear exactly how you sound and can adjust your volume as needed
Create a visual experience
During a video appointment, visuals will be vital to keep your customers engaged since you can’t physically put something in front of them. Make sure to prepare any useful supplemental materials that can be sent over in advance of the customer’s video appointment.
Additionally, using visual tools or creating a visually-appealing presentation about your product and service options is a great way to keep customers engaged.
At the end of the day, remember that you are having a conversation with another human. It can be a lot to balance and think about, but if you focus on fostering a positive environment and letting your expertise shine through, you will nail it! The more video appointments you conduct, the easier it will be and the more comfortable you will feel. Plus, I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of “I’m not a cat” moments - it’s a new virtual world, and it’s ok to make mistakes and have fun along the way!
Not offering video appointments yet or looking into new video appointment solutions? We can help! JRNI Appointments gives you the video appointment options you need to meet with your customers remotely and build personalized experiences at scale. To learn more, schedule a time to speak with an expert!