7 Ways to Contend With Zoom Fatigue in Sales
When COVID-19 hit, the initial impact of lockdowns was slightly alleviated by a sudden shift from in-person meetings to virtual meetings. However, more than a year has passed and now the honeymoon’s definitely over. While many of us are glad to still have the option to work from home part of the time, communicating constantly through video has taken its toll.
Whether it’s Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams or any number of video conferencing apps now filling up our days, studies show we’re getting tired of these virtual meetings. Consequently, psychologists have started to look at the causes and effects of what’s been termed “Zoom Fatigue.”
Time to Avoid Zoom Fatigue
At the heart of online meetings is communication. But Zoom Fatigue stems from too much direct eye contact, a lack of visible body language, and a general feeling of awkwardness that you’re constantly “on camera” when you’re in meetings. As a shop owner, now’s a good time to ask yourself what you can do to relieve Zoom Fatigue for your customers and employees, so you can communicate better and (most importantly) — sell more!
3 easy ways to connect with current clients:
- Email: You’ve established a relationship, and your client knows how valuable you are in giving them branded solutions to their marketing challenges. Nothing beats email for having the space to craft the message you want to send your client. The best way to use email though is by not abusing it. Too many of us are used to receiving daily (or more) emails from our business partners that can be redundant and, after a while, annoying. If you want your clients to open your emails and take action, make sure you’re only sending them when it’s relevant and necessary for business. Some people like the human interaction though, so as an alternative, you could record a short video message and send it via email so your client can view it when they have time. That’ll give both sides a way of interacting in a more personal manner, that allows them to skip out on getting “Zoom Fatigue.” If you notice open rates declining or certain clients aren’t taking the actions you want though, it might be time to reevaluate how you’re using email overall.
- Apps: Make the best use of technology with the popularity of walkie-talkie apps such as Voxer or Zello. Reserved for your best clients, this communication mode can speed up purchases and order processing. (These apps are also a great way to stay in touch with your team members.) Just like the old days when you’d push to talk, these apps allow you to send quick messages and receive quick text, photo or voice messages in response. You could feature this app as a perk for special customers who purchase a specified minimum amount of product each year. If your customers aren’t sold on this idea, you can position it as a way for clients to quickly “pick your brain” or get a faster estimate, which could increase your order volume significantly.
- Texts: Just like with email, texts can be a great way to stay in touch, but can also be intrusive. If you send too many texts, people can miss them or start to ignore them. That’s why you should only send texts when you have real value to deliver in the message. This can include special deals and new products. They can also be used as a way to send an event invitation or set up a time for a Zoom chat.
On the flip side, some people love texts, so you might use these in place of automated emails about changes to an order status. However, always ask if you can text a client, since not everyone wants to use them for business.
Although these are some of the best ways to connect with your best clients, what about new or prospective customers?
4 ways to reach out to new, current, and potential customers:
- Chat Boxes: Adding a chat feature to your website allows site visitors to talk with one of your team members who can answer questions in real time. To make this work, you need someone in charge of answering chat messages during your regular workday, and preferably as much and as often as possible. You never know when you might have to save a sale by addressing problems immediately, and this could give you that ability. Buyers expect to reach a live person when they have a question, so if you offer this feature (and competitor shops don’t), you’re at an advantage.
- DMs: Social media should already be a huge part of your marketing strategy. Now it’s time to take it a step further. Like a chat window on your website, people expect to send brands direct messages, or DMs, on Facebook or Instagram and reach a live team member. Be sure your social messaging includes “Message Us” in your posts, making your shop even more personable. It’s vitally important that someone at your shop monitors and responds to these messages, to either make a new sale or address problems with a current order.
- Contact Us Forms: Encourage your website visitors to connect with you by completing a contact form to tell you about their job, or to set up a 10-minute phone chat. This gives prospects a way of asking questions to see if you might be a good fit together. As with any type of communication, a quick response will show that you’re interested and attentive.
- Your Email Address: Publish a general email address that you monitor regularly throughout the day so anyone who’s visiting your social pages or your website can reach out. If someone is actively looking for your services, making it super easy for them to reach you means more money in your bank account. You might also opt to create a special email account just for clients. This should be monitored closely for messages, as this could create opportunities for upselling and communicating about anything that may be holding up an order. Customers can be very forgiving, if they’re informed about delays or issues, as soon as possible.
A Word of Caution...
People like communicating in different ways. It may seem like a good idea to offer multiple lines of communication so current and potential clients can reach you easily, but there’s a danger in overreaching and offering too many options at once.
If you can’t actively staff all the communication avenues, or you don’t have a proper process for working through the messages, then you and your team may become overwhelmed. Plus, a customer might reach out on multiple channels if they don’t get a prompt response. This could upset your client, and further confuse the issue if multiple staffers are responding to the same problem.
Opening up multiple avenues of communication can help to banish video call malaise, but you have to determine what most of your best clients use to communicate. You can even send a short email survey to see what they prefer, and then choose the top two methods mentioned to start experimenting with. This will allow you to hammer out any issues that may come up, and eventually find the communication formats that work best for your clients and for your team.