COVID-19 disrupted many businesses, but at the same time opened the door to all things digital. Namely, video conferencing solutions stepped in to cushion the overall economic harm — across a number of industries and business domains.
But as we’re entering the next phase of the coronavirus crisis, what might the post-pandemic business world look like? Will video conferencing still be in high demand to improve operational efficiencies and customer service?
Medicine: Delivering care at the right time
Healthcare is an industry on which pandemic-capable pathogens — such as the novel coronavirus — left a major imprint in the mid-term. Overcrowded hospitals, ever-increasing ambulance workload, new healthcare rules and requirements, collaborative vaccine research — these are only a few examples of how the epidemic has altered healthcare.
Although key, COVID-19 has not been the only issue in recent months. People continued suffering from flu, chronic illnesses, post-traumatic pain, and other diseases. Besides, the uncertainty around the epidemic led to an upsurge in the number of stress disorders.
And in those circumstances, remote care became increasingly important. Equipped with advanced audio and video communication tools, physicians were able to effectively distribute their work and timely provide high-quality care — sparing patients the need to leave their houses and eliminating the risk of hospital-acquired infection.
Telepresence systems established a firm foothold during the worldwide lockdown, and it’s highly probable remote care will continue bringing tangible value in the post-pandemics time — with common applications spanning emergency help, primary care delivery, and remote patient monitoring.
Moreover, real-time communication (RTC) tools will perfectly lend themselves to physician-to-physician collaboration and remote training — underpinned by sophisticated functionality such as file sharing, call recording, and support for connected medical devices.
Education: Increasing learning availability
During pandemics, the demand for online education has notably increased. In response to the quarantine and travel restrictions, universities around the globe postponed new semesters and switched to online education on a massive scale. Dance, yoga, and fitness centers live-streamed training sessions. Providers of distant language courses boosted their online capacity with audio and video tutor-student interactions.
Indeed, video conferencing technology enables organizations to create a productive learning atmosphere and maintain a permanent “communication hub” with students, updating them on the learning schedule, new assignments, online exams, organizational meetings, and more.
Besides retaining student attention with screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, and group discussions, using RTC tools can provide additional academic support. This includes both online meetings with parents and personalized video consultations with students on the learning process specifics.
Underpinned by sophisticated proctoring functionality, video conferencing solutions also have the potential to revamp exam taking. The technology allows automatically detecting any signs of cheating behavior — like light and audio level changes, head movements, window resize events, etc. — and assigning penalty points.
Retail: Driving online sales
COVID-19 forced businesses to navigate uncharted waters, and retail enterprises were no exception. But while some retailers closed their doors, others started adapting their services to the current conditions — by developing and enhancing their eCommerce stores and launching home delivery.
In their relentless drive to beat the competition and increase the bottom line, retailers are starting to put real-time communication technology at the center of their relationship with consumers.
Providing personalized video and audio consultations that feature product descriptions, special offers, payment option details, and more. Applying the power of video conferencing to showcase items like home appliances, furniture, or clothes. Launching online video-based auctions for increased client engagement. These examples show how the creative use of video conferencing in retail and eCommerce can make a crucial difference in customer experience and sales.
Real-time communication technology can also be key to staff reorganization and enable fast employee requalification. By closing training gaps, organizations will be in a position to improve customer satisfaction and expand revenue opportunities.
Corporate sector: Enhancing employee productivity
Maintaining a high level of employee productivity has always been a challenge, and the COVID-19 pandemic with its work-from-home mode made it even more difficult. Thankfully, advanced RTC solutions like video conferencing apps helped enterprises around the world adapt to this new working environment — without sacrificing the overall efficiency.
Virtual meetings proved to be so effective that corporations like Google and Twitter are planning to keep working distantly till the end of the year or even permanently. Why not if real-time communication functionality such as co-browsing, screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, and multimedia file sharing allows solving mission-critical issues in a matter of minutes, as if everyone were in the physical office.
This tech also steps in to help recruiters find the best tech talent. And as opposed to off-the-shelf communication tools available for free, custom video conferencing systems with features like rating scales, conversation recording options, and virtual interview guides will help you take remote recruiting to the next level.
One more way to bolster the remote working experience is to provide video-powered continuous professional education solutions to regular staff, new hires, and C-level executives. In addition, one can leverage RTC technology to organize virtual hang-outs — for increased employee engagement.
Doing business in the post-pandemic world
Global disease outbreaks such as COVID-19 bring about extraordinary circumstances, forcing many businesses to go into a “cancel-all” mode and lose revenue. Videoconferencing solutions can be instrumental in helping organizations evolve and adapt to this new reality, while improving employee productivity, sustaining customer loyalty, and boosting partner collaboration.
About the author:
Yana Yelina is a Technology Writer at Oxagile, a provider of software engineering and IT consulting services. Her articles have been featured on KDNuggets, ITProPortal, Jaxenter, Singularity Hub, and Datafloq, to name a few. Yana is passionate about the untapped potential of technology and explores the perks it can bring businesses of every stripe. You can reach Yana at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.