What is Zoom Fatigue? When COVID-19 struck, the initial impact of the lockdowns was somewhat mitigated by the sudden shift from face-to-face to virtual meetings. However, more than a year has passed, and now the honeymoon period is definitely over. While many of us are happy to be able to work from home, permanent communication via video is just around the corner.
Whether it’s Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams or any of the other video conferencing apps that now fill our days, studies show that we’re getting tired of these virtual meetings. Consequently, psychologists have begun to study the causes and effects of what has been called “Zoom Fatigue.”
It’s time to avoid “Zoom Fatigue”
At the heart of online meetings is communication. But Zoom fatigue comes from too much direct eye contact, a lack of visible body language and a general sense of awkwardness about being constantly filmed during meetings. As a store owner, now is the 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 your current customers:
- Email: You’ve established a relationship and your client knows how valuable you are to them by offering branded solutions to their marketing needs. There’s nothing like email because it has the space to create the message you want to convey to your client. However, the best way to use email is not to overuse it. Too many of us are used to receiving daily (or more) emails from our business partners, which can be redundant and annoying after a while. If you want your customers to open your emails and take action, make sure you only send them when it’s relevant and necessary for business. However, some people like human interaction, so as an alternative, you can record a short video message and send it via email so your client can review it when they have time. This will give both parties a chance to interact in a more personal manner, allowing them to avoid “Zoom fatigue.” If you’re noticing that the number of openings is dropping or some customers aren’t taking the action you want, it may be time to rethink your email use in general.
- Apps: Make the best use of technology thanks to the popularity of walkie-talkie apps like Voxer or Zello. This method of communication, designed for your best customers, can speed up the buying and order processing process. (These apps are also a great way to keep in touch with your team members). Just like in the good old days when you clicked to talk, these apps allow you to send quick messages and get quick text, photo or voice messages in return. You can use this app as a perk for special customers who buy a certain minimum number of products each year. If your customers don’t like the idea, you can position it as a way for customers to quickly “blow their minds” or get a quicker estimate, which can greatly increase your order volume.
- Texts: As with email, text messages can be a great way to stay in touch, but they can also be intrusive. If you send too many texts, people may skip them or start ignoring them. That’s why you should only text when there is real value in the message. These can be special offers and new products. They can also be used as a way to send an invitation to an event or to schedule a time for a Zoom chat.
On the other hand, some people like text messages, so you can use them instead of automatic emails about order status changes. However, always ask if you can send text messages to a customer, as not everyone wants to use them for business.
While these are some of the best ways to connect with your best customers, what about new or potential customers?
4 ways to connect with new, current and potential customers:
- Chat boxes: Adding a chat feature to your website allows site visitors to connect with one of your team members who can answer questions in real time. To make this work, you need someone answering chat messages during a normal workday, and preferably as often and as much as possible. You never know when you’ll have to save the sale by solving problems immediately, and this can give you that opportunity. Customers expect to be able to contact a live person when an issue arises, so if you offer that option (and competitor stores don’t), you have 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. As 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 posts include “Let Us Know” in your posts, making your store even more appealing. It’s vital that someone in your store follows up and responds to these messages to either make a new sale or solve problems with an ongoing order.
- Contact Forms: Encourage visitors to your site to contact you by filling out a contact form to tell you about their work or to schedule a 10-minute phone call. This will allow visitors to ask questions to see if you’re a good fit. As with any type of communication, a quick response will show that you are interested and considerate.
- Your email address: Post a general email address that you follow regularly throughout the day so that anyone who visits your social pages or your website can contact you. If someone is actively seeking your services, making it very easy for them to contact you means more money in your bank account. You can also create a special email account just for clients. It should be monitored closely for messages, as this can create opportunities to increase sales and inform you of anything that might hold up an order. Customers can be very lenient if they are informed of delays or problems as soon as possible.
A word of caution…
People like to communicate in different ways. It may seem like a good idea to offer multiple lines of communication so that existing and potential customers can easily reach you, but there is a danger of going overboard and offering too many options at once.
If you can’t actively use all communication channels or don’t have a proper messaging process in place, you and your team may find yourself overwhelmed. In addition, a customer may contact multiple channels if they don’t get a quick response. This can frustrate your customer and further confuse the issue if multiple employees are responding to the same problem.
Opening up multiple communication channels can help eliminate the malaise caused by video calls, but you must determine what most of your best customers use to communicate. You can even send out a small email survey to find out what they prefer, and then choose the top two methods mentioned to start experimenting. This will allow you to address any issues that arise and eventually find the communication formats that work best for both your customers and your team.