One of the most timely debates of 2020 and now 2021 is whether or not you're a fan of virtual meetings (if you're a customer), and if you're doing virtual classes and sessions and how is it going (if you're a service business). Either you're feeling positive, negative or it truly depends on the day.
But, have no fear, you can have consistently great virtual classes and 1:1 sessions! It just takes a different type of preparation of trust in technology, but the rewards can really be amazing for both you and your customers. Virtual meetings can be a great time saver, and it opens up your world to accept customers from multiple places.
Here's how to make the most of your virtual appointments:
As with any upcoming class or session, preparation is key! Virtual meetings require some different preparation though, you have to set up your space to maximize your audio and video. Depending on your line of work, you may need to create visuals to teach and keep your audience engaged. What a virtual meeting lacks in is being able to engage with people in person, through a computer, there's a loss of being able to read body language or facial expressions, but don't worry - it gets easier every time!
Set an agenda and clearly lay out the purpose of the meeting, as well as how the time will be allocated. Especially when you're working with a new customer, it's important to be extra clear on what working with you will be like. To be able to communicate clearly will alleviate any misaligned expectations and set goals together.
One aspect to hosting virtual meetings is of course, the technology requires to do so! A device - phone, tablet or computer, an audio or video conferencing tool that you prefer - Zoom, Google, Skype, FaceTime, and a place that is quiet, well lit and with secure Wi-Fi. Sometimes things happen and you or your audience can get disconnected or have a hard time connected or hearing/seeing clearly - and technological challenges can be the most frustrating! You prepared, you communicated, a customer has paid... and suddenly you're cut off and unable to reach them. Please prepare for this! Be it, a way to communicate (through an old fashioned phone call or text message) or a second device that you can plug in when the other fizzles out.
Unlike in person meetings, where there's commuting time and unexpected traffic to take into consideration, meeting a person or group of people online alleviates a lot of that lenient late start times. With that, stick to your schedule and provide a full meetings worth of engagement.
One of the downsides of virtual classes or sessions is, it's really easy to multitask. Maybe you have Zoom open and your email inbox and text messages in view, the same goes for your customers too. It takes a lot of work to keep an audience engaged while meeting online, so come up with fun ways to make sure people are participating and listening.
It's a really neat time for businesses and customers alike that the option to tune into a virtual class or session opens up the opportunity to work with people all over the country or world! If you're hosting a class with multiple people from different places, take a moment to acknowledge that, as well as be cognizant of time differences or technical difficulties.
As you get in the groove of virtual appointments, do not shy away from asking your customers for feedback! This is so key (no matter whether your customers are online or in person), but it's always a good idea to take a pulse on how you're doing. Maybe there's a noise in your office that you don't realize can be heard, or the format of giving your class directions for next week could be more engaging at the beginning of class. The only way to improve is by knowing where to improve :)
And finally, what works well today and tomorrow may not be the best way to host next year. Keep things fresh for both you and your customers by testing our new initiatives and seeing how people like it.
If you're interested in selling your classes and sessions online, Bounce House can help! It takes 5 minutes to create a web page for your service type, allowing a painless way to book new customers.