With the presence of a pandemic, it may be a long time until you have another in-person meeting with clients. Luckily with the advancement of technology, virtual meetings all over the world are still happening so that we all stay connected without losing face to face interaction. Almost like a phone call, it’s essential that tax professionals are standing strong in their video call etiquette when speaking with potential and current clients.
We’ve all seen that one Zoom caller who is looking on the other side of the computer screen, down at their phone, or across the room at their dog in the corner. There’s nothing that screams “I don’t care” more than not clearly giving your full attention to a client on a virtual call. Having the correct body language that insinuates engagement tells the client that you are giving 100% when it comes to their needs. And let’s be honest, we ALL can tell when the other person is reading email. Your eyes don’t move side to side when you’re intently listening to someone.
Conduct Calls in a Professional Setup
Outside construction, kids, or that new cat you adopted last week can be a distraction during video calls. When conducting a virtual meeting, it’s best that you try to eliminate distractions when you can.
Another way to cultivate a professional setup is by setting up ample lighting around your work area. Lighting should sit in front of you or over your desk setup, and natural lighting is best. You should dress professionally as well, as if you were in-person, to make your meeting feel more professional. If you wouldn’t wear it in the office, don’t wear it to your video call!
Behave As If You Were in Person
With the popularity of different video chatting apps in both professional aspects and personal, it’s important that you’re not merging the way you conduct formal and informal video chats. Behave in the same manner you would if you were doing an in-person meeting.
Early is on time, and on time is late as they say. You wouldn’t roll into an in-person meeting 5 minutes late, so why shouldn’t you apply those rules to virtual meetings? Logging in early gives you ample time to prepare your notes, check your internet connection and make sure you have the right meeting link, etc. Preparedness will also positively impact your clients’ perception of you and your professionalism.
Use the Mute Button
If you can’t create a completely silent atmosphere, it’s best to use the mute feature so you’re able to hear your client clearly. There’s nothing more irritating than the sounds of doors shutting, dogs barking, feedback from another computer, etc. when you are supposed to be focusing. Wearing headphones also helps cut the background noise and helps with hearing your client on the other end.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to Zoom conferences is to be flexible and empathetic of others. Not everyone has the luxury of working in a distraction-free, high-speed internet setting, and that is okay. Now is the time to make the best of our situation, and that means making clients feel comfortable with your service and cared for by your employees.