Communication is key and should not be disregarded, even in the wake of the COVID-19 restrictions. Many businesses are now operating online, so maintaining effective communication with clients should be the number one priority. Luckily, we’re in an era where technology makes it possible to connect online. Below are 6 steps to help you conduct a successful and hassle-free online client meeting.
1. Include all relevant information
When you send out a meeting invitation to your client, make sure that all the relevant information is outlined clearly. Your client shouldn’t have to search for the information themselves as this can cause frustrations if the required information is not easily found. Including all the relevant information will help you make a great impression and set a positive outlook for the meeting. Below is a basic checklist of what you should include in the meeting invite:
- Date and time: It’s impossible to conduct a successful meeting if all attendees login at different times. If your client operates overseas or in another state, remember to indicate your country or state timezone to avoid any scheduling confusion. In Australia, we use the Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST); however, during daylight savings, some states will use the Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).
- Share list of attendees: Share the full list of attendees with their job positions so your client can prepare relevant notes and questions for the meeting. You don’t want to waste time discussing topics that are not within the attendees’ expertise.
- Operational details: Include all operational information that your client will need to join the online meeting. This can include the link to the meeting platform, the access code, log in details and other useful information.
- Required information: Communicate what you expect from your client prior, during and after the meeting. For example, let your client know if they need to send you any documentation before the meeting, if you want them to prepare some questions for you to answer during the meeting, or let them know if you’re seeking some feedback once the meeting has finished.
- RSVP: Ask all attendees to confirm their attendance.
Once you have sent your invitations, schedule a reminder for yourself to send out a confirmation email a day before the meeting. This will confirm with your client that the meeting is going ahead and prompt them to prepare any of the information you may have requested from them if they haven’t already done so.
2. Limit the invitations
When you set up a meeting with your client, it might be tempting to send the meeting invitation to everyone involved in that particular project. However, a large number of attendees can often be distracting and cause the meeting to digress from its primary objective. Therefore, only invite attendees who need to be present. Most often, these will be the decision-makers who have the authority to approve ideas and create implementation strategies. As for team members who are not essential to the meeting, ask them to send through their ideas, questions or concerns to be discussed with the client by one of the meeting attendees from your company. Having only a small number of attendees will cause less confusion for your client and team members, as they will know who to approach if they need to revisit the meeting notes.
3. Share an agenda or timetable before the meeting
An agenda should portray how the meeting will pan out. Your client might need to prepare a presentation that requires them to collect and analyse a large amount of data. Having this agenda a few weeks in advance will help them understand what is needed and give them time to create a presentation that accurately addresses the objective of the meeting.
If the estimated duration of the online meeting is longer than 30 minutes, be sure to provide a general timetable in addition to the agenda. The timetable will allow attendees to join the meeting when the discussion is relevant to their role and leave the meeting when it isn’t.
4. Test call
Make sure you run a couple of test calls a day or two before your client meeting to ensure everything works smoothly. This will also help determine if you’re missing essential hardware such as HDMI cords and the like. It’s also good to test out useful functions such as:
- Muting the microphone
- Activating the camera
- Screen sharing
- General recording
You need to be familiar with all the basic functions, so you can explain them to your client if they need help. This will allow the meeting to run more productively as it is less likely that there will be technical issues.
5. Be present
When you are in an online client meeting, it’s easy to become distracted by your surroundings or what’s on your computer screen. The lack of attention to your client can quickly become apparent when they have raised a simple question that cannot be answered. This is not only unprofessional, but when you are distracted, you may miss important points made by your client. It is important to ensure you and your team members are actively listening throughout the online meeting and are taking notes where necessary.
6. Follow up email
A successful online client meeting doesn’t end when the video call does. It’s good to follow up with your client with a post-meeting email. Here are some examples of what can be included in the follow up email:
- Thank you note: Keep it short and simple. Thank your client for taking the time to attend the meeting with you and your team.
- Answer questions: Provide answers to any questions you were unable to answer during the online meeting.
- Acknowledge client requests: If your client raised a concern that needs to be actioned after the meeting, acknowledge that you have taken note of it and will work towards achieving a result.
- Action plan: After you have acknowledged the client’s request. Provide them with a brief action plan portraying the steps your team will take to achieve the result. This will ensure that you and your client have the same expectations moving forward.
- Documents: Attach any documentations the client requested during the meeting.
- Requests from you: If you need any documentation or files from your client, outline this in the post-meeting email as a reminder for them to provide.
A follow up email with the above is an excellent way to conclude the meeting and will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
All of the above are great tips to conduct a successful online client meeting. However, most of these heavily rely on information being transferred back and forth to your client. Therefore, your cyber security protection must be up to date. If you would like to learn more about cyber insurance, get in touch with us to discuss the benefits available with this insurance cover.
Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.