Last year, Google integrated G Chat, Gmail, and other existing messaging products into Hangouts, essentially creating a unified communications platform that brought a ton of opportunities to the table. These seamlessly connected systems not only offer consumers a convenient way to communicate with family and friends, they are also a powerful tool that companies can use to fulfill a variety of business objectives.
Check out some fun ways Google+ Hangouts can help improve your business.
1. Start a Crowdsourcing Initiative
Crowdsourcing is one of the hottest trends online, enabling businesses to achieve their goals, while saving a lot of money on research and development. What many companies are finding is that crowdsourcing is one of the most effective ways to take advantage of Google+ Hangouts. For example, you can communicate with some of your most dedicated customers (up to 10) and allow them to provide helpful feedback to improve certain products or the brand itself. When using the video chat feature, Hangouts shows customers that you’re really listening, creating a comfortable environment for them to offer suggestions and solutions, while helping you strengthen relationships in the process.
2. Tout Product Demonstration
Product demonstrations are highly recommended for the simple fact that they showcase your product and how it actually works. Whether you’re a software specialist or a chef in the food industry, Hangouts offers an idea way to showcase your products. But with this platform, it’s not about the show and tell aspect, it’s about the interactive component as well. Viewers can view your product, but also ask questions that help them determine how well it meets their needs. For them, it is a great educational resource. For your business, this is a great marketing tool!
3. Incentives and Rewards
Ice cream samples. Swag from the local radio station. We all love being treated to a nice free item every now and then, and thanks to Google+ Hangouts, you can now treat your customers in the coolest way. Interactive elements effectively cut out the middle man and allow you to serve those freebies directly to your customers. Give them something they really want, and they’ll probably show their appreciation by giving you more interest, more traffic, and more sales. Maximize your giving by promoting Hangouts sessions, and watch your engagement increase.
4. Host a Live Q&A Session
Hosting a live Q&A session is another way to make effective use of Hangouts. Instead of waiting for you to reply to emails, customers can run this tool and communicate with you in real-time. More importantly, it gives them a chance to really get to know your business. For example, an author might chat with readers who want to know how long they’ve been writing, what writers inspired them, what influenced their work, and so on. Of course you can also ask questions of your audience, so the potential for a meaningful two-way dialogue is enormous.
5. Customer Service
In today’s digitally connected world, you can never have too many customer service channels. Google+ Hangouts can also be your Huckleberry here. Most importantly, what really makes this channel work for customer service is the personalization element. When a customer has a problem, they reach out and contact you directly to solve the problem. The real-time component means things get done on time, while the face-to-face aspect creates an intimate atmosphere that puts them in a comfort zone. Make sure you’re regularly available on Google+, and these tools can help you increase customer satisfaction in leaps and bounds.
Bonus Tip: One-on-one Training
Video is a powerful educational tool. Hangouts can help you harness this power. Instead of communicating over the phone, run a session and give employees, clients, or students the training they need in a private, one-on-one environment. It is very likely that they will absorb the information
more efficiently when they can not only hear, but also see you deliver it. Of course the two way communication factor only makes this training environment that much more effective.
Google+ Hangouts is already a beast in its own right, but it’s taken to all new levels once it’s been unified with other Google communications products. From video chats to instant messaging, a little creativity will go a long way in helping you make the most of this tool.
How do you use Hangouts to support your business?