The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought on strict social-distancing measures around the world.
Forced to work from their home offices, yet undaunted by the uncharted waters of the new normal, financial advisors are finding novel ways to stay in touch with their clients while continuing to provide the same level of service – even considering the new reality of no in-person meetings.
One way advisors have continued to meet with clients is through videoconferencing. Equipment is readily available, as ti is already installed in most up-to-date conference rooms or even personal offices. Many advisors may not be familiar with what the optimal videoconferencing equipment is for conducting professional-grade virtual client meetings. To bridge the gap, following is an overview of the technology choices financial advisors need to consider, from the best cameras and microphones to use, to the ideal lighting and green-screen background options to ensure that advisors maintain a professional appearance for their clients.
It’s true that most laptops feature built-in webcams that could prove sufficient for videoconferencing needs. Financial advisors can most easily upgrade their equipment by investing in an external USB webcam, such as the Logitech C920 or C922, which allow for more flexible positioning on top of their computer displays. It can be mounted on an external tripod for even greater flexibility. Microphones built into laptops and computer monitors are seldom situated with an ear for optimal sound quality. As an alternative, headsets (e.g. the punch-packing Logitech H390; alternatively, the more sophisticated HyperX Cloud II or Plantronics Voyager Focus UC) can be used to enhance audio quality.
Available options include both wired USB and Bluetooth-enabled systems. For a less conspicuous headset setup, the Bluetooth Plantronics Voyager 5200 headset offers a wireless, compact design and fits around one ear; a compact microphone arm aids in voice detection. Lighting equipment, such as the Fotodiox Pro Flapjack or the Elgato Key lights, can also be used to provide consistent image quality, which can be especially important in low-light or inconsistent-light settings.
Finally, here are a few straightforward guidelines advisors can follow to make themselves look their best on-camera and to create a camera-ready workspace. Looking at the camera, and not the image of the client’s face on the computer screen, and stand instead of sitting during the videoconference. It will make you look more engaged and energetic during the meeting. Work hard to keep the area captured by the camera free of clutter and other distractions. A clean, minimalist background creates a smooth, professional appearance; it also makes it easier for videoconference participants to focus on the meeting itself. If the nature of the physical space does not allow for convenient modifications – let’s say the area is in a tight space at home, or, conversely, in a high-traffic area shared with family members – a room divider or green screen (the Fotodiox Collapsible Portable Backdrop or the Elgato Collapsible Green Screen are options) can help to eliminate distracting backgrounds. Be certain you can orient yourself, so your back is not against an open window, which would result in too much background light and can distort the video image and leave your face in shadow.
Ultimately, the main boon of videoconferencing equipment is that financial advisors have the ability to maintain relationships with clients remotely during these uncertain times, when their clients need their support the most. By integrating a user-friendly, affordable, and widely available equipment setup into their technology array, advisors can use videoconferencing to keep their connection with clients strong – all while working from home.
For more information, please read:
Equipment To Create The Ideal Home Videoconferencing Setup – What Financial Advisors Should Use | Kitces