How to set up your surroundings before a call.
Updated: Jan 21
You have downloaded VClerk and are ready to start taking calls, but is there anything else you should do to prepare?
Well, you’ve probably heard some of the Zoom horror stories that have happened since so many people transitioned to working from home; a lawyer getting on a call shirtless, a team member wandering off to the bathroom, that one lady who used a filter to turn herself into a potato and couldn’t figure out how to get back to normal? Let’s learn from their mistakes.
Two things that are hopefully easy to fix are how you and your surroundings look before you start taking calls. Remember, you want your customer to see a positive scene on their screen. It reflects on your business just like it would if they walked into your boutique. For example; what if you enter a call and forgot about the dirty dishes from lunch or your dirty laundry hamper is in the background? That’s not a great look and suddenly your customer is thinking twice about making a purchase. But don’t dispair! We have put together some pointers that will help you set up the perfect environment before your call.
Do your best to find an area where you won’t be distracted. Whether it's kids running around between remote learning sessions, your partner on a conference call or your roommates just going about their day, try to set some boundaries and create some space for you to focus. Put up a sign or let them know beforehand that you are taking calls..
Natural lighting is your friend. Find an area that has good lighting. . Ideally, you can set up facing a window, but regardless, remember to face towards the light. If you face away from the light, you’re backlit, and you may as well be in the witness protection program with your voice altered so no one can recognize you. If you can’t find decent natural light, or you are taking calls in the evenings, get creative with your table lamps or floor lamps. Try to set them up behind your camera. If you have the spade and budget, here are some lights that the pros use.
Make sure your space and background are tidy. Make a space for yourself that is free of clutter. Not only will this help you clear your thoughts and focus on the calls, it will also look great to your customers. Try not to have a blank wall as your background. Add a painting, buy a house plant, or do what you can to set the scene to make it appealing. It helps set the mood for the call. Remember what the customer sees reflects on your business.
Have the camera at eye level. This is definitely a pro tip. It’s hard to ‘make eye contact’ through a screen, but if you look at your webcam, it looks to your customers like you’re looking at them. It’s hard not to look at the person’s face on your screen (or sneak peaks at yourself), but looking at the webcam is how you show you’re engaged and listening. It’s of course fine to look at the dashboard when you’re searching for, or clicking through images of, your products. Or looking at the person’s image to see how they’re reacting. Just keep coming back to the webcam and show them you’re paying attention.
Check your internet connection. Do your best to ensure you have a solid connection. Video adds a load to your network. Many of us are lucky enough to not have to worry about this, but having a good connection means your call will be smooth and clear. Maybe kick the kids off Youtube or get your partner to take a break from binging Netflix if you have to.
Keep these things in mind as you’re preparing. Once your space is good to go, you are ready to connect with customers and make some sales!