Thanks to video conferencing, you can cut travel costs, enjoy the freedom of flexible work, improve productivity, accelerate innovation and build better relationships, and now you can do it all for free. Startups, small businesses and enterprises alike can choose free video chat apps to support teamwork and empower sales teams without paying anything.
However, every company should carefully weigh the pros and cons of free video conferencing, because the hidden costs to your business are much greater than you think. For example, here are just three reasons free video chat apps hurt your business.
1. Poor Quality Damages Your Credibility
Free video chat services are typically designed with consumers in mind, not business users, which have very different collaboration needs. As a result, you can come across lacking professionalism and even innovation by using them.
Audio and video on free apps don’t match the quality of professional video conferencing, and they lack live, in-meeting, 24/7 customer support. So instead of collaborating, you waste time finding DIY solutions to glitches and resources if you use your own IT team to patch up every virtual meeting. In the meantime, guests, often already multitasking, won’t take you seriously or pay attention.
In fact, many free apps were originally designed more as virtual chat forums than true virtual meeting rooms where users feel more like they’re physically in a room together. Professional video conferencing provides seamless access and intuitive interfaces to create a more authentic collaboration environment than free apps.
2. A Lack of Privacy and Security Erodes Trust
A core component of good relationship building is developing trust, and the lack of privacy and security on free video chat services erodes that trust from the beginning. Often, free video chat apps require all participants to register an account or even download an application, whereas professional, cloud-based options allow guests to click a link and/or dial in without registering at all.
This not only makes video conferencing more difficult to join but also riskier. Guests may not want to give away private information at registration just to join your virtual meetings. Plus, free video conferencing typically does not offer full content encryption (softphone, webcam, documents, downloads, chats, etc.), making it inefficient for collaborating on sensitive information.
3.Free Video Rooms Butcher Your Branding
Video conferencing rooms are now extensions of your company and brand, like virtual office entrances and lobbies. This is now the first place many customers, new employees and partners see you and interact with you.
However, instead of fully customizable backgrounds and personalized URLs, you’re often stuck with the default appearance of free video chat apps, and some even post distracting ads (that could possibly display your competition). You work hard to create your company’s unique brand, and the technology you use to meet should represent what your company stands for.
Even if you can get past the limits on how many people can participant on HD video, the uncontrollable bandwidth consumption, the lack of Outlook integration or the limited features of free video chat services, no-frills video conferencing just doesn’t meet the demands of the anywhere, anytime, any-device consumer or workforce. True video conferencing enables greater mobility while providing enhanced security and premium quality, and a successful business knows better than to settle for anything less than a top-notch video conferencing experience.
Are you looking to improve your video conferencing experience? Take a free trial of iMeet® VCR today!