“Zoom” used to primarily be the adjective my 5-year old used to describe what his toy cars did on their race track. Last year it rapidly became a more popular reference to the type of technology used in the pandemic-induced virtual meeting boom that seemingly overnight transformed how we worked and interacted with business partners, clients, customers and even friends.
Meetings held via Zoom.com for our Evansville office team went from a small portion of total meetings to 100% of them in the early months of the pandemic. For some of us, the pandemic has been the shock of a lifetime but also represents an opportunity for learning and adaptation that can lead to improvement and evolution. Here are some of the things we’ve learned – or at least been reminded of – that our team intends to build on moving forward:
Be flexible. Now more than ever we have to be flexible as a business about the options we provide our clients to engage with us. Some of our clients found out they love virtual meetings because they can stay in the comfort of their own homes (along with house shoes and pajamas if they so desire!) when meeting with us and have already told us they want to continue to meet via Zoom in the future. Other clients told us they’d prefer to meet with us in person at the office after they received their vaccine because they love the face to face interaction.
We believe serving clients or customers on their time, in their preferred fashion with solutions that make their life easier, is not only critical to retaining healthy relationships during a period like 2020, but can be an excellent growth tool for businesses that execute properly once the pandemic is in our rear view mirror.
It’s a small world. For many of us, one of the biggest benefits of the mass migration to virtual meetings has been that it has become more accepted as a way to connect and establish new relationships when needed. As an example, our office was able to establish new client relationships with families in places like New Hampshire, Minnesota, and even Washington state in 2020. Who would have thought that would ever be possible when your physical office is in Evansville, IN?
For us, the broader acceptance of doing business over virtual channels has broken down traditional geographic barriers, particularly for service businesses, and has created many new growth opportunities across the country for our Evansville office.
There’s no such thing as too much communication. Similar to previous posts in this newsletter, communication remains critical to our office team, particularly in a world where working remotely has certainly become more common than it was prior to the pandemic. Communication with clients and customers, vendors, business partners and within a team is critical to any businesses success, but particularly in times of stress. Setting the right expectations with our team and clients, clearly communicating with regular status updates, and proactively touching base continues to go a long way in maintaining strong relationships and client confidence.
The need for human connection has never been greater. Despite all the challenges we’ve all faced due to this pandemic, we’re continuing to make it through, adapting and evolving together. Connection lets us know we are not alone on this journey and we can learn from and support one another each step of the way.
Many client interactions in this period have reminded me that human connection really is a reward of this journey, especially when the path being traveled gets tough.
United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC d/b/a Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management (“GS PFM”) is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“GS&Co.”) and subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management, and financial services organization. Advisory services are offered through United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC and brokerage services are offered through GS& Co., member FINRA/SIPC.
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United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC d/b/a Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management (“GS PFM”) is a registered investment adviser and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management, and financial services organization.
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