Online communication nowadays, relgardless of the user’s relationship has a number of small, unique features related with a limited non-verbal interaction. It may cause some barriers in understanding the moods and reactions whilst meeting. In general, there are a number of simple steps that could help you to improve the mutual contact during online communication.
Particular experts such as physicians (especially psychotherapists) need a more detailed study of the patient’s behavior, actions, and appearance so the category of medical services may demand more nuances of working online. In order to set rapport, view the patient’s living environment, examine certain body parts etc…Physicians have to take care of the patient’s camera positioning, use special devices and certain special techniques if needed. Other articles will be devoted to it in the future.
Here we are considering only simple and general recommendations to make online communication more efficient.
Settings telehealth video conference before starting
Make sure that there are no unnecessary noise and adjust the microphone sensitivity accordingly.
Check the light. Activate the camera and check whether you are clearly visible and whether the camera covers your image completely.
Arrange the background. There should be no distractions, so the customer is highly focused on the information you provide.
It is worth considering how the conversation is confidential. If the consultation involves classified information – it is better that the client ensures that there is no one else present or in range to hear the conversation.
Internet speed and disconnections. It is desirable to have a speed of internet connections from 4 mb/s. Nowadays, high speed internet access is easily available. The stability of the Internet access is more problematic. Usually disconnections during the advice provision are perceived normally by the clients, but before intercourse you should agree on a fallback solution in the event of an unexpected end of the call. Mobile devices can help contacting the client using an app via another Internet channel or they may wish to finish the meeting by a phone call.
Recommendations during the online telemedicine
Periodically check the window where your camera is broadcasting your image to understand how your customer is seeing you. Unlike offline meetings, it is possible to monitor your facial expressions during a call. Use it to its full potential.
Eye contact. Because it’s sometimes uncomfortable setting the camera in the middle of the monitor, then you need to remember to look at the camera occasionally while tracking facial expressions and the client’s reaction on the screen.
If the camera is built in, or attached to the monitor, you can move a window displaying the client’s image on the screen closer to the camera location on the monitor. If you move a little away from the camera, the degree of eye movement looking from the camera to the monitor will be less, respectively, the shift of gaze will be less noticeable so you can take notes, keep track of customer feedback, review materials on the screen and so on.
The same advice as for the offline meeting – supplement your consultation with images, videos, diagrams (if necessary). It will help to make the information more visual. Modern technologies allow to transmit additional materials to the client during a conversation.
These are just some simple things that you can consider in order to better interact with your audience while meeting online.