Remote networking can’t ever replace a face-to-face meeting

author Anthony Phillips, September 10, 2010

Yesterday I went to Bond International to have a catch-up with one of my old managers. The purpose of the visit was for me to meet with with the Head of European Support and to pick his brains about how to grow a service desk inline with the growth of the company.

Being the world industry leaders in recruitment software, Bond International are undoubtedly a great company for me to model our support services on. Not only does the Bond Support Desk deliver an impeccable service, my old manager taught me most of the best practices that I still use today. Where better to go for advice, ideas and direction.

Not only did I find the experience very rewarding in terms of ideas, clarity and direction for the Claromentis Service, it also made me realize the importance of meeting people face-to-face. There is absolutely no way in my mind that the meeting could have been as rewarding and successful if our communication had been anything other than face-to-face.

As Claromentis continues to grow internationally, it’s becomes less common that we meet our clients face-to-face – at least until an on-site training session is given. Whilst we still manage to deliver successful projects using email and voice conferencing as our main communication tool, my recent experience does make me wonder….

How much more successful are projects that we get to meet the client face-to-face, in comparison with those that we don’t?

It’s a hard one to measure, if not impossible, since much of it is based on satisfaction and confidence levels, but I think we could all rate those areas in our mind.

My mind is made up… whilst a video conference could possibly get close, I just don’t see it achieving the same levels of satisfaction, understanding and rewarding as a face-to-face meeting.