Zoom is a necessary part of life during the pandemic, but this technology can be a challenge.
zooming with seniors
1 Aug 2020

4 Tips for Zooming with Seniors

One of the biggest winners during the COVID-19 pandemic is the once little-known company called Zoom. Their video conferencing software, although around for about a decade, exploded in use during the first and second quarters of 2020. They reported a 169 percent revenue increase and a 354 percent increase in new business licenses between February and April 2020. Their popularity and prevalence in business is undeniable—and for good reason.

For many, Zoom has made doing business during the pandemic possible. What once required in-person meetings can now be accomplished from the safety and comfort of your own home. This is especially important for anyone working with high-risk clients, including older folks.

But for many, using this technology is a bit intimidating. Here’s how you can put their minds at ease, give them a great experience and provide excellent customer service by Zooming with seniors.

Tip #1. Make Zooming with seniors easy

Start by phoning the client you’re going to Zoom with. Explain what you want to discuss and why the subject is best addressed via video call. Once they agree, create a meeting link but don’t invite them via Zoom.

Write a follow-up email detailing what you discussed over the phone. Include the link to the meeting in the followup and consider adding directions so they know what to do once they click on the link. Here’s a good example of Zoom directions (feel free to copy and paste):

  1. Any time before your meeting, visit www.zoom.com, and set up a zoom account. Login to your account before your meeting.
  2. At the designated meeting time, click the meeting link provided by your host.
  3. If prompted, click “Open in Zoom Meetings.”
  4. If asked permission to use the device’s camera and microphone, click “Allow.”

Whether or not you provide written instructions is completely up to you, but doing so may help you avoid a (humourous) situation like this!

Tip #2. Consider the optics

Whether you’re in the office or not, you want these meetings to feel as professional as possible. So dress as you would (at least from the waist up!) for an in-person meeting. Dress appropriately, brush your teeth, and take a shower. Even if these actions aren’t outwardly visible, your mindset will change, and you’ll feel more professional.

Think about where you should sit. A home office is great, as long as the room is neat and free of clutter. Your meeting space should also have good lighting in front of you. Any lighting behind you will darken your face and make you appear as a silhouette. So don’t sit with your back to a window or floor lamp.

We’ve all seen the famous BBC video from a few years ago, and post-pandemic there are many, many more. So if you have kids or pets, find somewhere they can’t barge in and interrupt your meeting. There’s nothing more distracting while Zooming than a screaming baby or barking dog (or both).

Tip #3. Don’t forget the visuals

Visuals should be an important part of presentations with seniors whether they’re in person or online. With Zoom visits, have your visual presentation queued up on your screen in advance. This way, you can easily share your screen throughout your meeting to clearly show your clients important information.

After your Zoom meeting, follow-up with clients via email by sending them PDFs of the visuals you shared during the meeting. This will help refresh their memories and reinforce important takeaways.

Tip #4. Work on quality audio

Since some seniors struggle with hearing, make sure you have a high-quality audio feed. While you can’t control the conditions on their side, you can do your best to ensure the signal you’re sending is strong. This may require you to invest in a corded microphone for your computer, but the investment will be a good one.

Zooming with seniors can have a positive impact on your relationship with them as clients. Bad Zoom meetings can do just the opposite. So don’t take your Zoom etiquette for granted, and don’t act casually just because you’re out of the office. Take the time to present yourself professionally, and the payoff will be well worth the effort.



image credit: shutterstock/fizkes