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Five Unconventional Uses for Google+ Hangouts

BetterCloud

February 27, 2013

3 minute read

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Google+ HangoutWhile some people are still unsure about Google+, there’s no denying that Google Hangouts have become a major selling point for using the social network. Hangouts are not only an easy and free way to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, but they’re heavily integrated into Google Chat and Google Calendars – so even if you don’t actively use Google+, you can still use Hangouts.

While Hangouts are great for meetings, there are several unconventional uses for Hangouts we’ve been using for a while now and others we’re excited about implementing in the future.

1. Interviews

Of course conducting a face to face interview is the best option, but candidates can’t always make it into our offices. While a phone interview gets the job done, phone calls are extremely impersonal…not to mention they can make you very nervous. When you get the chance to see the person you’re talking to, the conversation flows more naturally.

Jared Tabler, VP of Operations at Google Apps customer ICOM Productions recently noted on Google’s Enterprise blog that “Google+ Hangouts have completely revolutionized our recruiting process. Instead of relying on phone screenings, which don’t really convey a candidate’s personality, or flying people to Calgary, which is expensive, we use Hangouts, which cost nothing and bring each prospect’s character to life.”

We couldn’t agree more Jared!

2. Live Support

While we recently added live chat to our product support site, we’re contemplating adding live video support as well. Support Hangouts would be similar to college office hours where you’re welcome to drop in and ask a professor questions at any time. For our live support Hangouts, a member of our support team (“the professor”) would be stationed in a Hangout on Air for a set time with FlashPanel users welcome to come and go as they please.

3. Open Lines of Communication Between Offices

Working from two offices (in New York City and Atlanta) can result in disjointed teams. But luckily, we’ve implemented Google Hangouts to solve this potential problem. We leave a Hangout open all day every day so team members can “experience” what’s happening in either office. This gives the whole team the sense that we’re working together, though physically we’re in different locations.

4. Communicating with Customers

We use Google+ Hangouts on Air to hold our bi-monthly FlashPanel Live event. This Hangout gives our CEO the chance to personally interact with hundreds of our customers. During the Hangout on Air, we share important feature updates, company news and our product roadmap. We’ve found that the more open the lines of communication are with our customers, the better. You can tune into the next FlashPanel Live on March 28.

5. Customer Testimonials

To date, our customer case studies are all in written format. But in the coming months we’re hoping to add video case studies as well. Just as a video interview adds personality to the process, we’re betting a video case study will make the story more engaging. To capture these video case studies, we’d simply add a Hangout to a Google Calendar invitation, start a Hangout On Air and begin a broadcast to record the session. You can always hide events from your Google+ stream if you wish to keep the event private.

Are you using Hangouts creatively in your business? Let us know in the comments below.

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