Business communication tools empower small, medium-sized, and large businesses to achieve their goals in a more efficient manner.
Gone are those days when the workplace was brimming with employees working face-to-face or through email between 9 am and 5 pm. Remote teams are working out of their desired location, attending online meetings at any hour, and collaborating with teams spread across the globe, in today’s digital workplace.
As these diversified workplaces arise, the need for collaborative, digitally connected work environments with effective communication has driven organizations to look for user-friendly solutions, simplify IT management, and stimulate employee motivation.
What is a business communication tool?
In a nutshell, business communication tools are digital solutions that support teams to collaborate easily and perform more productively. They address the internal communication problems that organizations face –and solve them.
From text-only chat to live video calls, business communication tools allow businesses of all sizes to effortlessly engage within their teams and across the organization without physically walking across to tap someone on the shoulder.
How to choose the best communication tools for your business?
Now, more than ever, you can have the best-in-class technologies to help you – whether you are setting up your business or looking to scale operations – contend with big organizations, but at a much lower cost.
The hurdle? Knowing which small business tools are suitable for your organization’s goals.
Our product specialists at Freshdesk Contact Center have helped us compile this list of business tools that you can use to differentiate the contenders from the pretenders.
Let’s get started!
They should be collaborative.
The best productivity happens when employees are on the same page. Today’s technology lets you unite everyone in the same room for a huddle even though they are not physically present. Using an electronic business collaboration tool is a unique way to involve even the most remote employees worldwide.
They should offer an all-in-one solution.
Having all of your communication functionalities in one place— instant messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing, for example—reduces the toggling between different apps.
In a study of live desktop activity, the results showed employees switch between up to 35 job-critical applications nearly once a minute – adding needless complexity that reduces efficiency and frustrates workers. While this disorganization might seem trivial at first, it adds to missed tasks, time wasted, and mistakes made.
Businesses can deliver better customer engagement and superior employee experiences with an ecosystem of thousands of apps and shared services.
Know more about it here.
They should be cloud-based.
Businesses will run out of storage space when the data is stored in the cloud. Cloud-based storage also makes file sharing efficient within teams since the standard email providers reject certain documents because of file-size restrictions. Having all of your data stored in one centralized cloud-based system also means that the information is accessible anytime, anywhere.
They should serve multiple functions.
Ensure your business communication tool has good flexibility to present rich multimedia content from HD video to audio conferencing.
Live meetings, remote meetings, video conferencing, group messaging, and online customer support are the critical pillars of any business communication tool; thus, do your homework to know which tool will adequately serve the needs of your workplace.
Remote teams of all sizes have understood the significance of a protected communication this year. A secured business communication tool is more critical if your business handles sensitive information — education, finance, healthcare, insurance, and high tech.
If confidentiality is imperative to your organization and customers, find out how many layers of security are offered by the communication tools you finalize for your business.
You can read about Freshworks Commitment Towards HIPAA Compliance here.
What are the different types of communication tools?
Messaging and chat apps
Messaging communication tools are quickly displacing email as the de-facto form of communication. A team communication app like Slack, Zoom or Microsoft Teams renders more functionality than email. Features like video calling, integration of video conferencing, and web conferencing tools enable remote teams to connect in real-time.
Instant messaging and chat offer interactivity for support teams. From organizing conversations into threads for easy navigation to swift file-sharing across large groups, messaging apps go beyond email to bring teams a level of interpersonal communication.
Agile, concise, organized is exactly what communication should be.
Project Management Tools
One of the primary concerns with managing projects is that they can be complex; affecting several tasks and workflows.
Hence, a good project management tool will help you plan, organize, and manage your team’s projects.
The best project management tools visually display how a project progresses with a standard template, making it more straightforward for team members to track specific tasks and the broader picture.
Some fundamental components include:
- Task management including automated prompts, allocating and tracking tasks
- Individual real-time to-do lists for every member of the team
- Visual interface via Gantt Charts and Kanban Boards
- Time or deadline tracker with completion dates mentioned
- Accessible communication and collaboration features
- Ability to customize the management system as per your organization’s needs
- Integrations with third-party tools for improving process efficiency.
File sharing applications
Transferring data and assets between team members is a hassle. Cloud-based file-sharing apps give everyone access to the same information simultaneously.
Today business clouds store infinite gigabytes of data in a central repository where all team members can access them directly. The business communication tool you pick must allow real-time collaboration. A secure file sharing tool also helps businesses keep their records organized and safe, without long email chains or the risk of data leaks.
Social intranet software
An intranet is a private hub that is accessed by business owners within an organization. It is primarily used for driving internal communication and collaboration. In this age of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and telecommuting, an intranet solution creates a more adaptable workforce and ensures all employees work towards the same goals.
Intranets also facilitate organizations to share company news effortlessly and establish an information-rich workspace accessible from any location and device.
You can bring your own carrier or choose your carrier from a list of Freshdesk Contact Center carrier partners.
Tracking & Case Software
An online helpdesk with a tracking system empowers employees and customers to submit support tickets. The helpdesk software assigns the tickets to the right employee and helps resolve the queries within the promised timeline. A case tracking system aids in streamlining customer support queries and keeping a record of any open issues.
Using Freshdesk Omnichannel, managers can track team collaboration, productivity, prioritize the most relevant and essential queries and consolidate helpful customer feedback to improve the product experience and customer relationships.
Social Networking Sites
Internet-based social networking occurs through multiple platforms that allow users with similar interests to share content and interact online. Some popular social media sites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. Creating social networks that mirror your business goals and interests will help you establish relationships with current customers and prospects.
Also, social media marketing is a relatively economical way to reach specific customer segments of your product or service. However, it’s important to be mindful of how a post will reflect on your business.
Knowledge management System Internal blogs, images, and videos
Discussion forums like internal blogs, Confluence, Workplace, and Yammer, etc, broadcast essential knowledge to improve team collaboration and are great for archiving all organizational knowledge. Set permissions to business owners who can disseminate information and control the internal blog space.
Additionally post training videos, webinars, messages from higher authorities, or culture videos to increase employee engagement. When it comes to image-focused content, infographics showcase important information succinctly. Infographics will also simplify information in a catchy and appealing way, especially for data, timelines, or explaining complex topics.
Some of the other advantages of having an internal blog as a business communication tool are:
- Distributing and highlighting an employee’s knowledge about a specific topic or area of the business.
- Building a robust archive of knowledge base articles where the articles uploaded and published
- Promoting open employee communication and collaboration among the workforce.
- Keeping the staff up-to-date on critical information and company updates.
Determining where your business needs improvement is challenging when you do not carefully analyze information. Often, internal communications staff will manually observe and log data into an excel sheet, making it a time-consuming task. To avoid this, organizations can use analytical business communication tools to evaluate user behavior and workflow.
Crucial business data like – how many users are reading your product blogs, commenting on a forum post get stored automatically into a comprehensive report. Gathering and analyzing this stored data will enable you to make necessary tweaks to improve your internal communication tools.
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is an essential business communication tool. Unlike analog phone systems, VoIP phone systems do not require any phone hardware. It enables the user to call any mobile, landline, or even computer-to-computer with an internet-connected laptop, PC, and mobile.
The VoIP systems also cost less than traditional telephone lines and allow users to forward and round calls even in peak hours. The mobile app VoIP support system will make it effortless to conduct conferences, meetings, and business-oriented phone calls, even in remote places using an android or ios operating system.
Freshdesk Contact Center is a user-friendly and launch-ready VoIP phone system for small business communications. It runs on the cloud and gives your business the capability to scale capacity on the go and improve your team communication. Also, you can purchase virtual phone numbers from as many as 100+ countries irrespective of your original physical location.
In comparison to various other VoIP system providers, Freshdesk Contact Center has some additional features like voicemail, call workflow, call forwarding, etc that give it an upper hand in cloud telephony.
You can sign up for a free trial today right here.
Streamlined communication between remote teams operating across the globe can be tricky, but it can be done. There is no silver bullet.
Start by picking a business communication tool that can become the foundation for your communication needs. What matters is, you use the same suite of tools and make use of every interaction to grow your team dynamics and enhance the natural synergy of the group. In a nutshell, when equipped with the right business communication tools, you can increase efficiency, engagement, and knowledge sharing in your workplace.
Illustrations by Mahalakshmi Anantharaman
About Freshdesk Contact Center
Freshdesk Contact Center is a modern-day cloud phone system for customer support, sales, and remote working teams. With its cloud-based architecture, Freshdesk Contact Center brings together the best of legacy features like IVR and advanced call routing capabilities like Smart Escalations, Customizable Performance Reporting to help you set up state-of-the-art phone operations. Freshdesk Contact Center offers phone numbers in 90+ countries, requires zero phone hardware, and is extremely easy to use.
Visit the Freshdesk Contact Center web page for more information.
The post Top Business Communication Tools Every Company Needs appeared first on Freshcaller Blog.