Businesses across the world have awoken to the fact that times are changing. They have realized that retention of competitiveness calls for adaptability by investing in efficient business communication tools. These tools are particularly useful to businesses that would like to increase their efficiency, motivate their personnel for increased productivity, make IT management simple and stress-free, and provide solutions that are user friendly.
This practically means that all types businesses –large, medium or small – can make do with communication tools for business. Communication plays a critical role in all business models. It can make or break a company, depending on how it is handled. It is therefore important for a serious business to display very efficient communication practices, whether the communication is business to business or business to client.
Entrepreneurs and managers have a vital role in determining the right business communication tools to be used by the company. They need to examine both the internal and external communication needs of their business, and determine the right tools to employ to meet those needs. Here is a look at 7 communication tools for business that managers would want to consider:
ezTalks Meetings is one of the most effective tools of business communication. It’s free and quite easy to use. Its high-definition videos and very clear audio features makes using it almost as good as having a face to face meeting. It is designed to allow for the use of eraser, pencil and texts on its interactive whiteboard as you host online meeting. Its other innovative features include:
a. Free HD video and audio call for up to 100 participants
b. Group chat and private chat can be held in/off the meeting
c. An online meeting scheduler – to prepare scheduled events
d. Screen sharing and whiteboard- better express what you're saying
e. A recording and playback feature – for future reference
f. Control and management feature – to ensure that meetings are orderly
g. It is compatible with a wide range of devices, including Android, Mac, Windows and iOS
All companies, large and small, have to undergo a transition crisis that is usually characterized by poor internal communication mechanisms. Oftentimes, managers react to this by laying more emphasis on the use of emerging technology, without really getting into the merits of doing so. They fail to evaluate the indicators of the problem that would guide them to arrive at a concrete solution. These indicators are a good guide as to the actual communication tool in business required. A keen manager should be on the lookout for the following indicators of breaking communication:
a. Overburdening paperwork
b. Outdated company news, bulletins and announcements
c. Lack of a clear orientation policy for new recruits
d. Frequent communication breakdowns between section heads and their employees
e. Lack of a clear appraisal policy
f. Poorly laid out channels of communication
The organization can circumvent the above problems by investing in Social Intranet Software. This software provides a common portal from which all the employees can easily access communication documents and information that are necessary for them to carry out their duties effectively. This ensures that everyone in the organization is moving in the same direction, and the inevitable result of this is better returns for the company.
A key thing that a competitive business must strive to do is to offer real-time customer service. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that this is no mean feat. It is even more daunting for small and medium businesses that may not have the budget to accomplish this. However, with this online communication tool for business - WhatsApp, a business of any size can actively engage their customers in real-time. The app has the advantage of being able to support a variety of media: audio, video and text.
Great tools of communication in business are meant to engage employees with a view to get their feedbacks. Employee motivation starts by listening to their opinions, comments, complaints and compliments. To achieve this, the company must design content that is attractive and appealing enough to capture and sustain their interest. The manager should be keen to note the kind of attention that the company posts are receiving from the employees, and should it happen that there are few who are active, then they need to change the mode of delivery.
The human brain acts like a super computer – it has the ability to process visual images at an amazingly fast speed. When the company decides to use videos, images and infographics, it is guaranteed to arouse the interest and engagement of the employees. Almost any communication can be delivered in this way: from company news, bulletins, departmental information, training videos to marketing demonstrations. The company will save on time as a result of the speedy way with which the information will be received and acted upon.
Sharing information in the workplace has been credited for enhanced skills acquisition and increased staff morale. It is through this that new employees are inducted into the organization. This practice also allows for workers to ask questions, give opinions and discuss the best way of tackling on-going projects. A business devoid of healthy internal business communication tools has no space for information sharing. Such a company is characterized by employee apathy that has the following indicators:
a. The workers queries are not responded to
b. Knowledge is a preserve of a few
c. Management is divided on who handles what issues
Discussion forums are effective communication tools for business. They bond employees and the management. Creating such a forum ensures that knowledge is shared, and that everybody is made to feel that have a stake in the organization.
Hangouts has been essentially one of the communication tools in business that are focused more on the texting feature. However, Google’s Cloud Next unveiled two other products that are offshoots of the original Hangouts: Meet and Chat.
a. Hangouts Meet
This is a fairly new video meeting and video chatting app that is very appropriate for businesses. It is fairly easy to get into and use, considering that it is reputed to be ultra-light, ultra-easy and ultra-fast. It has the ability to accommodate about 30 people at a go, making it ideal for business meetings. Hangouts Meet can also be conveniently accommodated in your calendar.
b. Hangouts Chat
This is more of a messaging tool appropriate for business communications than anything else. It has become a favorite of journalists, but more and more businesses are taking it up for its convenience and innovativeness. It is poised to allow users to create groups and run projects.
The modern-day techno-savvy client would want to use a variety of channels to connect to your business. Unfortunately, technology has not developed any one single gadget that can offer an all-round approach to this matter. Businesses have the option of investing in Issue Tracking Software, to achieve an almost near effect of this.
This business communication tool allows clients to issue a ticket on a complaint or problem. This ticket gets assigned to a dedicated employee who will ensure that it is resolved in time. This software is a tool designed to track open issues and queries, get customer feedback and track personnel productivity.