Communication Tools You Should Use To Keep Your Business Running Smoothly

Every business needs a bank of effective communication tools in order to run smoothly. While it’s true that emails are still significant when it comes to communicating with clients and teams, it won’t take long before they will be in the same bracket as telegrams due to newer and better tools getting introduced in the market. Today, organizations opt to communicate using different types of tools instead of focusing on only one platform. Common methods or tools for communication that businesses utilize nowadays include social media, chat, video conferencing, and phone systems.

The truth is that there are a lot of communication tools to choose from, but the question now is how to find the right one/ones for your company.

Look no further as this post will share with you the top communication tools that can elevate the external and internal communications of your business, as well as keep your operations running smoothly. Check them out below.

1. Call Cowboy: Turning Your Phone System Into One Powerful Business Dialing Platform

If you want your clients to get the impression that you’re a huge business, Call Cowboy is the right one for you. Whether it’s a power dialer, local presence number, or a toll-free number that you need, the platform has got you covered.

Here are the services that you can avail using the platform:

  • Local Or Toll-free Number – You can choose between a toll-free number or a vanity phone number to boost the respectability of your business.
  • Autodialer – The platform’s auto dialer allows you to either dial from your mobile device or your landline. It gives you and your staff the freedom to work wherever and whenever you want.
  • Interactive Voice Response – The IVR is a phone menu system that can increase efficiency in your business. It also lowers employee cost by giving callers the power to directly route their call to the appropriate agent or department.
  • SMS Autoresponder – This feature automatically responds to any inbound text your business will receive.
  • Call Masking – You can rent a local number where your customers can call for you to maintain some privacy. What happens is that when the client dials your rented local number, your personal one rings and you can answer from there. You can also use your cellphone to call customers while still showing your local number.

Other services you can enjoy with Call Cowboy are text and call forwarding. It’s a tool for communication that can turn your phone into one powerful business dialing platform.

2. BlueJeans: Making Video Meetings More Flexible And Productive

It doesn’t matter whether you and your employees prefer to attend online meetings using a mobile phone, desktop application, or a web browser; BlueJeans cloud-based video communications have got your covered. Such a tool provides flexibility and makes meetings more productive because of its wide range of collaboration features that you can enjoy across different platforms. It gives you the ability to organize and host meetings in town halls and conference rooms. It also allows you to record meetings and share screens.

Combining workflows is easy with BlueJeans since you can schedule your meetings with Outlook, chat using Skype, and integrate with popular services and business apps. It also wouldn’t be a problem if some of your staff don’t have audio- or video-capable devices since they can still phone in to join meetings.

3. Monday.com: A Simple Yet Useful Communication Tool For Project Collaborations

If what you want is an easy-to-learn tool for collaborating on and tracking different types of projects, look no further than monday.com. It has simple structures, which are a result of getting away from the trimmings that typical tools have. It’s a good thing since it means more clarity on the sequence of work that you and your team have to do.

The ability to mention teammates, make comments, as well as attach files to cards on the task boards are some of its communication features. It also provides a central place for everyone involved in a specific task or project in your company, which enables them to easily track time, share reports, send messages, as well as check tasks based on upcoming due dates. It somehow compensates for its lack of screen sharing or video calling features. Management of team documents is also possible since you can create some sort of virtual space for employee onboarding details and meeting notes that everyone can have access to.

Monday.com can also integrate with project management applications, like Typeform, Dropbox, Trello, GitHub, Jira, Google Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive. You can also access it using Zapier. And, of course,  its most important integration is with Slack since it lets you turn Slack messages from team discussions into tasks.

4. Slack: Low-cost Yet Effective Platform For Internal Communications

Slack is a popular internal communications tool in the market today. Even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration used Slack for one of their projects.

The good thing about this tool is that it has an extensive list of options and integrations, making it an excellent platform for different types of discussions. Despite lacking some basic yet essential features, like task management and calendar, many companies still utilize it because of its low cost and power to increase productivity without heavily relying on email. The payment for using the tool increases as you move for bigger storage limits, but it doesn’t take away the fact that Slack is still an effective tool to use, especially with its calling options that are available at paid tiers.

5. Office 365: HD Video Calling And Private Social Media For Your Company

The good thing about Office 365 is that having it means you’ll have access to two well-known and reliable communication apps – Yammer and Skype for Business. Of course, you know Skype as the quintessential platform for video chat, and you can expect more features from its business edition. Business features include large group meetings that can have up to 250 attendees, tools for collaboration, as well as screen sharing. You can use it on any device and schedule your meetings through Outlook.

The latest version of Skype adds high-definition video calling that can have up to 24 attendees on different devices. It also now has new messaging features that allow chat participants to mention others as a way of sending notifications. You’ll also have a media gallery, where all videos, photos, and other files you share get stored for later viewing. Call recording and read receipts for messages are also on their way as additional features that users can expect soon.

As with Yammer, it enables businesses to create a sort of private social network that looks like Facebook. It functions to share internal information and unite employees. You and your staff can also have profile pages and update status, comment, like, create groups, send private messages, chat with other users, and more. Of course, uploading documents, photos, and other files is also possible.

If there are people who can benefit the most from Blink as a communication tool, they’re the deskless workers of your company. As you probably already know, they’re the type of employees who don’t always enjoy the same quality of technology as their colleagues in the headquarters of your business. Blink wraps polls, workplace analytics, cloud storage, directory, company feed for top-down communications that have a social media feel, as well as workplace messaging into one app.

Blink got built with its central functionality being the concept of workplace messaging. That said, company feed, group chats, and peer-to-peer direct messaging have crucial roles to play in this tool. Admins and moderators of the app who post communications in the company feed can turn on and off the push notification for each post based on its level of importance. Digital forms for reporting, robust integrations, as well as polls are also present in Blink.

The app also has prominent analytics for administrators. Within the admin portal, you’ll enjoy team analytics, organization-wide analytics, and even post-by-post analytics. You can also use hub analytics that can measure the adoption and interactions within the reporting section and document storage of the app.

The best thing about Blink is that anyone can use it. It’s a straight-out-of-the-box SaaS (software as a service) for communication that doesn’t require technical knowledge for you and your colleagues to get started. It has a user-friendly and brandable interface that got designed with familiar social media-like features, including the like buttons and emojis. It, of course, encourages some high level of engagement from your staff, even from the less tech-savvy individuals.

Integrations with third-party systems are also possible with Blink. Some of the applications you can integrate with it are G-suite, Office 365, Trello, and Jira. Using its public APIs, you’ll also have the option to build new integrations on your current systems. The tool supports Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. Using Blink via your browser is also possible.

7. Communifire: Communication Tool For Managing Customer Concerns

communication tools

Since consumers would want to have the ability to connect with your business across different channels, you have to start offering a 360-degree approach towards customer service and support. It’s common in different companies for customer queries to be generally lost, especially when call volumes are going up and the manager or supervisor isn’t quick-thinking enough to assign concerns to the right employees. It’s something that can be very frustrating for customers.

When customer service and support isn’t in the best possible position in your business, customer retention declines, overall customer feedback becomes negative, and cases can’t get solved on time or don’t get solved at all.

Did you ever look for a solution to it?  Chances are you didn’t because of thinking that there’s not yet a communication tool that got specially designed to handle customer queries. That could be the case in the past, but it all has changed with the arrival of Communifire. Well, it’s an issue tracking software that lets you, customers, as well as employees, submit a ticket or case, assign it to the right person in your company, and get it resolved in no time.

8. Flock: Centralized Communication Tool For Your Business

Flock is more than a simple messaging system, and it’s one of the most robust communication applications you’d find nowadays. It has a chat module that has been designed to not only streamline but also centralize communication from different groups and teams. It moves away from the “back and forth” system of communication by enabling you to turn messages into something useful, like resources with bookmarks. You’ll also have the option to convert discussions into tasks when using this tool.

Flock also offers audio and video calls, individual and group chats, and a screen sharing module. It also features useful communication tools, especially the option to create a poll anonymously, share it with your whole team, and download whatever results that come out. High-priority information can also get tagged in conversations. Members in one particular discussion board can also become a source to generate email lists automatically. It, of course, allows you to send out group emails quickly to the right people.

You can integrate Flock with Office 365, Google Calendar, Google Doc, Dropbox, Evernote, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook Lead Ads, GitHub, Asana, Slack, Paperform, Airtable, Trello, and many other applications and tools in the market.

How To Pick The Best Communication Tool For Your Business

With all the different options available today, it can be challenging to pick the best communication tool for your business. Of course, as much as you’d want to utilize all those apps, sometimes, the budget won’t permit it, so you have to make a decision. Of course, it all boils down to your preferences.

However, to help you decide, here are some of the questions you have to ask yourself to narrow down your choices:

  • What’s the primary purpose of the communication tool in your company?
  • How big is your team?
  • How long does it take to set up the application?
  • What’s the learning curve necessary for you and your staff to get accustomed to the app?
  • What’s the cost of getting the full version of the tool?

Your answer to these questions should help you choose the most appropriate business communication tool for your company.

Conclusion

From in-person meetings to audio and video conferencing, technology has indeed made communicating with clients and employees quicker, more convenient, and more affordable than ever. Whether you’ll connect through social media, a mobile app, browser, software, or your phone system, using one or more of the tools mentioned and discussed in this post should not only keep your business running smoothly but also push it to reach new heights. As they say, communication is vital for every organization to operate efficiently and effectively in today’s fast-paced business world.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan