29 Jan The New Way Businesses Communicate
Email used to reign supreme as the preferred method of communication. Prior to that, it may have been the phone or even a fax machine. These days many companies are leaving both of these forms of communication behind in favor of quicker and more robust methods of communicating. Chat applications and artificial intelligence tools are transforming the way businesses talk with their customers and internally.
Is your business ready to communicate more effectively both internally and with clients, customers, and outside vendors? If the answer is yes, then you may be looking for the right tool to bring your business to the future of communication.
Internal messaging apps sure have grown up since the days of AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Instant Messenger. The latest applications have taken what was great about these old school tools and improved upon the technology. There are several options to choose from here, but 2 applications are standing above the rest at the moment.
The clear winner in this game right now is Slack. With a robust free version, it is easy to get users into the system. Slack allows you to invite users that are not in your organization so everyone can be on the same page, even if they are not an internal employee. Slack also integrates with several of the most popular applications to make it a system that can communicate on several levels.
While Slack is definitely winning many businesses over, Microsoft has been developing its own robust chat application. If your company is already subscribing to Office 365, then you actually already have access to use Teams. You would not need to pay a separate fee to utilize the service. Another area that Teams is really gaining ground, is the integration with other Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and Outlook. With Teams, you can easily share and chat about specific files, emails and add them to task lists quickly.
While the chat applications mentioned above do have ties to collaboration, there are also specific tools that offer a little bit more help when collaborating on a project. The ability to see various tasks and processes in one location is extremely helpful when trying to be on the same page with multiple people both inside and outside of the company.
One of the most widely used tools in this arena is currently Trello. While the user interface isn’t quite as pretty as some of the other options, the functionality of the service more than makes up for it. Trello is a visual representation of processes, tasks, and lists needed to complete a project. You can assign different items or communicate within an item to help get clarification or direction on what is needed. This kind of visual board helps everyone to know exactly what needs to be done and what has already been accomplished.
Similar to Trello, Basecamp offers a more visual way to see and accomplish the tasks assigned to you. Basecamp may be a little more complicated to set up, but it allows you to sync your events and tasks to a calendar like Google or Outlook. You are also able to communicate within the entire project as opposed to limiting communication to a single card or event.
Whatever you decide, or if you decide to use a couple of these options, your email inbox will thank you. These days are inboxes get cluttered with so many things, it’s time to move most of the chatting outside of the inbox and into something a little easier.