You can’t get a successful business off the ground by yourself, you need to help of your employees, suppliers, customers, and business partners. Thanks to technology, making connections in your industry is easier than ever, you just need to learn the most effective ways of communicating. When the lines of communication are clear and open, business runs smoothly, but if connections start to break down within your company and between your partners, your business will soon follow.
There are so many ways to stay in touch with people that companies tend to overlook the original form of instant communication; the telephone. However, this does make some sense. In terms of cost, small businesses might prefer to conduct most of their work online or by mobile instead of paying landline charges. However, this problems is easily solved with Voice over IP for businesses; a category of hardware and software that enables people to make calls over the internet, therefore not charging them more than what they pay for internet access. This might be particularly useful if you frequently have to make business phone calls to other countries.
Instant Messaging apps
Most social media sites have an instant messaging function, but using these to communicate in the workplace can be distracting. Instead, use software such as Slack, Hipchat, or Campfire to instantly pass work updates to your colleagues. You can use each of these programs to share files, start conversations for group projects, and automate tasks. They have none of the distractions of a social media, and they are far quicker than writing an email and waiting for a response.
Companies that include a social media page on their website are offering customers a direct line of communication to their customer service department. If you have a social media page for your business and you make good use of the messenger function on the site, you can respond to customer queries quickly and efficiently. Customer service is vital to all businesses, but particularly growing ones because their reviews can make or break your company’s future. If you manage to create an outstanding customer service communications and response team, you could have loyal consumers for life.
Video conferencing apps
When most of your office memos come in the form of emails or alerts, you can quickly scan them but soon forget the information you have read. The endless bombardment of information isn’t easy to absorb. At the end of the day in particular, this could result in bouts of forgetfulness. Sometimes you can’t beat face to face contact, and video apps such as Skype are the closest you can get if you all work remotely. A video conference commands the full attention of your colleagues, and you can gently remind them of some important information that may have gotten lost in the sea of emails. Skype is also great for touching base with any foreign offices or business partners in different countries, either through video call or cheap international calls.