If you count all your business communication tools, you probably end up with a long list of mobile phones, chat, PBX, social media, etc. There are many benefits of reducing or combining communication tools to use them more efficiently. This blog post discusses ways to consolidate or reduce the number of tools you use every day.
The more business communication tools, the better?
Today, businesses use many different communication tools, but no strict rules apply anymore. You can manage without fixed telephony as there are great softphones and IP telephony and VoIP solutions. Companies can even run their business without a website, relying solely on social media and other services.
But one thing is sure; customers have higher demands. They tend to have a preferred communication channel or switch between several channels to reach you. Does that mean you should get every possible communication tool out there? No! It is only possible to increase productivity with technology if you use the right tools.
You need to figure out where you need to make improvements in terms of productivity. Let's begin by looking at standard internal and external business communication tools, and decide which ones to keep!
Tools for internal business communication
For internal communication, most businesses need an intranet, some collaboration tools, and email and chat services. Chat is, for many, proving to be more effective than email. Email still fills an important role, but chat is a more efficient tool for internal communication. In general, you get in touch with a colleague faster, and you can text and send files and pictures much quicker. A chat is transparent where no one is left out, and anyone in a team can access information.
One thing that will not go away is the use of video meetings. Many companies had to start working remotely during the pandemic, and as there are many benefits of working remotely, many will also continue doing so.
If you’re thinking of adding video conferencing to your business, you might be tempted to find the cheapest online service and use it in addition to what you already have. But actually, you might find you’re adding yet another piece of software to your tech stack when you don’t need to. Many business communication tools gather everything from phones to video conferencing and instant messaging. More on that topic soon.
Tools for external business communication
Although it might vary depending on company size and industry, almost all companies have a set of necessary external communication tools: a PBX, company phones, email, social media for your customers to contact you. You might even have multiple versions of each of these; for example, different phone numbers for different departments or a unique social media page for each language your business operates in.
If you're thinking about bringing different external communication sources together in one platform, the solution is omnichannel. It allows your customers to contact you by phone, email, or chat, and your employees to monitor customers' previous communication across all channels.
Success factor #1: Integrations between existing tools
By now, you probably have too many internal and external tools, so what’s the next step? We recommend you begin by evaluating your current solutions. Only then will you find possible gaps.
- Do you need to add something for a complete solution?
- Does something need to be removed or replaced?
- Can you continue using current solutions but connect them to another platform?
Simply adding new tools is usually not the best way forward. Many companies are hesitant to introduce employees to yet another device, as employees might believe there will only be additional work. According to a report by Productive, the average company has 254 SaaS apps. However, the average app engagement over 60 days was only 45%. Meaning you also might have around 55% of apps your staff doesn't use – and that's just SaaS apps!
We suggest using business communication tools that are easily integrated and compatible with tools you already use, like Google, Salesforce, or MS Teams. Suppose you choose a contact center that supports multiple communication channels, then you can integrate your different systems – making everyday work proceed smoother. In that case, you can set up your phone system in a way that supports and separates both business and private communication. That leads us to our next tip.
Success factor #2: Separating business and personal communication
Keeping business and personal communication organised is essential and something your employees will appreciate. For instance, if you use an organised chat service, you can set up specific rooms for business discussions and other rooms for non-work-related discussions. Your employees will get a better overview of messages.
Many (especially sales) use the same phone for business and personal communication, allowing very little room for work-life balance. But with a platform where you use profiles and can set the availability, you can easily see when someone is available or not.
“I often stumble across companies showcasing both their mobile and landline numbers. Kids calling when you're at work, and work calls coming through when you're home. This doesn't need to be the case. With Telavox, you can set your numbers to specific times. Between 7 AM–7 PM, I am Telavox-Axel. After that I'm a partner, friend, and my grandmother's favourite grandchild. I’m more efficient at work and more present at home! Win-win!”– Axel Zetterman, Team Lead, Sales Development SME, Telavox
Success factor #3: Gather business communication tools in one platform
In many communication platforms, you find everything connected, from PBX to chat and video conferencing. This allows you to manage multiple communication streams in one place, so you don’t need to switch between platforms. Finding a platform that can fulfil several communication needs often saves you both time and money, as you’re not relying on multiple different providers.
One of the most significant advantages of the Telavox communication solution is that your employees can do much of their day-to-day communication, both internal and external, in a single platform. It also lets you integrate those tools you're already using to reduce the amount of work required.
So, in short: streamlining communication tools makes you more efficient, and it saves money. Get in touch with us if you'd like to know more about our solution!