It’s Time to Have a Discussion About Business Chat Tools

More small businesses are turning to chat software to improve communications.

How’s the communication at your office? No, we’re not talking about water cooler exchanges or happy hour banter. We’re talking about internal communications—the dropped phone calls, unanswered texts and lost emails that could be robbing your team of hours of productivity.

There are a lot of ways to communicate at the office these days and some are less time-efficient, convenient or traceable than others. More and more, small businesses are looking to chat tools like Slack, Campfire and Amazon Chime as a simpler way to go; Slack alone has over 9 million weekly users. And while it may feel like your company has more forms of office communication than employees, here are four good reasons why a chat app makes sense for even the smallest of small businesses.

Let’s chat about features.

Along with one-on-one and group chats, most chat tools go far beyond standard instant messenger technology. Most offer file-sharing capabilities, audio and video calls and project management. And most integrate with a variety of third-party apps, like Facebook, Dropbox, Salesforce and Google Apps. With all these features in play, a chat tool gives you everything in one place so you won’t find yourself searching through four or five other apps for that missing message.

Let’s chat about streamlining.

Email inboxes can get congested in a hurry with brief office alerts, “thanks” and “got it” replies, and other random messages that can bury the emails you actually need to attend to. A business chat app reduces the inbox traffic, giving you another channel of communication in case you just want to shoot a short message to a coworker and get a quick reply. If you need to send a long-form message to your staff about a new project coming up, an email is still probably the best way to go. But a chat tool is perfect if you need a reminder about an upcoming meeting or if you’re looking for company to check out the new Chinese restaurant.

Let’s chat about real-time collaboration.

Need to connect with some team members for a short discussion or quick brainstorm? A chat app is the ideal solution for an impromptu huddle-up. And that collaboration goes beyond your coworkers. With business messaging apps like Slack, you can share channels with your clients, partners or vendors for problem-solving or idea-sharing and you can also work on files together in real time.

Let’s chat about productivity

The above-mentioned quest for the lost email. Playing phone tag with an employee or client. These common office occurrences don’t simply eat up minutes; they affect your bottom line. According to a survey by Mitel, businesses lose an average of $11,000 per employee each year because of ineffective communications and collaboration. An intuitive, reliable business collaboration tool will help your small business keep the lines of communication going and keep operations running smoothly and effectively.

Ready to bring chat functionality to your office? Our Hosted Voice service has Unified Communications (UC) features that allow your employees to send chat messages to anyone logged into the system’s platform. It also helps you stay connected with customers and suppliers by easily sending and receiving text messages through desktop and mobile text messaging features. Contact us today to learn more about UC as well as our suite of communications products and services.