Top Free Apps and Tools to Improve Business Communications

Once a business takes care of the fundamental pillars of telecoms, such as necessary equipment, connectivity and trusted support, there are often free or additional services that businesses can leverage to enhance their communication.

Before getting set up with the latest apps and online tools that can help improve business communication, spending time to ensure the simple things, like reliable broadband and system back-ups are in place, are always the first things that should be sorted.

Too many businesses think of telecoms as an afterthought or think basic broadband and basic hardware will be sufficient for large-scale business operations. Downtime or sluggish internet speeds, as well as more serious threats like data breeches and loss of files, can have long-term detrimental effects on productivity.  Similarly, the benefits businesses can gain simply from better telecoms can be monumental.

Businesses that struggle to prioritise their telecoms can often find themselves in difficulty down the line, either as poor connectivity impact productivity, or systems and hardware can’t keep pace with opportunities.

For any help regarding setting up network infrastructure or what equipment/internet specs you need, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team can help ensure you get all the information you need to take your business communication to the next level.

Once your business communication infrastructure is in place, you can start to look at some of the following ideas to help your employees improve their communication and productivity.

Video-Chat/Calling

Video calling software, such as Skype, are very popular amongst consumers, but can also be great tools for businesses to leverage. Particularly for businesses operating globally, the cost of calls could soon add-up, so using VoIP technology can help reduce these costs.

Skype for Business is another option that offers additional features to the regular version such as seamless integration with Microsoft Office.

This type of software is best used with super-fast broadband, whereby video calls won’t drop or have delays. Similarly, having reliable mobiles and other hardware to ensure a good standard to any video calling is also recommended.

Video calling can help improve communication within teams and ensure employees benefit from face-to-face interactions.

Screen-sharing features are also really useful for technical teams that may be able to communicate much more effectively by seeing each other’s screen. A 3 second screen share could save minutes of trying to explain a problem.

Messenger Apps

Slack, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and many others all offer teams within businesses quick and easy ways to communicate. These instant messages can be great for teams to offer instant replies to questions and share thoughts/information in a quick and convenient way.

This type of communication reflects the fact most of us live on our mobile phones and being able to respond to questions intuitively from these devices makes a lot of sense. It can also make sending pictures, videos or voice recordings much easier as well compared to email.

Sharing Files

For many businesses, sharing large files can be a real struggle. Email providers often restrict large files being attached and the whole process of trying to reduce file sizes can be timely and inefficient.

Services like We Transfer, or simply leveraging online tools like Google Docs, can be a quick and easy way to share files internally. Google Docs also allows different team members to edit the files, as well as giving different people, different access levels.

Once files are shared, having a process for where they are stored in certainly worthwhile. Many small businesses often rely too heavily on something like Google Docs, in which case, if that experiences any downtime, it can completely shut down your ability to work. This is where a telecoms provider can often help with regards to ensuring your business’s data and files are stored securely and can be accessed by the people that need it.

As business operations grow and expand, the organisation of data can often get messy, and businesses risk a lot by relying on free cloud services that they have little control over.

Staff Scheduling

Any business that operates with part-time or hourly staff can appreciate that managing timesheets and hours worked can be a real headache at times. Luckily, there are several online tools and pieces of software that can help communicate staff schedules between managers and the rest of the team with ease. This can help reduce problems with miscommunication that leads to staff failing to turn up for shifts.

When I Work offers a free plan to get started and helps create a universal scheduling tool that everyone in the team can log into and make sure they are happy with their hours for the week ahead.

Integrated Tools

Tools that help bring together different channels and offer seamless communication between them can help dramatically improve productivity. Zapier offers a free version that can help offer workflows based on what happens in different apps and platforms. For example, if a sales rep writes down some details in Google Docs, this can automatically to synced to a CRM. This can help remove some aspects of daily routine and help businesses leverage technology and communication platforms to be more efficient.

There are also online tools, such as Evernote, that make note taking much more productive as everything can be integrated. This means writing down notes on your mobile when on the road can be automatically synced to your computer back in the office. This makes actioning ideas or making sure you don’t forget important things.

This approach to integrated communication helps reduce repetitive tasks and can give more visibility to other team members.

Improve Communications with PureComms

If you think your business could benefit from better telecoms, or you’d simply like to learn more about what better telecoms looks like, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team can help give you all the information and guidance you need to ensure your business understands the benefits and opportunities of improved telecoms.

Get in touch today.

2018-02-07T10:42:49+00:00January 29th, 2018|