Using ineffective communications tools can be a big problem for enterprises. Despite the mobile revolution, most companies are still using communications solutions geared toward office-based desktop users, making it inefficient to communicate with the growing number of remote workers. Nearly half of communications professionals say they are frustrated with the tools and platform their company is using, a Dynamic Signal survey reports. This type of issue can cause internal friction for enterprises and can be expensive. Over six in 10 employees say communications problems are the top reason they don’t like their job, and companies with over 100,000 employees lose an average of $62.4 million per year due to lack of communication between workers.
These numbers underscore why using the most efficient communications tools available is critical for enterprise success. Here are three tools that can help simplify and streamline your company’s communications.
Unified Communications Platforms
A major communications problem for many companies is the number of tools workers must use to collaborate. Between email, phone calls, texting, social media, conferencing tools and other communications channels, workers must switch between one medium and another to carry on conversations, which wastes time and can easily result in important messages getting lost in the shuffle.
A solution to this issue is to adopt a unified communications platform. Using a unified platform allows your team to manage all company communications from a single interface across all workers and customers. This makes it easier to migrate conversations from one channel to another without losing track of information. It also allows you to apply analytics to data from all channels so that you can track communications key performance indicators for adjustment and optimization.
Chat-Based Email Alternatives
Most leading unified communications platforms tools include chat-based communications channels such as instant messaging and business SMS texting, which can serve as more efficient alternatives to traditional email. Traditional email can be extremely time-consuming and inefficient, and is not designed well for supporting multi-partner conversations. The average worker checks their email 36 times an hour and receives 304 emails a week, according to Altassian. One reason email consumes so much time is that it can be tedious to review information from previous emails in a thread. Conversation partners who join a thread late can easily fall behind. Additionally, when multi-partner conversations involve file sharing, it’s easy for file versions to get out of sync, with one party updating one version of a file while someone else is editing yet another version.
Chat-based email alternatives avoid this issue by providing an interface for multiple conversation partners to communicate in real time, just as they can on social media platforms such as Facebook. Everyone in a group can see the same conversation thread and the most recent file versions.
Audio and Video Conferencing
After emails, meetings consume the most communication time at work, Altassian’s research shows. The average worker attends 62 meetings a month, with half of this time considered wasted, translating into 31 hours of productivity lost per month.
Audio and video (A/V) conferencing tools allow workers to join meetings directly from their desks, which can significantly reduce time spent traveling to and from meetings and setting up meeting rooms. A/V conferencing tools can also be integrated with calendar tools to automate the process of sending out meeting invitations and scheduling meetings, reducing the prep time needed for meetings. Additionally, audio and video conferencing can enable companies to include remote workers in face-to-face meetings, boosting employee engagement and accountability.
Unified communications platforms, chat-based email alternatives and audio and video conferencing are three of the top tools you can use to improve your company’s communications. Adopting these tools and applying them effectively can make your company’s communications more efficient, more productive, and more profitable.