Some also come with handy AI-based tools such as voicemail and call transcription, voice-based call routing, and automatic call summaries. RingCentral Video, for example, has AI capabilities to improve online meeting experience by automatically filtering out unwanted background noise and by generating meeting summaries and transcripts. If you want to compare which tool offers the best business phone service and features, you can check out RingCentral vs Zoom review.
Efficient and tailored communication is the cornerstone of business success. That’s as true in 2023 as it ever was. However, the past few years have also seen a proliferation of different tools that promise to boost businesses’ communication performance. By now, the diversity is so great that it can easily become overwhelming. So where should you start? Which tools are actually necessary for smooth-flowing business communication? Here’s the full round-up of the best business communication tools you need to use in 2023.
Virtual Business Phone Services
First up, you need a solid business phone service. Wait. What? Aren’t phones a little outdated? On the face of it, yes. But modern business phone services have little in common with the landlines of old, gathering dust in the back of stores. Instead, modern business phone services are cloud-based. They’re accessible from anywhere and offer a much greater diversity of communication channels than their analog counterparts.
Besides voice calls, many modern business phone services also offer video calls, messaging, live chat, and email. Some also come with handy AI-based tools such as voicemail and call transcription, voice-based call routing, and automatic call summaries.
Asynchronous Video Conferencing
Next up, you should consider getting an asynchronous video conferencing tool. Especially if you’re operating internationally and have team members or clients in different time zones. We’re all familiar with – and often sick of – live videoconferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Jitsi, Skype, and the like. But asynchronous video conferencing has a crucial advantage – you don’t need to find a time that works for everyone.
Asynchronous tools like Loom allow you to record a clip as if during a video conference. You can appear on camera, share your screen, even write on a whiteboard, and explain everything you want. Then, you can share this video using a simple link. The recipients can then watch it at their convenience, change the speed, skim the automatic transcript for the most important information, leave comments on different parts of the video, or reply with a clip of their own.
Similarly, you use asynchronous virtual workspace software like Switchboard to share ideas and co-browse and review dashboards during campaign briefs. You just name it, and the tool will help you achieve it. Overall, it will boost the team’s productivity, project management, and connections.
At the end of the day, asynchronous video conferencing is a step up from both an email exchange and a traditional video conference. It lets you save time and cut back on your number of meetings, but it also allows you to impart much more information than a regular written message.
Project Management Platforms
Another key communication tool is project management platforms. No matter the size of your business, you probably have a million projects going on at once. Keeping track of them all – not to mention the individual tasks, deadlines, and contributions from various team members – can be tricky. Project management platforms simplify that process. There are various kinds of project management and team collaboration tools. Choose one that matches the complexity of tasks, the number of team members, and the diversity of projects you have to handle.
Some tools, such as Trello, are fairly straightforward. Trello imitates a simple Kanban board. You can add different links, create tasks as cards, and coordinate with team members. Others are complex and powerful, like Asana. This allows you to assign roles, tasks, and deadlines to team members, as well as create timelines and dependencies, and display projects as Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and various other views. Overall, a well-chosen project management platform will help your team keep track of their progress, ultimate goals, and imminent tasks.
Document Collaboration Suites
One of the most basic prerequisites of efficient team collaboration is to have a central way to share, edit, and co-create documents. While this sounds basic, it’s still one of the most friction points for many businesses. Some people work on Macs, with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Others adhere to Microsoft Office – either the offline or the cloud-based version. Then there’s LibreOffice and OpenOffice, and, of course, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).
Sharing and possibly converting documents between these platforms can swallow up serious amounts of time. Instead, settle on one – preferably a cloud-based solution such as Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. This allows your team members to share documents, work on them at the same time, leave comments, edit, and track all changes and modifications.
Social Media Management Software
In 2023, social media is an inescapable part of business communications. Customers especially expect companies to maintain a presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Which social media platforms are crucial for your business depends on your audience and your niche. Data shows that Gen X prefers Facebook, Millennials have a penchant for Instagram, and Gen Z is sold on TikTok. Similarly, if your business falls into the creative niche, you may want to focus more on Instagram and add other image-heavy platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest.
No matter which social media platform, in particular, you opt for, though, one central business communication tool in your arsenal should be a social media management platform (SMM). These allow you to link all your social media accounts to one central dashboard. Instead of having to log into four different apps to schedule posts, reply to comments, and check out analytics, you can do everything in one place. Not only will this save you time and nerves. It can also give you invaluable insights into your audience’s behavior and what content performs best across platforms.
Email Marketing Platforms
Finally, one essential business communication tool you need to use in 2023 is an email marketing platform. Email remains one of the most effective customer communication channels. Sending updates, promotions, and personalized messages straight to someone’s inbox significantly boosts your chances of converting them into loyal customers.
Email marketing platforms can help you achieve this goal. Not only do their templates and drag-and-drop builders allow you to give your emails some added visual panache. They also let you track who opens your emails and who clicks on which links, as well as test different variations of the same content to pinpoint the most effective one.
Business Communication Tools – Conclusion
Choosing the right communication tools to suit your business needs is crucial. Above, you’ll find the broad categories of tools that you should consider integrating into your workflows. But pinpointing the provider that fits your unique budget and requirements will take some time and work. Ultimately, though, investing that effort – and the corresponding budget – into finding the right communication tools is well worth it. It helps you stay ahead of the curve, pull ahead of your competitors, and increase overall customer satisfaction and team productivity. The bottom line? Communication is key. Find the right tools to turn it.