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Top 5 Online Communication Tools and Platforms for Businesses in 2021

Top 5 Online Communication Tools and Platforms for Businesses in 2021
We can all agree that the previous year has brought about a slew of changes to the workplace and the entire premise of running a business. The pandemic (and its economic repercussions) have both affected how people communicate, collaborate, and organize their work.  However, many companies have been heavily focused on customer-centric strategies to make sure that their target audience is happy and taken care of despite all the turmoil. On the other end of the communication spectrum, you have employees whose work-life balance has been shattered, and their need to simplify in-house interactions has become much greater than before. With that in mind, your business can benefit from creating a balanced communication strategy that relies on various software and digital tools to make both employees and customers happy. The world is now brimming with tech solutions at every turn, so you’re probably at a loss as to how to pick them. This guide has been designed to help you do just that: narrow down your focus and invest in the smartest communication tools and productivity tools to serve your customers and employees alike.

VoIP Connections to Keep it Simple

Both in terms of customer-facing and employee-facing communications, more brands are turning to unified VoIP systems. Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP helps you set up a unified communication platform for your remote customer support staff without incurring major expenses.  These platforms also help you keep track of customer-related tickets so that there are no overlaps in handling customer issues. Then again, you can use them to organize video conferences and online meetings with your workers, making sure that everyone is in the loop as to the latest developments in the business.

Project Management for Internal Organization

In 2021 more than ever, project management tools will set the stage for business success, especially for companies with remote and on-site staff. Clear workload distribution, setting milestones and goals, and handling employee output are just some of many expected perks of using PM tools for any business in this modern, digital environment.  Since these tools easily integrate with your email platforms and other communication tools, you can send automated alerts, leave messages for people who work remotely, and most of all, enable real-time collaboration. For creative employees in digital marketing, this makes productivity a breeze and allows employees to work on their tasks together, and exchange creative ideas.

Focus on Employee Engagement

If you have an organization with multiple departments, such as marketers, developers, salespeople, support teams, and the like, scheduling meetings can become a nightmare with a hybrid model (and without it). With organizational chaos on your hands, you can hardly expect your employees to feel connected and engaged at work. To prevent such issues, businesses now use tools that empower greater employee engagement with smarter rostering, messaging platforms, and automated notifications. With a unified platform to organize schedules, you also enable transparency. People working in different teams should be able to have full visibility of the inner workings of your organization. In turn, that means that they can communicate more easily and organize their workload and meetings without setbacks, thus boosting communication, engagement, and productivity.

Live Chat to Boost your Culture

While we’re on the crucial subject of engagement, this is a good moment to mention and suggest a few tools to enable non-work-related bonding among your employees. This has become a burning issue for hybrid business models embracing a mixture of in-office work and remote collaboration. Since it’s important to have PM tools for business-related topics, chat tools can help your remote and in-office workers stay connected on various topics. Give your employees the freedom and flexibility to create separate chat rooms to share funny cat videos (because who can resist those, right?) and other fun and engaging content. This is your opportunity to create a digital watercooler bonding space that your teams can use to develop their own microcosm of closeness, even though they work remotely. 

Online Learning Platforms to Keep Growing

Remote or not, your employees need to keep advancing as professionals in order to keep up with industry changes. Education tools are somewhat of a best practice across all industries, but considering the scope and size of your business, you need to find flexible ways to deliver the most relevant content and help your teams grow. You can use a range of learning platforms as part of your onboarding system, to help evaluate the starting position of each employee, and then set up regular training modules for incremental, scalable growth. Choose a platform that helps keep track of your efforts with progress reports for employees and that offers personalization options to motivate each person using your programs. Mix and match with industry workshops (online and offline when possible) to diversify and enable them to obtain relevant certificates.  While you let chatbots take over a portion of support work with customers, you should also make sure that the people in your organization can interact seamlessly. Whether you need to streamline your marketing interactions, help your sales and support teamwork together, or train your new employees during their onboarding process – these and other platforms are here to save the day.   
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