5 minute read |

The best communication platform for your company

VoIP phone service background
VoIP Services

Effective communication – both internal and external – is crucial to the smooth functioning of any organization. The current pandemic and the massive shift towards remote working has only served to highlight the value of effective communication. Even before the current global crisis, many businesses faced communication issues almost daily. With working from home becoming the new normal, companies need a better communication platform now more than ever.

Consequences of communication inefficiencies

Most businesses do not have a comprehensive communication platform. Applications are added as the need arises and they don’t integrate. Users cannot move data from one software to another app, making it tedious to find and share relevant information. 

Communication inefficiencies can have quite dramatic consequences such as:

  • Lost revenue 
  • Customer complaints and loss of trust
  • Missed deadlines 
  • Employee turnover
  • Lawsuits and legal action

So organizations need to invest in a communication platform, not just a single or dozen apps.

What is a communication platform?

A communication platform is a solution that makes it easier for companies to communicate internally and externally. It will encompass different communication methods such as video calling, messaging, document sharing, and task management. Not every communication platform offers all features, each one may focus on a different area such as customer communication or project management

Depending on the needs of your company, you may need to invest in more than one platform. You need to provide flexible communication options for your employees so they can meet goals and work effectively with each other. How can you expect your staff to meet or exceed expectations without the right tools?

A communication platform does not have to be cloud-based, although that is what most software solutions are using. Even an old-fashioned landline system with a PBX is a communication platform. However, analog solutions have always had limitations on how you can use them. Today’s systems are much more powerful, utilize multiple tools, and offer a lot of flexibility.

Examples of modern communication platforms include VoIP phone systems, cloud-based contact center solutions, customer communication systems, etc. Each one of these systems will use a wide variety of software and even machine learning tools to facilitate communication. Some tools also offer analytic capabilities as well.

Types of communication platforms

Internal communications

As the name implies, these platforms focus on improving internal business communications among your employees. These platforms may include both real-time and asynchronous tools, so users can choose the best one for a given situation. The advantages of using a comprehensive platform include:

  • Single sign-on for all apps on the platform
  • Similar user interface across tools
  • A dashboard view that provides a snapshot of all communications
  • Ability to forward messages from one tool to another

An unified communication system built on VoIP as a foundation can help a business streamline internal communication channels. These systems should be reliable, secure, and in some cases, also comply with regulatory requirements (healthcare, education, financial services industries).

Customer communications

A customer communication tool allows businesses to manage customer requests, track support tickets, and communicate with customers. Various tools may include live chat on the business website, manage incoming customer email, and analyzing customer trends. A CRM application may also offer AI-based automation to help manage thousands of customer requests more effectively

Miscommunication with customers can result in serious consequences including lost revenue, loss of brand value, publicity disasters, and even legal action. Using a customer communication platform can help you improve the customer experience.

Project management

Every business small or large has deadlines and goals to meet. In this case, a comprehensive project management platform is crucial. These systems help organizations to break down larger projects into smaller chunks and share them with teams. You can assign tasks to specific users, track completion, and view project deadlines. 

You can manage various projects such as product launches, sales campaigns, marketing projects, and other ad-hoc events.

Collaboration tools

Collaboration platforms allow users to work on the same set of documents necessary for a project. When project teams are working from home or in other remote locations, collaboration is vital. You need tools to manage the virtual communication around specific files, allowing users to markup documents or chat about edits/changes. 

These tools are not limited to text documents. You can have virtual whiteboards for brainstorming and sharing ideas. Screen sharing can help teams see the presenter work on something, instead of just listening to a recording. These tools are better than using email which can interrupt workflows or trying to find a meeting room and time for everyone to meet.

Video conferencing

Video conferencing tools are quite common in larger organizations but even small companies can benefit from these tools. It is a substitute for in-person meetings, workshops, employee onboarding, training, and seminars.

Video conferencing platforms offer many features, apart from live video. You can record meetings and share them with those who are unable to attend. Attendees can call in via their phones if they don’t have access to a camera. This allows users to participate even when they are traveling. You have also access to group chat options to share feedback, conduct polls to gauge user interest, and allow participants to take over presenting for a portion of the meeting. 

There are so many benefits to replacing in-person meetings with video conferences. There is no need to find a good time for all attendees, which is important if your teams are scattered across the country. No one has to travel or spend on hotel rooms just for 1 or 2 meetings. You can have frequent meetings for project status updates since you can set them up instantly. 

What is the best communication platform?

As a business owner or manager, you should be thinking of which platform best serves your unique needs. What this means is that instead of jumping headfirst into buying a bunch of tools you may not use, you need to consider your workflows and processes. 

If you are having issues managing customer interactions, then a customer communication platform may be the right choice. Almost every company will want a tool to manage internal communications. However, not everyone may need video conferencing or project management tools.

When evaluating any communication platform, look for the following features:

Features and price

There are several communication platforms on the market and it can be difficult to select the right one. There is no need to purchase the most expensive option if you don’t need all the features. Some platforms have the option to buy individual features as an upgrade or bundle different features into a single option. Others will have a pay-as-you-go option where all features are included.

Security and reliability

Any communications platform has to be secure from unauthorized use and reliable under ordinary circumstances. That might mean having a backup or failover option, the ability to download and take your data if you choose to change providers, and service level agreements to outline the responsibilities of the vendor in case of downtime.

Almost every single communication platform uses the cloud for some or part of its functionality. It means you need to protect your communications from the same threats as the rest of your network such as spam, hacking attempts, fraud, etc. Since the vendor controls most of the service, you need to verify their security posture as well.

Flexibility and scale

A communication platform, no matter how fully featured, will need to be customized to your particular organization and users. So look for powerful customization options that will allow you to tailor what’s already there. You should be able to turn on and off features you no longer use without having to wait on a technician. While an administrator would have overall control of the system, individual users should also be able to change settings as well.

Any communication platform has to grow with the organization. You should not have to switch providers simply because they cannot keep up with your demand. So look for a platform that can easily scale from a dozen users to hundreds, if not more. Even if that growth trajectory will take years, it’s better to be prepared for the future than have to jump ship every few months looking for a better option.

A VoIP-based unified communications platform is a good option for your internal communications. VoIPstudio offers everything from video conferencing to visual voicemail and the ability to use mobile devices with your VoIP system, making it a perfect fit for the modern organization.

Deploying a communications platform

Just because you purchase and deploy the best communication platform within the company does not mean it will be instantly effective. You only get what you put into any system. So effectively using the new platform depends on your employees. 

Get buy-in from users by allowing them to test-drive and provide feedback on the various options before picking one. You will get the most out of the platform when users enthusiastically participate and use the various tools. That’s why usability and interface are just as important as having robust features.

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Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Thousands of businesses across the world trust VoIPstudio for all of their most vital business communications. Why not be the next?

Start a free 30 day trial now, no credit card details are needed!