Elevating internal and external communication is imperative if your goal is to grow your company over the long term, simply because you can only achieve your goals and find entrepreneurial success if the information is flowing efficiently through your company. Effective and efficient communication is one of the foundational pillars of success and growth in the modern business world, especially when you consider the fact that customers nowadays have a very real need to communicate with their favorite brands in real-time.
That’s right, in real time. No longer can you rely only on email communication to get things done. Whether you are trying to improve your customer service or if you’re trying to boost the performance of your remote teams, there is no denying that you need to update your communication strategy and start using some handy tools. These include VoIP technology, of course, but also having a communication hierarchy and a strong cybersecurity plan. Let’s put all of this into perspective and see how you can use communication technology and tactics to boost success.
Start by building a communication hierarchy
First things first, before you can start integrating various smart tools and solutions to make internal and external communication more efficient, you have to take a look at your communication hierarchy. If you don’t have one, then now is the time to start building it with your core team. A communication hierarchy can significantly improve productivity and workflow, and expedite numerous processes across the board.
Essentially, this hierarchy will serve to organize all information and data flow between employees, departments, and up and down the vertical corporate line. This will prevent data reaching the wrong people, it will keep your inbox clutter-free, and it will greatly reduce the risk of information leaks. What’s more, a communication hierarchy will tell your employees exactly whom they report to, what type of information goes to which person and department, and how they can minimize the risk of creating information bottlenecks and obstacles.
Consider project management software as communication tools
Having the right communication software is paramount for success, yes, but if you’re tasked with managing remote employees during the COVID-19 crisis, you’re going to need more than phones and messaging apps. Before we can talk about cloud-based communication tools, we first have to talk about project management software and how it can help you boost communication and cross-department collaboration.
Now that you’re managing your employees from a remote location, you can no longer monitor and manage projects as seamlessly as you could in a physical office space, so you need a good project management tool that will allow your employees to work on various projects in real time. Ideally, the tool you choose should provide you with:
Visual boards to assign work and track workflow.
- Time tracking features
- Analytics tools to gather valuable insights
- Easy file management and sharing
- A built-in team messaging app
- Project progress visualization for smart forecasting.
Upgrade your old phone system to VoIP
Now that you have a comprehensive communication hierarchy in place and your team members are able to collaborate on projects in a centralized digital location, it’s time to trade in your old phone system for a cloud-based solution. We are talking, of course, about VoIP technology, as this is the only digital communication tool that has all of the features a company needs to improve internal and external communication.
Traditional phone systems, albeit necessary for the smooth running of a company, are not suited for the digital workforce, simply because they don’t bring any digital features to the table. This not only makes it impossible to keep your teams in sync, but it’s also impossible to run a cost-effective operation. After all, phone calls can rack up quite a hefty bill.
This is why VoIP has become the norm in the modern biz sector, and the best VoIP service providers out there should give you some handy features like low-cost national and international calls, full mobile optimization, video and audio conferencing, call analytics, transcription features, and more. These digital perks will allow your employees to stay connected at all times, while your customer service agents will be able to run a productive customer support department from anywhere in the world.
Don’t skimp on communication security
Whether you’re managing in-house or remote employees, or even overseas teams, it is imperative that you take cybersecurity, and especially communication security, seriously. One of the key communication mistakes that business leaders make is not building a strong cybersecurity strategy, and most importantly, not integrating the right cybersecurity tools.
This leads to poor employee management and productivity, increases the risk of data leaks, invites hackers into your data stores, and it elevates the risk of social engineering. As you might be aware, you cannot allow a single piece of sensitive company data to slip through the cracks if you want to preserve your brand’s image and reputation in the competitive market.
To that end, be sure to integrate:
- Software and hardware firewalls
- Cybersecurity education programs for all employees
- Two-factor authentication and a password management tool
- Full end-to-end data encryption
- A reliable network monitoring tool to retain complete control over all network traffic and communication.
Leverage messaging apps for collaboration and communication
Your in-house and remote employees are constantly using external apps to communicate about work-related topics, but also to share non-work-related information, like a trendy meme or a funny cat video. While you might think app use doesn’t play into the overall productivity and output of your teams, it’s important to recognize the risks and opportunities here.
For example, if you don’t standardize app use in your company, you risk certain type of information from falling into the wrong hands. On the other hand, you have a unique opportunity here to use messaging apps to improve collaboration, communication, and productivity.
With that in mind, be sure to first standardize the use of messaging apps in your company. All employees should communicate about work through a select group of apps that provide complete end-to-end communication.
Make sure that your employees aren’t sending information from one app to another, because they might lose those encryption privileges. Lastly, don’t forget to educate your employees on efficient and effective app communication and file sharing, so that they can maintain productivity, minimize risks, and keep the proverbial ball rolling.
Communication is one of the foundational pillars of success nowadays, and to set that pillar, you have to combine the best communication practices with the right set of tools. Be sure to use these tips to take your communication strategy forward and, by extension, achieve better business results.