For any online business to be successful it needs to have an effective means of communication, especially if your team works remotely. How are you going to set tasks, monitor progress, and engage with everyone in an efficient manner?
While some free tools can accomplish a lot, the best bring everything together and will cost you in monthly or annual fees. If you are just setting-up, you may want to consider a $1,000 loan for your business to cover such costs upfront.
Here’s a closer look at 10 of the best communication tools for your online business …
Slack is an overarching project management platform that houses many individual communication features under one roof. This includes instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing, with the ability to create separate groups for different teams or projects. Going premium allows you to access and archive of all past interactions.
The software is accessed via the cloud and functions well on mobile devices.
BlueJeans focusses on video conferencing, offering seamless integration between devices. Even if you don’t have a device capable of video conferencing, you can call in via a regular phone.
Features include cross-platform scheduling (Outlook, Skype, Google etc), screen sharing, and conference recording to the cloud.
BlueJeans pricing ranges from $10 to $50, per user, per month.
Asana is brilliant for team collaboration and communication, allowing tasks to be assigned and team members to leave comments accordingly. It is one of the more user-friendly tools, made with crisp HTML 5, but one downside is there are no offline capabilities.
The free version supports up to 15 team members, with several premium options.
4) Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts is a free an effective chat tool in its own right, but Hangouts Meet adds all of those extra features required by businesses.
As expected from Google, its cross-device support is flawless and it’s also integrated with G Suit.
It offers a 14-day trial, with pricing options between $5 and $25.
Another competent video chat with the added quirk of having circle chat windows instead of square!
This lite software-less platform is about ease of use and not overdone features, allowing you to start casual video and voice conversations with anyone in your team with the click/tap of a button.
Everything is done via web-browser and meeting scheduling easily syncs with Outlook, Google, and even other communication tools like Slack.
Join.me pricing begins at $9 per month and tops out at $30.
6) Zoho Meeting
Zoho Meeting provides an efficient and easy-to-use online meeting platform that allows your online business to run live video meetings straight from your browser. It is ideal for team meetings, webinars, presentations, and much more.
All users have to do is log-in with their Google or Facebook account and the window can be embedded into any webpage.
7) Social Chorus
Social Chorus is aimed at bigger businesses who usually have a dedicated department for communication. It can bring people together from multiple locations and for multiple purposes, including remote workers, clients, outside salespeople, and even delivery drivers.
The enterprise software is run centrally with access via an app available on all major devices.
8) TeamViewer 13
The latest offering from TeamViewer is 13. This is one of the most popular remote desktop viewers available, and for good reason. It allows anyone (with security, of course), remote access to desktops and networks, applications, and data, so guiding your workforce or clients can be done right before their eyes.
The software also works alongside their partner collaboration tool, Blizz, which allows you to setup meetings, make presentations, and otherwise communication remotely.
9) Broadview Network OfficeSuite
Another cloud-based tool, OfficeSuit from Broadview Network boasts round the clock accessibility from anywhere, with any device. On top of the usual web-chat and video/audio conferencing capabilities, the platform also provides US-wide phone calling, a toll-free phone service, and digital faxing. You can also set calls to go to both your phone and desktop, reducing the chances of you missing an important call.
10) Cisco WebEx
An all-in-one communication solution, Cisco WebEx has features that suit standard team meetings, sales demonstrations, training sessions, presentations, public events, and tech support, along with all important file sharing support. It’s video conferencing is in full HD and they have dedicated mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Blackberry.
Whatever the size or function of your online business, if you need a serious communication tool you will find it in the above list.