Organizations need smooth and effective communication systems to thrive. A unified internal chat platform improves productivity by providing a central location for employees to collaborate. Slack and Microsoft’s Teams are two of the more well-known internal chat tools that benefit organizational operations. With these tools, employees can launch video and audio calls, create spaces to share ideas and documents, tag co-workers, and more. These conversations can also be archived to serve as a resource for future employees who need to understand how a decision was made.
In short, a unified internal chat is far superior to email for collaboration because of its flexibility, but don't take that to mean it's time to dump email entirely. However, anyone who has had to suffer through a complicated email chain with multiple people knows how frustrating and time-consuming that can be.
Unified internal chat tools solve all of that and allow for faster collaboration, offer more robust integrations, and can even help improve the customer service your company provides. Here are six of the top benefits your business will enjoy when using these tools.
1. Faster Internal Communication
Email is an ineffective way to work, yet it’s still used to ask co-workers a quick question, provide a status update, or facilitate feedback, according to Adobe’s annual email usage study. The average worker spends up to five hours per day, time that could be far more productive.
Think about how slow it is to ask a question by email. Now, go to your email app; create an email, and send it. How long do you have to wait for a response instead of going to a thread in a unified internal chat tool that provide push notification so you can stay on top of everything that's happening as it happens.
2. Conversation Archive
When employees leave, so does their knowledge. The ability to have decision-making conversations on a unified internal chat platform allows new employees to see how decisions were made and maybe even discover ideas that weren’t ready at the time but could be useful today.
Looking for specific documents? How about the color code for the logo? If your teams discussed it, they're one search away.
3. Conversations in Context
Work from home, while previously an option some companies provided, has quickly become the only way many industries operate. This trend is expected to continue even when the current pandemic subsides. Added to that mix is schooling, which for many has also shifted to 'learn from home,' with all classes shifting to a virtual space. Suddenly, your most productive hour becomes the 30-minute block that your kids watch Blues Clues. When your home shifts from your place of zen to your tactical center, so does your work schedule.
Being able to have conversations in context without having to wade through email chains saves time and allows you to get to the information that's important to you. Then there are threaded replies, which allow you to reply and add information to specific parts of a conversation, where with email, you're at the mercy of adding to the chain and trying to figure out which reply is meant for which question.
4. Company Culture and Fun
While many employees are working from home, it’s hard to cement a company’s culture. They miss out on the small talk around the water cooler and the birthday celebrations. These internal communication tools don’t need to just be about work. Simple messaging and meeting capabilities also allow co-workers to bond:
- Health-conscious employees can start conversations about favorite exercise plans, meditation, or fitness challenges like 60-second planks.
- Culinary fans can share recipes. Maybe they can even eventually create a company cookbook!
- Employees can “shoot the breeze.” We are social creatures, after all. While having a secure online place to gather for one-on-one or group conversations isn’t the same as face-to-face interaction, it can provide the social glue that holds a company together during tough times.
Also, HR can address issues promptly as there will be a record of the conversation that both parties can archive.
5. Status Alerts
Status alerts let you know if someone is online or offline. If they’re online, setting a status alert to “busy” or “away” let coworkers know if you’re available for a conversation or to reply to a question they might have. One of the biggest mysteries of working remotely is knowing your colleagues' availability, and status alerts can be a powerful way to convey such info.
6. Updated Documents
Most platforms allow you to share documents in context. Slack integrates with Google Docs, Microsoft Teams integrates with Office 365, and so on. With easy integration, employees can open documents directly from within conversations and always work on the most recent versions instead of digging around in their emails to find a file they're looking for.
Unified Customer Chats
Nearly all the advantages that unified chat offers to employees can be and should be considered for your customers as well. Like you, whether it's contacting you for product information or support, your customers don't want to email if they have the ability to chat with you.
Until now, unless a customer emailed you and kept to the same thread, it was impossible to keep track of all the different interactions they may have had with your team. While one query from them may have been about product specification, the next could be about price, and eventually, support. Email makes all this nearly impossible to organize, but at TABLE, we've solved this for you and your customers. Our unified customer chat allows your customer to connect with you through your website, app, or online ad and pick up the conversation right from where they left off. This not only allows you to meet your customers where they are—instead of making them find your support pages—but it also provides context to your internal teams by displaying each conversation they've ever had with your company. Now, even when a new agent enters the chat or the customer responds days later, you won't have to spend time gathering necessary information about them or inquiring why they reached out to you in the first place.
Unified customer chat only scratches the surface of what our platform can provide your business or organization, but if there was ever a time to say, "the sky is the limit," now would be it. Experience it for yourself! Talk with Zoe, and see how she expertly identifies where you've come from and offers you more ways to try TABLE.