Efficient and seamless communication is the key to a successful startup business. The most effective communication tools are those that are easy to use—in other words, they don't require a lot of technical expertise, they're easily customizable, and, best of all, they are easy on your business budget.
When you're starting out in business, there are a few things you can do that will help you get your message across quickly. Here are just some of the communication tools every startup company should use both internally and externally.
1. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Phones
Having VoIP phones is a must for every startup. But first, what are VoIP phones?
VoIP, which stands for “voice over internet protocol,” is a phone that is connected over the internet. It can either come in the form of a software (on a computer or portable device) or specialized hardware (running on an individual's personal computer). So, instead of the traditional telephone, VoIP phones use an internet connection to communicate.
One of the advantages of a VoIP phones is that it also provides a wide range of features, including caller ID, ringless voicemail, and multiple phone numbers. If the phone has more than one number, you can use a single number and keep receiving calls from a number of people. You may also opt to receive multiple messages at one time.
2. MassText Messaging App
The ability to communicate through a mass text app allows startups to reach out to more people. This will be very helpful if you want to announce something to your employees. You can simply just send one text to all your employees. At the same time, this is also a very useful marketing tool to communicate with your customers.
The use of mass text messaging for communication allows for you to reach out to many different individuals who may be in a variety of situations. If you are unable to get them on the phone or Skype, you can get them through text, making it easy to let them know your intentions and what you want them to know. If you have a product launch or upcoming sale, you can send text blasts to all your customers who subscribed to your newsletter. One click, and everybody gets the message. You won’t need to send individual texts.
3. Email Messaging Platform
Email is a must for every corporation. This is the basic communication tool in a corporate setting. It’s a more formal way to communicate within and outside the company, which will also increase your startup’s credibility. So, make sure to set up your startup with an email platform.
At the same time, email is also a very important communication tool when talking to your clients or customers. Email campaigns have become increasingly popular over the past several years as they give you the opportunity to build relationships with customers, which can lead to repeat customers. In addition to that, the cost of an email campaign can be minimal compared to other marketing tools.
With an email campaign, your company can send email blasts to clients and customers. These messages often contain sales messages, and they include information about new products and services that are available for your company. An email campaign can provide you with valuable feedback about what your customers think of your products and services, which can help you build customer loyalty.
4. Project Management App
Communication tools for project management are often used to increase the level of communication between teams, to manage time and costs, to reduce project risks, to improve productivity, to manage conflicts, and to make decision-making easier. With that said, another communication tool you need for startups is a project management app.
Project management apps can also be used to track progress and performance of project managers. An organization can build a network of project managers to coordinate and monitor the progress of its employees. Communication tools can also allow project managers to provide feedback to people who are working on the project and allow managers to identify problems or issues.
5. Private Channel, Chat, and Group Messaging Tools
Aside from having your email set up, you’ll also need a private channel where your team can exchange messages, links, and files in the form of chat and group messaging. This way, you can instantly contact members of your team.
There are also messaging apps, like Slack and Microsoft Teams, that integrate some popular and useful tools such as Dropbox, Zoom, Groove, Trello, and others into their systems. Having this will make it easier for you and your team to collaborate and share files. In addition, these apps are also available in iOS and Android. So, even if your team members or employees don’t have their laptops with them, they can easily respond to messages on their phones.
6. Survey and Data Analysis
Communication includes getting feedback from your employees as well as your customers. To get to know your employees and customers better, a good communication tool you’ll need as a startup is surveys. There are apps to create surveys and help you analyze data, such as Survey Monkey.
These apps can create a seamless survey that your employees and customers can answer. Afterwards, you’ll get a comprehensive report about the opinions of both parties. This will help you evaluate your performance and how to approach situations moving forward. For most of the survey apps, it’s usually free for a certain number of questions per survey. Then, paid plans will provide you with unlimited number of questions, customized themes, additional analysis, phone support, and more distribution options.
7. Customer Service Chatbot
Customer service chatbot has proven to be highly effective for addressing customer concerns immediately. When using a customer service chatbot for your business you will soon start to see the benefits that you can reap from it and the benefits go beyond just the obvious of an increased level of efficiency.
Your customers will also notice the improvement in your services and this can make them feel more comfortable with your brand and this can lead to increased sales. You will also be able to improve the way your customers interact with you through a more personalized approach. If you’re customer service personnel is away, you can also set up some auto-replies to be able to assist your customers even if you’re away.
In addition, customer service chatbot providers also offer packages with a support ticket tracker. This way, you’ll be able to monitor all communication between your customer service personnel and customers. In addition, you’ll be able to see which tickets have been addressed, are pending, or solved.
8. Social Intranet Software
As your startup gets bigger and bigger, it can be difficult to keep up with the changes, new people, new rules, and policies. The solution to that communication problem is to set up a social intranet software, which is a central portal accessible only by people in your company.
This social intranet software should contain announcements, company news, company-wide documents, templates, policies, and contracts. By having one, your employees will be aligned with the latest news and goals of your company. Your employees will also have an easier time keeping up to date with changing policies.
9. Task Management Apps
One of the more common communication tools is the task management system. Task management systems offer a very simple method of managing your tasks and keeping track of them. Many of these systems also provide reports and graphs that make it easy to see where you are currently at in terms of productivity. Most task management systems will also provide a calendar for keeping track of events such as meetings, deadlines, and other projects.
For managers, they can assign tasks to their team members as well as track all their progress in one page. Deadlines, priority levels, and meetings can also be inputted in the system. It’s a communication tool that will keep your employees on their feet and organized.
10. Internal Blogs
Internal blogs are also an effective way to communicate with your employees and make sure that you’re all aligned towards the same goal. If you are creating content for an internal blog, you need to be certain that all of your information is relevant. If your information is not relevant, your reader will be frustrated and may not be willing to read the information. You also need to determine how the content relates to your goals and objectives, the business objective, and your readership.
For internal blogs, you can post topics regarding the achievements of your company to keep everyone up to speed. In addition, to boost employee morale, you can also use this medium to announce employees who did exemplary work. This will encourage more employees to do the same. You can also use internal blogs to post work-related tips on how be more effective.
Internal blogs are very flexible. This can also be used as a medium for your employees to post creative works they create. If you have employees who love to write poems, then you can feature poems of the month to celebrate the talents of your employees. Having this will create a tight knit community within your startup and have more people involved.
11. Discussion Forums
Discussion forums can be your startup’s digital workspace where all employees can ask questions, bond, and discuss different projects freely. Most of the time, there is a big disconnect between veteran employees and new hires. To keep new hires up to speed and minimize mistakes, the discussion forum can be an avenue for veterans to share their knowledge. At the same time, the forum can also serve as a connection to bridge together veterans and new hires.
In discussion forums, internal knowledge can be disseminated. All these information and discussions will be stored within the organization so that anyone can access it if they need to go back to a question. It can also be a space where your employees can talk about anything under the sun and bring each other closer together.
12. Conference Calls
Collaborative communication tools include teleconferencing, video conference, and conference call apps. Especially with more people working from home, conference call apps are very important. You can do video calls with your team to collaborate. In addition, you can also use this tool to host discussions, team huddles, webinars, and live events. This is a very important tool for your team to be able to collaborate even if they’re not physically together.
Since remote working has become more prevalent, your counterparts might also be working from home. Because of this, you can use conference call apps to conduct meetings with clients or suppliers. If you need to present something to your client, conference call apps also have a share screen option for you to share your presentations while explaining it over voice.
13. Employee Profiles
As your organization gets bigger, it can be difficult to know each and every person in the startup. Problems on not knowing who to contact for specific processes, questions, or information. This may also cause employees spending unnecessary time searching for information by asking their colleagues to track down individuals.
As a solution, you can set up employee profiles, which provides basic information about each person within your startup. This way, everyone can see the contact details of the person they need to contact and understand their role. The system should also show their expertise and who they report to for seamless communication. This will save a lot of time and alleviate a cloud of confusion among employees.
Effective and efficient communication is important and integral for every kind of company including startups. There needs to be seamless communication both internally and externally for a startup to thrive. Thankfully, there are lots of communication tools that you can use to help you out with that.
The tools listed here are simple to use and can be used by anyone who is comfortable using them. They make it much easier for you to communicate effectively. They are also very cost-effective tools that will help you manage multiple projects.