If you own or work in a small business, keeping up with the latest communication and collaboration technology can seem like an uphill battle at times. There are many apps to choose from and lots of different ways to use them, so here’s our rundown of the 10 best communication apps for small business owners to get you started on the right foot.
What’s better than face-to-face communication? Face-to-face communication with the added power of your smartphone! These business communication apps will let you send voice and video messages, making it easier to collaborate and improve your company’s productivity and efficiency. Here are the top 10 communication apps for small businesses (in no particular order).
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Whatsapp is probably one of your go-to communication apps, and there’s a reason why. It’s easy to use, it’s got lots of features and it’s available on pretty much any device you can think of. If you want to chat with someone face-to-face through video or voice call, you can do that too. This app really does have everything covered when it comes to business communication.
On-the-go business communication becomes easier with Skype. At just about any time you can communicate with your clients and customers through voice, video, and instant messaging services. The app is free to download onto your smartphone or tablet, making it a great tool for managing your small business on the go. Whether you’re in a meeting, at lunch, or halfway across the world, Skype allows you to stay connected with ease.
Facebook Messenger is a very popular communication app among small businesses. It allows customers to connect with companies in a quick and painless way; no need to dial a phone number or fill out an email form! Facebook Messenger provides two ways of communicating: customer chat and customer groups. The latter feature is extremely useful for a small business trying to reach large audiences. It’s also free, which makes it more attractive than traditional text messaging services.
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Slack is a free messaging app that works from desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Once you create an account, you can invite anyone to join your Slack team. They can then chat about projects and use apps like Polls and Calls to supplement their communication (Slack calls all of these features integrations). Slack is a good choice if most of your business communication comes in written form. However, it may not be ideal if you need to make or take many phone calls.
Viber is a useful communication app that allows you to make free calls over WiFi. Unlike some other apps, Viber doesn’t limit your call time or the number of text messages sent, making it a great business tool. Since Viber uses your WiFi to connect you to others, both parties need access to WiFi in order to use it. On top of calls and texts, Viber also features video calling—but only with other Viber users.
Zoho is one of our favorite productivity tools. It’s more than just an email app; it also integrates with other services, like Google Drive and Dropbox, so you can access those files without leaving your chat window. Plus, you can take notes during conversations, create tasks from messages, and even have a video call with up to four people at once. It’s simple enough for one-on-one communication and powerful enough to run an entire business.
HipChat is a cloud-based collaboration service that focuses on instant messaging, audio chat, video chat, and screen sharing. The biggest difference between HipChat and other collaboration tools like Slack is that it was designed with productivity in mind. It’s easy to set up integrations with other popular services and they offer a free plan. You can get started with HipChat here.
RingCentral Phone Service
There are many business communication apps that allow you to link your mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) to each other, as well as your computers. However, one of our favorites is RingCentral. This app offers customers unlimited local and long-distance calling anywhere in North America and powerful features like call forwarding, call answering, voice mail, and fax services. The cost of a plan that includes all of these benefits ranges from $9.99 per month to $45 per month depending on what package you choose.
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While Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ are all designed to work together, Google’s most important collaboration tool is actually Hangouts. The video chat service is essentially a small business team member that never takes time off. Whether you’re brainstorming with coworkers or scheduling a meeting with a client, Hangouts offers multiple channels so that you can have more than one conversation going at once. It also integrates with third-party productivity tools such as Zapier and IFTTT to make your workflow even smoother. In short, if there’s an app on your list of best small business communication apps it’s probably Google Hangouts.
ooVoo Video Chat
Video chats are great if you’re meeting with a client face-to-face or even if you’re just chatting with a colleague who is out of town. If you have trouble remembering to schedule meetings, use ooVoo Video Chat and put a reminder in your calendar to Get on ooVoo at 2:00 pm today. You can schedule it once and then cancel or reschedule it as needed without worrying about forgetting about it.