Software can help small businesses to save time and improve their offering. We’ve listed 23 of the most popular options to review and consider.
Digital communication in business, both internally amongst staff and externally with customers (or other business partners), is an essential part of any modern company. Although recent events surrounding COVID-19 have forced businesses to adapt their communication methods, tools, and processes, the benefits of a sound digital communication strategy have been known for a long time. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the main advantages of digital communication in business and how it can provide a solution for all types of business communication. Depending on the type and urgency of the message, you can adapt your approach accordingly and maximise the effectiveness of your business’s communication.
Advantages of Digital Communication for Businesses
The different types of digital communication in business provide a wide variety of benefits, from allowing companies to explore remote or flexible working arrangements (which you can learn more about in our blog on tips for remote working), to improving response times to customer messages and requests. Digital communication is in itself one of the most malleable forms of communication, which makes it a valuable tool for businesses. Everyone communicates in different ways, so digital solutions are best suited for catering for the most people. Specific advantages of digital communication for businesses include:
1. Digital Communication Saves Time
Using digital communication in business is a guaranteed timesaver in numerous situations. Employees, for instance, want to be able to collaborate with their peers much more efficiently; they need access to critical information quickly, and the sooner their work is completed, the better! Digital communication in business facilitates easy access to the people you need to talk to, and the information you need access to, making it much easier for employees to be productive and saving lots of time while they do so.
2. Digital Communication Saves Money
Using digital communication is also a great way to save money, especially within the parameters of a post-lockdown world. For instance, many businesses spend vast amounts of money on maintaining their workplaces, usually renting office spaces as a regular cost. However, a company with a fully operational, digital communications system can easily allow for home working - negating the need to pay for an expensive office. With the countless digital communication tools, workflow platforms and video conferencing programs out there, you can easily replicate the working environment of the office from home, without the cost.
3. Digital Communication Improves Collaboration
Using digital communication more regularly in your business is also a great way to boost the team/employee collaboration in your workforce. Digital communication tools serve as a far more efficient method to share information, reports, task updates and much more than non-digital ways- especially when working in teams of people that are spread out in different areas as a result of remote working. Enabling your employees to interact with each other and share ideas digitally is a great way to build a good team ethos, as well as being a great way to break down some of the communication barriers brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. The Emergence of Remote Working
A final advantage of making sure that your business has a digital communications system in place is the simple fact that remote working is not going anywhere anytime soon. Without lots of reliable ways to communicate with your employees and team members digitally, your business might find it hard to adapt to the current conditions of working amongst COVID-19 and will probably struggle to maintain the same level of work as in the office. Read our blog on this topic to learn more about the best software for remote working.
Types of Business Communication
The majority of business communication tools are a mixture of digital and non-digital solutions. However, many (even the digital ones) have ways you can use to make them even more efficient and effective for your business, both from an internal and an external perspective. Some of the more common types of business communication include:
Email is a digital communication tool that needs no introduction, being a tool that everyone uses in their day to day lives. While email can seem like the finished article; a digital communication tool that needs no further optimisation, there are several things you can implement to make your business email function even better.
One way you can improve your business emails is by making use of the footer. If your business is going through change and has introduced a service such as a virtual PA, keeping your footer up-to-date ensures customers will have access to the new numbers they need. You can also use your footer for things like bespoke email signatures, to add a touch of extra professionalism to your emails. A disadvantage of email, however, is that it can sometimes be a drawn-out form of communication, both internally and externally. An excellent alternative to email as a type of business communication is instant messenger tools.
Instant Messenger Tools
Many companies see instant messenger tools as a great alternative to email, which for many businesses is no longer valuable as the primary, internal and external communication tool. The main advantage that instant messenger tools, such as Slack or Mattermost, have over email is stated in the name - they are instant. Whether it’s an internal office chat or a conversation with an external business client, instant messenger tools are better at keeping the flow of dialogue going. They can make your business communications much more efficient and productive as a result of this.
Phones are up there with email as one of the most commonly used business communication tools, with a wide variety of different applications and uses in all aspects of the business. Office phones can be used in a customer service format by staff for dealing with inbound calls and enquiries, but also in holding meetings with clients and business partners, as well as internal team members. They also have the advantage over email of being an easy way to get hold of someone quickly; for example, if a member of staff is working remotely and you need to get a hold of them more directly. Phones are another form of business communication that can be further optimised, however, such as with a voice over internet protocol.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
A Voice over internet protocol, or VOIP, is a digital communications tool that allows a business to conduct phone calls over the internet, rather than over a phone network. This tool can have many advantages for a company; for one, it is effortless to set up when compared to a traditional phone network, even for users not familiar with business tech. VoIP technology also allows its users to integrate many different types of software systems, such as email, video conferencing and file/data sharing. All of these tools add flexibility to employees and teams who are on the go or working remotely in separate offices or locations.
Physical mail still very much has its place as a form of communication for businesses and comes into play in a variety of different circumstances. From contracts and legal documents, to applications and customer responses, to marketing materials like business cards and other resources, physical mail is an essential facet of business communication even today. However, like most forms of business communication, it is one that can be digitised and optimised- which is where UK Postbox comes in.
UK Postbox and business communication
With UK Postbox, you can digitise your business’s physical mail with our mail management software system; by sending, receiving and managing your mail from anywhere in the world. After choosing from the list of our many virtual addresses, you are met with a variety of efficient, easy-to-understand mail management service options that allow you to manage your physical mail digitally. For instance, if you request that we automatically scan the contents of your post when it arrives, you’ll be able to quickly read the contents of your business mail from the comfort of your desk. Your post is private and confidential, however, so if you choose not to, we can forward all mail on to your selected address without any hassle, or only scan the outside contents.
Our service isn’t just for reading and managing your incoming mail, however. With our online UK postage service, you can send mail too; upload the letters you want to send to our platform, choose from our courier options, and add your recipient’s address. When you need to send a formal letter to the UK fast and don’t have the scope to deal with the physical mail itself for whatever reason, this service is especially useful as a form of digital business communication.
In modern times we are continually moving towards going digital, not just in communication but in all aspects of a business. Hopefully from this blog, you have learned more on some of the many advantages of digital communication for business, and how classic forms of communication like email, phones and physical mail can be digitised for efficiency, effectiveness and ease of use.