Life throws us curveballs. And sometimes, they impact not only our daily lives, but also our businesses, in a big way. Nothing like outside factors to force you to pivot and completely change the way your well-oiled machine was running. If your business had some (or all) of your employees work from home to accommodate changes, then you know how dependent we have gotten on our online tools.
With nearly 5 million Canadians working from home – and many companies carrying that on into the future, it is not too late to implement tools to make everyone’s work-life a little easier.
The answer: online office chat tools.
The Benefits of Free Office Chat Tools
Before launching into more advanced or bespoke chat tools, let’s consider what you can implement for free. Starting slow and experimenting with the tools on offer will not only save you money, but it will also allow you to collect data from your team on what works and what doesn’t for your specific business.
In general, you can expect the following benefits from an online chat tool:
- Faster Support: The overall response time using an online chat tool is much faster, meaning that the answer you need comes to you much quicker – saving valuable time and money.
- Team Force: If you are unable to answer a specific question, you have the ability to forward messages to specialists and members of different teams. By creating multiple lines of support, the issue can get dealt with quickly, without calling in many different departments unnecessarily.
- Instant Documentation: We’ve all painstakingly searched for an important email from three months prior. Online chat tools provide instant access to chat histories, which allow you to easily sort, search and filter past conversations and even databases.
- Data Security: Conversations on an online chat app are exchanged solely encrypted. Meaning that the data from the live chat software is secure, giving you peace of mind when your workforce is distributed.
Check Out These Popular Free Office Chat Apps First
- Slack: Slack is a channel-based messaging platform within a secure environment.
- Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is a workspace for real-time collaboration, meetings, file and app sharing.
- Google Chat: Google Chat is a team messaging application where conversations occur in “rooms.”
- Discord: Discord is an instant messaging and VoIP application platform. It specializes in text, video, audio, and image exchanges between users and is well-positioned for file sharing and troubleshooting in real time.
- Mattermost: Mattermost is a self-hostable, open-source online-chat service with file sharing, integrations, and search.
The Next Step: Amp Up Productivity with Chatbot Solutions
The chat apps discussed so far are facilitating conversations between people. But what if you could put the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to work in these chat apps? Consider how a chatbot could be used in your business to have conversations with your employees.
A chatbot can be specifically trained on tailored sets of data to do any of the following to assist your workforce:
- Find files within large company databases
- Answer commonly asked questions
- Facilitate support for onboarding
- Perform IT tasks (like password resets, assisting with systems and account setups, etc.)
- Setup meetings and automate emails to include conferencing software and links
Let your imagination run wild. Chatbots can be programmed to perform many different tasks with the right team of talented consultants. Using the data your team provides about where productivity could be improved, you can cast the vision for a solution that is right for your team. The chatbot consultants you collaborate with will then ensure the project path that leads to success.
Using Office Chat Apps and Chatbots Is the Future
Try out a couple of free online chat app options first and find what works best for your specific business and team. Be sure to get your entire workforce to provide feedback too so that your tool supports the maximum number of employees.
Curious how you can take this data and create a custom chatbot solution to further increase the productivity of your workforce? Contact one of our chatbot consultants today to discuss the fastest way to implement a solution in your business.