The Best Apps for SMB Business Communication
Effective communication in the workplace is essential for a stress-free and productive environment. Internal communication can be stressful or ineffective in SMBs when you try to keep up through emails and office visits. A quicker, easier, and more transparent way of internal business communication is using an app. Below we have listed the top four apps for SMB business communication:
This SMB business communication app offers several helpful features for small to mid-sized businesses, such as screen sharing, group chat, and video chat. If a coworker you’re talking to isn’t understanding how to complete a task online, you can use the screen sharing feature to easily show them how. This saves time and improves understanding between team members. You can screenshare with up to 20 members.
HipChat is available on Linux, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The app can be integrated with over 200 other apps, further streamlining business communication. HipChat also supplies emoticons and gifs, so you can add some fun to the workday.
- Screen sharing capabilities
- Video chat
- Group chat
- Searchable chat history
- Available on other operating systems besides Android and iOS
- Supports integration with over 200 other apps
- Emoticons and gifs
- Inexpensive, only $2 per user each month
- Has a free version
- Search history is capped at 25,000 for the free version
- Storage ceiling for the free plan is 5 GB
- Screen sharing not available with the free version
- CA Flowdock
CA Flowdock is a team collaboration app that aims to help SMB businesses solve problems and be transparent even across different time zones, teams, and tools. This app offers group chat, threads, and an inbox. Threads are essentially forum-style discussions. There is also a private chat feature, so you can talk 1×1 with a team member when needed.
One of the best features of this app is the ability to start a conversation on a support ticket or other item in the team inbox that is linked to the item. This saves you time in rehashing the issue and improves clarity as the other person can see exactly what’s being discussed. CA Flowdock stores your transcripts forever. You can search your chat history to find whatever it is you’re looking for. The app is available on desktop, Android, and iOS.
- Enables faster problem solving with the team inbox feature
- The ability to communicate through threads or group chat
- Private chat available
- Chat history is stored forever
- Searchable chat history
- Available on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS
- The ability to mention team members to quickly get their attention
- Desktop and push notifications
- Over 80 possible integrations
- The free version is only for teams with five or fewer members and for students.
Campfire is a team collaboration app with real-time chat. You can send files, images, and code through the chat. It will show a preview of images in the chat, allowing members to quickly see the picture without needing to download it first. You can save transcripts with Campfire too. The app is web-based with a mobile app version for iOS devices. Campfire has a conference calling feature for moments in which communicating via voice would be easier.
- Password protected group chats
- Has add-ons and extras, most of which are free
- Image previews in the chat room
- Conference calling feature for voice chat
- Has a mobile app version for iOS
- Offers a free plan
- No per-user fees
- The basic payment plan doesn’t allow conference calling
- No Android mobile app
This SMB app organizes team conversations into open channels, so you can create different chats for each topic, project, or team. Private chats can be created too when only certain members are intended to see the discussion. Slack also offers voice and video calls, so you don’t have to use another app when you want to chat via voice or video. The app has a drag and drop feature for easy sharing of files, documents, images, spreadsheets, and PDFs.
Links from Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox are automatically synced when they are entered in the application. Slack enables integration with other apps, so you can minimize how often you switch between applications. This app also allows you to search your archive for important messages, files, and notifications. You can search through specific file types, such as PDFs and Google Docs too.
- Mobile app available for Android and iOS
- Customizable notifications
- Allows integration with other apps
- Slack customers see a 48.6% reduction in internal emails on average
- Has a free version
- You must upgrade your plan to use certain features
Internal communication should be as easy and painless as possible for your employees to be productive. Including a little fun in your communications doesn’t hurt either. If you think your business could benefit from more fun in work processes, then Hipchat is the right SMB business communication app for you. It has emoticons and gifs that can make team members smile or chuckle throughout the day. If you think there’s already enough fun in the work environment at your SMB, then one of the other apps on this list will work well for your needs.
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