Your client got your text message that said, “Leave me. This cough is nasty!” So he goes home instead of doing what you actually said: “Meet me at the office at three.” This is what you get for using Siri to dictate an important message to a client in a noisy room, without so much as bothering to double-check it. Relying on an unsuitable communications technology just lost you a client.
Perhaps you will send them a fax explaining your faux pas. Unfortunately, the fax, on their end, is almost out of ink. And the last person did not sufficiently clear the paper jam. The garbled, wrinkled mess that comes out the other end might be an apology, and an attempt to reschedule, or it might be directions to the nearest tanning salon. Unreliable communications are the bane of all business.
Here are three technologies helping to improve business communications:
For just about any application, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is exponentially better than plain old telephone service (POTS). In the simplest terms, an ordinary voice call sounds like garbage. The best sound you can get out of it is equivalent to an AM radio station. And you usually do not get the best possible quality.
There are more benefits to VoIP than pristine sound. According to MegaPath.com:
Hosted Voice is the ideal choice for businesses that want to eliminate the expense and maintenance hassles of a PBX while empowering employees with a wide selection of productivity, collaboration and mobility features. Choose from a wide selection of phones and enjoy benefits including streamlined communications, lower costs, scalability, ease of management, and access to calling and unified communications features that improve the way you do business.
While many VoIP providers focus on the aspect of saving money, saving money is meaningless if business communications are not clear. Fortunately, VoIP is a solution that provides both substantial money savings, and clearer communications.
It’s not jus a place for sharing cat pictures. The Internet has become a mainstay in business communications. More and more, people are consuming the Internet on small, mobile devices. The average desktop user is sitting in front of a screen that is anywhere from 20” to 27”. Notebooks settle between 13” and 15”. A smartphone is consider to be huge at 6”. Selling better than most large phones, Apple offers smartphones as small as 4”.
Desktop web simply does not translate well when shrank that dramatically. Business messaging written for a 27” monitor has to be completely rethought for a 5” screen. Companies like SquareSpace have been using something called responsive design to automatically detect the size of the monitor on which the content is being viewed. From there, it automatically reformats the content to fit properly on that screen.
There is also the problem of downgrading assets like the quality of photos on a site, to work well regardless of bandwidth issues. Google is preparing to launch a new initiative that automatically optimizes web pages for mobile devices. The end result is that your business messaging is more accessible to more people on more devices.
One of the many problems with paper documentation is that both paper and ink degrade over time. Nothing bad need happen to them. They just deteriorate. That is why it is important to digitize everything as soon as it is practicable to do so. Waiting till you can get back to the big office scanner may not be optimal. What you need is a way to accurately scan business documents while on the go, and share those documents as needed.
Fortunately, many smartphone cameras are now good enough so that the phone can be used as a mobile document scanner. Many well-written apps now take advantage of this fact. From your smartphone, you can scan, OCR, edit, share, and digitally archive everything from receipts to contracts. You can even sign those contracts and deliver them, all without printing them out.
Business communication is about everything you have to express to the world, and every conceivable way you can express it. Using the latest technologies can dramatically improve your company’s business communications.