Once regarded primarily as an unwelcome distraction from work, instant messaging (IM) has transformed into an integral workplace function. Forget the outdated office memo or sorting through endless emails; IM allows for quicker conveyance of essential information within departments and even with clients. Not only do these apps optimize office communication, they promote greater camaraderie and client rapport. Read on for several of the best instant messaging apps for business, which are detailed below.
Used by over one billion people in hundreds of countries, WhatsApp no longer deserves its teenager-only reputation. The easy-to-navigate app allows users to communicate however they see fit: via text message, videos, documents, or even GIFs. It’s a valuable addition to any workplace communication setup, in part, because so many employees already use it and prefer it to other IM options. Additionally, many employers have discovered that WhatsApp serves as an excellent inbound marketing tool, allowing clients to reach representatives immediately whenever they have questions or concerns.
The office version of WhatsApp, Voxer optimizes workplace communication by replacing clunky voicemail and texting with instant communication. Real-time responses allow users to determine who has seen or heard messages, plus time and location. Professionals from a range of industries — including education, hospitality, and logistics — rely on Voxer for effective communication.
Versatility is easily Voxer’s greatest asset. Employees can communicate via desktop computers or mobile devices. The service allows users to talk across a variety of data networks and wireless carriers. Headset integration allows for easier listening on the go, but users can also view written versions of messages recorded via voice-to-text transcription.
Once used by Tiny Speck to develop the now defunct game Glitch, Slack now connects employees from every industry imaginable. Organize users into teams with full transparency, or create private teams for just a few employees. Employers enjoy full control over what gets shared and who sees it. The app also makes it easy to take communication face-to-face and complete video calls within messages or channels.
Microsoft Lync features multi-person chat conversations and contact groups; and employers can track when contacts are on or offline, and whether they’re busy in meetings. This is an ideal setup for companies already reliant on Microsoft’s suite of services; integration with Office functions and Exchange email lends additional convenience to every Lync-based interaction.
If you require a simplified approach to apps, consider Google Hangouts. This efficient alternative allows you to easily integrate other Google functions, such as Gmail and documents stored on Google Drive. It’s not as business-oriented as Slack or Voxer, but an affordable and accessible option nonetheless.
Whether you prefer the instant voice messages of Voxer or the simplicity of Google Hangouts, you can easily find an instant messaging system to meet your unique business needs. You’ll love the camaraderie IM promotes, and your customers will appreciate the ease of access your new system provides.