Why should companies centralize business communication? What does centralized communication even look like? And can it really help improve productivity?
Centralized business communication — like centralized processes — unifies all necessary information and tools in one place, reducing time spent navigating through different channels, software, and services. But how do you know if your business needs to upgrade its communication system? Let’s have a look.
Centralized Business Communication: What, How, and Why?
When managing a business — whether a small business or global enterprise — not prioritizing and organizing business communication can lead to confusion and chaos.
For example, your business has several players or employees working on different tasks.
There is a lot of work to do. A lot of documentation to handle. Everyone’s main goal is to get the work done quickly.
But that may not always mean getting the work done efficiently.
Now, think of all the different communication channels your business uses to connect with employees and customers: phone, fax, voicemail, email, chat, video, and text.
These channels store important files and information. And when you do not have one centralized hub for your communications, important information and data can get lost.
So, how do you prevent this from happening? You centralize business communication so that all essential business-related communication is connected to and stored in one central hub or platform.
What Does it Mean to Centralize Communication?
Time spent searching for information or a document is time taken away from being productive. Depending on your business size, your business communicates through multiple channels:
- Phone conversations
- Two-way SMS
- Video conferences
- Intranet communication options
- Chat (internal chat as well as chat for customers)
- Content and project management system comments and chat
- Town halls
- Social networks
- Voicemail, fax, and document-sharing apps, etc.
And when you use multiple channels through different services, chances are, things will get lost in translation and movement. And you cannot always afford to lose conversations, information, and documents.
Centralizing business communication means connecting all business members and stakeholders through one platform where communication occurs and is stored. In fact, 2021 business communication stats suggest that companies are looking for cloud-based tools to integrate all their communication needs into one platform and improve business communication.
In theory, through this centralized business communication platform, all communication, conversations, transcripts, documentation, scheduling, etc., can be stored and tracked efficiently.
How to Centralize Business Communication?
So, how does your company start to centralize business communication? Let’s look at some important factors and how to go about centralizing your communication system.
1. Map Out All Business-Related Communication
First, you need to map out all forms of communication that occur within your company. We’re talking about all kinds of internal (between employees and teams) and external (between the company and its customers) communication.
Once you can visualize all communication channels, you can identify high-priority channels. For example, phone, email, and chat channels may contain more important information. So, you will make those channels more accessible by centralizing them. Company-wide newsletters or training videos may not fall under this list. So, you may look for software or a platform that supports your phone, email, and chat needs.
2. Find a Unified Communications Platform to Support Your Needs
Once you determine your needs, you can start looking for UC solutions that support channels essential for your business. Unified communication platforms unify phone conversations, video conferencing, text messaging, email, chat, and other communication channels in one place. In this UC platform, users can:
- Share and access information and documents
- Store information and data
- Communicate and collaborate in real-time
- And by doing so, information and data can be shared and located quickly within one place, reducing time spent on searching or lost conversations.
Start by looking for UCaaS providers and comparing what they offer. Find a provider that fits your needs and budget.
3. Think About Integrations
Integrations aid in data accessibility by bringing all necessary systems and processes together in a one-stop service.
Many UCaaS and cloud-based communication providers will offer you various integrations to help organize all communication-relation tools and features in one place. This way, you can bring your work calendars into your communication platform or access all channels (voice, video, SMS, chat) in one place, even if you use different services.
Some providers may even offer a custom API integration. Application Program Interface (API) is a code that gives two separate software programs the ability to communicate and work with each other. API, therefore, allows you to integrate systems and software to create a robust platform. Check with providers to see what options are available before signing up.
4. Upgrade Your Business Communication System
Once you have explored the market and the many features and services available, make the decision to upgrade your existing business communication system. Either sign up with a provider that can provide you with all the features you need in one place, or look for integrations to include within your existing system.
Note that upgrading or switching to a new communication system may seem expensive at first but can cut down on long-term costs and increase office productivity. This, in the long run, can help your business focus on more important things such as product development, customer research, and so on.
4 Benefits of Centralized Business Communication
So, is it really worthwhile bringing all communication-related services and processes together? Especially if you may need to change certain providers and services? This depends on what benefits you wish to reap when you centralize business communication. Let’s look at some advantages of streamlining communications.
1. Keep Everyone Connected
All employees, managers, and stakeholders have access to this centralized communication system. This is especially helpful for businesses that have remote employees and distributed teams spread across the globe. Being able to communicate in real-time and through an easy-to-use platform is crucial for information and knowledge sharing and data storage. A centralized business communication system keeps everyone connected.
2. Increase Transparency
To improve team collaboration and help them work towards common goals, they need to communicate well and know what each other is doing. By having access to all information, communication, and team members in one place, your business can ensure increased transparency.
3. Make Document and Knowledge Sharing Easy
With all channels connected, users can quickly share important information and documents in real-time. Furthermore, documents and data remain on the system for future reference; that is, to bring a new member up to speed or to compare with new content. By making document and file-sharing easy, everyone can have access to necessary and up-to-date information.
4. Improve Productivity and Efficiency
When processes are streamlined and centralized, you can cut time spent looking for documents or important conversations. This is because users can quickly search for information within the centralized business communication system and share it with other members. This further improves task focus as fewer distractions are likely to occur.
Additionally, managers can share important business-related information and documents with multiple employees through a platform that everyone has access to. All of this contributes to an efficient work environment.
Centralize Business Communication with Cloud-Based Phone Solutions
Global Call Forwarding can help you unify all your communication needs in one place. We offer a cloud-based business phone service along with our custom API. Speak with our representatives today to learn how our integrated services can help streamline your business communication efficiently and effectively.