Good business communication is key for efficient business decision making and the running of everyday processes. Businesses use intranets, apps, emails and video calls to communicate between employees and across departments. An intranet is a private hub that can be accessed by any authorized users within a business organization - it is mainly used for internal communication and collaboration. Intranets have taken big leaps forward during the last 6 years and now often include features to allow teams and individual users to collaborate and communicate with people (internal and external), send, receive and edit documents as well as intuitive features to easily navigate the user interface and connected environments. Instant messaging (IM) – instant messages are commonly used for recreation but are now widely used within business organizations for employee-employee messaging or employee-management messaging. Chatrooms – whether business or casual, private or public, chat rooms are forums for specific groups of people to interact and receive notifications. Bots – a chat bot or chat robot is software that can interact with users using chat mechanisms, whether a person is using IM or has joined a chat room.
In many cases, it’s essential to have a method to communicate with either a single member of staff or the whole team. Although discussion forums may seem like old tech to some, it is still one of the preferred communication business tools used today.
One challenge many companies face is a lack of participation from employees in the general day-to-day activities of the organization. Although not a direct communication tool, gamification can be applied in business intranets to break up routine and to encourage engagement in areas including and other than business matters. Gamification is also a very practical technique that can be used to motivate better performance, drive business results and generate a competitive advantage.
With so many communication options available these days, it can be hard for businesses to know what tools to use and how to use them most effectively.
In this age of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and telecommuting, an intranet solution will result in a more flexible workforce and ensure all employees are working towards the same goals. Intranets can connect with external data sources like Google, Google+, Wikipedia, plus your own business systems etc. Regardless of the specific software you use, IM provides an interface for individuals to communicate one-on-one.
In some cases, users will be able to get stock status, weather reports and even movie listings. This will come in very handy when tackling projects and any troubleshooting issues and when properly utilized, will lessen the need for email. Customers will no longer have to wait for long periods of time to get the answers they need about a product or service. Employees are more likely to enjoy their work and do well if they feel they are part of the work community. No time will be wasted answering the same questions again and again once the company forum has been integrated with enterprise search.

This allows it to be assigned to the right employee and have it checked and resolved in time.
An issue tracking system often contains a knowledge base (KB) about a customer’s information, issues, resolutions to common problems and other essential data to be used in troubleshooting and resolution.
Enticing articles, eye-catching images and videos across the company intranet will result in more traction and engagement from everyone in the organization. In the past, people mainly tune in to podcasts on their desktop computer or laptops, but they are slowly becoming more popular on mobile devices.
Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to reach company or business goals. Implementing gamification techniques can provide managers with valuable information about what activities and content types are producing the best results.
What trends can we expect to see in business communication in the future and how will these trends affect the way we do business and communicate with colleagues and clients online? Most software also allows the creation of group messages, but this is not the primary intended use of IM. Some bots can be quite hi-tech, but in most instances users are aware that they are not interacting with an actual human.
Today, customers can get instant replies that provide resolutions to their issues and inquiries. Logging on to a discussion forum at the start of the work day is a great way to increase employee engagement and produce new ideas and decisions. This will enable forum information to be discovered by people who need it, when they need it. A case tracking system helps centralize customer support queries and keep track of any open issues.
The ticket within an issue tracking system is the running report in a specific issue containing information about whether it has been resolved or not and other relevant data.
Training and tutorial videos, video messages from management and behind-the-scene footage can be posted on the company intranet which can increase employee engagement and retention. The internal blog is a place where employees can share ideas and experiences fast and in an informal fashion. For many businesses, it’s easy to grasp the idea of a podcast for external marketing, but a business organization can also utilize podcasting to reach the internal workforce. This concept taps into a person’s basic needs, desires and impulses which revolve around the idea of achievement and status. One common technique of gamification is rewarding users who have accomplished desired tasks with points, badges or elevated status. This works well when employees or team members are spread across different geographical locations and different time zones. Forums are also effective in archiving organizational knowledge to be used by anyone as a reference.

Using a company forum in this way often produces better results than communicating over email, for example. Track team productivity, prioritize the most relevant and important queries and collect valuable customer feedback that can help in improving your products, services and customer relationships. A trouble ticket is usually created in a call center or a help desk and will always have a unique reference number assigned to it. Infographics are well suited for marketing departments and for showing and explaining particular company processes.
Some business experts have stated that many employees make listening to company podcasts a part of their weekly work routine.
To get the most value out of gamification, you as a business should go beyond the data and try to understand how and why users are behaving the way they do.
While email could be considered a closed discussion environment, forums are an open environment. An issue tracking system is generally used in an organization’s customer support call center to create, update and resolve reported customer issues or even issues reported by employees within the company. This case number is provided to the customer to help staff quickly locate, open and communicate the status of the request. This medium is visually appealing and helps communicate many instructions quickly and easily. An internal podcast can cover topics such as messages from the CEO, new processes, employee assistance programs and other human-interest topics.
Chat rooms and group messaging environments may seem the same, but the interfaces are often very different. If an employee sees a forum post they are interested in or are knowledgeable about, they will usually be able to contribute something useful or valuable. The desire to appear on the leader board will drive staff to do and complete more tasks efficiently which fuels engagement. For instance, your company might get more out of an instant messaging platform than a chat room if you don't have a lot of team-based projects, and individuals only occasionally need to contact other individuals within the organization. A discussion forum integrated with internal email will allow the business to have the best of both worlds. You can start from there by using a simple microphone, a free audio-editing software and a computer. Employees can participate in forums using Outlook, or the company’s mobile email client or via a browser. Once everything is rolling and producing good results, you can invest in better equipment or put more focus on getting influential podcast guests.

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