Communicate Effectively With Customers and Colleagues with Instant Messaging
In your small business or start-up quick and reliable internal and external communication is vital. New business can be lost if these communication channels are not effective and efficient. With Google Apps for Business your business gets a set of market leading communication tools. Such as cloud based email, instant messaging, VoIP and hang outs. With the all these communication options available your team can communicate in the most appropriate, effective and efficient way depending on the circumstances.
Email is the heart of communications for most businesses (big or small) but has long been recognised as one of the least efficient ways to communicate. Google Apps for Business has attempted to improve email with a feature called 'Priority Inbox' which automatically sorts your emails so the the most important appear at the top of you inbox. Allowing your employees to quickly see which email should be responded to first and which can wait until a better time.
Sometime communications need to be be quickly delivered and responded too. Instant Messaging is the ideal form of communication for this. While email is more focus to past and future communications Instant Messaging allows you to communicate quickly about things going on right now in the present.
Hangouts also allow you to collaborate on documents and projects at the same time. It is exactly the same as having a team meeting in a conference room the only difference being this is on-line. Saving your employees time travelling to a physical meeting. Just send out a quick invite and participants can be collaborating on-line in a few minutes on their desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
Famous Entrepreneur Richard Branson is frequent user of hangouts in Google Apps for Business and often live streams his hangouts to the world. Live Streaming hangouts is a great way to interact with your customers to hear their suggestions and to get your message out to them.
VoIP (Internet Based Telephone Calls)
With Google Apps for Business you can make phone calls to any land line or mobile phone anywhere in the world. It is charged on a 'Pay As You Go' model. So you would by £10 of calling credit and when that depletes you top up.
From experience the call rates are very good value. I recently visited mainland China and was able to call people in the UK for 0.02p/minute. Which is a lot cheaper than alternative providers. Currently UK based users can only make outgoing calls. Google have said that they are working on allowing incoming calls.