Top 9 Instant Messaging Tools for Small Business in 2021
There is no denying that email is still the king when it comes to business communication. But instant messaging, as the next best alternative, is playing a key role in reducing the volume of emails. One of the main advantages of using instant messaging is that it allows teammates to get answers from colleagues quickly unlike emails that have a high turnaround time. According to one report, 45% of users felt they’re more productive with instant messaging than they would be without it. No wonder the instant messaging market is exploding with new entrants. Radicati Group reports that in 2019, the number of worldwide IM accounts (not including Mobile Messaging) totalled over 7.0 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of about 6% over the next four years and reach over 8.9 billion by the end of 2023.
On the flip side, instant messaging is seen as a major workplace distraction. A survey revealed that one in four users were under pressure to answer instant messages right away, even if they’re in the middle of other work.
We have identified the 9 best instant messaging tools that will help small businesses improve productivity by reducing emails, communicating in real-time, saving cost, and overcoming physical distance.
Most of the instant messaging tools available in the market like Microsoft Teams, Flock, RocketChat, Google Chat etc are focused on chats or video conferencing. But work is not just limited to chats and videos. It also includes emails, shared documents phone calls and to-dos. However, using different apps for chats, emails, documents, to-dos and calls creates communication silos. Later on, if you want to refer to a specific conversation or file, you will have to search in multiple places and remember all the information in memory to visualize the big picture. Another issue with these instant messaging tools is you can get stuck in long and never-ending group chats that demand your attention 24/7. It puts pressure on you to be online & available all the time.
Clariti is one of the best instant-messaging tools. Unlike other instant messaging tools, in Clariti there are no chat channels. There is no need to constantly track all the chats in the channels. Any Clariti user can start a group chat and add members as needed. Existing members can be removed and new members added based on the conversation flow. This way users are alerted to join a chat only when necessary.
Clariti is also a unified business collaboration and communication tool that supports other communication forms such as emails, shared documents, voice calls with screen share and to-dos. In Clariti, conversations, emails, to-dos and documents can be organized in folders called TopicFolders. TopicFolders eliminate time wasted in searching for information and make it very easy to see the big picture with one click. Clariti is more than just an instant messaging-only app. Clariti is free and you can sign up with your email id.
- CD Messenger
Using Corporate Digital Messenger, you can now communicate with your office environment right across the hallway or across the globe in an environment that is fully secure, stable and reliable. There is no limit to the number of employees who can use the CD Messenger. Whether it is a small office or a giant corporation, CD messenger can connect them all. It uses the Internet to deliver a robust online communication experience in which everyone can communicate with everyone else any time, all the time using a chat interface.
- Troop Messenger
Troop Messenger is a cloud-based tool that includes instant messaging, video calls, audio calls, video conferencing, file sharing, screen sharing and work scheduling tools. Troop Messenger lets users pin frequent contents, share information including multimedia files and create groups. Users can search contacts and groups by name.
Connect is a secure internal messaging app connecting all employees with a focus on employee experience, microlearning and community building. Through targeted communications, Connect keeps all employees informed of company news in real-time. This is done with individuals through chat, group chats with teams, Files and surveys are also supported. Using Connect, you can enhance learning and make transfer knowledge fun.
Blink delivers a measurable improvement in employee engagement by combining workplace messaging, company internal feed, and cloud storage, on your branded portal. The solution can be deployed either on-premise or hosted in the cloud. It supports integration with various third-party systems such as Office 365, Google G Suite, Salesforce and Dropbox. Mobile applications for iOS and Android devices are available.
Staffbase is an internal communications solution that enables businesses to connect with their employees via mobile and desktop app. Users can check corporate news, social walls, newsletters, local updates, videos and picture galleries. Push notifications enable administrators to send immediate communications to the employees. Chat features allow employees to converse with each other. Staffbase provides integration with Sharepoint connector and news applications. Staffbase can be accessed via iOS and Android devices.
Designed for companies that need end-to-end operational tools, Runrun.it helps businesses control tasks, projects, and processes with its complete work management platform. In one place, businesses can gain an overview of all tasks, projects, and processes and implement standardizations for day-to-day operations. Runrun.it includes task management, kanban boards, board filters, custom templates, instant messaging, file-sharing, smart notifications, custom dashboards, and more. Runrun.it is available for mobile devices via iOS and Android devices.
Connect anytime, anywhere with colleagues using Anywhere’s mobile and desktop collaboration app. Whether working from home or in the office, Anywhere.app is designed to connect teams in one virtual setting using integrated collaboration tools. Features include 1:1 or group messaging, file-sharing, status update feed, real-time notifications, and more. With instant messaging capabilities, users can also send emotes to proactively react without sending additional messages and files to collaborate on any task. For remote work, Anywhere.app recreates the office setting by allowing users to share their status and availability using a shared status feed. Anywhere.app is available for desktop and iOS/Android compatible mobile devices.
- Alma Suite
Alma Suite is a cloud-based platform designed to facilitate communication, collaboration and teamwork within companies and with clients. Key features include communication tools, a wiki builder, quizzes, a news feed and built-in chat for instant messaging. The solution allows users to send instant personal and group messages to their colleagues. Users can create separate chat groups related to projects and teams, and tasks can be grouped into projects and subprojects. The chat groups have access controls so that only the members of a group or a project can see the messages sent to that group.
We hope the instant messaging tools discussed above will allow you to not only communicate by sending and receiving messages but also collaborate in a highly efficient manner through a wide range of features. Sign up and try them.
Vinay Wagle is the VP of Sales and Marketing at CCE Technologies Inc. CCE Technologies’ flagship product is Clariti, a B2B SaaS application. His articles are inspired by his proven experience in improving productivity, leadership, team management and improving the work environment.