5 Tips to Get the Most from Your Instant Messaging Solution

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Instant messaging is a solution that has picked up in the business world, and for a good reason. While email allows for more passive communication, instant messaging allows for more instantaneous communication, similar to a phone call in its urgency. But are you properly using instant messaging?

Establish a Usage Policy

Just like with other technology solutions, your company should have a policy in place that governs how your employees use it. This means that you must establish clear guidelines for the appropriate use of instant messaging. For example, having a group chat for a department is perfectly fine, but having a group that is exclusively for sharing distractions is a problem that can lead to too much wasted time.

Keep it Professional

You should always use greetings when sending instant messages, similar to the way you would if you were using emails. Using a salutation such as “Hi Name,” rather than opening the conversation with a question can make a world of difference. It would help if you also tried to use similar professional language in your IMs as you would in an email.

Keep it Short, but Keep it Clear.

As we previously mentioned, the big difference between IM and email is that IMs are designed for instantaneous responses and quick conversations rather than long, drawn-out, detailed messages. The best way to use IMs is to use it to your advantage and not use it like you would an email. If you expect someone to respond to a long IM that requires a detailed and analytic response, then it may look like the user is ignoring the message until they can find time to respond to it in the way that you expect.

Still, you’ll want to convey thoughts and ideas clearly, but instant messaging is a great place to encourage questions to prevent communication gaps.

Respect the Status Message

Most instant messaging applications allow the user to set their status. This might be something like Available, Away, In a Meeting, Busy, etc. If the user is anything but available, you should reconsider sending the message until the user is indeed available to take your message. Otherwise, there is a solid chance that the message will slip through the cracks.

Try to Encourage In-Person Communication Too

All of that said, an instant message is not a substitution for a good old face-to-face conversation. Whenever possible, you should make an effort to have in-person conversations with your coworkers and staff. This helps you avoid instances of messages being taken out of context and establishes that you can make time in your busy day to make connections in this way. It’s just good to remind your coworkers and employees that, yes, we are still people, even if half the time our communications are done from the other side of a computer screen.

4 Corner IT can help you implement the best instant messaging solution that suits your company’s needs. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

Need to Cut Costs? Switch to a VoIP Solution

rows of VOIP office phones

VoIP, the shortened form of Voice over Internet Protocol, can be considered the latest and greatest in telecommunication, a far superior solution to traditional landlines. Some businesses have embraced this technology with open arms, whereas others still cling to their landlines as their lives depend on it. At the end of the day, relying on your landline when a VoIP solution exists is no different from throwing money away.

The numbers reported below are pulled from a guide put together by Harbor Networks. They show just how much the average small business can save by something as simple as a shift in telecommunications to a VoIP solution.

The Capital Savings Are No Joke

The first savings you might notice from VoIP are from the costs associated with traditional telephone communications. A report by Telzio states that businesses save up to 50% on monthly communication costs by switching to a VoIP service. It must also be noted that this 50% was separate from the additional cost savings that come from hosted VoIP’s lack of maintenance costs, which further drives the solution’s value. As if that weren’t enough, startup costs for hosted VoIP are low or nonexistent. Additional VoIP cost savings come from those cut from teleconferencing (30%) and local calls (40%).

Enhanced Productivity Leads to Additional Cost Savings

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adopt a more flexible stance on remote work, this trend was increasing long before. Businesses have been adopting VoIP for a while now to accommodate the increasing requests for remote work, and businesses that did saw a significant increase in productivity. Productivity then transforms into savings. Just imagine what your staff could achieve with a 20% boost to their productivity and an average savings of 40 minutes per workday. It can add up quickly!

Hosting Alleviates the Challenges of a VoIP Solution

One of the biggest challenges that come from a solution like VoIP is figuring out who will manage and maintain it. This is especially pertinent for small businesses that have limited resources at their disposal, particularly for IT. If your small business is already struggling to get by and has a limited budget, hosted VoIP offers significant savings that makes managing a VoIP system as easy as can be but much more affordable as a whole.

If you don’t have someone on-premises to manage your VoIP solution, a managed service provider can help to address this shortcoming. We can host your VoIP solution for you and manage and maintain it so that you can focus on making use of it. Only 14% of businesses without full-time IT staff have issues with VoIP, and we think it’s largely because of the existence of MSPs like 4 Corner IT that this number is as low as it is. We strive to make our services as accessible to small businesses as possible, especially those that do not have in-house IT resources.

The longer you wait to implement a solution like VoIP, the more savings you are missing out on. To get started today, reach out to 4 Corner IT at (954) 474-2204.

VoIP: A Game Changer for Business Communications

Voip Phone with icon - concept for phone connected to multi device

Businesses have long used telephony solutions of some sort, but the traditional landline is an archaic piece of technology in the modern office. You can take your organization to the next level with a more dynamic and flexible solution, one that has the same features without all of the headaches associated with traditional telephone systems. A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution can completely change your communications for the better.

VoIP vs Traditional Landlines

The major differences between VoIP and landlines are substantial. With landlines, the technology has not changed much over the years, and you probably have the same telephone lines that existed back when you started your business. Your handsets hook up to your local telephone company’s infrastructure, the center responsible for relaying the calls. With VoIP, on the other hand, the Internet is used to transfer calls. This is a major difference that cannot be ignored. While it relies on Internet connectivity, it also reduces unnecessary expenses, which is invaluable for small businesses and enterprises alike.

All the Great Features

VoIP can do just about everything that the traditional landline telephone solution can do, even more so. All features like conference calling, call forwarding, voicemails, extensions, putting users on hold, and more are present here and can be utilized by your staff as needed. VoIP even has features that are impossible through your traditional landline system, like voice and video chat integration, instant messaging, and more. In other words, it is a dynamic solution that fits right into today’s workplace.

None of the Frustrations

Adding new users to your landline infrastructure can be considered difficult, as it entails new wires for the handsets, the purchasing of new hardware to take calls, and the allocation of space for new offices and workstations. Some of these frustrations do still exist for VoIP, but the important thing is that you typically don’t have to run new wires or revamp tons of space just to do so. As long as you have the hardware, VoIP makes adding new users easy, as VoIP applications can be installed on mobile devices, laptops, or desktops with ease. You don’t need to hook them up to your phone infrastructure or run new wires. All you need to do is create an account, assign an extension, hook them up to hardware, and install the software on that device.

Lower Costs

The concept of “cord-cutting” is nothing new, especially with media streaming applications replacing television, and VoIP takes this one step further. Companies often bundle services together, creating more expenses for services that are either underutilized or completely unnecessary. Sometimes telephone companies might bundle together television services or Internet services, but it’s simply a waste if you don’t need all of these services. VoIP eliminates this by letting you use a pre-existing service—the Internet—for voice communication, and since you are practically guaranteed to use the Internet, you’re not wasting any revenue on it. VoIP also makes costs more flexible and scalable to your needs, making it budget-friendly and customizable.

Get Started with a VoIP Solution Today

A VoIP solution can be a wonderful asset for businesses that want to reimagine their communication infrastructure. If you need a hand getting started, we would be happy to help. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.