Typically, we see customer service agents working independently of each other, divided by cubicles with their headsets on. But a well-optimized organization encourages team collaboration and communication across its entire workforce. As many call center managers know, it’s important to segment your agents into teams and select a team lead who reports directly to you. This helps managers funnel important information in an organized and efficient way. This is especially true for agents who work remotely and don’t necessarily see their co-workers or managers on a daily basis.
In order for each team to have their concerns addressed and optimize for success, chat tools are an important addition to your enterprise software applications. If you’ve perused any tech blogs recently, you’ll see quite a bit of chatter regarding these workforce collaboration tools (and the competition is beginning to really heat up). So, whether or not you’ve been keeping up with the buzz, we’ve got the down low on what’s new and hot in workforce optimization chat tools.
These are 5 great tools that are making serious headway for improving enterprise team collaboration, and can be easily used for agent-to-agent and manager-to-agent communications:
Okay, so you’ve probably heard of these guys by now, I mean they were named “Company of The Year” in 2015 by Inc. and you can’t read any business section without seeing their name. But they are absolutely worth mentioning here since they’ve set the bar for most team collaboration tools now being released. The company markets itself as “…team communication in one place. A new way to get more done, spend less time in meetings, and reduce email.” Sounds pretty appealing, right? Well, their marketing isn’t just fluff, with 3 million daily active users, 60,000 teams, and 100 million hours spent collaborating monthly, Slack certainly has a strong following. Their bread and butter: Free real time messaging and file sharing for one-to-one and group conversations. However, their offerings don’t stop there. Rather than getting into the nitty gritty, try them out completely free, and decide for yourself whether or not their worth the hype.
Cost: Free OR $8/month for the Standard Plan with add-ons such as Group Calls OR $15.00/month for a Premium Plans with upgraded features like 20GB of Storage.
A few weeks ago Facebook finally announced the launch of Workplace; an enterprise tool for companies that allows workers to chat and collaborate with each other. 1,000 companies tested Workplace, and Facebook says it made many changes based on feedback prior to today’s launch. According to Facebook’s beta testing of 1,000 companies, organizations wanted a separation between Workplace and Facebook’s consumer service, so they cannot simply move between personal and work accounts in the same tab and instead must use different browser windows. This makes sense from a productivity standpoint, the question is, will workers be able to differentiate Workplace as a productivity tool or use it as a social networking tool between co-workers? Perhaps the addition of the Workplace mobile app and the “Work Chat” messaging app will help create some division.
Cost: For enterprise organizations, it’s free for the first three months, and then charged a range of monthly prices, per active user: $3 each for up to 1,000 users, $2 for up to 10,000 users and $1 each for enterprises with more than 10,000 users. Nonprofit organizations and academic institutions will get Workplace at no cost.
Provides task management and collaborative project management software for mobile workers. The app allows employees, entrepreneurs and business leaders to assign and manage tasks, create to-do lists, upload files, host meetings, take notes and collaborate on projects all through one platform. Not totally unlike other tools mentioned here. It’s competitive differentiator? RedBooth is
the first native enterprise application on Apple TV. This allows any team member with the mobile device to instantly access and contribute to projects in real-time, on any TV screen, from anywhere in the world.
Cost: $5 per user/per month for Pro OR $15 per user/per month for Business
The application has been popularized as a workplace collaboration tool mirroring platforms like Slack and Yammer, that is, up until yesterday with a new integration called VoiceMyBot. The new improvement lets you use Alexa, Amazon Echo’s voice interface, to search Hipchat and get updates through verbal commands. This feature adds interesting elements to team chat including: hearing and verbally
modifying source code; speaking messages to respond to questions from coworkers; and message summaries. This release comes alongside improvements to HipChat’s video chat feature. What’s the point of VoiceMyBot? You can create short-word commands that will also call up data, which is then spoken aloud to you.
Cost: Free for unlimited users, group chat, instant messaging and file sharing OR $2 per user/month for group video chat, screen sharing, unlimited file sharing and storage, message history and more.
We all know the online video calling software, Skype, and workplace software pioneers, Microsoft, right? Well today – after much speculation – marks the launch of workplace collaboration tool “Microsoft Teams” (formerly “Skype Teams”). Microsoft previously acquired Yammer (mentioned above) and then set out to create the “Slack Killer”. This new platform includes conversations separated by “channels” (aka groups), direct messaging, and unique to the service is support for threaded conversations, which many Slack users have been waiting for.
More notable features of Microsoft Teams include deep integration with Office apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint so that users will be able to share documents easily. Unlike Slack, the service also supports OneDrive, making file-sharing much easier and quite important for Microsoft since most businesses use Office 365.
Additionally, Microsoft Teams will also allow users to perform video and audio calls right from the app, including the ability to video call multiple people at the same time.
Cost: Details will be available after the live announcement later today!