Communication is an integral part of your business strategy. As technology continues to evolve so should you. Importantly, that means employing different methods of communication to better streamline your team collaboration. One of those methods is voice chat. Read on to find out what voice chat is and why it must be part of your internal communication and collaboration plan.
The phone has been around for a long time. But with the internet came email, instant messaging, and smart phone technology – all vital innovations in their own right, but which have no doubt contributed to a decline in the use of voice calls.
If you’ve ever had to communicate valuable information by email, text, or instant messaging, though, you know how much of challenge it can be. Not only can composing the right message be time-consuming and difficult, but misunderstandings are a real possibility which can further delay responses and hinder the bottom line. And not only that. Your emails and instant messages lack one crucial component – the personality and sincerity of a human voice. For communication to truly be effective and meaningful, voice is key.
What’s more, for teams distributed across time zones, long-distance and international phone calls can be inefficient and expensive – costing you valuable time and money.
So what is voice chat? It’s important to understand that, while the end result of a traditional phone call and voice chat is much the same, the technology utilized is not.
Traditional phone calls travel through copper lines over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Voice chat, on the other hand, employs data networks such as the internet or LANs and utilizes packet-switching technology – the same principle underlying all communication over the internet. Known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), your voice is converted into various data packets which are then sent to their destination, often separately. Upon arrival, the packets are reassembled and converted into sound.
By taking advantage of existing broadband and internet connections, VoIP needs no separate infrastructure – saving you money. Keep in mind, however, that VoIP is dependent on an external power source and internet connection. If these are knocked out for any reason, you may be without VoIP service.
You probably spend a fair amount of your workday at the computer and this likely involves emails and IM. While efficient in their own right, over time these impersonal means of communication can be harmful for both your team collaboration and camaraderie. Voice chat provides your team meaningful, immediate, and efficient communication and collaboration.
As more and more teams are distributed, more meaningful communication means more successful collaboration. And the key personal touch provided by voice chat allows you to provoke a response. In a 2016 Yale School of Management study, listeners were found to more accurately gauge speakers’ emotions through audio-only conversations.
Let’s say you’re working on a project or report using a tool like virtual whiteboard – voice chat offers you immediate feedback. Email’s lack of personality and emotion often comes with a lack of urgency. While instant messaging provides a more immediate solution, it still can’t account for the compassion missing from much of today’s communication. Voice chat solves both of these issues – a real human voice and the pressure to respond immediately.
If maximum efficiency is what you’re after, voice chat is easier than a phone call and faster than email. Suppose you’re screen sharing and need suggestions or opinions on content. With voice chat, there’s no dialing, waiting through a series of rings, wondering whether the other end will pick up, or wasting time with the formalities of a traditional phone call. Better yet, there’s no pondering over what to write or how to compose it in a way that’s understandable to all parties. Plus, you can probably talk faster than you can type. It’s a win-win.
Perhaps one of the best advantages of voice chat is that its free through your IM and chat platform. No outrageous phone bills – no matter how many time zones your communication crosses, no matter how long the call. It’s still free. Does it get any better than that?
These days, between juggling tasks and devices, usability is more important than ever and voice chat is no exception. With VoIP and mobile internet technology, you can voice chat from all your devices, even when you’re on the go. Simply select a name from your online contacts and select the appropriate icon to chat. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
With so many advantages you’d be right to wonder about security and peace of mind. Voice chat through Brosix, for example, protects your conversations by providing strong encryption for every call. What’s more, it’s firewall friendly so you can use it in addition to your firewall/NAT.
The world is doubt becoming more fast-paced and results-oriented. In addition, the numerous devices at our disposal and myriad means of communication mean we’re more connected than ever. How you communicate, however, is a vital piece of this equation. Importantly, email, text, and IM aren’t the only solutions to your enterprise communication needs. For truly effective, efficient, and meaningful collaboration, give voice chat a try and see what it can add to your internal communication strategy.