When you think about your best friend, what qualities come to mind? That person is probably a good listener and a clear and open communicator. When you're with your friend, the communication just flows — it doesn't feel stilted or forced.
Good collaboration tools are a lot like BFFs; they communicate effortlessly and harmoniously to bring out the best in one another. Here are four ways that collaboration tools should be simpatico, there for you when it counts.
1. They Communicate Openly and Effectively
If friends don't communicate with each other openly and effectively, explaining what they need or why they feel a certain way, they're quickly going to run into challenges when trying to accomplish a common goal or solve a problem. When one friend holds back information or doesn't share what's really going on, their reticence can negatively impact the honesty and trust on which close relationships depend. It could even prevent an otherwise promising friendship from truly blossoming.
Good collaboration tools similarly rely on smooth and open information sharing. If they don't integrate with one another, an HR professional could find herself unprepared for an incoming call upon returning to her desk, fumbling around in vain for a candidate's file as the phone rings.
But when HR professionals integrate cloud CRM platforms like Bullhorn with their cloud communications tools, they can automatically call up a candidate's LinkedIn page right from their record in the CRM as they're conducting a phone interview with the potential hire. They can also easily schedule a follow-up appointment during the call if they feel the person might be a good fit for a particular position. HR pros can create new contacts quickly as well, automatically syncing them with Bullhorn so they can trust that when they pick up the phone, they're reaching out to exactly the right candidate.
2. They're There When You Need Them
If a friend is there for you only some of the time, can they really be considered a close confidante? Your best friend is always there to cheer on your latest success, comfort you after a disappointment, or just spend some quality time with you when you need company. When someone unexpectedly doesn't show up for you, they're sending you mixed signals about the state of your friendship. Confused, you can end up spinning your wheels and spending a lot of time worrying about what's going on.
Collaboration tools are pretty similar. If your CRM and unified communications solutions aren't integrated with one another, for example, your sales team may have trouble keeping accurate and reliable records of its calls with prospects throughout a hectic day spent hitting the pavement. As a result, your sales analytics may be inaccurate and you may be left wondering whether you can really count on them when it matters most. By integrating your unified communications platform and your CRM, however, you can take advantage of automatic call logging that's reliable and leaves no questions about where you stand.
Two technology solutions that were already pretty great on their own become dynamic, innovative powerhouses when their respective strengths are combined.
3. They Don't Waste Each Other's Time
Okay, so friends aren't exactly like a business — hopefully your BFF hasn't calculated the ROI of their friendship with you — but when they get together, they don't waste each other's time, either. Your best friend engages in active listening, treating your conversation as a two-way exchange. In short, they make it clear through their actions that your time matters to them and that they're as interested in hearing what you have to say as they are in sharing what's going on in their own life.
Like dear friends, collaboration tools are always available when needed, and they go the extra mile to let people know that their time is valuable. A cloud-based communications solution, when integrated with an API, can allow patients to quickly schedule or reschedule an upcoming medical appointment any time of the day or night. Meanwhile, an airline can use the same kind of API integration to send out seamless travel communication about a flight delay so that passengers don't have to wait at the airport when they could be relaxing at home. This makes it much easier for companies to deliver the kind of customer care that leads to rewarding long-term relationships.
4. They Support One Another's Growth
A good friend encourages you to be the best version of yourself, whether you're pursuing a bold new business idea or trying to live a more thoughtful and balanced life. And, in return, you're always happy to do the same for your trusted pal. Together, you achieve far more than each of you could have on your own.
Communications tools are much the same, delivering greater ROI on an organization's technology investment than they would have as isolated, standalone platforms. For example, when your unified communications solution teams up with G Suite, your employees can use their office phone extension for calls from Google Hangouts. Or you can pair your unified communications platform with an API to deliver a virtual chatbot that sets up conference bridges on demand and even takes notes during meetings. In both cases, two technology solutions that were already pretty great on their own become dynamic, innovative powerhouses when their respective strengths are combined.
You've Got a Friend in Unified Communications
Close friendships thrive on good collaboration, just like your organization. By openly sharing information between business applications and enhancing workplace communication, your company can create more meaning and value from the work that it does every day. When you integrate your collaboration tools with one another, you could be witnessing the start of a beautiful friendship.