Even the simplest activities can turn into a headache when you need to coordinate with co-workers spread across various locations.
Getting prompt feedback, scheduling meetings, and sharing progress reports always seem to take longer than they should.
Most of these problems are caused by closed lines of communication. It’s not because people are unwilling to work together. It’s just that there’s too much friction: Traditional communication networks aren’t up to the demands of a modern business.
A lack of communication leads to situations where there’s no clear chain of command or project management authority, frequent misunderstandings and project delays, and overall subpar performance.
But how can teams be expected to meet tough targets without the right technology?
Communication is the key to collaboration
For multi-location companies in particular, real communication requires new technologies and systems to bridge the gap between offices spread across the country. Face-to-face meetings are important, but aren’t always practical. So, to boost communications between multiple offices, you need to make the extra effort.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start holding weekly staff meetings via a VoIP system to get everyone together and on the same page
- Even better, hold video calls so everybody can see each other and get better acquainted
- Make sure high-level management gets involved in these conversations to help boost team morale
- Schedule calls between management and individual locations to give remote teams a sense that they’re part of a larger team
The goal is to create a collaborative environment at each location. Staying in constant phone contact and holding regular face-to-face meetings are increasingly important in today’s fast-changing economy, but impractical for companies with so many locations. VoIP technology is one way to get around this problem.
Investing in VoIP technology will make collaboration a lot easier. With it, you can easily route customer calls to the right location with the right employees, no matter where they are. This will not only boost customer satisfaction, but also give you a leg up on achieving productivity gains. You can even monitor calls and take advantage of call analytics to streamline your customer service practices.
Another advantage of VoIP is centralized support. You know that the more locations you have, the more that can go wrong. You could hire an IT professional at each location just in case, but this would be an expensive proposition – and probably overkill because they wouldn’t have much to do unless things actually go wrong.
With VoIP, full support for all your locations comes from your provider, and you can administer your entire system from a single location. Need to add more seats to your Chicago office? No problem. You can set it up from your HQ in New York.
Taking things to the next level
Distance between offices can easily destroy a team’s momentum. They need seamless communication between all locations to get things done efficiently. VoIP is a fantastic start, but the Cadillac of multi-location communications is unified communications (UC). UC combines audio, text, and video communications onto a single platform to create an integrated experience. Employees can connect to the platform from any internet-connected device, which means that collaboration can happen anywhere, even from home or while on a business trip.
UC often leads to more frequent spontaneous interactions, which often become the seeds for new ideas and solutions to tough problems. It makes it a lot easier for groups who would normally work in different silos to connect and start sharing ideas. That means more work gets done, and less time is wasted ‘managing’ IT systems.
While some companies keep trying to figure out how to best use and maintain their internal networks, companies who have outsourced their IT to VoIP or UC service providers are focusing on growing their business.
They’ve eliminated the need for a large internal IT department and hired more professionals focused on improving business performance rather than managing the status quo.
They’ve also benefit from a system that grows and adapts to their changing needs. New seats or extra features can be added with a small change to their subscription. New hardware is never needed because VoIP and UC are both software-based, connected through the internet.
This flexibility also means companies that use these services are well prepared to leverage new technology that’s on the horizon today.
Want to learn more?
Let us show you how to reduce the time your employees spend managing systems, and boost the time they spend doing productive, collaborative work with team members across all your locations.
Contact BullsEye today for a free consultation.