There are few more important variables for long-term success than your ability to communicate efficiently with your clients. Good client communication helps you maintain strong personal relationships with your best clients, minimizes the risk of miscommunications and errors, and even cuts the amount of time you need to spend on communication.

While you can work on becoming a better communicator in your own right, fortunately, there are plenty of high-tech apps that complement your efforts and improve your effectiveness on their own. Let’s take a look at some of the best apps to use in 2018.

Chat Apps

If you plan to speak with your clients regularly, you should have a chat platform that both of you can use to communicate comfortably. If you’re already using an internal chat platform, you may be able to create a client account; otherwise, if you’re both using the same platform already, you can swap usernames and start a conversation.

These apps need to connect quickly and reliably, so there aren’t any delays in your messages, but also need to offer some privacy. Some may even be able to save you time, or offer a chat option that doesn’t require a human operator whatsoever.

These are some of our top picks:

  • Slack is one of the top names in the industry for a reason. Running about $8 per person per month, Slack integrates with almost any app you can think of, and offers audio calls, video calls, and screen sharing in addition to its basic text messaging function.
  • Ryver attempts to blend team chatting with task and project management. The big sell here is that Ryver’s basic package is completely free, so if you’re running a small business or startup and want to shave costs, it’s a good alternative. You can also pay to upgrade your account and unlock additional features, such as more “task users” and unlimited tasks.
  • Skype has been the go-to for video chat and distant audio calls for years, and it remains a solid product for businesses. You’ll be able to do most basic functions for free, and the extras won’t cost you much, either. The best advantage here is that practically everyone has a Skype account already, so you shouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of new account creation every time you want to invite someone new to your platform.
  • If you don’t mind sacrificing the personal appeal, or if you have a large customer base that has high chat demands, consider picking up an app that offers automated “chatbot” services like BotXO. You can use BotOX’s foundational programming to build your own custom chatbots, and guide your customers through interactions, troubleshooting, and other events or issues.

Data Analytics and Productivity Apps

There are also apps that help you improve your communication with clients in other ways, such as improving the conditions for communication, training your staff members, or better organizing client data.

These are some of our favorites for 2018:

  • Mention is an app that helps you monitor mentions of your brand or company name online. Through it, you can figure out how your clients and customers are talking about you outside of the traditional business experience, and use that feedback to improve your approach to customer management.
  • It’s hard to manage appointments, meetings, demos, and other important opportunities for client communication. That’s why Bookafy exists; its interface allows clients to see your schedule, book their own appointments, and reschedule if something goes wrong. It’s a hassle-free interface designed to minimize back-and-forth time.
  • EmailAnalytics. How effectively are your employees communicating? EmailAnalytics is an analytics app that helps you see the answer. Through it, you’ll be able to see exactly how many emails your employees are sending and receiving, their top senders and recipients, and how they organize their conversations—so you can take action if you notice a productivity problem.
  • SalesForce has been the top name in CRM platforms for years, but there are new competitors to threaten its reign. Take Zoho for example; it offers many of the same features and an intuitive interface, but the kicker is that it’s free for up to 10 users.

How many of these apps are you currently using? Are you ready to upgrade your systems? If even one of these apps is able to save you time, improve your relationships, and help you get projects done faster, it will be well worth the investment.

Anurag Choudhari is the co-founder of Geekenized Technologies LLP, a web development & digital marketing agency that helps various SMBs & SMEs in developing & maintaining their online presence.

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