Communicating with your staff or team in real-time is a crucial component for any business.  Chat software for businesses have become very popular as they allows your team to discuss projects, collaborate and stay organized in a streamlined environment.  Whether you’re a small business with a handful of staff or a large corporation with hundreds of employees, having a platform to communicate with one another is vital.

Chat software has evolved from just a simple messaging system to a place where you can quickly and easily share files and documents, setup calendars, organize projects and so much more.  If you’re a business owner and considering implementing chat software then take a look at our Top 3 Chat Software recommendations for businesses and teams below.

1. Slack

Slack is by far the most popular chat software for teams.  As of March 2019, Slack has 10 million active users making it the most widely used chat software on the market.  From the New York Times to Starbucks and down to the corner shops and small businesses, it’s the number one choice when it comes to communication and collaboration tools.  Slack is totally free to use and you can get started within a matter of minutes.  With Slack you can direct message other members for private 1 on 1 conversations or create a channel and invite users to have a group discussion.  You can make the channel public so any team member can join or make the channel private and invite specific members.  You can share files, links, videos or images with ease and with the integration apps you can truly customize Slack for your business needs.

Why Choose Slack?

  • Slack is FREE!  (paid plans are available but for most small businesses the free plan is perfect)
  • Start voice or video calls directly in Slack
  • Integration for hundreds of applications like Google Drive, DropBox, Calendars and even Twitter.
  • Web-based interface plus a Windows and Mac desktop application
  • Exceed industry standards when it comes to the Security of your data
  • Create groups, channels and invite users with a few clicks
  • Clean interface and easy to use
  • Free mobile app for iOS and Android

Slack

 

2. RocketChat

RocketChat is a self-hosted chat software.  This means you need your own server to run RocketChat and it would be privately hosted.  RocketChat is a great alternative for companies who want the added security of knowing their chat conversations are not stored in the cloud with a third-party.  RocketChat is free and open-source so you can really customize it to fit your business communication needs.  With RocketChat you can communicate with your team, share files, chat in real-time or use the built-in audio and video conferencing.  RocketChat can also be translated in over 50 languages which is more than any chat software available.

Why Choose RocketChat?

  • Self-hosted versus cloud for full control and added security
  • Free and open-source so you can add functionality and customize your chat
  • Real-time chat translations so you can communicate in any language
  • Desktop and mobile applications available for download
  • Marketplace to add and install apps to extend the chat software
  • Read receipts so you can see when someone in the group has actually read your message

RocketChat

 

3.  Yammer

Yammer is a chat software for teams designed by Microsoft and is part of Office 365.  The interface is clean and simple with limited use of color and less distractions.  If you’re using Office 365 for email then Yammer will integrate perfectly and is your best option for chat software.  Not only can you chat with your team but you can also setup polls, make announcements and share documents using Microsoft OneDrive.  For businesses in the Office 365 ecosystem it’s the best option for a seamless integration.  You can also invite other businesses such as contractors or designers to collaborate with your team without sacrificing security.

Why Choose Yammer?

  • Direct Office 365 integration
  • Start private chats or join a group chat with your team
  • Invite non-employees to join the conversation and collaborate
  • iOs and Android apps available
  • Included with Office 365 subscription
  • Facebook Style communication with ability to communicate with your team or outside contractors

Yammer

Which Chat Software should you choose for your business?

Chat software should be a tool for every business that has a team that needs to communicate in real-time.  It gives you the opportunity to share ideas and collaborate with ease.  Choosing the best chat software for your business really comes down to personal preference and functionality.

If you just need a platform to communicate with your team then Slack is a great option.  You can create a free account with Slack in a matter of minutes and start inviting your team.  It has all of the basic features of a chat software with the ability to integrate third-party apps as well.

If you’re looking for more control over your chat software then RockChat is the perfect self-hosted option.  You can customize it and add functions to expand the software since it’s open-source.  RocketChat does require you to have a server to install it however it does have Docker container support with instructions on the ideal setup.

Yammer is your best option if you’re already using Microsoft Office 365.  Yammer gives you more of a social network chat experience with a clean look.  You can invite contractors to join your chats which is a nice feature for business to business communication.

If you choose any of the above chat software for your business we would love to hear your thoughts!  Leave a comment and let us know which chat platform you chose for your business and your experience with it.