Business Chat Apps: Why You Shouldn't Mix Them with Personal

Business Chat Apps: Why You Shouldn't Mix Them with Personal

Portrait of Jessica Lark's Author
Portrait of Jessica Lark's Author

Jessica O

December 28, 2023

12/28/23

Dec 28, 2023

12/28/23

5 min read

A scene of diverse employees in a modern office setting. They are using various messaging apps on their computers and smartphones, highlighting busy and efficient communication in a corporate atmosphere
A scene of diverse employees in a modern office setting. They are using various messaging apps on their computers and smartphones, highlighting busy and efficient communication in a corporate atmosphere
A scene of diverse employees in a modern office setting. They are using various messaging apps on their computers and smartphones, highlighting busy and efficient communication in a corporate atmosphere
A scene of diverse employees in a modern office setting. They are using various messaging apps on their computers and smartphones, highlighting busy and efficient communication in a corporate atmosphere

Instant messaging (IM) has revolutionized our communication landscape, making the days of waiting for snail mail or sifting through email inboxes seem archaic. Imagine over 41 million messages buzzing across the globe every minute through various messaging apps. These apps, a common sight on smartphones, have become a crucial part of our everyday digital toolkit. By 2025, we're looking at a staggering 9.5 billion IM accounts worldwide, a testament to our reliance on these swift, user-friendly communication channels.

Exploring popular messaging apps: A dive into common chat apps on the market

A collection of icons from various messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, Line, Viber, WeChat, and more

Messaging apps are more than just tools for personal chats; they play a crucial role in professional settings as well, each with its unique features:

  1. WhatsApp: A titan in instant messaging, WhatsApp is used by 2 billion people monthly. It offers a comprehensive suite of features including text messaging, group chats, file sharing, and voice and video calls, making it a versatile option for both personal and business communication.

  2. Telegram: Known for its superior privacy features, Telegram is preferred for its bots, secret chats, and the ability to send large files up to 1.5 GB, making it attractive for businesses in regions with stringent messaging regulations.

  3. Line: Originating from Japan during the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Line has grown into a multifunctional social media and messaging platform, famed for its reliability and variety of features.

  4. Viber: Catering to a global audience with support for 41 languages, Viber combines traditional messaging elements like group chats and voice calls with modern features such as self-destructing secret chats.

  5. Messenger: As a part of Meta's ecosystem, Messenger leverages a vast user base, ideal for connecting with friends within the network, though it has limitations for communication outside of this circle.

The advantages of chat apps in business: Enhancing workplace communication

Instant messaging in business contexts offers significant benefits:

  1. Promptness over emails: IM offers an instantaneous, less formal mode of communication compared to emails, perfect for quick decisions like changing a restaurant menu based on inventory or coordinating last-minute staff changes in a retail store.

  2. Real-time interaction: Instant dialogue is invaluable in dynamic settings, aiding in swift problem-solving, like quickly addressing customer queries in a retail setup or resolving kitchen mishaps in a restaurant.

  3. Ease of adoption: Employees, already familiar with these apps, find it easy to integrate them into their work, reducing training costs and time, especially useful in high-turnover industries with frequent staff changes.

  4. Cost-effectiveness: Most instant messaging apps are free or low-cost, making them a practical choice for small businesses and startups operating on tight budgets.

  5. Support for remote work: Essential for maintaining team communication, IM apps help manage remote teams or coordinate with suppliers and vendors, crucial for various business operations.

How companies use instant messaging apps in their business internally

A retail store assistant using a smartphone to communicate with the back office. The assistant is depicted in a retail store setting, holding a phone with a visible chat interface

Many companies, before shifting to more specialized solutions, have effectively used personal chat apps for internal business communication. While initially convenient, these methods have proven to be quite versatile in a variety of business settings:

  1. Frontline employee communication: Retail chains often use chat apps like WhatsApp for quick communication among staff. This method ensures real-time updates and easy coordination, bridging the gap between different levels of staff efficiently.

  2. Sales and defects reporting: Instant messaging apps are commonly used by frontline teams to report sales and product defects swiftly. For instance, a store manager can send daily sales reports in a group chat for immediate information sharing.

  3. Quick updates and announcements: These apps are essential for fast dissemination of information within a company, ideal for urgent updates, company-wide announcements, or changes in plans.

  4. HR & employee engagement: HR departments utilize chat apps for internal communication and engagement activities, offering an informal platform to connect with employees, share updates, and organize team-building exercises.

  5. Shift scheduling: In retail and F&B sectors, chat apps are frequently used for managing staff schedules, providing a straightforward way for managers to communicate shift changes and ensure timely staff notifications.

In each of these uses, instant messaging apps become an accessible and immediate way to maintain internal communication.

Why is it a problem?

A café manager at the counter, visibly stressed while managing a group chat on a smartphone. The phone screen shows a disorganized group chat filled with many unknown contacts, representing the challenges of employee communication in a rapidly expanding business.

The reliance on common chat apps for business communication is widely acknowledged as less secure than enterprise solutions. However, many companies stick with them for their convenience. The real issues often stay hidden until they are explicitly pointed out. Here are some key problems:

  1. Onboarding and offboarding: Picture this: a café chain rapidly hiring. For every new barista, someone has to manually add their phone number to the group chat. Miss someone out, and soon, you've got a bunch of unknown numbers in your chat. And when people leave, making sure they're not hanging around in the chat with access to sensitive info isn't always straightforward.

  2. Limited administrative control: Say you need to make a big company announcement. In regular chat apps, there's no surefire way to know if everyone's seen it. These apps often lack the tools to pin important messages or check if everyone's caught up. This can lead to missed information and confusion, a real hassle, especially in larger organizations.

  3. Data management and archiving: Keeping track of important messages and documents can be like finding a needle in a haystack. You might spend hours scrolling back through chats to find that one crucial file.

  4. Mixing work and personal life: It's easy to blur the lines between your personal and work chats, leading to awkward mix-ups or privacy slips.

  5. Tracking and auditing issues: Without the right tools, keeping tabs on who said what and when, or digging up info for audits, can be a real headache.

When these issues accumulate, they create significant inefficiencies, affecting the overall productivity and effectiveness of internal communication within the company. Highlighting these everyday challenges is crucial in realizing the need for a more specialized and secure communication platform like Lark.

Why Lark is a superior choice for business communication

In the world of business communication, finding the right tools can make all the difference. Lark has emerged as a practical solution, catering to the unique needs of organizations of all sizes. Here's a breakdown of why Lark could be a better fit for your business:

  1. Focus on security: In any business, keeping information safe is crucial. Lark steps up with strong security measures that protect your company's data. This means you can chat, share files, and collaborate with peace of mind, knowing that sensitive information is safeguarded.

  2. Simplified information handling: Ever spent ages searching for an old message or document? Lark makes this hassle a thing of the past. It organizes conversations and files in a way that makes them easy to find, saving time and reducing frustration.

  3. More than just chat: Lark isn't just for messaging. It includes handy features like converting voice memos to text and translating messages, which can be a big help in a diverse workplace. These tools make communication smoother and more inclusive.

  4. Grows with your business: Whether you're just starting out or running a large enterprise, Lark adapts to your business's size and needs. It's flexible, so as your business evolves, your communication tools can evolve with you.

  5. Boosts productivity: Lark comes with tools that are all about making work easier. From getting approvals to creating reports, its built-in features are designed to streamline various tasks, helping teams work more efficiently.

  6. Works well with others: Most businesses use a variety of software tools. Lark integrates with popular CRM and ERP systems, which means it can seamlessly slot into your existing setup, helping unify different aspects of your business operations.

Conclusion: Making the shift to Lark for enhanced business communication

A close-up of a professional's hands typing on a smartphone, with the screen displaying a sophisticated business messaging app interface.

Wrapping it up, while instant messaging apps have taken our personal chats by storm, the world of business communication needs something a bit more tailored. That's where Lark comes in. It's a perfect mix of security, user-friendliness, and flexibility, designed to meet the varied needs of today's businesses. Switching to a dedicated enterprise chat app like Lark could be just the ticket for a more streamlined, secure, and integrated way of keeping your business communications on point.

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