Whether you started out with walkie-talkies decades ago or have recently integrated them into business operations, you likely have multiple complaints about the one-function devices. You already know mobile communication is essential for frontline employees’ daily activities, but do walkie-talkies really count as a mobile solution?
Technology today has so much more to offer than a bulky, single-function device. Here are 7 reasons to replace walkie-talkies with a team communication app.
For only offering a single mode of communication, walkie-talkies are expensive. A whole-site system can run expenses well into thousands of dollars, and maintenance costs are not cheap, either. Because of the heft of these devices, they often take on a lot of damage, particularly when it comes to models with replaceable batteries.
Team communication apps may present a more significant up-front investment, but their ROI is much higher. As updates emerge and tools expand, teams can continue to use applications in day-to-day functions. There’s no risk of the technology becoming obsolete because the nature of software is continuous evolution.
Further, team communication apps are particularly cost-effective if you allow employees to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) because it eliminates purchasing costs of smart devices for all departments. Even considering the cost of purchasing and maintaining smart devices for an entire company, the difference in initial investment in phones vs. walkie-talkies is significant.
The back-and-forth of walkie-talkie communication can drag on, particularly with out-of-range static, interruptions from other users, and the inability to hear clearly in noisy areas. While these devices have their applications in specific emergency situations, or in cases of internet outages, they are not the most efficient choice for routine communication.
Team communication apps optimized for mobile let users collaborate remotely via peer-to-peer messaging or communication streams, conveying ideas in seconds. The confidentiality of private platform messages far outranks the tell-all mode of walkie-talkies, while allowing for the elaboration of ideas without long-winded transmissions.
3. Technological Advances
Despite the fact that current technology makes touchscreens and voice response functions common offerings, walkie-talkies rely on archaic technology that hasn’t changed much over the past few decades. For modern corporations, the branding messages and customer-facing approach of the company shouldn’t have such a stark contrast from its technology.
The alternative to continuing to use outdated technology for communication is to adapt to smart device use across all business functions. From hospitality and retail to IT and telecommunications, taking steps to incorporate modern technology not only promotes productivity, but enhances corporate image.
4. Form and Function
The physical range is not the only limitation of walkie-talkies, as their single-function approach severely limits a user’s ability to communicate. Without the means to deliver pictures, videos, or subtle messages, teams must rely on alternative methods of internal communication to convey a point.
On the other hand, team communication apps allow for direct peer-to-peer messaging, group messaging, image and other file transfers, and inline translation for diverse groups. These features move beyond even standard cell phone functions, all in a private corporate communication platform.
5. Crisis Communication
In times of corporate crisis, a walkie-talkie presents only the most rudimentary form of communication and not a clear one at that. If a company experiences a local natural disaster, has a PR crisis, or suspects that competition is about to launch a negative narrative, advanced communication methods are a necessity.
In critical situations, mobile communication can prevent a major crisis. Mobile communication via team communication apps streamlines the process of disseminating vital information quickly, whether your crisis is of the natural or PR variety. Group messaging lists, network connections, and even media alerts keep you and your team informed and connected.
See how 1 Hotels used Beekeeper’s team communication app for crisis communications during Hurricane Irma in Florida last summer (starts at 1:25).
Because walkie-talkies involve voice communication only, there’s no privacy when staff members must communicate in the presence of team members or customers. At the same time, the noise coming from staff walkie-talkies can detract from a brand’s customer experience, whether the organization is a hotel, retail store, or restaurant.
Not only do team communication apps cater to multiple forms of communication like video, pictures, document, messages etc., but users can expect confidentiality in all matters. Written messages discreetly convey necessary information between team members, without alerting customers to the specifics.
7. Paper Trail
In industries that value maintenance of a paper trail that proves employee action and conflict resolution, walkie-talkies offer no means of tracking communication. This becomes a challenge when staff receive directions from team members or customers, but cannot record the information they need without scrambling for a piece of paper and a pen.
While corporations can establish confidential communication solutions within internal apps, they can also document employee activity and collaboration for posterity. For teams that work in customer service, this can prove invaluable as information is readily accessible yet discreet should employees require it.