If you are planning to export, you will be doing a lot of communicating with people overseas. In the past, this would have required expensive phone calls, slow letters, old-fashioned telegrams, and long plane trips. Now, there are many instant online methods for communicating with overseas partners. Here are six of them.
1. Video chat and phone calls online
Video chat can be a great option when you need to communicate face-to-face without leaving your Australian office. Sometimes, a voice call won’t cut it, particularly when dealing with people of different cultures where you need to be able to pick up visual cues and body language. Video chat offers this capability, along with convenience.
You can also use the internet for cheap or free voice calls. There are a number of free options for online phone calls, including Google Voice and WhatsApp.
2. Instant messaging
Instant messaging is a very fast and efficient way of communicating with people in any part of the globe. It can be great for instantly talking to your staff overseas, however, with many platforms such as Facebook being designed for social chatting, it may not always be the best method for professional communications with partners for example.
3. Online virtual meetings / web conferencing
You no longer need to travel overseas in order to attend important meetings in person. Programs such as Infinite Conferencing, GoToWebinar, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, and Zoho Meeting allow for online real-time meetings and presentations involving people based anywhere in the world.
4. Virtual fax
Some potential partners or representatives overseas may still have a fax machine and want to receive documents that way, while you no longer use one in your business. With a service such as mBox, you don’t need a fax machine to send a fax, and the recipient still receives a proper paper fax at their end. Virtual fax makes it easy and instant to send and receive a fax through email. You can send and receive faxes with mBox using your laptop or mobile device.
If you talk to some younger people today they will likely inform you that email is just so last decade and there are much better ways to communicate. Despite this, email is still an easy way to efficiently communicate online, to anywhere in the world. Email can be particularly good for secure one-to-one communication, and of course you can attach files and documents.
6. Use the cloud
While email has a place, if you need to send a lot of documentation that could just choke your server, the cloud is a better option. It is more efficient for large file sharing, and data encryption ensures the documents are secure.
Examples of online programs that synch files to keep them up to date and allow you to share and collaborate on documents include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Evernote, and mBox.
With so much choice in communication methods at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to communicate overseas. You will likely even be able to save considerably on costs, especially when it comes to air fares! Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn