The 10 best business chats for a connected workplace

Sara Ana Cemazar
September 5, 2023
·
min read

As distributed workspaces have become the norm, organizations started relying on business chats to streamline internal communication. Nowadays, chats do much more than messaging: they let you initiate 1:1 and group project discussions, create channels, share files, send reminders, access conversation history, and more.

In this blog, we have covered the 10 best business chats to help you build a closely-knit workspace. Read on to choose one that works best for you. 

What business chat apps do

Business chat apps allow stakeholders to share instant messages and seek project updates while offering advanced features suited for business communication, like video conferencing and threaded messaging. They help organizations enhance team communication effectiveness and pave the way for deeper collaboration. 

A McKinsey study shows that business chat apps help enhance teams’ productivity by 25%. Read the next section to understand the other benefits of using a work chat app to streamline business communication. 

Why do businesses need a chat app?

Communication is a crucial determinant of business success. A robust business chat app with sophisticated features helps meet the complex communication demands of the evolving workspace

We have discussed the importance of a business chat app below:

1. Chats are quicker than other channels

Remote work has evolved from being a luxurious offering to a basic necessity. With remote and distributed teams, staying connected to the team requires strategy, tools, and channels beyond the traditional email. 

The expected response time for an email is usually 4-24 hours and sometimes beyond, while that of a chat is 6-15 seconds. With business chat apps, there are chances that your teammates will reply immediately, and there is a faster turnaround. Some apps provide advanced features called read status, where you can understand if your message is read. 

The expected response time for an email is usually 4-24 hours, while that of a chat is 6-15 seconds.

Also, with most chat apps, you can initiate a video or voice call in a few clicks. You can initiate project-based discussions and move between different threads and contexts seamlessly. Doing so across an email can be chaotic. So, compared to traditional channels like email, businesses prefer team chat apps. 

2. Streamline internal communication

A study by JobsInME shows that 85% of employees feel motivated when they receive regular business updates from their leaders and management. With threads and contextual conversations, it's easier to disperse the right internal communication to the right people and avoid missing out on important information due to overcrowded inboxes.

Also, through business chat apps, team members can converse, share pictures, send files, and more, via a secure communication channel. That way, they bridge the physical gap between team members as it helps employees engage in private chat, group chat, or team conversation on the go.

3. Organize customer communication

Businesses must deliver product information and support through customers' preferred channels. Chat is becoming a preferred way of customer communication as it often helps deliver omnichannel support. Agents can access customer information and chat history on multiple channels within a single chat interface.

Studies show that 70% of customers choose the “Message Us” button over the “Call Us” button. Having a personalized chat app helps enhance the customer experience. Several team chat apps offer customization to offer a personalized experience that reflects your core product offering.  

What are the best business chats in the market?

There are several team chat application providers in the market. So, you must review its key features, pros, and cons and pick the one that aligns with your business needs. 

Here, we have reviewed the top 10 business chats for your reference:

1. Best business chat for secure communication between employees, partners, and customers: Rocket.Chat

business chat

Deemed one of the most secure chat apps on the market, Rocket.Chat is a versatile encrypted messaging app that lets you communicate with colleagues, external partners, and customers via single platform.

Rocket.Chat was first created as an open source alternative to Slack, but it grew into much more. Businesses in highly-regulated industries like Healthcare, Government, and Financial Services use it to enable compliant, secure communication between their teams.

Also, organizations use Rocket.Chat's robust Chat Engine capabilities to build secure chat experiences embedded in their apps or websites.

Rocket.Chat's functionalities span from various formats of conversations to audio messages and video conferencing. With more than 150 apps in its marketplace, you can add your favorite apps to a streamlined workflow that lets you always stay in touch with team members.

Key Features

  • 1-on-1, group, thread, and channel messaging
  • Presence indicators and read receipts
  • Secure push notifications
  • Easy file sharing
  • Cloud or on-premise deployment
  • HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA compliance
  • 150+ apps in the marketplace
  • 180+ custom user roles

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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2. Best business chat for large enterprises: MS Teams

MS Teams is an organization-centric business chat app where your account is associated with the company. You can invite employees to join your team, lead discussions across channels, schedule meetings, streamline calendar appointments, and more. 

Employees can create private or public channels, and through the channels, they can organize meetings and share files. The best thing about MS Teams is that it goes well with the suite of tools in Microsoft Office. 

Also, you can use emojis and GIFs to communicate emotions. With MS Teams, you can generate a live transcription of the meetings. It provides a dedicated whiteboard for each meeting. The transcription and whiteboard are saved as a file on OneDrive. Employees can share files, store them, and edit them on MS Teams, making it appropriate for promoting collaboration between remote teams

Key Features

  • Context-specific threads
  • Video meetings
  • Calendar appointments
  • Converse through public and private channels
  • MS Office integration
  • Contact/ conversation search
  • Access controls
  • @Mentions

3. Best business chat for lean organizations: Slack

business chat

Slack is a robust team chat app for formal and casual team conversations. Using this platform, team members can engage in 1:1 conversations, group chats, or threaded messages. It has instant messaging abilities and advanced functionalities like file sharing, reminder setting, DND scheduling, advanced search filtering, and more. 

Usually, business teams have a general Slack channel to facilitate team conversation and specific channels dedicated to a project/ team. Employees can be part of the relevant channels and mute others to weed out distractions. They can also tag and mention other members to ensure they see the message.  

Key Features

  • Project channels
  • File and media sharing
  • Reminders and notifications
  • Mobile and desktop app
  • Advanced search filters
  • Custom DND schedules
  • Unfollow message threads
  • Tags and mentions
  • Highlight keywords

4. Best business chat for an efficient workplace: Flock

Flock is a robust, cloud-based team chat with holistic features that help businesses streamline instant team messaging and project management. Employees can create and communicate via private and public channels. Users can switch between different channels and teams they are part of. 

With Flock, you can add unlimited members to a team group and 20 users through video calls. It has integrated search abilities that let users filter messages by contacts, conversations, and dates.  Moreover, you can share files using a simple drag-and-drop functionality and set user controls. 

Key Features

  • Create multiple teams
  • Initiate channel-based conversation
  • One-on-one & group chats
  • Native audio and video calling
  • File sharing
  • Access to company directory
  • Mobile and web app

5. Best business chat for customer-oriented teams: RingCentral

business chat

RingCentral is a unified communications platform that lets business teams communicate through phone calls, text messages, and video conferencing. Teams can engage in one-on-one as well as group conversations. While it supports file sharing like other chat platforms, the fact that you can pin key attachments to the app for easy access is a notable feature of RingCentral. 

Overall, it is a simple, easy-to-use team chat app with a minimalistic interface. Beyond internal collaboration, RingCentral is also appropriate to handle customer support and interactions. It supports omnichannel integration, where you can manage interactions across your social media channels.

Its comprehensive suite of chat abilities makes RingCentral appropriate for call centers and businesses with customer-oriented teams. 

Key Features

  • Video, voice, and text support.
  • Canned responses
  • Visitor tracking
  • Chat rating
  • Chat routing
  • Chat monitoring
  • File sharing
  • Extensive reporting

6. Best business chat for project management: ProofHub

ProofHub is a team collaboration app with extensive project management abilities that let you streamline business conversations in one go. You can communicate with your internal team, customers, and clients. Its group text feature is a good alternative to long meetings that drain the teams. 

With ProofHub, you can share files in any size and format, including PDF, DOC, PNG, Excel Spreadsheets, and more. It also lets you send multiple attachments at a time. You can share creatives and documents and seek feedback, comments, and approvals. It has ProofHub Announcements, a separate channel dedicated to celebrating employee efforts. You can create events and milestones, so your team knows important dates. 

Key Features

  • Business instant messaging
  • Smart task management
  • Proofing and review
  • Announcement channel
  • Create events
  • API access
  • Mobile and web apps
  • Quick status updates

7. Best business chat for Google lovers: Google Chat

business chat

Also called Google Hangouts Chat, Google Chat offers one-on-one and group chat abilities. It goes well with Google products, so this work chat app works best if your organization uses Google Workspace. You can create unlimited threads and rooms and leave them whenever you want. As obvious as it may seem, searching on Google Chat is easy, offering advanced filtering options. 

Inside the rooms, you can create task lists, which automatically get added to Google Tasks. You can share Google Docs by merely pasting a link. When you do so, the permissions get updated automatically, and the entire team can access the docs. Google Chat lets you organize and pull your team members for a meeting. All you need to do is to mention the employee and tag the Google Meet. 

Key Features

  • Topic-based discussion
  • Video and audio meetings
  • Powerful search and filtering
  • Easy file sharing
  • Read receipts
  • Google Workspace integration

8. Best app for online communities: Discord

Initially developed for gamers, Discord has evolved to be a business chat app for online communities. You can create private communication servers, invite people, and start conversing with them. You can create groups and channels by a team, topic, or specific task.

A unique feature of Discord is its voice channels, where you can converse with anyone on the team at any time. You can keep your mic off all the while, and then when you wish to talk with your team members, you can turn it on using a pre-configured key. 

You can talk to your team members as you work on a document or build a creative through shared channels like Google Docs. Beyond voice, you can also initiate video calls and conferences. 

Key Features

  • Text, voice, and video channels
  • Always on-voice channel
  • Free subscription
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Easy installation and configuration. 

9. Best app for remote teams: Connecteam

business chat

Connecteam is a business chat app preferred for communication between remote, deskless teams. You can add team members, manage permissions, and centralize all the communications between your team members. Connecteam lets you create channels based on location, job titles, tasks, and announcements.

Businesses can share files, images, text, and videos using Connecteam. If your business has a significant remote workforce, it is an appropriate app, as it helps employees separate professional and personal activities. The uniqueness of this tool is that it lets you segment and streamline business conversations on the one hand and centralize them on the other. 

Key Features 

  • Chat by location, team, task, etc.
  • Group and private conversations
  • Read status
  • Employee directories
  • Surveys and feedback forms
  • HR suggestion box

10. Best business chat app for developers: Mattermost

Mattermost is a popular open-source communication software appropriate for firms looking for self-hosted applications. Popular among software development teams, this chat lets teams engage in contextual conversations as they deliver highly technical projects.

Also, Mattermost offers more flexibility and customizability as it is an open-source team chat app. You can scale the features of the app as per your business requirements. It has advanced search functionality to filter data by date, channel, user name, etc. It has customizable dashboards that offer status updates to help employees identify repetitive tasks. 

Key Features

  • Advanced search functionality
  • Self-hosted as well as cloud deployment options
  • Compliant with HIPAA, FINRA
  • Custom access controls

The ultimate chat for business? The one that works for you

In this text, we've represented the most popular chat solutions that businesses in different industries and of different sizes use. You can assess them according to your needs and priorities, but don't forget to test on a small group of users inside your company.

This will give you an insight into how the app will be adopted and used. To unlock the many benefits of a chat solution for your business - like streamlined communication and increased productivity - you need your employees, i.e. users, to love the app and find it useful to what they're trying to achieve.

At the same time, you need to take care of the business side of things and make sure the chat app is up to industry standards and matches your security criteria, which requires alignment with your technical and legal teams.

If you work in a highly regulated industry such as Government, Defense, or Healthcare, make sure to consider Rocket.Chat as one of the potential business chat solutions. Reach out to our team for more information.

Frequently asked questions about <anything>

business chat apps

Why businesses use chat apps?

Is chat better for business than email?

What are the best chat apps for businesses?

Can every business use a chat app?

Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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