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Last time I talked about how important it is to effectively communicate with your clients. Providing tips on how to establish communication methods is great, but offering HOW to put those methods into action is even better.

I have found there are certain apps and programs that allow me to meet those communication expectations easier and more effectively. Starting my business as a side gig, funds weren't easy to come by so these are FREE, at least at the lowest level, and provide great service.

Let's talk about them.

1. Slack - an app creating a shared workspace. You invite people to your team. Once they accept, you can create separate channels for each subject matter and start messaging. Additionally, you can share files. It is easy to use with little to no learning needed.

Slack is a great way to share as your team grows and completes tasks collaboratively. Take advantage of the fact you can create separate channels for each area of your collaborative efforts. Create one for individual projects or products.

2. Mailerlite - is a FREE email service. Mailerlite provides a platform to stay in regular contact with all on your email list. It is a way to share knowledge and newsletters. You can also set an email sequence to onboard new clients or associates. Providing your new team members with vital information upfront offers you the ability to get started more efficiently.

Let your clients and associates know they partnered with an industry leader. Proactively meet their needs before it becomes necessary. Answer their questions before they ask. Be the go-to person you want and they come to expect.

3. Asana - need I say more. It is a powerhouse of an organizer. Track your projects, assign team members, and get going. Link your Trello cards to your calendar. Keep everything up-to-date and get projects completed in a timely manner.

There is a slight learning curve with this one, but once you get the hang of it you'll never go back. There are plenty of tutorials to help you get started and once you integrate Trello into your systems, you will be able to track your productivity with ease.

4. Voxer - a walkie talkie app to share with your team. Don't let it fool you. The thought of a walkie talkie sounds like taking a trip back to third grade, but it is quite the opposite. It is instant voice communication with secure, real-time communication. You can use it on your smartphone or computer. You can actually listen to the message as the person is still recording it. You can also send chat messages.

Creating a seamless method to communicate on the go is helpful as more and more members of your team become virtual. It makes communication a snap.

5. Zoom - video conferencing made easy. Zoom offers you a personal meeting code, creating your own space. Share the link and go. It is simple to use and offers the ability to share text and files in the chat option for all meeting attendees. Your meeting is even recorded so you can share it as a follow-up. This way there is no confusion on who said what or if you missed anything.

I love the fact you can record your meeting and replay it later. As a meeting host, I can easily miss a comment or forget to mark who was speaking, so being able to replay it eliminates the need for follow-up questions.

These are a few of my favorites. After failed attempts, hours of research, and trial-and-error, these are the ones I rely on within my business. Not all work in each scenario, so I plan accordingly. The success of my communication doesn't rest with the program or app itself, but how well I connect with my clients and determine what method works best.

Of course, there are clients who still rely on phone calls and in-person meetings. However, those are not always the best option. It comes down to the level of each client or associate and how they work best.

As a Virtual Assistant, I am versed in all methods as versatility is key, and providing top-notch customer service is paramount to my success. Therefore, it was worth the effort to become comfortable with different communication services so I can best serve my clients.

How do you communicate? Are you providing the best service to your clients? If not, reach out to me to get you on track.

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