Communicating well is hard enough when it involves just two people. Communicating with a lot
of different people working on a common project from various locations is a Herculean task.
Welcome to the workplace in 2018.
One way to go about interacting with your colleagues is using email, but only if you really hate
efficient correspondence. The text-only format, littered attachments, and endless “Re: Re: Re:”
threads make using email a nightmare. What’s needed instead is a tool that can handle the
enters the fray.
Chat Built for Businesses
Cliq, by Indian outfit Zoho, is a chat app that helps teams communicate quickly and effectively.
The software is available online as well as through a mobile app on both Android and iOS.
Starting off is simple; users can create one-on-one or group chats for quick discussions. Cliq lets
you throw in files in different formats and make voice or video calls, so you can turn to those
options when more in-depth discussions are required.
There’s nothing worse than being looped into threads that have nothing to do with you, so Cliq
has a feature called channels to prevent that. Administrators can give different team members
access to specific channels to ensure that discussions remain topical without bothering anyone
who doesn’t need to be. So if you’re overseeing, say, a software development team, you might
have different channels to discuss design, development, testing, deployment, and so on.
Already it’s easy to see why companies would opt for Cliq over something like email. Channels
make collaborating with distributed teams a breeze. Another leg up the tool has on snail mail is
augmented search, which lets you find your workmates not just by name, but also their email,
phone number, or extension number.
Workflow Automation and Integrations
The real power of Zoho Cliq as a communication tool for businesses reveals itself when you start
digging around the bots and extensions section. The platform has an entire marketplace of
third-party applications that you can integrate with Cliq. That means tools like DocuSign, Asana,
MailChimp can all be accessed straight from the chat application. Zoho also lets you create bots
to automate specific workflows if you’re willing to go that extra mile to make things simpler.
Using Cliq along with the rest of Zoho’s vast and ever-growing suite of apps is like gaining a
superpower. There’s a lot to choose from here. The company makes software for businesses
across sales, marketing, finance, email, and human resource functions, so the tool you need at
any time is probably in there somewhere. You can further simplify accessing all those features by
creating custom commands for each of them.
In case you need some assistance, you can tag in the artificially intelligent helpers created by
Zoho. Zia is an assistant who makes sure events run smoothly. She does things like automatically
creating group chats around events and sending notifications about rescheduled meetings. There’s
also an in-built calendar teams can access at any time so everyone is on the same page about
what’s coming up.
Video Meetings Anywhere
Zoho Cliq even covers meetings, which are generally the most time-consuming (read: annoying)
aspect of the workday. Its PrimeTime feature helps set up video meetings remotely with large
groups of people. Those organizing the meeting can easily control the discussion by permitting
team members to chime in when required. Participants can also request permission from within
the app to make their voice heard–both literally and figuratively. What’s more, all of this is
available on the free plan.
Overall, Zoho Cliq covers about every aspect of team communication that is essential to a
productive workplace. In addition to that, users can combine Cliq with the rest of the Zoho suite
to conduct all their business from a powerful centralized hub online.
The pricing tiers are pretty compelling, too. Cliq is free for an unlimited number of users with
100 GB of file storage and ten active integrations. The unlimited version starts at $3 per user per
month and gets cheaper as you add more users.