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  • Jan 18, 2024
  • 13 Min

2 Years Left To Adopt Async Communication: Why & How?


Learn from experts how to effectively use asynchronous communication

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Have you ever thought, “This could have been an email” after an extended team or client meeting? Do you want to avoid synchronizing schedules with international clients or facing difficulties with your current client communication strategies? It may be time to consider changes. Adapting to asynchronous communication can be a significant shift, particularly for improving client interactions.

Asynchronous communication has become irreplaceable in a world where business work hours are no longer confined to 9-to-5, and work environments span the globe. Whether you are a service business owner leading a remote team or a solopreneur working with international clients, asynchronous communication is the key to maximizing efficiency and flexibility in your operations. Learning the principles and benefits of async methods is also necessary for managers, digital professionals, and everyone working in a team.

Service businesses have a window of approximately two years to adopt asynchronous communication strategies or risk falling behind. And the sooner you do it, the better. Read further to learn how your business and clients will benefit from asynchronous communication.

In this article:

What is asynchronous communication?

Let’s start with the definition of asynchronous communication. Asynchronous communication is an exchange of information that doesn’t require immediate response. This form of communication is especially beneficial in a globalized market where clients and teams span multiple time zones, ensuring that communication doesn’t depend on everyone being available simultaneously.

Adopt asynchronous communication using client portals

Asynchronous communication doesn’t mean that parties are given the right to ignore or ghost each other. This method of communication means prioritizing matters and optimizing workflow with no harm to productivity and collaboration. Asynchronous communication can make client onboarding, sharing feedback, and other daily interactions much smoother when used effectively.

Sync vs. Async Communication

The main difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication types is the level of flexibility each provides. Synchronous communication happens in real-time, while asynchronous communication allows participants to respond at their convenience. Different communication styles can cater to a variety of situations in the workspace.

Synchronous communication examples

Common examples of synchronous communication include:

  • offline (in-person) and online meetings
  • video conferencing
  • phone calls
  • brainstorming sessions
  • performance reviews
  • daily and weekly standups and syncs
  • team building

Participants are engaged in the exchange simultaneously, as all communication happens “right here, right now“.

This type of communication is often preferred for discussing urgent matters, brainstorming sessions, or when immediate feedback is required. Synchronous communication can help when you need to solve issues quickly.

Asynchronous communication examples

On the other hand, examples of asynchronous communication include:

  • emails
  • direct and group chat messages
  • recorded video messages and annotated screenshots
  • project management tools
  • collaborative documents
  • one-directional feedback

While asynchronous communication is slower, it offers many benefits, especially for distributed teams and clients. The asynchronous method of communication is ideal for non-urgent matters, allows time for thoughtful responses during work hours, and is flexible for team members and clients across different time zones.

Both synchronous and asynchronous communication methods have their place in business and personal interactions. The key is to choose the proper method and tool based on the nature of the communication, the urgency of the response needed, and the participants’ convenience.

Now that you know the difference between synchronous and asynchronous, you might wonder which communication type is needed for your business. While the answer is both, asynchronous communication is vital for project success and client satisfaction. We recommend using synchronous communication only in particular cases when needed and prioritizing forms of asynchronous communication.

Evolution of Client Communication Preferences

Historically, client communication was synchronous, relying on real-time interactions such as phone calls or face-to-face meetings. However, the last decade has seen a gradual but decisive shift. Clients now prefer the convenience and flexibility of asynchronous communication. They appreciate engaging with service providers on their own schedule without the pressure of immediate responses.

“Asynchronous communication gives my clients an opportunity to communicate at their own pace when they have time for it. They have jobs, kids, and responsibilities that they can not neglect. It is much easier for us to collaborate in FuseBase using chats and forms on client portals”

said Valery Berezhna, a professional coach.

A study by Zendesk revealed that 70% of customers expect a company to have a self-service portal or content available to them. Knowledge bases and client portals are forms of asynchronous communication that provide self-service and drive customer satisfaction. Moreover, they are easy to set up and personalize.

We conducted a survey in which 57% of business owners and managers claimed their clients prefer the option of asynchronous communication. In the next two years, this async preference is expected to intensify. Client communication requires flexibility, personalization, and attentiveness to detail.

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Clients will increasingly favor businesses that offer asynchronous communication options, viewing them as more adaptable and client-centric.

The Urgency of Change: Why You Need to Hurry Up?

Why the urgency? Asynchronous communication offers the flexibility of interactions at different times for each participant and is rapidly becoming the norm. This shift toward asynchronous communication is fueled by technological advancements that enable more efficient, flexible, and user-friendly communication methods.

Expanding Your Reach with Asynchronous Communication

Asynchronous communication can help expand your reach beyond local time zones and geographical boundaries. It means you can effectively communicate with clients and team members across the globe without the constraints of synchronizing schedules.

Whether sending a project update via email to a client in a different continent or receiving a “task completed” notification from a remote team member, asynchronous communication ensures that your business is always on, even when you are off.

Enhancing Productivity and Work-Life Balance

Asynchronous communication empowers individuals to manage their time more effectively. It allows team members to work during their most productive hours and respond to communications at a time that suits them best. This flexibility can lead to higher-quality work, allowing individuals to think more deeply about their responses and contributions.

Moreover, it supports a healthier work-life balance, reducing the stress of needing to respond immediately and allowing for a more measured, thoughtful approach to work.

Building a More Inclusive Async Work Environment

Asynchronous communication is inclusive, offering flexibility that can benefit team members with caregiving responsibilities, those living with disabilities, or those who work better during non-traditional hours.

This inclusivity enhances employee satisfaction and broadens the talent pool businesses can draw from. Asynchronous communication in the workplace is one of the keys to productive collaboration.

Streamlining Async Workflow and Decision-Making

Implementing asynchronous communication tools in your business will streamline workflows and decision-making processes. Interactive tools like project management software provide a transparent view of progress and challenges, allowing for more strategic planning and decision-making.

Instead of waiting for the next meeting to discuss progress, remote workers can update their tasks in real-time, enabling quicker responses to challenges and opportunities. Moreover, asynchronous communication means documented communication, so none of the matters discussed get lost or forgotten.

Facilitating Continuous Learning and Improvement

Asynchronous communication also supports a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Team members can share resources, feedback, and insights at their convenience, contributing to a collective knowledge base that parties can access anytime.

This ongoing exchange of information fosters a learning environment where skills and knowledge are constantly developed and shared.

The Value of Early Adoption of Async Communication

Early adopters of asynchronous communication are already reaping benefits. These include increased efficiency, better time management, and the ability to serve a broader client base across different time zones.

5 Benefits of Async Communication

Companies integrating asynchronous communication apps and practices into their operations are now positioning themselves at the forefront of a significant shift in workplace communication and client interaction. Here are five benefits of asynchronous communication that early adopters already experience:

1) Boosted client satisfaction

Early adopters have the unique opportunity to cater to the growing preference for asynchronous communication among clients. According to a study by Forrester Consulting, 76% of respondents reported that asynchronous communication enhances overall client engagement.

Businesses can significantly enhance client satisfaction by offering flexible and convenient communication options. Clients appreciate the ability to interact on their terms and timelines, which can lead to stronger, longer-lasting business relationships.

2) Maximized operational efficiency

A Harvard Business Review shared that 65% of senior managers surveyed said meetings keep them from completing their own work, and 71% said meetings are inefficient and come at the expense of deep thinking. Asynchronous communication tools streamline many aspects of business operations. They reduce the need for lengthy meetings, minimize disruptions caused by unscheduled calls or discussions, and allow more focused and productive work periods.

This efficiency cuts operational costs and speeds up project timelines, allowing businesses to take on more work and grow faster.

3) Better chances at attracting and retaining talent

In the current job market, employees highly value flexibility and work-life balance. According to the HBR, 59% say flexibility is more important than salary or other benefits. Businesses that offer asynchronous communication options are more attractive to top talent who seek a more flexible and autonomous work environment.

4) Strengthened business model

According to Inc., between 36 and 56 million meetings are held in the US daily, and the productivity loss caused by ineffective meetings costs businesses anywhere from $70 to 283 billion yearly. Asynchronous communication fosters a resilient business model adaptable to various scenarios, such as remote work, global teams, and unexpected disruptions.

Businesses that have already integrated these practices are better equipped to handle challenges like global crises or natural disasters that can disrupt traditional work patterns.

5) Staying ahead of the curve

A study by Sony shows that 42% of employees surveyed believe asynchronous work is the future. Early adoption of asynchronous communication puts businesses ahead of the curve, not just in terms of technology but also in adopting a forward-thinking approach to work.

It demonstrates a commitment to innovation and adaptability, which are increasingly important in a rapidly changing business world. Adopt asynchronous communication to create an image of a proactive, innovative brand.

Most importantly, adopting asynchronous methods leads to more thoughtful and well-considered communication, improving the quality of interactions and overall client collaboration processes.

Using AI to Improve Async Communication

Using AI in asynchronous communication with teams and clients can greatly enhance efficiency and clarity. AI-driven language processing tools can analyze the content of messages for sentiment, urgency, and relevance, helping to prioritize communications.

For global teams, AI-powered translation services can be invaluable in breaking down language barriers, allowing for seamless communication across different languages. This ensures that all team members, regardless of their native language, can fully participate and understand the information being shared.

Furthermore, AI can facilitate the organization and archiving of communication threads, making it easier to retrieve past conversations and relevant documents. This enhances the team’s ability to track the progress of discussions, decisions made, and action items, which is particularly useful in long-term projects.

Businesses that embrace this shift early are already gaining a competitive edge, and are seen as forward-thinking and responsive to client needs. Do you want to start implementing these changes now? Let’s find out how to make asynchronous communication work.

Roadmap for Implementing Async Communication

Asynchronous communication isn’t a modern convenience; it’s a pivotal adaptation, and implementing asynchronous communication strategies requires a thoughtful approach. Here is an essential roadmap you can follow to adopt asynchronous communication into your workflow:

Step 1: Assess current communication methods

Evaluate how your team communicates internally and with clients and which tools the team uses. Identify which interactions are synchronous and which could be moved to asynchronous. Pick a communication channel for each type of matter.

Step 2: Select the right tools

Explore various asynchronous communication apps available in the market. Consider factors like user interface, security, compatibility with existing systems, and scalability. The list could include email platforms (GMail), messaging apps (Slack channel), project management tools, and collaborative platforms (FuseBase).

Step 3: Teach your team and clients

Ensure your team and clients are comfortable with the new tools and understand the importance of asynchronous communication to work better. Develop guides, FAQs, and video tutorials to help team members learn independently and improve client onboarding.

Step 4: Set clear guidelines

Asynchronous communication requires everyone to follow the rules to ensure everyone’s comfort. Establish guidelines for response times, communication etiquette, and managing client expectations in an asynchronous environment.

Create protocols for different types of communication and think of strategies for dealing with time zone differences, such as setting overlapping hours for real-time communication or using time zone scheduling tools.

Step 5: Ask for feedback, review, adapt

Use surveys or feedback forms (async methods) to collect detailed insights on user experience and satisfaction using the new communication methods. Continuously review the effectiveness of your asynchronous communication methods and be willing to adapt as necessary.

Follow this roadmap to implement asynchronous communication strategies in your organization effectively. If you want a more detailed guide, read our e-book.

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Best Asynchronous Communication Tools

Optimized team communication and well-thought-out client interactions are keys to a project’s success, and asynchronous communication tools are essential for efficient team and client collaboration. By utilizing the best asynchronous communication apps, remote teams can stay connected and productive regardless of time zones and geographical locations.

Whether email, project management platforms, or messaging apps, the best asynchronous communication apps empower teams to work smarter, not harder. These tools enable team members to communicate important updates and information at their own pace and provide a platform for sharing ideas, feedback, and insights.

  • FuseBase: an all-in-one client collaboration tool designed to streamline workflow and help you provide better customer experiences under your brand. The platform combines task tracking with asynchronous communication features: chats, embedded forms and surveys, comments, reminders, and real-time document collaboration.

It supports 2000+ integrations and comes with Nimbus Capture, a tool for capturing and sharing screenshots and screen recordings. It helps create tutorials, demonstrate flows, provide feedback, and report issues.

Revolutionize client interactions with FuseBase client portals

  • Slack: a popular messaging app known for its flexibility and asynchronous approach. It allows for creating channels for different topics, direct messaging, and file sharing. It is best for teams needing a versatile platform for quick updates and detailed discussions.
  • Google Mail: a widely used email service known for its user-friendly interface and robust features. It’s a cornerstone of written communication for many businesses worldwide.
  • Outlook: a comprehensive personal information manager that includes email, a calendar, task manager, and contact manager. It integrates with other Microsoft Office applications, and has calendar sharing, and advanced organizing features.
  • Microsoft Teams: A communication and collaboration platform that integrates chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.
  • Loom: A video messaging tool that allows users to record and share video messages, ideal for explaining concepts or providing feedback that doesn’t require real-time interaction.
  • Trello: A visual tool for organizing tasks using boards, lists, and cards. Ideal for project planning and team coordination.

By embracing these tools and adopting asynchronous communication, you can foster a more inclusive and flexible work environment where every member can contribute and stay informed. As a result, teams can achieve higher levels of productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Summing Up: Time to Go Async

In today’s digital era, asynchronous is rapidly becoming the norm. So, are you ready to streamline communication and improve client experiences? Engage in asynchronous communication for more flexible and accommodating client interactions, and respect their time and preferences while maintaining consistent and effective communication. Let’s lead the way for a more connected, efficient, and productive future!

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