If the past year taught us anything, it’s that there isn’t a single right way to communicate or interact with each other. Some people thrive on Zoom meetings since it gives them a sense of virtual face-to-face connection – and a reason to brush their hair. Some people find that direct messaging through Twitter or Facebook, or Slack gives them a sense of camaraderie that doesn’t overtake their workflow. Still, others have discovered that when managing remote teams, having a walkie-talkie is the only reliable way to have consistent and immediate communication methods…or at least that’s the goal. And it’s a trend that keeps growing.
In mid-December, MarketWatch reported that the global walkie-talkie market was expected to reach $19.7 billion by the year 2027. And previous estimates for 2020 completely changed due to the COVID-19 crisis from a previously estimated $11.5 billion to a whopping $19 billion. That’s a lot of walkie-talkie buying.
In case walkie-talkies are in your future, we compiled a list of things to look for before buying your walkie-talkies:
- Ease of use: No matter your age, learning how to use a new piece of technology can be incredibly time-consuming, not to mention annoying. Ironically, it’s the youngest among us who seem to be the most fearless about trying new things. On the opposite end of the spectrum, an article on Slate from July 2019 discussed why older adults often resist using new technology or aren’t even online. Part of the explanation included the fact that people of any age want the ease of use above all. An interesting takeaway was not that people should be trying harder to adapt, but companies should design devices and software providing value. That holds true for creating products to be used by all.
Before you buy, ask yourself: Is it easy to use for both you and your team? How long will it take for your entire team to feel comfortable using your new walkie-talkies? If you’re worried it might take too long, you’re probably choosing the wrong walkie-talkies.
- Reliability: Did you ever notice how some people buy the same car or phone brand with only the model upgraded time after time? Often it’s less about trading up and more about merely upgrading a product they already know and trust. In late December, Forbes asked 12 leaders from the Forbes Technology Council to share some of their predictions for 2021. We took note of the idea of aggressive infrastructure modernization, especially this part “to make business elastic, available, reliable, and secure—in a word, resilient.” We all want to bounce back after the past year’s uncertainty, but without a reliable communication system, too much can get lost in the process.
Before you buy, do a reliability test run: How reliable is your new walkie-talkie system? What happens when you have a distanced staff, when the weather is unpredictable or when someone is on the road? If your primary communication device is unreliable, your business and business reputation will suffer.
- Grows with you and your needs: Old-time walkie-talkies are outdated in many ways not because of their size (and they are huge!), but because of the limitations. In the early days of walkie-talkies, channels were limited, and there was no way of knowing who was listening in on your conversation. And let’s not even talk about the fact that connectivity was never a sure thing. As your company grows — and your needs change — it’s crucial to have a two-way radio system that almost effortlessly grows with you.
Before you buy, have a conversation: While it’s easy to research any company online, reviews can often be skewed based on their needs and not your own. Relay helps you to create a highly-personalized network for your staff. Contact us to find out how to set up your network or how we can help you grow your communication system along with your business.
- The trust factor: As savvy internet and technology users, we’ve all gotten pretty good at understanding scams or unsavory types. It’s a bit harder, though, to figure out when a product or system recommended by a friend or ad, isn’t quite what it seems. There’s a reason that Kelley Blue Book has become the trusted source for reviewing and researching used cars, it’s a definitive guide to shopping wisely or understanding what your vehicle is worth. If only there was a universal source to research every other product as well.
Before you buy, ask around: While it’s easy to rely on glossy advertising, when it comes to buying something like a walkie-talkie system, you’re probably better off asking your colleagues for the companies or brands they trust most. And if you’re not sure which brand is for you and your team, take a step back and pay attention to the companies or walkie-talkies people talk about most often. Sometimes word of mouth is worth the most.
- No hidden fees or contracts: Remember when buying a cell phone meant attaching yourself to a prohibitive contract for years? Walkie-talkies are supposed to afford you and your staff a sense of freedom while also remaining connected. Having hidden fees that keep growing, or even contracts that inhibit your company’s growth can detract from the idea of merely being able to communicate whenever necessary.
Before you buy, read the fine print: We don’t mean to brag (okay, maybe just a little), but we’re incredibly proud of the fact that not only are our products almost effortless to set up and use, we don’t hide our pricing structure or surprise users with hidden costs. We invite you to have a quick look at our pricing structure and try out our system for 30 days before deciding if we’re right for each other.