I was going to start this blog with a few sentences joking about the shortcomings of email in corporate America. But then I decided to let Dilbert do it for me:

Avoiding Email(Image Credit)

When a single piece of technology has been the butt of as many comic strips as email has, you know it’s ballooned to the size of an unproductive behemoth in the business world. Ask any office worker how they feel about email, and the response is rarely positive. Their inboxes are massive, overflowing with messages marked “urgent.” They spend too much time writing emails, and not enough actually working. The complaints go on.

The Unproductivity of Email(Image Credit)

That’s why our company uses Salesforce Chatter as our primary internal collaboration tool. As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog, Salesforce could fall short as your exclusive communication platform: Chatter only works internally (unless you give customers access to Salesforce) and should never take the place of messaging apps like GChat or Slack, video conferencing software or a good old-fashioned in-person chat.

But if your team is drowning in their inboxes, you should think about moving more internal communication to Chatter. Here are 4 reasons why:

Salesforce Chatter lets you find messages easier.

Ever needed to track down an old email in your inbox? How long did it take you to find it among the myriad of similarly-named messages, the long “reply all” chains and the haphazard folder system you abandoned last year?

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Chatter makes it much easier to organize your communication because each Salesforce record has its own feed. So if you’re looking for a message about a particular deal or account, just go to its Salesforce record to find every related post. The days of searching your general inbox for an email are over — Chatter allows you to see each record’s information and communication history side by side.

And even for internal communication that isn’t related to a specific record, using Chatter Groups (like groups in Facebook or LinkedIn) and topics (think Twitter hashtags) lets team members easily sort and retrieve posts about noteworthy themes: company culture, industry trends, company announcements, you name it.

It allows users to customize how often they receive notification alerts.

But with any tool, once most of your coworkers are using it, it can be difficult to filter out all of the noise. You want to see the latest quarterly sales forecast as soon as it comes out, for example, but the pictures of your colleague’s Jack Russell Terrier can wait.

Good thing Chatter allows each user to fully customize their notification email alerts. That’s right, Chatter can send you emails, but only when you want. So I recommend using a filtering system: If all of your internal communication is in Chatter, make sure that Salesforce sends the most important posts to your inbox too, so you know you’ll see it. For example, you could set your notifications so that you only get emailed when a colleague messages you directly or replies to one of your posts. The Chatter group dedicated to pictures of everyone’s “Casual Friday” outfits? Have it send you a monthly email digest of its activity — any more would lead to a Hawaiian shirt overload.

Salesforce Chatter is more secure than email, externally & internally.

Back in my consulting days, Chatter’s similar appearance to Twitter or Facebook worried some of my clients. Because to them, the social-media-like functionality made them think that every post would be exposed for the world to see. Not so. With Salesforce Chatter, only coworkers who can log onto your specific Salesforce build can see messages on it. So don’t worry about people hacking your communications because these messages benefit from all the protection of standard Salesforce cloud security. No more phishing scams or spam, because only your users can access Chatter. And it helps you make sure that all internal communication stays internal. Nobody can accidentally forward an embarrassing message to Gary the stone-faced client instead of Gary in marketing.

And it gets better. Each Group’s admin can set its security however they wish, so the Group for “HR Decisions” can stay private to the HR team, for example. Similarly, any chatter post on a Salesforce record inherits that record’s visibility. If your sales team is worried about wandering eyes checking out their potential deals, they can rest assured: Anyone who can’t see their opportunities also can’t see what they’re saying about those opportunities.

Higher use of Chatter boosts overall Salesforce adoption.

This final point is more about user behavior than the technology itself. If your team struggles with Salesforce adoption, it's probably because your people view Salesforce as just another system to use. They don’t have it open unless they need to access information from it. But what if your people used Chatter like they use email? That would encourage them to open Salesforce at the beginning of the day and keep it open. They’d be in the platform more often for collaboration purposes, making Salesforce the center of their technology network instead of some dusty side-system. That’s the gold standard of adoption, and a greater emphasis on Chatter can make it happen.

Looking for more ways to boost collaboration on Salesforce? Check our on-demand webinar of coaching hacks that make the platform more employee-centric.

Tags
Strategy, Chatter

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