Many organisations are taking an interesting, and potentially identity-defining step in merging their internal and external communications. As businesses continue to see the benefit of ‘humanising,’ their marketing, internal communications is now being seen as an opportunity to create increased engagement through third-party platforms.
With the advent of Slack, Hipchat and other messaging applications, creating increased interactions between internal staff members, clients and prospects has become easier and more straightforward to manage. However, many businesses are choosing not to control any form of the interaction, instead allowing team members to interact openly and honestly with whomever they choose, as ambassadors of the organisation.
This created challenges, the major one being effective training and an awareness of the company ‘voice.’ Balancing individual authenticity with ensuring it falls within organisational constructs, is a difficult challenge to manage, but the payoffs potentially far outweigh the downsides, as those external to the business can create an increased rapport, and more genuine dialogue with the organisation.
Tech businesses are seeing opportunity for prospects to interact with technical staff, rather than being restricted to account management and sales divisions. The ability to access a developer, or learn more about the company’s ethos when it comes to specific technical requirements offers a tremendous amount in terms of trust-based capital. Large businesses especially, stand to benefit from reduced barriers between technical staff, as client team members can informally engage with the organisation’s team without a middleman, such as an account manager who often inadvertently slow down processes, especially in relation to quick fixes.
Interestingly, when exploring this opportunity, most businesses choose to discuss what is and isn’t appropriate for these types of forums. In this, a new ‘bot,’ is created – the same type that replies automatically on help-desk applications. This bot however, is flesh and blood and when given enough room to breathe, can add some genuine value to an external Slack group. Businesses are learning that they can’t have it both ways – there’s no such thing as open communication, combined with strict rules for what you can and cannot say.
Sales teams, through tapping into conversations are finding hidden opportunities. Just like social listening technology has enabled marketing and sales divisions to become aware of specific opportunities, these types of open communication hubs enable salespeople to gain inside knowledge as to the requirements or issues a specific company may be having. Using this information to gain leverage, and approach a potential client with a solution to a problem that they may not even be aware of at a high level, is a powerful position to be in.
With the technology already in place, advanced external communications, combined with powerful internal communications means that businesses have the ability to leverage both sides of the conversation and build unbreakable relationships – both with their employees and clients.