Okay, so maybe I’m alone in how I feel about this, but I just hate it when I have to miss a team meeting, don’t you? Well, if you are like me and don’t want to miss out, you are in luck, collaboration can help!
Last week, I was on vacation having a great time in Phoenix with my college besties and thought I would have to miss my weekly team meeting. However, with the ability to utilize collaboration tools, I was able to be a part of my team meeting remotely. Since I am an early riser and Phoenix is two hours behind, my besties didn’t even know that I was working while on our girl’s weekend?
Collaboration: The dictionary defines it as “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” I like to define it as the ability for all my communication tools to work together to provide me with quick and easy access to the information I need from anywhere, at any time, from any device.
Let me give you some examples of how collaboration tools assisted me last Monday:
- Conferencing services – I was able to call into our team meeting and catch up with the group. Although I could have enhanced it with video, I didn’t really want the team to see me in my pj’s.
- Document Sharing – Our meeting agenda was pulled into an online room (similar to go to meeting or webx). From there, I was able to screen share and I could make updates real time while we were all on the phone together.
- CRM Services – We utilize Salesforce as our CRM at InteleCONNECT to keep our customer and vendor database organized and available for all to view. We were able to look at our projections for month end based on what was in our funnel reports on Salesforce. We were able to assign tasks and completion dates to individuals on items that needed to be done. We were able to review our case history on trouble tickets that were still opened. Once everyone works on their tasks, they can log all phone calls and all our emails in one central location with a good CRM, like Salesforce.
- Voicemail to email is a wonderful tool. This tool now has the enhancement of voicemail to text translation, so I can read the voicemail and send the urgent messages over to my staff to take care of all while I am soaking up the Arizona sun.
- Speaking of texting, wouldn’t it be nice to send a quick text to your clients that appears from your main office number instead of using an SMS Short Code? Well, now most telecom providers offer this option.
- Online presence tools – I was able to see who from my team was available to take my call and who was on a call or in a meeting.
- Outbound Caller ID – Now I am able to make a phone call through my app on either my cell phone, laptop or tablet and my caller ID will show the main office number and not my cell phone. This is huge while I’m on vacation, because if a client or vendor partner calls me back they will call my office and get one of my team who can take care of them while I’m away.
- Chat functions – To be available to answer a quick question via chat while my teammates are on the phone is priceless. It not only saves time, but enhances our customers experience with us. Think about that customer call I’ve been waiting for, and it comes while I’m already on the phone – with chat my team can send me a quick message to let me know they are on the line. I can quickly wrap up my other call OR give directions back to my team, so they can take care of the customer, so customers don’t have to wait.
Now you know how I’ve used collaboration for my business and my team, but how can it benefit you? Well here are a couple of the most obvious examples:
- Customer Service – in addition to working more quickly as a team, we are also able to work more efficiently for and with our customers. We can conference them onto a call or share documents with them and their vendors to ensure we are all on the same page for their telecom projects.
- Budget and Future Growth Friendly – Companies of all sizes can scale their services to their needs and their budgets and we can help! Your services can grow as your business does.
So, you might be thinking that perhaps we can be TOO connected? While most people can turn it off, I choose to stay connected while I am away. For me, that means I have less stress when I get back. Also, I have a fantastic team who is there to handle the day to day operations so that I can check in, but then get back to the bonding with my girlfriends and drinking those mojito’s!