Chatter has taken a giant step forward in the online chat software market for customer relationship management programs.
Since I covered the basics of Chatter in a previous post, I would like to cover some of the questions asked about Chatter and offer some best practices.
Before we get started remember that a Chatter license is included with your Salesforce license, regardless of the edition of Salesforce that you are using.
People in your company who are not already using Salesforce can now get a Chatter only license for free.
First, we will start off with some common questions:
Is Chatter like other IM programs where anyone can join or is it only for my company?
Since Chatter is based in Salesforce, it is completely private and secure for your company. Chatter is just for users of your Salesforce to see and collaborate on.
What are some of the ways that businesses and people are using Chatter?
Generally, people use Chatter to:
- Share files
- Work more closely with each other
- Stay on top of what is happening at the office
- Find internal experts to get help
- Have their questions answered
- Cut down on email traffic.
This is a basic form of Salesforce automation since Chatter feeds happen in real time.
Who can see what I post?
Since you can post updates in many different places with your Chatter license, it is important to understand who within your organization will see what you post.
Posts entered in the status field on your profile or home page are visible to anyone as well as posts entered on a co-worker’s profile page.
Posts on a record (account, contact, opportunity) or group are only visible to people with access to that group or record.
If you post to a public group about someone that is not a member, and they later join the group, they will be able to see your post…so keep it nice!
What should I post on Chatter?
Since Chatter was designed as a business communication and collaboration tool, it is intended for business related updates, not what you had for lunch or saw on TV last night. On the other hand, some companies are more fun-oriented and less strict; I have seen the president of a company post about a new restaurant down the street that he liked.
As a general rule, ask yourself if your CEO or supervisor would find your post inappropriate before hitting submit.
How long are Chatter posts stored?
Chatter posts, like any other data in the Salesforce customer database, are stored forever unless deleted by a system admin or user.
System administrators can delete any Chatter post but users can only delete their own posts.
How can I follow data in Salesforce via Chatter?
You can click the “Follow” button on any record that you have access to in the Salesforce CRM system. This means that whenever a tracked field in that record changes, you will be notified instantly. With the help of Salesforce automation, your data talks to you!
Now that we have covered the most popular questions about Salesforce Chatter, let’s look at a few tips for administrators, supervisors, and all users:
-Post weekly tips for the most common issues that they get from users to reduce their workload.
-Post information about new functionality or changes to make the transition easier for their users.
-Celebrate success by sharing great use cases, quotes, etc.
-Share FAQ or help files as needed
-Update their status frequently. If you move around a lot, update your status so your people will know where to find you if needed.
-Share useful links that you may have found that can help your team like a new time zone converter or area code look-up site.
-Solicit feedback and ideas. Post your question and let your team comment; it beats sitting in a conference room!
-Share customer stories and lessons learned. Get the word out on what works!
-Post meeting notes to keep your team informed.
All users can:
-Cut down on broadcast emails by posting to Chatter instead
-Follow key executives, your team, key records, and subject matter experts
-Post your skills and expertise on your profile so people looking for help can easily message you.
-Un-follow records that are not important to cut down on Chatter noise.
-Ask yourself if anyone else will be interested before posting
-Use email when the communication needs to be one-to-one or there is sensitive data.
-Use Chatter when you want to notify a large audience or expect a back-and-forth conversation.
With Chatter continuing to evolve in the customer relationship management market, I expect to see great things ahead. Please feel free to contact us here at StarrForce if you have Chatter or Salesforce CRM software questions.
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