Salesforce Chatter enables employees to collaborate effectively to discuss projects or business situations (i.e. opportunities, accounts and cases). However, gaining user adoption of Chatter can be a difficult challenge. Employees tend to prefer to stick with tools they already utilize, especially since email is still be an effective way to communicate. It is crucial to understand when to use Chatter as opposed to email. I will explain the main benefits of Chatter over email by describing the superlative features of Chatter and how businesses effectively transitioned to the tool.
Chatter is an incredibly powerful tool. Chatter can empower employees by giving them a face (through their Chatter profile picture) rather than just a string of characters (an email address). There is also an ‘About Me’ section that enables users to tell their story. Through the Chatter Profile Page other Chatter users can view an individual’s Chatter influence rank within an organization by checking out the Chatter activity statistics. Individuals can also list their contact information. In addition, the Profile page displays the files owned by the individual, which groups they are a member of, who they are following, as well as their followers.
Most importantly, the real power of Chatter is the ability to collaborate around business situations. Through the Chatter Publisher, users can post files from Salesforce Content, their desktop, or other Chatter files. This means that if there is an opportunity and the client has specific requirements that a rep collected in the field using Microsoft Word or Excel, instead of burying those notes or attachments in the related list on the opportunity, that file can be attached to a Chatter feed that can be easily accessed by viewing the Chatter feed at the top of the Opportunity record. But what if the information doesn’t need to or shouldn’t be public? Chatter allows users to send private messages to other Chatter users.
In addition, Chatter can be leveraged to track and comment on cases, help you locate an expert within your organization, or enable group collaboration. On the Salesforce Home Page everyone can see what you post. The home page displays posts from everyone you’re following and comments on those posts. On your Profile Page, everyone can see what you post or what others post to you. For Record Pages, only users with record access can follow those records, view the comments, and post to the record.
Collaborating on specific projects can be easy too. Chatter allows users to create public or private groups. If the group is public anyone can join. To join a private group, users have to either request access or be invited to join the group. There are even Chatter- free licenses so people in your company without a full Salesforce license can participate in Chatter. The non-Salesforce license holder can view profiles, post on his/her feed, and join groups. However, a non-Salesforce license holder still cannot view Salesforce data or records.
Although this may seem like a lot, Chatter is very intuitive and you will most likely be shocked by how easy and fun it can be. How do you get other people on board though? In my experience, having a company policy requiring the use of Chatter is one approach. This approach needs to be coupled with training though. Take the time to train existing employees on its use or hire an outside consultant (perhaps someone from MondayCall) to perform the training. By instilling the use of Chatter with existing employees, future new hires will be more likely to use the tool right out of the gate. The time it takes to train employees on how to use Chatter will pay off in the long run. Emails that pertain to specific business situations will no longer get overlooked, time spent located files associated with projects will be eliminated and stale email distribution lists can be replaced. The cumulative effects can improve the overall culture of the business.