Workplace by Facebook: The Business Impact
How a corporate social network can impact performance, retention and revenue.
November 27th, 2017
Welcome to the second blog post in our Workplace by Facebook series. (Missed the first one? Check it out here.) Today we’re talking about the impact of investing in your internal communications strategy. With 300 staff and counting, effective communication is a significant contributor to our success.
Focusing on our internal communications was motivated largely by recognising the sizeable effects of poor communication in the workplace. But fixing an internal communications problem isn’t simple – in this survey, 70% of senior team leaders said they thought it was valuable, but 98% confessed to still using email as their primary channel.
We’ve got hard evidence of the inefficiency of email. We were sending 665,000 emails per annum – which works out at an incredible £332,500 worth of time spent managing email over the course of a year. So below we’re going to explore the impacts we experienced when we replaced email with a corporate social network – Workplace by Facebook.
BUSINESS IMPACT #1: PERFORMANCE
The email in-tray has, traditionally, been the to-do list in most business environments, including ours. But with volumes plummeting as conversations moved into Workplace, we were forced to look for better ways to manage our tasks and projects. So that was the first change. It forced our hand into doing something we should’ve done long ago – find real built-for-purpose task management software.
That meant that people in non-customer-facing roles, like managers, were much better equipped to manage their time.
They could do things to improve and be proactive, because proper task management software leaves room to keep track of those ‘if I have time’ kind of projects. For example, our Head of Customer Care, Daniel Foster, has been speculating about why some operators perform so much better than others for months. This is the moment he got to investigate it during one of those rare quiet afternoons.
The summary? He noticed a 43.6% difference in productivity for operators using one method over another, and then used Workplace to share that knowledge with the operators directly. This is just one of many small discoveries that improvements in communication allowed us to make.
BUSINESS IMPACT #2: CLIENT RETENTION
Next up we want to talk about client retention. Generally, we maintain very good relationships with our clients. We try very hard to over-service and over-deliver wherever we can. They come to us for our expertise as customer service providers, and it’s important to us to make sure we proactively add value. So when we started to use Workplace, it felt almost natural for us to bring our clients along with us. We created Multi-Company Groups with our clients so we could share reports and updates faster, and keep each other in the loop. Then, we set up internal client-specific operational groups to help our teams coordinate better together.
We report hourly on performance for our larger clients, as well as providing real-time dashboards. We used to send that via email. We’re sure you can imagine it didn’t take long for those reports to become a flood, not just for us, but for the client too. Posting those updates in a Workplace group allows people to control their notifications on the fly, or proactively seek out historic updates with ease.
The net result? We perform better, the client has better visibility, and our partnerships are stronger than ever. As of writing, we haven’t lost a single client since implementing Workplace – and have onboarded plenty more.
BUSINESS IMPACT #3: NEW PROSPECTS
Our last point is perhaps the most likely to raise an eyebrow. Can improving an internal communications strategy really help you get more prospects? The short answer is, directly, no. But what it can do is make a team work better together. And when your commercial team begins to work better together, it’s not unreasonable to imagine commercial performance trends upward at the same time. That’s what happened for us.
We had unwittingly allowed our Sales and Marketing teams to work independently, using separate mailing lists to communicate on individual strategies. They were working in the same room, but not on the same projects. They weren’t even sure of what the other was working on. Workplace gave them instant visibility over each other, and putting their heads together to put a more coordinated strategy in place was a natural evolution.
And it went further than that. We spoke more not just between teams, but as a whole. Suddenly, long disjointed email threads became posts and conversations - and we found we had a lot more to say. Things that weren’t worth an email were worth a comment. Communication was easier, and we began to understand one another better. The net result was more consistent performance, and a commercial team that worked better together to create new prospects.
Overall, better performance, better client relationships and more prospects mean business is booming. With 100% growth YoY for 4 years so far, this is precisely what we needed to keep up that supercharge. It helped us to realise the importance of internal communication for all areas of our business, and maintain that growth.
On the 16th November, we spent some time with Workplace themselves at the Facebook HQ in London to talk with the platform leaders – check out the recorded webinar right here.