LeapXpert Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform (FMOP) elevates consumer messaging to enterprise grade. While many businesses still widely use telephone, email and SMS communications, their clients have already moved to messengers as their preferred form of communication. That’s why many employees are messaging with clients. FMOP allows you to meet your customer’s communication patterns and still remain compliant and own all B2C communication history. Why should your company embrace it as well?
FMOP: Own Your Data, Be Compliant
How secure and available is your data and communication history? For most businesses there is a legal requirement to maintain a history of any communication between the business and clients. Breaching this basic compliance regulation can result in lawsuits, loss of income, large fines and worst.
The advantages of using instant messaging for business are numerous. But also are the risks for allowing your employees to use their private messaging accounts, rather than a separate business “super connector” work tool. The most important issue with your employees using their own personal messaging accounts to communicate sensitive company information with your clients – when they leave, there is rarely a way to retain that information in-house. Meaning, your company doesn’t own it’s B2C correspondence.
In fact, if your staff or contractors are using instant messages like WhatsApp or Telegram for work communication, you are in a legal grey area. Some court cases have found that these are communication tools for a ‘discussion’, so not legally binding. Others have found that a conversation on WhatsApp for example is a legally binding contract. If your staff are using instant messaging, they may well be entering into binding contracts that you have no proof of. To answer this challenge your company must have well established proper business tools for contacting your clients on their messengers. Again, to meet their preferred communication method.
Messengers Strengthens B2C Relationships – FMOP Strengthens Businesses
Popular messaging platforms provide a communication method that allows for a client to connect to a business on the clients’ terms, and at a time that is convenient. In addition to compliance and data ownership benefits, being able to improve customer relations is one of the most valuable reasons for using business instant messaging.
Most instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram etc show when a message has been sent, seen, read and responded to. This allows for both sender and receiver to have a clear indication of where their communication is at. Sending documentation is also easier. In addition, it feels much more personal for the customer.
However, there are downsides to using the available consumer instant messaging tools. They can provide a variety of security risks for businesses, there are issues around loss of data, potential risk for client poaching, and a host of issues around information sharing. Thankfully, most of those risks can be mitigated with the use of LeapXpert FMOP – Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform. Your employees will be able to use company desktop platform and Leap Work mobile app for communication with their clients and colleagues. Go mobile, go direct, go personal.
Ultimately, the biggest reason for businesses to be embracing instant messenger platforms is this is the method of contact that their clients most want to use – and the customer is still king. Even more so in a world where people are increasingly working from home.
Avoid Compliance Risks and Huge Fines
Most industries are encountering increasingly vigorous compliance requirements. The most essential aspect of compliance is being able to provide a clear communication audit trail. More about compliance risks of business messaging read here.
We have already seen several cases around the world, where businesses have been fined for breaching compliance regulations relating to differing rules in the individual countries. Also, we may start seeing European companies fined up to 10 million euros for data breaches under the GDPR if they are unable to secure client information.
While more draconian actions such as banning personal instant messaging apps at work might be effective, it is more common that employees will continue to use these options. A more robust compliance policy would include using a dedicated B2C communication platform like LeapXpert FMOP, which allows data retention and keeps B2C communication records within the companies control.
Prevent Client Poaching Employees
Client poaching is often something that happens quite innocently. A client and employee build up a strong relationship, as any business expects from their staff. Unfortunately, if that relationship has been built using the employees WhatsApp, WeChat, Line or other instant messaging account, if they move to another company, they will be taking all that client’s personal information and conversations with them.
As the primary point of contact, your clients will naturally turn to their standard and easiest form of communication when they want to place orders – means asking your ex employee to fulfill the order. If your employee remains in the same industry (for example, as a stockbroker normally will), then they have just poached your client.
A solution-focused way to minimise risks from personal messaging uses the LeapXpert Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform. This provides a separate work app that your employees use, while allowing your clients to continue using their favorite messengers.
Ensuring data retention, client confidentiality and employee privacy are just a few of additional benefits to using a FMOP. All while allowing employees and customers to develop a dynamic relationship.
Learn To Work With The Millennials
While some people are still making jokes about millennials as though they were still teens, this group has grown up and taken over workplaces. They are also becoming your largest customer base.
They don’t do things like previous generations, and one of the biggest differences is that they really don’t like phone calls. And we mean REALLY don’t like phone calls. They communicate with succinctly written communication, and instant messaging apps have been designed with them in mind.
Bridging a generation gap in the workplace means ensuring that your workforce is able to communicate in a way that allows them to be the most efficient. However, you need to make sure that they remain compliant. Text messages can be sent from a company phone, but the downsides to this are numerous – from constantly needing to update, upgrade and maintain the actual phone, through to difficulty wading through personal and work messages. In addition, many employees will still install their personal instant messaging platforms on the work phone, which brings us back to the original problem, that instant messaging needs more robust solutions.
Avoid Employee Privacy Breaches
Invading your employee’s privacy by demanding that they hand over work communications held through a personal account can lead to legal complications.
Clunky enterprise based messenger solutions tend to be expensive to use and require the clients to install the dedicated company apps in order to communicate – even if it’s just a quick ‘sell stock’’ note.
While some customers are happy to install software, for most this is something that goes straight into the “too hard” basket, meaning your company risks losing the client unless your employee is able to use their personal messenger account to maintain contact.
Few employees want their employer to go through their personal and private communications, so utilizing a B2C platform that allows messenger communication from a company account, without requiring customers to install any additional company apps, specialised software or learn new platforms, is a clever way to get the best of all worlds.
Provide Employee Work-Life Balance
The research showing that better work-life balance increases productivity is very strong. However, if you have staff chatting to clients on their Facebook messenger before they go to bed at night, you have a culture problem in your workplace. Productive workplaces are encouraging their employees to have some degree of separation between work and home life.
Yes, your employees want to remain mobile, and there will be times when they will want to be in contact with a client well outside of regular business hours. But this should not be the norm if you want productive staff, so your communications solution needs to be something that staff can choose to turn off when they aren’t working.
Again, this comes down to allowing your employees to use their instant messaging for personal use, and providing them with a dedicated business messaging platform that enables client communications.
When Employees Can’t WhatsApp a client
It usually starts with a scenario like a client travelling and being unable to access their emails in the middle of an important contract negotiation. “No problem, just send me a message on WhatsApp”, says your helpful employee. Before you know it, this has become the clients most common way of communicating with your company. And whether your employee used his personal or your work account – it’s entirely up to you.
You have great staff and loyal customers, not complicating their busy lives to fit with your compliance “email-telephone” requirements ends up with you losing control over some, or most, of your data. Bringing everything under one B2C communication work tool that is controlled by the company – is your first and major step.
LeapXpert FMOP is Your Solution for Business Messaging
At the end of the day, you know your business best. But as the world of technology and communication continues to change you need to find solutions that work for your customers and employees, all while ensuring that you have mitigated risks and increased productivity. Instant messaging looks here to stay for a while, thankfully a robust LeapXpert Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform will allow businesses to have the best of all worlds. Apply to [email protected], via our own inbound WhatsApp communication or using contact form below.