Talking face-to-face? Connecting through email? Using messaging apps like Slack or WhatsApp?
Whatever strategies and tools you use, compare that communication experience with the one you have externally with your clients or partners.
What’s different between your internal and external communication?
For my team, we use Slack for all of our internal communication, from company announcements to random facts of the day. But when it comes to client or external communications, I find myself in Basecamp, email inboxes, and Dropbox, or sending text messages and making phone calls. It’s all over the place.
So, why don’t we use Slack to communicate externally, too? Wouldn’t that be easier?
Sure, but the answer isn’t so simple because Slack was only built for working inside your business.
Getting work done faster with partners and vendors
Strengthening business relationships
With up to 20 different organizations being able to collaborate at once with Slack Connect, it may seem like the platform is a security disaster waiting to happen. However, it will actually have a robust security system in place.
All of the security features and compliance standards that are included in the Slack Enterprise package will be carried into Slack Connect including data loss prevention, e-discovery, Amazon's Enterprise Key Management (used for file and message encryption), and spam and phishing protection.
Slack Connect will also feature admin controls and different levels of access, limiting the types of actions different users can take such as adding files or users to the channels.
Getting work done faster
Slack Connect allows for real-time communication, as opposed to email.
Imagine having a question about a recent report that was sent from the sales team. You want to reach out to the sales rep but need to include both your manager and their manager on the email for visibility purposes. You send over your question and wait. You get a reply the next day from the sales team manager with an answer, but she didn't include the sales rep in the reply. Then the sales rep sends you a different answer two hours later, but also doesn't CC anyone.
A simple question has now become a frustrating game of email tag.
Instead, Slack Connect will allow you to tag the person you need to ask in a channel, link the report and have it appear directly in the chat, and (ideally) have it resolved in a moment. This eliminates the cluttered emails and allows all communication to be front and center if the managers have to jump in.
Users will be able to host Zoom calls, share and collaborate on files in Google Drive, book calendar invites through Outlook or Google Calendar (even if you use one and your client uses the other!), and even create polls and surveys through Polly or Simple Poll.
Better communication through Slack Connect will lead to more trust being built between organizations.
With secure technology and increased efficiency, the relationships built with your partners, vendors, and clients will grow stronger.
The potential drawbacks of Slack Connect
Slack has drastically changed the pace at which we communicate with each other internally, and Slack Connect promises to do the same for communication between organizations.
It makes communication almost immediate and prompts you to open and respond to messages quickly.
Communication has trended this way for years, always fueled by the question: How do we make it even faster?
But when do you hit the point of being too connected?
While faster communication can lead to more productivity in less time, it can also lead to miscommunication, undeveloped ideas, interrupted deep work time, and an inability to ever truly shut it off.
Here’s an example of what can happen:
It’s been a long day at work, you were at your computer at 8 a.m. and are just signing off around 6 p.m.
Just as you are sitting down on the couch to unwind, you get a ping on your phone from Slack. It’s a vendor asking where a document is.
You look at the message but decide you can answer in the morning, it’s not that urgent.
Then a second message comes in. It’s your boss asking why he is getting a message from your account about a missing document.
“Ugh, lemme go fix this.”
Jumping back in, you work to send the document as quickly as possible. Once on your laptop, you start answering other work messages, too. Suddenly, an hour has passed and you still find yourself in front of your laptop.