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What Happens your Business, when you stop using email for a day.

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Great things happen.

Last Friday, I brought back an initiative that we started over 2 years ago when we first starting using a full Unified Communications (UC) solution, “No Email Friday”. As with many good ideas, this one kind of lost its way over time.

So the challenge to all staff was not to use email for the day… to add to the challenge and make it a bit of fun, there was a small prize of 2 bottles of good wine for the winner. I’ll let you know how we measured the winner later.

The rules of engagement were:

  • No email to anyone inside the company – to replace it, you can use IM for messages or attachment, or just call them.
  • Ideally no email to customers or anyone outside the company – again call them or IM them if they are on Lync, but of course if you have to send an email to a customer, then you have to do it.

The main objectives were:

  1. More Talk
  2. More IM’s
  3. Less Email
  4. Better, faster and more productive decision making, from doing 1, 2 and 3.

As a technically driven business, Strencom send a lot of emails to customers and suppliers and other stakeholders, and sometimes we lose that personal contact by not having more conversations. Also, we have all experienced, that sometimes the tone of an email can be picked up incorrectly and result in a bad and unintended outcome.

I should point out that we wanted “more talk” from this, but some organisations may want less talk; it just depends on your business. For instance, a company that recently moved to a Hosted Lync UC from Strencom, saw a reduction of 600 phone calls per month, and their average call time was 3 minutes, which is equal to a saving of 30 man hours in the month.

So back to the results…

  • 70% less emails were sent… every time you send an email, you most likely get a reply, and there is invariably a task to do when you get the reply. So 70% less tasks. (Its not always going to be 70% less, but 30% less is achievable on a continuous basis)
  • 60% more phone calls – more personal contact and collaboration with internal and external customers. Faster incident resolution times, and happier customers.
  • 1.5 times more IM’s sent – faster and better communication, with less chance of being misunderstood.
  • 2 times more collaboration sessions (screen sharing/video calls/conference calls)
  • File transfers were up too, but we had too few of these from the previous week to give an accurate figure. But it has highlighted that we don’t use this enough, so that’s one to concentrate on for next week.

Overall, very successful in achieving the objectives, while positively impacting on the business.

So back to the 2 bottles of good wine… we measured the number of overall Communication and Collaboration sessions (a session is a phone call, IM, video call, screen share, conference call, and file share) for each staff member and the person with the highest total number at the end of the day won the prize. Congrats to Donagh; 2 nice bottles of white wine, bought from our good customer O’Brien’s Wines, are on the way.

If you’d like to know more about our Unified Communications & Collaboration solutions, call me today and I’d be happy to help, or visit www.strencom.net.

Regards
Tim

PS. A couple of other links that I came across that may be of interest if you want to try a “No Email Day” yourself…

http://www.slideshare.net/lordlancaster/no-email-day-by-paul-Lancaster

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2013/10/23/how-to-get-rid-of-email-in-your-company/

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