Council Post: Staying Connected With Your Clients In A Virtual World -

Council Post: Staying Connected With Your Clients In A Virtual World

Antti Nivala is Founder and CEO of M-Files, a global leader in information management.

What is one thing successful organizations have in common?

Seamless collaboration.

Being able to communicate and collaborate with clients empowers organizations to not only provide a more efficient level of service but better understand their customers on a personal level. And when organizations better understand their customers, they create long-lasting relationships that positively affect ROI.

In today’s digital, remote-work world, organizations must provide strong customer service around the clock. As the workforce continues to embrace our hybrid reality, this often means working with people in various locations and time zones. Therefore, companies need to be able to share information quickly and efficiently both internally and with customers to keep up with the pace of business.

We must accept new ways of asynchronous collaboration and work together differently than when we used to all gather in person in a meeting room. Below are a few tips for achieving a seamless relationship with clients in our new, virtual world.

Overcome siloed data and processes.

In the digital, remote workforce, data is scattered across multiple systems with no single source of authority. Much of that data can be considered “dark data”—information lost or too difficult to find to be useful.

Rigid and inflexible legacy data storage methods prohibit the ability to access content in a context that makes sense, which in turn hinders collaboration and creates bottlenecks. Organizations need to ensure they have the correct tools in place to connect siloed systems, applications, and repositories to gain a complete view of all relevant information, regardless of where it is stored. Having access to that information enables organizations to provide fast and accurate support to clients, helping deliver a competitive edge to stay connected.

Create efficient information sharing.

When employees and clients collaborate on projects together, several team members participate in the creation and editing of a single document. Sounds simple enough—but what happens when that document is shared as an email attachment, and it gets cumbersome to stay up to date with the latest version? It becomes digital chaos. No one knows which version is stored where or who made the latest updates. Making sure everyone has the correct, most up-to-date version can become a nightmare. Worse, imagine if an email attachment mistakenly gets sent to the wrong recipient. There’s nothing one can do to rectify the situation, as access can’t be removed once the document has already been shared.

To establish seamless collaboration practices, organizations must first enable efficient information sharing. Organizations should adopt best practices that allow the ability to quickly share documents in a central platform without getting IT involved in sending large files. A centralized platform that enables organizations to control document permissions can offer additional security, allowing users to manage access after sharing as well and remove access if a document is mistakenly distributed to the wrong person.

Adhere to compliance and security requirements.

As we’ve embraced digital transformation and hybrid work, the amount of data generated and processed has grown in both complexity and scale. We’ve also seen privileged accounts, or credentials that provide elevated access and permissions, fall victim to an increased level of cyberattacks, creating the need for consistent management, especially in highly regulated industries.

When collaborating with clients, it’s imperative to ensure sensitive documents don’t fall into the wrong hands and are only shared with those individuals who have authorized access. Organizations must embrace policies that seamlessly enable content to be delivered to a select group or single set of individuals on a need-to-know basis. With full control over who can access information at different stages of a process, organizations can better collaborate with clients in an efficient, secure manner.

As our hybrid reality continues, the importance and value of collaboration can’t be overstated. Organizations need to be able to share information quickly and efficiently. Through better data visibility, efficient information sharing and bolstered security, organizations can provide a better client experience.

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