Leveraging the Power of Your Intranet

In tough economic times, the prevailing thought for most companies is “how do we get more out of what we already have?”

Leveraging the power of your intranet is a simple way of ensuring that this philosophy rings true in your organization. When businesses are faced with a scary and volatile market, the intranet often falls by the wayside and attention is focused outward. Increasing revenue is the primary goal even in the best of economies. What we all miss at times is turning inward and taking stock of how we can better serve the customers we already have. Your intranet can be key in helping your employees provide exceptional customer service, and it can make it easier for them to drive more sales and provide added value.

One way to do this (and increase cost savings) is by simplifying channels of internal communication. The intranet should be the single point of publication for corporate newsletters, announcements and news about your customers.

If your employees can find information quickly, at their fingertips and in one central location, they can better serve the outside customer.

Intranets can also do justice in serving the internal customer and provide cost savings when budgets are tight. Instead of sending out broadcast emails, post all communication on your intranet. At Dougherty County School System, all teaching curriculums and teachers’ materials have been uploaded to their intranet instead of being printed and handed out in a thick 3″ binder at the beginning of each school year.

The teachers have learned to look for updated curriculums on their intranet, powered by Intranet Connections intranet software, and the cost savings in lowered personnel time and of printing and distributing the packages has been substantial.

If all internal communication has been posted on the intranet, managers can also track which users have viewed the announcements by checking statistics reports and send out reminders accordingly.

We often write about the key to a successful intranet. Increasing employee buy-in on your intranet has to be a priority in leveraging the power of this tool. The District of North Vancouver is well aware of how important user adoption is to intranet success. Their intranet site, District Junction, allows users to participate in the site and gives them a way to listen, query and interact with the community of fellow employees. By leveraging discussion forums, providing job growth with training, and keeping an open publishing environment on the intranet, District Junction has become the go-to place for information.

Here are some simple tips that you can implement on your intranet to encourage employees to rely on it as a resource and to foster communication for better service and productivity.

Set up corporate and department specific news and bulletin areas. Publish all announcements within your organization to these areas instead of sending broadcast emails
Instead of printing and handing out a corporate newsletter, post it up on your intranet site. Create customer blogs to share immediate news relating to customers and your services
Advertise new content right on your site home page or set up content feeds. Users will be able to see new and relevant content the minute they enter the intranet
Allow users to publish content on your intranet. If users can contribute and be interactive on the site they are more likely to rely on it as a daily resource
Ensure that your company phone list is available and searchable on your intranet, as well as contact lists for customers. This is a simple way to provide users with practical information that they use every day Use blogs to set up collaboration work spaces so users have an area to share ideas and feedback on how to better serve your customers and provide added value

Your intranet should provide employees with the tools they need to do their jobs so that they can work more efficiently and as a team. Every person in a company in one way or another contributes to customer service, sales and revenue. Invest in your employees with your intranet and reap the benefits.