A Smart Bear's Lesson on Email Process

Scott Francis
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Joannes Vermorel, of Lokad, has guest-posted on A Smart Bear blog on the topic of email.  Specifically, why your company should have a single email address.  But to the BPM consultant, it reads like an email process manifesto for your company. It is a fascinating read on (email) process, thought that wasn’t necessarily the intent.  Some of the highlights:
  1. The dangers of building too much process too soon – before the true requirements emerge.  Spinning off too many email addresses complicates your organization’s ability to respond correctly.
  2. The problem with exposing your internal processes and organizations to your customers and partners, by having many different contact email addresses for your company.  Your customers and partners don’t care about your internal structure, they just want one contact point that works.
  3. How to deal with inbound email flow – routing emails to the people most appropriate to respond.
  4. The benefits of shared information within your team.  Everyone knows about the communications happening, and can see the history and context.
Along the way, we learn from Joannes that not advertising a public email is bad. What are the benefits to moving to a single email account?
  • Improved responsiveness
  • Smarter replies (better quality)
  • Peer reviews of email communication
  • Better Morale
  • Resilience to turnover
That’s a pretty good benefit from a process change.  Joannes sums it up:
Finally, I believe that the single email approach remains valid no matter if you happen to be two guys in a garage or MegaCorp Inc, but I digress. Are you still exposing a number of emails not equal to one? What are you waiting for?
I think the biggest point to take away – is keeping it simple for customers, and not foisting your own company’s complexity upon them.  That sounds like a great principle of process improvement to me.  

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