How to improve communication in the translation agency?
Nowadays, many of us can not imagine functioning without messengers that have permanently settled on our computers and smartphones. We used Windows Messenger once, today the most popular are Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Viber or WhatsApp. Every day we spend tens or hundreds of minutes on them, gossiping with friends, arranging meetings or sending photos from vacation to our families.
Many of us are not aware of the fact that there are many business messengers on the market. These apps are usually free and after proper configuration significantly improve the internal communication of the organization and communication with clients.
In this article I will try to present the advantages of using business messengers in an organization from the translation industry and explain the main principles of use.
Business messengers - types and selection
There are currently many suppliers of business messaging applications on the market. The most famous are Slack, HipChat, Rocket Chat, Google Hangouts, Telegram, Basecamp, or even a well-known Skype.
All of the communicators stated above are available in free versions, in which we have access to basic functionalities, which are usually sufficient for a small translator's office or even a medium-sized translation agency. Many of them are offered as a service (SaaS) - so you can use them on any device, without the need to install additional software. What's more, the best messengers allow not only for exchanging text messages, but also for voice and video calls, as well as for transferring files.
The most popular messenger on the market is Slack. This tool has a convenient interface, is very easy to use and convenient in configuration and integration with other programs. Due to its intuitiveness, Slack quickly gained the favor of the greatest of our world - Slack is used by such giants as eBay, Spotify, Sony, Google, Apple, or Microsoft.
The Deoling team is also one of Slack's users. One of the main reasons why we decided to choose to Slack is almost a complete reduction of internal e-mail communication. All of our team's communication takes place on Slack. Everything in one place. Despite the fact that we often work as a geographically dispersed team, having this communicator open makes us feel like we are staying together in one office.
All these advantages make Slack an application that we recommend and implement for our clients who turn to us with communication problems in their companies.
Slack - setting up, initial configuration and first steps
To set up a Slack organization, which will allow you for inviting as an administrator other users (co-workers, subcontractors or even clients), you have to go to https://slack.com/get-started and follow the instructions.
After the organization is set up, Slack's window opens, for now empty, without users, because we have not invited those to our organization yet. After inviting new people to your organization (click on the name of the organization in the upper left corner -> Invite people) and adding channels ("+" icon on the channels) Slack will become your favorite tool in your translation office.
The navigation panel can be found on the left, the conversation window is located in the central part. By choosing people in Direct Messages, you can write with them on the private channel. The green dot shows you who of your co-workers is currently available.
The real value, however, are the channels that you can create, determine the subject of conversations and decide who has access to the channel. By actively using channels and conducting forum conversations, you promote transparency in the company and stimulate internal communication within the organization.
You can create channels based on your current needs and invite selected users to them. In translation industry it makes sense to create channels that connect all the vendors that translate in a given language, where they can discuss difficult translation problems and help each other. The other examples include project channels, where you invite only members of a given, larger project or channels related to specific departments at your agency - marketing channel or IT channel. Slack is a very flexible tool and the number of channels and their purpose depends only on your requirements and creativity.
Should you have any questions, comments or would like to implement Slack to your organization, please contact me at:
Slack - advanced features
In the second part of the article I will try to introduce you more advanced features of Slack messenger, eg using the search engine, integration with the chat on your website and integration with other programs, eg Trello or our translation agency automation system - Deoling.