Frustrations with Current Tools

For quite a while I have been frustrated trying to manage my customer interactions, especially when I have to enlist the support of my internal teams during those conversations. I have been using e-mail to drive these engagements using the usual CC’s, FWDs and BCC’s to get help from my internal teams. As these interactions progress, I get stuck in the middle of conversations, brokering information between customers and internal teams. With the increasing volume of e-mail that I receive everyday, I quickly become a bottleneck. The customer engagements suffer.

Collaboration tools sounded promising. But after trying them out for a few weeks, I realized I was constantly switching between my e-mails and the collaboration tools. These tools are meant for internal collaboration. Customer conversations happening over e-mail were completely separate from these tools. Every time I needed my internal teams to discuss a particular customer conversation, I had to create a channel or a group, manage the team members’ subscriptions to them and copy the context from e-mail exchanges. I needed help from different teams for different types of conversations, so I had to create each channel or group separately and invite appropriate users to join. Creating and managing these rooms for dozens of my customers soon became overwhelming. I continued to be the bottleneck as I was brokering information between e-mails and the collaboration tools. So the collaboration tools did very little to reduce my frustrations in customer interactions.

What I really need is a tool that lets me privately share my customer conversations and invite team members as needed.  There should be no forwarding, copying or pasting, so the teams always have up-to-date context.  Then I can get their help without all this extra effort and without becoming a bottleneck to slow it all down.