Having an intranet or an information portal specifically for employee’s reference is crucial especially for service industry sectors or multinational companies with many branches.
For example, an international courier company with service branches and call centers all over the world would do well with a centralized reference portal that can be utilized by its internal employees and customer contact points for information reference. It would be useful to have a dedicated team or at least a full time staff (with a proper backup) to consistently maintain the site.
The portal should contain information about the company’s vision, mission, product & services offered, service branches (contact staff, address, telephone, fax and email), a courier charges calculator or full listing of courier charges, policies (internal and also regulatory), general service scriptings and FAQ.
For international company it is good to have information portal that is country specific.
All information should be as up to date as possible.
Ensure consistency with information provided by customer contact points to customers.
By providing consistent information, customers would have confidence in the company. Imagine if you call a call center 3 times to ask the same question ….and were given difference answers each time. How would you feel?
2. Reduce potential losses to the company
Providing wrong information may result in time and cost involved in complaints handling and possibly compensation to the customer. This may happen when information is given based on memory or store in physical files which may not be placed or sent via email. Many companies that do not have a systematic way of disseminating and storing information.
3. Referring to corporate website for knowledge based articles to answer the customer is not enough
There are policies and practices that cannot be shared with an external customer such as complaint handling scripting, empowerment levels and internal policies. However this has to be made known to employees to ensure consistency and for staff to be able to obtain solution.
4. Save time and increase staff productivity
Imagine if the information is only made available via email or information taught through word of mouth- a new staff who join would be at lost with processes.
When a staff need to find information, it would be great if the information is at a few clicks away rather than having to call/send email and look for the person in charge. Sometimes just to get answer to simple question would require an entire afternoon to locate the correct person. Imagine if the same information is constantly being requested by different staff….so what a loss to the company when they consistently have staff that waste time doing such things.
5. Save cost and the environment
With a proper portal (with good backup support), the company can do away with the existance of paper and files. Just park all the policies online. If the information is sensitive, then restrict the access to only certain individuals (requiring individual sign in). Restriction on access can easily be set.
Seriously, a lot of money is wasted on paper and cartridge to print and store in files.
6. It is hard to search for information via files or archive emails
Imagine information is stored in email. So pity the new guy who just joined- the poor thing would have spent a lot of time running around like headless chicken to search for information before he give up and resign (no joke, I have seen such information many times before).
For via physical files- wow….flip through the endless mount of paper to search for something simple? What if there is a flaw with the filing system or someone placed a process in the wrong file? Geez, lost of productivity again.
With an electronic information portal, you just need to use the navigation panel or the search function. Easy and quick.