What is Workflow

*Workflow is defined as a “Progression of steps (tasks, events, interactions) that comprise a work process, involve two or more persons, and create or add value to the organization’s activities.”

What does this mean?

The key in this definition is that if two or more people are engaged in tasks that add value to an organization’s activities, then that is workflow.

For example, if you are a customer service representative, your workflow may involve receiving customer questions, complaints, and occasional compliments through email, social media, and phone. Then, resolving those issues after discussing possible solutions with the customer and other team members in the organization.

The workflow looks different in every industry, but the importance of maintaining a consistent workflow remains. The trouble is that workflow can be hard to create, and many factors can get in the way of maintaining a consistent flow.

What Causes Barriers in Workflow

There are tons of factors that can get in the way of a workday that flows smoothly. One of these factors that get in the way of true workflow is poor communication. Poor communication comes in many forms. Work especially does not flow smoothly when employees aren’t provided all the information they need to take action on the task at hand.

For example, imagine a customer service representative receives an inquiry about the sale price of a product via email from a fellow coworker without being provided complete information on the product. The customer service would have a multitude of questions that would lead to back and forth conversations between the coworker who asked them and themselves.

What product is the customer inquiring about? What location do they live in? When did the sale occur?

The customer service representative would not be able to answer the question before asking a coworker for more details. This leads to a bottleneck in workflow due to poor communication caused by lacking context. Now the time has to be spent unraveling the question to find out what this customer is actually asking about. Only then the representative can provide the correct answer to help the customer.

How Context Helps Clear the Bottlenecks

Normally to resolve such issues the customer service representative may email the coworker back asking what they were specifically inquiring about. The coworker forwards the customer’s original email to the customer service agent. Now, since the customer service representative understands the original question from the customer, she can directly answer the question without asking any additional questions. The original customer email in this example provides the needed context, and in turn, solves the issue in communication.

Now you may be thinking to yourself that this was just poor communication by the coworker who didn’t send all the information in the first place. Well, you’re right! It was poor communication. But, events like these happen every single day! So how can we fix this reoccurring issue? Using combined communication apps is one way to start!

How Clariti Enables Smooth Workflow

Clariti is a SaaS application that combines chat, email, cloud storage, social feeds, To-Do, and calendar in a single tool. Clariti also automatically links related items into Threads to preserve context. You can create a new Thread with a chat, email or to-do and others can simply join the conversation. Participants in the Thread have the flexibility to include or exclude other participants as the conversation unfolds.

This way, if the customer service representative and coworker, in our example, were to use Clariti, the coworker could have simply started chatting with the customer service representative from the customer’s original email. All the conversations between them would be preserved in a single Thread. Not only that, but the customer service representative would also have full freedom to organize the Thread in a manner that makes the most sense to them. In the example below, the representative can arrange the Thread based on either customer or the type of the issue being addressed.

When the context is clear, there are no bottlenecks in communication and work flows naturally. Clariti enables a smooth workflow through context-based communications in the form of Threads.

The answer to workflow is really simple. Use Clariti that can assist in making your work flow! Sign up for free here and start having more efficient workdays!

* http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/workflow.html

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