Why Social Messaging is better than Email

“Email is where knowledge goes to die”. This quote from Bill French is still one of my favourites and its sentiment is shared by many of us working on Zurmo.  Need convincing?  Allow me to state my argument:

  1. Got a question?

    You email it to a list of people who potentially know the answer.  If and when you get a response you are the only one who benefits from the answer.  Its quite likely that the person responding has to answer the same questions quite frequently.  If you ask the Community as a whole however then everyone can benefit from the answer and the responder only need answer it once.

  2. Faster answers

    When I ask a question via email I send it to people I hope know the answer, if they cannot help they might loop in others who can.  That’s great but it takes time, surely it would be better to put up your question to the whole community and let the person best placed to help give their response?

  3. Diverging Email Threads.

    An email is sent to a group of people, someone responds to everyone and then someone else responds to everyone from the original email.  All of a sudden you have 2 separate email threads to follow and have the confusion of which you need to reply to or not, etc.

  4. Managing your inbox

    This itself can be a pain, tidying up new emails, dealing with people who use multiple email addresses, even being sure of who the email has come from?

Believe me, the list could go on.  Despite its failings email continues to be the driving force in communication within companies and with their customers.  The good news is that alternatives already exist.

Alternatives to email have been around for years in the shape of Forums and Blogs.  More recently micro blogging has brought the benefit of these tools to the masses with Facebook, Twitter and endless other social websites.

Now we arrange our social lives and share ideas about all manner of things using social media because these tools make it fun and easy to do!  When this trend began to unfold people realised this would be great for business too, and that has been the case!

It is strange then that most company’s internal communication continues to rely so heavily on email.  Email is our old friend….. reliable and indispensable, but also un-sharing, unorganised, inefficient and often confusing. Thank God for email clients like Outlook that help us make sense of it all.  We think it’s time our old buddy had some competition.

Zurmo’s social CRM messaging engine expects to steer internal business communication away from the ambiguity of email to an open, social and ultimately easier centralised platform.  Our goal is to make it easy for people to collaborate on everything from new ideas to problems and free that knowledge from the shackles of the inbox!

Need more convincing?  Look out for my upcoming posts where I talk more about the benefits of social messaging and how Zurmo will use Conversations, Missions and of course Gamification to free our knowledge.

Leave a Comment

  • Jeff

    Call it old fashioned, but I definately prefer email for my business communications. I find sites like Facebook & twitter are interesting, but do not provide the same focused message management capabilities. messages can be easily lost on twiiter, as the stream of info turns into a deluge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rpeetoom Ross Peetoom

    Thanks for your feedback Jeff! Email is and will continue to be a powerful tool, but it does have some drawbacks, I

    We hope to provide an alternative rather than a replacement that will facilitate quick, short communication and collaboration both internally and eventually externally with customers. Of course all of this info would be captured automatically in the crm for later reference rather than relying on email integrations with the crm.

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  • darmakurnia

    I’m not agree if managing email if painful. Email filtering is the key, and most email client (even gmail or yahoo) provide search engine to search email easily. Compare with facebook and twitter, in term of managing inbox, email is the best for me :)

    Of couse, you can’t rely on email as a CRM. But that doesn’t make email useless. Better to say that email and social messanging are complementary.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ray-Stoeckicht/100001473956853 Ray Stoeckicht

      I like your point about email and social messaging being complimentary. We are simply identifying a trend that has already impacted email and will continue to do so. No one thinks email will be gone tomorrow, but it’s use in the business world may change as CRM tools provide collaborative internal messaging.

  • HansV2

    The strongest point of email is the organizational aspect: it’s just one place you have to look for all of your communication! Moving to a wide range of social media tools only gives you more places to scan for relevant information.
    The issue is not scarcity of information, but to have the right answer to the right question at the right time. Email is perfect in this respect: you can tailor communication to the need of the other and avoid overload of unnecessary information.

    Sometimes I run into websites with an endless list of FAQs. Yes, the information is there, but it’s a hell to find what you need. If I could just send one email and get a response with exactly the answer I’m looking for…

    • http://www.facebook.com/rpeetoom Ross Peetoom

      Hi HansV2, thanks for sharing your opinion. I don’t deny that email is a central tool to most all companies but much credit needs to go to clever email clients like Outlook whose tools and layouts make it a lot more manageable and easier to organize.

      The truth is that we are all familiar with email, we understand it…. even the bad bits. When it comes to simplicity however it leaves a lot to be desired. I have seen 8 year old children reading and responding to Facebook messages (although they probably shouldn’t be using it). If you were to sit them down in front of my email inbox then I am certain that they would not be nearly as engaged.

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