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Yammer discussion groups may constitute an attractive option for organizations looking to migrate support communication into a more efficient medium

In a course on enterprise social computing, which is exclusively available to any/all subscribers to SharePoint-Videos, Naomi Moneypenny makes a case for Yammer groups as an alternative method organizations should explore as they consider ways of migrating support communication out of email and voice, and into a more efficient medium.

Moneypenny makes numerous references to Yammer groups as a promising alternative to email throughout this set of video training content, which is titled SP 13-317 – Making Enterprise Social Real in your Organization with Yammer and SharePoint Video Course.

The key to success, for this type of effort, as she presents in her course, is truly effective Yammer group management. The fourth module of this course is devoted to groups and group management. This emphasis makes sense as most organizations pondering how best to address discussion group management stumble on the basic requirements. But stumbling through an effort is nothing to be ashamed of, as Moneypenny notes in her course. As she points out, managing a Yammer group is a time consuming and, potentially, a costly activity.

Costly is, of course, a relative term. Any organization maintaining a customer service function is likely familiar with the expense associated with providing a customer base with the support they may require across a product’s life cycle. Comparatively speaking, the hard-dollar cost of maintaining telephone support may actually exceed the cost of tasking personnel with time availability with management of a Yammer group crafted into a support role.

Moneypenny emphasizes, however, the need to select the right person for the Group manager role. A successful Yammer group manager exhibits not only a knack for facilitating group participation, but also the technical knowledge to directly field customer support questions, and to provide answers the whole group can assimilate.

So the task of constructing a truly effective customer support function from a Yammer group may be demanding and not for just any organization. But the benefits to be achieved from a successful effort in this regard are substantial. With active customer participation not only will sponsoring organizations likely experience a reduction in the cost of telephone support. They will also gain a medium to quickly notify some segment (if not all) of their customer base of important updates, etc.

Ira Michael Blonder

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