Ideas needed: Yammer for Business Transformation & Yammer Adoption

Not applicable

Hey Awesome Yammerians,


Here are two of my challenges and need your ideas to come out of it and shine. 


Challenge #1. How can I use Yammer as Social Help Desk (Service Desk) inside my organization in the most efficient way?  


Working into my current role of Yammer (Office365 at my company - a dairy based products company) owner, I want to use Yammer for real business value / transformation.


One of the primary support services that any company has is "IT Help Desk" (mostly outsourced) today and sadly users almost always complain about their Service Desk big time, where they have to wait for atleast few minutes to connect to Service Agent, Ticket is logged and then final resolution takes atleast one day or two or sometimes (probabaly) NEVER (apologies in case I am bothering someone here).


So, I am seriously considering over this idea of using Yammer as a Social Help Desk internally (in addition to the Traditional Service Desk).


Benefits I foresee:

1. Users do not have to wait on call and curse ServiceDesk for not picking up the call quickly.

2. Avoid 500 Tickets for a simple issue (which has been resolved once already.) Let the resolution be on Yammer in the HelpDesk group and users find it on their own before reporting a new issue.

3. We own this knowledge base collected over years and hence expertise lies in this knowledge base and not with any person (with a third party company who moves out of his customer support role)

4. Significant savings potential for the company and many more (I am sure).


I am sure many might have used it already into their organizations and hence I need their advice / strategy / best practises on how did they do it (in a little detail). ;)    


Challenge #2. How do I bring the production floor employees to Yammer?


Our company has roughly 50% of employees from Production Floor who are the only missign lot on Yammer today and I am determined to bring them on Yammer. So, please suggest me few strong cases / reasons (that no one in the company can refuse) to onboard them. Has any company done it already? If yes, what was your approach. I want to learn and implement, if I could.



1. These employees have to be attentive during production process and hence they do not have access to personal work device. Also the personal phones are permitted on the floor. 


Benefits I foresee:

1. Disconnected / Discontent bunch they are today as I sense: I am sure they know how to use Smartphone and Faceboook on their phones. So, even if they do not have personal laptop, they can still access Yammer from their devices (probably beyond their work hours, during their work-breaks, in travel etc.). And if they do, it will be great for our overall company as they will feel motivated / more conneted / appreciated. 


Inputs needed mates! 


Any other Yammer based business trasformation ideas that any one has implemented and can share here?



Sudhir Singh

8 Replies

Hi Sudhir -


It's great that you're trying to use Yammer to help resolve some of your company's challenges. I could probably envision that your first challenge will be easier than the second. :)


My firm currently uses Yammer in the capacity described in your first scenario. We have a Yammer group dedicated to the Help Desk where users can post issues that they're having to see if they're widespread, or our HD liasions (our Help Desk is outsourced as well) will post about known outages/issues/etc. Sometimes users are still asked to submit a ticket for tracking purposes, but it gives our end users:

- confirmation that they aren't the only individuals experiencing this issue

- someone to talk to who is internal

- or guidance from others on how to possibly resolve the issue

This has helped with creating white boards on issues, pinpointing them before they become worse so the appropriate teams can assist, etc. Additionally, we have a lot of specialty groups where we encourage users to ask questions. For example, I have a Yammer Help Desk Group which is stated to be the first stop for all Yammer questions. What I've found is that I don't always have to be the person to answer the question - once you have some champions and power users in your Yammer network they will oftentimes assist others. We have groups like this for SharePoint, O365, and pretty much anything else you can think of.


With that being said, this only helps the users who are actually active in Yammer. Hence your second challenge, and even still a challenge at my firm. The advice I have been given in the past is that if leadership gets involved, users will follow. Unfortunately, I don't have any personal examples to share on this one.


I hope I was able to help in some capacity. Good luck with your endeavor!

best response

Since @Antoine Snow amply answered Challenge #1, I'll try Challenge #2, and the first thing I say may be radical, but--


We don't actually require everyone to use Yammer. I keep it a use-case-based, there-if-you-need-it network.


I know. It looks better to have 100% membership. And technically we do have 100% membership, but we by no means have 100% activity (and in general, you don't see that anyway).


Believe me, I'd love to see that 100% engagement myself, every community manager does. Each % upward tickles us pink.


So with all that, here are some ideas!


1. Present use-cases specifically tailored to the needs of the group you're trying to onboard. I don't think going for a universal, one-size-fits-all approach will work here. You can still have your company-wide goals of collaboration and silo-busting, but you still have to have the granular examples that get people excited.


You have to answer, "What's In It For Me?"


You also have to answer, "How can this fit in with my job?"


And you can do this by asking them. Ask their department leads, ask individuals, ask people from other departments who work with them, etc. What projects are they working on? Do they feel left out of what's going on? Have they really wanted to use Yammer, but felt it wasn't for them, or weren't sure how to get started?


Also include the goodies: You can save things to check on later, you'll get notified if you post a comment and someone responds to you, you can "follow" people to make sure you see their updates, you can join and create groups (if that's okay with your policy), spend just 5 minutes on the home feed and you'll catch up with all the news, save on tons of Reply All emails, always know you're seeing the latest file version with all the conversation around it because Yammer is so wonderfully linear, etc.


2. Assure them that Yammer is open 24/7. They can indeed check it during breaks or lunch. They can check it at home. They can use the Yammer app or even save a browser page on their phones or tablets.


3. Get leadership on board--go as high up as you can. Department leads, yes, but if you can get executives, that will help big. It may take several iterations. You may have to script out a framework for what they should say.


Department leads can help with the kind of guidance such as, "I will be posting <this update previously communicated a different way> in our own Yammer group from now on. Go there to get the latest and join the discussion." Warning: This may put people off.


4. Redirect, redirect, redirect. "Find <this exciting piece of news> on Yammer!" "I'll put the file in Yammer so you can access it any time." "Could you share that on Yammer so the whole company can benefit/celebrate with you?" And do not give up.


5. This is for you. Remember that this change may not happen in a day or all at once among that 50%. Don't despair. I've just seen people join just last December who hadn't used Yammer since we launched in 2014. Suddenly a group started by our Sales department exploded on the scene. And you know why? Because despite all I'd said, all the reasons I suggested, for some areas, they really need to find it out on their own. And this department did. They found a use that met their needs and, perhaps more importantly, managed to fit alongside their very busy day of calling people.


Bonus: Throw a launch party, just for them, or for the whole company. Call it whatever you want. Make it a contest: "Post an inspirational quote and the one with the most likes wins a cool prize!" Have snacks. Challenge people to fill out an easy Yammer Scavenger Hunt, that just so happens to help people find out what to do where. 


Through all this, keep up the encouragement and stay available and accessible. You've got great vision and enthusiasm, and those are key aspects to success!

Find me on LinkedIn. I have published a number of Yammer Use Cases that might help you from a large global healthcare company with factory workers.

Thank you very much for your time. Will keep our community posted in case I am successful implementing this anytime soon. 

Hi Sudhir,

You've got some great leads here already so I'll keep it brief:

Idea 1:

- Make sure that someone from the existing support desk is allocated to answer the Yammer group as requests are logged (responsivness is important)

- Place a link to the Yammer group into your teams internal email signature

- Add value to the group by posting updates/solutions to emerging problems

- Be transparent with the actions that your team are taking on the Yammer thread: ie if someone logs a request and the response is to call that individual, make sure you post something like "I will call you"... posts that don't appear to have a response will kill peoples trust in your team


Once you build momentum you should start to see the group beging to self solve their queries, reducing your workload over time (you'll still need someone to watch the group though to make sure the answers are accurate - you'll likely get insights into the workarounds that exist within the org).


Idea 2:

- Start with their social club: if they have a social club target the people who run it and ask them to start engaging their memebership through Yammer (to crowdsource ideas for activities, share photos etc) - they can still use their existing channels, just build out their engagement with Yammer - social activities are a sweet spot

- Project a Yammer stream into their work environment: are you able to put TVs into their day to day enviornment (workplace or kicthen/staff areas etc) that live streams the feed of their Yammer group. This will put it infront of their faces and increase the chance of drawing them into the conversation

- Run a heroes program: once you've got Yammer physically integrated into their workplace give them a task that they can use it for... peer recognition is another sweet spot.



Virpi Oinonen slide deck is a good one on a pain point based on "support requests"


Help desk was overloaded and slow, so people starting asking questions to internal subject matter experts 

...but this was not a sustainable nor strategic solution

  • it was still in private
  • experts had to search their inbox for past answers, and re-write answers to send
  • and the bigger problem was that it was sucking up all the time from the experts from doing their day job


An ESN help desk

  • is public for all to benefit (more than one person can benefit from an answer)
  • and given it's public people can self-serve before asking (which saves the expert's time)
  • enabled experts to post once, rather than re-writing the same solution everytime (which saves the expert's time)
  • a support call is now open to many and diverse people (more potential of someone knowing the answer)
  • a support call may be complex and now that can be handled with many diverse people swarming
  • a support call is now anwered quicker as there's a range of people and across geographies and time zones (someone will be available to answer it), and if it's complex the usual handballing from expert to expert is no longer a time drag as all minds are on it at once conversing in the same thread
  • it teases out not just experts, but people that can answer everyday questions (people have many skills beyond their job description)
  • 2-way conversation enables feedback and improvements
  • enables people to be engaged and build a reputation

Checkout our session at Ignite, it will have solutions!  Weds 27 Sept at 10.45am - 75 mins.

GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Yammer network is helping people do more, feel better, live longer!

GSK's has one of the largest, most active Yammer networks in the world. +100k members in 120 countries with 40-80% activity. We'll share many reusable best practices and insights collected on our journey which started in 2009. Our IT and IC partnership was a resounding success but with few complaints internal resources shifted and engagement waned. In 2017 a new CEO took the stage. IC re-engaged with IT and engagement went stellar! You don’t need a new CEO to help your network succeed, but with strategic alignment and nurturing the right culture you can create some #yammermagic