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How Hanzo Used Sameroom to Simplify Client Communications

By Jared McGriff

Hanzo helps early stage hardware companies build and launch products. Hanzo serves in a hands-on and advisory capacity to drive all aspects of early stage growth, including operations, product development, marketing, sales, and support.

The nature of Hanzo’s business requires frequent communication with client teams. As such, Hanzo’s first deliverable is to set up their client’s Slack instance. In order to remain in contact with the client teams, members of the Hanzo team joined client Slack teams. While Hanzo members enjoyed the benefits of being in close touch with the customer in this manner, they also noticed certain usage patterns that proved problematic in an environment where team-to-team communication was critical to the success of the engagement.

Benefits of joining client Slack teams

  • Real-time communication with core client team throughout the duration of engagement

  • High visibility into all client team activities and communication flows

Problems with joining client Slack teams

  • Confusion/information overload associated with joining so many Slack teams

  • Being a part of the team increased DM (direct, 1-1 message) potential

  • Frequent DMs meant Hanzo team members did not receive relevant information at the same time

Due to the above problems, Hanzo CEO Zach Kelling sought a solution to simplify his team’s usage of Slack.

Sameroom helped Hanzo restructure their client communication with shared channels between the Hanzo Slack team and client Slack teams.

Since most communication during the engagement involves the Hanzo team providing answers to questions and offering advice, this method turned out to be beneficial, since both the Hanzo and client teams receive all information at the same time (by eliminating DMs entirely) and each retain a copy of the conversation.

This single point of connectivity forced all stakeholders to collaborate publicly, maximized accountability, limited superfluous conversation, and forced focus. Another benefit to using Sameroom included the ability to share Slack integrations with client teams.

Primary functional benefit of shared Slack channels

  • Hanzo team can respond to client matters without joining client Slack teams

  • By eliminating DMs, all Hanzo team members can respond and/or view responses in real-time

  • The Hanzo team can remain in their home environment without switching Slack teams or sharing DM and presence information with outside teams

There were two unintentional benefits of sharing Slack channels

  • The approach forced good behavior: a single point of connection required all stakeholders to discuss topics in public (as opposed to DMs)

  • Sameroom allowed Hanzo to share integrations across Slack instances: it’s easy to share key integrations with external teams, creating more value throughout the engagement

By using Sameroom, Hanzo was able to foster an open and accountable communication environment to drive successful client engagements.

About Sameroom: Sameroom provides real-time interoperability gateways available for Cisco Spark, Skype for Business, Yammer, Fleep, Flowdock, Gitter, Google Hangouts, HipChat, Intercom, IRC, Salesforce Chatter, Skype, Slack, Telegram, and Twitter. Sameroom can work with any other chat platform, given an API.

About Hanzo: Hanzo is a creator-first ecommerce platform that helps you quickly build scalable companies, fund innovative products and grow community around invention. Hanzo is made up of complementary features that you can mix-and-match to fit your needs.

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Need to connect a Freenode channel to a room in HipChat? Or want to give customers a simple way to connect to a channel in your Slack team?

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