A Virtual Data Room has many moving parts. With the help of the internet, users are accessing confidential information around the clock from various time zones, in multiple languages from different operating systems (windows and mac). Each computer usually runs different softwares with different versions, some of which may be up to date while others might not be. Add to that the varying internet connection speeds, the multiple types of firewalls and spam filters. How does one ensure that everything works effortlessly? The answer lies in clear communication that is run through a rock-solid process. Here are 6 steps that every Virtual Data Room provider should follow to ensure that each :
1. Defined roles and expectations from the very beginning
From the start when everyone knows who is responsible internally and externally, chances of misunderstandings are drastically reduced. A Virtual Data Room provider should always start a new virtual data room with a kick-off call. The purpose of this call is to setup the basic structure of the Virtual Data Room in terms of security, offer the client assistance in creating the sitemap and share the teams contact details including their personal phone numbers, online chat details and the relevant email addresses.
2. Immediate response when a request is received to a query
All users hate to followup to know whether their request is being worked on. When a request is made, a written email from the Virtual Data Room expert who is addressing the particular request must be sent within 15 minutes. This lets the user know that someone is working on his query, leaving him well informed.
3. Immediate response when the request has been executed
Some requests take much longer to execute than others. Usually the longest requests require a change in permissions that are complicated because they involve multiple groups, users and files. Once the request has been successfully executed an email to the client makes him aware of the fact that his requested for has been completed.
4. Periodic followups to ensure everyone can access the data
It is not enough to send an email invitation to the users of a particular project. Sometimes the invites get filtered into the spam folder by certain email clients. At other times the user does not understand the steps that need to be followed. A periodic followup enables the Virtual Data Room provider to identify any issues that users might be facing to solve those issues immediately.
5. Keeping a clear record of all communication
Maintaining all communication in writing ensures that the Virtual Data Room providers dedicated team members can easily pick-up from where their colleagues left without having to make the client repeat the scenario. This ensures that communication flows easily from one person of the team to another without any break in coordination.
6. Using a dedicated email address for the project
Following up from the previous point, when there are multiple members of a Virtual Data Room involved in a project it is important to keep everyone in the loop. A dedicated email address solely created for that specific project enables an easy process of follow-ups and responses that avoids any break in communication.
Clear communication is essential for managing a Virtual Data Room. Without a process driven approach to managing the clients requests, the users issues and the advisors instructions, it is easy to make mistakes. An experienced Virtual Data Room provider will ensure that all communication happens in writing to avoid any misunderstandings. When million dollar transactions happen online, the margin for error is nil, which is why defining roles and responsibilities, responding in a timely manner and following up proactively to ensure that the technology is being used to its full potential, is crucial torunning effortless due diligence processes.