Clear communication helps your agency avoid many problems that could throw project schedules off-track or lead to poor outcomes. HipChat is a powerful tool for improving your internal agency communication, but you have to take several steps to ensure that you’re getting the most value out of your investment. Use these 12 tips to leverage HipChat and its features effectively.

1. Give Clients Access

Your staff needs to refer to client requests and requirements on a regular basis throughout the project. If these conversations take place in other tools, then those team members are going to work with those solutions. When you give clients limited access to HipChat, you fix one of the big barriers to adopting this application.

2. Keep Conversations in HipChat

The rest of your communication also needs to take place in HipChat. Encourage your agency to use it as the primary method for talking with everyone in the organization. Centralizing discussions makes it easy to keep everything in one place and eliminate time that’s spent tracking down information hidden in network drives, inboxes, and other communication methods.

3. Leverage Multiple Communication Options

HipChat’s one-on-one instant messaging and chat room options give you the flexibility to cover most use cases for your agency. You can quickly get in touch with individuals on a team with the private messaging option, which is good for updating task-specific instructions or providing project feedback to a manager. The chat rooms work well for conversations that concern the team as a whole, such as new guidelines from the clients.

4. Use Mentions

HipChat is a real-time chat tool, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for asynchronous conversations. Mentions allow you to tag someone specific in a message, so they can come back to it later and get relevant information. This feature is particularly useful for agency members who prefer to use separate time blocks for conversations and focused work.

5. Send Documents and Files

You can use HipChat as a digital asset manager by sending all project documents and files through the platform. This tip gives you another way to encourage HipChat usage in your agency, as team members don’t need to look up important files in another solution.
Another benefit to this approach is reducing redundant work in your organization. Everyone has access to the same set of files, so you don’t have people using their own personal saved versions.

6. Use Ad Hoc Groups as Needed

It’s easy to set up chat rooms. When two teams need to collaborate together outside of their typical channels, Ad Hoc groups are the answer. They work for everything from holiday office party planning to discussing potential clients. Another great use for Ad Hoc groups is quickly talking with any external partners working with your agency on a project.

7. Skip the Meeting Rooms with Video Chat

Meetings eat up a lot of productive time in the day, especially for organizations that don’t know how to run effective ones. HipChat might not solve the latter problem, but it addresses the former through video chat. Everyone can connect, even if they’re on a business trip halfway around the world.

8. Share Screens

Sometimes it’s easier to show than tell, especially when it comes to designs and other visual mediums. Screen sharing is a quick and easy alternative to taking screenshots or setting up a tutorial for showing someone how to do a task.

9. Leverage Other Atlassian Solutions

HipChat is an Atlassian product, and it offers native integration with other solutions by this company. If you’re looking at software in the categories Atlassian covers or already use some of their products, use the HipChat integration to streamline your infrastructure.

10. Create Dedicated Channels

You have a few types of conversations that happen regularly in an agency. Individual teams, managers and other leadership positions, and a company-wide chatroom. These channels provide a solid starting point for most agencies. You can add more over time as the use cases arise.

11. Create HipChat Policies and Procedures

Instant messaging and chat rooms are communication channels that lead to more casual conversations compared to other forms of professional communication. Before deploying HipChat in your agency, create application-specific policies and procedures that dictate the use of this software. You can avoid a lot of confusion and potentially disruptive behavior by setting everything in black and white ahead of time.

12. Encourage Multi-Device Usage

HipChat is available on a wide range of devices, so there’s no reason that your agency staff needs to access it solely from their workstations. When employees can check the chat rooms and private messages through smartphones, tablets and other devices, they can stay on top of important conversations without being chained to their desks.
If your agency already has a Bring Your Own Device policy or something similar in place, you can add HipChat specific information to encourage usage on these devices.
HipChat can do a lot when it comes to streamlining and improving your agency communication. Put these tips to use and start seeing the true power of this comprehensive platform.

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