Clarins UK Group

How trusted beauty company, Clarins UK Group, are using bots on Workplace to increase productivity and better connect with their employees by providing process improvements and a more agile means of information exchange.
Project Objective:

Increase productivity


Clarins UK Group

Project Completion:

April, 2020


Creating automated knowledge assistants for employees

When it comes to the modern working environment, accessibility to information is no longer a want – it’s a need. Business-critical information needs to be quickly and easily accessible for all employees – whether they’re on the frontline, in the field or based in an office or at home.

With a distributed UK workforce of around 2,000 employees, Clarins UK were looking to build their own automated tools on Workplace to better their information exchange, improve processes and develop better access to documents, whilst at the same time, increase the visibility of important company news and announcements.

The challenge

When Clarins UK Group joined Workplace from Facebook, it became their central internal communications hub for all employees to find, access and exchange information. With a successful launch and high adoption rate amongst employees from early on, James Deren, Internal Communications & Engagement Business Partner at Clarins UK Group, was looking for ways to leverage new tools and features to make their Workplace instance work smarter for everyone, regardless of job function or geographical location.

In order to learn which areas of communication and engagement needed improvement, employees were asked to share their opinions via an online survey. Once the results had been collated, it became clear their staff wanted better access to information, easier-to-find documents and improvements to processes.

Bots have been a game-changer for us, especially as we're all so dispersed working across multiple regions and multiple offices. Being able to create and provide automated tools that inform, educate, and direct our employees to important and relevant information on Workplace in such an agile way is so powerful.
James Deren
Internal Communications & Engagement BP

The solutions

After reviewing the survey responses, James and Emilie Maunoury, Digital, CRM & Ecommerce Director, set their sights on addressing these issues and requirements using bots on Workplace. Using The Bot Platform, James has begun creating a suite of automation tools to combat key information exchange issues like document searching and raising awareness of important announcements.

To help keep employees properly informed, the ‘Important Announcements’ bot is used to broadcast company announcements from the Leadership Team and their Paris Headquarters. This bot is primarily used to raise visibility and awareness of important company updates and provide employees with easier access to information.

Employees are sent a broadcast message directly to their Work Chat inbox, which contains a call to action from the Managing Director and a link to view in full on Workplace.

To encourage employees to engage with the content, the bot has been designed using eye-catching graphics, which are deployed as part of each important announcement. These graphics provide employees with a brief overview of the full content and encourage them to click through to read more.

The key objective of the Important Announcement bot was to ensure employees received this important information in a more agile and direct way. For frontline employees busy working on the shop floor, having a bot send these announcements directly within Workplace Chat helps bring content to their attention while also offering an easy to use experience on mobile and tablet devices. While a relatively simple use case, the program has proven successful with links to news posts generating a 76% CTR.


A survey done by Nintex revealed that out of 1,000 respondents, 39% admitted to observing broken document management processes within their organisation. In particular, 49% said they have trouble locating documents, 43% have difficulty with document approval requests and document sharing, and 33% struggle finding the correct document version.

All this confusion adds up to serious time. A report by Mckinsey revealed that employees spend 1.8 hours every day searching for and gathering information.

Clarins UK had already identified this issue as something they wanted to solve for their employees and had paid a 3rd party vendor to create a custom bot that linked to all of their HR policies and procedures by pulling the files directly from Sharepoint into the bot. The issue, however, was that the bot could not be updated by James, or anyone else internally and because frontline employees didn’t have a business email address, they were therefore unable to access the original documents directly from the Sharepoint library.

Using The Bot Platform, James was easily able to build his own version of the bot without writing a single line of code or needing to leverage a developer. The flexibility and functionality of the platform enabled James to build and customise the Clarins Assist: Document Search bot in such a way that it seamlessly replaced the previous bot without James having to communicate a new set of user instructions.

To solve the Sharepoint and accessibility issue for frontline employees who didn’t have a business email address, James was able to use features and functionality native to Workplace to create a group that would act as an evolving library of documents. By disabling commenting and posting from non-group admins, this Workplace group is easily controlled while still being accessible to all corporate and frontline employees.

James then set up an HR-maintained Google Sheet to host information such as the policy name, metadata, and Workplace post link URL. Using Integromat, the Clarins Assist: Document Search bot is able to search by file name and metadata, and then pings back the correct Workplace post with the associated document(s), whether that be one result or multiple.

Employees can then continue to search and, if they still can’t find what they’re looking for, the bot will direct them to the HR Workplace group so they can manually search through all documents, linked to via a pinned post.


With an increased number of people working from home, coupled with an already large number working in the field, Clarins UK Group have launched a new digital productivity tool for their field and office teams; called Clarins Assist: People Directory.

Employees can simply open the bot using Workplace Chat and search for the key details of any Clarins UK individual working in an office or field role simply by searching by first name, surname…or both. The bot then retrieves their job title, desk phone, mobile phone, email address, department and location/floor. If an incorrect search is performed or the person doesn’t exist then a no results message is sent back prompting the user to search again.

From the main menu of the bot, with just two taps of a button, employees can also make direct calls to the Head Office Reception Desk and IT Service Desk as well as look up the names of the First Aiders and Fire Wardens.


Business impact

Using The Bot Platform has enabled Clarins UK Group to take control of building their own automation tools, without needing to rely on 3rd party providers or internal/external developers. The result is that Clarins UK Group are able to be considerably more agile with their communication. Bots can and have been created quickly and easily to solve key strategic (and ad hoc) communication and productivity challenges being faced by their employees.

The bots built by Clarins UK Group were able to replace and improve previous processes and channels of communication and, with the familiar interface of Workplace and Workplace Chat, employees have seamlessly adopted these digital tools into their day-to-day working life.

Alongside providing employees with resources previously more challenging and time consuming to obtain, these bots have also helped highlight important new policies, updates from the Leadership Team and have increased Workplace engagement and collaboration.

Clarins UK Group have plenty more bots in the pipeline, including new starter onboarding, employee-driven ideas generation to bring about positive change, and, the recapping of key messages, information and updates from a predetermined period of time, should they have been out of the business. A very exciting 2020 lies ahead for James and his ambitious plans for modernising internal communication at Clarins UK.


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CTR on news posts
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Using The Bot Platform has significantly improved our ability to exchange information and communicate with our employees – regardless of job function, or geographical location. Employees are more easily able to find and access the documents and resources they need on a day to day basis to help them do their job and be more productive.
James Deren
Internal Communications & Engagement BP

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