In our second WORK[etc] tips and tricks post, we go in-depth on automating the data entry process by using web forms, introducing your clients to your Customer Portal, and keeping your main dashboard updated with the items and work that matter most to you.
Plus, some of our clients weigh in with their own tips for more efficient searching, how to handle contact entries for people no longer associated with your company, and how to use the milestone billing feature for a more efficient billing process.
Automatically Turn a Web Form into a Lead or Support Ticket
Web forms are an easy way to make your CRM workflow even more efficient by capturing data without having to enter everything manually into WORK[etc].
They’re not just there for gathering names and email addresses, though. You can, for example, set up a web form for your website where potential clients can ask for quotes or more detailed information on your products and services. WORK[etc] can then automatically turn the information entered into a sales lead that you can start nurturing immediately.
You can also use web forms to let your clients submit detailed support tickets through your site. Web forms give you complete control over which pieces of information you require your clients to submit, meaning you get more detailed support requests compared to a simple email.
Same as with the sales lead example, the information entered into a support web form can also automatically be turned into a support ticket.
Here’s how to do it:
First, set your web form up by going to Settings > Web Forms. Once you’ve added all the necessary fields that you want your web form to have, click on the Form Settings tab.
Scroll down a bit and you’ll find an Actions section with a checklist of what you want the web form to do with the data entered into it.
Checking “Create Sales Leads from Form” lets you add new fields such as Estimated Lead Value, a Referral field, and an Employee Picker that lets users assign the lead to a specific team member.
The same goes for checking “Create Support Case from Form”. You can add an Employee Picker field as well as let users set Ticket Status, Priority, and Category.
Introduce the Customer Portal to Your Clients Through Auto-Reply Messages
Want to get your clients to use your customer portal? Use WORK[etc]’s auto-reply messages to educate them.
WORK[etc] lets you set auto-reply messages that automatically lets people who email your support team know that their issues and concerns have been received.
You can also go a step further and give your clients access to the customer portal so they can see and update their tickets.
One quick way to tell your clients about the customer portal and how it works is to include a link to your customer portal knowledge base article in your auto-reply email itself.
It’s crazy easy: just create a knowledge base article about the customer portal and how clients can access and use it. Then, add a link to that KB article to the Support Case Auto Reply Message, which can be found at the bottom of the Support settings page.
Use Saved Filters to Quickly See Important Tasks and Projects
You don’t have to slog through a list of all your projects every time you open the Projects module. By creating and saving filters, you can categorize projects by type, period, and who they’re assigned to, among others.
For example, let’s say you’re focused only on projects that deal with web development. You can easily create a filter that will show you only web development projects. You can also create filters that let you categorize all of your projects and tasks according to client.
This comes in especially handy when you have a lot of clients and projects, although even when you’re only working on a handful of tasks the filters will still help keep you laser-focused on what you have on your plate.
Better still, you can save these filters as links so you can view only the specific categories that you want to see with a single click!
The image above shows saved filters under the My Projects tab. The links stay persistent across all of the tabs besides My Projects. Click on Activity Stream, Priority, or any of the other tabs and the links will still be there.
More Tips and Tricks from Actual WORK[etc] Users
My favorite tip/trick lately is using the “inactive” tag when employees or contacts move on. My instinct when a contact changed employers was to dive into her record in WORK[etc] and update it with her new info. I had to learn to restrain myself and instead apply the “inactive” tag to her old contact info in order to preserve old activities linked to that record. I then create a new record for her with the new job/employer where new activities will attach.
This comes in handy at our University where we cycle through student employees who may spend only year or two with us before moving on. We apply the inactive tag to the departing student to maintain the contact/activities in the system, disable their access to WORK[etc] to free up a license and then add the new student employee.
A majority of our time is involved with the Support section in WORK[etc] and having to organize incoming emails into tickets/cases. A major tip that helps when organizing/moving/attaching items is that you can pull up parent items using their entity ID number instead of searching for them by name.
Instead of searching through the multitude of items being pulled through a word search, use the ID (without any hyphens) and it will pull up only the one item you need!
A lot of times we work on retainer so it’s good to create a project then outline the billing. At times, we’ll create a project that can last a couple of months. By using the milestone priced project field we can go ahead and label the item name for the invoice. Also, when we set a date on the milestone it will auto fill when creating the invoice and append unbilled charges of the client.
The other thing we use is project templates. We create mini sub projects that can be combined into one project. Sometimes we’ll have a campaign project for inbound marketing and a template that focus on general services that all campaigns use. But then there will be project templates we add into that main template that only pertain to that client such as email design or copywriting.
These templates will have adjusted time frames so we can show clients their project’s Gantt chart. This allows them to see an estimated time schedule of services and for us it’s just a click away to make.