In Case of Fire, Use CRM: Handling Common Small Business Staff Emergencies

What if your number one employee just suddenly didn't turn up? How would you cope? Here's how WORKetc CRM can help your small business handle common employee emergencies and interruptions.

WORKetc CRM for Small Business ContinuityPutting out employee-related emergencies in small businesses with the help of WORKetc CRM.

Every good business has that one employee.

You know the one: the employee who’s been loyal all these years, who always does an exceptional job day in and day out, who knows all the ins and outs of your business.

Now, imagine what your business would look like if that employee just didn’t turn up tomorrow.

How would you cope? What’s your “in case of emergency” plan?

In Case of Emergency

Let me set the stage a bit more here. Without any prior notice, your top sales agent has dropped a bomb on your desk in the form of his immediate resignation.

Compounding the problem is that he’s recently been working on landing a big client—a potential client who no one is taking care of now.

Even worse is that there’s a meeting scheduled with that potential client in two days. It already took your best sales agent weeks to wrangle that meeting schedule, so it can’t be put off to a later date.

Somebody needs to step in, and that somebody needs to quickly get a good overview of what needs to be done.

WORKetc CRM for Small Business ContinuityWithout a central, easy to search location for critical data, you’re left searching for a needle in a haystack.

Without a CRM that keeps updated records of your staff’s client interactions, there’s no quick way to get up to speed on that particular lead.

Worst-case scenario, you’d have to access your sales agent’s inbox to search through a mountain of emails to find relevant information and check his desk for additional notes that may or may not even exist.

That’s basically searching for a needle in a haystack.

Or you just go ahead and take the meeting, woefully unprepared, and lose any hope of ever working with that big prospect ever again.

If you’re lucky, you just might be able to cover everything in time. Even then, the smart money is on you ending up losing a lot of time, effort, and even potential clients in the process.

Well, that’s if you don’t have a business management app that automatically tracks all client information across each and every one of your business’ departments, anyway.

Every Interaction, Recorded Automatically

Now, there are two things I always mention whenever I talk about WORKetc: the fact that it connects everything from CRM and sales to projects, billing, and support in one app, plus the activity stream.

The first part is self-explanatory. As for the activity stream, it’s a running record of everything that you’ve ever done for a client, a lead, a support ticket, or a project.

These two features are the main reasons why a CRM with projects, billing, and support is indispensable when it comes to ensuring business continuity.

WORKetc CRM Activity StreamThe WORKetc CRM activity stream.

In WORKetc, everything from contacts and leads to projects and support tickets have their own activity stream. Here, you’ll see every single thing you’ve ever done for that item.

A lead’s activity stream, for example, with contain everything from their the client’s first inquiry about your services all the way to the latest email that your sales agent sent.

Any tasks, timesheets, discussions, or notes that were recorded against that lead would also appear in the activity stream.

So even if you’re down one sales agent, you can quickly get the lead assigned to someone else without having to worry too much about getting the new agent up to speed.

Whoever picks up the slack can review every single email, task, note, and timesheet on that sales lead so they’re prepared to keep nurturing it until the lead is won.

Making Informed Decisions Quickly

An employee leaving without the requisite two weeks’ notice can be a big blow to your business operations, but so can more temporary losses such as a staff member getting sick.

Let’s say you run a digital marketing firm and you’re currently deep into a big SEO project. Unfortunately, one of your SEO experts gets food poisoning.

He’ll be out for at least two days, so you need to quickly find someone to cover the SEO tasks assigned to him.

Since WORKetc lets you keep tabs on all tasks currently assigned to your employees, you can simply filter for all active tasks assigned to your SEO teams during the two days your agent.

Or you can use WORKetc’s shared calendars for a more visual way of reviewing who has which tasks scheduled for those days.

WORKetc Calendar Activity TypesFiltering for tasks on WORKetc CRM calendars.

Either way, you can quickly see which SEO team member doesn’t have a lot of assigned tasks during those two days.

Want to go even further? Using smartlists, which are powerful saved filters that let you slice and dice practically any kind of data in WORKetc, you can make sure whoever is assigned those tasks can do the job well and quickly.

Let’s say the sick employee’s tasks are all for SEO content for a financial company. You then create a smartlist that filters for all SEO content tasks with the “Finance” custom tag.

You’ve got a shortlist of three SEO experts whose schedules allow for the sick employee’s tasks, but the smartlist shows that only one of those people has previous experience in writing SEO content for the finance industry.

You can then assign those tasks to that person, with the knowledge that the decision you made was informed.

Once the tasks have been reassigned, the one handling those tasks can simply review the their activity streams to see what work has done so far and what needs to be done still—something that the sick employee can also do once he gets back to work.

With just a few minutes and a few clicks, you can ensure that even with a valued employee out of commission, his tasks won’t be left unattended.

Slashing Onboarding Times

WORKetc CRM for Small Business ContinuityInstead of training on multiple apps, train new hires on just one app with CRM, projects, billing, and more.

Disruptions don’t just happen when an employee leaves or becomes otherwise indisposed. Your business operations can also be affected when you’re adding new staff.

Let’s say your company’s client base has grown large enough that you decide it’s time to expand.

Since it’s a small but growing business, you want people who can pitch in for any department as needed: do a bit of sales, customer support, maybe the occasional project here and there.

Fortunately, the recruitment process goes fast and without a hitch. But even if you find new hires quickly, remember that training them isn’t an overnight task.

You’ll spend at least a week training them on how things are done at your company. And you need to assign another employee to handle the training.

Now, let’s say your staff uses four different and disconnected apps to do their jobs. One for CRM and sales, another for support, a third still for projects, plus a timesheet and billing app.

It takes at least a day to become familiar with each app, so that’s four days spent not helping customers by the agent in charge of training.

This is one area where a CRM with projects, timesheets, billing, and customer support modules really shines.
Because instead of having to train your new hires on four separate apps, you only ever need to train them on one.

This means you can conceivably cut the onboarding time in this scenario by three whole days.

And with WORKetc’s activity stream, discussions, and knowledge base module, it can even act as an information hub for everything else your new hires need to know about how you expect them to do their jobs—which, coincidentally, is exactly what animation company EVCL found out.

The faster the training, the sooner your company gets back to business as usual. And that’s the very essence of business continuity.

How are you using WORKetc’s activity streams to keep everybody up to speed on leads, tickets, and projects? Let us know in the comments.

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