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Make WORK[etc] Work Even Harder for You with These Tips and Tricks

Beyond its major features -- CRM software, project management, billing, time tracking, and help desk -- WORK[etc] has a large number of micro-features that help users create more efficient and effective workflows and processes. Take a closer look at four of these micro-features and how you can use them to supercharge your small business.

Today we’re looking at four little-known tips and tricks, ranging from speeding up the creation of targeted email lists to making sure that you get the feedback that you need from your team members. Read on for some helpful CRM software knowledge bombs!

Use tags to create mailing lists quickly

Tags are extremely useful when you want to segment and categorize your contacts into groups so you can organize them more effectively and efficiently. They also let you search through your contact list and create smartlists quickly.

That’s not all tags can be used for, though. You can also use them to automatically add contacts to an email list. This lets you create an email list with just a few clicks instead of having to go through your entire contact list and adding people manually.

When you create an email list, selecting a tag in the “Auto add from tags” field will add all contacts with that specific tag to the list. In the image below, for example, all contacts with the “Client” tag will be added to the email list.

Use tags to create mailing lists quickly in WORKetcUsing tags to create mailing lists quickly in WORK[etc].

This feature can be very handy when you’re sending out targeted email campaigns. A marketing company, for example, can tag all SEO clients with an “SEO” tag and all PPC clients with a “PPC” tag. If they want to send out an email to their SEO clients only, they can use the “SEO” tag to build a mailing list in three or four clicks.

The additional options you can see in the screenshot above give you finer control over when people are added to the list. You can set it so that only contacts that have all of the tags you selected are added or if they’re added as long as they have any of the selected tags.

A bit of a caveat, though: be very careful when selecting the “Person” tag. Make sure that if you do use it, use it in addition to another, more specific tag. If “Person” is the only tag selected, you may end up sending an email to everybody in your contacts database!

Create a WORK[etc] login form for your website

You can create a branded login page for WORK[etc] by adding a short snippet of code to any page on your website. All you need is a web form that includes “login” and “pass” parameters, such as in the example below (just replace “YOURDOMAIN” with your actual WORK[etc] domain name):

<form method="post" action="https://YOURDOMAIN.worketc.com">
E-mail: <input type="text" name="Login" /><br/>
Password: <input type="password" name="Pass" /><br/>
<input type="submit" value=" Sign In " />
</form>

Here’s an example of how one of our clients incorporated the login form into their homepage:

Create a WORKetc login form for your websiteSample of a custom WORK[etc] login form for your website.

The genius here is that the form works in two ways. First, you and your team can use it to log on to WORK[etc] through your website. This can be particularly useful if you require your employees to have their browser homepage set to your website.

Second, you can use the very same snippet of code to provide your customers with a branded access point to your customer portal where they can view and update invoices, projects, and support tickets. Your branding stays uniform, plus your customers don’t have to remember another URL for their customer portal.

Aside from setting your actual WORK[etc] domain, you don’t even have to fiddle with the code for this to work. It’s all automatic based on the login details entered. If one of your employees logs in through the form, they’ll be taken straight to their WORK[etc] dashboard. If a client who has customer portal access uses it to log in, they’ll be taken straight to the customer portal.

View the customer portal as a customer

Your branding can also be extended further to the customer portal itself. Aside from controlling what items your customers can see and access on the portal, you can set welcome messages as well as edit the colors and design to make the portal fit better with your brand. It helps you show a more professional image to your end customers.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the changes you make to the portal are exactly what you want your clients to see.

WORK[etc] lets you preview the portal as a specific client — you can see exactly what they’ll see when they log on. To do this, just open a client’s contact page, click on the Customer Portal tab, and click the “Preview as” button. When the customer portal loads, you’ll be viewing it as that specific client.

View the WORKetc customer portal as a customerHow to view the WORK[etc] customer portal as a customer.

This feature is actually a pretty significant improvement over the old customer portal, which didn’t let users see it through a client’s eyes at all. It’s especially useful when you have very specific permissions for different clients on the portal.

For example, a marketing company might give their SEO clients access to SEO-specific knowledge base articles while keeping the PPC-specific articles available only to their PPC customers.

Viewing the customer portal as a client lets you quickly check whether or not the settings for particular clients are correct; in this case, you can make sure that the SEO clients see the SEO articles and the PPC clients see the PPC articles and not the other way around.

Use “Request” on discussions to make sure the right person responds to your post

Whenever you post a discussion, you can always choose to include and request a response from anybody in your team.

In the screenshot below, for example, you can see three names in the include field. Names in blue are included in the discussion; this is very useful for keeping people in the loop even if you don’t need specific feedback from them.

Names in red, on the other hand, will get a special notification asking them to reply to your post. This is particularly useful for when you need feedback from a specific team member, especially if what you need is time-sensitive.

Use "Request" on discussions in WORKetc to make sure the right person responds to your post.Using “Request” on discussions in WORK[etc] to make sure the right person responds to your post.

To request a reply from someone, first make sure that their name is in the “Include” field. When you add someone to the Include field, their name will first appear in blue. Click on the name of the person you want a reply from and their name will turn red, meaning a response has been requested of them.

As an example, in the screenshot above, the poster is asking for feedback from both Terry and Daniel so their names are in red. They’ll be notified of Lorraine’s request. Lorraine, who is posting the message, has her name left in blue since she’s still looped into the discussion thread.

Got your own secret WORK[etc] tips and tricks? Share them in the comments section and we’ll give the best 3 comments an awesome WORK[etc] t-shirt, plus a write-up and link back in our next tips article!

  • David McGarry

    Oh this has reminded me, we’re not making use of customer portal views yet. This is something we have been thinking about.

    And I love that I can force someone to respond to my posts! I will be making use of that..

    Thanks for the great tips – keep them coming!

    • Steve Westrop | WORK[etc]

      David, get in touch with the Team here if you want to run through using the Portal. We invested heavily in redesigning this – at the end of the day a bad customer portal reflects on you more than on us, so it’s important to make it look good – and want to help people get the most out of it.

  • David Jones

    Great tips. We use Tags to help us organize customers according to technologies they own and certain products they use of ours. For instance we integrate with many medical integration engines so its helpful to us to tag our clients with the type of software they utilize. That way we can easily pull up a list of all customers that have that technology in house.

    • Steve Westrop | WORK[etc]

      Great way to use them David. If you are using the Client Portal then exposing KB articles or Forms based on Tags is pretty awesome too. So in your case, customers would see KnowledgeBase articles related to the software they utilize, rather than being bombarded with additional information that isn’t relevant. They’ll thank you for it 🙂 Shout if you need a hand setting this up – be happy to walk through it with you! #feelgoodFriday

  • Mandy Morris

    The bookmark feature is my go to trick for easily accessing clients I deal with on a daily basis instead of wasting time on searching.

  • The tip about the worketc login page on the website is a great idea. It means we can tell clients to go to http://www.companyname.com/support (or whatever).

    The tip I’d have is to use the bookmarks. They appear on any page you have open and are a quick and easy way to see things you always need to get to. I use that to see the project-wide to-do list as well as the backlog.

  • Steve Westrop | WORK[etc]

    Follow-on tip regarding discussions… worth checking your notification settings and making sure you get the stuff that matters most straight under your nose. If it would help people, I’ll write a post on what I’ve found helps and hinders my productivity here.

  • Helen Rendos

    Check your setting to make sure you get notifications and use bookmarks

  • Andrew Shelton

    I wasnt aware of the request response feature. Thats sweet, we’ll start using that pretty quickly. As our new site for the organization gets completed I expect that we’ll use custom login forms as well instead of taking the customers to the login/url for our work etc.

  • Thanks for the tips. We are using all but the custom login from website and will give that a go.

    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 WORKetc 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 WORKetc to free up a license and then add the new student employee.

  • Allen Bayless

    That’s awesome to know about the custom login. It maybe something to add on my company’s website for our clients. We usually tell them the WorkETC login URL on invoices.

    Some of the tips we use are with invoicing and projects. A lot of times we work on retainer so it’s good to create a project and go ahead and 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. Which allows them to see an estimated time schedule of services and for us it’s just a click away to make.

  • Keith Morris

    I have implemented a different twist on the login form. Using the API I was able to use the WORK[etc] login to autnenticate access to a staff intranet. This meant the intranet could be moved off premise to the cloud and access is only available to current staff.

  • I just made our client portal! Great tip! I really appreciate this functionality.

  • Love the tip on “request info”. We are just starting to use the client portal. It’s great to think of it as a client and then cater what they see to only what is pertinent to the project from their standpoint and hide the rest. We are also just starting to use the mailing lists, so thanks for the tip about tags.

  • Thomas Lawler

    I have set up numerous custom fields in Work[etc], and we run smart lists from the data employees enter. I know this has been helpful with our Customer Support Team, and Sales Team. We also use tags for the email integration to know who are the best points of contact for each customer.

    One thing I’m interested in: Does anyone have an easy way to clean or purge duplicate contacts in the system? The only way I know of is to merge duplicates one-by-one, which is quite time consuming when you have 1000+ contacts to manage.

    Thanks!

  • Danniella Cloud

    Thank you for a great article! It was interesting to read. I don’t have special skills in coding so I find this website builder software http://mobirise.net/ . So even I can create a website in few clicks. PS I will work hard to make it successful.

  • Maxime Soucy

    Nice tips. We are huge users of the WorkEtc API. We are pulling the data in Excel and also updating WorkEtc via Excel. Makes mass data entry so more user friendly.
    We also use many Custom Fields to track our leads and quotes.

  • Christina Fowinkle

    A majority of our time is involved with the Support section in WorkETC 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 them by name. WorkETC doesn’t have a complex search algorithm and the results aren’t usually narrowed down enough. So 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!

  • We use bookmarks to keep track of our active projects, they work a treat and we can chronologically track where we are up to with each one of them.

    Would love to learn more about customer portal and what can be uploaded in there to help our clients get more involved with how we operate.

  • Donna Grindle

    We use discussions with the request feature a great deal. It keeps us from emailing back and forth and ending up with several of us connecting different information to a project or case.

    It also helps my staff tell me when they need me to know something or respond to something for them to get moving on there work. I hate being the reason work stops or slows down.

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