Picture this: your company’s customer support system consists of two guys — one who keeps a list of all support emails in a massive document on Google Drive and another whose job is to track the list. It’s about as manual as you can get without actually resorting to pen and paper.
These two people are the only ones who really know what’s going on in support, so you can just imagine the chaos when just one of them becomes unavailable. Worse, what if they’re both indisposed?
What happens if one guy goes on vacation, the other one is ill, and there’s a sudden flood of support cases coming in? How does everyone else in the company deal with this scenario? It was a company-wide disaster just waiting to happen.
Now imagine if instead of those two guys, your company uses just one app to handle support tickets. Every support email is automatically logged and redirected to the right people; customer queries don’t end up falling through the cracks.
Even better, all support emails are kept in one place and instantly become part of your clients’ activity history. Finally, the whole company has access to the tickets; even if your whole support team isn’t available for any reason, everybody else still knows everything that goes on with your customers.
The support scenario above is just one of the many common small business pain points that WORKetc helps heal. Here are a few more that we’ve come across over the years and how WORKetc can easily solve them.
Pain point #1: Email
No small business owner can live without email. It’s a double-edged sword, though — email is an indispensable communication tool, but leave your inbox unattended and you’ll quickly be swallowed up by a swamp of notifications, alerts, unimportant messages, and spam.
I personally end up spending half of my day responding to emails sometimes. Literally. I know I’m not the only one, too, as email is one of the most common pain points we hear about in our demos.
One potential client we talked to already had a CRM system. He was, however, very reluctant to sync his email with the system because it would mean every email he gets will end up in the system and, as he put it, “drown us all in unimportant noise”. He had to hunt down important emails and then copy and paste them into his CRM tool every single day.
It’s in scenarios like this where WORKetc’s Gmail extension and Outlook add-in shine. These widgets let you quickly pick and choose the important emails and send just those to the CRM system.
Let’s say you get an email asking about your premium services. You can quickly turn that into a sales lead and assign a member of your sales team to start nurturing it in just a few mouse clicks.
This means you don’t have to keep switching between your CRM software and your email client to transfer info from one to the other. Since you can turn any email into a new contact, lead, project, support ticket, or update without ever leaving Gmail or Outlook, you can manage your business and clear your inbox at the same time.
Pain point #2: Custom project stages
A while back, we talked to a video production company that offered documentary production and live event coverage.
Documentary production involved multiple meetings, several proposals, storyboards — and that’s all before the actual production even starts! Live event coverage projects, on the other hand, were more straightforward. Just one meeting with the client and they were basically ready to go once they got the event details.
With WORKetc, this company can create custom project stages for different types of production jobs. Documentary projects will follow their own set of stages while projects that tackle live event coverage will have their own, as you can see in the graphic below.
The company can quickly roll out projects based on these main templates and customize them according to their clients’ needs.
If any issues crop up while the company is working on a documentary, for example, they can quickly switch around, reschedule, or add subprojects to the main project. Project management and deployment becomes much easier and faster.
Pain point #3: Recurring billing
One of the company’s interesting projects involved a weekly video production gig for a local comedy club. This recurring job was a bit of an anomaly — it was the only weekly service the company provided in a sea of one-off projects.
The job was pretty routine: every week, they produced a video for the club’s YouTube page consisting of highlights from that week’s stand up routines. The contract required the company to the same services every week for a fixed monthly fee billed every 30 days.
This recurring job was a bit of an anomaly; it was the only weekly service the company provided in a sea of one-off projects. They weren’t used to managing jobs that involved recurring tasks and billing, but WORKetc made healing that particular pain point — keeping track of and managing recurring tasks and billing — easier.
Recurring tasks are those that occur on a regular schedule, be it daily, weekly, or on a monthly basis. In this particular project, for example, these include recording the comedians’ sets, editing the footage, and sending the finished video to the comedy club so the latter could post it on their YouTube page.
By setting up recurring tasks and recurring billing in WORKetc, the company ensures that the weekly tasks are automatically assigned to the right people and included in their schedules. There’s minimal chance of someone along the line forgetting a task they’re supposed to do.
The work done on these recurring tasks are also automatically added to their end customers’ monthly invoices. All billable hours are accounted for and no dollar is lost in the shuffle.
Pain Point #4: Invoicing
Speaking of invoices, that same video production company also markets these two services under separate brands. They wanted to make sure that each brand has its own identity right down to the invoices, which is something that can be taken care of using WORKetc’s billing module.
Custom invoices will allow the company to send out invoices that carry branding specific to the brand they’re originating from. It’s not just the logos; each invoice can have totally different layouts to reflect the different stages of their specific service.
The company can also use custom tags to easily differentiate customers of one brand from customers of the other. No more worrying about sending an invoice covered in white bows and ribbons to a client who ordered a hard-hitting documentary.
Pain Point #5: Implementation
Finally, there’s one pain point that some people looking for a CRM system may not even realize exists. They worry about finding a system that works, but when they do find it, they realize their worst fear: actually implementing the CRM software.
The demo might have gone great, the system may be a perfect fit, but then they start to ask themselves:
- How are we going to get everybody on board the new system?
- Are we all going to have to spend months learning the ropes?
- Who is going to do the setup work?
- What if we make a mistake and don’t set it up properly from the start?
- How do we ensure we get properly up and running… in the shortest time possible… while still doing our day-to-day jobs… and keeping the business running?
Our new QuickStart Onboarding Program is made to make that first step as easy as possible. The program gives users invaluable one-on-one advice and consulting, all of which are tailored to your specific needs and requirements.
The QuickStart program significantly shortens the time needed to get you up and running on WORKetc. We handle first-time setup so you don’t have to worry about making any mistakes. This includes data imports from your existing systems, syncing your contacts and calendars with WORKetc, and setting up your client portal with the appropriate branding, among others.
Our product specialists will also help you pinpoint which features and tools will make the biggest difference in your business and train you and your team how to get the most out of them. The QuickStart program also gives you access to a wealth of tips and best practices for managing projects, sales, and support.
Basically, instead of fumbling around in the dark for a couple of months, you get dedicated one-on-one guidance from those who know WORKetc best and use it everyday.
The onboarding program is not just for new users, either. Anybody who wants to optimize their WORKetc accounts can opt-in. Best of all, QuickStart comes at effectively no cost. The $499 you shell out for it comes with a subscription credit of $499. This credit will be offset against your monthly subscription fee until it’s exhausted, meaning your effective cost is $0.
Painpoint #n: showing the status of the support tickets to our customers. Before, we had to consolidate spreadsheets when customers wanted to review the prioritise of their support tickets. Now, thanks to the Customer Portal, they can always see the status of all their tickets and revise priorities.
Our biggest pain point is judging staff workloads. We need to know each person’s assigned tasks and estimated time to completion and have a way to look at that visually to see where potential bottlenecks could be. This can really help with prioritization and staffing.
The biggest pain point we’ve solved with WORKetc has been support ticket management and reporting. We tracked support on paper with no reporting, and now have it completely organized with histories! We’re also implementing projects which are going to solve massive pain points in our software implementations.
Thanks for sharing Colin. We’re always looking to showcase Customer stories in depth – let me know if you’d be interested in this! Steve
For us, it was a knowledge of shared credentials (i.e. how to get to a client’s server, or to a development portal). My boss had everything in an excel spreadsheet, which was fine was he was a sole trader. Now, we put everything useful into knowledge base articles. Everyone in the company can get to them, we never have to worry about ‘forgetting’ how to do something, and we no longer have to worry about one person holding all the cards!
Working from within GMail has made a huge difference to us. When we access our GMail without the ability to run the widgets it makes everything more complicated and inefficient. With the widget we capture more information with less time. That includes timesheets!
Invoicing changed dramatically. Before, we had time entries in one system that had to be exported and then imported into Quickbooks. Now, we have timesheets in place and invoice when ready. And, we use the recurring invoice options every single month.