When Queensland-based telecommunications outfit Eco Communications set up shop in 2007, it was by no means a big company. As Technical Director David Towers remembers, the company was composed of just a few sales and technical personnel.
In the past couple of years, however, Eco Communications has experienced massive growth. The handful of employees it started with soon grew into dozens of people spread across sales, projects, and service departments.
With the company’s growth came the need to consolidate the more extensive processes that eventually arose. According to David, their old business management app in particular wasn’t able to keep up with Eco Communications’ increasing needs. It had become a veritable ticking time bomb that could affect further progress.
It was time to look for something new. Something better.
“Our previous CRM was just really archaic,” explains David. “It was basically just an Access database holding all our customer information.
“We also got big enough that we branched out into different sections in our company. We needed a way to bring all of those processes together so we started looking for a CRM that would meet our needs.”
Hours and Hours of Research
The search involved a lot of first-hand research on David’s part. He talked to service providers, got recommendations from other folks in their industry, and generally just scoured the Internet for the right CRM. He eventually found it via probably the most anti-climactic means possible: an online search.
“I actually just found WORKetc just by chance, by doing a search online,” he recalls with a quick laugh. “It was really chance.
“Straight away I saw that what WORKetc was doing matched what we were trying to achieve. But like I said, I wanted to do the research and see how everything worked myself.”
For that he turned to WORKetc product specialist Sarah Emms.
“They were like most clients in that they signed up for the trial and we went through the process of just doing the demo for them,” Sarah says. “What was a bit different was that they had quite specific scenarios in terms of their workflow.
“Working out how to keep doing their workflow within WORKetc was very important to David and his team. Part of the demo process was to help them do that; to see whether or not we could set WORKetc to resolve that workflow for them.”
Over the course of the demo, David shared with Sarah what Eco Communications was trying to achieve. Sarah, meanwhile, showed them a glimpse of what WORKetc could do. The system was starting to look like the right fit for David and his team, but they needed additional confirmation.
The QuickStart Onboarding Program
“We really wanted to confirm that WORKetc did actually do everything it claimed,” explains David. “We wanted to confirm that our business processes could fit within this area. That was when the idea of signing up for QuickStart became very appealing.”
Ever cautious, David and his team didn’t immediately go full throttle once they had signed up for QuickStart. When their company data was successfully migrated over into WORKetc, David continued to do background testing.
“It was great that we got to use our actual data during all this,” David says. “Live testing was going to show any deficiencies or anything that we needed to work on. That wouldn’t have been possible if we were just testing with generic dummy data.”
As for Sarah, she set about guiding David and his team through the setup and training process. As Eco Communications was moving from multiple systems — spreadsheets and emails, mainly — into using a CRM, most of the heavy lifting revolved around adapting their previous processes for WORKetc.
“Making WORKetc perform in the most efficient way was where we worked with them quite extensively,” says Sarah. “We tailored the program to his needs. We worked on a brief that was specific to them; it wasn’t like we had a series of training modules that they had to undergo that we weren’t willing to be flexible with.
“We also worked around the times when they could meet, and we were able to work outside their own hours because we have people covering multiple timezones.”
More Efficient Processes and Workflows
One of the processes that Sarah helped David with was Eco Communications’ slightly different approach to support.
“We have customers signing off on things before we do stuff pretty much all the time,” David explains. “Unlike most other businesses, I’d imagine, we would have a customer sign off on a support case before it gets sent on through to the guys in charge of implementation.”
By using WORKetc’s integrated quotes system with the support module, Sarah and the WORKetc team were able to come up with a working solution for David.
When a customer calls with a support request, David and his team can now create a quote from that support ticket with one click. That quote is then sent to the customer so they can sign off on the projected work before it’s sent on through to a technician.
“That level of support was awesome, and the quick timing was incredible,” says David.
Aside from adapting Eco Communications’ processes to WORKetc, Sarah also helped David streamline them, making them more efficient and better-equipped to handle the much larger number of projects that the company now engages with.
“Because we just grew from a small company our processes were pretty archaic,” David recalls. “We were basically just working off a template and ticking boxes as we went through. We just relied on a project manager to tick a box, remember where they’re up to, and remember which box to tick next.”
With WORKetc, they can now create default templates that can be turned into new projects with one click. Most of Eco Communications’ projects pretty much follow the same steps, so being able to create a new project off of a template has helped made starting the actual work faster.
“When we start a new project we can just import that template and it’s already got all the steps squared away with all the right timings — like step 1 to step 2 might take two days or half a day or whatever,” David explains. “That’s automatically set up for us. The system even sends our project coordinator a reminder if any project goes over the deadline.
“In that regard, the projects has probably been the most powerful for us. We were relying on humans to do everything before but now we have this process and this cool CRM that helps us out.”
Sealing the Deal
As David tells it, the level of support he experienced from Sarah and her fellow WORKetc product specialist Justine Tukushima during the QuickStart program left him very impressed. He also had high praise for the QuickStart Onboarding Program itself.
“Like I said, we looked at quite a few other business management apps and packages, and there was always an ‘OK, if you go ahead, this is the cost for implementation and here’s how many hours you get and if you go over that we’ll be charging you blah blah blah.’
“That was one of the really big positives for WORKetc: the fact that even though you’re paying up front for QuickStart, that money is going to be credited to your monthly subscription anyway. And even so, the implementation isn’t a set amount of hours; it’s helping you out until you’re comfortable with the way it’s going.
“That’s a really, really good thing that most other CRM packages don’t actually offer. We’re very, very happy.”
Sarah, meanwhile, believes that David’s decision to book a demo before jumping into QuickStart helped make the onboarding process go much more smoothly.
“By booking a demo they were able to explore what was possible with WORKetc more so than if they just tried to do that themselves using the free trial,” she explains.
“There’s always so many different ways you can structure or set up WORKetc that without someone guiding you through that process you just don’t know the scope of what’s possible.
“If you want to truly understand if WORKetc is going to be suitable for your business, then absolutely the best way to do that would be to talk to someone and go through a demo.
“I understand why some people are really hesitant to do that; they think they’re just gonna get a hard sell. It’s not just a sales call, though. We get to learn their processes intimately and they get to really observe WORKetc in action.”