child care

Across the worlds of CRM, project management, and support work, there are a multitude of different tools and software that can be used. In some cases where departments are large enough to support integrating their tools with other team’s tools, it’s not a concern using so many different tools to get work done. However, there are many companies that require close communication between teams that are hindered by their usage of separate, disparate tools. Often, the tools that work well for a particular team do not smoothly integrate with the tools used by another team, which can lead to unnecessary amounts of time spent making things work across software. When one such company came to us outlining the different systems used by their sales, support, and development teams, it was clear that OneDesk could meet all their needs and simplify the set of tools used for their day-to-day work.

Our client provides software to nurseries and childcare providers in the UK. Specifically, their software allows parents to enroll and schedule their children for care, and can also be used internally by staff to schedule themselves for shifts. In addition to this product, our client also has an application for children’s learning, that can also be used to share these moments with the parents. Our client’s organization is comprised of three main departments—support, sales, and development—that are currently using three different systems to track customer relations and work. In the ideal situation, our client would be able to use a single tool to manage all three systems, and introduce a knowledge base to promote self-service support.

For support tickets, OneDesk excels at simplifying management for this kind of work. As part of the OneDesk suite of tools, we have a tickets application that is a fully-featured helpdesk. Whether through e-mail or our customer portal application, customers are empowered to log their support items directly into our client’s OneDesk system. Once in our system, these tickets can be fleshed out with more details by our client. Our client is also able to set up workflows to outline the different statuses that the ticket moves through as it is triaged, worked on, and completed. Each ticket can also be assigned out so it’s clear who the go-to person is for updates. With the concept of followers, each ticket can also be assigned a set of people to whom updates and communications are sent out to. This keeps communications localized to OneDesk while still giving our client the ability to disseminate information via e-mail.

For our client’s development team, using support tickets for project and feature work doesn’t make sense. As part of OneDesk’s suite of tools, we also have a task management tool. Nearly identical to our helpdesk software in terms of layout and functionality, the task management application’s main differentiator is the ability to plan ahead. With fields for logging estimates and views that enable our client to map tasks out in a product roadmap, OneDesk’s project management tooling is easy to use and capitalizes on our helpdesk tool’s robust feature set. Our client voiced some concern over tickets and tasks becoming confused, necessitating some way to convert from one to the other. This is functionality already part of OneDesk and is a simple operation to convert back and forth from tickets to tasks and vice-versa.

Although not one of OneDesk’s core functionalities, our client listed a CRM as one of the systems used by their teams. On the surface, it seems impossible for OneDesk to address our client’s needs in this area, but diving deeper, OneDesk’s flexibility lends its strength. A customer relationship management (CRM) system is used for tracking, organizing, and prioritizing customers as well as manage a company’s relationship with them. Translating this system into OneDesk takes a little bit of work, but to have the benefit of using a single software to use across our client’s departments it may be a worthwhile endeavour. By setting up a new ticket type in OneDesk to represent customers, our client can then manage their customers similarly to how they manage tasks and tickets. Each new ticket type in OneDesk gets its own workflow which is separate from that of tickets or tasks. This can capture the different stages through the sales funnel as prospects become customers. OneDesk also has customizable fields that can be defined for a particular type. Any fields that our client’s sales department then needs to track for their prospects and customers can then be used to hold specific data.

In terms of our client’s desire to have a knowledge base, OneDesk has the capability of providing this functionality. If our client does not want to use our customer portal feature to take in support requests, then this application can be repurposed as a knowledge base to which our client can then publish articles to. Instead of building an entirely new system to handle this, we leveraged our existing concepts of work items—whether tasks or tickets—and types to simplify having to learn a new workflow. For every article that our client wants to publish to their knowledge base, they start by logging a new work item. One of the options in this ticket’s configuration is the option to publish the ticket’s contents as an article. Our client was curious as to whether OneDesk supports different kinds of media in these knowledge base articles, such as videos and images. As these articles are merely OneDesk work items under the hood, the media that can be attached and linked to in regular work items also applies to knowledge base articles.

By using OneDesk across their departments, our client is able to keep all of the relevant details in one place, and accessible by a similar user interface. Now, when our client wants to focus on a particular customer, they can look at this customer in terms of sales, support, and any project work done for them. This eases the communications between these three core departments that comprise their business, and ensures a high level of visibility and transparency across their work.

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