A lot of companies, and their underlying departments, face growing pains as they build on their success and establish themselves as true organizations. As product offerings and capabilities expand, departments and teams start to field wider ranges of requests for work, and this can lead to people specializing in order to build efficiency. Sometimes these requests can come from other teams at the same company even. What processes used to work for a smaller company can become cumbersome, and the wild work intake that led to substantial growth might bring too much chaos now. It was for this reason that a client came to us seeking a solution to organize their work.
Our client is a wire manufacturer that was looking for a solution to manage both requests and projects. Because our client receives constant requests from customers asking for a variety of things, it has been chaotic trying to organize this work. Generally, requests came in as e-mails, but they did not come in to one centralized inbox. Ideally, our client wants to have a single point to which requests come in, and from there they can be assigned out to the correct people based on the type of request. As our client has moved many of their operations out of the office due to the pandemic, they noted that a lot of details are missed without the casual walk-by conversations, so tracking these details with the requests is especially important.
Organizing and assigning every incoming request
Whether internal or external to our client, e-mails are the main method by which requests come in to them. This paradigm works well with OneDesk’s helpdesk system, which automatically generates an e-mail address that will log any e-mails sent to it as tickets. This one feature is a big step towards centralizing incoming requests of all kinds and addressing our client’s main concern. For each ticket type in OneDesk, one of these e-mail addresses is created, which can further differentiate incoming work when used with workflow automations. For example, when a new ticket is logged from an incoming e-mail, based on the ticket type, a workflow automation can automatically sort and assign the ticket to the right team of people based on criteria that our client defines. Where this can work especially well is with OneDesk’s hierarchical system of portfolios, folders, and projects to organize work. For our client’s marketing department, this concept opened up opportunities to capture all of the different concerns and functions that this team is involved with. For example, the marketing department’s duties include providing marketing data to other teams, delivering graphic and design assets, publishing product launch news, and various other supportive work. With these in mind, we suggested they use portfolios to denote either the different customers who come to them asking for work, or the different functional areas their work falls into. Either of these options allows our client to group their work and allow their team members who are more specialized to easily find the projects and tickets that are relevant to them. OneDesk also has the concept of teams, wherein users can be grouped according to their organizational teams or functions. These teams can then have their access tuned to particular portfolios, making it super clear what tickets and tasks are relevant to them. Best of all, there are no limits to the number of portfolios and folders our client can create to segment their work.
Using timesheets to understand customer needs
One aspect that our client was curious about was time tracking. As they provide support for various different customers, both internal and external, it is important for them to know how much time they are spending on each request. There are a couple different ways time can be tracked in OneDesk, with one of the easiest being the in-application timer. Logging time with this feature is straightforward and can even be done through our mobile application. However, it can be easy to forget to start the timer in OneDesk, or to forget to stop one that’s been started. For these instances, timesheets can be entered manually or imported onto a ticket. The use case our client highlighted is the frequent need to understand what customers their team was spending the most time on. This information helps them understand who relies on their support the most, and what requests might be the trickiest or most time-consuming.
Setting up custom views to discover reporting insights
With the base set of default views OneDesk provides, our client was interested to see how customizations could unlock specific details. Any of our default views – card, tree, flat, calendar, dashboard – can be tweaked to drill down into the data captured and recorded in each work item. Using filtering and grouping, our client can slice and dice different metrics and aspects of their work into views that meet their needs. These views can then be exported and used for reporting purposes. By leveraging custom fields, any aspect of work can be reported on. For example, if our client wanted to set a price point for certain kinds of service requests, they can add a custom field to store this data. This data can then be displayed, filtered on, and grouped by in any of their views, providing visibility into what price points they may be charging at a glance. By also reporting on the number of hours spent on a customer’s support requests, it becomes simple to understand how much customers are being charged.
It became clear very quickly to our client that OneDesk’s helpdesk and project management tools can streamline their workflows and bring order to the chaos of their work. With the ability to bring e-mail requests directly and automatically into OneDesk, our client is empowered to manage all of their work, whether they are requests from other departments or from external customers. OneDesk also tracks and keeps a record of all customers, grouping them into organizations based on their e-mail domains. By importing any legacy customers from Salesforce, our client can develop a complete picture of their customer base alongside their requested work.