Any company that provides a service has a number of routine workflows and procedures that they utilize to support their customers. An internet service provider (ISP) is no exception—everything from setup to maintenance to billing can be encapsulated as a workflow that is refined over time in order to provide the best experience for the customer. While these workflows are being improved and iterated on, it can be challenging to apply the workflows to multiple customers without a proper setup. What’s key here is the ability to define the standard workflow and execute on it for each individual instance. This, along with a nightmare of disconnected tooling, was precisely the challenge that an ISP came to us looking to solve.
The client we are focusing on is a local ISP that serves smaller communities. They previously used a bunch of different tools for sales, project management, and helpdesk that don’t integrate well with each other. Although there was some helpdesk functionality built into their billing system, it did not give them a view of their work conducive to showing status, or the ability to categorize their everyday tasks. With their previous setup, our client has been able to take in support tickets via phone, e-mail, or live chat. As a small family business, they need to be efficient with their software and tools to meet client needs quickly, and having a seamlessly integrated experience is fundamental to this.
Capturing workflows with projects and tasks
As an ISP, our client has some regimented processes that they must do over the course of their working relationship with a customer. One particular workflow that our client outlined was onboarding. Whenever a new customer signs up for their services, a workflow of defined steps needs to be completed for service to officially start. Sometimes there can be multiple customers waiting to be onboarded at the same time. Our recommended method of tracking this work in OneDesk is by using projects and tasks. By creating an onboarding project, our client can log every piece of setup work as a task. This project can then be used as a template and duplicated for every customer that needs to be onboarded, with each copy also duplicating the set of tasks under it as well. This ensures that there is a standard set of tasks that always comprise onboarding (the template), while allowing customer-specific details to be part of the particular onboarding project and tasks pertaining to them (the copy). By defining a set of lifecycle statuses for these tasks, our client gets detailed visibility into the state of each piece of onboarding work. With the lifecycle statuses our client defines, they can also set workflow automations to trigger and simplify task management even further. Based on the criteria they define, an action can be triggered without manual intervention. This is ideal for instances when an SLA may be close to being breached or a ticket has gone stale and the assignee needs a nudge.
Custom views to manage work and show insights
One of the current drawbacks of our client’s previous project management and helpdesk solutions were the inability to present work in an intuitive or meaningful way for their team. With both OneDesk’s project management and helpdesk tools, views can be set up with minimal effort. Out of the box, we have a set of default boards with various goals and intentions that highlight aspects of work such as dependencies, timelines, and hierarchy. These views serve as a foundation for custom boards that can be configured to display work in the best format for whatever situation. In particular, our client was interested in our status board card view. With the ability to display the workflow of a support ticket as a set of columns, this then becomes an ideal view for the support team to move tickets through the different statuses and see at a glance if there are tickets stuck in a certain state. Beyond views focused around status, filters and groupings can be defined to surface insights around virtually any aspect of a ticket or task—SLAs, assignees, requesters, and much more. With a variety of ways to visualize these aspects, a view can be created to find patterns and identify issues early.
Automating communications to customers
What smaller businesses lack in terms of sheer size, they make up for in quality of service. Our client is no exception, stating that interactions with customers are vital to their business. Through a number of OneDesk features, customer communications can be easily incorporated into the regular flow of work. In addition to tracking project tasks and helpdesk tickets, OneDesk also keeps track of customers. As customers interact with OneDesk tickets via e-mail or our customer portal, a customer record is automatically created for them based on their e-mail address. OneDesk will even group customers by their organization based on their e-mail address domains. These records can also be manually managed if there are additional details to track or changes to be made. Once customers are in the OneDesk system, they can be communicated with on tickets via conversations and added as followers to tickets so they receive e-mails whenever there are updates. By creating workflow automations that trigger upon status changes, our client can also send their customers an e-mail with a specific message. This can be useful for letting customers know that their request has been received, or for setting expectations for timelines and estimates. Beyond communications through e-mail, we also have a customer portal that provides customers with a web interface to log tickets and check on the status of their requests themselves. The customer portal can be customized to match our client’s branding as well. Our client noted that they previously took in requests via a live chat. OneDesk’s equivalent is the messenger application which can be embedded as a widget on our client’s website. Messages through the messenger can be managed in OneDesk and new tickets can also be created from these conversations.
For small businesses, having a multitude of different tools to handle every aspect of the business can be a chore to manage. Getting these tools to then communicate with each other can cause headaches when there are no existing integrations. Although OneDesk is an all-in-one solution for project management and helpdesk, there are other aspects not natively supported in our products. For integrations for external applications, we have a number of Zapier integrations already created to provide a smooth experience for our users. By streamlining our client’s workflows, OneDesk allows them to focus on delivering excellent service to their customers instead of sweating the small stuff.