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Consulting and Professional Services companies manage multiple clients and work on several projects simultaneously. These projects may be challenging due to the changing budgets, launch dates, lead time and client approval. At the same time, there is a need for a contact management system to keep track of client inquiries. Therefore, it is imperative to invest in a robust system that eliminates the need for multiple applications and targets several functions at once.

OneDesk is a combination of HelpDesk and Project Management in one application. With OneDesk, you can support your clients and manage projects without the need to purchase, learn, integrate, and switch between multiple applications. OneDesk makes it possible for you to provide support around the clock and build stronger client relationships. With OneDesk’s project management features you can track hours, create timesheets and export in-depth reports for your clients. OneDesk allows you to manage tickets and tasks, maintain a knowledge base to answer questions and create automation to increase productivity for all team members.  

In this panel, you can create projects and portfolios. These portfolios act as containers for your projects. Portfolios can be titled according to the customer name, client organization, the project type, or the departments in your operation managing the assigned projects. 

Saggio Legal Consultancy meets the needs of companies and individuals in matters of litigation and conflict resolution as well as in business law. This law firm receives a series of client inquiries on debt recovery, shareholder conflicts, bankruptcy and insolvency and more. Each inquiry generates tickets, which are then organized into portfolios in OneDesk.

For example we created a portfolio called Service Inquiries. This portfolio contains multiple projects which includes contact requests for debt recovery, trade law,  business start-ups and more. The portfolio consists of multiple multiple projects containing client requests and planned assignments that can be viewed using the Tickets and Tasks Application.

Consultancy firms rely on personal relationships and referrals to build their client list. There are several ways that clients can reach out to you to seek advice. Email, website contact forms or live chat are the easiest ways for you to capture all the necessary information from your clients. OneDesk keeps a track of all the client requests and creates tickets from all channels into a single unified view. Tickets require immediate attention and can be resolved right away. In OneDesk, you can create tickets in multiple ways. 

The easiest medium to have a one-on-one conversation is through the live chat application. OneDesk’s live chat application is a customer facing application that enables real-time conversations with your clients and helps you to resolve problems immediately. The live chat application is highly customizable: you can customize the chat window with your logo, company colour scheme and add a BOT avatar. Once the client messages you via live chat, your team members can view this in their messenger application, reply and create tickets from conversation. OneDesk links the ticket and conversation, enabling your team to view all the necessary information from one platform.

Emails allow your clients to express their needs without any interruption. You can easily auto forward your support email to the email found here. OneDesk will capture all the details of your client’s message and generate a ticket in the Tickets application. For instance the subject, description, attachments of the email will be captured in the ticket, enabling your team members to respond to the request more efficiently. 

Additionally you can also create contact forms for your clients. You can classify your contact forms based on the common questions or services provided by your firm. For example, Saggio created contact forms for each of the legal services they offer. Once the client submits the contact form, tickets are created in OneDesk’s tickets application. 

Contact forms are highly effective as they capture all the necessary information from the clients and require them to answer specific questions. You can create multiple  contact forms in OneDesk. These forms are linked to specific ticket types, organizing and separating one from another. To generate these forms, you need to go to the Administration Settings in OneDesk and then scroll down to Customer Apps to select Webforms. Choose a ticket type to create the webform and enter all the properties associated with the form.

The default contact form includes 3 basic properties: subject, description and attachments. When the ticket is generated on your dashboard, the subject, description and attachments are also captured in the ticket.

In OneDesk, contact forms can be customized  by adding custom fields. To create custom fields, you must first determine the type of information you want to collect from your clients. You can choose fields based on text, number, date, cost and choice and then appropriately name the custom field based on your selection. These fields can be set as required to capture important information from your customers. 

For example, you can create a contact form for clients who may have questions about debt recovery. They can navigate to your customer portal and select the webform titled ‘Debt Recovery.’ You can then add the standard or customized fields to capture the appropriate information needed to resolve the ticket. You can also configure these fields to be required to ensure all necessary information is captured.

Once your client completes the selected webform, you will generate a ticket in your Ticket application in OneDesk.

The ticket allows you to see the details that were filled out on the webform. You can then assign this ticket to a specific individual, team or department. OneDesk allows you to assign multiple team members and departments to a ticket. However, you can eliminate manually assigning teams through automating the process.

You clients can then communicate with your team members and review their tickets from the portal. The portal allows your clients to check the progress of their tickets and gives your clients the scope to discuss by creating conversations directly from the portal. To maintain confidentiality of the information, you can require your clients to sign in to the portal. Additionally, you can control what your clients can see and provide role-based access to handle confidential information. You can also enable viewing options for clients to filter tickets according to ticket request type, the project it belongs to, and more.  

You may want to reduce the number of tickets you receive from your clients per day. In some cases, clients ask common questions that can be easily answered by having a knowledge base in place. OneDesk’s knowledgebase serves as an information centre for your clients and allows them access to articles, videos and training modules you upload. In doing so, you and your team can simply forward the link to the knowledgebase article to your client and focus on more productive tasks at hand. 

Anytime a client sends you an email request or submits a webform, OneDesk captures client information and creates a record in the customers application. The customer application creates an organization name based on the domain name of the client and arranges all the clients within that particular organization. You can also manually add your clients and client organizations  [show them]. Apart from that, you can create filters to locate your high priority clients, new clients and more. 

Workflow Automations are rules that allow you to automate actions in OneDesk. These Automations contain 3 elements: filters, triggers and actions. The blue tags represent your ticket type and serve as filters, the orange tag represents the trigger event, while the green tag represents the actions that OneDesk will take when this trigger event occurs on these items. Once the rules are set, OneDesk will generate a name for your automation. Otherwise you have the option to rename the automation.

OneDesk can automate your workflow and eliminate any manual intervention to route tickets to the appropriate team or project. With OneDesk’s Workflow Automations, you can route items to teams and projects, auto-reply to clients, add custom notifications, and much more. To create your automations, you navigate to your administration settings and then click on the ticket tab and then scroll down to Workflow Automations. 

You can create new workflow automations or edit an existing one. For instance, if a potential client submits an inquiry about Bankruptcy and Insolvency, you can route this ticket to the appropriate legal team and assign the lawyers who are best fit to answer the questions. 

Another way to increase your efficiency is by using automation to notify your clients about the updates of their requested tickets.This will keep the client in the loop and eliminate the need to send emails to inquire about the ticket status.

In today’s world clients are demanding more of outside counsel more than ever. An open dialogue helps both sides get what they need and also allows your team to create more personalized relationships with clients. In legal project management, it is critical to have a communication plan in place. A communication plan helps you identify who needs to know what information and when. In OneDesk you can carry out these conversations in multiple ways. 

If clients want to follow-up on their ticket, they can either respond via email or create conversations directly from the portal. This message will appear in the messenger and will also be linked to that specific ticket. 

Your team members can reply to this existing conversation to communicate with the end-user or create internal messages for their team members. Internal conversations are hidden from your clients as it is displayed as an ‘Internal Reply’

By typing the @username or @departmentname, you can get your message across to expert team members or departments who are best fit to answer your questions. The messenger application allows your team to carry out your daily correspondences and reduces the long response time associated with emails. The messenger application is especially effective as it encourages prompt reply and eliminates delaying resolutions that are needed for the success of the project.

Additionally, clients can also initiate engagement through the Livechat application feature in OneDesk. Sometimes sharing an image, pdf instructions or spreadsheets are easier than typing out the information in chat. OneDesk’s  live chat application allows your clients to send attachments upto 350 MB. These attachments are captured in the tickets and are made available for your team members to download into their computers directly. 

Since chat formats are instantaneous in nature, questions or problems can be resolved immediately by your team members. Apart from that, OneDesk’s live chat feature timestamps the conversation, which helps your team check conversation time in case of any dispute. 

Managing legal projects is not an easy task. These projects are usually complex and include multiple tasks that could fall through the cracks, if not properly handled. The challenge also lies in managing the cost/budget. This is why it is so important for in-house lawyers to remain in contact with outside counsel. Successful legal projects require involvement and input from in-house lawyers every step of the way. 

In OneDesk you can break down these projects into tasks. Task can be defined as work that requires careful planning and execution. You can convert a ticket into a task or simply create a new task in the Task application.

Your team members can log their time on tasks in OneDesk and enter the percentage complete of the assigned tasks. Work is logged by creating a timesheet or running a task timer. When submitting a timesheet, you fill out how much work was done, the current status of this item, percentage complete, etc.

Since time and budget management is an essential part of legal project management, you can utilize OneDesk’s planned schedule to set the work hours/days and cost associated with each task within the project. You can also set constraints to make sure your team members start working on the task according to your specified time frame.

Lawyers refer to the BOSCARD framework, which contains the seven basic questions that must be answered to plan legal projects. These questions are background, objective, scope, constraints, assumptions, risks and deliverables. The first task is to have a meeting and prepare the legal memorandum, which includes the planning strategy, structure and timeline as well as the negotiation and litigation strategy, etc. Each step requires feedback and collaboration from the in-house lawyers, outside counsel and the client. In some cases, each task may have to be revised and updated based on the feedback received from all parties. This makes the timeline longer and makes it difficult to manage the cost/budget. 

OneDesk promotes collaboration with all parties and gives you the tools to communicate via multiple channels. For instance, inhouse lawyers can easily carry out conversations with the outside counsel.  In OneDesk, you can carry out conversations from the task forms. This enables you to engage with all parties and helps you make decisions unilaterally.  Apart from carrying out conversations, you can also attach and send important folders to multiple individuals or teams, allowing them to locate the attachments and download them into their computers quickly.   

You can organize your tasks inside the project structure or add them to different folders or portfolios within the project. You could create a project template for similar recurring projects.

Simply clone the project each time you work on a similar project. That way, you can have an existing template in place, each time you work on these recurring projects. It is especially useful since you have the option to select the items and properties you wish to copy from the original project to the clone project. 

OneDesk has some unique views that help you analyze your tasks . With OneDesk views, team members can visualize ongoing activities regarding all items, which then helps you in prioritizing correctly and in making smarter decisions.

Gantt charts are particularly useful in Legal Project Management (LPM) as it allows to set out a timeline of the project along with all the key deliverables and dependencies. Gantt Charts consist of horizontal bars that indicate a project’s schedule on a horizontal timeline. Each bar represents a task with the left end of the bar indicating the start date of the task, and the right end of the bar displaying the task’s finish date. In OneDesk we have two types of gantt charts: The task-level gantt (where the bars represent tasks), and the project-level gantt (where the bars represent projects). You can link tasks to create task dependencies to lead your team members to finish one task before starting the next. You can also restructure the task dependencies by using the drag and drop function. Once the tasks are linked together, OneDesk will calculate the critical path and provide your team with the overall project length. You can also add date constraints to prevent a task being scheduled at a later date. The Gantt Chart also shows you your planning vs your actual work. The blue bars denotes your planning, while the green bar represents the actual time logged by your team. Having the blue bar next to the green bar helps you to visually compare how well you’ve planned your project hours.

You can also utilize the Status Board view to update the status of your task. The Status Board  is a simple view where each task is represented as a card and you can just drag and drop your card from one column to the next to update its status. This feature will help with the non sequential timeline of tasks that comes with project management for consulting and professional services.  

You and your team members may also find the Dashboard View useful. The dashboards provide charts and statistics to show you how your projects or tickets are progressing. You can also use the dashboard to compare how project A is faring compared to project B.  You can find these dashboards in the Dashboard view of the “projects” application. 

Additionally, you can also use simpler viewing layouts such as the Tree and Flat view to manage your tasks. The Tree view arranges tickets or tasks in a hierarchy. The Flat view shows the tickets and tasks without the hierarchy structure.

On OneDesk, you can create all the views you need to help you manage your tickets and tasks. My Views allow you to customize views according to your requirements. To create your personalized views, you need to select a layout and add filters, groups and columns.

For instance you can create a view to track the time spent by team members on each individual task. With this feature, you can track the productivity of your team members so your team managers know if tasks need to be reassigned. With OneDesk, it becomes easy to reassign tasks to other team members. You can use the Kanban-styled card board and customize the view to see each respective team member’s tasks and move certain tasks around to distribute it to a team member who has the availability to work on it.

Apart from these standard viewing layouts and filtering systems, you also make use of OneDesk’s powerful reporting capabilities.

You can generate reports on tickets, tasks, projects or portfolios using existing reporting templates or by creating your own. Reports are either created manually or automatically – using OneDesk’s workflow automation system. Supported reporting formats are PDF and CSV formats, and they can be mailed to designated email addresses.

Timesheet reports are especially useful when working on complex projects. This is because you can get an idea of how project time was utilized towards different task types and whether spending that time was justified. As a result, you can take the necessary steps to improve your project planning abilities and better manage your project billing hours.

OneDesk allows you to create timesheet reports, which are CSV files that can be imported in Microsoft Excel. These reports are data records of timesheet properties presented in a tabular data format. Item name, priority, billing type, requester name are some necessary information that can be shown within the timesheet reports. However, other critical information, such as the percentage completed, can be displayed for internal reporting. OneDesk timesheet application allows the administrator to delve deeper when creating reports. Therefore timesheet reports could exhibit internal data such as assignee name, the appointed team and more.

OneDesk allows you to connect with applications that you already use and helps you gain more flexibility and control over your processes. Integrations capabilities make your OneDesk platform more complete and easier to access by your team members. OneDesk;s integration features such single sign-on is especially useful to allow users to sign in with their existing credentials. This enables your team members to quickly access the OneDesk platform and eliminate the need to manage multiple usernames and passwords. OneDesk has its own built-in integrations that allow you to integrate with those applications directly. You can experience several benefits by integrating with other applications. You can capture support tickets, customer feedback and connect with other applications that will simplify your workflow. Additionally, you can also integrate with 2000+ applications supported by Zapier.

You can enable system emails to notify new team members about their user account or password setup.  Other than that, you can send invitation emails to invite customers to sign up for your customer portal. You can also set up Workflow Automations to remind the assignees when their tasks are due and create a separate automation to notify the ticket follower for any status change or message you send.

OneDesk has all the capabilities to streamline your workflow. With OneDesk, you can capture, automate, manage and track your support tickets, allowing you and your team to take the necessary measures to resolve the problem immediately. With OneDesk’s project management features, you can assign work to the appropriate team and track your projects’ progress in multiple viewing layouts. 

Your team members can submit their timesheets for all their work, enabling you to better manage your hours. In addition, OneDesk also helps to keep your clients in the loop. Through customer applications such as web forms and customer portals, your clients can contact you with specific requests, eliminating the problems associated with long email threads. Additionally, with OneDesk’s knowledge base, clients can access self-service articles, helping you reduce your ticket load significantly.