Keeping the Pipeline Moving: How Support Ticket Software Can Help

According to a recent report by PwC, 32 percent of people report that just one bad experience could cause them to switch away from a brand they love. As a result, ensuring your customers have a great experience every time is more important than ever before.

When your customers have a problem or a question, are they able to successfully contact you? Or does their message get lost in cyberspace before it even reaches someone who can help?

If your “help desk” still consists of nothing but an email inbox, you may be one missed email away from losing a valued customer.

Luckily, using the right support ticket software can help you stay on top of questions and complaints so you avoid these costly mistakes. Keep reading to find out how a help desk ticketing system can improve your customers’ experience.

Stay Organized with a Ticket Queue

One of the largest drawbacks of using an inbox-based help desk system is how easy it is for messages to slip through the cracks.

When you use help desk software, all customer messages are stored in a centralized database. As messages come in, they can be ranked by factors like date and importance that make prioritizing easier.

Unlike an email system, support tickets won’t get lost in a chain of CCs and BCCs. All information regarding the complaint is documented on the support ticket, and it can be accessed by every team member who is needed to solve the problem.

Track Metrics and Increase Efficiency

Keeping response times short and increasing efficiency should be goals of every support team. But it’s difficult to improve in these areas if you don’t have any concrete information to draw from.

A good customer service software will allow you to track key metrics like response time. You’ll also be able to see which team members are working on which tickets. When you know exactly how long it takes to respond to support tickets, it’s much easier to take steps to increase your overall efficiency.

If there are other metrics you need to track, you can add survey questions into your support tickets. This allows you to track more difficult data points like customer satisfaction.

Support Ticket Software Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Providing great customer service to your clients every time will increase their level of trust in your business. One great way to do this is to improve communication with your customers.

Support ticket software can send out automated messages to keep your customers informed on the status of their requests. They will be notified when their ticket is being worked on and when it has been completed. Your customers are more likely to have a good experience if they know how long they can expect to be kept waiting.

Help desk software also keeps records of your communication with each customer. This provides you with the reference information you need to avoid asking them the same questions twice.

It’s Time to Replace Your Inbox-Based Help Desk

Don’t let your customers’ questions and concerns get lost in your service pipeline any longer. Take the next step in providing excellent customer service by making the switch from email to a real support ticket software.

If you’re ready to make the switch, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Get Paid! 4 Benefits of a Billing Management System for Web Design Companies

When you first start your web design company, billing may be pretty straightforward. You get a few clients, send them invoices, and the money rolls in.

But in order to scale, you need a system that will support your growth. 80 percent of small businesses struggle with receiving client payments on time. As your business becomes more complex, so will your billing and invoicing requirements.

Here are four benefits of a billing management system for web design companies.

1. Cloud Storage Ensures Nothing Gets Lost

If you’re still keeping track of everything on paper, you aren’t just hurting the environment. You’re exposing yourself to an unnecessary amount of risk.

Even if all your billing and invoicing data are stored on a personal hard drive, it’s not enough to secure that data. Computers crash and paper documents get lost or thrown out by accident.

When all your billing data is backed up in the cloud, you can access it whenever, wherever. You don’t have to worry about losing it in a catastrophic event, either.

2. Billing Becomes Fast and Easy

Creating invoices manually is a hassle. Even if you have a template, it doesn’t make sense to have to input data by hand every time.

With billing automation, you can generate invoices and statements without any legwork. Your invoices will be consistent, and your web design clients will have an easy way to pay you electronically.

At the end of the day, getting paid on time is the most important goal of implementing billing management software. Many small businesses don’t get paid on time. One study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses found that about 64 percent of the small businesses surveyed had clients who didn’t pay invoices for at least 60 days.

3. A Billing Management System is More Secure

When sensitive data and funds are changing hands, you can’t be too secure. Relying on paper checks and recording credit card numbers over the phone are both high-risk ways of getting paid.

As a B2B transaction, billing for web companies must be facilitated and secured by the latest technology. With a billing management system, every payment can be enacted in a secure environment.

4. It Reduces Errors, Mistakes, and Disputes

If one of your staff members makes an error on an invoice, it can be costly. Not only could you receive the wrong payment from a client, but the mistake could also lead to a dispute over the transaction.

Monetary disputes can sometimes be settled in-house. But in some cases, you may need a lawyer.

Furthermore, errors can delay the payment process. You must wait for your documents to be corrected and resent before your client can begin processing them.

With a billing management system, the risk of error is greatly reduced. If you have clients on retainer, you can generate invoices automatically every pay period.

Invest in a Billing Management System for Web Design Companies

As with any industry, a billing management system for web design companies can streamline the invoicing and billing process and reduce risk dramatically. If you’re still reliant on a pen and paper system, you have an opportunity to save time and money, and to increase your security.

Find out how our multi-use software can help with your billing management needs.

Are You Organized? 5 Tips for Project Management for Marketing Agencies

You can come upon success by accident or by following the pathways others have made for you. You can also stumble into failure the same way.

You can also go a new way, one where your entire team is efficiently organized towards a common goal. Around 70% of companies that use project management say they meet their goals on time and within budget.

Wish that were your agency? Here are five project management for marketing agencies tips that will take your business to the next level.

1. Figure Out Your Goals

Step one for any marketing projects is defining what you want to accomplish.

Do you want to increase subscriptions? Raise awareness for your brand? Sell more digital products?

Once you’ve nailed down your goal, you can begin organizing your efforts.

2. Set Up for Success

Next, you’ll put together a game plan for success. This will require a little research beforehand, but it will make a big difference.

Look to see if your agency set the same kinds of goals in the past. Check what worked and what didn’t and incorporate those methods in your new project.

Get together a list of tools you’ll need and put together a basic budget. Things might change in the future, but this is your primary roadmap.

3. Communication is Key

Project management in marketing involves a lot of moving parts. Ensure your team is onboard every step of the way with clear communication.

Your roadmap from tip two is going to be your guide. Look to see all that you’re going to need and play to your team members’ strengths.

Make sure that everyone understands the why (step one) and the how (step two). Keep an open door (or inbox) so that people feel comfortable asking questions.

4. Plan for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Although marketing project management helps you meet your goals, there are times when things fall through. Although we’re staying focused on the positive, it’s important to plan for when things go wrong too.

For example, in a large industry like IT, failed project management costs a company an average of $167 million. Marketing agencies can suffer similar losses, but if you plan ahead, you can minimize the damage.

Look at each failure as a lesson. Extract the positives and leave behind the negatives.

5. Think Omnichannel

Omnichannel is a marketing buzzword you’ve no doubt heard tossed around. There’s a good reason for that, too.

As a marketing agency, you can’t rely on just one way to reach potential customers. Think of how one campaign can be repurposed across multiple platforms.

When crafting your project, keep that in mind so you can squeeze maximum results from minimum effort.

More Project Management for Marketing Agencies

Planning, communication, and omnichannel thinking are some of the best project management for marketing agencies tips to help you succeed.

Need a way to handle these tasks more efficiently? You need the right software.

Whether you’re a large marketing agency or even a freelancer, we can help you organize your projects. Reach out to us today and discover the difference we make together!

Keeping Clients Straight: 5 Benefits of CRM Systems for Freelancers

For freelancers, all of the work is on your plate all of the time. You provide the product or service, handle marketing and sales, and deal with billing. You field customer service complaints personally.

It’s easy for things to fall through the cracks in that situation. Fortunately, you can also take advantage of CRM systems for freelancers. These customer relationship management systems offer you a lot of support for most of your key tasks.

Let’s jump in and look at 5 of those benefits. 

1. Landing Clients

Before you worry about tracking clients and their projects, you need enough of both that you can’t write it all on an index card. That means landing new clients.

One of the key actions in landing new clients is a follow-up. Not just once, either, but as many as five instances of following up. If you’re pursuing half-a-dozen or more leads, that becomes a planning nightmare.

A CRM system can simplify that follow-up process for you. In many cases, it will even let you schedule a series of follow up emails. It eliminates the need for you to remember to do it.

2. Project Management

Once you lock in work for new and existing clients, missing deadlines often stems from a degree of disorganization. You don’t maliciously ignore deadlines. Rather, project information gets scattered across folders and emails.

A good CRM system for freelancers includes project management software. That means that all your projects and associated deadlines appear in a central location. You stay on top of things and your clients are happy.

3. Client Reactivation

Almost every freelancer has old clients who just fell off the radar. These clients can serve as a source of new revenue.

Not only can a CRM system help you identify these clients, but it’s also ideal for reaching out to them. You plug in a short email script, edit it for the client, and fire away.

Assuming you left off on good terms, there’s a decent chance you’ll get more work from some or all of those clients.

4. Customer Segmentation

Clients are not all created equal. Some clients place large, profitable orders. Some clients do not.

You can use your CRM system and segment these clients into different lists. When you need some new work, you can pick a few clients off the large, profitable orders list and pitch them.

5. Efficiency

Every freelancer can benefit from improved efficiency in any area of their business. A CRM system offers improved efficiency in many areas of your business.

By consolidating customer information, project management, and analytics functions, you waste less time moving between programs. You can find information faster. You finish tasks more quickly.

Everyone wins.

Parting Thoughts on the Benefits of CRM Systems for Freelancers

CRM systems for freelancers provide you with some serious benefits.

They help land or reactivate clients with greater ease. They centralize project management, so you miss fewer deadlines. You can segment your clients on the basis of profitability, activity, or any other category.

Most importantly, a CRM system simply makes you more efficient. You waste less time on low-value activities, which means spending more time on profitable activities.

Grand Central App offers a broad-based CRM system that is ideal for freelancers. For more information about our software, contact us today. 

Building a Relationship: How a CRM System Can Benefit Your Business

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is an essential system for building relationships. The CRM system plays a central role in lead nurturing and follow-ups.

To put it plainly: A CRM is the business phone system’s evolution.

The CRM is both an outreach and database system. The system features robust contact solutions, scheduling, and reporting. Your team has everything needed to nurture customer relationshipsfrom within one hub. 

It’s possible you have a CRM but have yet to use it to its fullest. Or, you’re considering one for its growth opportunity. Read on and learn why investing in CRM skills may be your best use of capital from this year and onward.

Why Every Business Should Use a CRM System: The Amazing Relationship Building Benefits

Disjointed contact methods and filing routines often lose customer information to the ether. The several platforms a business may use — email, phone, IM, social, etc. — becomes a mess when compiling data.

A mistake when filing can squander prospects and tarnish relationships.

CRMs are an all-in-one solution combining:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Support

These are the benefits of housing business data in one system:

1. Never Lose Important Information (Again)

The CRM records data from every contact and touch point. The system organizes data by contact method and includes notes taken by employees. The information is then accessible through any login and/or device.

Your team can recall customer info without issues because it’s in the system. This preps the team before contact and offers notes while they’re chatting. Your “knowledgeability” sets a great tone for service and on-going relationships.

2. Improving Connections with Quick Responses

A business contacting a lead within an hour is 7x more likely to convert than contacted beyond this time. A snappy response rate sets a great impression of helpfulness to the lead or customer. This good impression continues building throughout the lifetime of the customer’s interactions.

A CRM can route contacts through its system across many platforms. Your CR reps can answer using multiple devices. Or, reroute the contact to an outsourced team during off-hours or busy seasons.

3. Reducing Costs and Doubling Down on Talent

CRM are cloud-based solutions without expensive hardware. Robust systems need minuscule management and upkeep. This cut costs you could use to bring on more talent in your customer service department!

Expanding your team reduces customer service friction. Customers enjoy faster and thoughtful responses they’ll remember and associate with the brand. 

4. Better Collaboration for Everyone Involved

The accessibility of CRM data gets enjoyed by all team members. This reduces miscommunication while improving collaborative efforts. A team member can jump in on contacts, leave notes, and support their coworkers. 

The easy data access and system are less troublesome than many hardware comm systems. This should improve employee satisfaction, bringing good moods to customers which they’ll appreciate!

A CRM for Every Business (Let’s Talk)

It’s hard investing in new business systems and skills. The long learning curve may have you hesitant to go beyond the current phone system. Yet, you can’t deny the unbelievable benefits of switching to a CRM system.

The GrandCentralApp simplifies CRM complexity and lessens adoption fears. We’ve made an easy-to-use CRM for businesses of all sizes.

Let’s talk about how your business can grow with a CRM. Use our contact to discuss the best options of adding (and growing with) a CRM in your business. 

Gaining Followers: Learn How to Use SaaS for Customer Retention

Getting more clients using SaaS can be a secret weapon for many freelancers and marketing agencies. Getting more clients is usually the number one challenge for the vast majority of agencies. Retaining them doesn’t fall far behind. 

The reason why is because agencies and freelancers tend to be overly reliant on referrals and they underutilize technology in their client management.

Can you use SaaS to get more clients? Absolutely! Here’s how you can use a CRM to make customer retention and acquisition a critical component of your business.

SaaS Can Help with Client Acquisition

How do you normally acquire clients? Some people wait for leads to come through the website or get a referral from past clients. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What if you want to grow your business? Then you need to be more active in reaching out to people who may want your services.

In both instances, getting more clients with SaaS is easier. SaaS can help you keep their contact information and conversation notes.

SaaS to Systematize Onboarding

Clients have a first impression of your services. If you tell them that you’re going to deliver something by a certain time and fail to deliver, you’re going to leave a bad impression right off the bat.

When you use SaaS to systematize onboarding new clients, you create a process that can deliver on time and leave clients feeling confident in your ability to deliver well within deadlines.

Use SaaS to Retain Clients

Does your business have a high churn rate? You can lower that by using SaaS to retain clients. For example, you can use SaaS to send surveys to your clients or check in regularly with their account.

The more you check in with them, the better the relationship you have with your clients. You’ll then be able to have a steady flow of work, which will lead to higher revenues.

Manage Projects

When you have a steady stream of clients, it’s hard to manage projects for all of them. They may seem to blur together, and you confuse one project and another client.

A good SaaS system will help you keep track of each client, and you’ll be able to detail exactly which projects you have outstanding for each client, and when they’re due.

SaaS is Only as Good as the People Using It

The thing about having a system or a set of tools to manage your agency is that you have to use it consistently. When you’re managing client accounts, the details can easily be forgotten.

You also have to get your staff on board with using the technology. That’s from sales, all the way to your receptionist.

The more you have buy-in from the staff, the more effective the solution will be.

Getting More Clients Using SaaS

How can you use SaaS to get more clients? The secret is in follow up. Some studies show that 80% of sales happen after the fourth call. 

The key to getting more clients using SaaS is to set reminders for account executives to follow up with prospective clients. You’ll have a no-fail system in place to grow your business.

Want a great SaaS solution to help you scale your marketing business? Contact us today.

Got Saas? Here’s How to Use SaaS for Web Design Companies

These days, there’s a software solution for just about everything. And web design companies can’t compete without the right software at their fingertips.

In the past, businesses had to procure physical copies of the software they needed and install it themselves. These days, they use software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, instead.

Pretty soon, most businesses will be operating entirely on SaaS. According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Index, 59% of all cloud workflows will have been delivered as SaaS by 2019.

If you’re looking for ways to increase efficiency and optimize your business processes, here’s how you can use the best SaaS for web design companies to gain an edge.

CRM Systems

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems may seem ubiquitous these days, but a surprising number of businesses still aren’t using them.

A CRM stores all your business contacts in one place. It then integrates with your marketing systems to deliver personalized, automated messages across all your marketing channels. Most importantly, it lets your entire team collaborate to nurture prospects and leads.

Most CRMs are delivered as a SaaS solution. They live in the cloud, and you simply log in through a web browser to get to work.

Billing Management Systems

Billing may seem like something you want to keep in-house. But SaaS solutions can make your billing processes more affordable and efficient.

As a web design company, you likely have multiple clients who you need to bill regularly. SaaS billing tools help you build out subscription-based billing models, easily fix failed payments, and keep track of all your company’s finances in one place.

Project Management Systems

There’s nothing like gathering the team for a pep talk around the whiteboard. But web design is a complex business that has many moving parts. Designers, copywriters, developers, and customer service reps all need to be on the same page when dealing with client projects.

According to a survey of leading executives, a lack of clear goals is the most common factor behind project failure.

That’s where SaaS project management tools come in. Instead of everyone keeping their own calendars and to-do lists, you can centralize them. No one on your team will be in the dark about project statuses again. You can also communicate the status of each project to your clients with confidence.

Find the Best SaaS for Web Design Companies

There are several other types of SaaS solutions you may need to run a successful web design company. For example, accounting and invoicing systems, email clients, cloud storage tools, and even online meeting tools are all SaaS solutions that could be useful.

When selecting SaaS for web design companies, think of it as a strategy. You only want to invest in SaaS you need. You may wish to plan years into the future.

Once you’ve procured your SaaS tools, you’ll have a technology stack that will help you grow your business.

Looking for a SaaS solution for your web design company? Contact us to learn more about how our solutions help companies like yours.

How a Project Management System Can Help Your Business Soar

Are you thinking about using a project management system?

This can be a great way to boost your productivity. But between the price tag and learning to use the program, you might wonder if it’s worth the money.

Wonder no more. It is — and we’ll show you why.

Read on to learn more!

Money, Money, Money, Money — Money!

Budgeting for a large project with lots of moving parts can be difficult. You want everyone to have sufficient funds, but you don’t want to go over.

And, if an unexpected costs come up, it might end the whole project. To make this easier on you, consider using a project management system. 

A project management system will allow you to see everything that’s going on, and if someone needs more money, it will be easier to see where you can pull from.

Plus, if an employee feels like they don’t have enough money or knows that another department needs more, they might be able to give you suggestions on what may work better. 

Teamwork

Have you ever worked on a project where one person holds a clipboard the whole time and designates tasks? Or maybe everyone has a sheet of paper to read, but of course, Joe Blow eventually loses his?

This hurts teamwork and makes it difficult for people to know what they’re supposed to be doing. To figure out what they need to be working on, they have to ask a project manager or bother someone else.

With a project management system, you don’t have to worry about this. Through a phone or a computer, each employee will be able to know exactly what they are doing and what others are doing.

This makes it much easier for collaboration and people get a better idea of the big picture. People love to know why they’re doing what they’re doing, and this is a great way to make sure they do. 

Organize Documents and Files

Have you ever needed a paper you couldn’t quite find for your project? Not anymore. With a project management system, you’re able to keep all your files in one place.

Your employees will also appreciate this because it will help them know what other departments and employees are doing. 

Summary View

Let’s say that you’re in charge of a large project, but you’re not the owner of the company. If your boss comes in to see how the project is going, it would be much easier to pull out a project management system than to try to give a rough summary.

Project management systems are great for seeing a big picture view. If you are the owner or boss, you might find it easier to use one of these systems rather than constantly asking your project lead.

This saves you time spent going to their office and lets you focus on what’s important. And it lets your project lead focus on what’s important.

Ready to Use a Project Management System?

After reading this article, you should be ready to start with your project management system. Soon, you’ll be on your way to making great projects happen.

Please contact us with any questions about using your system.