Client service tools of the trade

While I was catching up on reading some Branded3 blog posts I’d missed out on the first time round, I came across ’46 free tools no digital marketer should be without’ from Laura, posted last year. It was a great insight into the tools used across the agency by different teams, written as a direct and easy-to-follow list.

As a Project Manager who likes straight to the point reference material, I noticed that it didn’t include much from Branded3’s valuable client service team, on the systems we utilise on each task, on every campaign, with all of the clients.

Therefore, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight ten examples of the software and applications we use, for your viewing pleasure…

In no particular order:

  1. Basecamp – we use Basecamp as a portal to organise project communications and documents between ourselves and the client in one central hub. Not only does this mean a healthier looking inbox, but tracking conversations and comments from both sides is far easier to navigate in one place, making lost emails a thing of the past. Needless to say, the lives of our busy client-facing team members are made far easier with this tool.
  1. Pipedrive – the progress of growth and retention opportunities with both new and existing customers can be tracked using Pipedrive. This supports our resource planning and tracks progress with our pitches with new clients.
  1. Google Docs – allows for better collaboration between internal stakeholders than Microsoft Office. We use these tools to feed details into our creative and executional briefs, campaign write-ups and technical specification documents and enables more than one user to access a file at the same time. It is primarily for internal use, but we can also share files with the client too, in order to give them visibility and transparency on the process and our documentation.
  1. Sharepoint – much like Google Docs, Sharepoint allows internal teams to work on proposal documents collaboratively, ensuring each department can include relevant details before a pitch to prospective clients. Again, this is mainly used internally to ensure that there is one place everyone can access the files they need, rather than lots of different files in multiple locations on our network.
  1. JIRA – a task management system for use with our agile teams, which is used to break down tasks and co-ordinate work into manageable chunks. It is mainly used with our Development team, and allows us to refine timing estimates and create Kanban boards to walk through progress. Another advantage is that we can export the information on these tasks informed by our users into Excel reports for analysis later, when we can review and see if we can utilise or implement any efficiencies on future projects.
  1. Clarizen – our task-based scheduling and time tracking software, which is our main tool to manage projects with executional teams. It ensures individuals across the business know what they need to be working on and when. You can read up on ‘10 reasons why B3 are using Clarizen’ in my previous blog post here.
  1. Mantis – put simply, we use this as our bug tracking software. When building digital assets, there are inevitably going to be minor issues or challenges, whether it’s on a small infographic, multiple-choice quiz, or an entire website. Mantis allows us to define what the issue is, what its priority is, and how to replicate it for the developer to fix, all while including attachments like screen grabs or notes for reference. We don’t have a dedicated team of testers at Branded3, so we get all team members working on the campaign to review and feed in issues they can identify before the asset is put in front of the client. We can even provide access to the client, so they can track any issues they find as well.
  1. Slack and Skype – these tools are great for facilitating better communication within Branded3. There are instances in our busy and agile office environment when sending an email just isn’t appropriate. Whether we want a quick and informal response making emails unnecessary, or we’d like a face-to-face chat with our remote members between our three sites, Slack and Skype have us covered.
  1. Trello – this is a task and notes programme, which allows the collaborative and dynamic management of to-do lists. You can use Trello to create a board with as many fields as you need to track progress, similar to a Kanban board.
  1. Invision – this application allows our designers to upload files for client review and approval before we begin full development of the asset. This ensures both parties are on the same page before committing any code, and includes features such as the ability to add animations, notes, and transitions to transform a static image into a clickable, interactive prototype.

And there you have it… the tools mentioned here help us facilitate the transition from client requirements into the work flow throughout the business via our internal teams to ensure we are delivering quality results every time.

I hope you found this list useful and if you would like to recommend any tools I haven’t covered, please leave a comment below.

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