Online tools to improve client communication

Collaborative tools

Online tools to improve client communication

We like making life as easy as possible for our clients. We take the time to understand the pressures and time constraints you are under so that we can build a process of working with you that works for you whilst getting the job done to your timescales and budget.

To assist us in this process we use a number of collaborative tools that open up effective channels of communication between you, the client, and our team. Often we will be involving a range of technical skills from our team, from design and marketing to development.

Using Trello to manage projects and client support

For managing our projects and client support we use the platform Trello. This tool has allowed us to develop a workflow that has streamlined our internal processes and, due to its flexibility, allows us to customise this as required for different projects. Trello is also free to use, which means you could set up additional boards for your own purposes to complement your work with us. Indeed, this is something many of our clients have gone on to do.

There are many benefits to using Trello for communication, as it keeps everything in one place so no matter who comes into the project at any stage, whether from your side or ours, they can get right up to speed and there aren’t important elements of the project stuck in email inboxes. Trello also has an app so you can access real time updates on your project whilst on the move or away from your desk, and receive notifications if anything important needs your attention.

Screenshot of a Trello board:

trello-board.png

Improving internal communication with Slack

We have integrated Trello with our internal communications platform, Slack. Within Slack we have channels for our different projects and we get automated alerts via a Bot which links Trello boards and Slack channels together. This helps us to keep Trello right up to date and we get all the key notifications and updates from all our clients efficiently. Like Trello, Slack also has a free package so again it could be something you implement with your own team.

Screen shot showing Trello-Slack task integration:

Automation tools

Automation is an extremely powerful way of working and isn’t an expensive thing to set up, with free tools such as Zapier available and compatible with many different apps. Do you ever get the feeling that you are checking 101 different apps? This can ultimately save you a lot of time and streamline your workflows by linking the apps you use together so you’re checking in fewer places.

When developing custom platforms based around our clients' business logic, it is essential that we ensure we are on the same page at all stages as we build up a deeper understanding of you and your business. Plus, if you are developing a new idea, inevitably you think of things as the process develops!

Building a prototype with Adobe XD

Whilst we have to manage the scope of the project to ensure your timescales and budget are met, we work with prototypes to get as much of this addressed before the more costly design and development commences. We use Adobe XD, part of the Creative Cloud offering. Building prototypes with this tool allows us to share it with you via a URL and for you to comment on individual stages or pages of the prototype so that we can build it up with your input along the way.

Using tools like these hosted in the cloud keeps everything in real time - so there is no more wondering which version of a document is the most recent or which document someone is referring to in a discussion.

Real-time authoring with Google Docs

Another great example is Google Docs. If we develop a specification using Google Docs you can comment on the very latest version at any time and get notifications when we respond.

Screen shot showing Google Docs messaging system:

Making the best use of your time

In-person meetings, whilst extremely important to projects and relationships, can be time consuming and are often overdone. We won’t waste your time with meetings that have no purpose. Instead, using a range of collaborative tools you are always able to see where things are up to at a time convenient to you and we can more easily keep you in the loop with regular, shorter updates. Thus minimising the number of lengthy meetings that take you away from what you do best!


Get in touch for more information on how Web Foundry can help build your website and digital strategy using time-saving collaborative tools. 

Author

Jen Merritt on Tuesday, 07 March 2017

Wilmslow

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