I have been talking with @gabriel and we’ve been strategizing around the best way to keep abreast of our relationships with individual clients in such a way that someone on the team can get up to date on the basics and then be able to keep abreast of changes as they occur.
We have CRM capabilities in Monday, but they’re not the most visible, and I have a feeling the forums here may be a better tool. To explain:
My proposal is that we create a thread for each client (I’m not sure if these are best placed in Private or Public) and the top post of the thread should be a summary of the key points of contact, our biggest projects with the clients, any special information to know, and then each time we have a meeting with the client, we post an update to that thread.
Then, we can have recurring tasks (not yet sure at what interval or how they’d be assigned) for consolidating the information in those posts, and editing/replacing the top comment in the thread with the updated information, so that the amount of text to read never becomes too overwhelming, and anyone can jump in and be up to date in a reasonable amount of time.
What are your thoughts on this? Is there a better way you can think of to make relationship knowledge about clients more available? Is there a better tool? Who should be the consolidator-- maybe the client owner? Let me know your thoughts!
The forums aren’t a real CRM, it’s hard to keep structured data and make links. It’s much harder to do data operations like filtering, sorting, aggregating, … clients. Maybe there are plugins to add new types of pages that allow this, in that case it would be a fast solution.
If we use static pages with templates, we do something similar to what we do in JIRA to describe projects, or in a git repository to describe our current clients (maintained_instances.md). It’s not a full CRM but it’s fast and good enough if we don’t need more.
By the way, JIRA already has the notion of a client/customer (I saw customerId in data exports) and it may be easier to extend JIRA to have a client description page.
If we could add data and notes to each JIRA account, this could already cover many needs and we already have the data there.
There were plans to use a real CRM (SuiteCRM, e.g. BB-3155) but I see monday.com was chosen instead to keep everything in the same place.
I personaly don’t like monday.com because it makes you go through them for every simple operation; I much prefer local files or formatted text I can process in local, or through a minimal web UI. Monday.com has a lot of „import“ but not much „export“ so I’d be concerned about the cost of moving away.
But now that we use it, we may use its CRM features.
Maybe it can be connected with JIRA? There must be some connection between JIRA and the CRM, to link client data and client projects.
The idea is that we want an easy way to dump conversational information about a client-- the outcome of meetings, etc, and still have a general summary we can use. The forums are a great tool for that but I’m not convinced Monday is. The simple link column allows us to leverage both-- one for seeing reports, one for getting up to speed on the information about a client’s particulars.
Actually, on review, it appears I missed Monday’s ‘Updates’ field and this may take care of our needs. I think we should still have this methodology-- a top comment summarizing the relationship followed by updates that are periodically reconsiled, but it would allow things to stay in one tool instead of many.
So I think that probably solves the issue pretty well. We’ll want to have all developers be aware that we have the CRM and if they have a meeting with a client, add updating the entry as part of their post-meeting procedure.
Thanks for proposing this @Fox! I think if we’d had something similar in place before I took leave in February, it might not have been so rocky for everyone who had to pick up the pieces for me. Have left a few comments on documentation/public#244.
Re meetings – since we try to reduce the number of synchronous meetings we have with people, I’ve been using dedicated Recurring “Meetings” tickets to log time, so that our clients see exactly how much time we spend meeting with them (and preparing for their meetings, and communicating the results). So instead of having meeting timelogs drop into a generic “support” epic hole, they get a separate line item on the invoice.