Helping Sales and Support teams understand their clients.
A client relationship management plugin for optimizing Sales and Support efficiency while improving customer experience.
Front-End Development (AngularJS, Sass), UI Design
Problem: Flying Blind
Sales and Support teams were interacting with hundreds of clients a day without any insight into where they were in the sales funnel or what opportunities they could be eligible for. Without a CRM or easy access to this vital information, we were leaving revenue on the table and providing sub-optimal customer service.
Understanding User Needs
First, it was vital to understand what information our Sales and Support teams were looking for, and what information was available in our database. Rounds of interviews and shadowing coworkers helped me understand the pace of their work and the most common questions, actions, and needs. Then, I partnered with a Software Engineer to understand what data we were already collecting and could display.
Because the majority of interactions with clients took place over email, we decided to build a plugin that uses email addresses as the unique identifier for loading a client’s information. Click to open an email, and the plugin will auto-refresh with that client’s data.
- Brand & Partner DetailsDomestic TopResume or international TopCV customer, including the partner (usually a job board) that they came to us through.
- Lead vs. Paying ClientMost clients begin their relationship with us through a freemium resume critique. It is critical to understand at-a-glance if someone has purchased a resume re-write or not.
- Event HistoryWhat products and services they have purchased, upsells their are eligible for, transaction and email history.
- Personal DetailsLead score, years experience, industry, and a link to view a client's resume or CV.
To get to a useful MVP, the most basic needs we needed to provide solutions for were understanding a client’s place in our funnel and then responding to them based on this place and their stated needs. As a lean team of 2, we needed to act fast.
Open Source Frameworks
With a desire to hit the ground running, we turned to open source frameworks. This allowed us to act fast while also modernizing our tech stack. We decided to develop the application using the front-end framework, AngularJS, with Angular Material for the UI components. Because Material Design is a commonly used design system, we were able to get to a functional MVP quickly without sacrificing time developing our own and ensuring it was intuitive to our end users.
The application was developed independently (originally existing as a Chrome extension), but was then slotted in as a plugin for our inbox application of choice, Front (seen below).
Because Sales and Support team members connect with hundreds of leads and clients per day, I decided to use color as a key indicator for a person’s state in our system. If a lead has yet to convert and purchase one of our services, a default theme loads with blue as the primary color. If someone has purchased, then a purchased theme overrides the styles to display green as the primary color. Green = has purchased, blue = has not.
The header contains basic information about the client’s name, the persona they have been interacting with, and where they’ve funneled into us from. Tabs separate detailed client information, canned responses, and notes left by Talent Inc. staff, which mimic the hierarchy of needs for our Sales and Support agents.
- Client Info: I want to know who this person is, and what state they are in.
- Canned Responses: I want to respond appropriately to this client.
- Notes: I want to share knowledge about this client with other team members.
Now, agents can immediately understand who their clients are, and then take appropriate actions based on their needs. This could be anything from editing their email address, responding to an inquiry about our process, or leaving a note for the next agent who might interact with them.
Instead of reading through threads of emails to understand a client’s history, it’s now easily accessible without having to bounce around applications.
Instead of copying and pasting canned responses from a shared Google doc, they can now identify the appropriate response from within the plugin, and then generate a reply and insert the message with one click.