Sponsored Post: This is a Paid Post and I have not used or reviewed this product.
Managing your workflow does not require dedicated CRM software. One great alternative is Deskun. It’s a simple Gmail plugin that isn’t overloaded with superfluous functions.
The plugin adds new features to Gmail. You can:
- organise workgroups (called queues in here)
- assign tasks and client tickets to particular colleagues
- reassign the tasks between coworkers
- set deadlines
- track the task completion
- easily organise customer support: client requests are automatically turned into active tickets.
To start off install the Google Chrome plugin and tie it to your Gmail account. Various settings are manipulated from the control panel at the Deskun website.
Let's have a look at how this works.
Say you have the supports, the IT crowd and the marketing people. Let's make workgroups (queues) for every branch of the enterprise:
Click the "Create new project" button inside your Deskun control panel.
I would just roll with the company name as project title. The queues will be called the same as the respective teams. Starting with marketing:
Presented with preconfigured options, I go with "Task management":
The first option fits the support team well
Adding in some guys from the marketing team... Beware that they all need Gmail accounts.
First queue done and ready
Repeat the same steps for the IT crowd.
For the supports pick the "Customer support" option. Tie it to the support service email.
All the messages addressed to this email will automatically turn into active tickets
Here is what the end result looks like:
In the control panel
Here is how we see the queues in the Gmail itself.
Done here. Now let's assign some tasks.
Setting the first task
The plugin handles new tasks (tickets) very similarly to new emails. There is a new button in Gmail called "New ticket". Type the ticket title into the subject field and add some comments in the main body. There are four new functions at the bottom of the message editor:
Main new features
Choose the queue from the list in 1. Send the ticket to a specific coworker (agent) using 3. 2 and 4 set the priority of the ticket and the deadline.
All set here
Elisa from the marketing will no doubt be delighted to see some new work thrown her way. Here is how things will look from her perspective:
The message and deadline are bold and clear
Should she need some further clarification, Elisa can send you a note that can only be seen by other agents.
When the task is completed, Elisa will change the ticket status from "Open" to "Pending review". Check if you are happy with the job well done and change the status to "Closed". All of these alterations can be seen directly in the ticket title.
Closing the ticket
The agent assigned with the ticket can delegate it to someone else. For example the head of IT can direct the ticket to a specific coworker. All of this can be directly observed by you.
Agents can only create tasks for the queue they are in. In our example, Elisa from marketing can't create a ticket for the IT department.
Tickets are only seen inside the Deskun folder in Gmail. Normal correspondence and tickets are handled separately.
Using the freebies
Deskun comes with several free unlimited features that can be useful to anyone and complement other functions well.
Mailtracking. No response from the agent? Open the ticket and see whether the recipient has read it. You will see a green "eye" icon in the ticket if it has been read. The icon will be grey otherwise. Hovering over the icon will tell you the exact times the ticket was opened and who read it. Mailtracking is on by default.
Icon reveals the agents and times the ticket was read.
Message templates. Templates can be set up in the control panel and then easily chosen when a new message or ticket is created.
Click the envelope icon to access templates
Send later. You can up any specific time for the message to be dispatched. This is done for the messages and tickets to end up at the top of the inbox at specific times for example.
Choose a particular delay period or set the exact date/time to send the message
Snooze. The snooze function helps to organize important mail. You can set the timer on any email and it will appear in the inbox as unread at the set time.
The email will re-appear in several hours or weeks
Deskun can also be used to provide client support. The support inbox has already been tied to the support queue. This way all client requests are turned into customer-created tickets to be seen by the support queue.
This is what it looks like:
All customer requests are directed to the support queue
Anyone in the queue can take completion of a ticket upon himself. Same as other tasks, they can be delegated to coworkers. This allows you to organise support the way you like it, either relying on workers’ initiative or your own call.
Here you can assign the task to a particular agent
Once the customer request is opened by an agent in the support team it is temporarily blocked for all other agents in the queue. This feature prevents many people responding to the same request. The agent responsible can always call for help should he require it.
Here Steven from the support team is responding to a client. He cannot cope with the task and asks for help from a superior.
Deskun is optimised for small and medium-sized enterprise
We have walked all the way from installing the plugin to an organised workflow. Deskun has got a plethora of other functions like autoresponses, further access rights customisation, notes and others. All of these allow you to effectively manage a medium-sized venture with dozens of employees. We will not be discussing them further here since they are very intuitive in use.
One specific advantage of Deskun is its simplicity. It works directly in Gmail and doesn’t require any clunky software to use. If you are looking for a simple solution to organise a department or two, have a look at this plugin.
Disclosure: This is a paid sponsored post and I have not reviewed or used this product.