Remember the first time you played checkers? You probably fumbled around for a king as the kid who taught you to play cleaned up the board. That’s what happens when you don’t know anything. But as you played more and you learned what works, you eventually created your own strategy to win more often. It’s not just experience, but strategy that makes the difference.
I’ve been harping on about our thought process because the most important factor in creating a reliable ongoing communication system is to have a strategy and a repeatable process. It’s not about solely tactics or tools.
But using tools is important, and for that matter let’s dive right in to the primary set of tools we use for communication in our agency (your mileage may vary).
Ongoing Tasks Follow A Process
At it’s core, interacting with an ongoing client often looks a lot like this:
- You receive an enquiry about a task.
- You carry out an action based on the enquiry.
- You report about your actions later.
Of course there are higher level meetings along the way covering strategy and goals, but when you dig into the real meat of ongoing work with clients, this is the basic structure. Each process is unique and can require it’s own tool to carry it out reliably.
Solid Tools For The Job
We use three main tools:
- Receiving an enquiry requires systematic notifications to stay on top of them all. It can also require external and internal conversation to identify next steps. For those things, we use Slack + Extras as our communication hub.
- Carrying out an action as a team requires project planning and management. We’re using the simple yet powerful task management tool, Trello.
- Reporting needs to be quick and straightforward for the whole team. Tried and true, Google Drive is all we need to create, collaborate, and share documents.
The best part about these tools is that they cover both levels of communication, the work and the reporting (as well as internal and external communication).
Mashing Internal And External Comms Together
With the tools available today, there’s no need to allow important info to fall through the cracks. Many agencies may still be using completely different tools between external and internal interactions, but its possible to make the two far more efficient.
We try to use tools that work with clients and within the team, creating a more ‘whole’ communication process instead of disparate processes. Check out each of the tools above to find out how the right tools always fit into your greater strategy.