A longstanding client recently went into partnership with another organisation and needed some help as a matter of urgency. I was asked late one Friday afternoon if I was available to work the next week for them? I replied saying that I can always fit things in unless it is time restricted to between 9.00 – 5.00 such as telemarketing, which can make scheduling more difficult.
My client told me it was a data entry job into a CRM system that could have up to 2,000 records that needed to be completed by the end of the week. I was asked how long it would take to process to which my reply was I can do it as I will do whatever is needed to meet your deadline but wouldn’t know exactly how long it would take.
I was told there were 10 days including a bank holiday to meet the deadline and asked how many records I could input?
One of those questions that are difficult to estimate as I don’t know what is required from the data and what CRM system is being used. Wanting to be as helpful as possible and to enable me to give a more accurate estimate, I offered to do a sample of five records and time the process foc. I also asked if I could outsource some of the work to my associates and why the data couldn’t be imported to the CRM?
I was told it was a bespoke system which cannot upload from a CSV or Excel spreadsheet but they were happy for me to outsource to enable me to meet the deadline. I requested the details be sent over and I would look at it that afternoon. They said they would try to get me access to the CRM but unfortunately the email that was sent on the Friday went into my Junk Emails and I didn’t pick this up until Monday morning.
Having done the first record there was an error message on the CRM system and it wasn’t saving the data, I immediately fed back to the client and I was told it would be checked out. The data was checked on Monday morning by the client who was experiencing the same problems and later in the day the CRM company accepted that they need to sort it out. Several further emails were sent asking how long it would take to sort the problem out but we didn’t get an answer from the CRM company.
The next day I was advised that it was working and I could crack on and to tell them what was possible by the next day for the deadline to be met, thereby reducing the timeframe down to six days to complete the project. Fortunately, I had already spoken to three of my associates to ask if they had any availability to help while I was waiting. Very early the next morning I had started the input and reported that it was averaging just under two minutes per record, and that I would have more of an idea if the deadline was realistic at the end of the day.
All four of us started working on the data at various times throughout the day and evening and were plowing through the first set of data. I checked if the data was going into the CRM ok and was told that every time, we saved a record the client received an email to notify them. By late evening they had received circa 500 emails – rather irritating but at least it was all working.
I received the second set of data in the form of three spreadsheets which I shared amongst the four of us with commitments from all to meet the deadline. I emailed the client later that morning to advise the first set of data would be finished by the end of the day.
Going the Extra Mile
When we had finished the project, I emailed the client to say the task was completed the 2,452 records in 51:84 hours – result!
Throughout this project, I kept communicating with the client and associates on requirements, updates and how we were progressing. The client was blown away by how much we had achieved considering the very tight deadline as well as the delays due to the CRM system vendor.
This is not the first time I have had a rush job over a bank holiday I recall a huge mail merge campaign over Easter a few years ago for an Association, but that’s another story…
The reason for sharing this challenge with you is to emphasis that working proactively, with great communication, trust, and an excellent team around us we can accomplish amazing results for our clients.
That is what Proactive Assistants bring to the table when we provide our services. Who do you have around you who does this?
Thanks to my amazing associates for all their hard work and going the extra mile for me and thanks to my client for trusting me to meet their deadline.
If you would like a no-obligation call or Zoom please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you.