These are crazy times! From what I can tell, many companies are scrambling to equip their newly forged remote workforce and are struggling to find the right tools to use. Having operated a remote workforce and outsourced for more than a decade, I thought it may be helpful to see some of the software and tools we use at Senior Sign in order to maximize efficiency and ensure our company runs smoothly. Sorry, nothing about this list is specific to the industry we work in (senior living). I’ve tried to include a price wherever possible, and I don’t receive any financial reward or kickback from any of these companies.
Free - This is where all of the company magic happens. We use Slack for all of our internal company chats, video calls, and messaging. But more than that, Slack is the central notification hub for all of the goings-on inside of Senior Sign.
Free - Zapier allows most, if not all, of the other software we use to talk to each other and send information and push notifications to the team. Integration and automation is key, and Zapier will be your new best friend.
Free - A very robust sales tracking tool that integrates well with Slack and will always remain free for users. We use the chat integration on our marketing website and route all conversations to our Sales Channel on Slack. We actually pay for the full version of HubSpot for our team which gives us great additional tools around marketing, automation, conversations, meetings, and much more.
Having customer chat in your tool or on your website is essential nowadays. Additionally, we use Intercom to share a customer support inbox, for help articles and our help center, and for product tours. We were able to negotiate startup pricing for the entire tool under one subscription. We prefer to find tools that serve more than one purpose so we can keep our subscriptions to a minimum.
Free - Calendly is a great way to find a time and schedule meetings with customers and even across teams. No more back and forth. Customers pick a time based on your calendar availability and can lock out a meeting. It’s easy to implement and integrates well with Zoom and Google Calendars. We’ve utilized the “Meetings” feature in HubSpot to accomplish this same task.
Free - Everyone needs a good conferencing tool, and Zoom is our tool of choice. We have implemented the plugin so a meeting is automatically scheduled/canceled through Calendly or Google Calendar.
$10/user - This is Google everything for business. Email, drive storage, documents, spreadsheets, slides, forms, contacts, calendars, and more. Everything is shared across the company so we all have access.
Free - Lots of people out there use Trello for these same features, but some of the additional items found in Pipefy make it a better fit. We have customized checklists by funnel and column, and can easily send email templates when moving customers through our onboarding and success stages. We can link documents and Drive or Dropbox folders to a card and send that info to our clients. Add to that the database component that allows us to track and add customers and contacts to a card and you have a match made in heaven.
$4/user - Every company needs to control access to sensitive company information and logins. 1Password lets us do that easily and quickly through vaults. Easily add or remove access to a certain tool or vault all from a remote workstation.
Free - You may be using Lucidchart for diagramming or creating a visual workspace, but we prefer Draw IO for no other fact than it’s free. These tools are great for mapping or diagramming processes, trees, pipelines, etc.
Free - If you’re doing any kind of writing, which most of us are, then Grammarly is a great plugin to help catch the little errors most spellcheckers miss. I wrote this article in Grammarly.
Another great tool for wordsmithing is the Hemingway App. Like Grammarly, it’s a web based tool that allows you to simplify your ideas and score them in regards to readability. I especially like Hemingway when it comes to simplifying marketing dribble into digestible phrases.
Fee - This is another useful tool that finds itself getting used every day. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth millions. We attach a quick video file to help visually direct customers or colleagues through a difficult process. Seeing is believing.
Free (Mac) - We use Quicktime almost daily to record video or record my screen to share or edit into support videos. Easy to use and the quality is great.
$15/mo - This is a great phone service. Easily forward and route calls across your company to different users’ cell phones. You can integrate with VOIP phones, but we’re on a budget.
We have since switched to using Zoom’s phone service. It’s just easier to bundle conferencing, webinars, and phone into one tool.
That’s a pretty lengthy list, but hopefully it helps. Again, nobody paid to be on this list, these are just the companies and tools we use at Senior Sign. We're happy to answer questions if you have them and we’d love to know what tools you can’t live without.