WFH? WTF? — How Team TS is rolling, working from home — 3. Our customers during COVID-19April 24th, 2020
We wanted to take a look at what’s happening for you, our customers, now that we’re all in full-force, work-from-home (WFH), crisis-normal mode. To that end, we virtually-met with the customer success magic that comprises Carla Papadimatos and Scott Donnelly to hear what’s goin’ down.
You’re getting more complex and detailed
Firstly, it seems, you’ve been importing your data to Synergy like mad. Which makes sense, given that access to your data whilst at home has become a priority. This has meant that workflows which included some aspect of on-premises server tasks, have been redirected through the ol’ cloud. Carla says, “Synergy connects to different accounting packages — Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks — and Connect (the API connector that sends all the invoices over) has been getting a much bigger workout”.
Even those of you who’ve long been working with Synergy cloud, and utilizing it for entire workflows, have been reaching out to ensure your processes are strong. Which also makes sense. Carla says, “it’s a bit different working from home — you don’t have anyone there to troubleshoot with if you aren’t in an office, so customers are talking to us to work through any uncertainty”.
As a result, Carla says, “people are definitely asking more complex questions around their data — how things are working within Synergy. I think they’re looking a lot more at what’s actually happening with their data in the program, rather than just surface level issues”.
Your pipeline remains pivotal
Scott Donnelly sees two prominent types of mid-COVID support enquiry. Namely, losing work, and capturing collaboration.
“There’s clear concern for customers around whether current jobs are going to stop and whether jobs they won, which start soon, are going to be canceled” Scott says.
With this first issue, cashflow is clearly the inherent concern. Scott says our customers are grappling with questions like:
- From a financial perspective, what is the future going to be like?
- How can we start to understand that better so we can make plans when we need to, or capitalize when we can or…?
- Are we in a financial position to be able to not worry and review our internal systems, policies, and procedures?
- Is this a good opportunity to take a step back?
- Do we have the means to be able to do that?
“As a result,” says Scott, “we get questions around how we can use Synergy’s powerful forecasting tool and forecast reporting to make plans based on the risk factor of each of the jobs. How we can report on the likelihood of meeting your revenue target, or at the very least, understanding what the short and long term impact is going to be? Some of that is science and some of that is just gut feeling from our customers who’ve been working in the AEC industry forever and have a really robust knowledge of how similar things can have an impact.
“Our customers understand the concept of what the risk factors are. We’re trying to help communicate that a risk matrix is probably going to be the most helpful way of understanding and weighing these factors. A risk matrix will show if, for example, there’s a small chance of impact on a certain job — perhaps because you don’t have to travel, you can do the work remotely, your client always pays on time, and they’re in a robust position — at one end of the spectrum. It’ll also show you the other end of that scale — let’s say a job that’s on another continent, that requires face-to-face meetings, is in a place that is significantly impacted by what’s happening, etc.
“We’ve found that you can use things like project custom fields to weight your reporting to determine the likelihood of risk to the business. That’s one way we can offer help.
“This means that even if you’re wrong, at least you’ve got a reasonable risk matrix that you can use to start to understand what might happen in the future.”
You’re finding new ways to capture collaboration
The second concern Scott is hearing relates to how best to report on collaborative efforts in this new WFH wonderland.
“I think there’s a big yearning to do two things” says Scott. “One, to automate some of that collaboration, and two, from an ROI perspective on the tools that you have, how to demonstrate that each tool serves a purpose in the kind of ecosystem you’re working with now.
“Customers are asking, ‘now that we’re remote, how do we understand and segment work in such a way that we can understand if there’s any change from the tasks that each employee is doing?’. Also, in an environment where customers use Synergy as their hub for information around projects, they need to find a way to make it a hub for the parts of their work that are day-to-day that they usually just walk over and chat about.
“So, we’re getting questions like, ’how can I create the concept of collaborative meeting agendas and notes? How do we demonstrate value in using Synergy as a remote tool to make sure that we’re all kept up-to-date and we don’t miss that off-the-cuff collaboration? How do we make sure there are more robust mechanisms of housing that information?’
“We have not all worked from home before. So, we’re trying to help our customers use Synergy to demonstrate to the board and to shareholders, as well as each other, that they’re on the right track. Even when the apparent output is minimal.”
We’re firmly focused on adapting the solutions and support we offer, to enable you and your business to adapt in turn. This is certainly not the global scenario any of us could’ve imagined — reach out and let us know what you need right now, how you’re making things work, and what’s most important to you and your work in this landscape.