How a digital agency manages client contacts with their team

Simpleweb is a real time digital agency in Bristol that builds innovative technical solutions for startups and the enterprise.  The Simpleweb team is 12 strong and the original creators of ContactZilla.  Their ethos is based on the foundation of good teamwork and strong collaboration.  One of the ways they ensure they work together efficiently is by sharing their contacts through ContactZilla.  Here’s their story:

What was the problem?

As a team, Simpleweb encourages flexible working, so sometimes you’d have members of a project group working virtually.  Although Simpleweb use collaborative project management tools, they were finding that some of the team didn’t have the contact details of another member, supplier, or a client and so they’d end up having to call Holly, the “chief organiser”, to pass on their contact details.  For Holly, it was disruptive and frustrating and time was being wasted all round, searching for mobile numbers or other contact details.

Back in the office it was also hard to keep track of the pool of freelancers that help out on projects.  It was cumbersome keeping all the details up-to-date and sharing them across different account managers.

“We knew we needed to be smarter with the sharing of information, but hadn’t found a solution that that allowed different people different access, was simple and well thought-out.”

The solution: centralised contacts

“For us ContactZilla was an eye-opener.  Beautifully simple, yet really powerful.  It allowed us to overcome our contact management issues, speeding up the way we work and enabling our teams to work even more flexibly.  Now, all of our team members use ContactZilla daily without hesitation, inside and outside the office.”

How Simpleweb use ContactZilla

First of all, they knew that they needed to organise their contacts and then set up a structure outlining how they wanted to use ContactZilla.  The structure would work by allowing certain groups of contacts across the organisation to remain private and others to be accessible to everyone.

Simpleweb set up their account with shared address books for various groups of people, like so:

Directors:  Board Level, Directors, Advisors and Investors

Employees: All employees

Freelancers: All our freelancers

Project X: All the members, including client members of a particular project

Clients: All client contacts

New Business: All potential clients and networking buddies

Once they’d agreed on this it was easy to get going. Holly set up an account, created the various shared address books and invited the team into the shared address books. Once each member of the team head gone through the simple registration process they imported their own private contacts into a private address book, and then shared the relevant ones into their respective shared address book for other people to access.

“We started to populate the shared address books with our contacts; labeling contacts as we added them so they could easily be identified.  For example, with freelancers, we’d label by skillset so we can quickly find ‘copywriters’ or ‘Ruby-on-Rails’ specialists.  It’s taken the hassle out of finding the right resource for a particular project. We made it useful for us and the way we work.  We wouldn’t be without it now.”

For Simpleweb, they adapted ContactZilla to the way they work. How could you use it for your business?