Today, doing good business boils down to managing information to the best of your ability. There comes a time when you need to consider how to simplify your workflow process – making them more effective, efficient, and fast. The sooner you can do so, the better it will be!
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new – Socrates
Generally, a workflow process defines how your agency will carry out a given task. It marks each step of what to do and who to involve. For instance, you might have workflow processes for handling client applications, receiving and submitting invoices or connecting with new clients and prospects.
When everyone on the team follows a well-tested process, there are fewer errors, delays, and duplications in your work. The pitfall of bad processes can be severe – increased client complaints about your services, rising costs, frustrated co-workers, wasted effort and resources, to name just a few.
To help you overcome these issues, we have put together five ways your agency can improve its business workflow process:
Step 1: Map your current agency workflow process
First, you must figure out how your current workflow process is working before you decide to improve it or do away entirely. It is important to explore each step in detail, to get a realistic insight of what is working and what is not. Look into these questions:
- Consider each task in your agency, along with its intended SMART agency goals.
- What is the goal of that particular task?
- What steps are you taking to reach that goal?
- How frequently is this process used in your agency?
- Is the process incurring extra costs in your agency?
- How does it affect your staff?
- Are your clients complaining?
- Are they unhappy with a specific part of the workflow process or the entire workflow process?
- How would you resolve this issue? Consult staff members, who use the process regularly and note down their feedback.
Step 2: Figure out what sort of business workflow process you need
Once you have identified the problems, it is time to find solutions. Start by working with people who are directly involved in the process. Ask them this question – what would be the best and useful business workflow process for our agency that can make work more efficient, effective, and fast? They will need to consider the following factors:
- Choose a process that supports multiple workflow processes, so whether you are an education or migration agency, it works both ways.
- Oversight and allocation of responsibilities is a major part of every good business workflow process. You should be able to create groups like admins, managers, accountants, administrators, counsellors, and so on.
- The admin can then assign a user to each group, to regulate access and control over the type of data shared within the system.
- The agency team should be able to assign and share tasks with each other.
- You should be able to trace each task through every stage and view comments along the way.
- At every stage, your team should be able to send emails, add notes, set due dates, post comments, and upload documents.
- All changes made should retain a history or log, to keep users informed at all times.
- Receiving and sending invoices is a major part of your business workflow process. You should be able to create and customize invoices, as per your agency needs.
Step 3: Acquire the right business process and make it work
Now that you have figured the kind of workflow process your agency requires, you may need to acquire education and migration agency management software like Agentcis, hire a new team member or organize a training session. Consult with your business partners and team members. Communicate clearly with each of them, to ensure they understand how this new process works and benefits the agency.
- The first thing is to be acquainted with how the software works. Subscribe to a free trial and test it out.
- Take help from technical support, if you need to.
- Do not hesitate to experiment and try out everything it has to offer.
- Before directly getting the clients involved in the new process, do an in-house role-play to figure its potential and outcomes.
- Create various possible client scenarios from your agency experience and check if the software can deliver.
- Agentcis workflow helps you improve your business workflow process by keeping track of client progress across various stages.
- Its ability to allocate customizable and multiple workflows adds flexibility in your agency operations.
- The software helps your agency to take control of daily processes and manage them better.
Step 4: Make all your team members understand the agency process
Rolling out a new agency workflow process needs good planning and management. Consider running a pilot project, since your team will take some time to get used to it. The main thing is to get everyone involved as per their job roles.
- Directors can generate reports on major variables that provide insights for predicting and planning a course of action for the agency.
- Managers can work on increasing productivity by preparing strategies to deal with clients as well as mentoring and motivating the staff.
- Counsellors can choose options that match your clients’ interests without wasting much time.
- Accountants can create, update and retrieve invoices with utmost ease. In just a few seconds, they can locate invoices and take appropriate action.
- Administrators can directly find out if data and documents are missing, since they have access to all users.
- Marketers can generate reports on popular countries, courses, and important trends. Additionally, they can store this information and plan client marketing strategies accordingly.
Step 5: Review the process once again and implement!
After you roll out the new process, closely monitor how it is going. Make it a priority to ask the people involved with the new process about their experiences thus far. You should look out for the following things:
- Every business is unique and so is yours. Thus, it is important to know how you can customize the workflow process for your agency management needs.
- You should be able to receive all notifications on time and as per your schedule.
- The team members should be able to work according to their assigned roles and responsibilities.
- The admin should have access to all users and data.
- Measure the amount of time it takes to complete a client application – from start to finish.
For most people and businesses, changing or improving workflow processes is never easy! However, the key is to make your team understand what the improvements are all about, so they can be comfortable and efficient in their roles. Once they get it, the rest becomes easy!