By Dave Dodds
Like many emerging tech businesses - we quite often get asked about the tools that we use at Figured. Given we don’t, and likely will never, own a server, here are the top web applications that we use and can’t do without - along with what makes them great for us.
Slack is the operating system of our company - it didn’t happen by design but it’s become the centre of our day to day working life. It connects all of our tools and conversations together in one place that we can all access from anywhere - even from our smartphones. We can:
- find out what product updates went out today
- see who’s tweeting about us
- keep an eye on our support conversations and marketing campaigns
- get updates from our NPS surveys
- chat on any topic with anyone, a team, or the whole company
- hook up with our business partners through restricted channels
Slack is making us a more transparent and collaborative company. It brings the whole company together - from across the office, across the country or across the Tasman - to help us maintain the tight knit culture we are proud of.
We use Intercom to connect with our customers and prospects - whether it’s from email, the website or from the live chat tool in our app. It’s fantastically simple, and lets us have authentic and real conversations with our customers. More than anything, it’s driven a change in our service culture - no more tickets, no more customers as numbers - it’s all about real people interacting with real people.
The other thing about Intercom is that it manages out-bound email campaigns and product updates while still ensuring all the responses or queries come back to us as Intercom conversations. That makes resourcing campaigns super easy. Plus, it integrates with Slack so we can all see what’s going on in customer land.
Well, our app is an add-on to Xero, so of course we love it, but our books including AR and AP are on Xero. Xero really gets small businesses - it’s simply an amazing cashbook and business accounting system, there’s plenty of people who know how to use it (in fact they love using it) and it works with our accountants. Awesome.
AskNicely is a gem of a tool that we came across a few months back, and it was literally implemented in minutes. It makes Net Promoter Score surveys really easy, gets its user data from Intercom, and just works. We love the ability to automatically publish customer testimonials on our web site, which is a bit of a bonus. Plus, the Slack integration means the voice of the customer is getting heard right through our company - which is really the point of a NPS program.
We have all our important documents in Google Apps for Work and love the collaboration features in docs, sheets and slides. No more emailing spreadsheets around, no more confusion over multiple versions, no more documents lost in someone’s inbox. Because we have no paper files, we can work from anywhere. And yes, it integrates with Slack, so we can include artefacts from GoogleApps as part of our conversations.
Everyone knows GitHub so no surprises on this one. But just because it is the obvious choice doesn't mean it doesn't deserve a mention - after all, life would be very weird for our development and product team without it.
I’m not a developer, so I won’t bang on about features I don’t use - but I really love that we can automatically reopen Intercom conversations when bugs are resolved. And given we churn out multiple product releases every single day, it’s great to be able to keep track of these through Slack - so we all know where things are at.
While not being in the core of our business - these apps do some great stuff for us in specific areas:
Weirdly helps companies recruit new team members based on how likely they are to love your business. It filters applicants based on core brand values, cultural fit and fulfilment. It’s both cheaper and simpler, than traditional recruitment agencies and help us recruit people that will work well in our team, whilst giving us a point of difference when recruiting.
PipeDrive is a pretty handy sales CRM that we use to keep track of how our pipeline is going. It’s served us well thus far, and got us to the position of having double digit growth per month. The next step for us will be a CRM that can keep track of our relationships more intuitively, help us forecast SaaS revenue more accurately, and we would love to see integration with Intercom and Slack.