One of the major components of the work and workflow within UpGrad is effective time management. Time management for Student Mentors and Experience Managers or any Customer Support Team is complemented by a vast array of tools. We closely work with these tools in order to give context or through light on, and provide insights to, the way we work.
These tools are used by the Student Experience team at UpGrad:
Most companies use a robust workflow management service to assign and maintain control on the tasks to be executed by each and every employee at any given point in time. For a startup, the first few tools that can help are the following:
One of the most effective tools out in the market today that is widely utilised in both small and large companies to manage workflow processes, task assignment, and delivery modules.
In essence, Trello makes use of job boards, which let each individual create his/her tasks with their respective timeline for completion. The cloud drive in Trello lets Managers and Mentors access work data from anywhere and anytime. For most of us here, task delegation and work accountability gets clearly defined through Trello and also removes our dependence on paper – which truthfully is now no longer a mode for an efficient work management.
Streak is one of the most commonly used email marketing tools. The product clearly defines the level of collaboration that can be carried out. Streak is all in all a CRM which sets itself up inside Gmail at a click of a button and can be tweaked according to individual requirements. It helps us to focus our time towards mentoring students by organising and prioritising the work in pipelines for easy access.
To give some more insights, some of the major use cases for this tool is Mass Mailing with a variety of merge field tags; View Tracking which is limited to 200 emails per month on the trial basis which can be more than sufficient when a company is just kicking off; Snooze & Send Later which is defined just the way it is termed.
Toby is more of an extension to your browser which helps in collating all the tasks windows together in plain sight, as a bookmark. As an example, our work starts off each day with opening two Gmail accounts, Intercom for student support logs, Google drive, Zoho and the UpGrad Learning platform. Now in the ideal scenario where each of us has saved our password and need not log in every time, we will still have to go through the process of punching in the web address, waiting for it to load, and then have access to work. In rare cases – the issue is that we may forget opening one or more tabs thereby leading to a work lag at the start of the day.
Toby helps you to log all the tabs under a bookmark that has a single click button to open everything listed under it. This way all work tabs open up in a jiffy and managers can be well equipped from the start of the day!
As an online education company, most of our analytics work is based on measuring customer data metrics and student progress at each and every interval so as to make quick decisions that can turn the tide or ensure a more seamless experience for the user. To get this done, we use an array of tools that track student progress, cohort attendance, pace determination and active forum participation. For getting down and dirty with the figures, Excel alone is now a thing of the past.
Data Visualisation and Dashboards are the foundation of Bime. This tool by Zendesk makes the most of the dashboards and data points from all possible data sources with the option to code in one’s own queries to pull out data and make them presentable according to your will and choosing. Given that the tool is robust in structure and nature, it is the ideal tool for a startup or a massive company trying to make clear sense of their data.
A tool that we primarily use to create segments of customers/users. Clevertap helps to identify participation metrics and a variety of other data points which is then used in our weekly meetings to make decisions. The analytics package and engagement data available is seamless. Customer Support was always extra helpful when we had to migrate our campaigns, dashboards and other use cases.
This tool was brought up in one of our engagement meetings. Bicycle.ai is a solution to provide an automated answer or a suggestion option. In essence, the student experience team has to give a support executive access to responses to a question raised on a chat medium, by a student. This greatly reduces the time taken by Customer Support to source an answer if they are otherwise unaware of it.
Issuing Digital Certificates with the option to link them to a Profile on LinkedIn is a must-have tool for any online education company. It offers unlimited designs and an exhaustive analytics summary that tracks additions to LinkedIn Profile, downloads as a PDF, Click rates and a ton of other useful information that a Manager needs.
With all the forms and data collection tools available in the market, Typeform hits the spot in meeting the requirements that most startups and mid-sized companies need. It is designed to seamlessly integrate with a ton of other apps (should there be any customisation required) and manage multiple dashboards or Workspaces as they have termed it.
It has the most sought out fields to be inserted including a payment field (with Stripe) and a Form Invaders Game! A perfect throwback to Space Invaders!
A clear-cut extension on Chrome that gives the opportunity for a Mentor to get immediate access to a Customer or Student’s professional information like his LinkedIn profile and Twitter ID. As any manager says, “You should possess the latest information on a person before you interact with them”; it’s true in this case as a working professional updates his LinkedIn information more frequently over any other social/networking platform.
The ultimate tool for grammar correction and email message structuring, Grammarly still gets to hold the slogan of being the “World’s Best Grammar Checker”. So rather than being required to right click on the misspelled word every time, suggestions pop up with all possible alternatives to pick from.
Most of the above tools are readily available in the market while one or more tools may require an additional tag to pop up in search results on the Internet. One can take on more work and stand out in the organisation as a person who gets his stuff done. After all, this metric is the key to a more effective work environment. As it is universally defined and followed, if a person is able to find ways to simplify his work, he is the most efficient.