In the last couple of months, CopyPress has witnessed serious growth, and with growth comes growing pains. Our copy and connections teams have witnessed firsthand these changes and its pains. This caused us to take a step back and review our current systems and processes.
What we learned was that our systems and processes are flawed.
Old Process: Our previous questionnaire barely scratched the surface on getting to truly know what the client’s needs really are. We were also sending the questionnaire to our clients once the order was made and SOW was signed.
Issues: The questionnaire didn’t ask the right questions which meant we didn’t have the right answers to provide our teams. This resulted in quality issues, confusion on what clients’ needs were, and decreases in retention with our client base. Not having the questionnaire completed upfront lead to scope creep issues with production unable to provide the service as requested.
New Process: We have thrown out the old questionnaires and started from scratch. The new wording of questions allows the client to understand our process better and allows them to answer more appropriately which leads to the production team having a full understanding of what they are looking for. We send the questionnaire during the sales conversations so we’re able to decide if we can take the work on or brainstorm on how to properly achieve the order. Once it’s completed we are able to:
- Determine the cost of the project
- Determine the time it will take and
- Bring up with any concerns and questions from the start and prior to signing
Benefits: Just by changing the questionnaire, we’re able to deliver a higher quality product with a more fool-proof system. We won’t be over-promising and under-delivering; everyone will be on the same page. The questionnaire is straightforward both for our clients and for our production team.
Old Process: We used the old questionnaire to create a style guide to only be used internally.
Issues: Clearly the questionnaire wasn’t equipped and therefore we didn’t have the right information to create a successful style guide. We also weren’t looping the client in for approval which led to quality issues and inconsistency.
New Process: We create a style guide once the new questionnaire is completed and send it to our clients for approval prior to starting the work.
Benefits: The major component here is getting our client’s feedback. We can take the questionnaire and create a style guide we think is right but only our clients will know what is best for the project at hand. This also puts an agreement in place for the scope of work and if feedback is provided that wasn’t included in 1) the questionnaire or 2) the style guide, we’re able to hold our clients more accountable.
Old Process: Make the sale and spit out the entire order all at once.
Issues: We would spend a full production cycle on a product that was not acceptable to a client.
New Process: Once questionnaire and style guide are complete and approved, we start a small test. An example for a copy client would be completing one article out of 10 that they have ordered. We then create the first piece and send it to the client for their approval. Once we get their feedback and make revisions and update style guide, we then are able to move forward with the rest of the order.
Benefits: While the questionnaire and style guide are there to provide the team and client with expectations and requirements, there may be things that we might not have been thought of until you see the client sees them in the flesh. This allows us to make improvements on the order before doing the bulk of it and therefore eliminating a crappy product at the end of the day. For our brand new clients, it’s almost as if we’re dating and getting to know each other. This is a slow process.
Old Process: We were over-promising and under-delivering. We were not willing to push back on rush requests and we too easily gave into the pressure of spitting out content within an unreasonable timeline.
Issues: There wasn’t enough time to fully research and write, not enough time to edit properly, and no time for a QA process.
New Process: The estimated turnaround time for brand new copy clients has gone from 7-10 business days to about 30. For connections clients we estimate anywhere from 45-60 days for the first order. This is due to the processes mentioned above; questionnaires, style guide creation, ideation, and test rounds.
Benefits: Due to extending the turnaround times, we have been able to add a QA manager role to the copy team which allows for even more fresh eyes on products before sending them off.
What Does This Mean?
There are quality improvements across the board. CopyPress is dedicated to our client’s needs and makes it a priority to deliver quality consistently. These changes may mean longer turnarounds but in the end it will mean better service, higher quality, and success for us and for them.