Task Management

Task Management 

So you’ve just started off with Infusionsoft, you are enjoying the benefits of campaign automation. It’s not quite as clear as it could be yet but you are getting there, and you are excited about how much time you are going to save and how much more value you will be able to bring to your client’s experience. You start building a few campaigns, get a little bit more adventurous. The almonds are alternating, the noggin’s a joggin’, and a week later you are spending more time managing your system than actually working towards delivering for your customers.

 So what went wrong?

Well one of the most common reasons - if not possibly the most common reason - is poor task management. I’m going to walk you though when you should and should not use tasks and explain better ways to solve for your business.

Tasks 101 - The Limitations

One of the most important things to bare in mind about tasks (and by extension, the “Task Completed” goal) is that they are boolean in nature. They are a 1 or a 0. An either or. The task is either completed, or it isn’t completed. For this reason, if your process stage will most frequently have more than one outcome, then the task feature is not going to be the most appropriate fix.

What is a good example of a task?

A customer has asked for a quote. I need to set a task for my invoicing department so that they can send one for the customer to approve”.

Why is this a good example? Well quite simply, there is only one outcome of this process. The quote gets sent. It is either not sent, in which case it needs to be sent, or it is sent. Therefore, when invoicing clears the task off, you can automate based on this one outcome. For example: Follow up in a week to discuss the quote.

What is a bad example of a task?

“I need to let my salesman know about a contact request. I will set a task asking him to call the customer.”

Why is this bad? Well this particular example is actually one of the most common mistakes I see from clients using the task system. A callback has multiple outcomes. Most commonly they will either book, require a callback, or express a lack of interest. In the first instance, the salesman will need to send follow up appropriate to the booking in question. In the second the salesman will need to manually change the due date of the task which is going to continue sitting obtrusively on his user interface. In the final instance, he will need to delete the task, go to the contact record and either mark them for deletion, take them off a list, change the correspondence or remove them personally. Individually these processes may not take long to follow, over a year across a workforce however, that is a lot of wasted time!

“Notify Owner” / “Notify Users”

When you are using the “Create Task” process within a sequence in campaign builder there are two options for “Notify”. What these functions do is send an email containing the task message to the specified user. For people who are more likely to have their emails open in front of them in any given day than their Infusionsoft App, this can be a great deal more convenient. At least on the face of it. 

In the majority of cases, success in developing processes for business can be determined by how much more efficient and accurate their revisions make the overall workflow. If you are managing tasks in two screens now as opposed to just one, are you making unnecessary work? Possibly worse still, are you keeping your progress on those tasks consistent in both Infusionsoft and your email? If your employee is working entirely from their email inbox, is their Infusionsoft app filling up with “uncompleted” tasks? Consider that a task completed in Infusionsoft can provide progress visibility across your entire company. Could it cause problems if your co-workers are unable to see you have completed a task with your customer?

Alternative Ideas

To keep your task screen unclogged, readable, and useful you may want to consider one of the following measures:

Send an email to your salesperson with the relevant information rather than creating a task.

If you are using multiple users within your system. You can email them directly after prompts in the campaign builder. If they are dominantly using their inboxes to manage their customers, let's keep it all in one place or the other. If you can’t justify the expense of additional users, create an “Email” type custom field. Have the salesman’s email address automatically input in to this field, and then you will be able to send an email to that address from Campaign builder.

Use Internal Forms to manage multiple outcome processes

If you are using the Classic UI, you have the option to create Internal Forms, which will be accessible on the Infusionsoft contact record. These are incredibly powerful tools that you set up within the campaign builder, and from them you can apply tags or decision diamond logic based on the input to automate option-specific follow up. This is a far more complete solution to process management than the “Task Completed” goal.

Use Web Forms with tracking code to the same effect

If you are using the “New” or “Current” UI you can simulate internal forms from your email account by getting clever with Infusionsoft tracking code. If you have managed to set up suggestion 1, you will know that you can send send emails to your team based on contact campaign progression in the campaign builder. What you might not know is that Infusionsoft web forms can auto populate based on tracking data from Infusionsoft delivered emails. This means that when your campaign sends an email with a web from in it to your work colleague, they can then open and complete the form on the contacts behalf. Essentially becoming like an internal form, but from your email inbox!

There are two caveats to make this work. First of all “Auto-populate this form with a Contact's information when visited from an Infusionsoft-delivered email.” must be ticked on the web form settings. Secondly, and most easily forgotten, you are going to need to have at least the “Email” field on that form somewhere. In order for Infusionsoft to know where to tie up the data, the form must be submitted with a bit of unique contact info on it. Otherwise, it won’t know which client your input is supposed to be for! I strongly suggest putting this Email field as a “Hidden Field” (an option under “Field Snippets”) as this will prevent your colleague changing this value and creating a duplicate contact record.

 After that is all set up, it is just tags and decision diamonds! Just like an internal form.

Conclusion

So is this all as fast to set up as tasks and task completed goals? No. Will it save your more time and grief in the long term? Absolutely, and that scales with how frequently the task needs to be completed. I hope this guide leads to you developing better processes for your business!