It’s been a while since my last Backstage post (which was in October 2014). However, I have a good reason: the last six months have been a non-stop flood of new projects, emails, customer calls and training. It’s been a fun and exciting time, but it did mean that other important things, like this dispatch (and sleep) have been neglected.
I’m now coming up on one full year at Crew, and my how things have changed! We’ve been constantly growing and added many new team members and positions, which I’m sure you’ll hear all about in other backstage posts.
So, I’d like to focus this report on a few big changes in the world of Happiness:
We hit a MILLION dollars in project approvals for a single month
In December we approved $1,092,045.62 USD in projects. That’s over $50,000 USD for each official working day that month. And a 25% increase over the previous month.
The main reason for this big jump is that we decided to waive deposits for extremely qualified project owners. We’d been noticing that each month, we were losing valuable projects that were getting ‘stuck’ in the deposit stage (about 15% of total approvals). These were people that I’d spoken to on the phone, spent time scoping their project, who had funding in place, but just didn’t get around to entering their credit card details.
So, after reaching out to a few of these clients that we’d lost and hearing that the deposit process had felt tedious after we’d already vetted the project, we made the decision to drop it.
We’re still watching our conversion numbers to see how this effects the bottom line, but so far it seems to have had only positive effects. You can read more about our conversion tactics and results in our upcoming Community update.
We hired our second full-time Happiness Concierge
Hiring has to be one of the most difficult tasks I’ve had to do over the last few months. One of the best things about working at Crew is the quality and dedication of our team. (You can read more about the importance of building the right team, here.)
Literally everyone at Crew is awesome, so when it came time to add to the Happiness team, there was a long list of must-haves that we were looking for.
We started off looking in a few different directions. Should they have a project management background, or would sales and customer service be better? Do they have to come in with tech knowledge, or can we teach that? Do we want someone with agency or startup experience?
Here is the final list of skills/traits we landed on that we found couldn’t be taught:
- Must have amazing email writing skills
- Must be over-the-top friendly
- Must be empathetic
- Must have ridiculous stamina
- Must be really enthusiastic about Crew
After a bit of trial and error, we finally found our second full-time Happiness Concierge, and she makes us an official ‘Happiness Team’. Her name is Olivia Hoskin and I’m sure you will all be meeting her real soon.
We’re still looking to add to the team, so if you think you meet the criteria above and would be a good fit, apply here.
Our workflow has almost completely changed
Since the first time I posted, we’ve had some amazing new updates to both the Crew app and our internal workspace (official update here). Thank you dev team! This means a few very exciting updates to the way we’ve been working:
Most recently, we’ve quit Gmail (almost entirely) and now have our own custom mail tool. This means we can now read, assign, and answer emails all in the same place. So consistent!
Another exciting update is that we can now draft emails and flag them for review. This has been revolutionary for email training, which we used to draft and correct inside a GoogleDoc. So efficient!
Finally, we have a brand-new tasks dashboard which gives each teammate an overview of their daily tasks including: new project submissions, incoming emails, follow ups, and training reviews. So organized!
So, all-in-all its been a busy couple of months! Here’s a look at what that means in numbers:
|Approved projects||MoM||Emails received||MoM|
Note: Since we switched mail tools in March, we don’t have an accurate number of mails received for this month.
We’ve made some exciting changes within the Happiness Team and it seems like it’s been paying off. There has been pretty consistent double-digit growth in new project conversions over the past few months, and I’m hoping to keep that growth consistent.
In order to do that, in the coming months, we’re planning on trying out some new email techniques, as well as tracking some interesting new data points (including incoming project conversion rates, response times, and email frequency).
It’s been an awesome year, and next year should be even better. So definitely stay tuned