How one of the fastest growing companies in America scaled their business without losing their personal touch

About On The Map Marketing

On The Map Marketing (OTM) is a full-service digital marketing agency that provides SEO, online marketing, and web development services. Their clientele is as diverse as their services, ranging from attorneys at leading law firms and auto dealers, to startups and Fortune 500 companies. To keep a personalized client experience as their team rapidly scales, OTM relies on Front to manage communications across the entire customer lifecycle.

Challenge

OTM has grown exponentially in the last two years — so much so that they’ve been named one of the fastest growing companies in America by Inc.

Their account management teams took pride in maintaining personal relationships with their clients, but their bottlenecked internal operations wouldn’t allow them to scale that premium customer experience. “We reached this fork in the road where we realized that if we really wanted to grow the company and build out different departments, something needed to change,” said Anthony Quintero, OTM Account Executive.

They were using a ticketing system to track and prioritize customer requests. A customer would email their account manager, who would open a ticket and assign it to the right teammate internally. Account managers had to remember to check back on tickets periodically, then tab back into their email to communicate back any updates to the client.

“It was chaotic at best,” said Anthony. “Ultimately, Zendesk wasn’t cutting it for us. It wasn’t a cohesive system because we’ll always need to use email to communicate with all of our clients.”

Solution

KEY STATS
  • Time saved per person per week: 4+ hrs
  • Response time: 15-20 mins

“We wanted more than just a ticketing system. We needed something that would allow us to maintain that personal relationship with each of our clients but that would also scale with us. To be honest, we weren’t even sure there was something that could tick all of those boxes,” Anthony said.

Then they found Front and haven’t looked back since. “Front has been a game changer,” said Anthony.

“Now we manage every aspect of the customer lifecycle in Front.” Their sales, support, design, development, and account management teams use Front.

Streamlining the entire client communication process

Before finding Front, the entire company was subjected to what Anthony referred to as “a never-ending game of telephone,” spread across multiple tools and people. “With Front, every person can communicate with the client directly, as opposed to going through two different people. It’s streamlined our entire client communication process,” he said.

Teammates can comment directly on client conversations to chat about a request, without having to forward, CC, or open a separate ticket. They can assign emails to specific teammates in Front, so customer emails never slip through the cracks. And account managers no longer have to spend time straddling different work systems — everything lives neatly in Front.

Dedicated inboxes keep the team organized

OTM has dedicated inboxes for each of their most valuable work streams, including:

  • - A catch-all support inbox for level one requests
  • - A ranking inbox for SEO ranking improvements
  • - A web development inbox for update requests and new projects

“Having dedicated inboxes saves us a lot of time,” Anthony said. “It auto-delegates the right things to the right departments and helps each team stay focused on their top priorities.”

Individuals feel more productive

Front enables every OTM teammate to stay on top of their email and work more productively.

“Front helps me structure and plan my day. It’s helped me be more proactive about my work, rather than reactive,” said CSM and SEO Account Manager Valeria Nunez.

Valeria’s workday typically consists of three types of customer requests: SEO ranking improvement tickets, support tickets, and client on-boarding tickets. Before Front, she had to check several different systems to understand what was going on across all of her projects. But now, she has a centralized place to work from.

She uses Front’s tags to keep her inbox organized and easily find what she needs at-a-glance. “I live by my tags. When a new ticket comes in via Front, I already know exactly what my day is looking like, and what I’m dealing with. I can tend to every new ticket with the priority it needs and be a lot more productive on things that are actually important.”

She also integrates her Front inbox with Asana to get a clear sense of her workload. “The fact that I can create any ticket from Front to Asana makes my life so much easier. I don’t have to go into a separate tool, look for that specific task, and then switch back into whatever I was doing before,” continued Valeria. “With Front, I can just work from my email directly. Everything is integrated.”

Small efficiency gains add up to large benefits

For OTM, it’s the little things that make Front such a valuable part of their working lives. “All of the little features in Front stack up and make us more productive day to day,” Anthony said.

  • 🕑 Bridge time zone differences
    “I can come into the office early and knock out a bunch of emails. With Front, I can schedule emails so that they’ll arrive exactly when the client gets into the office, not like 4am their time.”

  • 💤 Trigger reminders on emails
    “I love that I can snooze emails. If a developer tells me they won’t be done with something until Friday, I can clear it out of my queue until then and have it pop back into my inbox on Friday so I can remember to check in with them.”

  • ✍🏾 Personal responses, at scale
    “I can save any frequently used email response as a canned response so that it’s somewhat automated but still has that personal feel.”

  • ⚡️ Simply powerful
    “Overall, the simplicity of Front is great. It’s easy enough for anyone to use, but powerful enough to scale with you. So once you’re at the stage where you need things like automation and rules, that’s all ready for you."

  • 🌴 OOO isn’t a crisis
    “With shared inboxes, if I’m not around, I’m not a bottleneck. Someone can look at the same thing and still get it done. That really establishes trust in the support department that everything will be fine even if someone is out.”

  • 📈 Analytics to power smart business growth
    “With Front, it’s easy to see if there’s a clear bottleneck somewhere or if we need to re-examine part of our workflow. The metrics make it possible to dive into what’s working — and what’s not — every month.”

Saving 4+ hours a week per person

“When we were using a ticketing system, there were more steps,” said Anthony. “Everything was a number. So we would often have to go looking for the number, find the corresponding chain, and make sure everything had been addressed. It was taking us easily double the time that it takes us now to do anything. All that really adds up in response times.”

With Front, they typically answer client emails within 15 to 20 minutes. And those efficiency gains have spread to the entire production side of the house. “From a communications and process standpoint, Front has saved us at least 4 hours per week per person,” Anthony said. “That’s a lot of time back for us — time we can better spend on our clients.”

Clearing the way for growth

In three years, OTM has grown from a team of 12 in one office to 85 employees spread across multiple time zones and departments. “Front made all of that growth possible,” said Anthony. “It really led the way in improving our processes from an internal standpoint — which allowed us to scale.”

Anthony’s words of advice for other growing agencies? “When you’re a company in a high-growth stage, you need a system that will centralize everything that’s going on. That’s where Front really stands out from the rest.”

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