Our company is all about systems. We are fanatical about them. We maximize as much efficiency as we can out of our team and waste no time on tasks that can be automated. How else do you think a small 13 person company could pull off a monster project like Method while still maintaining our existing brands? Blood and sweat will only take you so far, systems took us to where we are today.
Since we are so used to our systems, we take them for granted. But every now and then I get a chance to reflect and smile . Those who know me, know all too well that taking time to reflect is a rare occasion! Hey, I'm working on it, I swear.
One great example of our systems is our Sign Up process. We've had numerous users contact us to ask us how we managed to make the Method Signup process so smooth, and whether we could build the same smooth process for them. The truth is, they don't even know the half of it!
Here's what a Method user experiences:
They fill in their information.
They submit, and are redirected to the Method Login page where they sign into Method for the first time.
They are then taken straight to the sync page where they install the sync engine.
They check their inbox and find a personalized email.
Their Method Consultant calls them almost exactly 2 hours later for an introduction.
What they love is that within minutes of landing on the Sign Up page they have 4 or 5 clicks and their QuickBooks data is online. What they don't know is that the process is not only automated for them, it's automated for us too. Within 5 seconds of them clicking submit on our website, they have been entered into our QuickBooks, along with the invoice, and payment and also entered into Method for CRM activities. No need for someone at our company to waste any time on billing and accounting, since it is all handled by the sign up process.
So for those who keep asking how we do it, here's how:
A. When you click Submit on the Signup page, we make calls to our Method account (yes, we use Method to run our business too!), using the MethodAPI, to validate the account info and make sure it is unique.
B. We use the MethodAPI to charge your credit card.
C. We use the MethodAPI to grab a formatted email template from Method, that our staff maintain within Method's EmailTemplate screen.
D. The process then personalizes the email and sends it to you, again using the MethodAPI.
E. The MethodAPI is used to insert the customer, invoice, and payment all into our Method account. This automatically syncs you as a customer, and enters your invoice and payment into our QuickBooks instantly.
F. We use the MethodAPI to insert an Activity (part of MethodCRM) into our Method account, so that the appropriate Method Consultant knows when to call you, so you don't fall between the cracks and not get your "Welcome to Method" phone call.
And there you have it. The best part: this was all designed and built by us in 2 hours using Method and the MethodAPI in a mad rush before we departed for Dallas to launch Method in September. Now that is rapid web app development.
So why am I writing about it now? Well...today I'm building the Method Application Library so that developers can list their apps on the Method website. The process has taken me 3 hours so far, but I'm almost done. As I sit here reflecting on how amazing it is that I could build a process, using Method, this quickly.........I thought I would take a break to share.
Method Application Library is on its way. Our first two apps, Xora Connector and QXpress Online, should be coming on board next week.
Okay, back to it.