Feb 9, 2017 Customer Stories

Our Clients Loved It When We Started Using ActiveCollab

Our Clients Loved It When We Started Using ActiveCollab

Written by Seb Dean, Managing Director at Imaginaire Digital

I am a managing director at Imaginaire Digital, a full-service agency in Nottingham that does web design and digital marketing. We have many ongoing projects, and there are a lot of moving parts and processes. In the past, we had a problem to keep everything organized and in one place, but not anymore.

Solutions We Used in the Past

We tried Trello, but we didn’t like it because we couldn’t get used to it. But we still kept using it, only for personal notes and not work.

Then, we started using JIRA and Basecamp. The problem was, we still relied on email threads, which made a big mess. For example, we had 30 comments in an email thread, so finding the necessary information would take us 5 minutes instead of 5 seconds.

Like other agencies, we have many clients asking us what we are doing each month, so they know where their money is going. Before, we lost plenty of time on sending handwritten reports, which still ended up sloppy.

I thought Basecamp would make us more efficient, but it didn't.

We had to worry about how our clients feel about Basecamp all the time. Would they be impressed by it? Would they find it difficult to use? In the end, we concluded Basecamp would look cheap to our clients. We are a premium agency, and Basecamp didn't look professional enough for our clients (while JIRA was too complicated).

Why We Decided to Switch to ActiveCollab

I remember discovering ActiveCollab on some blog and thinking it had what I needed. Even after using Basecamp for a year, we never felt it was a good match. After trying ActiveCollab for a month, we instantly knew it was what we wanted. It had all the features we were missing, like time tracking and invoicing.

When I first introduced ActiveCollab to my team, I worried how fast they would adapt to it. After all, like any other business owner, I don't have the time to sit and teach every team member how to add a task. It turned out, the team took to ActiveCollab very quickly and stopped using emails in less than a day.

Our clients also liked ActiveCollab. It looked professional, and it was easy to use. Our clients could add tasks instead of sending emails back and forth a thousand times. Once they added a task, we could start working straight away. The whole workflow in ActiveCollab is very intuitive.

We've got lots of clients that rely on reports, so they know what we're doing. With ActiveCollab, we send them the link so they can get up to speed and voice any concerns. The feedback loop is much faster for both them and us, and projects are not late anymore.

How ActiveCollab Improved How We Work

The feature I love the most is time tracking because we invoice based on how many hours we work. It's fantastic when everyone on our team can track time, and then our accountant can whip out an invoice based on billable hours in one minute.

ActiveCollab also makes sure we don't miss critical feedback. For example, customers tend to give the most valuable information when I talk to them since the conversation is more free-flowing. Unless I write it down, I will forget.

ActiveCollab lets me add tasks during a client meeting. I listen to what the client needs, create a task, assign it to somebody, and work can start immediately. I can be sure I didn't miss anything, and a client can see how the whole the project is laid out and approve it.

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