“A lot of work goes into planning work rotas. We were having problems with jobs overrunning or, occasionally, staff not being there long enough. Now we use an app for our cleaners to log in at the start and finish of every job.”
Crystalclear Cleaners is a family-run limited company, where Managing Director, Jon Westwood, employs a team of ten. Based in North Kent, they relieve the stress of household chores for their local customers, providing regular domestic cleaning services and one-off deep-cleans. Crystalclear Cleaners offers carpet steaming and oven cleaning, as well as laundry services and interior window washing. Deep cleansing is a popular end-of-tenancy service for rental property landlords, and for households in the run up to Christmas and Springtime.
Running the business, allocating jobs and managing the finances keeps Jon busy – he rarely has time to promote their services or send out regular email marketing to prospects. Instead, the business relies on their existing loyal customers, word of mouth referrals, search engine traffic to their website and some social media activity.
He explains, "A lot of work goes into planning work rotas for our cleaners. We were having problems with jobs overrunning or, occasionally, staff not being there long enough. We bill customers for a fixed service period, so we use GeoOp for our cleaners to log in at the start and finish of every job – which geotags their location. I was spending a lot of time matching things up, using several different software programs to help me manage the business metrics. When I read about the business dashboard, it sounded like quite a handy program, so I had a look at the 9 Spokes website. The features of the system looked good, and because it was free and compatible with the software I used, I felt I had nothing to lose by trying it out. It is such a good idea to show all the information on one screen."
9 Spokes dashboard set-up
When Jon discovered 9 Spokes in December, the dashboard was in the early launch phase. Once he had connected three of his key apps, Jon saw instantly it would save him time. He uses Quickbooks Online for managing the accounts, GeoOp for field management of the jobs and cleaning team, and Google Analytics to monitor their website performance.
The connected apps on Jon's dashboard
- QuickBooks [CS2] Online - managing the accounts
- GeoOp - for timesheets, job management and location planning
- Google Analytics - monitoring website traffic and performance
- Twitter - to reach a wider audience
- Facebook - to interact more with staff and customers
Connect more, know more
With his customised business dashboard, Jon monitors the business finances at a glance on his home screen, alongside key performance indicators from GeoOp, Google Analytics and social media. Jon can see instantly which jobs are going out that day and who is allocated to those jobs. He also accesses the online dashboard on his MacBook while out and about, and plans to take it on holiday to quickly check what’s been done each day.
He says, "When I turn on the computer, the 9 Spokes dashboard is set as our browser homepage, so it’s the first thing I look at in the morning – every day. It gives me a snapshot of what’s happening, before I go into any program in depth, and helps me prioritise my day. It’s easy for me to pinpoint any drops or increases in trade from changes to the website traffic, whereas previously I would have looked at five or six different screens to work that out from Quickbooks and Google Analytics. And if I do go into Google Analytics, it’s difficult to know where to click, so it’s great the 9 Spokes widget gives exactly me what I need. Since I started using the dashboard, it’s expanded to be a lot more useful than I originally expected it to be, because I can see my online banking as well as Quickbooks. It’s such an easy-to-use format, even for someone like me who’s not that technical."