Our subscriber stories speak about the challenges and successes of our subscribers. Since we know that you, our readers, love these inspirational stories, we figured we’d lift the veil on some stories we know better than anyone: the Cazoomi team stories. This piece is part of our new Insider monthly column.
Today, we reveal how we manage to support subscribers 24/7 even though we only work 4 days each week. It’s not David Blaine-level magic but it’s something we’re super proud of.
Work flexibility, flexibility in the workplace, or workplace flexibility are not new terms. They have been around as long as the modern workplace has. As the terms suggest, they refer to a more flexible approach to the work schedule.
The fact that Millennials hate 9 to 5 jobs is also not news. Gen Xers have the same strong feelings about being stuck in a fixed schedule and in a rigid office.
And it’s all perfectly understandable. Who loves routine? More importantly, who thrives in routine?
Not creative people, that’s for sure!
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about some much sought-after changes to how most companies work. It made flexible hours mainstream but, by then, it was too little, too late. You may have flexible hours, but with lockdowns or bans on large gatherings still in effect in half the world, where are you going to go?
At SyncApps by Cazoomi flexible working is not new. It’s been years since we realized that happy people, with a healthy work-life balance, thrive in the workplace. And that the company thrives along with them.
So we all take an extra day off every week. Yes, you read that right — no one works 5 days per week at Cazoomi. Still, we manage to offer 24/7 support to all our subscribers.
Get a sneak-peek into our weekly schedule to find out how we made it possible.
How the SyncApps by Cazoomi Team Works — 4 Days per Week, Flexible Hours
Let’s see how each department works and what other routines we implemented to get rid of the fixed, 9-5 program, the routine no one wants.
We’ll start with the content team because…well, this is us and we’re a bit biased.
- Review all subscribers with their respective industries and determine which industry needs more content on our Product Blog, Industry pages, and Subscriber Stories. We’re a generous bunch, so we always share our insights with the Development and Support Teams. This way, they know what to expect in the upcoming week.
- Weekly meeting to discuss monthly and quarterly reports.
- Content drafting. This is the brainstorming stage. We search for new ideas for our blog, in addition to product posts that explain how our integrations work. In one of these sessions, we came up with the idea of opening our virtual doors to all our readers and going in-depth on how our team works.
- The nitty-gritty: content articles, emails, videos, images, and flowcharts are updated or created from scratch.
Supporting our subscribers and trailers is our top priority. That’s why we make sure that we follow our 2-8 hours SLA Response time. As we said before (OK, bragged before), we have a 4-day work week plus 2-hour rotations in the weekend so that all subscribers’ questions are handled in due time.
Here’s what we do exactly:
- 24/7 Shifting email support to ensure that all subscribers’ and prospects’ questions through email are answered and their integration errors are handled.
- Scheduled shifting Live chats to handle subscribers and prospects in realtime, 24/7.
- Scheduled calls for SyncApps integration demos/questions and helping subscribers with their integration problems/use cases.
- Help Center articles are updated weekly to ensure every article is up to date. As features are rolled out, APIs are updated and industry best practices are enhanced.
- Assisting the content team for our SyncApps Dashboard features and Steps labels, blog ideas, and other types of content that help with the subscriber journey.
- Collaborate with the Media team for Content images like flowcharts and integration guide videos for our amazing trial onboarding process at SyncApps by Cazoomi.
- Reporting SyncApps integration errors, issues, and new features requested by the subscribers. This is an on-going process as there’s always something new to learn from our awesome subscribers!
The name of our team gives it away: we focus on creating the best possible user experience and an excellent user interface in order to support the increase in conversion rate — our ultimate business goals.
We pay a lot of attention to every detail from wireframing to high-fidelity prototypes to make sure all are good before releasing them to production.
Here are some key processes we follow for our 4-day work setup.
- Knowing the problem. This includes the reports from the Analytics team, finding out which pages are not performing well, and discussing what’s the problem and what is the possible solution.
- Wireframing. After we discuss and decide what the solution is, then we can start on the wireframe. A wireframe is just a low-fidelity visual of our idea, no color, no typography — just a line or a rough prototype if you will.
- High-fidelity design. In this phase, we convert the wireframe idea into nice design with colors, icons, typography etc.
- Prototyping. After the design is approved, we now convert this design into a tangible form that you can interact with. This will also help developers validate the design and find out whether it is way too complicated or user-friendly enough.
- Coding. The UI team will now hand this over to our Front-End developers to start implementing this on our site.
Those are some key processes that the UI/UX team tackles in a 4-day work setup. Aside from that, we are also responsible for enhancements inside the Paragon UI — we do releases for customer-facing issues every week.
The main goal of the Platform Team is to push new features and new functionalities daily. This means that we have to be hyper-focused and goal-oriented. Efficiency is key, especially since we work for only 4 days.
Here are the key work stages:
1. Planning The team sits together and discuss the following key items:
- Subscriber demand
- Quarterly timing
- Complexity on platform
- Time to build cost
- Road Map placement
2. Requirements Gathering and Analysis in general, the requirements will be gathered from the key stakeholders – the subscribers. The information will then be analyzed and based on feasibility and complexity, the team will decide if the project is a go or a no go. The output of this activity is the Backlog.
3. Design once the requirements are set, the developers and the architect will formulate the architecture. This includes:
- Determine code reusability
- Design patterns
4. Coding. The development team is busy writing code on separate feature branches.
5. Testing and Peer Review. The developers will create a Pull Request and the code will now be tested and peer reviewed.
6. Deployment. Once the code has passed all tests and Pull Request approved then the feature branch will now be merged to the Master branch and ready for release.
7. Maintenance. The development team will now monitor the application for issues and regression patterns. If issues are detected in production, the team will fix them right away.
This pandemic taught us something: that we can be even more flexible. The media department is the place where flexibility is needed the most.
You see, the biggest change we went through was changing the tone of our videos.
Before the pandemic, we created a lot of fun and quirky videos. But those no longer resonated with our audience, so we had to change the tone. Just a bit.
No worries, we didn’t go all doom and gloom. In fact, we tried to keep the same relaxed tone of voice and be an oasis of normalcy when everyone was predicting the end of the world. We did go easier on the humor, though, and focus more on subscriber education.
Here is a sneak-peek on a week in the media department:
- Constructing storylines for content and videos
- Allotting scripts to support team for video content
- Designing animation through Adobe After Effects, Transition Adobe Premiere Pro, and audio for video production or blog posts
- Creating GIFs in Adobe Photoshop (on request from the Content team)
- Crafting flowcharts in Creately (assigned by the support team for our Help Center articles or Blog)
We all make world class salaries as well as work when we want from our home offices, which is a huge perk in the Philippines, known for low pay and 12 hour days, 6-7 day work weeks.
Although we do miss seeing our colleagues in-person, we still enjoy the flexibility of a 4-day workweek. We may not be as free to work from anywhere but we do get to spend more time with our families and loved ones.
At Cazoomi, we’re all in agreement: we don’t want to work 5 or even 7 days per week. Who would, right? 🙂