Streamlining Team and Client Communication With Twist

How Chelle Weech Consulting uses asynchronous communication to support small businesses

Chelle Weech Consulting
Illustration by Yin Weihung

Multi-tasking and dividing your attention is productivity kryptonite for individuals. For businesses, it can be downright fatal. If you’re not sharply focused on the one thing your company does best, the differentiator that makes you stand out, you leave your competitive advantage on the table.

That’s where Chelle Weech Consulting comes in.

In short, they’re a business that manages other businesses. In more detailed terms, they offer what they call a “backend to your business”, overseeing customer support, handling product launches, auditing budgets, recommending technology, and managing everything from projects to contractors for companies who need it.

Operating as a consultancy that supports other businesses requires a high-level of communication and coordination. This is especially the case as a remote team spread across the United States. Between managing multiple clients and communicating with dozens of key contacts, losing conversations (and therefore, trust) isn’t an option. When the Chelle Weech Consulting team had a hunch there was a better way to handle their communications, they landed on Twist.

Seeking communication you can count on

Chelle Weech Consulting helps companies fly where they would have otherwise faltered. When an entrepreneur seeks out Chelle and her team, what they’re actually looking for is a load-off.

Here’s an example:

A company specializing in delivering online courses wants to concentrate on their core competency: developing top-notch video content. Chelle Consulting handles everything else: marketing automation, payment processing and failures, customer support, and the technical capabilities of their website.

Suddenly, this company has a singular focus.

“90% of the time, they don’t even realize how much time they are spending tracking things down, managing people, answering questions. When they bring us in and we do it for them, after about 30 to 60 days they say, ‘Oh my gosh. I didn’t even know I was spending all that time doing that’.”

For businesses who are best served concentrating on what they do best (hint: most), Chelle Weech’s services aren’t just helpful; they’re the difference between seeing through another month in business or folding under the crushing pressure to do it all.

When we grew, we kind of outgrew Slack in a way.

Chelle Weech Consulting isn’t just managing operations for one company. They’re providing this service at scale. With a multitude of clients spanning online lifestyle businesses and ecommerce, organization and communication, both internally and externally, is paramount. At first, they relied on Slack to get the job done.

“We got Slack at the beginning of 2017. We used it for a year and it was great at first. Everyone loved it because it was a way to communicate more rapidly and save some time. We were small and we were only dealing with one, or two, or three primary clients. That’s one thing. Now, on average, we work with 10 to 12 clients.”

As Chelle Weech Consulting has grown, they’ve reassessed what they need from a communication tool. For them, this has meant a move towards a new solution.

Swapping Slack for something simpler

While Chelle Weech Consulting thrived, their ability to communicate in the best way possible lagged behind.

“Slack worked really well when we were working with a minimum number of clients and a minimum number of team members because it wasn’t overwhelming. When we grew, we kind of outgrew Slack in a way,” she says.

With new clients and added contacts, what was once a few back-and-forths becomes a complex network of communication that needs to be managed.

Additional clients require added communication management.

“[With] Slack, you have one channel and you can have multiple conversations, conversations within conversations, and the feed just keeps running…”

When you’re operating a business where experts see you as experts, a loss of trust isn’t affordable. Failing to see a message or respond in a timely manner isn’t just an ‘oops’, it erodes confidence.

“The problem was that we ended up being in, I can’t even tell you how many, different conversations with different people and then we’d have to know which one of those conversations held the information that we were looking for when we went back to look for stuff.”

Based off a recommendation, Chelle and her team began testing out Twist.

Transforming chat by communicating with threads

Chelle Weech Consulting grew tired of “notification overwhelm” and “losing conversations”. Of course, conversations didn’t simply vanish. Instead, important information became buried in chats within chats within chats. When they saw the more organized take on threads in Twist, they were sold.

The reason we like Twist is that it really contains conversations.

Chelle Weech Consulting decided on their ideal Twist structure rather quickly: a channel for every single each client. In addition, they have extra channels like “ideas”, “hot issues”, “retreat planning”, “social media”, and one to communicate with the company’s CFO.

With threads managed inside channels, conversations have a clear hierarchy.

“This way you have one channel for that specific client or topic and then you have threads that contain the various conversations. That’s really worked well for us. I think that the learning curve was making sure that everybody knew to title their threads in a way that made sense.”

As a remote team spread across the United States, communicating effectively is even more important. “We’re all on different schedules, different time zones. Having something that we can communicate on that saves us time is a requirement.”

“What I can tell you is that our team absolutely loves the Twist app versus Slack.”

Advice from an advanced Twister

Chelle and her team have gone from Twist beginners to seasoned Twisters. After 30–40 days of using the team internally, they decided to make the jump and ask their clients to join Twist too. They wanted the entrepreneurs, designers, developers, and business consultants to go all-in with them. Chelle created a full walk-through of the product for her clients to accomplish the goal of converting clients from Slack to Twist.

It worked.

“[I have a total] of seven teams on Twist app and one on Slack. Everyone who’s moved over has loved it so far and they really, really love the fact that they can keep the conversations together in one place.”

Alongside the recommendations in her walk-through, she’s bursting with advice on how people can start using Twist. Here are some of her and her team’s takeaways:

1. Be Intentional About Your Twist Channels and Threads

The structured nature of Twist and the delineation of Channels and Threads certainly keeps conversations organized. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have communication ground rules to keep conversations uncluttered.

Organize channels and threads with intention.

“My suggestion would be that you make sure that you’re very conscious and deliberate about your channel and thread creation.”

2. Notify Mindfully

The notify field in Twist ensures you’re reaching the right people at the right time. The flexibility to add and remove comment recipients drives more purposeful conversations with your team members. It also cuts down on excess notifications.

“I might have one team member working on a live event and another team member working on blogs. They don’t all need to receive the same notifications. The whole purpose of Twist was to decrease or eliminate notification craziness. I can tell you from our experience, we’ve seen a huge decrease in the number of clicks, clicks, clicks that we hear all day long that you get in Slack.”

Use flexible notification options to avoid chat overload.

The notify field recognizes that conversations often evolve. Who you might need to chat with at the start of the conversation may shift as discussions proceed. The notify field puts team members in control of who they bring into the fold on need-to-know issues..

3. Go Cross-Platform

The ability to access Twist across multiple devices is helpful for on-the-go conversations. Twist is available on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Web.

“I love that there’s the Mac app and I use a PC. It was easy to get on my phone.”

4. Star Your Important Conversations

Starring your most important conversations is just one way to save time in Twist and cut through the noise.

“If I’m working very, very specifically on five different things, I make sure to star those conversations so I can easily find those things that I’m working on right now. When I finish those tasks, I simply unstar the threads.”

Whether it’s serving as project managers on clients’ product launches or helping an entrepreneur with technical platform work, Chelle Weech Consulting works as a team to power other businesses. As they continue to scale, communication growing pains will be one less problem that’s on their minds.