This is the next lesson in your course on Process Automation, showing you how to make your service business more efficient and predictable using ProcessKit.
Now that you've seen a lot of what can be built and automated inside of ProcessKit, let's see how we can fit ProcessKit into your larger operation
Let me guess. You probably have some forms on your website, a payment processor, a team chat tool, appointment scheduling tools, and any number of other specialized tools that make your operation run. Am I painting an accurate picture?
ProcessKit works best when it's placed in the center of all of that. Think of ProcessKit as your "central source of truth". It's both the place where you've documented and built your standard operating procedures, and it's the place where you're tracking progress on all of the individual projects that need to be run according to those processes.
But in order for your projects and tasks in ProcessKit to stay in sync with your larger operation, you need ProcessKit to talk to all your other tools. And you need your other tools to talk to ProcessKit.
Zapier-as I'm sure you already know-has become known as the most popular way to integrate all of your different tools and get them talking to one another. So that's why ProcessKit has an enormously capable 2-way Zapier integration available for you to use.
Let's get it all setup, shall we?
In this lesson, I'll cover:
- 3 key connection points when integrating your operation
- Accessing ProcessKit's Zapier integration
- Introduction to the Zapier Recipes
- How to get help with setup and troubleshooting your Zapier + ProcessKit integration
3 key connection points when integrating your operation
Start by thinking of ProcessKit as the central tool in your operation. How will we use Zapier to integrate it?
We'll start with the two most common types of connections:
Inbound connections: Some other tool is the "trigger" which then sends information to ProcessKit, and initiates an "action" inside ProcessKit. The most common example of this is a form submission that results in a new project being creating automatically in ProcessKit.
Outbound connections: ProcessKit is the "trigger", which then initiates an "actions" in some other tool. A common example is a task being checked off in ProcessKit and then notifying someone, say, in Slack.
But there's one more important type of connection:
Update connection: A project already exists in ProcessKit, and it has tasks that are underway and making progress. Then some external event happens that needs to find and update this project in ProcessKit. For example, a project had its kickoff call scheduled, so that should update the dates of the tasks in ProcessKit that happen around and after this call.
Let's set up each of these connections now.
Accessing ProcessKit's Zapier integration
This lesson will assume that you've already opened your own account on Zapier. Early on, their free plan should suffice. But as your business processes more volume, it might make sense to upgrade to one of Zapier's paid plans.
Let's make sure you can access ProcessKit's Zapier integration. To do that, log into your ProcessKit account, open the menu at the top-right, then click "Integrations".
Here you'll see a button to access "ProcessKit on Zapier". Click that to accept your invite to access it.
When it comes time to using ProcessKit in a Zap (which we'll do in just a moment), you can use the API key found on this page to complete your connection to Zapier.
Zapier Recipes: How to connect your operation with ProcessKit
We're going to extend our "New Client Onboarding" process to connect seamlessly into your larger operation. To do that, you can follow 3 separate Zapier Recipes:
- Zapier recipe: Create a new project in ProcessKit when someone submits a form on your website.
- Zapier recipe: How to update a task once a kickoff call has been scheduled
- Zapier recipe: Notify a Slack channel when a task has been completed in ProcessKit
How to troubleshoot and get help with your Zapier + ProcessKit integration
Setting up Zapier integrations is inherently complicated work. But it's well worth it because once it's up and running, things run like magic!
It's totally normal and common to run into snags while setting up Zapier with ProcessKit. So I want to give you some tips on how to get these issues resolved as fast as possible.
When something's not working, what should you do?
Step 1: Re-generate test data & re-test all steps
Always start with fresh test data. Go back to the first step in your Zap (the "trigger") and re-generate the test data with a fresh entry that's different from before.
For example, if a calendar booking was your trigger, generate a brand new calendar booking then obtain that new test data.
It's also a good idea to delete any projects that were previously created in ProcessKit while testing your Zap so that you'll avoid duplication.
Then work your way down through each step in your Zap, re-testing each step, to make sure that fresh data is flowing through. At the point where it's breaking, closely inspect every field and value that you're sending through Zapier to make sure they're correct.
Still stumped? We're here to help! Here's the best way to help us help you :)
Step 2: Record your setup
We love to help users with their Zapier integrations (we're total automation geeks).
But diagnosing issues in your Zapier is particularly difficult because we don't have direct access. So your best next step—before contacting us—is to obtain a clear recording of your entire Zapier setup, which you can send to us to review.
The ideal way is to use video to record your screen and walk through your Zapier setup. Open up each step, including your initial test data, show us all of the options and configurations. Then run a test live on the video to demonstrate the error you're seeing.
I recommend loom.com as an easy, fast, and free screen recording tool. It plugs right into your browser, and after you've finished recording, it'll provide you with a shareable URL. Send us that loom video link in your email so we can see what you're seeing.
Step 3: We'll get it straightened out with you
We'll watch your video and investigate the issue. Then we'll get right back to you with an action plan on how to fix. Sometimes we'll record a video ourselves to show you exactly what to do.
In some cases, it's easier if we hop on a live 1-on-1 call to get it all straightened out (and answer any other questions you have). We're happy to do this for ProcessKit users. Just ask!
In the next lesson...
First, assuming you're using Zapier, be sure to go through all 3 Zapier Recipe's we've linked to above.
Then once you're ready to move on, here's what's next:
In our running example, we've been working out how you onboard new clients. But what about all of the ongoing, repeatable work that you do for those clients after they're onboard?
ProcessKit provides a way to organize your list of clients, save their key information, and associate clients with the projects you do for them. That enables more advanced automations based on your clients' attributes, and more... That's all coming in your next lesson.
Have questions? Need help or advice on mapping out your processes in the right way? I love talking process! Get in touch and I'll be happy to work with you in your ProcessKit account.
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