The most painful area of Asana is that it is not suited at all to external customer communication via email.
Sure customers can email in to tasks or conversations, but there are just too many buts and ifs that make it painfully obvious that Asana really hasn't considered how external customer communication should be handled.
During the last 2 months, we have really tried to make it work, but it has been very painful. In theory, it should work, but in practice, it is obvious that this area has not been tested against reality.
Here are the most painful areas that need consideration and revamp in relation to external customer communication:
* Email replies from customers are mile-long and impossible to read in mobile - sometimes so bad that they are impossible to read even on desktop (because they include the entire task history of conversations in each reply)
* Customers have to remember weird email@example.com type email addresses - they never do. They keep emailing me personally instead, doesn't work when we have 10 customers and quickly growing
* Asana's emails to customers are UGLY - I have had at least 20% of my customer contacts (roughly 5 different people independently of each other) saying "Oh I could reply? Had no idea. I thought it was some automated email so I didn't bother to read."
* Completing tasks when customers are followers send them weird emails, and I have got several responses back saying "I got this weird email from you which I had no idea what it was about or what I should do with".
* I created a support@[mycompanyname].com email address and added forwarders from certain customer domains to certain Asana tasks. Turns out, you have some weird SPF checker which gives an SPF error and doesn't add tasks for roughly 30% of my customers (and yes, I have checked, and they have valid SPFs, and also, it works and doesn't work intermittently even from different customers using the same sender domain)
It's just painfully clear that Asana hasn't prioritized external customer communication via email, which makes the tool impossible to use with agencies because we can't force our customers to log into Asana just to communicate with us.
These issues are all relatively easy to fix compared to the huge advantage the fix would bring. If you did, it would make Asana the first tool that combines project management with customer support (believe me, I've tried everything. I have logins to roughly 25 different systems, none of them does the job and has the same type of incredible process-think that as Asana does.)
Here is what you should do:
- Email replies should truncate above a "reply above this message" line or automatically exclude previous messages
- Customers should be able to email a custom support@[companyname].com domain or something else we can choose, and inside Asana we should be able to map various "From:" domains with various projects.
- Asana emails should look like they come from a person, not from some automated system that the customer instinctively deletes.
- External project members should not get notifications for task completions, or at least we should be able to choose what notifications are sent to different people.
- Remove or fix your SPF checker. It doesn't work.
Fixing this would make Asana the world's first project management tool that also does customer support. And it would finally be possible for an agency with multiple customers to have a single project management, customer support, and customer communications tool that works.