SMS Notifications on Zoho Creator: Helps you reach out

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Does your business feel the need to reach out to your customers with intimations, updates or alerts? For instance, you may want to notify your customers about a change in tariff, send them a confirmation, communicate new/enhanced offerings or it could just be to build a rapport with the customers.

As evident as it is, you need good communication and engagement practices for your products/services for the customers to build/retain faith in you. The method of communication used plays a key role besides the message itself. And each unique situation is best complemented by a specific channel of communication.

As a product, Zoho Creator is constantly evolving. We are finding new ways to make it easier for our customers to do effective business with their customers. Since communication has become an important facet of a business, we are bringing in new solutions that cater to such requirements of our customers. One such offering which we have recently developed is the SMS notification.

As per statistics, 97% of the text messages are opened compared to only 5% of emails, while 83% of the text messages are opened immediately or within 3 minutes of their arrival, emails have a much larger gap period. Needless to say, SMS has penetrated as a preferred channel of communication for the short & important messages.

Now it is easy to send a “Thank you” SMS when a customer fills out an order form. You could select the notification option when records are modified. The next requirement that pops up commonly in businesses is to notify when a condition/criteria is met. For this, we have a Rule Builder, which makes it easy to set the conditions and invoke an SMS notification. The combined power of the SMS notification and Rule Builder empowers you to meet many business requirements easily. To make it more convenient for you, Zoho Creator has integrated with popular services like Clickatell and Twilio.

Yet, there maybe requirements that may not be solved with both. For instance, you may want to remind your users at a particular time, like on the day of appointment. In such a scenario, you could simply schedule the SMS notification. For similar and other more complex requirements, we have provided predefined deluge script functions. Just create a schedule with an appropriate configuration and write a single line of code and the appointment reminder workflow is ready.

Want to take a spin, just checkout the SMS Notification and Rule Builder.

 

Gunning for Gold: Why Owning a Business is Like Training for the Olympics

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As a small business owner, one needs to stay inspired at all times. Everything around you motivates you to follow your dream and do anything you can to keep it alive. Watching a sporting event like the Winter Olympics, is a great reminder to stay committed to your business goals.

When we watch the Sochi events on YouTube or read about it in the news, rarely do we think about the preparation, the intense training these athletes had to undergo to be eligible for competing at the greatest sporting event in the world. We remember only the winners, the people who performed exceptionally well. We forget about the years, the decades of hard work that come down to just a few seconds.

Ever thought what you and a sportsperson training for the Olympics have in common?

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5 Sales Lessons from The Wolf of Wall Street

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I’m the antithesis of a movie snob. For me, movies are a source of entertainment. A chance to disappear from the real world and lose yourself in the characters and the plot for a couple hours. I don’t analyze every last detail. I don’t look for deeper meaning in every scene or scrutinize the cinematography. If I’m entertained, it’s a good movie in my book.

So when it comes to the Academy Awards — airing this Sunday night — I’m on the outside looking in for most nominees in the coveted, “Best Picture,” category.

Not this year.

For this first time ever, I made it a point to see as many of the nominees as possible. One of those was Martin Scorsese’s latest project “The Wolf of Wall Street.” If you haven’t seen or heard anything about this movie, it is the story of the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio).

The picture received both critical acclaim as well as scrutiny due to its language and graphic content. I enjoyed the movie, but I do understand that it is not for everyone. The lives portrayed by DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and other actors are larger than life. At one point DiCaprio is sitting on his yacht and literally throwing $100 bills into the ocean calling them “fun coupons.” It’s the ultimate tale of excess and greed and the characters pay for it in the end.

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Introducing Purchase Orders in Zoho Books: Streamline your purchases!

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Ever since we launched the latest version of Zoho Books with a new interface and added features, we have been receiving rave reviews from our customers.

We continue to investigate and interact with our users to see what other feature requests could be useful. Today we add another feature for inventory control thereby crossing yet another major milepost. We’re pleased to announce a new feature in Zoho Books: Purchase Order.

Purchase Orders are documents you issue when you buy products and services from a supplier. They help keep an account of all the purchases you make for your business.

This new feature in Zoho Books will allow you to:

  • Create and send customized purchase orders
  • Manage and access multiple purchase orders with ease
  • Duplicate PO for the same set of items or services
  • Track open Purchase Orders with our reports
  • Customize the PO template to match your supplier’s requirements

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The Purchase Order tab on the new interface of Zoho Books is sure to be another appreciated feature for every user. We’ve made it comprehensive and easy to use.

Go ahead. Start using PO now.

Learn everything there’s to know about Purchase Orders  from our help page.

 

Switch to an HR Management System. Better Now than Never!

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The Falcon real estate company was facing a dilemma  -  How should they manage the rapidly growing employee base using just spreadsheets? Things were getting messy and complicated.  After countless meetings and discussions, the company finally decided to try an HR management software. A year later, here’s how that turned out.

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If you’re an HR manager for a growing business that’s still using spreadsheets, it’s probably time to move away from them and try the real stuff. Better now than never!

 

Share, Discuss and Get Paid Fast: The Client Portal is here!

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Zoho Books and Zoho Invoice are not just for you but also your clients!

The Client Portal allows you to share information with your clients conveniently and efficiently. Get rid of lengthy email threads to discuss estimates and forget waiting for an update on the invoices you sent. The best part is, you don’t need to wait so long to get paid!

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Here are more reasons why you should start using Client Portal in Zoho Books and Zoho Invoice, immediately. Read more

Work Smart and Play Smart with Zoho at SXSW Interactive 2014

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sxswblog (1)I’ve lived in Austin for eight years now, and every March it’s the same. Our city morphs into the epicenter of everything that is “cool.” From entrepreneurs and start up giants, to world-class musicians and actors, all eyes are on Austin for 10 days.

And we Austinites embrace it. So at Zoho, we decided to finally get out there and join the festivities. We want to meet as many of you as possible. We want to hear your stories. Most of all, we want to provide you with a place to relax, recharge and get your much-deserved share of free drinks (a must for SXSW goers).

Consider this your invitation to our first annual Zoho SXSW Interactive party. Look, we understand parties during SXSW are about as common as twentysomething festival attendees in tank tops and sunglasses, but think of this one as a cut above the rest.

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