All in a day’s work..

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Business Man

Recently, I came across a wonderful article shared by a friend on 6 personality and work environment types. The work environments recommended according to personality types made a lot of sense.. I found myself mentally screening myself and other friends, if we were in the right jobs.. Most of us, thankfully, are.

What also set me thinking was, is it possible for one person to assimilate in himself all the personality types and thus be suitable for any work environment?

The answer stared at me like a writing on the wall. YES. If we consider each personality type to be a hat, wearing a different hat at different times is what we all do. Only we don’t do it consciously. And more importantly we are not forced to do it. But what about those who do it consciously and with elan? Who you ask.

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Results: Insights about customer support channels

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About a fortnight ago, on our poll, we asked you all a question on support channels used by your customers. Before we get to the results, let’s also see a few myths.

Myth 1: Email is so passe. It’s a thing of the 90s. Customers don’t use it much.
Reality: About 88% of respondents in our poll said that email was a channel that their customers used to reach them.

Myth 2: Social Media is the place for customer support. It has become mainstream channel.
Reality: Although social media is very very important, it’s not the mainstream channel for customer support yet.

Myth 3: The fewer channels, the more efficiently the helpdesk performance.
Reality: By automating a few tasks and setting up some notifications, you can have as many channels as you want and still operate very efficiently.

There are two key insights from the poll results. The first one is about number of channels.

number of customer support channels served

About 73% of respondents said customers use more than one channel to reach them. Around 46% of respondents said customers use three or more channels to reach them. This goes on to show how helpdesk software can make it really easy to handle so many channels efficiently. If they had to handle each of these channels using different software, it would’ve taken a miracle to make things happen so well everyday! So, if you’re a business handling just one or two channels, this would be a good time to try Zoho Support! ;-)

The second key insight from this poll is about which channels enjoy widespread adoption.

customer support channels by adoption

Contrary to popular perception, email is still the most widely used customer support channel. And, it’s definitely here to stay. About 88% of respondents chose email as one channel, in their response. ‘Phone’ came second, with about 70% of respondents to its support.

Web forms and customer self-service portal come (a really close!) third and fourth respectively. Over 35% of respondents chose web forms while about 34% of respondents chose self-service portal. Most businesses use these two channels quite interchangeably.

Live chat was chosen by over 24% of respondents, while social media was chosen as a channel by about 20% of respondents.

If you’re thinking about taking up some new support channels, you might want to check out this post from our blog.

We’ll return next week with another interesting question. Have a great weekend!

Customer Appreciation in Numbers: Infographic

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In February, we were flooded with positive comments (perhaps in the spirit of Valentine’s Day) on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Below is a visual representation of all the customer love we got last month. Thank you for your feedback! We always appreciate hearing from you.

How do you harness your customers’ positive feedback on social media? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Latest Zoho Calendar Updates: Sync for Google Calendar, Birthday Calendar

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google-cal-sync

Managing your daily appointments, events and meetings can get overwhelming as you switch between your favorite calendar applications; on your mobile, desktop, web browser. Keeping them all in sync is no easy task and to do this manually will simply not be pleasant.

With Zoho Calendar, we would like our users to be in sync with their daily events automatically, even while using other calendar apps. In this light, we are glad to announce 2-way sync for Google Calendar, available for users of organizations / businesses subscribed to a Zoho Mail suite standard plan.


You can enable this feature from the Zoho Calendar settings page by selecting ‘Sync’ from the left options and then following a few simple steps. Once the synchronization is complete, whenever you create, edit or modify event details in your Google calendar, the same will reflect in your Zoho Calendar and vice versa. Please be advised that it takes around 5 minutes for changes to sync at this time. We are working towards making this instantaneous.

On a lighter note, we have also rolled out a birthday calendar feature to keep track of your contacts’ special day. After all, however grown up and mature we may consider ourselves to be, doesn’t a birthday wish invoke a smile at the least? In fact, a simple birthday wish may even score some brownie points with a business prospect. Just subscribe to Zoho Contacts’ birthday information in a few simple steps from Zoho Calendar and be prompt with your good wishes.

We hope to come up with more updates that will help you stay in sync and be on top of your daily agendas. Please spare some time to provide feedback and suggestions on how else we can improve your calendar experience.

Customer Spotlight: OxyHealth is more productive with Zoho CRM and Google Apps

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This is a guest blog post by Brandon Wilson, CRM Consultant of Viwo, a leading cloud solutions provider and a Zoho partner. Viwo has successfully deployed 3000 organizations onto cloud solutions.

The Business

Samir Patel, CEO OxyHealth

Samir Patel, CEO, OxyHealth

Located in Sante Fe Springs, CA, OxyHealth LLC is a manufacturer and seller of Hyperbaric Chambers – medical devices used to increase the uptake of oxygen by a body’s red blood cells. Since its start 10 years ago, OxyHealth has seen the popularity of hyperbaric chambers expand into many areas of medicine.

The Challenge

Many of OxyHealth’s business systems were created and setup several years ago, due to which they were unable to keep up with the growing challenges and needs.

Their biggest and most pressing issue was CRM. Their sales team, over the years, became increasingly mobile and access became a huge issue for OxyHealth. To top it all, their current CRM solution, Goldmine, was increasingly hard to maintain and was getting less and less suitable for their workflow.

They needed a cloud based CRM solution, which is highly accessible from mobile devices and integrates with their email system.

A Solution with Zoho CRM

OxyHealth’s CEO, Samir Patel, landed on Zoho CRM as the best solution. What put Samir over the top was the breadth of features and most importantly, that Zoho CRM was part of a larger integrated suite of applications. The price was just the cherry on top.

OxyHealth approached us to manage the implementation in the following areas:

  • Solution Design
  • Evaluation Support
  • Project Planning
  • Customization and Integration
  • Training
  • Ongoing Technical Support

Benefits

Mobile Team

Travel had become a regular part of OxyHealth’s sales process. They continually found themselves needing to input and review data or manage tasks on the go. Now with Zoho CRM, they can input leads from their Smartphones or tablets instead of heading back to the office to hop on a server.

“With the ability to work everywhere, not just in the office, I see high potential for not only making more money, but saving a lot of money as well.” CEO, Samir Patel

Easy Communication Tracking

Tracking email communication in high fidelity is critical for OxyHealth. And Goldmine required a lot of manual work to associate emails to records, making it error prone.

We integrated OxyHealth’s Google Apps account with the Zoho Mail Add on. This solution gave them automated email tracking, logging all inbound and outbound email communication and accessible at the click of a button from within their contacts.

“We quickly became more productive and efficient. I found myself simply getting more done.” CEO, Samir Patel

The Result

The result, OxyHealth became more productive and efficient. With the ability to work everywhere, not just in the office, Samir says that he sees high potential for not only making more money, but saving money as well. You can check out the full story here.

First look! 20+ elegant themes to jazz up your presentations

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Presentations are the inevitable part of any business. Needless to say, they are the most compelling and successful way of sharing information. Ever since we launched Zoho Show, we’ve always been looking into ways to make it easy for you to create and share presentations online. Today, we are extremely happy to roll out the new presentation themes with other notable enhancements.

All new gallery of themes

Themes are merely not a design for presentation template; this is where first impressions are formed. Be it a casual presentation or a very formal business meet, the new themes are just perfect for all the occasions. Each theme looks unique; with a clean and recognizable layout, fresh color scheme, and minimal design that gives a lot of scope for your content.

New themes for your presentations

Stepping into widescreen world

Big screen presentations are now possible with Zoho Show. Yes, you read that right! The new set of themes are specifically built for the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. Your slides will be less cluttered, as there is more room for the content. Make the whole experience memorable for your audience with widescreen presentations.

Typography-The new visual language

We seldom realize that fonts can actually make or break the overall effectiveness of a presentation. Wise choice of fonts can help you create powerful visual content that is highly engaging. This release, we have added around 20 new web fonts (flip through the presentation to watch some of them in action). Sure, there is lot more to come.

 

 

Hassle-free picture addition

Adding images to your presentation just got easy with the new picture placeholder support. You can now fit images into one of the pre-designed shapes, while maintaining a consistent style and position. Image re-sizing and cropping is made simple and painless.

easy image cropping

Make sure your next presentation is fresh, unique and simply awesome. Try out the enhancements and do share your experience with us.

 

Don’t Be Such A Yahoo; Working Remotely Is OK

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Just a couple of weeks ago, in Austin we celebrated the Work from Home Day. Well, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the Zoho Austin office because we have a very flexible work schedule, and people work from home every now and then.

Then, a few days ago Yahoo! announced that they are ending all work-from-home and remote-work arrangements they had for most of their employees. That’s just a shame, Kara Swisher over at AllThingsD reprinted the internal memo.

It’s embarrassing to the technology industry that such a high-profile company like Yahoo! would take this step. While Marissa Mayer has taken some steps to googlify Yahoo! with free lunches and free iDevices, I think she has gone too far here in her googlification. I guess what most people miss here is that Google is also not a very remote-work friendly place. That may have changed, but at least it was not a few years ago.

Of course, you can say that we at Zoho have a vested interest in remote work since all of our software runs in the cloud, and well, our tagline does happen to be “Work Online”. But we also live by it.

For example, the Zoho Marketing team is distributed across 4 locations in 2 continents, spanning 3 different time zones. I only physically see some of the people in the team a few times a year. Meera, who heads our Social Media team and is one of the voices behind @Zoho, splits her time from two cities. And at some point last year she was working from London. At any given time I’m not sure exactly where she is at, and I don’t particularly care, because I know she’s online somewhere, working, and most importantly, continues to deliver results.

Now, does this kind of arrangement work for everyone? It varies. There are some positions that are more suitable to this than others. For example, we do ask most of our sales team members to be at the office on a regular basis. But that’s of course because we want to make sure we can help customers over the phone when they call us.

But that could change in the future. There are companies like LiveOps and Alpine Access that enable this sort of arrangement. And having front-line customer-facing people answering inbound calls from their homes is in fact a growing trend.

Although there is mounting evidence of the shift towards remote work, one could hardly find any fault with companies that are slow to adopt this. But Yahoo!’s case is egregious because they are affecting people who had already made arrangements and planned for this. Hey sure, I get this is better than a layoff, but if these people were delivering results while being away, so what’s the big deal? If they were not, well, maybe they had a different kind of problem.

While there are some small pockets of support for this move, the huge backlash Yahoo! is already facing across the blogosphere was expected. And if Yahoo! was not prepared for it, then somebody needs to get fired. Even Richard Branson has come out against this move.

The saddest part about this is that if Yahoo! needs to have their employees within close sight just so that they can keep tabs on them, then Yahoo! is in a deeper hole than we all thought.

Rodrigo