Zoho Services Having Performance Problem, Please Use Read Only Version (Update: All Services Are Up Now)

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We are experiencing performance problem across all Zoho services right now (as of 6:30 AM Pacific Time). Our team is looking at it.

Please use read-only versions, which are hosted from our separate data center.

These are the URLs:

Zoho CRM:  https://crm-ro.zoho.com

Zoho Creator: https://creator-ro.zoho.com

Zoho Invoice: https://invoice-ro.zoho.com

Zoho Mail: https://mail-ro.zoho.com

We are working on this right now, and we will post updates as soon as we have additional information.

Update: We are experiencing packet loss on our network access paths, and we are working on it right now.

Update 2 9:13 AM PST: We have brought down the degree of packet loss, but still due to intermittent packet loss services are slow. We are working on it.

Update 3: As of 9:30 AM PST packet loss has been reduced to negligible levels. Services should be accessible now, but we are still monitoring closely. We will post a root cause analysis in a day or two, and what actions we are taking.

A Happy Convert from a 20-Year DOS-Based Database to Full Zoho Integration

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For twenty years, Randy Parker, Group Benefits Specialist for LegalShield was stuck on a DOS-based database for all his contact management and CRM duties. Six months ago he stopped using it and moved over to Zoho.

At the Zoho user conference, Zoholics, in Burlingame, California, Parker admitted it took a while for him to come out of the dark ages, but he’s happy now because he was able to translate all his database knowledge to Zoho CRM and is still capable of doing all the same things he did with his DOS based system. But more importantly he’s not locked to any other applications with their poor, costly, and often non-existent integration.

Outlook was his lifeblood, said Parker. He used to live and die by it and also Google Docs. And he used to pay a lot of money to Citrix to use their service GoToMeeting. He’s replaced all of those services with Zoho Mail, Docs, and Meetings.

Jubilant about Zoho, Parker said, “I just love this stinkin’ program.”

Close More Deals Using CRM

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Joe Apfelbaum, CEO of the online marketing company Ajax Union tried many other CRM applications before he discovered Zoho. He admits that with most of the other CRM applications he was overwhelmed with all the features. And even with all those features, he still couldn’t customize the application for his needs.

That was not the case with Zoho. To get the application to work for him, Apfelbaum worked with Zoho support to get all the features he needed, such as web forms, auto-replies, and custom proposals. These features and more were all specific to his business.

I spoke with Apfelbaum at the Small Business Expo in New York about how he got started with CRM. While he’s happy with Zoho today, he wasn’t always a Zoho customer. He used to manage all his contacts on Excel spreadsheets.

“Now we’re organized in a way that will make us much more successful as opposed to having data scattered all over the place,” said Apfelbaum.

Apfelbaum’s advice on why to get started using CRM

“You have to start using CRM. You’re going to be able to close more deals. Be on top of what’s going on. Be able to make it scalable and really take your business to the next level,” said Apfelbaum. “There’s no other way to do it other than having a proper CRM and having everything documented properly. There’s no other way.”

Zoho Support & Zoho CRM Are Now Closer!

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On a daily basis, various people get in touch with your business. Auto-Import of Contacts & AccountsThey could be leads, prospects or customers. It’s only fair that your software understands each of them in the right context. Zoho CRM helps you manage your leads and prospects while Zoho Support allows you to support your customers. They’re both really brothers in arms, in a sense. They both go hand-in-hand.

But then, how can they work together for your business if they don’t manage your contacts well enough. Earlier, Zoho Support let you import contacts from your Zoho CRM account manually. Since then, we’ve only wanted to make it much easier for you. How, you ask? Automatic, that’s how.

We’re happy to announce automatic import of your Zoho CRM contacts to your Zoho Support portal. For all practical purposes, your Zoho CRM contacts database would be your master database. And, when we say ‘contacts’ we necessarily mean ‘accounts’ as well.

All you have to do is setup the interval at which the import has to be performed regularly. And, Zoho Support will then faithfully perform the import for you. It’s really that simple.

In fact, if you’re a Zoho CRM customer who’s just signed up for Zoho Support, you can setup auto-import of your contacts once and strike it off your to-do list forever.

We hope this would reduce a lot of your effort towards managing contacts between the two apps. Try it today and tell us what you think. In the meantime, we’ll try to make your life simpler in some other way!

Using CRM to Automatically Manage Basic Sales Tasks

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Since 2008, Johnny Shami, Sales Director at AdLift has been a customer of Zoho. Prior to that time, he lived in an offline world of contact management and CRM. Plus, all his information was split among different applications: Excel, Word, and even paper. He was constantly asking the typical sales questions such as “What’s my pipeline for this month and next month?” and “What do I need to follow up on?”

It was a world of limited access of information for him, and more so for his team. Once he moved online with Zoho that all changed.

Now that applications are integrated and everyone has access via an online CRM system, Shami says he can complete all the sales 101 tasks he couldn’t complete before such as assigning tasks, finding pipeline information for any month, and seeing how each sales person is performing.

Today, everyone has access to Zoho and Shami’s wasted hours hunting down information has been reduced dramatically.

Customers Want an Experience Through Your Brand

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There is a belief, and for most rightfully so, that Social CRM is an extension of traditional CRM. With Social CRM you’re adding new technologies and strategies to traditional CRM. As a business, this requires you to move from traditional or social channels to multi-channels, said Paul Greenberg, Principal of The 56 Group, at Zoholics, the Zoho user conference in Burlingame, California.

That makes sense if you’ve been in CRM for many years. But if you describe Social CRM to young practitioners they’ll just refer to it as CRM, said Greenberg. These supposedly “new” methods of social are traditional to them.

Customers are in control

A successful Social CRM or CRM implementation is the process of giving your customers the ability to sculpt the relationship with you where they own and control the relationship, said Greenberg.

You can do that by providing things to the customer that make them remember you well and to respond to the customer when it’s appropriate to respond. Not every engagement or call out requires a response.

Watch the video as Greenberg talks about how the line of American Girl dolls creates an experience for fathers and daughters within the American Girl stores.

Know the pulse of your website audience, with Google Analytics

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Google Analytics is a free tool for analyzing traffic of websites. It provides valuable insights on visitor trends and behavior. By knowing how your visitors react and respond to your webpages, you can identify what works best, and what needs change. This is available to every website built on Zoho Sites, and here is how to set it up.

Firstly, you need to authorize GA to track visits to your website, by verifying the ownership of the website. On this post, I will stick to websites created on Zoho Sites. When creating your account on GA, you’ll be asked to enter the URL of your website that you’d like to track. Once you’ve created your GA account, on your homepage, you’ll see a tracker ID as in the image below.

This Tracker ID is a unique code that, when included in your website, will link it to this GA account.

Login to Zoho Sites, and edit the website you wish to track. In the SEO section on your website settings, you have two separate fields to update your GA codes. The Meta Tag is optional, and it is sufficient that you update the GA Tracker ID alone.

Analytics reports are updated every 24 hours, and it might take that long for the report to appear after you first add the code. Google Webmaster Tools include Analytics, AdWords and AdSense. All of them are accessible using the same login, and it surely pays to sign up for an account if you don’t have one already.

More to come, on Webmaster Tools.