Launching, 8 huesome themes

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A combination of technology and art is essential in the making of a great website. It is also important that theme speaks the soul of your business, and reflects the mood of what you want to convey. Launching, 8 new themes, mostly inspired by color combinations.

Measured:

To add a subtle touch to your business with a dash of measured hues.

Aristocrat: 

As aristocratic as Blue. A stylish but formal touch to your website. A poised one.

Timeless: 

The dull vintage lanterns glowing in gray adds to the classic feel. Preciously timeless..!

Teak:

A blended theme of solid wood with communication and technology. For a sturdy business design.

Compact:

Compact and self-sufficient design that gives a neat outlook. A humble design.

Twilight:

A theme that is explorable in all senses. The alternating Orange stripes are refreshingly fresh.

Destiny: 

A hazy white-toned palette, named “Destiny”, gives a very sophisticated look to your website with the tints underplayed.

Surreal:

A theme that is most suited to showcase your artistic works. With a mellow background, your project would be the highlight.

You can also use the visual editor on these new themes to come up with your own color combinations. Check them out.

A letter of appreciation for Zoho Sites

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Six months ago, we launched Zoho Sites. It has been a wonderful journey since then, with memorable events along the way; customization of themes, password protection, checkout buttons and Zoho Mail integration. But it is letters like this that keep us pushing for more.

Friends, colleagues, even some gallery directors have urged me for years to build a website for my artwork. “It’s the most effective and sophisticated marketing technique ever devised to reach a global audience”, they said. With an online gallery, I’d be representing not just myself, but other artists whose work I felt was worthy of a shot at international attention. So, what does one in that situation do? One Googles.

Web building software, No HTML code required, Widgets, themes, drag & drop… Hell, I barely knew what any of that stuff meant. Then, about half way down the first page, “Watch out, Google…” It was an article about an up-and-coming challenger to the corporate giant’s hold on web building, hosting, and email services. Good place to begin my research.

The site was friendly and easy to navigate, and the tour was enlightening. HOW MUCH, was my next question. And after checking out the affordable pricing, I WAS sold. And now, a couple weeks of using it, I’m not just sold. The girl at the bakery counter today is probably still talking about the man who kept saying: “Yeah, just head to Zoho Sites!”

The true test of my partnership with Zoho was when I needed directional guidance. I received it promptly, professionally, and with a most comforting and respectful personal touch. It’s quite ironic, really. Little did I know that the second I teamed up with the people and technology at Zoho, I’d already made my first cyber allies.

Sincerely,
Rico

Zoho Projects 4.0 Preview Is Here: New, Easier and Faster

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It’s been over a year since we started working on the new version of Zoho Projects and are very excited about it. We believe the new Projects 4.0 is the best version our customers have ever experienced.

We recently opened this new version in preview mode for a few of our customers and we are thrilled to share some of the things they had to say about it so far:

When developing Zoho Projects 4.0, we had 3 clear goals in mind:

  • Fastest Tool. All in One Page. 

    Your projects move fast. Zoho Projects moves faster. It loads in a flash, giving you a complete view of events as they happen.

  • See What’s Ahead Feeds keeps your finger on the pulse of every project. Plan for upcoming events/tasks, be alerted to missed deliverable, view critical requests and more.
  • Helps to do things you do everydayWant to know what your fellow team members are doing (or not)? Our new Follow feature lets you track individual progress and to-do’s—so you can effectively manage work.

Today we’re opening the  Zoho Project 4.0 Preview version to everyone. Please give it a try and let us know what you think, via this short survey, by email at support@zohoprojects.com or via Twitter at @zoho using #ZP4.

Remember, this is still in preview mode while we iron out the kinks. You can continue using the current version right now. We’re going to closely monitor usage and feedback – we’ll let you know when the new version becomes permanent.

Customer Spotlight: Gatsby Valet believes it’s all about the ‘experience’

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You know your event is a success when your guests leave it with an experience to remember. Simple act such as parking your car, can make or break that experience. If you are hosting an event, you would definitely want to liberate your guests from the parking woes and accidental damage to their precious car and wallet.

Giving the grand experience to each and every guest is what Gatsby Valet services excels at. This valet parking service in Toronto shows you that parking a car can be an experience all by itself. Daniel Grima, VP, Gatsby says

Gatsby Valet

What makes us different from the rest is the experience we offer to our customers. We show them that chivalry is still alive and give them luxury, charm and professionalism which all is a part of the Gatsby experience.

When they started their business, they focused heavily on their systems. Gatsby was using Salesforce and Freshbooks for their customer relationship management and invoicing needs. Two years ago they discovered Zoho and they’ve not looked anywhere else.

Daniel says

What I liked best about Zoho Invoice is that, the invoicing software has all the essential features and is the best bang for the buck.

Read more about Gatsby Valet, the gentlemen who ensures that you have the perfect experience not only at the beginning but even at the end of every event. Check out their valet parking video and their blog to know more about the services offered.

Build Your Innovation Practice through Your Customers

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If you want your business to innovate with its customers, start by building a customer community that others can vote on and contribute to so that the company can pull the idea through the process, said Mike Fauscette, Group VP, Software Business Solutions at IDC, in his presentation “Leveraging Innovation Management for Competitive Advantage” at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.

Once you have a tool that can collect customer interaction, take it one step further and let customers be involved in defining the process. It will open the doors to opportunity that you wouldn’t have had before, said Fauscette. Customer engagement improves dramatically once the customer feels they’re empowered to drive the business.

It’s also important to be visible and transparent. Meaning you want to set up a system that allows customers to contribute and know that they contributed, Fauscette continued.

Conducting social media and networking activities

The most popular reasons companies conduct social media/networking activities for their business are (in order of popularity):

  1. Gather feedback on company product or service
  2. Respond to customer/partner inquiries
  3. Competitors are doing it
  4. Communicate with partners/suppliers
  5. Communicate with customers
  6. Create awareness about company product or service
  7. Make decisions

Creating a collaborative enterprise for the purpose of innovation

Crowdsourcing and collaboration unlocks distributed expertise that simply couldn’t be found by any other means. Contributing across groups and disciplines is very empowering to employees who realize they can have an impact beyond the four walls of their cubicle.

While so many companies say they want their employees to collaborate, it’s not reflected in how employees are being paid, which is often to work individually. If you want employees to collaborate, you have to build it into the culture and they have to be incentivized to do it, said Fauscette.

Introducing a Visual Editor for Customizing Website Themes

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Website is one place where people judge by the cover, and are mostly right. That is why a good looking business website has a significant effect on the business. Zoho Sites had already made it easy for anyone to build such business websites easily. Today, we are making it even more friendlier on the design front.

Introducing, a visual editor to customize themes.

Till now, theme-customization could only be done with a bit of CSS. But not anymore. You can now customize visual properties of a theme, such as background image, menu, color, size and font face of text. Without a speck of HTML/CSS, of course. You can preview the changes as and when you make them.

What’s exciting about this visual editor is, using this, you can create umpteen different versions of the same theme. The themes in our gallery are ready-to-use, but you can re-paint them, so that they look just how you want, in every way. The customization of themes, together with flexible layouts and drag-drop builder, makes Zoho Sites the easiest way to create a business website, all by yourself. Try it out.

Zoho CRM gets even better with Twitter

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We asked a few of our customers about how they use “Twitter for their Businesses”. We got several responses, but I’ll specially mention a comment by Jon Porreca, Sales Consultant at a1energy.net,

What we would love to see is when we access a contact, or lead, within CRM, the ability to see any or all of the communications, comments, likes, follows, etc.. that they have had on social channels. And likewise have the ability to comment, communicate, like, or follow a post we see in CRM. This would allow us to better reach new customers and vendors, to broadcast our brand, and also allow us to always “touch” our current customers and vendors and keep them up to date with our company.

@jonporreca you’re spot on! Zoho CRM for Twitter can now address these scenarios for salespeople!

Zoho CRM for Twitter helps you know your customers even better by connecting with them right from within Zoho CRM. If your customers are on Twitter, you can find out their likes, dislikes, their current interests and what they’re talking about. These insights might just give you a substance to start an effective conversation with them! Say, your customer is excited about a Soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. If you’re equally a Soccer fanatic, wouldn’t that be a great topic to strike the right chords with your customer?Twitter Integration

That’s simple right! OK, here’s another way you could use Zoho CRM for Twitter. Say, your customer is holidaying in Paris or traveling on business. There is every chance that he might miss your call, or dismiss it as unimportant. So, how do you know when is the best time to contact your customer? By looking at their tweets, you can get an inside scope of when they’re on vacation, traveling on business, in a meeting or at their desk. Of course, the chances of closing a deal are more while they are at their desk.

What else can you do with Zoho CRM for Twitter? You can tweet, reply to tweets, retweet or favorite recent tweets of your prospects. Visit our Online Help to get started with the settings.

So go ahead, listen, engage and connect with your customers without stepping out of Zoho CRM.

- Radhika