Zoho Assist: Remote IT Support Made Simpler

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Steven Arant works in IT desktop support at Mecklenburg County officeNorth Carolina. His everyday job involves providing IT support to his fellow staff. Before discovering Zoho, he wasted a lot of time physically running around the office to address various support issues.

According to Steven, not using any kind of remote support application made his daily job very difficult. Not only were his time and energy wasted, but his fellow employees also had to wait for him to come and assist them. Steven was determined to change this into a more pleasant and less wasteful IT support experience.

​Well, this was history, as one day, one simple Google search for remote support services landed him on Zoho Assist. He found out that just by entering his fellow employee’s email address and inviting them for a remote support session was more than enough to get on to their computer screen. He was thrilled with the instant connect to the remote screen and this helped him to resolve the issues much more faster.

Let’s hear his success story in his own words.

Within 20 seconds I can be on their PC working on their problem. Since I have a email listing saved on my desktop all I have to do is copy and paste their email into Zoho Assist and hit invite to session. My fellow employees can get instant help. I can also help contract employees at remote areas now without them having to come into our office for help.

To cite one recent case, an outside contract attorney needed help from his office opening and viewing discovery on a case. The DVD had a video player that was VERY difficult to install and operate. He would have had to come into our office to watch his video but I was able to fix it remotely. He was so happy since his trial was going to start the next day!

My coworkers call it computer magic. That’s how I feel about it too. Its taken our old outdated office into a new era of productivity. I paid a $115 a year for Zoho and its worth every penny to me. I paid out of my own pocket because I wanted to provide better service to the people I support and Zoho allows me to do it.

If you have your own share of experience with Zoho Assist helping your business scenario, easing your job of supporting your customers remotely, do let us know. If you are one of those who haven’t tried Zoho Assist yet, well, it’s high time you try your hand! You can get an idea on why Steven is so excited about Zoho Assist.

Happy Supporting!

Zoho Sites – Afterparty!

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Last week was definitely a milestone for us. It was when we expanded our portfolio with Zoho Sites, a do-it-yourself website builder. After a week of website building, many early adopters have graciously shared their opinions, and they are very warming indeed. Thanks to TechCrunch, CMSWire, The Hindu and many others who covered the launch.

We’ve put in quite some time and effort in simplifying website building for everyone, regardless of their technical expertise. We have already begun acting on the overwhelming feedback we are receiving, so we are sure it’s eventually getting better by the day.

Most of you who had published a website, had experimented with every feature. Thank you for trying Zoho Sites, and even more for sharing your site-building experience. You drive us.

Here are some websites we stumbled upon.

Following a successful launch, we are back to adding missing pieces to Zoho Sites. A shopping cart is the most requested feature till date, and it sounds interesting to us too. Some time soon, you will experience major make-overs, and a few cool new additions to Zoho Sites.

For others who missed out on our announcement, Zoho Sites is a website builder, without the complexity of HTML.
Try Zoho Sites today!

The Technical and Human Hurdles of a New CRM Implementation

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It took Jamie Wilson, Coordinator of Global Operations for Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) six months to evaluate all the CRM systems the nonprofit was considering. He looked at Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Siebel from Oracle, and Zoho. His top requirement was a CRM system that could offer tight integration between financials and billing.

Initially Wilson began advocating Microsoft Dynamics because it integrated with Sharepoint and Microsoft offered a decent nonprofit pricing scheme. But when Wilson made his final decision he advocated for Zoho because of its interoperability with other applications through its open API. CDISC uses so many different systems and Wilson discovered that a lot of them integrate with the Zoho API right out of the box.

Choosing a system that fit CDISC’s needs was Wilson’s first technical hurdle. Now he needed to get people to actually use the CRM system which was a major culture shift for the nonprofit. Just because you create the workflow processes it’s not easy to get people to stop inefficient behavior such as sending all communications via email and attaching documents to emails. Ultimately his job required a lot of follow up with members and leads on how to use a workflow to make their life a lot easier.

For any other nonprofit struggling with a similar situation of porting over legacy financial data, Wilson highly recommends you get your financial data in the most standard format possible and get ready for a long cutover period. You’ll have to rely on old Excel spreadsheets for a while until you can start relying on the live CRM data coming in.

For both technology and people, Wilson advised, “Don’t rush the money and be sensitive to people’s attitudes to how they do work.”

Good CRM Requires a Standard Data Input Methodology

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Before the vacation rental management company Optimal Owner Care started using Zoho, they tried to grow their database by purchasing a bulk set of leads and dialing them through a piece of rudimentary client management software that wasn’t sustainable nor expandable, said Matthew Velez and his colleague from Optimal Owner Care.

Since switching to Zoho, business has changed dramatically. The company has grown from ten employees to sixty. To get a handle on what was happening with the sales team they had to normalize the data protocols and the 70,000 leads they’ve processed, explained Velez.

If everyone is doing their own thing when entering data into the CRM, that’s a real problem. You can’t generate reports. It’s very important that everyone follows the same protocols.

Optimal Owner Care’s most valuable reports are their sales reports. They can see how efficient sales people are being and use that information to optimize the workflow. They also utilize a dashboard so that each sales person can see the exact dollar amount they’re making based on every single action they take and that motivates them to do more, Velez said.

Without Zoho there’s no way they could have pulled this off with their growing staff.

For other organizations dealing with a mountain of growing data, they highly advise to stay organized. Create data entry protocols from the start and stick to them. If you keep constantly changing procedures you’ll create gaps and lose data. It’s the only way to create a sustainable and growable sales force.

More Power to the Math Wizard in You – Aggregate Formulas

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Zoho Reports has long supported custom formulas, where you can define your own formula that involves two or more columns. These formulas are applied at the row level. Say there is Column A and Column B and you want a Column C which does string concatenation (combining texts). You can have a formula column defined as
concat(Column A, Column B).

There are scenarios where aggregation formulas (sum, avg, min, max etc) are to be applied at the column level. Here’s a real world example. In Google Adwords, Click Through Rate (CTR) is defined as (No. of Clicks)/(No. of Impressions). If you just go by averaging the CTR as Avg(CTR), you will end up with the wrong average value for the month, quarter or year. But if you let Zoho Reports know that CTR is actually sum(Clicks)/sum(Impressions) by using the Aggregate Formula, then you’ll arrive at the right values.

You can add an aggregate formula by using Add -> Aggregate Formula option in a table’s toolbar.

When creating reports (charts, pivot tables, summary views), you can use these aggregate formulas as you would use the regular columns or custom formula columns.

Here’s how the wrong and right approaches for averaging the CTR would look like.

Can you think of other scenarios where you can use the power of Aggregate Formulas in Zoho Reports? Let us know in the comments.

Bridge the Gap between your Customer Support and Engineering…

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Don’t stop with tracking your tickets to closure. Now submit a bug for a ticket and track them too.

We are glad to announce that Zoho Support is now integrated with Zoho BugTracker. Organizations using Zoho Support and Zoho BugTracker can ensure seamless communication between your customer support and engineering teams. Your support agent can file a bug for a ticket which can be tracked till closure by staying within Zoho Support. Also both the teams can collaborate on a bug/ticket by leaving a comment in them, which stays synchronized between the applications.

The Zoho Support + Zoho BugTracker Integration: Our Story

Lawrence our customer support executive, receives a ticket for a glitch in our feature. He quickly goes through the ticket and files a bug for it. Hooray! the bug is now routed to our Support Management project in Zoho BugTracker. And thanks to the business rule created in Zoho BugTracker, the bug is auto assigned to John, our dedicated developer.

 

John needs more information about the bug in question. So he leaves a comment on the bug which simultaneously gets posted onto the ticket in Zoho Support. Yes, it’s all synchronized. Wait there’s more. Besides collaborating, Lawrence stays abreast on the developments happening on his bug. As and when John updates the status of the bug in our Support Management project , it updates the status of the ticket in Zoho Support.

Do you have a similar story?. Do share it with us and remember this integration is exclusively available for our Enterprise subscribers at no extra cost.

We believe this integration would add bastion to your helpdesk and ensure you provide an awesome customer support as ever. Let us know what you think at support@zohosupport.com.