ClickDesk integrates with Zoho CRM

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ClickDesk is a cloud based service that lets you communicate with website visitors directly from your instant messengers.

This is a guest post by Jagan Ganti, Product Specialist at ClickDesk.

With tight competition in most businesses these days, it is the level of customer support provided that determines their success. Also, the customer support agents should have all the basic information about the person in chat handy.

With ClickDesk, your visitors can chat from the website, while operators can respond conveniently from Google Talk or Skype. With the integrated browser phone (Flash – VoIP), visitors can also call you in any of the 3 ways – PC, Skype or by using local access numbers provided in 40 countries. You can receive the calls on your mobile phones, desk phones or even on your Instant Messenger.

ClickDesk now integrates with Zoho CRM, thus giving you instant access to your customer info while you are chatting with your customers. A live chat support tool with tight integration to your CRM system is a powerful combo. Customer support agents can view the visitor’s details, provide live support using their instant messenger on their laptops or mobile phones and can even update the lead details in Zoho CRM instantly.

What does this mean for users of ClickDesk + Zoho CRM?

The ClickDesk-Zoho CRM integration can automatically retrieve visitor’s details present in your Zoho CRM account and provide it along with other information such as IP address, country, referrer URL etc. You can then add notes directly from your instant messenger by using the short command /note option. The entire chat transcript also gets posted in the notes section after the end of each live chat session for further reference.

Find out more about this integration here.

What do you think of the integration? Do try it and let us know.

- Jagan

Zoho Support: Monitor your helpdesk with Time based Actions

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We at Zoho Support continue to concentrate on just one aspect. Helping your business to provide an awesome customer support. In this endeavor, we have come up with a slew of value adding features & enhancements to entice you as usual. Let’s start with the first big thing.

Do you want to be notified when a new ticket remains un-assigned for extended number of hours? Similar, when your agent hasn’t responded to a ticket since first assignment. The wait is over! With time based actions you can supervise your helpdesk every hour and trigger notifications for actions like mentioned above. Besides sending notifications, you can assign tasks and update fields as well.

Here is a demonstration of one of the most common uses of time based actions. Specify the following criteria under time based action:

 

 

This time based rule would automatically close tickets in 48 hours after they have been re-solved.

Do you have more automation in your mind? Explore time based actions today. Click here to get started with the setup.

Besides time based actions, we have released Macros. You got it! It’s not a brand new release though. Earlier you can configure a workflow for manual application under our regular workflow settings. However, we have now renamed the same as Macros and moved it alongside other automation options in Zoho Support. Ain’t it sound to be a good move!?!

Here is the last one. We hate spam as much as you do. So, we built spam filtering right into Zoho Support to keep spam away from genuine support tickets. Click on the check box next to a ticket and select Mark Spam. It’s that simple.

We hope these feature would take you a bit closer towards providing awesome customer support. There’s lots more cool features coming soon, so stay tuned.…

Track your Meetings from Soup to Nuts

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When scheduling meetings with tons of customers, it is mighty difficult to keep track of everything. Zoho Meeting helps you track your online meetings easier, right from scheduling meetings, adding to your favorite Calendar App, ensuring your invitation email delivery to your customers, till getting reminded just before your meeting. Our settings for calendars, email reminders and invitation email failure notifications will help you to achieve this. Enabling calendar settings will generate an event in your calendar for the meeting at the scheduled time. If you reschedule the meeting, you need not change your events, calendars will be updated automatically!

Keep track of your scheduled meeting easier

Track using Google Calendar
Enabling the ‘Add meetings to Google calendar‘ setting will create an event in your Google calendar, for each meeting created in Zoho Meeting. When you invite your attendees with their GMail id, the meeting event will be added to their Google Calendar automatically! You may need to provide your authentication credentials and approve access to your Google account.

Track using Zoho Calendar
Of course, you can also track all your scheduled meetings using Zoho Calendar. By default, all your scheduled meetings will be added as events in Zoho Calendar. You can change this behavior in Settings tab.

Add to Outlook CalendarAdding to Outlook and other Calendars
If you are using Outlook, Yahoo or other Calendar Apps, you can add events to your calendar by clicking on ‘Add to my calendar‘ link from the invitation email or the web link. The event will be automatically recognized and added in your favorite Calendar App.


Ensure Invitation Email Delivery
Invitation Mail Failure Notification
The fact is, in most cases with other platforms you never really know if your invitation has reached your customers successfully. With Zoho Meeting you don’t have to worry about it, you can ensure the delivery of invitation email to your customers. If, for some reason like wrong email Id or customer’s mail server issue, the in
vitation mail gets bounced or not delivered to the Participant’s inbox, you will receive the delivery-failure message as a feed. You can view this in your left bottom notification bar once you login to Zoho Meeting. You can then re-check the email address and decide to resend the invitation mail, or re-invite your Participant.


Email Reminders

Most of us wanted to avoid eleventh hour frenzy for the meetings. Get reminded by emails at your preferred time span before the meeting starts. You can enable ‘Email Reminder‘ option and receive reminder emails a few minutes, hours or even a day before the scheduled time. With this setting enabled, all your meeting attendees will also receive the reminder invitation email.


What are you waiting for? Schedule a meeting with Zoho Meeting today and track your meeting ea
sier!

Build better Customer Relationships. Facebook Integration is here!

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Check out some of these statistics about Facebook.

  1. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.
  2. An average user has 130 friends.
  3. 67% of B2C and 41% of B2B companies that use Facebook for marketing have acquired a customer through this channel.

This makes me wonder: How would it be if a sales rep could use the power of people on Facebook? Imagine how much you’d benefit if your CRM account is integrated with Facebook?

Zoho CRM now offers an integration with Facebook, thus bringing your customers’ Facebook profiles inside your CRM account itself.

So, how does this help to build better customer relationships? Here are a few ways:

Instant information about your prospect:
You have a lead with you. All you have is the email id. How do you know more about this person before shooting that email? With the ability to associate Facebook profiles, you get most details – like their professional history, designation, schooling, location, etc inside the contact detail page. And with that info, you’re all set to make the follow-up with the prospect a success.

Facilitate faster decision making:
A prospect of yours has mentioned about your product in an update. Adding a reply to this comment is possible from the contact’s detail page itself. You not only engage your prospects in a conversation, but also help them get the right answers, right from inside your CRM account.

Know your customers better:
Says Rebecca Lieb in her book, Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher, “Wall posts create a dialogue with users, friends and fans offering marketers an opportunity to be reactive as well as proactive in terms of content…” This can very well be extended to the sales teams too. The selling process does not end when a prospect ‘buys’ your product. You can be up-to-date with a customer’s updates and even comment or like them without leaving your CRM account. So, the next time you make that call – just to say “Hello” or to talk about a new offer – you know how to keep the conversation going!

These are just a few ways in which you could use the Facebook Integration, and we’d like you to tell us more. Do try this out and leave your comments below.

We also have an Online Guide to get you started.

We started off social CRM with the LinkedIn Integration, now it’s Facebook. Next..? :)

Push Comes to Shove

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In 2008, I wrote a post Why We Compete with Google, in response to the persistent question at that time “How can you guys survive Google in the online office space?”

My basic argument was that business software, due to its extensive sales and support requirements, simply does not have the productivity or profitability of consumer internet businesses, and could never produce the margins that Google enjoys in search or what Facebook enjoys in social networking today or for that matter how today’s margins at over-the-hill Yahoo and getting-there eBay compare to the still-hot Salesforce. I concluded that post (keep in mind it was written in 2008) with:

When push comes to shove – and there is a lot of very messy push and shove in the business software market -  Google’s resources are going to flow into figuring out how to monetize the humongous traffic of YouTube or compete in online auctions, rather than figure out a way to squeeze a bit more margin compared to Oracle or Adobe or Salesforce. That may explain why Google has been silent on CRM, Project Management, Invoicing or HR type of tools, because those markets don’t offer the profit potential they already enjoy.

Well, today, the Wall Street Journal has a well-researched post by Clint Boulton, Google Organizational Changes Cloud the Future of Apps. On purely strategic grounds, the enterprise business is very sales and support intensive, and it does not have the potential to offer Google-y margins. Microsoft achieved its 90% operating margin due to its monopoly pricing power, and the emergence of the cloud and mobile devices, in part thanks to Google’s role, has eroded that pricing power. So it was always clear, to me at least, that Google was in this game to make sure Microsoft does not have the infinite cash to keep throwing money at search. As Google’s strategic threat from Microsoft fades into the rearview mirror while Facebook emerges as a strong potential threat, I predicted that Google would naturally lose interest in what remains a fundamentally inferior business to their own core business. Senior executives in Google in charge of the Apps business seem to be reading the tea leaves, as Boulton reports. There have been a slew of executive departures and other organizational changes in the Google Apps division.

Signs are emerging that Google is de-emphasizing its efforts in online productivity tools that compete with Microsoft, which was never the core of its business to being with, to focus even more on search and social networking, and its increasing competition with Facebook.

Google Apps has had some churn to its core leadership as the company evolves under CEO Larry Page, including the loss of Dave Girouard as vice president of Apps and president of Google’s Enterprise business. Girouard, who joined Google in 2004, oversaw the development and launch of Apps for businesses. He left April 6 and no successor has been named.

A source familiar with Google Apps told CIO Journal: “I was personally shocked to see Dave G leave. That was his baby, and he was so invested in it.”

At Zoho, of course, we have patiently been investing in R&D, while building our business for the long haul. We came to the conclusion a while ago that ad-driven consumer internet business is a poor fit for a business-focused suite of apps. In an ad-driven business, the users are the product, to be packaged and sold to advertisers. When you ask someone to directly pay for something, as a visitor or a user becomes a customer, the very nature of the engagement changes.

That’s why since the very beginning we have never funded our business through advertising. We’ve made a commitment to our users that we’ll never display ads, not even in our free products, and that we’ll never sell their data to a third party so that they can be “better targeted”. We’ve understood since the beginning that advertising and business applications just don’t mix.

We will continue to execute to provide a compelling, ad-free cloud experience in our Zoho suite of apps, particularly Zoho Mail and the Zoho Office suite. We respect the engineering prowess at Google, and indeed, we will continue to actively participate in the Google Apps marketplace, but ultimately whether a business makes sense or not is not an engineering question alone. In that sense, I am not at all surprised that someone high up at Google looked at the business question of the Apps suite, and came to the conclusion that was obvious from the start.

Our deep, existing integration into the Google Apps suite makes it really easy to migrate customers from Google Apps. We welcome Google Apps users to Zoho, and we are very happy to provide migration free of charge!

Now, what about the other elephant in the room? Microsoft Office365 is going to be a formidable player, but so far, their execution in the cloud and in mobile is less than terror-inducing, to put it mildly. Our Mail & Office suite are written from the ground up to be in the cloud, on tablets and smart phones. We will continue to invest in R&D to make them stronger, and, unlike Microsoft, we will provide first-class support to all the devices out there, including the iPad, the iPhone and Android-based devices. Of course, we will also continue to integrate our Mail & Office suite with our other business apps, including our rapidly gaining CRM.

CRM Step 1: Automate Sales. CRM Step 2: Automate Sales.

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Adam Stone, CEO of D-Tools, is a self-admitted automation super geek. “Anything you have to do more than twice has to be automated,” said Stone. “I would rather have [my employees] honestly going skiing than do any automated repetitive task.”

At D-Tools, Stone’s entire sales process is automated. I want my sales people to focus on customers. I don’t want them to worry about who to call next or what their pipeline is. That should all be automatic. And that’s the situation D-Tools has now.

“We always know what to sell to who and when,” said Stone.

“When people tell me they don’t use CRM or don’t understand CRM. I almost can’t go on with the conversation anymore because you’re not even at that same level where you think there’s value in that,” Stone said. “The amount of money we spend on Zoho CRM versus what we get out of it is 100 times investment return.”

As for Stone’s advice on what to automate first, he said, “The first thing you should automate is sales and the second thing you should automate is sales.”

“The most important thing is get your sales in order,” said Stone. “Make sure your sales people are happy. Because if your sales people are happy, and you’re the company owner, you’re going to be happy eventually. Guaranteed.”

Zoho Recruit: Post Jobs on Glassdoor

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Today we are here to let you know the availability of yet another job board integration – Glassdoor.com.

Glassdoor is the largest online career community, offering an inside look at companies and access to millions of job listings. Glassdoor helps employees, job seekers, employers and recruiters find and share salary, ratings, reviews & interview information for more than 150,000 companies.

You can post your jobs to Glassdoor, directly from within Zoho Recruit – Online Recruitment Software. Once the candidate applies to the job opening, the candidate details are captured inside Zoho Recruit.

We hope you like it! There’s lots more cool features coming soon, so stay tuned.