SMS Notifications on Zoho Creator: Helps you reach out

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Does your business feel the need to reach out to your customers with intimations, updates or alerts? For instance, you may want to notify your customers about a change in tariff, send them a confirmation, communicate new/enhanced offerings or it could just be to build a rapport with the customers.

As evident as it is, you need good communication and engagement practices for your products/services for the customers to build/retain faith in you. The method of communication used plays a key role besides the message itself. And each unique situation is best complemented by a specific channel of communication.

As a product, Zoho Creator is constantly evolving. We are finding new ways to make it easier for our customers to do effective business with their customers. Since communication has become an important facet of a business, we are bringing in new solutions that cater to such requirements of our customers. One such offering which we have recently developed is the SMS notification.

As per statistics, 97% of the text messages are opened compared to only 5% of emails, while 83% of the text messages are opened immediately or within 3 minutes of their arrival, emails have a much larger gap period. Needless to say, SMS has penetrated as a preferred channel of communication for the short & important messages.

Now it is easy to send a “Thank you” SMS when a customer fills out an order form. You could select the notification option when records are modified. The next requirement that pops up commonly in businesses is to notify when a condition/criteria is met. For this, we have a Rule Builder, which makes it easy to set the conditions and invoke an SMS notification. The combined power of the SMS notification and Rule Builder empowers you to meet many business requirements easily. To make it more convenient for you, Zoho Creator has integrated with popular services like Clickatell and Twilio.

Yet, there maybe requirements that may not be solved with both. For instance, you may want to remind your users at a particular time, like on the day of appointment. In such a scenario, you could simply schedule the SMS notification. For similar and other more complex requirements, we have provided predefined deluge script functions. Just create a schedule with an appropriate configuration and write a single line of code and the appointment reminder workflow is ready.

Want to take a spin, just checkout the SMS Notification and Rule Builder.

 

Meet Zoho at TFM&A 2014, London!

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We are delighted to be exhibiting at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising, 2014 in Earls Court 2, London on the 25th and the 26th of February, 2014. TFM&A is the UK’s biggest media, marketing and advertising event. We will be presenting our Sales & Marketing products, particularly CRM, Campaigns, Survey and others.

Zoho at TFM&ACatch us at Stand# H26.
Drop in for a free demo of our products. Or tell us your specific business requirements and we’ll help you address them with Zoho.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Lessons from a Coffee Mill for All Small Business Owners

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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetCoffee touches everyone differently. For some, coffee is essential to functioning the way motor oil is essential to a combustion engine or oxygen to fire.

Some drink coffee because it’s become part of their daily routine alongside showering and getting dressed. It’s a habit.

Others — my roommate for example — drink coffee through their nostrils and are perfectly content with never letting it touch their lips. It is an aroma of comfort. An aroma of home.

Coffee has a sense of nostalgia and urgency. Of past memories and of days ahead. John Steinbeck may have said it best when he wrote, “coffee has a special taste of a frosty morning, and the third cup is as good as the first.”

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The Importance of Shopping Locally and Supporting Small Businesses

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BlueThere is something unique about growing up in a small town that gravitates you toward shopping locally. Whether it’s pride, duty or genuine support of a friend or family member, knowing your dollar has gone to not only a community member, but a business owner you trust makes every purchase that much more special.

You want to walk through those doors. You want to shop there first. You want to brag to others that your town has the best burger joint or music store.

I’ve supported local businesses my entire life. Whether it was eating the best pizza in the world at Pizza Place on Main Street, going to my local sports card and memorabilia shop, Dakota Dick’s, Saturday mornings or buying my first guitar at Craig’s Music, small businesses were my go-to spots in my hometown of Weatheford, Texas.

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Customer Spotlight: Wendy Baldwin of ER 4 LOVE

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Wendy Baldwin of ER 4 LOVE at the Zoho Houston Meet Up

One of the greatest parts about working at Zoho is the opportunity to meet and talk with small business owners from across the country. Hearing stories about people chasing their dreams and passions is always inspiring, and we are constantly energized and encouraged to learn how they have used Zoho to help them get there.

Recently, the Zoho team has been hosting Meet Ups for Zoho users and anyone else interested in learning about Zoho products in cities across the country. We have had successful Meet Ups in Austin, Houston and Boston, and are traveling to Miami next month.

At the Zoho Houston Meet Up I had the privilege to meet Wendy Baldwin, VP Operations, and Jeanine Holloway, Sales and Seminar Coordinator, from ER 4 LOVE, a company dedicated to helping married couples succeed at the “game of love.” From learning to deal with conflict to becoming a better listener, the marriage mediators at ER 4 LOVE stand by the promise of saving your marriage in two days.

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Come See Us Next Week in Boston

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The Zoho Team is headed to the northeast for our next Meet Up. We will be in Boston, Massachusetts next Wednesday, October 16 to meet with local Zoho users and also welcome new users to our suite of apps that can help you succeed as a small business owner. This time we are joining forces with On the verge, a Zoho Alliance Partner, to host a special breakfast event at the Boston Marriott Newton.meetup_boston_email

After successful Meet Ups with our users in Austin and Houston, we are excited to leave the state of Texas to meet and mingle with our customers in the Boston area. There is still time to register for the event, but space is limited so please RSVP here:

https://zohobostonmeetup.eventbrite.com/

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Introducing : Timetracking for your bugs

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A typical work day of a team member in a software development team :

You’re a team member in charge of a performance module and currently working on few critical bugs that needs to be delivered for a customer before this weekend.

Here’s how you can effectively use Zoho BugTracker to organize and fix bugs fast :

  • Create a business rule with module as Performance and severity as Critical. All the bugs with this module name and severity gets automatically assigned to you in Zoho BugTracker
  • There needs to be a way to categorize these reported bugs. Our BugTracker allows you to easily categorize them as open, to be analyzed, to be tested and add more Custom Status using Status and Workflow option under Bug Settings
  • Once categorized you can Sort and View bugs based on due or created date in the Bugs View. You can create a new custom field called This Week and use Bulk Update option to select and update the bugs to be fixed for This Week and you’re done. Every day when you login you can see the bugs progress in the Feeds panel under In Progress view.
  • As the weekend approaches, you need to record the entire week’s efforts. For this, make use of Weekly timesheets to record the time spent to fix the bugs for this particular customer and of course you can also Generate Invoices using Zoho Invoice and follow for payments.
  • If you wish to notify your Boss you can do so by adding him or her as Follower to know what you have been working on.
  • Finally, if you want you can deactivate this business rule using Activate or Deactivate option under Business Rules.

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