The Blog

Get your CRM right before jumping into Social CRM

July 21st, 2010 by george

Social CRM is getting a lot of press coverage of late, and rightly so – it’s a great way to expand your customer reach, become known as an expert in your field and win new business.

However it’s not the ‘silver bullet’ that will save/expand your business with no thought given to your current CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. We see lots of people trying to jump into Social CRM before they even have the basics right with their current CRM system/process.

Social CRM is perceived to be easy and cheap – it’s not. Think about how much time you are spending tweeting/face booking/etc. – it is definitely worthwhile doing right, see how our friends at Pepsmedia are helping people exploit scrm, but before you jump headlong into a scrm strategy make sure your crm is in order to handle all those new customers/enquirerers.

This can be as simple as a spreadsheet to keep contacts and information upto date and a good todo application if it’s just you or you may want to take a look at a simple CRM system for your small business, how about our easy contact management system Tactile CRM – you can sign up for free.

Top 5 tips to choose a CRM product

July 19th, 2010 by george

Lots of people start trying to choose a CRM system before they know exactly that they want. These aren’t the only things to consider but they will certainly put you on the correct path for making a CRM supplier short-list:

  1. Decide if on-premise or hosted/SaaS is right for you – there is no right or wrong answer to this
  2. Define your main goals for your new CRM system – this shouldn’t be a huge document 5-10 key points you think are critical to a successful system
  3. Look for a system that will grow/evolve with your needs – what you decide on today will evolve as you understand your CRM system more
  4. Make sure the systems you consider will cover the areas of your business you need – this could be via integration with 3rd party products or built in, but it’s key that you make sure you can do what you need to run your business
  5. Speak with the vendor/consultant – your relationship with them is key to a successful implementation and you should be working with them even after the system has ‘gone live’

These tips should help you get on your way to choosing a CRM system/supplier.

Looking for an easy to use CRM system? When not give Tactile CRM a try – you can sign up for free.

Why I’m not worried about the new Salesforce edition, but I am.

September 3rd, 2009 by Jake

I’m often asked the question: “is Salesforce your biggest competitor to Tactile CRM“? Up until now the answer has always been no. Kind of.

In our target market of 2-10 people organisations/departments you’d traditional be paying between $35-$65/user/month for Salesforce.com. That’s roughly 4-7 times the price of Tactile CRM and could save you up to $6720 per annum. A tidy sum.

And for that reason we don’t see Salesforce as a direct competitor. However on brand awareness we do.

Our users and prospective users are nice people, and we’ve been aware for a while that Salesforce were launching a smaller package (it competes on the same price point as Tactile CRM) as they [our users] have let us know that they have been offered the $9 pricing and there has been some information about it on the site for a while.

Now that is out in the open there are 2 things to note. First of all the $9 pricing is for a cut down version, and only for 1-2 users. Once users start looking above that then we’re back to the old scenario (hence why I’m not worried).

However, I’m betting users don’t think like that.

We’ll either have to start ‘objection handling’ the questions that go along the lines of “ah, but Salesforce have a $9/user/month edition” or help people migrate away once they grow and don’t want the ‘real’ pricing.

Salesforce have a big PR machine/budget/awareness and this new product is already spreading thick and fast. Time will tell what happens but I’m looking forward to increased awareness of CRM amongst SME/SMBs and hope that in the long run it will do us some good too.

Why support shouldn’t be second class for free accounts

March 26th, 2009 by Jake

The news: from the 31st March 2009 we’re going to give email support to all Tactile CRM users including the free plans – no more messing around on the fourms (unless you want to!).

We’ve got several reasons and I’ll outline them below. However, the main reason is we’re here to make some money. That’s a bold statement, so please bear with me (you might want to check out Alistair at Huddle’s post on why sales shouldn’t be a dirty word to see that I’m not alone/crazy).

We know CRM, we’ve built custom systems for the NHS (UK health service) and companies large and small over the years. As a result we built Tactile CRM to be easy to use and to help businesses get organised and win more business. It would be a poor show if we didn’t want to do the same – so at the end of the day we built Tactile CRM to make us some money and have fun doing it.

Why give email support for free?

When we launched Tactile CRM one of our differentiators was full email support on paid plans and forum only support for free pans. We’ve realised this was the wrong way round and are now going to fix the problem in one swift go!

For us an active free user is much more valuable and likely to upgrade to a paid plan than one who logs in once and leaves, so helping them out when they are starting is a no brainer.

Making them visit a forum and wait for an answer is a sure fire way to lose them. We want people to get in touch and ask us questions – emailing support@tactilecrm.com is just one way, sign up for a free account to see some of the other things we do to help you out (including our free webinars)!

So no more frustration when you can’t get your questions answered on the forums!

Frustration at Tech Support

But wait, there’s more

Helping people start using your system is a sure fire way to help hook them in and convert more sales – I believe everyone should be doing this – it’s a no brainer and I wish we’d done it sooner.

From an operations perspective it has some other benefits too:

  1. We now have one place to deal with support – checking the forum for support issues was a pain (we still do it as it’s useful to have the community there for people that want to discuss things above and beyond support) – this makes it a lot easier and timely for responses
  2. We’ve recently put Resolve RM (our support/case management system) into beta and wanted to give it a bit more of a test internally so more emails is better!
  3. Email is a more obvious workflow/place for people to submit and deal with support – everyone (who uses Tactile CRM) uses email, only a small percentage use forums

Most of the above are internal benefits, but I really do believe everyone should be giving as much help/support to get people using their software as possible, not making it even more difficult when they are in the decision making stage.

Photo Credit: √oхέƒx™

Free trials should be FREE

August 8th, 2008 by admin

I sign up to, trial and test a higher than usual number of products on the web. Most are easy signups and not too onerous.

We’ve taken this to heart with our Tactile CRM product. You can sign up for the product for free, no credit card details required, and it’s free for as long as you like.

Here are the details we ask for if you sign up for the free version of Tactile CRM:

tactile_signup

OK, it’s not the shortest sign up, but we need all those details to set up a new account – it’s not us trying to do data capture. The main point is we don’t ask for your card details on the free trial. 

We want people to start using Tactile CRM, try the product and give us feedback.

As a start-up this feedback and exposure is just as important as the people that sign up for the paying plans. We really do want people to use the product and actively pursue feedback and suggestions we receive, so giving users an extra barrier to entry, such as entering credit card details is a no-no.

So sign up forms like the following from Apple’s Mobile Me is silly in my opinion:

mobileme

I wanted to give the Mobile Me ‘Exchange for the rest of us’ feature a try with my email (I already have IMAP and wanted to see if it improved on it).

The old .mac service let you have a free trial without this step and I gave it a go. However, I can’t be bothered to complete the above form as I am likely to forget to cancel the trial if I don’t want to carry on.

I’m sure Apple aren’t worried about little old Jake not signing up, but for some of the smaller fish like ourselves we want as many people as we can get.