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Archive for August, 2011

The simple CRM manifesto

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Here are our software design mantras that make Relenta what it is, nothing else and nothing less.

Simple is more, not less

We believe that the term “simple software” is popularly misused. Designing simple apps isn’t easy, and simple doesn’t mean dumbed-down. For us, simplicity is synonymous with more ability. Simple is the software that lets you get more done with less effort.

Live and let work

We believe in not forcing you to work the way we think is right. Instead, we give you the tools and get out of your way. When faced with multiple design decisions, we apply the one that makes fewer assumptions about what is good for you.

The 90-10 rule

We believe that less is more. Our goal is the software that gives you 90 per cent of the functionality that most small businesses need with only 10 per cent of the application weight. Why not the familiar 80-20 rule? Because we can do better than that.

The one-click zone

We believe that the #1 reason for poor productivity is data fragmentation across multiple apps, accounts and browser windows. Our goal is to organize any and all information required for running your daily life so that nothing is more than one click away.

Similarities, not differences

We believe that at their core, all small work groups share similar challenges. For this reason we are focusing on the similarities among our users and not on what makes them different. We build our software to be universally applicable to work groups in any trade or profession.

Amen.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 22nd, 2011 at 2:32 pm

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How to avoid worst practices in social CRM

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Chris Bucholtz makes a few excellent points about various social CRM faux pas in a recent CRM Buyer article:

The worst thing you can do is engage in a dialog, but then leave the customer hanging as you try to iron out your internal processes. It’s better not to engage than it is to engage in a way that deepens the customer’s irritation.

Bucholtz warns against several specific scenarios that could screw things up for you. They likely would, unless you use the proper tools. I’ll use Relenta to illustrate the points (go figure):

…companies haven’t established the processes needed to transport customer questions from person to person.

Communication bits from social networks are synced into your unified inbox in Relenta. If team members who deal with it first aren’t in the position to take action immediately, then they can create a task, assign it to another person, and start an internal dialog using a built-in commenting system.

The risk [with paid-for support levels in a tech company] is that customers may figure out that they can short-circuit the process by purchasing lesser service packages and then skip around their limitations by going to a social media site.

Again, once the social media interaction is associated with a customer record in your CRM, anyone on your team can instantly see what level of support they’re entitled to. You can also decide on the spot if it would be beneficial to bend the rules if, for example, this person happens to be one of your best customer advocates.

Bucholtz warns against the danger of appearing unauthentic (methinks this warning is applicable to any CRM process, not just social CRM):

What you can’t get away with is a reliance on canned answers or automatically generated responses. While these may increase the productivity of your staff, they destroy the effectiveness of your CRM efforts.

Bring it on!

Being authentic takes a relaxed state of mind. With Relenta, you can get pending tasks, important facts and bits and pieces of conversations out of your head by pouring it all into a self-organizing system. This way your mind is freed from mindless work and can actually be mindful (and personable).

There are so many social media channels out there that it becomes very easy to allow all your resources to be absorbed in a grand effort to cover them all.

Once the relevant social dialogs are synced into your CRM — as they should be — they become no different from other action items that you are already working with day in, day out. And a large number of interactions with your customers and prospects is a good thing. If they want to talk to you or about you, it should be the case of the more, the merrier, right?

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 4th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

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It was worse if it will happen again

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Lost for words

If a customer had had a bad experience with you, its negative impact may be worse than you think. Scientific American reports on the results of study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology:

Researchers at New York University and Carnegie Mellon University conducted seven experiments to determine how people’s expectations shape their memories. In one test, they exposed 30 students to the noise of a vacuum cleaner for 40 seconds. Afterward, half were told they would have to hear the noise again, whereas the rest were told the study was over. Everyone was then asked to rate how irritated they were by the noise. Students who expected to hear it again consistently found it more irritating. Other tests involving stimuli that bored and annoyed subjects all yielded the same results.

Think about it.

Written by Dmitri Eroshenko

August 4th, 2011 at 5:12 am

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