February 25, 2019

Going Zoho – Part 1

It’s no secret that the Ardento team are big fans of Zoho. We’ve been fortunate enough to help many businesses over the past few years leverage Zoho software to improve their processes and create efficiency.

It’s not by chance that we came to partner with Zoho. I evaluated dozens of CRM platforms for over 12 months before deciding that Zoho was the right addition to our portfolio. As with all of the vendors that we partner with, I needed to be sure it could add true value to our customers. Plus, I personally had to love the software and have confidence in its future direction.

One of the best ways to truly understand the capabilities of any software system, is to use it daily – and that’s exactly what we do at Ardento. Over the past two years we have adopted more and more Zoho applications into our own business, and that is the story I want to share with you here. How we approached it, the challenges that arose and the benefits we gained.

The journey starts with Zoho One. An integrated platform of over 40 applications that is designed run your entire organisation.

Initiate Launch Phase

It’s important to set the scene before we get into the details. Ardento is a software consultancy business and was well established before partnering with Zoho. We already had embedded cloud systems and processes. We did not start with a clean slate.

If you are a startup with little to no existing systems, then ‘going Zoho’ for your entire business will be much more straightforward.

For us, Zoho CRM was the first Zoho application we explored and this would also be the logical starting point for most businesses. CRM is critical to managing customer communications and sales pipeline management. I first explored Zoho CRM well before we became a Zoho partner. At the time, we were using Insightly as our internal CRM and for the most part it was working well.

After a few months of ‘playing around’ in Zoho CRM, I started to understand some of its strengths. One of the key areas that I really appreciated was how flexible and easy it was to customise. Creating custom modules and fields to capture data that was unique to how we operated was very simple.

Ultimately, we decided to move away from Insightly and over to Zoho CRM. This process was very smooth thanks to the simple data migration tools within Zoho CRM – of which, have expanded significantly over the past few years.

Marketing Magic

The next logical step in our Zoho journey was to implement some of the great marketing applications that are available. Zoho Campaigns is a great place to start. This system replaced our use of MailChimp for all outbound email communications to our leads, prospects and current customers.

One of the best features of Zoho Campaigns over MailChimp is the simple integration with Zoho CRM. We could easily setup mailing list criteria in Zoho CRM and have this synchronise across to a Zoho Campaigns list. We also got immediate feedback into Zoho CRM as our contacts interacted with our email communications by the way of SalesSignals.

Beyond email marketing with Zoho Campaigns, we leverage Zoho Survey for gathering feedback from our customers. We also implemented SalesIQ into our website to provide better tracking on website visitors as well as online chat functionality. Again the power of integration shines through with Zoho, rolling much of the feedback gathered from these applications back into Zoho CRM.

Superstar Support

We now enter into the next phase of Zoho implementation for Ardento. CRM and Marketing were a great first phase and really allowed a strong base platform from which to expand on.

The next area I wanted to improve on was customer support and help desk. We are a technology company with a core focus of servicing and supporting our customers and their software systems. As strong customer support is at the heart of our service offering, we needed a solid solution to manage ongoing support jobs and create visibility for the team and our customers.

Enter Zoho Desk. This system provides simple yet effective management of support tickets through a commonly understood workflow. We deployed the Help Centre functionality, which provides our customers a portal to log into and manage their own tickets, which was a great efficiency gain for our team. Once again the tight Zoho CRM integration really doubles down on value by creating support ticket visibility in CRM as well as integration of contact and customer data.

To Be Continued…

Zoho has been a total game-changer for Ardento and I’m sure it has been the same for all of our valued Zoho customers.

Here is running list of the Zoho applications we’ve covered so far –

  • Zoho CRM
  • Zoho Campaigns
  • Zoho Survey
  • Zoho SalesIQ
  • Zoho Desk

Keep an eye out for part 2 of my blog in the coming weeks where I will detail the next wave of Zoho applications we implemented at Ardento.

Simplify & Supercharge your Business with Zoho

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