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Enroll Customers in Subscription Plans, Automate Billing and Payments, and Track Subscription Statuses

Enrolled customer subscription

The subscription economy is thriving, with subscription based business models now present in virtually every industry conceivable. Companies Netflix, ZipCar, and Dollar Shave Club (and Vtiger!) have employed it to disrupt heavily entrenched industries, and they’ve done so while creating highly predictable revenue streams, and unparalleled customer satisfaction and retention.

These benefits are no doubt attractive, but to effectively scale with a subscription-based model, aside from an appropriate product or service, businesses need a subscription management application that can manage a growing pool of subscribers and subscriptions, while automating transactions and communications.

With these and more features in mind, we’re thrilled to announce Vtiger’s new Subscriptions module. Whether a company has 100, or 100,000 customers, for each one, Vtiger stores subscriptions, sets up periodic billing, and automates payments, billing communication and subscription renewal, while giving businesses tools to analyze customers and subscriptions and improve revenue stream efficiency.

Enroll customers in easy-to-manage subscription plans

Here’s an example to illustrate the Subscriptions module in use: Trendhouse, a weekly fashion magazine, has 50,000 subscribers. All subscriptions require a 1-year commitment, but because Trendhouse’s subscribers have varying abilities to pay, Trendhouse offers payment period options of $12 monthly, $32 quarterly, or $120 annually. Vtiger’s Subscriptions module tracks each of Trendhouse’s subscriptions tagged to each subscriber. Subscription information includes period, amount, start and end dates. Each period throughout a subscriber’s 1-year commitment, subscribers receive an emailed invoice, which can be paid then manually, or subscribers can enroll in auto-pay to make all future payments on time automatically. This ensures that their service is never interrupted, and that Trendhouse can easily manage large subscriber bases with little overhead.

Let customers enroll in auto-pay, or pay periodically online

By following a link in the emailed invoice, customers can manually pay an invoice, or can set up auto-pay to pay this and future periodic invoices from a bank account or credit card. For customers, this ensures on time payment and prevents service disruption late payment penalties. For businesses, this ensures predictable revenue streams, with minimal overhead to manage large subscriber bases and process high volumes of transactions, with mistake-free payment processing.

Manage payments with automatic transaction reattempts, notifications for payment failures, and subscription status updates

Auto-pay failure management tools

For reasons from credit card expiration, to account cancellation, automated payments could fail. Should the cause for failure be temporary, Vtiger can automatically retry charging payment methods up to 3 times. If failures are permanent, Vtiger automatically updates the customer’s subscription status, and sends a customizable payment failure notification to the affected customer. This maximizes the chances of customer retention across every account without human intervention.

Get a bird’s-eye view of expired subscriptions, payment failures, and past due accounts for rapid engagement and remediation

The subscription module also provides complete visibility into customer subscription statuses, so that support can verify that they’re eligible for various support packages. Where subscriptions are about to expire, sales can engage with customers on renewals. And where there have been auto-pay failures, or manual payments are past-due, your subscriptions team can create a list to follow up with customers. All in all leading to more effective subscription management, with less work.

To learn how to start enrolling your customers in subscription plans, and to fully leverage subscriptions through Vtiger, read our documentation, or feel free to ask us for help at support@vtiger.com.

5 CRM Productivity Hacks That Help You Get More Done, With Less Work!

CRM_Productivity_Hacks

CRM software increases a business’s sales, marketing and support team productivity by centralizing data, providing a 360 degree view of customer histories, automating action with workflows, integrating with third party apps, and much more. Here are 5 easy hacks to improve your team’s productivity while they use Vtiger CRM:

Increase email engagement using behavioral triggers with Vtiger’s Autoresponders

Yesterday, a customer that had been with us for 8 months contacted us to ask how he could automate a follow-up email based on each recipient’s engagement with the first emails. Specifically, he wanted only those users that clicked on a product link included in an email campaign to, two days later, receive a second email containing a discount on that product. Those that didn’t click on the link, he wanted to send another lead-nurture email to. We pointed him to Vtiger’s autoresponder, which sends triggered emails based on prior email engagement, like a click on a link, or specific dates, like a contact’s birthday coming up. Whether you’re trying to reach one contact, or 1,000, add autoresponders to your toolkit to ensure that you get them engaged with the right message at the right time.

Create lists to find and organize records based on a condition using Custom Filters

Tripolex is a property management company that provides property management, inspection, and valuation services for real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of Tripolex’s customer related information is stored in Vtiger. From that data, the company’s regional manager wants to create 3 lists – A list of customers with assets located in the East Bay to an agent in Fremont for follow-up today. A list of high priority tickets for Tripolex’s top customer support rep to address, and a list of last week’s marketing campaigns to identify and incorporate success factors into next week’s campaigns. These lists were created with Vtiger’s custom filters. Custom filters create filtered lists of records that match specific conditions, like those above. These filters can be saved, and the lists can be edited to display only the record data important to you.

Tag records with keywords to find them more easily using the Tag Cloud

Tag clouds help Vtiger users add an arbitrary extra dimension to CRM record categorization. They allow users to tag records with any words, and then perform searches that aggregate records from all modules in Vtiger, unlike custom filters which only search a single module. To understand how tag clouds works, we’ll use the previous Tripolex example again. After creating a filter that includes all email marketing campaigns sent out last week, the regional manager now wants to identify all leads, contacts, and opportunities generated from a recent “refer a friend” campaign to help shape a similar marketing campaign being launched next week. Because the agents have tagged every lead, contact, and opportunity generated from that campaign as ‘Refer a friend campaign’, John can easily create a list of all records related to that campaign in a single search without having to fumble between modules.

Track invoice payments due, and request and track payments with the Payments module

Vtiger’s payments module simplifies tracking invoiced receivables, requesting payments, and applying them to invoices. If you close a $10,000 deal, and your customer wants to pay in four installments over two months, you can use Vtiger CRM’s Payments module to send payment requests through integrated gateways like PayPal or Authorize.net. Any payments made by the customer are automatically applied to relevant invoices, while showing the remaining balance if it isn’t made in full.

Store groups of prices for products and services using Price Books

To maximize profits, businesses often apply variable pricing based on supply chain and market factors. That’s because inventory and delivery costs sometimes differ, and customers are often willing to pay different amounts based on their region, the date, or another segmentation factor. For example, products sold in a region with reduced market access to competitors might be sold at a premium. A sales team could apply variable prices by arbitrarily adjusting prices for each sales opportunity, or they could use Vtiger’s Price books to consistently provide adjusted prices, with ease. Price books contain customized price lists of all products and services, and can be used while creating quotes or invoices. You could have a list for customers on-shore, versus overseas, or for products sold to wholesalers or directly to customers. That way you can be sure that your sales rep always provide optimal pricing.

Contact us to learn more about how to leverage powerful features in Vtiger CRM to increase your team’s productivity and delight customers.

Vtiger + Zapier: Trigger actions and send data between your most used applications



If you’re like most of our customers your business uses a few software apps to get things done. Your sales team might use join.me for screen sharing with customers, while your accounting team uses Xero for accounting, and (of course!) everything comes together with Vtiger as the hub of your customer relationships and engagements. That’s because after all, no single app does everything perfectly.

Chances are, too, that where work in one application ends, work in another begins – if you mark a quote as accepted in Vtiger, for example, it might mean it’s time to create an invoice in Xero. Unfortunately, except for the specific integrations available on Vtiger’s integrations page, automating actions between applications was previously impossible.

That’s about to change. Starting today, Vtiger’s integration with Zapier lets you seamlessly connect Vtiger with more than 400 applications connected to Zapier. Whether moving data between Vtiger and another application, or simply setting up rules-based triggers between apps, Zapier is the engine that makes it possible. That means you can automatically create a lead in Vtiger when someone comments on your Facebook page, a contact for every business card a sales rep scans, a new quote in your accounting software for every new opportunity created in Vtiger, or a ticket for every customer call. This transitively means more complete customer histories, more engaging conversations, and happier customers.

Let’s take a look at a case of how the hypothetical mid-sized event management business, Hayway Events, benefits from Zaps:

Hayway Events is a popular mid-sized event management company on the US West coast. Its events range from high profile weddings, to award ceremonies and seminars. While Hayway Events’ Event Director has enjoyed seeing the company’s revenue and headcount grow between 2010 and 2015, the billion-dollar event management industry has started to see a number of new entrants to the space. These entrants were armed with a plethora of tools and technology to improve the customer experience, as well as business efficiency, siphoning off market share from Hayway Events.

To stay ahead of the curve, Hayway upgraded its technology stack at every stage of business to improve the customer experience and task efficiency. Hayway’s marketing team promoted events and engaged customers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


The sales team used Clickdesk to chat with early stage prospects through their website.


The accounting team used Xero to create invoices and do accounting. The event management team used Eventbrite to create events, invite people, sell tickets, and collect feedback from attendees and hosts to improve service.


All teams used Slack for internal communication. And the customer service team brought it all together, using Vtiger CRM to get a complete picture of the customer history, and respond to tickets.

To integrate these disparate systems, Hayway’s Event Director implemented Zapier. With Zapier’s Zaps, the marketing team was able to automatically capture leads in Vtiger from various social channels. The sales team automatically picked up others from the company website, and because everything was in Vtiger, they were effectively nurtured without missing a beat. With zaps to trigger next steps after quotes were approved, and to create complete customer histories in Vtiger that support reps used to provide engaging, prompt service, Hayway Events’ future never looked brighter.

While the above example is fictitious, the benefits of connecting applications to streamline process and aggregate data are real. You can see other Vtiger integrations through Zapier, learn more about integrating Vtiger and other software applications through Zapier at our documentation page, or feel free to email us at support@vtiger.com.

P.S.: If you can’t find a Zap that you need, send us an email!

Synchronize Contacts, Emails, and Calendars Between Office 365 and Vtiger CRM

Contacts saved in CRM
Synchronize contacts, emails, and calendar events between Office 365 and Vtiger CRM

Your sales reps love working in Office 365. From it they send and receive email, manage contacts, and schedule meetings, and this is great for their personal productivity. The caveat: any new contacts they’ve reached, sales communications they’ve exchanged, or meetings they’ve scheduled stay isolated in their Office 365 accounts. This means that managers have little visibility into rep calendars, other sales reps can’t see what contacts have been engaged, and customer service reps are left guessing about customer needs and engagement histories when providing support. Collaboration isn’t happening the way that it should, and customers feel it when interacting with other employees.

Vtiger’s new integration with Office 365 ensures that all of a your customer facing employees have access to up-to-the-minute customer information through Vtiger, even if your reps choose to work in Office 365. To do that, the Office 365 integration synchronizes contacts, email, and calendars between sales the isolation of a rep’s Office 365 account and the collaborative environment of Vtiger CRM, leading to more effective customer engagements, and better sales and support outcomes.

Everyone on your team, up to date with information on every new contact

Sales reps continuously build their network of contacts, and Office 365 is often where those contacts end up first. When a deal emerges, the Office 365 integration lets them send those contacts over to Vtiger, ensuring that the teams that pick up the next steps always have the right information on hand to make decisions. Any changes subsequently made to those contacts, whether in Vtiger or Office 365, are automatically applied in the other application, ensuring that whether it’s an up-sale opportunity being acted on by sales, or a support call handled by a support rep, everyone has up-to-date contact records on hand to drive the engagement.

Seamlessly pull customer conversations into Vtiger CRM

Published sales statistics reveal that on average, around a third of a sales rep’s time is spent searching for, or manually entering data into CRM. One click synchronization of emails from Office 365 to CRM eliminates the need to copy e-mail messages over as notes to contacts by automatically adding any emails exchanged with contacts to their CRM contact records. This lets sales, support, and marketing teams move relationships forward faster, with complete communication histories available in Vtiger.

Eliminate meeting overlaps with synchronized calendars

Your sales reps’ days are booked, with meetings lined up back to back to back. Room for error: none. They like to work in Office 365, but Vtiger’s advanced calendar management tools (like automatic event scheduling) result in the need to monitor separate calendars and duplicate events to keep things organized. It’s only a matter of time before a missed event, and that could mean the end of a budding deal. Office 365 integration keeps rep calendars perpetually synchronized between Vtiger and Office 365, saving time, and eliminating the potential for missed events, or accidental schedule overlaps.

Want to learn more about Vtiger CRM’s integration with Office 365? Visit our documentation page or feel free to send us an email at support@vtiger.com

The Vtiger Customer Portal: For Better Customer Service and Stronger Customer Relationships

create ticket through customer portal
Customers can create tickets, add requested documents, and track progress through the customer portal

Standards for customer service have never been higher. Driven by companies like Amazon and Zappos, and propped up by positive social recognition, the onus has fallen on small businesses everywhere to provide great customer service in order to stay competitive. While most small businesses offer phone and email support channels that are good enough for one-touch interactions, such as complaint reports – longer standing problems that require multiple interactions or more than a few words leave customers dissatisfied. After all, the long wait times for phone and email responses, and the persistent lack of transparency into how their cases are progressing come a time when customers are most unnerved. For support teams working with multiple open cases at a time, this also creates increased overhead because of continuous requests for status updates, driving efficiency down.

Vtiger’s new customer portal helps businesses drive both customer satisfaction and business efficiency up – a win-win for customers and small businesses, by giving customers tools to self-serve, engage, and see into the problem resolution process.

To customers, the branded portal is as professional an interface as there comes. By logging in with their username and password, customers can browse an FAQ to resolve smaller problems, or if necessary, create new cases, track those cases as they’re being worked on, and upload documents related to cases or anything else a business might need them for. Additionally, as much or as little of their interaction history, from quotes and invoices, to purchase histories and more can be made automatically visible through the portal. This can help emphasize and strengthen the relationship between a business and its customers. Check out some features that make Vtiger’s new customer portal better than ever:

Enable customers to submit, update and track customer service cases

Provide your customers with an intimate, branded customer service experience by letting them log in to your customer portal to create cases for your customer service team to address. Case forms have customizable fields, to which customers can add any amount of information, or upload documents or images before hitting “submit”. After submitting, they can return to check on the case’s status, or add more information or documents if your team needs more information to resolve the problem. On the back-end, these tickets flow into Vtiger CRM’s tickets area for your team to see, prioritize, and respond to. This gives your customers a transparent, beautiful experience, and frees up your support team to address customer problems instead of just recording them.

Exchange documents, quotes, and invoices with customers quickly and easily

Ever sent a customer a few different quotes, only to have them ask for you to send them again? This slows down deals, and creates the undesired perception of a lack of organization. Vtiger’s customer portal ensures that you never have this problem again. Logged in customers automatically see any quotes, invoices, or other documents you’ve created for them in Vtiger. If customers need to share documents back with you, they can upload them (up to 25MB per file) in just a few clicks. Because the portal is connected to their Vtiger record, all shared documents become visible in the customer’s record in Vtiger, so your sales and support teams never have to go searching for document histories again.

Let customers see and feel good about progress made toward deals and projects

When regarding next steps in purchase or complaint procedures, a recently conducted customer experience survey found that 89% of customers expect transparency. With Vtiger, let your customers see any updates toward deals or projects they’re involved in. Additionally, any quote created, invoice added, or record update made in Vtiger is instantly visible to customers through the customer portal, meaning that they feel more involved in progress – driving feelings of ownership, trust, and satisfaction.

FAQ
Knowledge base articles help your customers help themselves, pre-empting the need to reach out for support

Provide instant answers to frequently asked questions with a knowledge base

The knowledge base in Vtiger’s customer portal provides customers with answers to frequently asked questions. Whether they’re looking for protocols to file a complaint, or for help setting up new hardware, making the knowledge base available can save service rep time through reduced call and email volumes, and can actually increase customer satisfaction. In fact, a recent Zendesk report indicated that more than half of customers prefer using self-help resources over reaching out to a company’s customer service representatives when in need of help – making the knowledge base a win-win for both organizations and customers.

Learn how to set up and use Vtiger’s customer portal by reading the customer portal documentation, or feel free to email us at support@vtiger.com


Introducing Mailroom: Create or Update CRM Records, and Attach Emails With a BCC or Forward to Vtiger

You receive an email from an upset customer. It’s his lunch time, so understandably he’s a bit hangry and wants a quick answer. Your customer service team is the most appropriate group to reply, but to get them working on this customer problem you need to create a service ticket, attach it to the customer’s record, then attach the email to the ticket so your customer service team can see it. Sounds like a lot of work, right? With Vtiger’s new Mailroom it’s done in half a second – just forward the email to your Vtiger Mailroom address and you’re done.

Mailroom is Vtiger’s new email processing tool – a digital ode to the physical mailrooms that organize mail at organizations big and small. It ensures that every inbound email ends up exactly where it should in Vtiger. Whether the email calls for creating or updating a lead, contact, ticket, or other record; or for the email to be attached to an existing record, it’s done instantly with a simple forward to Mailroom.

BCC / Forward, to create records and update record fields

BCC or Forward e-mail to Mailroom
BCC your Mailroom address while sending an e-mail to attach it to your Vtiger record

Hubspots’s 2014-2015 State of Inbound: Sales Edition report notes that over 20% of sales professionals find manual data entry the most tedious part of using a CRM system. It doesn’t help that when manually creating records and updating fields, sales reps are kept from doing what they do best – selling. Vtiger’s Mailroom takes that tedium out of managing CRM data. To create an opportunity or update a contact record, sales reps simply forward a contact’s email correspondence to their designated Vtiger Mailroom address. Mailroom then automatically creates relevant records and updates record fields, so that your sales reps can get back to selling.

BCC / Forward, to attach emails to specific records

email is archived
Attached messages automatically appear in the related record’s email tab

Businesses often set up a single customer service email address as a general starting point for customer service inquiries. By setting up that inbox to auto-forward emails to Mailroom, service teams can ensure that a lead and ticket are created for every email, with the related email attached. What happens to the email history, though, if a rep who’s working on the case later receives a one-off email related to an open ticket? By simply forwarding that email to the ticket’s Mailroom address, Mailroom knows to attach it to that ticket. This means that customer service reps can more confidently depend on the Vtiger ticket to for all available information, enabling less task switching, and faster, more confident customer service.

Combine with workflows for complete business automation

Where Mailroom’s automation work ends, Vtiger’s workflows can pick up the work – automating things like notifications to support staff of a new support ticket so that they can start solving problems right away, or creating a follow-up task for a sales rep so that new leads never slip through the cracks. Combined, Mailroom and workflows automate entire business processes, enabling customer facing teams to spend more of their time driving business, rather than just managing it.

To learn how to set-up your Mailroom read our documentation or email us at support@vtiger.com

Hate leaving Gmail to research and update CRM contacts? Now you don’t have to: Introducing the Vtiger CRM Sidebar for Gmail

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Creating a lead in Vtiger and scheduling a meeting using new sidebar for Gmail

(Already ready to get down to business? Download the sidebar or read the documentation)

When a small business uses Gmail as an email provider, there are few places that its sales and support reps are likely to want to send and receive emails from than Google’s Gmail web interface. After all, it’s intuitive, pages load quickly, messages appear instantly, and collaborative tools like hangouts are ready to use at the click of a button.

While for internal collaboration Gmail works perfectly, when customer interaction is involved, a need to research their histories, or add notes, tasks, assignments, or tickets, calls for a foray into a separate CRM application to find related information. This task switching takes its toll on efficiency and productivity when repeated throughout the day.

To eliminate the need to swap back and forth between applications, we’ve developed a new Chrome extension for Gmail that lets users view, create, or update the following records related to an email contact from an on-screen widget in Gmail – simplifying how sales reps, support reps, and executives work:
  • Leads
  • Contacts
  • Comments
  • Tasks
  • Events
  • Opportunities
  • Tickets
To do this, the widget matches the email sender’s address with the email address registered to a Vtiger lead or contact, and then pulls all of their related information into the on-screen widget. To put its utility into perspective, here are some common scenarios in which we know this’ll come in handy:

Marketing: Get leads assigned to sales instantly

Someone on your marketing team receives an email from a lead that’s ready to talk to your sales team. In the past, getting his information into a CRM and assigned the lead to a sales rep meant switching over from Gmail to a CRM, creating the lead, typing in all of his information, assigning them to a sales rep, and then possibly creating a follow-up task. This takes minutes, at best, and is an untenable waste of time needed for other tasks if repeated throughout the day.

With Vtiger CRM for Gmail, that same marketing rep can create a lead or contact in just a click without leaving Gmail, with the follow-up activity, like a meeting assigned to another sales rep, in just a few more. This saves time and improves the efficiency of internal collaboration.

Support: Track and close tickets from right within Gmail

An email arrives in your customer service inbox. Vtiger transforms it into ticket and assigns it to a customer service representative. That rep then starts an email thread from their own address to address the customer’s need. This request for help doesn’t end with just a single reply, so throughout the day as it’s being dealt with, new threads emerge and the rep’s inbox fills with a flurry of cases. Every time the rep receives a new message, they return to the CRM to review the sender’s history and update the ticket, costing time and mistakes.

With the Gmail plugin, whether it’s a new email that needs to be converted to a ticket, or a thread that calls for an updated ticket, it can all be done from the Gmail interface. The plugin displays the entire customer history, including previous tickets, emails, invoices, quotes, and comments, ensuring that answers happen more quickly, with fewer mistakes caused by task switching. Once the issue is resolved, updating ticket statuses and adding notes to the customer’s CRM record are just a few more clicks away.

Sales: Track customer history and progress from Gmail

Most sales reps spend a huge portion of their day engaging with prospects and customers – it comes with the job, after all. To make productive decisions during each engagement, a sales rep needs to be able to rapidly process the engagement history of each prospect or customer. The need to leave Gmail to search for information in a CRM calls for task switching that takes time and can cause mistakes. With the Gmail widget, all the information that a sales rep needs to take the next step is available right next to an email. Additionally, if the need to add notes, a calendar event, or even a related opportunity, emerges, the sales rep can do it in just a few clicks from the Gmail widget.

Like what you see? Add the Vtiger gadget to your Chrome browser, or to learn more check out our documentation, email us at support@vtiger.com, or call us at 877-784-9277.

Synchronize Vtiger with Xero: Enable Passive Collaboration Between Sales, Support, and Accounting

Xero Sync
Sales, customer service, and accounting organizations – they’re so different, but for a business to run smoothly, information must flow uninterrupted between them. Case in point: prospect attention is always waning, so while they have it sales reps need instant access to current product prices to make quick and effective decisions. Meanwhile, inundated support reps need access to customer purchase histories to prioritize engagements and provide assistance. It doesn’t help that those current prices and purchase histories reside with accounting, which itself needs contact information, obtained by sales and support, to initiate transactions. A company is a team, and whether or not everyone talks to each other, information needs to be shared.

Vtiger’s new Xero integration helps address that need. By synchronizing contacts, products and invoices bidirectionally, or if desired, updating in only in one direction (usually from Xero to Vtiger), it enables passive collaboration and information sharing that increases productivity, saves time, and reduces mistakes.

sync results
Summary of records synchronized

Spend less time seeking email addresses and phone numbers by having up-to-date contact information in Xero

Your accounting staff needs a customer’s contact information to create and send invoices. Make sure they always have it as soon as a deal is done, by automatically synchronizing it from the recipient’s Vtiger contact record to Xero. This decreases the time to process invoices and the potential for mistakes in manual data entry.

Save time, and possibly even deals by having current products and prices in Vtiger

When working on a quote, but without the information needed to complete it, a sales rep is more likely to delay finishing it – unfortunately customer attention spans don’t wait. According to a Bidsketch study of 25,000 sales proposals, the average losing proposal reaches a prospect 6 hours slower than the average winning proposal. For the cases where slow proposals were the cause, instant synchronization of product prices from Xero to Vtiger lets sales reps quote faster, bringing them one variable closer to winning.

Shave minutes off your quote to invoice process

A sales rep sends a quote to a customer. The customer approves it. What happens next? With the Vtiger-Xero integration, the sales rep can, in a single click, transform that quote in Vtiger into an invoice that’s sent straight to Xero for processing by accounting. No manual-entry mistakes, no emails, no hassles.

Spot new sales strategies with purchase history reports

With accurate invoices in Vtiger, sales managers can uncover new up-sale and cross-sale opportunities. A hypothetical computer sales team that knows that 20% of computer purchases are followed up in a month by an external hard drive purchase, also knows that pitching it during the initial sale, or to past customers that haven’t yet reached out, is probably a good idea.

Bidirectional sync
Option to select direction of synchronization

Synchronize in whichever direction makes sense

Synchronize records in two ways:
  1. Sync in one direction – only from Vtiger CRM to Xero, or Xero to Vtiger.
  2. Sync in both directions – using whichever record is most up-to-date.
Because businesses often keep one system as a store of truth (usually accounting software), one-way sync ensures that changes made in any others don’t affect the integrity of that store of truth.

Meanwhile, synchronizing in both directions eliminates the need to re-enter data whenever a record is updated. Whether it’s a salesperson adding new contact information in Vtiger, or an accounting staff member processing an invoice in Xero, information is becomes available in the other system when it’s needed.

Like what you see and want help integrating with Xero? Check out our documentation, email us at support@vtiger.com, or call us at 877-784-9277.

Get Social with Vtiger: Spot New Opportunities, Better Serve Existing Customers, and Provide Social Customer Service

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“Thank you for holding. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold and the next available agent will answer your call.” – According to a poll conducted by Time magazine more than half of American callers wait on hold for 13 or more hours each year when reaching out to companies for customer service. On email, they fare little better, with slow responses, inadequate information, and “do not reply” emails.

Until a few years ago, customer-business interactions hid behind the veil of a business’s systems, and customers could do little but wait, sometimes only hoping for an answer to their questions, with little recourse when businesses chose not to respond. Social media has since brought these interactions into public visibility, amplifying customer expressions of both frustrations and pleasant experiences across channels like Twitter and Yelp – and the impact on businesses has been significant.

Top brands have been quick to notice and leverage the power of that visibility. According to an informal study conducted by the BBC, companies with a social media presence are now both more likely to respond, and faster at responding when Tweeted, instead of when emailed. Still, for every company leveraging social media and doing so effectively, far more choose to avoid it, or to take too casual an approach to social media.

According to a poll conducted by Maritz Research company, roughly 70% of customer tweets go unanswered. Unanswered tweets create a perception of inattentiveness to customer needs, and can damage a brand in the eyes of direct customers and the thousands that turn to social media for opinions and insights. Driven by rapidly increasing customer adoption, then, social media has transformed from a nice-to-have to a must-have to provide excellent customer service. Excellence in marketing and sales, now too, depend on social involvement.

Whether it’s for support, marketing or sales, Vtiger’s new social integration has tools to help organizations identify and focus on what matters, engage more quickly, and measure impact.

Support: deliver more reliable, faster social service


Customers are flocking to Twitter for support, and more than half of those on Twitter deem response times in excess of an hour unacceptable. With 60% of those dissatisfied taking “unpleasant actions to express dissatisfaction”, keeping response times down is essential.

Responding to a tweet within an hour, however, takes both continuous monitoring, and tools to mount a quick and effective response. This is where Vtiger steps in

Turn Tweets into Tickets + Contacts
When a member of a support team receives a call, they create a ticket. When they receive an email for support, they create a ticket. With social CRM, when a tweet is received that should be addressed by the a business’s support team, it can be transformed into a ticket. This ensures that it doesn’t get lost in the fray, and no matter how much customer engagement is required.

Research customer histories in seconds, not minutes
When it takes minutes to pull together customer histories and mount an effective response to questions, you’re doing something wrong. That’s what happens when Tweets, support tools, and customer histories are split between applications. Vtiger links tickets to customers, and lets you search histories in a single click. This means that time is spent solving problems, instead of pulling information together.

Marketing: Strengthen your brand and find new sales opportunities


Mention notes that over 30% of all mentions – your company’s name or product’s name, exclude companies twitter handle and missing on tweets that exclude @ mentions could be very easy for your marketing or support teams. This means the number of tweets missed is in fact the number of opportunities missed and/or number of unhappy customers. So, it’s highly important to track down tweets that are not directed to you.

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Research market and competitive insights
My search streams option in the Social module lets marketing teams search and follow conversations, hashtags, competitors, and other subjects of interest through streams. This means seeing an up to date feed that includes conversations about your products, competitor products, or industry trends.

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Turn Tweets into Leads or Contacts + Opportunities
For example, the marketing team of a BMW dealership could create a stream containing tweets with keywords that indicate interest in purchasing a new car. The marketing team could then filter through those tweets and follow up directly to qualify interest, or create a lead for the sales team to follow up on.

Sales: Know your leads and customers better, Develop a better understanding of customer interests


To deliver value to a lead, and eventually win a deal, a sales representative must know who he or she is trying to create value for. Vtiger’s new Twitter integration gives a business’s sales team visibility into their contacts’ social histories, enabling them to effortlessly and continuously see each contact in their native environment. Observing social engagements can confer a number of benefits to almost any industry. In the travel industry, for example, visibility into customer travel plans, food and accommodation preferences lets an agency or other business pre-emptively market and sell targeted packages that are more likely to draw interest on the first engagement, breaking down barriers and increasing conversion rates, all without ever directly surveying customers.

travel rep See what your leads and customers are talking about
In Vtiger, once a lead or contact’s Twitter handle is added to their record, any Tweet related to that contact or tweet becomes visible in the new Social History widget. This provides salespeople with unprecedented visibility into their lead and contact’s social activity, letting them better understand customer needs and better identify opportunities to provide value.

Interested in learning more about the social module or any other feature in Vtiger? Feel free to ask us for a demo or to email us your questions at support@vtiger.com

Improve Your Reach, Efficacy, and Efficiency with Email Campaigns and Autoresponders

89 billion – that’s the number of emails sent by individuals and organizations around the world – every. Single. Day. A whopping 54%, about 42 billion, come from businesses and non-profits. That’s an immense amount of email. Sent manually, at one-minute per email it would take 87 million people – one-fourth of the population of the United States – 8 hours a day to send it. That makes for a lot of cramped fingers, and a lot of spent money.

Thank heavens, then, for email campaigns and autoresponders, which increase efficiency and improve the timing and personalization of a company’s emails – radically improving the ROI of email related programs.

Email Campaigns

If you’ve ever received an emailed company newsletter or other offer, chances are that it was sent using a email campaign tool. Email campaigns reach the entire of a targeted audience with the same message at the same time.

Whether it’s to 10 people, or 10 million, email campaigns are created in a process that’s as easy as selecting an audience, defining a message, and then scheduling when to send it. A few hours after being sent, reports on the efficacy of email subject lines and in-email clicks can be used to improve future messaging. Additionally, lists of your most and least engaged recipients can be leveraged to engage through different campagins.

Many emails that an organization sends, however, don’t fit into this one-time, large-audience format. That’s where autoresponders come in.

Autoresponder

Autoresponders

Organizations often need to reach contacts with a specific (“the right”) message at a specific (“the right”) time. autoresponders do this perfectly, knowing exactly when to send what message, to whom.

A perfect example to illustrate how autoresponders become useful is as follows: At 1:00 PM, Contact-A downloads a whitepaper through a website form. At 3:00 PM, Contact-B clicks on an in-email link to learn more about a product. At 5:00 PM, Contact-C reaches day-three of a software trial. Without soon receiving follow-up emails to address new informational needs at their new, but varied relationship stages, it’s very likely that each contact will fall out of an organization’s sales funnel.

To know when to follow up and what to send, however, a business has to continuously have eyes on each contact’s actions. Autoresponders do this without missing a beat, resulting in perfectly timed, perfectly messaged emails. This means that instead of watching contact lists, marketing teams can focus on growing the sales pipeline, and sales teams can focus on winning deals.

For most organizations, email campaigns and autoresponders radically improve the ability to reach and individually message leads and contacts, while increasing the focus and efficiency of sales and marketing teams. To learn how to use email campaigns or autoresponders in Vtiger, see the linked documentation, or contact us at support@vtiger.com.