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Zoho CRM Marketing and Service Review

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Zoho CRM Marketing

Zoho marketing software supports basic marketing management with campaign profiles identifying various attributes, target list generation with account segmentation, simple budgeting, broadcast email distributions with email response metrics such as open, click and bounce rates, mail merging and basic campaign reporting.

Campaign list generation can be applied to leads, contacts or potentials (opportunities) record sets. Email documents may be created from templates and a rich text HTML editor within Zoho. For compliance with the CAN-SPAM act, users can create unsubscribe forms for opt-out responses.

The marketing software supports multi-distribution drip campaigns, in part using auto-responders. The method is a bit unusual when compared to the traditional nurture campaign approach used by competing CRM software systems, but works as advertised. Email distributions can be scheduled in advance, however, Zoho limits the volume of email distributions to 250 outbound emails per day.

The web to lead form automatically transfers website inquiries into the leads database. Using either an approve leads function or configuring routing rules in advance can then automatically forward leads to the right sales resources. Simple campaign revenue forecasting and budgeting along with manual cost tracking permits basic variance analysis and ROI reporting.

As with many other SaaS CRM solutions in which marketing software does not receive the same focus as either SFA or service, the Zoho marketing software is largely a campaign tracking function without any type of marketing process automation. The marketing application is missing some fundamental functionality such as PPC (Pay Per Click) or adword integration. As is the norm with cloud CRM applications, advanced marketing capabilities such as digital marketing, anonymous website visitor tracking, lead scoring, progressive profiling and rich marketing analytics are also not present.

Zoho CRM Customer Service

Integration between sales and post-sales support clearly helps internal teams in both departments stay apprised of customer status while at the same time providing information and automation to enhance customer satisfaction and promote cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Zoho CRM delivers support and service features which include case management, resource assignment, solutions lookup, incident escalation and customer service reporting.

Case entry is streamlined and is limited to the basics along with inventory identification and comment threading. Cases can be automatically created using the web-to-case form or from customer e-mails in Microsoft Outlook using the Zoho CRM Outlook Edition plug-in. While product inventory is integrated to customer service, more advanced inventory-based service processes such as product defect tracking, serial and lot tracking, warranty verification, service level agreement (SLA) compliance and return merchandise authorizations (RMAs) are not offered out of the box, but can be accomplished with relatively simple software customization.

Incident escalation offers some configuration flexibility using the workflow tool, however, there is a limitation that only one escalation rule can be active at a time. This could prove difficult for companies that define escalation routing by multiple dimensions such as product, territory and customer type.

The knowledgebase is a useful tool to apply lessons learned and discovered solutions to repetitive problems. The Zoho Solutions tab offers a simple keyword based Knowledgebase lookup function. Knowledgebase solutions are categorized by titles, products, and status and deliver records of prior questions and answers.

There is an additional Zoho PhoneBridge module to connect multiple PBX systems such as Asterix, Avaya, Elastix and Trixbox with your CRM software, execute inbound and outbound calls inside CRM, perform one-click dialing, log phone calls and associate calls with leads or contacts.

Zoho customer service software is well suited for help desks or small and simple contact centers, however, without features such as CTI, IVR, ACD and flexible call routing, isn't likely to satisfy more sophisticated multi-channel contact centers.

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