Keeping track of customers and your interactions with them is never an easy task. BatchBook calls itself the social CRM solution for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I set up a free trial account and the following is my review after testing out the service.
The application gives a user a way to manage all the disconnected information about a customer in one place. Other tools do this, too, but here’s the difference between BatchBook and others: If you are looking for an elegant way to manage your contacts, your social media relationships and all that activity, and your pipeline, the benefits of BatchBook are clear. They do it from one dashboard.
What I found most powerful: I can simply forward an email from my customer or prospect to BatchBook and it will create a new contact for me. I have a group message from a client with 15 people I have to interact with – I just forward that email and it puts all 15 in as individual new contacts. You can copy your BatchBook account (via a private email as cc or bcc) and it automatically puts that message in with the appropriate contacts. Cool.
- Social media tracking within the contact profile. In one place, I can keep up with the latest tweets, linkedin updates, and your blog.
- Communication updates: I can cc or bcc my BatchBook account with my emails to you. I can forward them and have them automatically deposited in your contact profile.
- Mobile version for iPhone and Blackberry. We’re all increasingly mobile and these options are important to many.
- Integration with other hot web-based applications like Shoeboxed, Freshbooks, and MailChimp, to name a few. There are so many tools a small business needs that integrations like these become more important over time.
- 2 hours of free consultation with new users. Any level of user. Their base plan is $9.95 a month. With two hours of free support, they are banking on that they can help you understand it and stick with it. The commitment level is what amazes me.
- Screencasts and tutorials that take you step-by-step through using this innovative application.
What could be better
I strongly encourage any one who wants to use a cutting edge application like BatchBook to read the manual, so to speak. Watch the screencasts and tutorials. It is an intuitive and user-friendly application, but there is so much to it, new terminology, and setup processes (super tags, for example) that you must spend some learning time in order not to get frustrated.
They are creating and playing in almost an entirely new space, social CRM. Think about it: Try to manage just your own efforts in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others in one place. Now multiply that by 100 customers and 100 prospects and you see the challenge.
That’s their weakness - the learning curve. The good thing is they solve it with exceptional customer support (including that two hours of free support and customer onboarding). The problem is that each person comes in with a different level of understanding and knowledge.
BatchBook targets the small business owner and entrepreneur in any industry. The company that has a limited IT budget or staff and an owner that wears many hats would be the typical customer.
Learn more about BatchBook.