Customer Relationship Management With A Social Media Twist: BatchBook Review





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.

batchbook-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.

Best features

  • 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.

batchbook-screencast-tutorials

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.

9 Comments ▼

TJ McCue


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

9 Reactions

  1. Susan Oakes

    TJ,

    Thanks for the review. I actually really like the feature of tags and it did not look too difficult.

    The more you can build your customer knowledge and then group similar people, their attitudes, behaviour, likes, interests etc the easier it can be to communicate, promote and build relationships more effectively. Need to check it out further.

  2. Great app, brilliant that it synchs with FreshBook.

  3. Thanks for the information.
    It will be interesting to see what they allow the software to be connected to. If it can be integrated back into other systems then it will be much more powerful. The last thing a small business owenr needs is another piece of software that does one of their tasks in isolation

  4. TJ McCue

    @Susan and Eric — thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

    @Andee – you’re very right, without integration, small biz owners are just stuck with data silos. No good in that. I was impressed with all of the integrations that BatchBook is doing.

    They are part of a growing collaborative of web-based apps that are sharing APIs as well as ideas. That’s what I saw as I researched them and others. Social CRM is a powerful iteration of traditional crm and one that is needed.

    Disconnected data is one of my concerns as well – how to keep all these different marketing and operational tasks connected to one another so I can do what I love doing — serving my customer. BatchBook gets that from all I can see.

  5. Just wanted to offer another alternative — Commence OnDemand CRM is a web based CRM solution designed for small businesses. Learn more at http://www.commence.com

  6. Nice post! Thanks for giving such information that will really help us in keeping a healthy relation with customer. Keeping interaction with customer is very difficult task to perform. But one who knows the basic tricks about how to handle customer will enjoy his work. But it is not as simple as it looks, it takes time to make interaction with your customer. I have visited businessdirectoryonline.net which gives hints about keeping interaction with customer.

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