Social Customer Relationship Management with Rapportive

Do you use Google Gmail and are you looking for an easy way to keep on top of your business contacts? Consider Rapportive.

Most CRM platforms demand that you be in their dashboard or application to see details about a customer.  That means one more app to keep open on your desktop.  Rapportive aims to do away with that, at least for Gmail users, by providing you with social data in the right-hand column of your inbox.

You can see profile information, or links to contact information, immediately. You can see the contact’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tungle and Flickr profiles and a bunch of others. You can see status updates, too. Rapportive does all this by recognizing the e-mail address of the person who sent you a message. If someone sends you a message from a different e-mail than they normally use in their social networks, their information won’t appear.  It has to be the same e-mail that contact uses in his or her social sphere.

However, most people show up because they use the same e-mail for everything. I would say that nearly 85 percent of my contacts show up with additional information, a photo and status updates, making Rapportive a nice one-stop location for me to keep a conversation going.  This is Anita Campbell’s profile as it shows in my inbox when she sends me a message, complete with photo and experience, as well as Twitter updates.

Anita's profile as seen in Rapportive sidebar

Rapportive is a super-light customer relationship tool, or should I say, a customer conversation tool. The philosophy behind the software is in the name: Rapport.  Build rapport. Build a relationship and it should be easy to keep up with that relationship by seeing the contact in a common interface — your inbox.

Rapportive works in Firefox, Chrome, Mailplane and Safari. It has integrations with Batchbook, Mailchimp, Tungle and a bunch of others so you can use those services right from your inbox as well. You can also:

  • See where your contacts are right now (if they have location-based options set)
  • See who is e-mailing you — with a photo they have on a social network
  • Add notes to each contact
  • Be reminded of who they work for, their title, their experience (via LinkedIn and other networks)
  • Replace the Google ads with useful information

A feature that I really liked allows those pesky “notification e-mails” from Twitter (and Facebook is almost done, I hear) to show who sent you the DM or @ message. That’s a nice perk so that you don’t have to click through on the Twitter network to see who sent you a DM. If you don’t know the user who sent it, their profile appears in the right sidebar along with your usual contacts.

The company is wisely running a forum where you can submit feedback and comments. If you agree with the feedback, you can vote for it. But the slick part is when Rapportive leaves a badge that shares the status of a feature, such as Under Review, Started, and Planned. The user community is helping to build the feature set they desire in this simple, but elegant Web-based application.

Bottom line: If you’re a small business owner currently using Gmail, Rapportive can help you increase your productivity and stay in touch with your network.  It is completely free at the time of this post.

Learn more about Rapportive.


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.

3 Reactions
  1. Let me know what you think Robert – in the comments here! I would really appreciate your thoughts. As a way to fast scan who you are talking to, remember a bit about them, it’s awesome.