Social Customers Means a Social Inbox: Review of Nimble CRM

Selling is inherently social. Keeping administrative track of your customers and prospects is not. Compiling all the different ways you talk with and engage with customers should be as easy as managing email. Nimble as a CRM and social media management tool is one way to solve this problem and have a social inbox.

Nimble is making it easy for business owners to keep track of relationship activity without the normal customer relationship management challenges of doing so. Many busy executives live in their email inbox. That’s where Nimble is allowing you to manage relationships and tasks and maintain a listening and engagement outpost.

So how does a company become the WordPress of CRM? You make it free for individuals. You help people reduce the administrative burden in their lives. Nimble has done this well.

nimble social crm

There is a fair amount of noise in the social CRM space, but the key differences with Nimble are:

A veteran customer and contact management visionary is at the helm. Jon Ferrara is the founder of well-known, market-leading contact management software Goldmine. His approach to business will help Nimble differentiate itself. The biggest point of differentiation is selling through resellers. Most Web-based companies are all about direct-to- customer strategies (and for good reason), but Nimble believes a value-added reseller channel will open up more doors, faster. Ferrara did it with Goldmine and was very successful.

They have one of the most powerful integrated social dashboards I’ve seen. When I’m in my own “contact record” and not someone else’s, I can see my entire contact list in a social stream format.  More precisely, like you see each stream of  Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn when you are in those services, you can see all of them in one view in Nimble. You see the updates with the relevant icon next to the status update.

It lets you respond in those services, too. It’s easy to retweet someone’s stuff from within Nimble; the same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn. Nimble also showed me a summary of terms or hashtags that were popular or common in my own stream. The names are grayed out, but the yellow box below shows the familiar “t” of Twitter or “F” of Facebook or “in” of LinkedIn.

nimble dashboard

When I say “social inbox” I am not talking about it as Facebook does — as they did when they introduced their new messaging platform. No, I mean an inbox that pulls together all the different ways and places you interact with a customer. Ultimately, I believe that’s what most busy business owners want — all their information in one place so they can keep the customer conversation going. If you are running a VOIP phone solution like Skype or Google Voice or Vonage, you can also have this customer communication in the inbox.

What I really like:

  • Super easy way to add contacts or to import a contact file. It took me a few seconds to realize that I did not have to import my Google Gmail contacts as I expected; I simply authenticated my account from within Nimble and it synchronized all of them. Plus, it adds a simple tag to each contact record so I know it came from Google.
  • When you add a contact manually, it even makes that easy by hunting for likely Twitter usernames or LinkedIn profiles. You can then confirm the correct person (from a list if there’s more than one) and add them to your contact database.
  • There’s a “forever free” plan for individuals.
  • It simplifies the customer relationship management process. How so? Well, instead of many different options, the dashboard shows only four tabs: Contacts, Messages, Activities and Social. That covers just about everything I’d like to know about a person or company. You can drill down from there, of course.

What I wish it had:

  • A simple, clear pricing page. Most readers know this is a pet peeve of mine; nothing different here. Tell me how much it costs upfront so I can make a decision as to whether I want to register or buy.
  • More social account options: Right now, Nimble simply offers the three heavyweights: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. While those three cover most of my needs, I’d like a few more options.

Nimble is an amazing product. Not because it’s free, although that’s pretty cool, but because it lets me engage with a customer or prospect in a way that truly makes sense. I see all of my communication with you, as an individual, but I can also see all of your social stream and how you are interacting with others. This is transparency at a whole new level because it is more convenient – I don’t have to pop in and out of those different services to keep up with you. I can do it from my Nimble inbox.

Learn more about Nimble.


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.

4 Reactions
  1. Hi! I had never heard of Nimble before, but I really like how you describe it! It sounds like it has a very user-friendly interface (the social networking format is very familiar). Thank you so much for this review – I am going to definitely have to check out this site.

  2. Great Review always Love using Free Tools that work effectively

    the more Automated you can make things the better off you are

  3. Hi Naomi and Chris,
    Thanks for the positive comments. I like what Nimble is doing and see it as a great new platform that gives the SMB a holistic look at the customer.