Localize custom business apps with Zoho Creator

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Zoho Creator App TranslationZoho Creator customers don’t just speak many different languages, but they also collaborate with co-workers, customers and vendors who speak several other languages. App translation is important to our customers. And, here it is.

We’re excited to announce that you can now easily translate your Zoho Creator apps into multiple languages.

Got coworkerscustomers, vendors speaking different languages?

Want to share the business app with colleagues in French and Chinese? We’ve made that easy. Create your app in any language and users accessing the app can view it in their preferred language. Break down the language barrier quickly and efficiently, as both speak in your native language. 

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5 questions you should ask yourself before you build your custom business app

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The difficult part of building a custom business app is not the programming. After all, with Zoho Creator you don’t need to be a programmer. The tougher part is being clear about what your app should do and how it must be structured. Answering the following 5 questions helps you achieve exactly that. So let’s get started. 

1) What does this app need to achieve?

Begin by defining the process that you need to automate. Do you need to manage the inventory, sales pipeline, registrations or a more complex set of processes? Note down the process step by step and list out the key pain points that you want your app to solve. Most importantly, determine the different groups of users and keep their requirements in mind.

For example, if you’re building an Order Management application, it would typically consist of order placement, modification & cancellation; inventory check-in/out; and payment processing. The different stakeholders would be the inventory manager, the customer, the delivery team etc.

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New Addition: Record Level Security & Permission

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Great news for those who share Zoho Creator apps with multiple people. On the Enterprise Plan, you can now provide access to specific data only to the people you choose. Assign and control access permission to any information in the application, down to every record & field.

Safely share reports or forms

Share your app with internal teams, customers, partners or resellers. Signed-into the same app each of them will only view/edit the data that they are authorized to. With user roles & profile settings, users can view or work with the whole application or only the reports or forms you chose to show.

User Role Creation

Record-Level Security

You can set the access permission for every field in the form or record in the report. Simply create roles, decide what users will be allowed to see and assign them to the roles created. Choose exactly what they see, what they can edit or delete in any application. Zoho Creator offers user authentication and security for all the information on the app.

Record level Permission 

Take an inventory management application, for example. You want the Senior Manager to see the custom dashboard with monthly report of orders fulfilled, quarter on quarter revenue numbers etc. In the same application, the dispatch team can view and update the dispatch related information. Your store manager can order an item or edit the order requests. And you could enable all the vendors to check out the information pertaining to them without access to other data or reports through a customer portal.

Managing the data set that each user or group of users can view/modify not just impacts data security but makes data sharing and access convenient.

To manage the data access permissions for your Enterprise Plan, click here

Working with Zoho Creator? This is the event for you.

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Zoholics DevelopersWe are very excited to be organizing our first conference focusing on our developers. Zoholics Developers is a conference featuring sessions that deep-dive into Zoho Creator, the app building process and showcases the latest and the next on-the-charts from Zoho Creator. The event is scheduled for March 20-21 at Burlingame, California.

Be ready to grasp the tips & tricks from the experts and go back with your own Zoho Creator cheatsheet. Interact with your peers and learn from the remarkable apps they have built. Come prepared to transform your business processes and discuss your ideas or challenges one-on-one with the people who know Zoho Creator best. (You would have to book your slot right away, though.)

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SMS Notifications on Zoho Creator: Helps you reach out

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Does your business feel the need to reach out to your customers with intimations, updates or alerts? For instance, you may want to notify your customers about a change in tariff, send them a confirmation, communicate new/enhanced offerings or it could just be to build a rapport with the customers.

As evident as it is, you need good communication and engagement practices for your products/services for the customers to build/retain faith in you. The method of communication used plays a key role besides the message itself. And each unique situation is best complemented by a specific channel of communication.

As a product, Zoho Creator is constantly evolving. We are finding new ways to make it easier for our customers to do effective business with their customers. Since communication has become an important facet of a business, we are bringing in new solutions that cater to such requirements of our customers. One such offering which we have recently developed is the SMS notification.

As per statistics, 97% of the text messages are opened compared to only 5% of emails, while 83% of the text messages are opened immediately or within 3 minutes of their arrival, emails have a much larger gap period. Needless to say, SMS has penetrated as a preferred channel of communication for the short & important messages.

Now it is easy to send a “Thank you” SMS when a customer fills out an order form. You could select the notification option when records are modified. The next requirement that pops up commonly in businesses is to notify when a condition/criteria is met. For this, we have a Rule Builder, which makes it easy to set the conditions and invoke an SMS notification. The combined power of the SMS notification and Rule Builder empowers you to meet many business requirements easily. To make it more convenient for you, Zoho Creator has integrated with popular services like Clickatell and Twilio.

Yet, there maybe requirements that may not be solved with both. For instance, you may want to remind your users at a particular time, like on the day of appointment. In such a scenario, you could simply schedule the SMS notification. For similar and other more complex requirements, we have provided predefined deluge script functions. Just create a schedule with an appropriate configuration and write a single line of code and the appointment reminder workflow is ready.

Want to take a spin, just checkout the SMS Notification and Rule Builder.

 

Zoho Creator: New Intuitive UI, Customer Portal, Mobile Apps & SMS Notification. Yes, All this in one release.

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You and Zoho Creator, are an unbeatable combination when building solutions for your unique business. You would be happy to know that your best ally is now better equipped for the business challenges that you face.

New Intuitive User Interface

Our new UI has a flat-interlinked-monochromatic design that can help you build apps more intuitively and in lesser time. The UI organizes the favorite tools into clear sections, interlinks the pages for easy navigation, resulting in a substantial reduction of time spent in building the apps. Now that it is easier to build apps, you would find yourself building apps more frequently.

The UI provides a dashboard with direct access to all the applications, its associated forms, reports and settings. From the dashboard, you could take periodic back-ups of all the data and thus free yourself of the additional work.

Zoho Creator New Intuitive UI

Customer Portal

Customer Portal is a great platform for you to collaborate with customers or other external stakeholders. The secure portal allows clients access to restricted information. For instance, with a Zoho Creator Customer Portal, your customers could login to check the status of their order, change order request, view their previous transactions or even place a repeat order easily. It allows your re-sellers to view their sales reports and track their personal performance. It is the perfect platform for you to share particular files only with restricted people. These are just a few things you can do using the Customer Portal. Try it out and see what business challenges it meets for you.

Mobile Apps

The native mobile apps for Android and iOS devices ensure that your team has uninterrupted access on the go and remain in sync with each other at all times. The apps are available on Google Play and Apple store. Download them now.

Mobile Apps Zoho Creator

SMS Notification

SMS notification feature enables you to pass on time-critical information instantly. We have integrated with popular services like Clickatell and Twilio for this. You could now send out a notification when a record is modified or a certain condition is met. Use the drag-drop rule builder to easily create any complex conditions and activate the SMS notification. for the criteria being fulfilled. You could set scheduled SMS reminders for a later date or simply send a “Thank you” SMS instantly.

As for the Zoho Creator team, we have never stopped innovating and never intend to. So, tinkering on a small scale and rebuilding on a large scale will continue to add value. Our promise is on a better product everytime and that will never be broken. As we say, possibilities are endless, but each of you has a specific requirement and we are all set to meet those.

The Creator team would like to meet you all. Join us at our first Developer Conference on March 20-21. Read more details here.

Customer Spotlight: Zoho CRM Transforms the Way a Business Tracks Customers AND Equipment

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ProSound

In 1999, Chester Hull saw a major opportunity in the consulting industry.  As an ordinary consumer, Hull began to take notice of how frequently he was put on hold when calling companies for support, inquiries, or product information, and how often the experience was relatively unpleasant.

“How long will I be on hold for?  Why is the ‘hold music’ so awful? When will I reach a real person to talk to?!”

Hull seized the opportunity to address this common customer pain and started his company Prosound to alleviate this pain.  His goal was to work with companies around the globe to offer an amazing customer phone experience.

For the first seven years of business, Prosound tracked its customers with spreadsheets and various database programs.  As the customer base grew, so did the data that needed tracking.  Additionally, the aspect of mobile integration offered a valuable opportunity for Prosound which was impossible with the current customer tracking approach.  Hull decided that if Prosound wanted to take business to the next level, he needed flexible CRM solution with mobile integration.

The Business

Chester Hull - Founder and CEO

Chester Hull – Founder and CEO

Pro Sound is a consulting company providing turn-key systems for transforming customer caller experience.  Prosound’s services include writing automated phone messages, recording them, and ensuring the installation works according to a company’s system specifications.   As CEO and founder Chester Hull summarizes Prosound’s approach, “Why are your callers reaching out to you, what are they expecting, and how can we make that experience better.”

The Challenge: Migrating to a CRM Solution with a Large Database of Contacts and Implementing Mobile

Prosound faced an intimidating task:  transferring their existing database of thousands of contacts into a cloud-based CRM solution.  Additionally, they would restructure the way they interact with customers to take advantage of mobile integration so that customer information could be accessed and edited in-field.

As such, Prosound needed a CRM solution where they could quickly import contacts and easy begin to use mobile features without incurring substantial cost.

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

Hull initially tried the CRM solutions from Intuit and Salesforce.

“With the Intuit product, it just wasn’t as customizable and flexible as we needed.  And with Salesforce, it was actually just more than we needed and certainly much more cost than we needed.”

Hull’s selection criteria for a CRM solution were the following:

Low Cost Barrier to Entry – With the myriad of CRM solutions available, Hull did not want to end up spending a lot of money on a CRM solution that didn’t fit his needs.  Rather, he wanted something he could start using immediately, before deciding if this is the right solution for Prosound.

Mobile Integration – Prosound performs a large number of field visits and needs to access customer information on the go.

Flexibility – Customer equipment tracking requirements constantly change for Prosound, so they needed a CRM solution which allows them to easily customize and change the tracking fields.

Connectivity – Ability to sync with email management software to allow easy data sharing.

Implementing Zoho CRM

Prosound’s choice to try Zoho CRM was quickly validated with the ease with which they implemented it.

“Migrating over was pretty basic for us.  What was really nice is that we slowly dialed in our customization of CRM and could add additional fields as we went, whenever we wanted.”

Soon after trying the free trial, Hull decided that Zoho CRM was the solution for him.

“It was just so easy and intuitive, and it satisfied every one of my requirements.”

Life After Implementing Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM’s first major impact for Prosound was that it enabled much better tracking.

“Before implementing Zoho CRM, we didn’t have an exact track of the equipment we had at a client’s site, what the status was, and what kind of phone system they had.  This information just slipped through the cracks and this was one of the first customizations we used with Zoho CRM.  Now we can quickly pull up that information as we’re talking to a customer and know exactly what equipment they’re using.”

Additionally, Zoho CRM’s cloud storage allowed easy data access and automatic data backup.

“In the last four years, we’ve transitioned entirely to the cloud so every business function that we do is in the cloud and Zoho CRM was a natural fit for that versus something running locally. We’re now a completely virtualized office so we have people connecting from different parts of the world.  Additionally, Zoho CRM gives us instant backup and data recovery which is great.  Zoho CRM has been a perfect fit.”

Prosound has also been able to take advantage of Zoho’s cross product connectivity.

“We’ve been able to tie CRM and Zoho Creator together and store things like email conversations in the Creator database and link them to specific customers in CRM which is critical.  Connecting these two applications has been incredibly powerful for us.”

Since implementing Zoho CRM and Creator, Prosound has enjoyed steady growth which Hull largely attributes to the time savings and ease with which he and his employees can navigate through customer data.

“Zoho CRM saves us a ton of time and really allows us to have smooth and quick interactions with customers allowing us to fit in more work per day.”

What You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“I recommend Zoho CRM as often as I can because the barrier to entry is so low and anyone can jump in, starting using Zoho CRM, and get the advantages right away. It’s free, extremely customizable and flexible, and it’s mobile!”

To learn more about Prosound, click here.