Tactile CRM Review - DISCONTINUED

"Another contender for our Top 10 Best CRM List, UK based TactileCRM is fast gaining international popularity as a lean, web based CRM."

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Every business is customer centric. If you look around, the mission statements of a majority of all businesses focus on the business-customer relationship. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that there can be no business without customers, no matter what the business deals with.

The primary objective of any business is to keep its customers happy and satisfied. This is where the Customer Relationship Management software comes into the picture. Today, repeat customers are one of the main and reliable sources of revenue for any business. A CRM helps businesses store the information and history of customers in a centralized database which can be used efficiently to serve the customer in a better way.

Let’s take a look at one of the popular web based CRMs, Tactile CRM, and see how efficiently it handles its job.

Getting started with Tactile CRM:

The best way to determine the worthiness of any application is by using it. The statement holds true for CRMs as well. If you are looking for a low-cost, yet powerful CRM, you should visit www.tactilecrm.com. You don’t need to download or install any software to use Tactile CRM as it is totally web based. All you need is a computer and an internet connection, and you are ready to go.

You can register to use Tactile CRM free for 30 days without any commitment from your side. You do not have to provide your credit card information to use the software for free.

Tactile CRM is available for free lifetime use for a personal user. A solo user also gets to use the premium features for 14 days during the trial period. The premium membership of Tactile CRM costs £6 per user/month. The premium membership provides businesses with 1GB of file storage space per user and the freedom to store unlimited contacts and opportunities.

The premium membership also allows the user to take advantage of 3rd party integration for popular business apps. The enterprise membership costs £12 per user/month. It includes all features of the premium membership, with the storage space being increased to 5GB.

Exciting features of Tactile CRM:

  • Efficient and secure file management:

Tactile CRM allows you to securely store all your files online, which can be accessed by you from any place with an internet connection or from any device that has access to the internet. All files are uploaded to secure Amazon’s S3 storage, which can be retrieved from the office whenever the need arises. The files uploaded are stored categorically, which means you can attach files to organizations, people, activities, or opportunities. This is a great feature as all the related data is at your fingertips whenever you need it.

  • View Sales and Opportunities in real time:

Business is all about sales and opportunities in the pipeline. As such, every business needs to be aware of all existing opportunities (leads). Tactile CRM has an excellent interface where businesses can view all sales, stages, and opportunities that will be available in the near future. All sales can be categorized according to status and type, and reports can be printed accordingly. Besides tracking sales and opportunities, the CRM also allows businesses to view lost sales and opportunities. This enables them to make necessary changes in their procedures and strategies, which ensures that the same mistakes are not repeated in the future. All main features of the CRM are accessible through the main dashboard of the application. No more searching through menus to find the tools is required!

Tactile CRM Sales and Opportunities

  • 3rd Party Application integration:

You will find many special tools online that have achieved tremendous recognition. These independent tools have unmatched features in their field of work that are hard to duplicate. Tactile CRM gives your business maximum flexibility when it comes to using special tools online. Tactile CRM allows for seamless integration with some of the best business apps available online, such as:

  • FreshBooks (for efficient billing)
  • Campaign Monitor (app to run email campaigns)
  • Zendesk (web based customer support software)
  • CloudContacts (business card blog)
  • Google Contacts (contacts manager)
  • Shoeboxed (receipt organization software)

The list doesn’t end here; Tactile CRM also has plans for more integration and also encourages users to send their wish lists, which can be included in the list of integrated 3rd party apps in the future.

  • Activities and Reminders:

With Tactile CRM, you will never miss on an opportunity or forget a task that needs to be done. The Activities and Reminder functions allow you to prepare a schedule for all tasks and alert you when the task needs to be done respectively. Tactile CRM can be set to send you an email of daily To-do tasks. You can also assign different tasks and activities to your colleague, and the CRM ensures that it notifies each colleague about their activities.

Tactile CRM Activities and Reminders

  • Tagging:

Tags are important for easy identification. Tactile CRM provides you with powerful tagging features. You can tag files, opportunities, organizations, people and all data useful to you. You can have multiple tags for an item that gives you more flexibility when searching for information.

  • Easy contact management:

Contact management is easy with Tactile CRM. All contact information is stored in one place, and you can make use of the User Access Control feature to determine the access privileges to the address book. Since the address book is stored online, you can also share it people you work with.

  • Reliable customer support:

Tactile CRM has easy to understand FAQs and videos to help you understand the working of a web based CRM. The application is also backed by strong customer support assurance from the company. Users can expect their queries to be solved within 4 working hours.

Why Tactile CRM is a great option for small and medium businesses

The benefits offered by a web based CRM are many. Tactile CRM is a really simple and ready-to-use CRM available for small and medium businesses. There is no learning curve involved (no programming skills required) as there is neither any training (for employees) needed, nor any costly system upgrades. Though not a complete CRM, Tactile CRM has all the features that are useful in handling daily and important business tasks. If you are wanting to handle project management for instance, TactileCRM is not the best option. For strong project management functionality you should consider a CRM like WORKetc..

The developers have many new upgrades in the pipeline that are bound to increase the functionality of this CRM. Tactile CRM is an intelligent option for businesses that don’t need all the features loaded in costly traditional CRM. Tactile CRM is a very cost effective option for businesses to organize their sales processes and cash in on future opportunities. A big advantage of Tactile CRM is that it offers different pricing options, which is not common with web based CRMs.

Tactile CRM Review – DISCONTINUED

Introduction

Tactile CRM is a robust, easy to use, cost effective, web based contact and sales management system provided by omelett.es ltd. It’s a great tool for managing and monitoring your sales pipeline, clients, activities, meetings, notes and emails. It facilitates easier collaboration and sharing of information amongst team members by maintaining all your important data in one place.

Technical details

Tactile CRM is a cloud based application built using an award winning framework and PHP programming language, the application is hosted on the scalable Amazon EC2 platform and can be accessed from standard web browsers or mobile devices having access to the Internet. Though Tactile CRM’s code isn’t open source and isn’t available for customization, they do expose a developer friendly application programming interface (API) which can be used for seamless integration with a variety of third party applications.

Tactile CRM at a glance

  • Free trial: Yes, a free trial is available with premium plan enabled for 14 days and solo plan available for life.
  • Ideal for: Small and medium sized businesses looking to streamline their contact management.
  • Training required: Not much, Tactile CRM is simple and easy to use.
  • User limit: There’s no user limit, the solution is available on pay per user model, add as many users as required.
  • Support available: Yes, all plans are backed by full email support with priority email support available for premium plans, additionally phone support is available for subscribers of the enterprise plan.

Website

Their website  has a simple yet friendly design. Content is neatly organized, help & support options are easy to locate. There is a dedicated blog with latest updates on the product and on CRM in general.

Getting started

Tactile CRM can be evaluated for free and 30 day free trials are available on all existing plans – enterprise, premium, solo. The free for life solo plan, offers a no obligation 14 day trial of premium features. The registration form for the solo plan can be quickly filled in under a minute, importantly credit card details are not required during the registration process.

One notable and unique aspect of the registration process is that it allows defining the URL to be used to access the CRM instance.

A successful registration results in an email with all details essential for login.

Look and feel

The first screen post successful login is the dashboard which has a summary of all important information in your CRM – listing your activities, opportunities, notes, emails.

The intuitive interface has options to search or add add an organization, person, opportunity, activity.

The application itself has a tabbed layout with major modules organized under tabs.

Tactile crm - Dashboard - The first screen post login

Analyzing the configuration options

Configuration options often indicate the difficulty involved in customizing the application to suit specific requirements.
The screen capture below shows the controls available to the admin users for customizing Tactile CRM based on the needs of their organization.

Tactile crm - Dashboard - Configuration options available to admin users

Let’s take a look at various sections

  • Users & Groups – This section has functions to allow creating users, groups and setting permissions to control the features your internal users have access to.
  • Your Tactile Account – With options to manage your plan, payment details and usage, this section allows you to control your Tactile CRM configuration. There’s an option to customize the color scheme to suit your needs.
  • Data & Templates – Allows defining custom fields, defining options available for classifying your data – organizations, opportunities, and activities. Activity Tracks allow setting up activity workflows wherein multiple activities can be created at once.
  • External Applications – Manage your CRM’s interaction with external applications such as your website OR specialized applications like Zendesk, FreshBooks etc.

Data import

Businesses often have customer data in their legacy systems which they would like to import into their new systems. Software tools like CRM must provide an easy to use data import system which facilitates quick insertion of data into the system. In the upcoming paragraph we analyze the data import offering of Tactile CRM.

Importing Contacts is the fastest way to add multiple Organizations and People into Tactile CRM. The CRM allows importing data from a variety of external applications and as well supports importing from commonly used file formats as CSV, vCard, Excel.

Tactile crm - Options to import data from variety of systems

We went ahead with importing contacts and organizations from CSV files. The import process involves very simple steps, they are –

  1. Prepare CSV file and upload it into the CRM.
  2. Match and map CRM’s fields with column headings found in the CSV. Herein, Tactile CRM analyzes the file and shows up a screen with proposed mapping, it attempts to ”auto map’ CSV columns, showing the columns which could not be auto mapped. The same screen allows tagging the contacts and settings permissions on the data that will be imported. Click import.
  3. Tagging imports allows you to easily view and manage the results which is a great way to help Tactile CRM undo any mistakes you may make.

Tactile crm - Data import step 2 - map headers with CRM fields

We were pleasantly surprised when we noticed that import wizard does automatic duplicate detection too.

Customization options

Adoption and success rates of CRMs are often determined by their offerings of customization options. Tactile CRM offers a decent set of tools for its customizations, let’s take a look at them –

  1. It can be rebranded by customizing its appearance, there are options to change the colours used by the application and upload a logo to be displayed on the login page.
  2. There are a number of places in Tactile CRM where you have to choose values, these values can be easily updated/ managed thus allowing you to customize the application to your needs.
  3. With the possibility to add custom fields to organizations, contacts, activities you can store information specific to your business.
  4. Individual users can customize their dashboards too.

Activities and reminders via emails notifications

Activities are an easy way to remember to get things done. Activities can be added on contacts or opportunities.

Users can add activities for themselves or their colleagues and get email notifications when they are due. On days with activities due, users will get an email, which will contain any overdue activities that they might have – pretty handy feature isn’t it?

Users can download and export their activities as an iCal file.

Tactile crm - A scheduled activity with notes attached to it

The Email dropbox

Tactile CRM is designed to work seamlessly with all mail clients. Each user a unique email address – in Tactile’s parlance it’s their own ‘dropbox’ (not to be confused with the popular file sharing service). You can forward emails, or BCC the dropbox and email will then be attached to the correct record in Tactile CRM.
Opportunities each have their own unique dropbox too.

Dashboard

Users can customize their dashboards to show the information they are interested in.

With a variety of graphs and reports to choose from users can select what to display on their dashboard. Some of these graphs are –

  • their current pipeline,
  • the opportunities they have won (sometimes referred to as closed) over the last 12 months,
  • open opportunities and those that you have either won or lost in the current month, and many more.

Data export

Almost all data can be exported out of the system. Data may be exported to either maintain backups or to run custom reports on them.

Most of the objects may be downloaded as CSV files, an email with exported files is sent as attachment once export is complete.

  • Activities will be grouped downloaded into CSV files. Individual activities can be downloaded as iCal files.
  • Opportunities can be exported into as a CSV to run custom reports or to load them into a spread sheet for analysis.
  • Exporting organizations & people is straightforward and not too tough either.

Contact management

Contact management is greatly simplified. With contact information neatly organized and all information at a single place, sales personnel are better prepared while dealing with customers.

Tactile crm - Contact details gives a bird's eye view of important data

Here’s how important data is organized on the screen –

Security and access controls

Tactile CRM has a simple permissions system for controlling access to the contacts. Access control encompasses specifying who can look at a record and who can edit it. By default, when every new will be visible by all users in your CRM account, Organizations are the only record type where you can specify permissions all items related to an Organization will inherit its permissions.

Users can as well create private activities or notes – means only the owner of the activity or note, can see or edit the it.

Existing plans work won SSL, SSL is used by e-commerce sites, banks, and other online services to ensure that your data is encrypted when it is sent across the Internet.

Tactile crm - Setting access control on an organization

Reporting and analytics

Reporting is an important component of any enterprise solution. Tactile CRM comes with a set of built-in reports, graphs and charts for analyzing opportunities and sales pipeline. However, there’s no option to design custom reports, but users can always export data out of the system and analyze it in excel.

Mobile integration

There’s an iPhone app available which has to be downloaded from the apple app store, this app allows account holders to view, edit and update contacts, sales leads or opportunities, activities, notes and emails directly from their iPhones.

“Even though Tactile CRM is a web-based CRM, the iPhone app has an offline cache that enables users to look up critical information the moment they need it, even if they are out of network range,” said George Step, Product and Community Manager for Tactile CRM.

There’s no Android app.

Social media integration

Social media is a great way to expand your customer reach, become known as an expert in your field and win new business. Tactile CRM has built-in support for popular social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. All such addresses are stored as contact methods. Especially for twitter, users can follow their customer’s tweets from inside the application itself.

Tactile crm - Social media address stored in contact details

Integration with external applications

One of Tactile’s biggest strengths is that it integrates very well with external applications. Seamless integration exists with some of the best online services, such as –

  1. FreshBooks for efficient billing and invoicing.
  2. Campaign Monitor for managing email campaigns.
  3. Zendesk for managing cases and monitoring support.
  4. Can import contacts from Google Contacts, CloudContacts, Shoeboxed

If you are using an application which is not listed herein, you can always use make a request for the integration.

Integration with website

If you have a website then its likely would like to capture customer data from the website and save into your CRM.

Tactile CRM has a built in tool for you to easily add a web form to your website so you can safely capture leads and customer data directly into Tactile CRM. In they themselves “eat their own dog food” by using such a web form on their website.

Setting up a web form in Tactile CRM is very easy and can be accomplished by following simple steps –

  1. Simply login as an admin user, visit the admin section and chose the ‘Configure Tactile CRM Web Form’.
  2. Choose the values you want to capture and make sure you tick the ‘Enable Web Form’ box so that this feature is turned on.
  3. Click save and copy the code Tactile CRM gives you into your website and start collecting leads from your website.
  4. You can as well create opportunities and activities for the leads that entered via the web form.

Tactile crm - Sample web form configuration showing opportunity and activity will be created too

Pricing

The subscription is available in 3 plans – Enterprise, Premium, Solo.

While solo plan is free, its not really meant for serious use due to obvious limitations in terms of number of contacts or opportunities that can be stored.

Premium membership of Tactile CRM costs $9 per user/month. The plan provides businesses with 1GB of file storage space per user and the freedom to store unlimited contacts and opportunities, it also allows the user to take advantage of 3rd party integration for popular business apps with priority email support.

Enterprise membership costs $18 per user/month. It includes all features of the premium membership, the file storage space is increased to 5GB with email and phone support.

Benefits

  1. Reasonably priced.
  2. Its very easy to use, easy to administer, users can very quickly adapt to its interface.
  3. It integrates very well with leading third party applications.
  4. The web forms integrate very well with your website.
  5. Nicely designed data import and export features.

Verdict

Tactile CRM has most of the important functions needed for handling crucial business tasks. True it has a very short feature set and lacks many but it integrates very with third party applications. Its offering can definitely be improved by providing a customizable dashboard that can display multiple reports and an android app for android users.

Everything included, we think Tactile CRM is one of the easiest CRM software systems there is, its such a really simple sales tool that we think you can get your users up and running very quickly.

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