Unified Communications in Zoho One
Communication tools available as a part of the Zoho suite allow you to perform all communications in one place. Call, text, and email all from within Zoho CRM.
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Traditional Integrations with Third-Party Providers
Zoho One provides users with the ability to consolidate communications both internally and externally, from prospects to vendors. Zoho One users have enjoyed traditional integrations with email service providers and VOIP/SMS vendors. Zoho has additionally offered some of their own communication tools such as Zoho Cliq and Zoho Mail.
Zoho offers integrations with various third-party mail providers. These providers also happen to integrate features such as calendars and contacts. The main providers Zoho works with include Office 365's Outlook and Google's Gmail. Zoho also has the ability to integrate with a variety of other email hosts and message accessing agents like IMAP/POP/SMTP. There is also the possibility of API based integrations. These traditional integrations exist throughout a variety of Zoho apps from CRM to Desk to Projects and many more.
These integrations allow the user to simply click on the contact's email when they want to begin composing an email. After an email is sent, these integrations allow a log of emails to be kept. You can also make sure that the right messages get to the right recipients with email routing. There are many instances when you might want to send a form to a lead or contact. Maybe you need more information from them, or you just want to let them know about your products/services. In any case, you can send a form or survey out to these individuals using the integration. Notifications and reminders are also possible.
Another reason to integrate email is to gather emails for reporting purposes. Reports based on email activity can be filtered based on a date range, group, users, etc. Stats tracked related to email include emails that are sent, bounced, tracked, bounced among tracked, clicked, received, responded, and replied. There is also a feature to track the performance of email templates.
Also along the lines of the traditional integrations is the VOIP or PDX integrations. VOIP stands for "Voice Over Internet Protocol" for those who aren't familiar with the terminology. These are the cloud-based phone systems. These cloud-based phone systems integrate into many different Zoho apps. There are over 100 different phone providers that Zoho integrates with.
Business calls can present a multitude of problems. Nobody likes to misdial a phone number or manually dial a phone number for that matter these days. A fair share of people also prefer not to answer the phone when they aren't made aware of the caller's identity. Transferring calls and fielding calls on behalf of others has also become a thing of the past. By integrating your Zoho CRM or other application through the Zoho One environment with something like a VOIP or PDX system, you can easily eliminate many of these problems.
VOIP/PDX allows you to make calls with ease by simply clicking to initiate a call. Call pops can appear whenever you receive a call. These systems can use the data in your system to notify you who is calling. Integrating many of the VOIP systems can allow for calls to be dynamically routed to the appropriate person in the organization using data from Zoho apps. Imagine you have an account that is overdue (We don't wish this upon anyone but unfortunately we live in the real world). A VOIP system can route them to the accounts receivable department based on data in Zoho telling the phone system that the account is overdue. Another scenario is having a sales team or account managers who are assigned to specific accounts. You can easily route a customer to an account manager or salesperson without any human intervention on the either side. The customer doesn't need to press buttons, and nobody needs to transfer the call on the organization's end. The system knows which customer is calling and who it should be routed to.
Example of click-to-call buttons in Zoho
One of the many reasons to integrate VOIP is to gather call information for reporting purposes. This provides a snapshot of the total calls received and made as well as helps measure the effectiveness of communication with customers. Users can track calls received, calls missed, total call duration as well as many others.
Texting and SMS messaging is a more recent integration. There are many providers getting into this space and rightly so as more and more companies are utilizing this form of communication. Texting/SMS messaging can be an annoyance under the wrong circumstances. It can feel like spam when receiving political messages, promotions, and subscriptions every 10 minutes. While these messages can sometimes feel like an intrusion, they can also be beneficial. Appointment reminders are a perfect example. Many appointments have been saved by a well-timed reminder text. These messages are also convenient for people who may prefer to engage in this way. This form of communication allows companies to meet the customer in the middle where they prefer to communicate. With a shift to greater convenience also comes an increase in engagement. With this type of integration, organizations can send one-off messages or marketing blasts. Workflows can be created to include text messaging in the automation to remind or notify.
Example of SMS workflows in Marketing Automation
- Marketing Automation
Chat-based integrations also fall under this umbrella of traditional integrations in Zoho One. It integrates with numerous chat platforms like LiveChat, Teams, and Slack . These integrations let you receive notifications as well as view the analytics data and other important information from Zoho within these separate chat engines.
Example of Slack integration with Zoho Desk
New Zoho Communication Offerings
Zoho has recently introduced several new offerings to further consolidate and streamline communications on the Zoho One platform: Zoho Voice (their own integrated VOIP platform), Zoho SMS for CRM (built-in SMS messaging for Zoho CRM), and Zoho Trident (a consolidated platform for mail, chat, calls, and meetings). Learning more about these exciting new offerings can help to show how they stack up against traditional integrations.
TeamInbox is an email inbox that can be shared between multiple individuals or a team in an organization.
As emails come in, they can be assigned manually or automatically based on rules that are configured within the system. Messages can be shared between colleagues who can help co-author replies. If a user needs to pay close attention to an email, they have the option to follow it and get notifications and updates based on the activities. If an email needs to be put on hold, a user can choose to snooze it and follow-up later. Users can also create message templates. This is helpful when users find themselves sending common replies. These templates can be shared amongst the team. Common signatures can be setup for the team to ensure consistency. Teams can have discussions related to particular email threads in cases where a conversation needs to be had before responding. TeamInbox also provides task management capabilities as well as the ability to add a personal inbox so users can access all of their mail in one place.
Example of a team chat in TeamInbox used to collaborate
A tool like TeamInbox allows teams to collaborate more easily. It also makes it easier to ensure accountability as well as reduce email clutter. There is no longer a reason to keep multiple copies of the same message. Gone are the days where you have your client copy and the internal version that gets passed around gathering feedback from team members. Everything can be done in one place. There is one message where users can co-author replies and get a discussion going. Users don't have to regularly forward messages to their colleagues to keep them in the loop. Email communication can be consolidated by bringing in not only shared inboxes but personal inboxes as well.
These features result in greater consistency. There will be more consistency in content as well as the signatures. Ultimately, the users will be more productive and efficient when these tools are available to them. This will also aid in the onboarding of new team members since they can communicate and collaborate more easily over email. This application is included in Zoho One and as an a la carte application.
Zoho Trident is the latest release from Zoho. Trident was announced a couple of months ago and is currently in beta. This is a free app that users can download today. It is a locally installed application that can be installed on a PC or Mac. It combines email, chat, calling, and online meetings. Trident includes features like contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes. A more innovative feature is natural language commands. This gives the user the ability to give the system a command in normal language similar to how humans speak to one another. The system receives the command and will respond accordingly. Drag and drop capabilities allow users to share information between Zoho apps. It also includes offline access, so users can work whenever and wherever is convenient. Users can access the downloaded mail and compose replies when on an airplane, and it will be waiting for them when they get back online.
Zoho Trident combines email, chat,calls, and team meetings.
Trident is a mighty workplace tool that brings together multiple communications apps into a single interface. Multi-tasking is made easy with built-in widgets and integrations through the Zoho suite. The modern look and feel something we believe users will like, so don't wait to try it!
Zoho Voice is Zoho's very own cloud based VOIP and SMS platform. It includes unlimited calls in a few key regions which include the US, Canada, and Australia. This is a starting point, and we do expect Zoho Voice to expand more globally. Initially, Zoho Voice also includes one-way global SMS, so users can blast messages and notifications to anyone worldwide. It also includes two-way local SMS for the US and Canada, but this is expected to expand as well. Voice includes many advanced call center features like call queues, call listening, call barging, power dialer, and queue performance analytics. The advanced call center is an add-on to the base subscription. There are also some powerful capabilities like call transcription and call intelligence. Call transcription is another add-on that integrates with Google APIs to transcribe calls. Call intelligence performs AI-based call feedback returning attributes like call sentiment that gives insight as to whether the call had a positive or negative sentiment. Zoho Voice also seamlessly integrates throughout the Zoho platform including an SMS extension for CRM.
Example of Zoho Voice IVR phone trees used to direct customers to the appropriate person/department
With the integration of Zoho Voice, efficiency can increase, customer service ratings improve, and the organization can enjoy the productivity benefits. This tool also comes with analytics. Voice is a very economical choice when compared to key competitors. While Zoho Voice is not included in Zoho One, it plugs into Zoho One very easily. It can be added as an a la carte service whether it is added to Zoho One or any other Zoho app. It integrates into many different Zoho applications as well as over 100 different phone providers. No one likes to misdial, manually dial, or even pick up the phone when they don't know who's calling. Fielding and transferring calls to others is a thing of the past. Integrating Zoho CRM or any other application with VOIP eliminates many of these problems.
Example of a Zoho Voice dashboard
If you'd like more information about any of the features mentioned above, Zoho CRM, any of the Zoho products, or you'd like to consult with one of our Zoho experts, please call (866)880-4228 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help!