Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Conduct meetings online with Bench

The corporate world is moving from physical to virtual offices. The days of going to office and attending important meetings are becoming fewer by the number. And why shouldn’t they be? With the increase in transport and logistics problems, everybody prefers to stay at home and finish their work from there. In the bargain, they save some precious travelling time. With this increasing trend, we hear more terms like work from home, freelancing, and so on.

While the problem of staying connected to the network is increasingly solved by better remote network solutions, the challenge lies in connecting with your clients. The audio/video toll-free bridges did solve the problem to some extent, but that was all they could do: share voice and video. The need urgently arose for more. Organizations were looking for not just interaction, but collaboration. People needed to not just see and hear but also share more data in real time.

The online market cottoned on to this need of the hour and a huge surge in the number of online collaboration tools and applications was witnessed. In the last few years, many such applications have been launched with their number still increasing.

With so many competent tools out there, how do you pick one? Well, we’re here to help! Today we bring to you the complete, tried-and-tested review of Bench. Read on to know if this online meeting platform can actually do what it claims: get shit done!

Benching with Bench

The highest selling point of Bench is that it works on a browser. That means you don’t have to worry about downloading the program, checking if it is compatible with your system, installing it, and encourage other people to download it. Just log on to your account in Bench and share the browser link with your meeting participants. It’s really that simple!

Think of the Bench as a physical work table that is used by all parties to work on and share what they are working on in real time. With Bench you can send text messages, make notes, share files, and even work on the files together as a team. And the best part of it all is that everything you do on the bench stays there unless you wish otherwise.

Let us take a look at some of the best features of Bench:

  • No more dialing-in business. With Bench, all you need to do is share your browser link with your team and you are set to collaborate.
  • Sending agendas on emails is in the past. You can make a note of things you wish to discuss with your team and share it with them before the meeting.
  • Bench comes with a whiteboard, so if during the meeting you need to sketch something out or just showcase your creativity, you can use the whiteboard to shine. Of course, everybody can work on the whiteboard simultaneously; that’s what collaboration is, isn’t it?
  • It allows you to share screenshots of single tabs, the whole desktop, whatever you need.
  • The files you want to share with the rest of the team can be saved before the meeting starts. The tool gives you the facility of creating folders and saving all your files in them. The folder is accessible by all participants.

The audio quality of Bench is out of this world. Give it a try, you will really feel like you are all working on a single work bench. The tool is a fun to work with and ensures full participation of all parties in the conference.

How to work with Bench

There’s no installer program that comes with Bench; just a light-weight extension that can be installed on your browser. It takes no more than a few seconds. There is a demo available on the tool’s website that you can check out to learn about it quickly. It doesn’t need to sign up too!

To start using the tool you need to create an account. Click on “sign up” on the top right corner and punch in your credentials to do that. Once you create an account, Bench gives you a dashboard with your benches listed on it. You can click the New Bench button in the right navigation pane to create a new bench. The bench you create will be displayed within your dashboard. Click on it to open it.

After you open the bench, click the Invite to talk button in the left navigation pane to share the link of your meeting with everybody else. To share files with your team, click the Add files button in the right navigation pane. You can drag-and-drop files into the tool’s interface, click to browse, or upload them via online platforms like Dropbox.

To create notes that you need to focus on in your next meetings or just points you need to remember, click the Note button. Clicking the Whiteboard button opens a drawing space with all the required drawing tools you might need. They’re pretty basic but then, to present more complex ideas you’d be using a proper presentation tool, right? Other options include New Folder creation and Streaming and Screenshot that allow you to show your browser and desktop to the other participants LIVE.

To go back to your dashboard, click on “My Benches” on the top left.

Pros VS Cons

Key benefits of the tool include:

  • The tool is free of cost so it’s ideal for freelancers and non-profit organizations. They have reasonably priced packages for teams as well as organizations.
  • Bench really does a good job at making remote working stress-free since everything is done in real-time.
  • The tool is completely collaboration-friendly; doesn’t need any installations.

Drawbacks include:

  • The first time you use Bench, you might get a little confused with so many things happening at once. But since the learning curve is pretty low, everything starts to make sense really soon.
  • We really wish it could work with mobile phones. While it does work on tablets, we are hoping mobile integration is somewhere on the roadmap.
  • Make online collaboration fun, with Bench usebench.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Take

Other than the few obvious limitations, we absolutely love Bench. And we totally encourage you to give it a chance. In our opinion, Bench could be better than any other collaborating app there exists today in the market.

Offer better customer support with Sugester

For any business, to ace success mastering customer support is essential. We often come across stories of how even after having great products and services, organizations aren’t able to reach the pinnacle they desire, all due to negligence in the customer support area. Believe us when we say, designing and delivering a great product is not the only thing that warranties success. You as a company need to be there to answer any and every question or concern your consumer may have. Agreed that it’s time taking and an often painful activity, but the results are totally worth the effort. And when you’ve got great tools like Sugester to assist you, why worry at all?

Sugester – Enhance your Customer Support Facility

Sugester is one of the simplest online applications available to help you provide better customer support, get new customers, and create an advanced ticket management system for your business. The tool serves as a one-stop helpdesk for you and your customers and helps keep both parties on the same page. With Sugester you can drastically cut down query response times by collecting and sorting through incoming messages, assign tasks to teams, and also monitor resolutions through a single interactive interface. With help materials posted online for 24 / 7 / 365 support, the tool makes sure you involve your team to resolve issues only when required. Also, it lets you monitor communication across various channels (email, phone, chat, and social media) at one place.

Sugester promises to help optimize your business communications by serving as a better formulized, specifically targeted, ever-present feedback and support platform. Some of the most appealing features of the tool include:

  • A simple yet powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that allows you to maintain profiles of your key customers, keep records of interactions and financial history with them, maintain regular contact with them, generate funnel charts and more.
  • You can add a “Sugester Live Chat” window to your website by pasting a simple code snippet into your site’s code. That’s all you need to start chatting with your customers right away. The chat feature lets you avail benefits such as customizing its look-and-feel, persistent sessions, searchable archives, etc.
  • Sugester is ideal for your company if your support team shares a common email id (for ex. help@company.com). It makes sure all emails get answered and that too, by the most apt team member. This feature includes time tracking, analytics, activity tracking, response rating, and canned response creation facilities.
  • The software makes you better at task and project management by enabling you to easily create and assign tasks, group them into projects (with attributes such as deadlines etc.) and measure how long they take to complete.
  • Offers a WYSIWYG editor to write, format, and edit professional help content without any programming. Even lets you create pop-up tips and intranet knowledge base for all team members.
  • Provides a manageable forum to serve as a sounding board for complaints, suggestions, ideas and more.
  • Integrates with Plivo, Telecube and other prominent VoIP providers to let you make / receive calls from computers, track call statistics, monitor email and phone conversations, etc.
  • Provides a host of emailing features to allow you to concentrate on your core product and services without having to worry about auto-responses, mailing lists, custom footers, group mailing, etc.

How does this work?

To start using Sugester you can sign up with your email and password or with your Facebook credentials. You will be provided with a URL where your Sugester program will be available. By default this URL will have your email id in it, but you can change it to anything you want. To proceed, click on “Go to Program”. Sign up might take a couple of seconds after which you’ll be directed to a “modules” page that shows all the features the tool has to offer. You can hover on any feature to highlight it and click to select.

We clicked on Live Chat which enabled it and then proceeded to chat settings by clicking on the settings icon on the top right of the ‘Live Chat’ option. It opened up a page from where we could click on a link to get the code snippet for a chat window for our website. On proceeding we were required to fill out our chat window requirements and save. Thereafter a unique live chat window code will be generated for your website which you can also test right within Sugester.

Next, we tried our hand at Knowledge Base creation. The process was similar to the one used in Live Chat. Click to enable, edit settings, and configure as per requirement. At any point, to go back to the “modules” page, simply click on the Sugester icon on the top left corner of the screen. You can also go to settings for profile, account, language, etc. by choosing an appropriate option from the menus displayed on the top right corner of the screen.

So how does it turn out?

In our trials, Sugester seemed to be a cool tool that simplified the setting up and configuration of solid customer support for any website. However, what we noticed was that while the process to enable features and tune them to our requirements is quite simple really, first time users would need to have a slight know-how of the tool before comfortably playing around. So there is a learning curve attached.

Other than that, we found Sugester very impressive. It is also quite affordable with plans ranging from free to max ($49 per month per account).

  • Build better customer support with @sugester sugester.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

In this money hungry world, Sugester is a tool that attempts to truly help you out at a price you won’t mind paying. Thumbs up to the tool!

Automate your marketing with SalesManago

A key area of operation for any company is Marketing; so much so that in most organizations, you’ll find a dedicated department devoted to it. While it may seem to be just another operation that a company performs, it can be safely said that without effective marketing, a company can never think of progressing. And with the right kind of marketing, even the most impossible situations can be turned into a victory.

When it comes to a nicely planned and executed marketing strategy, a lot of platforms and campaigns are involved over and through which a company’s brand is sold to customers. Different techniques are implemented and a number of experts are consulted to make sure no stone is left unturned. Managing all personnel and processes involved can be challenging. But if you have the help of a little genie called SalesManago, you can ace the marketing game like a pro!

SalesManago – the best marketing solution for your company!

SalesManago is an online platform that combines the potential of a number of marketing tools into one application. Email marketing, Dynamic web content, Personalized web content, Social media marketing, Online advertising, Mobile marketing, you name it and they have an easy to implement, next generation solution for it that will help you achieve outstanding sales results. SalesManago offers a complete range of automated and personalized marketing products for Ecommerce, B2C and B2B companies of all sizes in a multichannel environment, with an aim to redefine the way traditional marketing tools are used.

All marketing tools implemented by SalesManago are powered by real-time flow of customer behavioral and transactional data so that users of the application can implement any kind of marketing process they desire. With over 6000 customers in 40 countries, SalesManago is one of the best and the most innovative marketing automation platforms across the globe.

Here are a few areas in which SalesManago can be of service:

  • Identification of website visitors, identification of hardware/software used to reach your website, Geolocation information, etc
  • Behavioral monitoring of identified website visitors
  • Automating simple actions such as alerts regarding prospect buyers’ activity sent directly to sales team
  • Ability to run fully automated, complex and advanced marketing campaigns with Workflows
  • Email marketing including an in-depth knowledge of what customers visiting your website are looking for
  • Mobile marketing automation by monitoring in-app behavior of particular users
  • Social media marketing including sourcing new contacts as well as tracking social events on your media pages
  • Customer Relationship Management and 360 degree customer view
  • Web Push notification solutions to reach maximum number of users

These features are merely the tip of the iceberg. SalesManago bundles many other extremely useful tools that can help you create a solid marketing strategy and emerge as a true winner.

How to use SalesManago

The best way to get a hands-on experience of the tool without paying anything or signing up for a trial is through its Demo. All you need to do is punch in some basic information and enter the demo. If you do not want to leave your real credentials here, type in dummy details and it will still work (could be counted as negative but if they had a check here it would take away the purpose of a demo).

Once you enter the demonstration, you’ll see a lot of information on the screen that is refreshed almost every second to show you the latest inputs. You’ll get to see the total number of contacts your website database has, how many of them are monitored, how many messages have been left in the past 30 days, how many contacts are active, a real-time analysis of the page views generated by clients, prospects and partners, and individual customer / company behavior profiles.

Additionally you’ll be offered a number of wizards and creators to perform various marketing related activities such as personalized banners, workflows, dynamic content tests, email creators, etc. Also a host of marketing tools will be listed in the left hand panel to let you take charge of your mobile marketing, social media marketing, Ad remarketing, campaigns, automation processes, and more. In order to understand how you can actually use the tool, the following basic steps will come handy:

  1. Add monitoring code to your website
  2. Import your email contacts
  3. Send email or newsletter to your database
  4. Set up an alert if a contact from your database visits your webpage
  5. Set up automatic contact’s segmentation based on what on your website interests them
  6. Set up scoring for your contacts and get alerts about the hottest leads
  7. Implement contact forms to automatically monitor each new contact from your database
  8. Expand your client communication with personalized content on your page
  9. Set up lead nurturing program to automatically educate new contacts in your database
  10. Set up automatic marketing process or marketing campaign

To comprehend each of these steps in detail, click on the Get Started button on the top right corner of the screen and access the video tutorial associated with each step. If you like what you see and what the tool does for you, logout and sign up for a 30-day trial, this time with your actual credentials.

  • Rule the marketing automation circle with @SALESmanago salesmanago.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Evaluation and Final Verdict

SalesManago is an affordable and useful tool, but it is undergoing a lot of improvements. Moreover, some of its features might not work as smoothly as you expect them to. Also, you might have to pay a little extra to get your hands on features like dynamic emails. However, if you are a little patient and probably a tad forgiving, the tool can be customized to suit your needs perfectly. Plus, it has a lot of integrations.

Thus, final verdict, it’s worth at least a demo run.

Gain insight into your customer’s mind with Survicate

As an organization, what would you say is the most important step towards growth? The correct investment, the right workforce, market strategies? We believe the best way to get ahead is by knowing exactly what your customers want, when they want, and in what form they want. How would you know that, you think? Through a well constructed and well conducted survey, of course!

survicate

Online surveys have always been powerful tools for any business. They let organizations gain deep insight into the whims and fancies of their target consumer base. On the one hand they can help make a service better by collecting suggestions, on the other hand they can help find out the reason why a user doesn’t want to use the service anymore thereby bringing about improvements. So come to think of it, conducting a short helpful survey is all about benefits for the organization and for the customers. And Survicate is an online tool that helps you create concise and effective surveys that always hit the bull’s eye.

Survicate – The quickest way to collect customer feedback!

Survicate lets you gently survey your website visitors by conducting unobtrusive targeted surveys. It helps you to find out who your visitors are, what their needs are, and why they behave as they do. By making responding to surveys a matter of a tap or click, Survicate allows you to make surveys a natural part of your brand experience. With the help of this tool, you can safely get rid of guessing and base business decisions on actual customer responses.

Survicate enables you to create effective and attractive questionnaires that people actually don’t mind filling out. It allows you to send the survey / questionnaire links to customers via email, text, or social media. Through a unique Net Promoter Score (NPS) feature, in which users rate how likely they are to refer your product / service to others, this tool lets you analyze how your product / service ranks among your customer base. You can couple the results of the NPS exercise by following it up with questions to understand why users rate you the way they do. You can even analyze your NPS in real time to spot the most common problems your customers face, solve them and reduce churn.

survicate1

Here are some of Survicate’s features that are worth looking into:

  • Lets you create surveys containing single questions with text answers or multiple choice questions
  • Lets you conduct surveys using Contact forms, Smiley face scales, and skip-logic
  • Lets you display custom ‘Thank-you’ messages at the end of surveys
  • Allows you to send survey invitations and target potential customers via Cookies
  • Allows you to chart changes in customer responses by referring to their past answers
  • Provides Reports and Analytics through CSV / XLS reports, Lead alerts, NPS analysis, etc
  • Enables you to customize surveys with color schemes, custom CSS, animations, delays and redirects
  • Offers robust security powered by daily backups, SSL certificate, and scalable infrastructure
  • Integrates seamlessly with the most popular marketing applications without the need of special technical skills or 3rd party connectors

How can you use Survicate?

Visit the tool’s homepage and click on the button that says, “Sign Up Free”. A simple, no-credit card signing up later, you’ll come face to face with your tool dashboard. On the top right corner you’ll find an easy option to alter your account settings and view your current membership plan (and an option to upgrade if needed). On the top left corner you’ll find a drop-down listing the websites where you wish to post the surveys you create. You may add new domains by clicking on (+ Add new domain) from the drop-down.

To start creating your first survey, click on the large plus sign above the words “New Survey”. A pop-up dialog will appear with the following choices:

  • Create New
    • Targeted Website Survey
    • Feedback Widget
    • Questionnaire
    • In-message Survey
    • Email NPS Survey
  • Use surveys library

survicate2

You could browse the surveys library to get an idea of how to create a good survey. The library has ample examples of Targeted Website Surveys, Full-page Questionnaires, and One-click Email Surveys / NPS to get you started.

If however, you choose to create a new survey, the options you will see next depends on which type of survey you want to create.

For Feedback Widget, you’ll directly see a pop-up asking you to fill up informational texts where required. After that you can select add-ons if any to include in your survey.

For the other types, you’ll be asked to enter a name for the survey and then proceed with adding type of questions, type of ‘Call to Action’, Design preferences if any, Appearance Settings, and finally, a button that activates the survey on your website.

The entire process is quite straightforward and easy to follow, really.

Pros VS Cons

It is after some time that we’ve come across a tool that has made it difficult to find cons with it. The pros are many, but the cons, well… not so much. Apart from a few more integrations we’d like to see supported by the too, there isn’t anything to complain about. Even the price is pocket-friendly.

  • Get ahead of competition by tapping on customer feedback with @Survicate survicate.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Words

So do we have a winner? We think so! Survicate is a tool that can prove to be imperative to your business’s success. All you’ve got to do is know how to use it right. Create awesome surveys with it and keep monitoring the results for better chances of success.

Collaborate Better with RealtimeBoard

People who work in teams understand the purpose and vitality of whiteboards. What looks like a simple, glossy, white surface actually solves the purpose of a thousand notebooks, scrap books, blueprints, maps, or any other term you might want to give to something that is used while planning and brainstorming for development. Today, you’d hardly find an organization that doesn’t use whiteboards in its discussion rooms. Even schools have made a switch from black and green boards to the more sleek white boards, and there’s a genuine reason behind the liking. Whiteboards are smoother, easier and quicker to clean, and can also be used as projector backgrounds. No wonder they’ve become so popular.

realtimeboard

With technology taking people places, project teams have become distributed. People often make use of online tools to collaborate and share ideas. Even meetings are conducted through video conferencing. But then, how can whiteboards be carried around? Does that mean teams no longer have a tangible place to brainstorm and depict their ideas through flow diagrams?

Well, that’s where RealtimeBoard comes into picture.

RealtimeBoard – collaboration made simple!

RealtimeBoard is an online tool that plays the role of an infinite whiteboard. Just as whiteboard can be reused over and over again by erasing and rewriting on it, RealtimeBoard lets distributed teams brainstorm seamlessly. The platform is laced with simple sharing options and powerful collaboration features to provide seamless communication and boost productivity. Moreover, it allows users to keep everything they need on a daily basis at one place including post-it notes, images, videos, documents, diagrams, spreadsheets, Google Drive files and more.’

The makers of the tool work with the mantra – “a picture paints a thousand words”. If you ask us, RealtimeBoard lives up to that mantra in every single aspect.

Here are some of its most remarkable features:

  • Easily customizable flexible workspace to jot down ideas, or build an entire project on the board
  • Facilitates remote collaboration with teams scattered all around the world
  • Uses an intuitive toolkit to create mockups and schemes, and leave feedback on your colleagues’ inputs
  • Enables easy addition of files, images and documents from your computer and Google Drive
  • Contains built-in collections and integrated libraries of icons, wireframes and other content ready to be used on your boards
  • Includes cool templates that you can refer to draw ideas for your projects
  • Allows you to share your whiteboard with your team and collaborate in real time
  • Easy conversion of whiteboard into presentations using the Frames tool

realtimeboard1

Here’s how you can use RealtimeBoard

Visit the tool’s homepage and click on the blue button that says, “Start Collaborating Now”. You’ll be asked to sign up. Just punch in your name, work email and a password. Next, you’ll be asked to provide your official details, as in, team name, company size and a work phone. You can also start adding teammates immediately or leave that to later. A few more details later, you’ll be all set. If you wish to, you can watch a 2 minute video about how to use RealtimeBoard on the next screen. That will save you a lot of time of exploring the platform.

Post signup, you’ll have access to all premium features of the tool for 14 days. Once the trial period expires, you’ll have the choice to either downgrade your account to a basic one or pay to keep your premium features.

Once you’ve reached your board, you’ll see a grid layout depicting your whiteboard. On the left hand panel you’ll see a toolbar including various editing options – Insert Tool, Selection, Text Box, Sticky Note, Shape Drawing Tool, Pencil, Comment Box, Undo / Redo Button, Frames Tool (to create presentations from whiteboard), Full screen Toggle, Zoom In / Out Button. Go ahead, give the whiteboard a try, it’s quite simple really.

Once you have some ideas drawn or inserted or pasted (sticky notes) on the board, you can choose to export it as an image, PDF, download as backup, save to Google Drive, or attach to JIRA. To do this, click on the up arrow on the top left side of the screen next to your board’s name. Alternatively, you can invite teammates to edit the ideas or leave their comments. This can be done by clicking on the message icon on the bottom right corner of the screen. You can also share the board with other people by emailing them the link of the board. For this, click on the “Share” button on the upper right corner of the screen.

If you click on the home icon on the upper left corner of the screen, you’ll be redirected to your dashboard. Here, you can view all your different whiteboards and also keep monitoring the whiteboards other people have shared with you. This screen also displays some helpful examples of whiteboards fitting to different scenarios.

realtimeboard2

Pros VS Cons

RealtimeBoard proves to be quite an interesting brainstorming platform for distributed teams. It has a lot of pros associated with it which are evident from its feature description and usage. But there are a few drawbacks too.

  • Deleting stuff on the board is tricky. You have to select the object to be deleted through the selecting pointer (arrow on the upper left corner of the toolbar), then right click to open a pop-up menu and then select delete. A simple erase button would’ve been more convenient.
  • The tool is truly beneficial only for teams that have people located at different physical places. In house teams can be much quicker with actual whiteboards.
  • The tool isn’t free of cost unlike the good old physical whiteboards.
  • Take your whiteboard wherever you go, try @realtimeboard realtimeboard.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

Good tool, but only for those who wish to bring in a certain level of organization to their brainstorming sessions.

Smooth screen sharing & web conferencing with join.me

Collaboration is the key to success in the modern world. Be it technology, design, or business, teams need to share their ideas and brainstorm in order to come up with the perfect product or service. As such, there’s no dearth of great tools that can provide an optimum platform for the same. But in a market practically overloaded with online, free utilities for the purpose, picking a trustworthy and competent one could be difficult.

joinme

Not actually, if you’ve got us to help you out! As always, we’re reviewing another brilliant online platform in this article. The tool in focus today is join.me; quite a popular name among collaboration tools.

Join.me – Collaborate better, online!

If you work in a distributed team, a simple task such as a status meeting could mean having everyone connected through conference calls. Imagine the kind of technical aspects that would need to be taken care of if you needed to demonstrate a design or a POC (proof of concept) or functionality to your counterparts or clients sitting in another country. You’ll need equipment to establish a secure connection, voice and image sharing tools and often screen sharing tools too. What if you could have all of that through one platform that comes with two major advantages – it’s free of cost and it doesn’t need any installations.

Join.me makes this possible. It is an instant online meeting solution that makes team-work easier than ever before. Screen sharing, audio / video conferencing and collaboration in a few clicks; that’s how simple it really is. The success mantra behind this platform is that it is easy to start, join and manage. And if you’re a viewer (not an active participant) in the meeting, you don’t even need to install anything on your machine. Just log on to the portal and choose to “Join a meeting”.

Here’s a look at the most prominent features of join.me:

  • The tool offers a new take on video conferencing. Called video bubbles, join.me facilitates light, floating visual images of you and other members. You can view live bubbles of one-another during meetings. You can even play with them (grab and bounce) if you’re bored!
  • User provisioning, tight policy and permission control, single-sign on, and detailed reporting, join.me is one of the most secure online meeting solutions.
  • It facilitates unlimited audio services using VoIP and dedicated conference lines in more than 40 countries. Includes audio conferencing by phone and Internet audio (VoIP) to enable you to see and hear everything in real time.
  • Gives users the freedom to join meeting from any device (desktops, laptops, tablets, or Smartphone) thus empowering your workforce to be more productive while on the move.
  • Allows you to record meetings so that you can refer to them later or share the recording with participants who missed them. To store recorded videos you’ll need a Pro account (5GB cloud storage) or an Enterprise account (5TB cloud storage).
  • One-click scheduler lets you set up meetings in advance. You can also choose to setup join.me meetings directly in Outlook or Google Calendar.
  • Swapping screens between presenters is super smooth too. One presenter can simply make any other participant the presenter so they can broadcast their screen with full control.
  • Offers you the control to personalize the link to join a meeting.
  • With join.me Pro account, you can add team members to make the whole experience more effective.

joinme2

Ranked number 1 in speed and ease of use, join.me has up to 90% of the fortune 500 companies among its user base. The service is ideal for sales demos, idea generation, external presentations and ad hoc get-togethers.

Tool Usage

To start using join.me for free, click on “Log in” on the upper right corner of the screen. First time users can then sign up for an account with LogMeIn services (creators or join.me). Once your account is created, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to start your Pro account trial. If you’re not ready to start with that yet, there’s an option to “skip” this step for now. Following screens are related to the Pro account as well so you can just let them be.

To get a glimpse of the action, start hosting a meeting or join a meeting through a smaller pop-up window just below the Pro account one. If you host a meeting, you’ll get a one-time code that you can share via email with other participants. To join a meeting, enter the one-time code that someone else shared with you via email. If you choose to host a meeting, you’ll need to download and install the join.me app on your machine. The download will begin automatically and once it completes, open it and start sharing your screen.

Pros VS Cons

Do we really need to revisit the plus points? Well, if you insist!

  • Instant screen sharing & video conferencing with VoIP
  • Online meetings with unlimited audio conferencing and more features for less than $20 per user / month that’s billed annually
  • Premium meetings with advanced management capabilities for less than $25 per user / month that’s billed annually
  • Smooth working on a variety of devices
  • Facility to record and save meetings
  • One-click meeting scheduler
  • Allows file transfer and presenter swapping

When it comes to pointing out the negative points of join.me they’re quite difficult to find. Except of course the fact that despite the claims of the tool to be number 1 in speed, the quality of the video or screen sharing will depend upon your internet connection speed.

  • Communicate using instant screen sharing and web conferencing through @joinme join.me/ via @supermonitoring

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Summing it up

All in all, join.me is one of the best collaboration tools in the market today. It’s simple and straightforward; a tool that actually focuses more on work and less on talk. So get productive!

Work, Talk & Share with your team in real time with Slack

If you’ve ever managed or been a part of a large team, you know how irritating it can be to wait for formalities like an approval to arrive in your mailbox before you can technically proceed. Similarly in the case of reports, even after you’ve just had a presentation or discussion within your team regarding results, you need to make it formal by typing a lengthy email with a report attached and send it to everyone on your mailing list; too cumbersome and frankly unnecessary if you ask us. It would all be much simpler if there could be something more informal and personalized that could be whipped up and shared quickly eliminating all time and technical constraints.

The good news is that a great app called Slack allows you to do just that!

slack

Slack – Real time messaging for corporate teams!

As much as it sounds like just another messaging app, it’s actually not. This app is designed specifically for professionals who wish to make inter-team communication better and simpler. With just the right mix of messaging-app glamour and corporate professionalism, this application is well on the track to become the next big thing.

Slack brings together so much in such a light look-and-feel that you’ll have a hard time initially to sink so much in. You can find something from most social platforms here – a little bit of WhatsApp (messaging groups, image sharing), pinch of Twitter (tag based topic search, referring people through @ tag) and more.

Some great features of Slack include:

1. Group conversations

Create channels (or more commonly called groups) within the team or with only a bunch of people specific to a task and communicate with them from anywhere at any time without having to be restricted to VPNs or emailing formalities. Add that personal touch through one-to-one private messages in case of sensitive matters. You can choose to create channels based on projects, teams or even a topic.

2. Share files

Get over traditional email attachments; drag-and-drop is the way to go with Slack. Just drag a document, screenshot or report in a group to share it with all participants instantly, without having to wait for them to check their email. You can even share presentations or videos through Slack and get immediate feedback and comments on it to start a discussion. Moreover, if you use services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box, just paste the link and that document is immediately in sync and searchable too.

3. Easy, extensive search

Slack makes searching for items easy. Just type in what you wish to search in the search box and whether it is a conversation, an item or a person, everything will be searched within milliseconds and you’ll see the results before you in a flash. Slack automatically indexes and archives stuff to make this possible.

4. Stay synced

If you frequently switch machines or platforms, you needn’t get into complications like exporting items or converting mailboxes. Slack being an online tool lets you stay in sync whether you work from your PC or your Smartphone so you can pick up exactly from where you left.

5. Custom notifications

Slack makes sure you never miss a thing or even be late in noticing. With custom notifications, you can make sure your phone or PC beeps every time you’re mentioned or an item is shared with you. Or if you prefer to not be disturbed, you can set that too.

6. Secure and safe

We’re sure that was the last item on your mind; well consider it checked too! All data within Slack is encrypted (256-bit AES and TLS 1.2) on the desktop or the phone. The makers perform security testing regularly to identify and resolve any loopholes so you can rest assured that your confidential data won’t be leaked online.
Aren’t you just dying to try it out?

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So how does it work?

To start using Slack immediately just signup for free through the tool’s website. You’ll need to supply your email address, pick a name for the channel you wish to create, pick a URL, choose a username for yourself and you’re done!

Click on ‘Explore Slack’ and you’ll be directed to the main chat-share screen where you can get hands-on action done. You can start by inviting people to join Slack or join an existing team that you know of. Thereafter, create as many channels as you need to. All your channels and people in your network will be listed in a panel on the left hand side of the window. And if you get confused about things, there’s a handy helpful tutorial to help you out.

Drag-and-drop items from your PC or phone into the chat window’s text box to share instantly. If you want to browse through the files shared with you or that you’ve shared, click on a small 3-dot icon on the upper right corner of the window. This corner of the window also has a search box, an ‘@’ sign to search for conversations where you’ve been mentioned and a star icon indicating items that you’ve marked as favorite.

Pros VS Cons

In addition to the list of awesome features it has, the practical plus points of Slack include quick image transfer, no VPN requirement, availability in both forms – client installation as well as web tool, freedom to create as many channels as you want depending on the requirements of your team, notifications if someone on the team is online and lots and lots more. The best part of this tool is that its basic version is free for as long as you want; meaning you don’t have to pay a penny if you just wish to use its basic version. For standard, premium and enterprise (launching in 2015) versions however, you need to pay a nominal fee. But then you get a lot of additional features too so it’s a win-win deal.
The only con with this tool seems to be slight connection issues on some mobile networks or client machines. But this issue too seems to be temporary so you shouldn’t really be worried.

  • Get over emailing formalities. Make work and sharing simpler and informal with @SlackHQ slack.com/ via @supermonitoring

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Final Verdict

All-in-all, Slack is a great tool for collaborating with your team and inculcating a bit of informal, happy work environment setting. You actually don’t have anything to lose so try it out with a couple of teammates just for fun and experience it for yourself.

Highrise – Stay organized, track tasks and take notes at a click

Are you thinking about starting a business of your own? Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. Communicating your business, determining the key characteristics that will allow you to excel, exploring your opportunities that range from national and international, planning and preparing for every step in the process. You have a variety of options and tasks to manage all at once, wouldn’t it be easier if you had an assist that can make everything easier. Here we have for you, your personal business manager an e-platform that allows you to conduct, save and share all the necessary requirements of a successful business running – Highrise.

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Features

Highrise enhances communication – it allows you to track contacts and manage all business relations by simply providing you the facility to share address books, store important emails, attach documents and files and control who sees what with easy privacy settings so that your team can view the status of any business deal or transaction in a couple of clicks. You can easily make notes and pointers on a meeting or project, share important emails in privacy sharing for the important negotiations on corporate level, or share tasks related to any contact or project. You can also mark information private to yourself or select team members, so that you share what you want, when you want.

Have difficulty in tracking your projects not any more, Highrise ensures easy tracking of your tasks & setting reminders. None of your deals will ever fall through the loopholes and there will be no miscommunication as everything will be crystal clear. It allows you to stay on top of your new business pipeline by creating tasks to follow up with leads and check in with customers. View tasks by company, contact, or project, and add reminders to tasks so that you never forget to send an email again. With this magical tool you can assign tasks to team members and get reminders via email or SMS.

The best part about this platform is that it links all your major communication platforms making it easy to import your contacts from Outlook, Gmail, Excel, and more thus collaborating all the essential details at one spot for a detailed go through. No more having to bounce to your Inbox, find the right thread to reply to, and remember to BCC your drop box address. Also what’s awesome about this – it just augments Gmail. You can keep Gmail’s fantastic sender reputation, and you can find Highrise generated messages in your sent mail over in Gmail. So you don’t have to give up your inbox; you just don’t have to open it as often, if you’re using Highrise. Further it ensures your team to revert important emails at the right time with the right information. It allows you to send bulk promotional mails and add third parties via MailChimp. The imported files can be downloaded in simple CSV formats that can be forwarded on all professional fronts.

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To summarize Highrise gives you freedom to keep important customer emails together on one page, review communications with your investors, see all the people your company knows at major business fronts and how to contact them, See all the follow-ups scheduled for the day and the following week, attach notes from a business call, review a colleagues notes before encountering him or her, set reminders on important meetings, business anniversaries, congratulation and thank you notes. If a group of contacts all share the same address because they work at the same company, just add those contacts to the same company record in Highrise. When you would look up that contact in Highrise, the shared company address appears in the sidebar. You can also set up follow-up sales call with a lead or client and schedule them easily over the months span in a period of 30 days.

Highrise makes it easier to conduct combined projects by allowing you to set a task for a co-worker to review a proposal, search and filter all your contacts, tag contacts for easy organization, customize data fields for people and companies Hence becoming a very handy professional tool.

Interface

As its name suggests, Highrise has a high quality and user friendly interface. It is built around a satisfyingly simple design that brings order to potentially chaotic information. The platforms primary purpose is to organize all the different component parts of your projects – notes, pictures, people and places – in a personalized, easy-to-understand way. The site has a user interface which uses a selection of gestures to create a grid structure for any given task, and organize it as you see fit. It’s also fully collaborative, so users can share joint plans and contact each other from within the establishment and around.

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To start on Highrise

A 30 day trial is the best option to know that the platform is best suitable for you, it also gives you a fair idea of the features and the overall experience of the benefits of this platform for you. If you upgrade from a free account to a pay account you are not eligible for the 30-day free trial. The 30-day free trial on paying plans only applies if you sign up for a paying plan now. You can always downgrade later if you choose. Highrise is a pay-as-you-go service. There are no long term contracts or commitments on your part. You simply pay month-to-month. If you cancel, you’ll be billed for the current month, but you won’t be billed again.
The platform allows you to change the plan any time you want just click on the account tab and change your preferences any time during your usage. The website lets you pay via any medium accepting Visa, MasterCard, and American Express but it does not accept PayPal that might be a hindrance for now.

  • Highrise – the simplest online CRM that makes it easy for you to manage your business highrisehq.com/ @highrise via @supermonitoring

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Improve your odds of business success by understanding your managing needs as well as the options that are available to help you organize, run and grow your business. Find out how you can successfully grow your company with Highrisehq.com. Give it a try.

Live Chat Inc. – Offer Incredible Customer Service & Wow Your Customers

Live Chat, A web application that enables your sales or customer support team to interact with your customers through the website. It offers better engagement to the visitors with your website. Live Chat has numerous functions integrated and using facebook to know who your customer is and the ability to know more about the viewer or customer through their facebook profile is one feature that any ecommerce company or business would need.

Decreasing the customer service response time and increasing the customer satisfaction is what Live Chat does. A large number of people would love to get their queries solved immediately while browsing your website rather than waiting for customer service representatives to attend their call on phone. And on the other hand installing Live Chat would also cut down the cost for customer service.

Live Chat increases customer trust and confidence in your brand and also increases the number of sales as there is someone to guide the customer through the whole process especially when a customer is confused a sales representative would help them in making a sale for your brand.

Addressing customer’s frustrations is what usually huge brands invest in social media for but having Live Chat installed enables companies to save investments on social media as well and they can have large reductions in the negative publicity on the social networking websites such as facebook and twitter. Using Live Chat you can make sure all your promotions and discount coupons work in the desired manner and ensure that your customers are happy with your service.

LiveChat

Live Chat Inc. offers same features to giant ecommerce brands as well as to those ecommerce platform which is run by some individual person so let it be a one man army or a full fledged mob of people working for your brand you’ll have access to similar features.

Ease of Use, Appearance and Customization

Loaded with an easy to use bright and colourful interface which would suit any type of business and you have an option to customize the appearance of the chat window according to the colour scheme that matches your website or your company colours. Advanced users can edit the css and make changes to the widget. No credit card required for a signup and you just need to copy and paste a code to your website in order to integrate Live Chat. The ease of use is further accelerated by the clear and crisp instructions from the developers.

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Chat Features

Client End – Ability to add company’s logo and a picture of the operator who is responding to client or customer but this feature is optional. You can also add your social media accounts to the widget which informs the client/customer about your web presence.

Agent / Operator End – Wonderfully clean interface and has a software available for Mac or Windows. You are able to set a specific time for the tool to go offline when there is no activity performed.

Greetings, Canned Messages and Protocols – You can set greets and triggers for your customer and these can be customized in accordance with some specific rules. You can also set some phrases for quick response so that the customer wouldn’t have to wait for a long time. After installing certain code snippets you’ll be able to support multiple languages on the widget.

Analytics And Tracking – It shows the basic information about your customer including country, IP address and current webpage. It also allows you to know more about the customer using the social media and social network integration.

Integration And Support – Can be integrated with many applications such as Highrise , Salesforce, SugarCRM. It supports iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Team Support and Integrations – Allows chat support representatives to work in teams and transfer chats from one gent to the other. Supports Agent Groups and people can select which department they would like to contact for their queries. It also creates a log history of chat for future reference.

Live Chat Customer Support – Helpful and easily reachable support and they give a quick response as well and answer all your queries related to the Live Chat widget.

Ticket System – Offline Messages can be handled easily using this feature on your website. Whenever the agent team is offline the client or customer messages would directly go to this system and has three status open, pending, resolved depending on whether your query is answered or not.

Reports and Stats – It shows a weekly report of all the live chat sessions and the quality of service your customers get through the customer service representative using the chat application. It also informs you about the missed chats and if your customers are satisfied with the response. It also informs you about the Queued visitors on your website who would like to chat and get their queries resolved and are waiting for an agent to respond this feature comes handy when you are thinking of expanding the live chat team. You should get in more operators when the number of people waiting for a chat goes up.

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Pricing

[Updated 04/17/2015]
Live Chat Inc offers two different plans one for individuals and the other for team. The fee for solo plan is $36 per month and it includes unlimited chats, ticketing system enhanced security and reporting. The team plan is for $39 per month which includes all the solo plan features as well as chat routing and agent groups. They also offer a $59 per month enterprise plan which has some additional features such as credit card masking,multi brand customization, On demand reporting and work scheduler.
Live Chat offers five different plans, starting at $19 per seat/month. And you can try out the service for free for 30 days.
Live Chat support is always more convenient, you can offer competitive services, get instant feedback from customers and you can help more people at the same time.

  • Try the best customer chat support system available and win your customers – @LiveChat Inc. www.livechatinc.com/ via @supermonitoring

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But there are some customers who wouldn’t like specially those who aren’t tech savvy. Also, chat support may not work well on all mobile platforms. Prank chats are also one of the problems people face when they install chat support systems on their business websites. Also, you should be careful as you would have to give a quick response to the customer or else he may get frustrated while using chat support unlike email or phone support systems.

Do take care of these points when you install Live Chat Inc widget, It’ll surely help you making your business.

Qualaroo – smart behavior insight surveys

Customer development and customer management these days require a huge investment of hands on time by the founders in interviewing the market participants, but as an organization grows and expands one hardly gets enough time to get the details about the customer experience by the customers who may or may not buy your services. There is always a scope of improvement and for improving the services you offer on your website you need to understand the user behavior on your website.
When you are aware of the intentions of the user and issues which may keep the user away from taking a decision you seek for, you would make changes based on these details which will enhance your website, improve the site performance and increase your revenues.

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Let us assume you had a shop in the real world and all or most of the customers  who visit your shop walk away after having  a look at the products without making a deal, now wouldn’t you ask them the reason and try to come up with an offer which would suit the customer. Qualaroo does the same thing now if you have an online shop you would obviously like to know why a user didn’t buy your product this is where Qualaroo steps in by asking certain set of relevant questions like Are these services too expensive? Or the products you stock are irrelevant or not according to the needs of the visitor.

Qualaroo helps you get deep inside the heads of the people who visit your website and know what these visitor think about your business and what barriers keep them away from converting. It helps you understand and improve user experience on your website and drive better results. Qualaroo offers services called Qualaroo Insights, Qualaroo Convert and Qualaroo for Mobile.

Qualaroo Insights

Easy to build and design micro surveys targeting your audience as they surf your website can be integrated using a single code which you need to install on your website. Qualaroo offers intelligent question branching so that you can nest up a new question based on a previous answer or answers. Qualaroo includes a library of questions which you can include in your surveys to ask the visitor making the survey more efficient and perfect. There may be a difference between what a user says and what he does on your website, thus Qualaroo can be effortlessly integrated with Google Analytics or KISSmetrics to offer a proper detail about a user experience like what a visitor did and why he did that. You can take more informed decisions and update your websites in accordance with the requirements of the visitor to ensure a decent conversion rate.

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Qualaroo Convert

Qualaroo convert enables you to tap more sales by giving the right offer or content and it makes you aware of the unique needs of a user to achieve that. Redirecting users to a call to action screen which may offer discounted rates for services. You can deal with last minute objections of the users more efficiently using qualaroo with fewer efforts. It can be easily integrated with the live chat services. After asking a few questions you may lead your visitors to a live chat session where a representative can solve his or her queries. You can also ask a few questions and present the user with a offer which may lead to an increased conversion rate.

Qualaroo for Mobile

Qualaroo is the first survey service available for mobile users visiting your website. Qualaroo enables you to know the needs of the mobile users and offer your services accordingly.

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Qualitative Analysis of your business

Instead of going for numerical analysis Qualaroo allows you to have qualitative analysis of your business for example, It may allow you to ask open end questions so that users may write whatever they feel about your services instead of asking them to rate your business on the scale of 5 or 10 and providing insights like 56% users like your services. By asking open ended questions Qualaroo would allow you to come up with more creative and innovative ideas to increase your business. Though this may take time but would surely help you a lot with Qualaroo performing most of the tasks you would just have to read feedbacks and respond in the right direction. Qualaroo allows you to collect the data and export them into an excel sheet to keep a record of the areas you need to work on. It also allows you to create pie charts on the data collected.

Points to keep in mind while creating surveys on Qualaroo:

  1. Feedback should be asked only once to the user and not as many times he would visit the website.
  2. Always check how the survey comes up on your website and place it according to the website design it shouldn’t appear out of the place.
  3. Always thank people who complete surveys on your website as they are giving you their valuable time to enhance your services.
  4. Being polite while you create and place your surveys would surely help you a lot and these surveys should appear as spams to the people who visit your website.
  5. Always schedule your surveys.
  6. Ask more open ended questions.
  7. You can or you must ask for email address to contact in case you would like to get in touch with the customer who visits your website.

Pros

  • Offers customizable surveys that is, you can create a survey on your own or use the survey questions recommended for the kind of website you own.
  • Comes with attractive themes and has a good visual appeal which would easily complement any website.
  • You can select who should see your survey like for returning visitors or people who visit for the first time.
  • Has wonderfully easy to handle dashboard with easy installation.
  • Works awesomely well with http as well as https pages which have secure SSL certificate.
  • Provides immediate feedback from users.
  • Offers better customization than other available options for similar tasks
  • No training required.
  • It is useful not only for ecommerce websites but also for blogs and forums as it would allow you to ask people what would they like you to write about.

Cons

  • Wont capture details when a user leaves in comparison to some other available options.
  • Expensive for small scale business.
  • It often seems to track impressions rather than tracking the unique visits.
  • Create smart micro surveys targeting your audience as they surf your website with @Qualaroo qualaroo.com via @supermonitoring

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Qualaroo is an innovative tool to tap more deals from your own website than targeting some other website’s audience and gaining traffic from them. Installing a small code snippet would bring wonders to your website or blog and would efficiently increase your sales for sure.
I strongly recommend people to use Qualaroo themselves and do write us about your experiences. That’s all for now. Toodles!

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