Business gurus perpetually preach that developing new connections and staying connected are crucial strategies in making businesses grow. The best proof of this argument can be gleaned from the success stories of social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, where only a few years back these are mere startups with just a few hundred users but now these websites are brand names, valued at billions of dollars. By offering useful services and valuable interactions, the user-base of these social networking websites grew phenomenally, turning them into the Internet behemoths they are now.
This week’s App of the Week, Connected, works by importing information from social media networks, online calendars, email service providers, and phone directories into a single location that is accessible anytime, anywhere using a computer or a smartphone. The program allows businesses to store a universal address book with comprehensive profiles of contacts without having to enter data manually, merging information from multiple sources and automatically updating data to ensure accurate information all the time. It also provides a way to tag, write a note or modify existing entries in the address book. Most importantly, all the data stored with Connected are always secure and companies are assured that customer and company privacy are constantly protected.
With Connected, users can focus on building and fostering relationships instead of doing mundane tasks like manually compiling contact information from various sources. The system makes it easier to search for and to locate the right person quickly, to view the needed information at a glance, and to set reminders – for calls, meets or emails – to ensure professional ties remain active at all times.
The app even allows subscribers to read the tweets, status updates and blogs of listed contacts, without having to open the corresponding social media web page. This makes it possible for companies to study and to analyze the preferences and habits of contacts, and allows sending of targeted emails and voice calls in a timely fashion. Indeed, contact management without the work is now a reality with Connected.
New businesses need not replicate the tortuous paths these websites took to succeed. Instead, newcomers should leverage the social networks to ensure their own success, taking advantage of the most important aspect one gets from these social media channels: relationships. By creating and maintaining contacts in Gmail, friends in Facebook, followers in Twitter, and connections in LinkedIn, small businesses can extend their reach beyond their mortar-and-brick shops and limited coverage areas.
But the problem of aggregating and managing professional contacts from various sources seems a daunting task for most businesses. Large companies typically have specially-designed CRM and CMS systems with integrated contact management features that make it easy for personnel to track and process all the information that are valuable to the business. Smaller firms have to contend with the difficult tasks of gathering and sorting out the connections from online and local sources into a database, and integrating this into the business processes wherein the corresponding data is needed. Fortunately, this week’s App of the Week makes the rather difficult task of contact management quite easy.