This week, we’re allowed to wander off and write about something we learned about advertising, design, font, color, communication, technology tools, etc., so here’s a real world example of how I used what I learned (into that context).
In one of my previous projects at work, I was asked by my supervisor to take a look at several web-based project management programs (time for enterprise virtualization) and present the “best” freeware solution at our next board meeting. (Did someone say presentations?! Whee!)
At first, I was apprehensive at the idea since freeware tends to be a temporary solution until its longevity runs out, or the pay-to-play options become “necessary” for optimal use of the program. But, the boss requested freeware-only options, so I did what he asked and did my web research.
I narrowed down our eligible freeware candidates to a program called Citrix. I’m not going to go into an in-depth detailed fancy schmancy analysis of why I chose this program over the 10 other options that the internet spewed forth as freeware collaborative CRM (customer resource management) or ERP (enterprise resource planning) programs. BUT, I will tell you the top 5 reasons why I ended up with Citrix as my final choice since they probably land most of their customers this way:
- Visual Design: This is an afterthought for some people, but for me, sometimes just because a program looks pretty, it doesn’t mean it’s up-to-par with functionality or usefulness. Surprisingly, the simple design was really, just simple design. You want bells and whistles? You can add those on your own with customizable templates.
- Ease of Use: On the same note as “usefulness”, the program is a breeze to learn if you’ve ever used any CRM, CMS (content management system), or even a basic blog.
- Intuitive Interface: “Guess where the Save, Close and New Field buttons are?” shouldn’t be part of your daily routine when using a CRM program. Fortunately, Citrix was more intuitive than I realized and it had a great initial set-up for guessing where I thought certain things should be.
- Customer Support: Even if I didn’t need it, there was always an option to talk to a real English-speaking person on the phone (wow!) about how the software was performing. If I needed any help, customer support was there via phone, web chat, and email. Citrix also sends out regular feedback emails to check how their software is performing.
- Above Average Quality Freeware: Citrix might be freeware (it was free at the time I was asked to look into it, which was about a year ago), but it functions above and beyond anything that would typically be available for free. As far as no-cost CRMs go, the boss would be pleased with this option.
*****Side note: Citrix might have their little pinky into our business model (since we already gave them our basic info, i.e. our company address, how many employees we have, some of our business leads) so I have a tiny bit of security paranoia about any additional info that anyone else in the company might give them while we test out their program. I hope our IT guys know what the boss is up to with this CRM endeavor…