You have to be good at something

A few weeks ago my partner suggested that we should start using a CRM system to help us synchronize our efforts. Since I had nearly two decades of experience implementing various CRM systems for large and small businesses, he wanted me to select the “right” one for us. I like simplicity and ease of adoption, but these are not easy to assess without actual trial. Of course every vendor claims to deliver these qualities, regardless of the fact that different people and organizations may perceive them in a very dissimilar ways.

Given the number of offerings advertised,  and the explicitness of our requirements, I focused on products with a large number of positive user reviews. The second filter was the ability to try a product without disclosure of credit card information to companies that have not earn my trust yet. There is too much hacking going on to risk my private information during the shopping process.

I eventually selected one of the most popular CRM apps available for our platform (Insightly), judging by the number of positive reviews, that promised everything I deem to be important to us, and more. Registration and installation were very simple and easy indeed, but I immediately stumbled into a basic administration problem – I could not add any users. After checking the plan’s entitlements and searching the Frequently Asked Questions, I contacted Customer Support describing the problem that needed to be resolved. The curt email response, that arrived 26 hours later, contained a link to documentation page that was not very helpful in resolving the problem. The second round of communications convinced me that my expectations of simplicity and ease dot not match the company’s desire or ability to deliver. Hence, the company  has failed at the First Moment of Truth, as far as this probable customer is concerned.  As I had cancelled my trial subscription and unplugged the software from our platform, the company sent me email (right away) that made me feel like I have failed their expectations and somehow am not worthy of their product. Regardless, they were “sorry to see me leave”. I do understand that not every product fits every customer, and happily went on to subscribe to the services of another CRM provider.

Imagine my surprise a few days later to see an email solicitation in my inbox from Insightly, boasting ultimate simplicity and ease of use of their product in addition to unwavering commitment to their customer support. Apparently their marketing does not have access to their customer feedback records or transactions history, or don’t care to use it. When a CRM company displays such a shocking ignorance of basic CRM practices, that catches my attention and makes me want to share my puzzlement with others. At this point the “#1 Online Small Business CRM” company failed at the Ultimate Moment of Truth by denying me an opportunity to share my experience with others as they did not allow me to publish a review of my experience.

“Without trust, a business cannot grow. Without reputation a business cannot be trusted.”
Faking your reputation is a cardinal sin of idiotic marketing that results in a permanent distrust.  From now on any communication from Insightly, goes directly into trash. However, now I cannot refresh my browser without seeing their advertising for no apparent reason. Failing in product design, customer support and marketing did not prevent them from raising enough venture capital to motivate me to write this post.

Fraud Marketing

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