Customer relationship management (CRM) software is critical to running a successful business—no matter its size. But for small businesses, CRN is even more crucial.
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first descended upon us, Zoho, a “unique and powerful software suite to transform the way you work” which has offered CRM to its customers for over 15 years, launched Bigin because, says Yatheesh Raj, a product marketing manager at Zoho, small and micro businesses needed a CRM solution designed expressly for them.
My colleague Brian Moran and I talked to Raj to learn more about the beginnings of Bigin.
“Amidst the pandemic, a lot of small businesses needed technological help keeping in touch with their customers and managing their existing relationships. At Zoho, we’d been thinking about a solution targeted at smaller businesses because they were underserved as a market.
So we launched Begin as a separate platform, built specifically from scratch with small businesses in mind with minimalism at its core. We made it simple and easy to use, with the right feature set and most importantly, an affordable price.
CRM has always been perceived as a complex technology, but we wanted to change that with Bigin. Things are not challenging when a business has 10 customers. But as your business grows and the volume increases, things get more challenging, and using a spreadsheet to manage that is difficult.
And that’s the point where we see a lot of small businesses turning to technology. Interestingly, about 65% of Bigin of customers have never used a CRM solution before—they come to us from using spreadsheets, notepads, or other manual methods.
Since we launched Bigin, we realized CRM has to go beyond sales. Most CRMs stop with the sales pipeline. There is no support or onboarding pipeline. There are no refunds or cancellation pipelines if a customer wants to cancel an order. All these things are maintained in a different set of tools. So we recently launched some updates, making Bigin even more valuable for small business owners.
Raj had much more to say, and you can see and hear the entire conversation with Raj here.
Bigin is now a multi-dimensional CRM solution that brings together formerly disconnected and siloed customer-focused operations, such as onboarding, delivery, support, feedback collection, and more. And it helps you improve your customers’ experiences and deepen your customer relationships.
As Raj said, Bigin was recently updated with new features. Some key updates to Bigin include:
Team Pipelines brings together various customer operations into a single 360-degree view. As a result, businesses can connect key customer processes such as deal management, onboarding, delivery, training, ticket management, refund requests, customer testimonials, etc., ensuring that small businesses like yours can more easily manage their daily processes.
Connected Pipelines allows your business to automate the movement of customer data across various pipelines, enabling you to deliver seamless end-to-end customer experiences. For example, once your sales team closes a deal, you can automate the creation of a connected record in the customer onboarding pipeline. This way, your team will spend less time entering repetitive customer information and have more time to focus on actual customer conversations.
Toppings, explains the Bigin team, are additional functionalities and third-party integrations that can be added on-demand to address your business needs beyond the standard offering. For example, the ‘Email-In’ topping ensures that emails sent to different email aliases in an organization are automatically mapped to the relevant customer records in each pipeline. Similarly, the ‘File Cabinet’ topping automates the process of file collection, where customers can manage all their documents through unique, secure links.
Returning to our conversation with Raj, he adds that Bigin features “industry-based templates which customize the stages for specific pipelines.” And, he continues, if a small business scales and feels like it’s time to switch to something that can scale with it, Zoho has a “dedicated IT team to make the migration to ZOHO CRM easy and seamless. It’s a one-click process.”
Today there are more than 20,000 businesses worldwide using Bigin. You can see what’s new and join them.
Bigin is available across iOS, iPadOS, Android, and macOS, so how you deploy it is up to you. Pricing starts at $7/user/month (billed annually) for the Express edition and goes up to $12/user/month (billed annually) for the Premier edition. There is also a free edition available.
Raj says Bigin is so simple that you can deploy it in less than 30 minutes. He tells small business owners to “begin with Bigin” and says there’s more to come. Zoho is “not just investing in the technology of today, but also the technology of the future.”