Business Life

Plaxo as a personal CRM business tool


In these days of below-the-line marketing, everyone should have a personal social-media CRM independently to whatever CRM they have in their office. This reflects the blurring of the work and play areas of life which is one of the recognised aspects of Generations Y and Z, as well as a very natural result of the interactive technology most of our readers will be native to and working in every day of their lives.

Plaxo (www.plaxo.com) is an address book synchronising and back-up tool which has a number of interesting features such as the ability to access your contacts from the net, to import and export as CSV files, to send greetings cards to check duplicates and synchronise in a limited way with google applications, facebook and other social media.

The interface seems to offer a lot of benefits and certainly the ability to send greetings cards is a useful one. There are, however a whole series of issues and bugs and incomplete aspects to Plaxo which means that it can easily be superseded as the personal CRM of choice by any app maker able to sort out these issues more efficiently.

1) There’s no official Plaxo app on Android phones and so the synchronisation goes via Google Apps and is clunky. Whenever codeword security runs out, it seems to stop synchronising. Also the synchronising doesn’t seem to work well all the time and in my case telephone numbers have been moved from one person to another, which is very troublesome.

2) There are not really enough greetings cards and they are in too few languages.

3) Intelligent updating from the web of what our contacts are doing seems not to be working half the time. Occasionally the robot makes a half-hearted attempt to find and update people, but nowhere near what you’d expect for the annual fee.

4) Above about 3000 contacts and the site works slowly. It is unable to offer you a print out of the whole database at that size.

5) It often loses the pictures it has imported from facebook and doesn’t seem to be able to import any at all from Linked In. It cannot update calendars directly to Android, again only via Google apps.

6) It doesn’t deal properly with any scripts beyond basic Latin script, so it mangles names written even with Polish or Czech letters, leave alone Cyrillics or Chinese names.

7) The folders are a clunky interface, but even when you have done the work of putting contacts into the appropriate folders, they don’t carry through to the greetings cards area, so you cannot, for instance, make a folder of people who would receive, let’s say, and Eidh card or a more/less traditional Hannukah card and then easily access that folder from the greetings card area. Also send outs of more than about 200 cards per time tend to fail and need all that work to be done again.

These are my main Plaxo gripes. I am airing them in the hope that Plaxo will finally get their act together and repair their product before their remaining users find another app on the market among the choice which seems to be growing every day that does all the things that Plaxo is expected to do, but still fails to deliver.

 

 

 

 

4 replies »

  1. A CRM system automates the business process (Sales, Service, Marketing) via workflows and triggers alerts. Plaxo is a glorified Rolodex. Social media dumbing down customer interactions.

    • OK, but maintaining a Rolodex was also a business process, in Rolodex’s day. I couldn’t get 3000 cards into a Rolodex, though. Plaxo enables too few processes for a purist to call it a CRM, but some things it can do, such as automatically offer updated info from the web and also has some nice greetings cards.

  2. Thank you for the insight and you’re right – we haven’t focused much on these areas you pointed out and it’s something we should address, specifically the issue with speed. This is a critical fix that we need to address but certainly, your other points are now in our list.

    As for the Android app, we didn’t create this app because all Android phones natively support 2-way sync with GMail (both with address book and calendar). One way to get Outlook to sync with Android is to use the GMail route. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have an Android app specific to syncing (soonish).

    In the next coming months, I hope we delight you with changes to Plaxo. And I hope to incorporate some of those changes based on your feedback – I welcome you and your readers to contact me anytime if you’re ever interested in hearing what Plaxo is up to…. redgee (at) plaxo (dot) com.

    • I am delighted to have got your attention, Mr Capili. Many thanks for your reply.

      For me, Plaxo is a critical personal tool and so the niggles that I have are things that come to my attention on a regular basis. I invested lots of time and of course money in my Plaxo base, so I would not like for it to be superseded but always be ahead of the competition, which would translate into a real business and social edge for me and other Plaxorians.

      It’s on that basis that I offered open criticisms and I look forward similarly to ticking my list off and publicly acclaiming numerous improvements in the site.

      Thanks again.

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