Canvas from Zoho delivers CRM the way employees like it
A common failing of traditional CRM design is that the employee who has to carry out the work has little carrot and a whole lot of stick to foster adoption. Since the 1990s, CRM has promised a lot and delivered very little. It is often implemented as a mechanism for management to provide a veneer of control. Back in the 1990s, when I was at IBM, the threat of not approving commission payments was the only incentive to play ball.
Fast forward to the 2020s, and while AI and improvements in data management have certainly helped, the burden of effort involved remains with the user, not control.
The worker, service agent, salesperson, or marketer is still plagued with the drudgery of administration. This negatively impacts productivity and adds a high degree of pain and frustration to the employee.
Zoho brings employee-centric design to CRM. Here is how.
Zoho brings function and design together
Zoho, now in its 26th year, and Its developers know a thing or two about simplicity over bloatware. Zoho is culturally highly attuned to the need for simplicity to ensure the successful adoption of technology. The need is all the more acute in large organizations where data volumes are diverse and large and employees have to navigate multiple systems, from different vendors. So it is not a surprise to see that recently released Canvas is focused on the employee’s experience with these more complex technology environments in mind.
Canvas is a no-code design studio where users can redesign their CRM experience. In the white heat of business, employees need simplicity not complexity. Canvas provides an easy mechanism for presenting critical information in a way that is instantly digestible, and highly visual. For example, an estate agent or realtor might have their daily dashboard populated with photographs of houses for sale along with any relevant task information to help them complete their work.
Relevant applications can be invoked from the dashboard so that employees don’t need to open and close multiple applications to get work done.
Canvas comes with a library of industry templates to help admins set up the Canvas dashboard to suit the needs of each department, customer service, sales, or marketing. New templates are being added all the time.
Creating the workspace is easy. All the admin needs to do is find an appropriate template and adjust it to suit. They can drag and drop items displayed in a panel to the main workspace or dashboard or rearrange items to meet their needs. No coding is involved so there is no need to rely on developers or the IT department (if they have one). It is highly intuitive and can be set up to suit the needs of specific departments, or employee roles and profiles.
Instead of pouring through lists of information, the user can see all the most critical information at a glance.
This focus on the employee experience and providing the simple tools to adjust their CRM applications without damaging the logic of the underlying system has a number of positive impacts.
- Firstly, it provides a personalized and therefore, relevant experience for the employee.
- Secondly, its simplicity frees them from the shackles of complexity, making it easier for them to update relevant information without the traditional administrative burden. This, in turn, improves the accuracy of data captured which is critical for the business.
- Thirdly, as it provides an intuitive employee experience it makes it much easier for new employees to learn and use.
- And finally, it enhances CRM adoption so that the promised business outcomes are achieved much sooner and more reliably, delivering a better return on investment.
And there is more to come!
In Q1, 2022 a pro-code capability will be released allowing partners and developers to extend functionality.
Q2 will add additional Zoho services, not yet disclosed.
In the third quarter of 2022, a recommendations engine will be able to help admins identify relevant fields for Canvas. A Canvas for third-party applications will be added in Q4.
This is a significant advance for Zoho CRM and I look forward to it being extended across the entire Zoho portfolio. Canvas will also help larger organizations reduce the complexity for employees having to dip in and out of applications from different vendors.