Zoho CRM review

zoho logo

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer

Is Zoho CRM right for your business? We have the answer


zoho crm interface

Zoho CRM review

Features
Ease of use
Help and support
Value
Interface
Customer satisfaction
Overall
Reviewed by: Expert Market31/05/2019

Pros:

  • Intelligent, visually striking dashboards and reports
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable, with a range of pricing plans to suit businesses of all sizes
  • Free version available

X Cons:

  • Lower pricing plans sacrifice the bulk of the features that make Zoho great
  • Lacklustre customer support
  • System can be prone to glitches
  • Social media integration not as strong as some of the other CRM software on the market
  • Weak online customer approval ratings
In a nutshell: Zoho CRM is an affordable software solution for small UK businesses. It looks good, and it’s easy to use – although glitches, poor customer support, and lacklustre social media integration see it fall just short of excellence.

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What is Zoho?

Zoho is an Indian software company founded in 1996. It offers a range of software to help businesses grow, including an HR platform, finance tools, and IT management. Today, though, we’re only interested in one of Zoho’s provisions – its flagship offering, Zoho CRM.

Zoho’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software empowers your business to better manage, maintain, and grow your client networks and relationships. Zoho can help you drive more targeted, efficient marketing, and deliver more engaging, effective email campaigns.

Zoho CRM provides a handy hub for all your lead, deal, and pipeline information. It’s nice to look at, simple to use, and will help you to engage clients, nurture prospects, and (ideally!) sell more stuff. Let’s take a closer look at what Zoho CRM has to offer.

zoho crm interface

Zoho’s interface presents your deals and pipeline at a glance, with colour and style to boot. Pretty cool, huh?


Zoho features and benefits

Act quicker on opportunities

Zoho CRM’s savvy SalesSignals feature keeps you in the loop with regular, real-time notifications. Has someone mentioned your business on social media? Has a client finally got back to that sales email you sent last week? However people are engaging with your brand, you’ll know instantly – and have all the info you need to deal with the query, right there at your fingertips.

Top tip: Opt for Zoho’s Professional Plan to make the most of this handy feature.

Engage your audience

Zoho’s LiveChat feature lets you start a dialogue with visitors to your website, while they’re browsing. You can grab their attention and find out what they’re looking for, before they drift to the website of one of your competitors. Do it well, and you’ll get satisfied customers – and a satisfying sales ledger.

Top tip: Use Zoho’s LiveChat tool to respond to customers as quickly as you can – or risk losing them!

Send better emails

Regardless of the industry you’re in, chances are that sending emails is a big part of what you do. So why not make your emails look nicer, while spending less time managing them? Here’s where Zoho can help.

Its drag and drop design builder lets you put together stylish emails that’ll catch your audience’s eye. Then, you can send them in bulk – with just the touch of a button. And it’s no hassle to follow up on responses, either – Zoho’s reports show you when your emails were delivered, opened, and read, in a single view. Easy!

Top tip: Zoho’s Standard plan lets you send a whopping 5,000 emails per day, for only ten pounds a month. And speaking of value…

Zoho pricing

Also, Zoho’s pricing plans are, by and large, very affordable. You can get CRM software totally gratis, without having to skimp on too many features. Or, you can shell out a bit more, and get an ambitious, powerful CRM that’s potent fuel for your business’ growth.We’ve reviewed a lot of CRM systems – so when we say there’s a lot to like about Zoho’s CRM plans, you can trust that we know what we’re talking about.

Zoho offers a range of pricing plans to fit your business’ size and budget. All the way from its free bundle to the impressive-sounding ‘Ultimate Edition’, you can be confident that there’s an option to match the unique needs of your business.

So, which plan is it going to be?

Zoho CRM pricing plans

FreeStandardProfessionalEnterpriseUltimate Edition
Paid annually£0£10£16£30£85
Paid monthly£0£14£24£36N/A

Free – £0 per user, per month

The best feature of this plan is… it’s free! Well, for up to three users, anyway – and if you’re just starting out in business, then that might just suffice. With Zoho’s free plan, you’ll get:

  • Automated deals, contacts, leads, and account information
  • Tasks, events, call log, and notes
  • Low-level page customisation
  • 150 emails per day
  • Standard reports and chart analytics

The downside? No social media integration, limited customer support, and a glaring lack of integrations with the programs your business uses every day. Let’s move on.

Standard – £10 per user, per month

Zoho’s Standard plan gives you everything in its free package, plus a few extras:

  • Custom reports and dashboards
  • Email insights
  • 100,000 records
  • 5,000 emails per day

For a tenner a month, you can’t look past it. However, if you want a CRM that packs a bigger punch, you need to think like a real…

Professional – £16 per user, per month

This is where things start to get interesting. As well as all the good stuff included in the Standard plan, Zoho’s Professional offering provides you with:

  • Real-time notifications
  • Inventory management
  • Google Ads integration
  • Unlimited records

The Professional Plan is where Zoho CRM’s more intelligent analytics features start creeping in. If your business relies on recording and analysing data to grow, then you’ll need at least this level of plan going forward.

Enterprise – £30 per user, per month

Zoho’s self-proclaimed ‘most popular’ offering is a toolbox of features to help you leverage more value from both new and existing clients. Put simply, this plan is packed to the rafters with advanced features. We’re talking:

  • Conversational AI technology
  • Multi-user portals
  • Custom buttons and modules
  • Data encryption
  • Mobile SDK (software development kit) and app distribution

That’s right – the Enterprise plan comes with so many advanced features that we’re not even fully sure what some of them do. What we are sure of, though, is that as your business grows, you need the right tools for the job – and this plan absolutely nails it.

Ultimate – £85 per user, per month

Zoho’s top-level plan gets you the full monty – all the pure functionality its CRM has to offer. It’s punchy, but for £85 per user, per year, you’ll get all of the above features, plus:

  • Data enrichment
  • Automation suggestions
  • Dedicated database cluster
  • Enhanced storage
  • Email sentiment

Again, it’s advanced stuff – less a CRM system, and more like a team of smart robots doing the hard work for you. You’ll get business analytics, and suggestions that’ll help reduce your workload and streamline your processes. What’s not to like?

As with many CRM system providers, Zoho offers savings for annual billing. So, if you’re sure that a CRM system is right for you (and, uh, why wouldn’t you be?), then opt for a yearly contract – it’ll save you money in the long run.

Oh, and we forgot to mention – if you are still on the fence, you can try before you buy. Zoho offers a 15-day free trial, with no credit card required. This isn’t as long as what other top providers offer (Freshsales and Salesforce both boast month-long free trials), but it’s still a nice gesture.

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Zoho reviews

Now we’re getting towards the business end of our review, it’s time to ‘ask the audience’. How do Zoho’s customers feel about its flagship CRM solution? What do they like, and what could be improved? We pulled a couple of reviews from the web, to put Zoho CRM in the hot seat.

“We really like how easy it is to make sales forecasts with Zoho CRM, mainly because we can organise [information] depending on the kind of client we are working with, be it a construction client or a financial client. Zoho CRM is perfect for the handling of feedback, and for segmenting our clients.”

  • Daniel, Zoho CRM customer

 

“What we liked most about using Zoho CRM is that it offers us many facilities when segmenting our customers. It is excellent for marketing automation, and for organising and prioritising each lead depending on what they can offer us as a customer. Something we also like about Zoho CRM is its customer interaction tracking system, and its user-friendly interface.”

  • Erik, Zoho CRM customer

So… big points for Zoho’s customer segmentation features, as well as its clean-looking interface and superb ease of use. It’s also pretty clear that it can help you to organise, prioritise, and manage your business on a day-to-day basis.

What, then, does it not do so well?

“It lacks a screen to manage projects and compatibility with social networks, which limits it to a large extent. In addition, its tool to segment users presents some errors. The notifications of this tool usually tend to fail, so I’d recommend correcting this error. We do not like its integration with mailing software.”

  • Ruben, Zoho CRM customer

 

“The only thing that I dislike about Zoho is that it sometimes can be a bit buggy when building out new modules and hubs. We have only run into this a couple of times, and it’s nothing to be worried about in the long-run.”

  • William, Zoho CRM customer

Aside from some general complaints about bugs or glitches with the software, the other main grumble coming from Zoho’s UK client base was a lack of decent customer support. And the proof was in the proverbial pudding, with Zoho clocking up a woeful Trustpilot rating of less than 2/10.

Is Zoho letting its customers down, or was it given a bad rap online? We’ll let you be the judge. In the meantime, though, here’s our expert verdict.


Expert verdict

The main issue with Zoho, perhaps, is that it’s just not different enough from its competitors. Freshsales is already doing free CRM software well, while industry leader Salesforce offers the most advanced sales analytics you’ll find on terra firma.

Let’s not be too critical of Zoho, though. What we can say is that its low-cost pricing plans, simple interface, and neat, no-nonsense approach to CRM make it a safe selection for small businesses. So if it really is your first CRM rodeo, we’d recommend giving Zoho a ride – it is free, after all!

But if you fancy something with a bit more of a kick, why not jump into the saddle with us? We can help. Just fill out our free quote-finding form, and receive quotes from top CRM software suppliers. Less than a minute of your time for tailored quotes – how’s that for a deal?

Rob Binns
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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