I was part of 500 Startups last year and they suggested that everyone installs Mixpanel. I haven’t looked at other analytics tools to see if they’re more beneficial. When you have limited resources, you have to put your engineers where they are most important. Mixpanel wasn’t that friendly and quick to set up. But we needed to because you need an analytics tool to make Intercom work best.
Intercom is my favorite software tool of all time. As a non-technical person, it allows me to pull in a lot of customer information, but you need to use Mixpanel to pull in the data. For marketing emails, it will set up events and campaigns based on user events. Intercom also has something similar to a live chat. You can also check on what kind of orders customers have placed, how many times they’ve been on your site, etc. I do wish they had a ticketing system, but they refuse to plug one in because they don’t want customers to feel like a “ticket” or “number.” I think it only needs to be visible on the backend, not the front end. You have to essentially “tag” users to remember to follow up or bounce that ticket in your inbox; otherwise, you forget about it. There’s no reminder or notification system, which is something that Zendesk does.
I love MailChimp, it’s fantastic! Because we are a B2B company, we just use it for plain text email, but I recommend it to everyone as a tool for SMBs--especially to e-commerce stores. MailChimp integrates really well with e-commerce. It’s also great because you can do optimized timing sends based on a person’s location.
You have to have two accounts if you’re in different countries. So we have one Xero account for the US and another for the AU. Having two accounts is fine, but it would be good if there was a crossover for international companies. Other than that, Xero is easy to use and it’s affordable. I love their app! You can take photos of your receipts and attach it in their app, then our bookkeeper handles the rest.
Amy & Andrew are quite new--I’ve only used them for a couple of months. You set up an account and it connects to your Google Calendar or whatever calendar you use. Then you set up your settings. In an email, I can CC Amy and write “I’ve CC’d Amy who will set up a meeting for us in the afternoon next week”. Their AI system will read “anytime next week in the afternoon” and emails you (not me) available times. You can email Amy to get a full calendar review for the week. One time someone cancelled on me twice, and Amy tried rescheduling them with me, but I told her to not do that. There are clearly humans on the backend trying to fix things when my request is unusual. It would be interesting to see how much they charge; at the end of the day, I could have a good part-time virtual assistant for about $200-400 a month. I could hire someone who will learn my preferences and be more personable. Amy isn’t smart enough to schedule meetings in locations nearby if they’re next to each other, like a human would.
I love Google Inbox! It lets me bounce things back into my Inbox and it definitely makes me more productive.
Asana is amazing! I can’t live without Asana or Intercom. It’s a really good to-do list. It allows you to collaborate really easily for attachments and notifications. I love their UX. Some people think it’s messy but once you get used to it and get the hang of it, it’s really good.
Buffer had a massive security breach a few years ago and they wrote an amazing blog post about it that compelled me to join because I believed in their company culture. But lately, it’s been a little buggy. One con is you can’t tag people in posts on Facebook when scheduling; you have to physically go into Facebook and do it. I’m intrigued by their company but I have my Social Media Manager looking at other tools too to support the features we need.