We used to use Kissmetrics, but moved away from them because we weren’t using them in a way that got the most value. We now do everything via a homegrown, in-house solution.
We do a little bit in Google Analytics. I like it, but you have to be aware that it’s a big, one size fits all, tool. You have to wade through a lot to get what you want, but once you have your head wrapped around it, it gets the job done.
We’re mostly B2C, so there’s less of a need for a CRM. But our sales team uses Salesforce, and they seem to generally like it. We started as an engineering-oriented team, and as we started bringing on a sales team, they said we needed to be using Salesforce, so we went with their recommendation.
The biggest pain point we have as a company is that we have a distributed team spread out across the country. We use Slack to help ease this pain point. We used HipChat for a long time and then switched over to Slack last year. We use it like everyone else uses it; as a constant background stream of communication. One of the things about Slack that is a blessing and curse is that it makes communication so easy. This can be a curse because it makes it hard to focus, with so much going on, and notifications going off all the time. One of the things we learned with RescueTime data is that communication eats up a large amount of people’s time. Slack is touted as a way to stop using email, but our data shows that people are often spending just as much time, if not more, in Slack! We have tools in RescueTime to help people focus, and if you have it linked to your Slack account, it will mute notifications, mark you as away, etc. Everything gets pushed off to the background for a little bit. When I first turned it on, it was a novelty, but now I rely on it to help me focus. It allows me to have easy access to communication when I want it, but when I don’t, it all goes away.
We use Google Hangouts for talking via 1:1 chats, and we have full team meetings via Google Hangout twice a week. It makes the distributed office feel closer.
We use WordPress for our blog. We were on the hosted version for a long time, and it was really good, but it was somewhat limited. You couldn’t add other analytics besides WordPress’s analytics, which was problematic. So we switched to a self-hosted install of WordPress. We were dreading the migration, but they were amazing, and it turned out to be an incredibly easy process.
We use Braintree, and it’s going pretty well. We just switched over to their new platform, which was a little bit of work, but not totally insane. We still have some kinks to work out, but they’re great as far as being able to accept payments easily from lots of different payment methods. Their old platform was a bit of a nightmare, but in the past year, they’ve made it so they take care of everything for you, which is really nice.
We use Tender, and it does what it needs to do. But when you choose a help app, you have to be careful with building that big database, because then you’re locked into it. We’ve used Tender for a long time so it has our entire knowledge base in it. We’ve seen other services that look better, and have considered switching to another tool, but the the time and resources it would take to migrate to something new is not worth it at this point.
We use Litmus, an email testing tool. One of the benefits you get from MailChimp or Constant Contact is predictable and tested layouts. Since we’re using our own custom solution for emails, we have to do our own testing. Testing in different web browsers is nothing compared to testing in different email clients; nothing follows logic. Litmus has simplified all of that for us.
About half of our team is using Trello, including me, and I can’t live without it. If I’m partnering with someone else, Trello makes it really easy to keep track of what needs to get done, and organize things that are in process. It’s a tool that is very easy to use in a solo experience, but can be tough to get buy-in from the whole team. In Trello’s simplicity, getting everyone on board using it becomes the main obstacle. But overall, it’s a nice transition out of keeping your own to do list on your desk, to something that gives you a little more.
We used Buffer for a while, but fell off using it. Right now we don’t have a “write once, post everywhere” tool. We just post things individually. We do use TweetDeck to manage Twitter, but go directly to the individual sites for other networks.