An Interview with Michelle Riggen-Ransom: Batchbook Social CRM

Webby Award Honoree 2011 | Before we get to our special guest on The Bella Buzz podcast, Desiree has the great fortune of announcing that Bella Web Design is the recipient of a 2011 Webby Award, a prestigious international competition that honors excellence on the Internet.  Yeah Desiree!

The honor was awarded for the work that they did on the Universal Wisky Experience web site. It is a beautiful use of the WordPress platform with custom design.

For more information about the 15th Annual Webby Awards, visit their official web site.

Our conversation today is with the CCO and one of the Co-Founders of BatchBlue Software, Michelle Riggen-Ransom.  We had the great pleasure of speaking with her business partner Pamela O’Hara on a previous edition of the Bella Buzz, and felt it was time for a followup on the great product that they have developed.

Their Batchbook SaaS package is a comprehensive management system that tracks contact information, monitors social networking channels, tracks communications and provides a full Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system geared towards the small business market.

Desiree has recently integrated the service into her site strategies for clients.  She had noticed that her clients were having a disconnect when sales leads were coming in through the web site via email and found a great solution by offering to integrate the BatchBook CRM software as a service offering. Desiree will be able to offer a 90 Day trial for her clients interested in using the service. (Not offered anywhere else but at Bella!)

The iPhone App has been a great addition to the product line and came directly from input from their customer request forums.  One of Michelle’s favorite features is the ability to takes photos at conferences, and then add the contact details right on the spot. This overcomes the fact that 80% of business cards obtained at conferences end up in the trash!

Batchbook was launched around the same time that many social platforms were becoming widely adopted, so by integrating these tool at the very core of the software, it provides a built in benefit for helping small businesses manage their contacts.

The company also has a number of “friends with business benefits” and have integrated many of the other services that a small business owner might use, so that it seamlessly flows together in one efficient dashboard.  To find out more about the alliance and the mission that these companies are devoted to, visit The Small Business Web site and join the community.

A key factor when deciding on any CRM solution is the pain involved with trying it out, but also ramping it up to full usage.  Many SaaS providers find that customers are disabling the service without using it to its full potential.  There is no way to determine if the solution is correct without giving it a full try.  Batchblue provides a 30 day trial and has an extensive onboarding and support system in place to make sure that clients are getting the most out of the product. This includes webinars for specific topics and even industries.

This is a very progressive company that has some exciting things on the horizon, so keep an eye out for future announcements (and hopefully podcasts!) regarding new products.   You should also check out the active forum community that has developed and start networking with people who are willing and able to offer advice to anyone interested in learning how to run a successful business.

The team does get out to various events, so keep an eye out for them.  Recently they attended SXSW, RETechSouth and are very involved in many of the BarCamps around the country, so if you see them say hello, and that you heard about them on The Bella Buzz!

One of Michelle’s favorite ways of defining her company is that they “put the relationship in customer relationship management”.  We believe it.

To connect with Michelle, you can email her at mriggen(at)batchblue(dot)com or on Twitter @batchblue.


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