Last week, Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) provider Contactually took to its blog to make a major confession to its users, including thousands of real estate professionals who use its platform to stay in touch with and organize their clients and referrals.

  • Last week, Contactually posted a blog penned by VP of product Jordan Berman to apologize for its subpar mobile app and announce new upgrades.
  • Around 6,000 real estate agents, teams and brokerages use the CRM tool.
  • The new app allows users to engage with contacts through a phone call or text message in addition to email and is "1000x improved," according to early user feedback.

Last week, Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) provider Contactually took to its blog to make a major confession to its users, including thousands of real estate professionals who use its platform to stay in touch with and organize their clients and referrals.

“Our app sucks. You know it and we know it,” wrote Jordan Berman, Contactually’s vice president of product, in a Feb. 11 blog post titled, “Oops, We Goofed.”

The unusual message

“At Contactually, we have a lot to be proud of,” Berman wrote. “Our Web product has been steadily improving — it’s consistently faster, more reliable and provides a better user experience. We have so much we want to accomplish for our users and so much we can do better to make their work lives easier and more fulfilling. Overall, though, we like to think we get it right more often than not.”

But “the non-Web products are another story, and none have been more of a disappointment to us and our users than the iOS app,” he added.

Contactually_HeroImage

Contactually even shared negative customer reviews about its product, which lamented, “Love Contactually, HATE this app,” and “The worst app — aren’t you ppl embarrassed?”

Popular CRM tool despite app problems

Despite the self-deprecating humor of the blog post, Contactually is quite popular among the 6,000 individual real estate agents, real estate teams and brokerages using the CRM tool.

The company bills the platform as a “virtual assistant for your email” that analyzes your conversation history and automatically prompts you to reengage with previous clients, referrals and other important contacts. Contactually also offers pre-made email templates and individually customizable mass emails.

So what happened? According to Zvi Band, Contactually’s co-founder and CEO, the company realized that it needed to adapt to changes in the way its customers use the platform.

$8 million toward a new iOS experience

When Contactually received $8 million in Series A financing last fall, the company set out to redesign the platform from the ground up for iPhone and iPad users.

“Up until very recently, our product was used mainly on the desktop,” Band explained. “We had a basic iPhone app and an Android app, but we didn’t invest much in them because most people were using Contactually on the Web.

“But then users started telling us that the most important thing to them was being able to use Contactually on the go. We realized that when people are on the go, they have a lot less time and need much quicker access to Contactually while they have five free minutes between appointments or during the two minutes they are waiting in line for coffee.”

The platform’s iPhone and iPad users will now notice that Contactually iOS v3.0 is faster, cleaner and easier to use while still remaining integrated with the desktop version.

While that version worked via email, the new app allows users to engage with contacts through a phone call or text message as well.

Contactually

“Over the past few years, many agents have been engaging with their clients via text message, so of course we had to adapt alongside our users to make sure they can engage with their clients the way they like to communicate,” Band said.

Early user feedback: ‘1000x improved’

Early feedback on the new features has been positive, with one user noting on the iTunes page that it is “1000x improved” and “Its beautiful and user-friendly interface is the icing on the cake to an incredibly functional app.”

Another user commented that it is “clear that they took feedback,” and the “built-from-scratch user interface is much more clear and I am finding myself actually sending follow-ups from the app now.”

The app is free and downloadable to Contactually users here. Band said the company is planning on overhauls of its Android and Chrome apps later this year.

Email Amy Swinderman.

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