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So, I'm the owner of a startup that has really taken off. My assistant and I are currently drowning in quite a bit of data and managing, but I'd like to figure out a solution to ease the situation. Right now, we're spending far too much time hopping between different systems when answering customer questions or making changes to orders, and it would be nice to have all of that information and any communications organized in a central panel.

Every week or so, I start searching, but I wind up chasing my tail because a) I don't know exactly what I'm looking for (CRM? Customer service? Both?), and b) it seems like none of the major solutions provide native integrations for the systems we currently use (I try to avoid kludge/scripted integrations when possible - they tend to cause hiccups). Today was my weekly search to find something, and I decided it was time to ask for help. These are the systems we currently use:

  • FoxyCart
  • Orderdesk (mainly to link FoxyCart to ShipStation, but I know it does more)
  • ShipStation
  • Stripe
  • Mailchimp
  • G-Suite/Gmail
  • Hiver (shared Gmail labels, but we need something better/more organized)
  • Major social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
  • UPS (just listing it FWIW)

Here are some user stories/scenarios that demonstrate what we're needing to accomplish (the last one isn't the best example):

  1. A customer emails because they selected the wrong shipping option at checkout and need a partial refund. The employee must search for that customer's order in ShipStation to modify the order, search for the payment in Stripe to perform a partial refund, and respond to the customer in Gmail.

    • Solution: a system that allows the customer's order and payment to be displayed alongside their communications in order to modify the order and payment from the same screen without switching between multiple systems.
  2. A customer emails to complain that a single-use coupon code failed to work and requests a partial refund. After providing the refund, the employee notices that the customer had already ordered once before and used the code; additionally, the customer posted complaints on social media about the coupon.

    • Solution: a system that organizes all details about a customer's current and past orders, previous emails, and social media activities in one location.
  3. A customer emails to ask if there are any plans for promotional coupons. The employee knows that a Mailchimp promotion recently went out, so they log in to see if the customer has subscribed before replying.

    • Solution: a system that displays customer email records and notes whether or not they are subscribed to the Mailchimp list.

Does that make sense? Basically, not just organizing the information from these different systems but also allowing the systems to be controlled from the central location. Does such a thing exist, or am I looking for a magic bullet?

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