Well-known fact: businesses that rely on cold-calling to develop leads have pressing needs when it comes to contact management. Although there are plenty of options on the market, not all are easily customizable and very few benefit from the agile development environment we designed Quickzie in.
Quickzie began as a contact manager for a manufacturer with more than 30k contacts who needed a more integrated and robust system. Over time, however, we tweaked the application and added additional features for new clients, ending up with a powerful, flexible web application anyone could use.
This is when we decided to make the updated version of Quickzie available online, for free. This was a natural progression for a project that had already undergone extensive testing throughout our client base and even internally—we use Quickzie for HR as well.
With Quickzie’s infrastructure developed for a single client and progressively updated as we added new users, development took on an agile approach. Our initial project discovery phase did not cover the entirety of what Quickzie would become, so we continued to add features and respond to client feedback with each step, honing in on the final product which is now available for anyone to download.
Since our team found that the web application platform could do more than what it was initially designed for, we took development past that first client deliverable and ended up owning the app outright—the better to make it freely available for all. This process allowed us the freedom to make a powerful contact management app and constructively use client feedback to make it as robust as possible in the process.
In the end, we created a one-page website to list the application’s features and allow new users to sign up. Additionally, users can contact us for custom features and additional work, making it a useful starting point for prospective JD Softtech clients.
Developing a web application is very different from creating a website. Whereas a website’s primary function is to invite users to find out more about a business or brand, the application needs to deliver results to the end user. This makes it a much more involved process.
Our agile approach, based on updating the application in response to user feedback, gave us the ability to design “on the run”, implementing new features as they were requested and testing along the way. This led to innovative features such as the ability to import or export leads directly with Excel, the program that most of our users were upgrading from.
There were numerous other small challenges along the way, each one defined by a particular user or base of users looking for some functionality that wasn’t available on competing platforms. It took more time, but since we owned the project and were making it available for free, our users understood the value they were receiving in exchange for timely criticism and feedback.
A particularly challenging aspect of this project was augmenting the back-end architecture for thousands of users. Since the project was originally conceived for a single user with a huge number of contacts, we needed to design it to potentially handle thousands of users with roughly the same number of contacts—this could easily get into the tens of millions of individual data points.
Another challenge was developing a custom API for Quickzie. This is one of the functionalities that our user base asked for time and time again. With our API, users can connect their website contact forms to Quickzie, filling in contact details automatically every time a new user signs up or makes a purchase.
One of the main skills we developed while working on Quickzie was our ability to listen. By listening to the needs of our user base and developing solutions to those needs, we were able to improve the user experience over time.
Often, this meant reading between the lines and finding innovative ways to deal with potential conflicts between user types. Instead of developing a precision solution for a particular industry, we needed to develop a full-featured solution for any industry that was still intuitive and easy to use.
Our original client, our team and the rest of the Quickzie user base are thrilled with the end result. Within a year after initial development, Quickzie had gone from being a generic cold-calling CRM to a fully featured contact management and lead generation tool. It’s versatility is one of its main strong points, and it continues to attract new users regularly.