In my eternal quest to solve what by rights should be an extremely settled problem by now, I entertained the 30 day demo of Redtail this week. I must report it to be quite a fail. In particular, a few substantial usability issues came up almost immediately:
As a Microsoft technologies backed product, it silently fails to work in Opera. It’s possible to login, but its synthetic drop down combo lists do not work in advanced searches, causing the product to return a server error message. Not a complete surprise.
Second, there is no way of importing existing contacts into the system. That has to be done by Redtail, although that is at least understandable.
Finally, the developers of Redtail seem to be using some bizarre pattern where, upon selecting from a combo list, it immediately spawns a new IE window, full screens it, then closes the original window. Such behavior is quite senseless. I rarely use Web products developed with Microsoft technologies, so this kind of behavior may seem entirely appropriate to Microsoft shops. Further, to actually get a PDF or XLS download out of the advanced search results, it is necessary to remember to hold down the CTRL key when selecting a report option. What kind of madness is that? Usability, anyone?
I politely told the Redtail agent that called regarding my trial account that the product seems to be a cute toy, but is entirely inadequate for my needs. Honestly, the behaviorisms I experience are rather an embarrassment and give Web based SaaS a terrible name.
I’d recommend CRM users look elsewhere solely based upon developer competence issues. The user experience should be beautiful. Redtail is not.