5 Best SoapUI alternative applications to test web services

I have analyzed more than 15 web services testing tools to find out SoapUI alternative applications.

Specifically I looked at 2 main aspects – product features and user friendliness.

I have learnt a lot.

And I am sure, you will too.

Here I have listed down 5 best SoapUI alternative applications that you can try.

But it is also true that…

Whenever I test web services, very first tool that comes in my mind is SoapUI.


Importance of CRM Software: 18 Powerful Reasons Why You Need CRM

Importance of CRM Software?

I am telling you:

Working as a CRM Business Analyst, this is one of the most frequently asked questions that I have faced.

And you know what?

When I tell them about benefits of CRM, very next question that comes is –

What is best CRM for my business?

In today’s super competitive age, it is really difficult to run a business without systematic approach.

And I call that approach as CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

Importance of Customer Loyalty – 9 Benefits That Every Business Loves

Now you know what is customer loyalty and little bit about its benefits.

In this article, we will discuss more about ‘Importance of Customer Loyalty‘.

Yes, it’s true that…

Investments in customer loyalty and engagement are booming.

It is expected that the loyalty management market will grow from $1.4 Billion in 2015 to $4.0 Billion by 2020. (Source: PR Newswire)

More than 90% of companies currently have some form of customer engagement or loyalty program. (Source: Accenture)

But why companies are spending more and more on customer loyalty than before?

Why is customer loyalty important for an organization?


Mainly there are 9 reasons that make customer loyalty so important.

Let’s see in details.

Importance of customer loyalty to a business:

  1. Customer Acquisition And Retention
  2. Repeat Business
  3. Cross/Up Selling Opportunities
  4. Reduce Marketing Cost
  5. Minimize Service Cost
  6. Forecast Accuracy
  7. Improve Brand Image
  8. Stand Tall Among Competitors
  9. Honest And Quality Feedback

1. Customer Acquisition And Retention

Let me ask you this…

Is your business more focused on customer acquisition or retention?

If the answer is ‘Customer Acquisition’, then seriously you need to think about it.


Customer Acquisition And Retention

Though the above research is quite old but it is clear that organizations are moving focus from ‘Only Acquisition‘ to ‘Equal focus on acquisition and retention’. (Source: Econsultancy)

There are many good reasons behind this shift…

  • Acquiring a new customer is five times costlier than retaining an existing customer. (Source: Forrester)
  • A 5% increase in customer retention rate can increase profit by 25% to 95%. (Source: Harvard Business School)
  • Globally, the average value of a lost customer is $243 (Source: Kissmetrics)

Above 3 statistics explain a lot why customer retention is so important for a business.

Loyal customers stick to your business and buy more products and services.

Not only that, loyal customers speak about your business that helps to generate leads.

why is customer loyalty important to an organisation

Bottom line is that,

No matter you are startup or mature organization, customer retention should be your highest priority. This can be achieved only when a business focuses on building customer loyalty.

Customer retention is not an option, it’s a need.

2. Repeat Business

’61 percent of the SMBs surveyed report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers, rather than new business.’BIAKelsey

Loyal customers are more likely to buy products and services again and again from a same brand or store than new customers.

A study says that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products than new customers. Also they spend 31% more compared to new customers.

Now question is – what can motivate your customers to do repeat business?

There are many factors that help business to build customer loyalty as well as repeat business.

Here are 4 key points to remember –

  • Have you heard – ‘First impression is the last impression’?
    This is true for business as well. When you sell a product for the first time to a customer, make sure everything is in proper shape like customer greeting, product demo. This creates confidence and trust between you and your new customer. It helps to build customer loyalty and eventually it brings more business from that new customer.
  • Always stay connected with customers using their preferred communication channel. Let your customers know that you are there with your new products or offers or solutions always.
  • Improve customer service because 67% customers stop buying products from a shop/brand just for bad customer experience.
  • Introduce a loyalty program – every time customers buy products from your business, give them loyalty points or incentives. Customers can accumulate these points and redeem for a free product or loyalty card upgrade. This will motivate your customers to spend more in your business and collect points.

3. Cross/Up Selling Opportunities:

Cross and Up selling opportunities

‘The probability of selling something to a prospect is only about 5-20%, while the probability of selling something to an existing customer is 60-70%.’ Marketing Metrics.

Loyal customers already have a relationship with your business. They trust you more than a new customer.

This gives you a great opportunity to cross sell or up sell products and services. It increases sales volume without much effort on acquiring new customers.

4. Reduce Marketing Cost

This is a huge benefit of customer loyalty.


Because we trust our friends’ feedback more than a digital fancy advertisement.

importance of customer loyalty for marketers

Source: Nielsen

In this digital age, word of mouth is still the most effective marketing tool. It is considered as the most credible form of advertising.


What marketers think about WOM marketing?

Word of mouth - benefits of customer loyalty

Source: The State of Word of Mouth Marketing Survey

Word of mouth is an important tool in marketing. It helps to increase brand awareness, engage customers and generate prospects.

Loyal customers play a vital role in WOM marketing. As you have already won the trust of your loyal customers, you can influence them more than new customers.

Loyal customers talk about your brand, share feedback, refer their friends and families, like or share your post on social media.

Do you know?

72% of consumers take some sort of action after reading a positive review. (Source: BrightLocal)

5. Minimize service cost

Loyal customers are most cost effective to serve.

They are already familiar with a company’s products and services. This helps them to solve their issues by themselves or using self-service like knowledge base or FAQ.

Not only that,

Loyal customers can help to solve other customers’ problems as well.


Build a community where your customers can share their experiences, issues, solutions.

And then engage your customers more and more in that community.

Even you can give some incentives or loyalty points to those customers who solve others issues successfully.

There are many benefits of creating a community –

  • Customers get effective and faster resolutions of their queries as solutions come from experience of other customers
  • It increases customer loyalty as customers get incentives for giving solutions
  • Minimizes service cost
  • 24 X 7 support without huge investment
  • It creates cross sell or up sell opportunities

6. Forecast Accuracy:

Another importance of customer loyalty that business can’t ignore – Forecast Accuracy.

Forecasting is a crucial part in business planning and running. It enables management to get an overview of future expenses and revenue.

Accurate forecast helps business to decide expenditure, calculate growth rate, discounts and plan for the worst.

Without accurate forecast, it is difficult to attract investors as well.

But how loyal customers can help in forecast accuracy?


Feedback from loyal customers gives you valuable information about many parameters.


  • Customers are interested in your future products or not
  • Where your business sucks
  • Product or service pricing

More loyal customers you have, more accurate forecast you can prepare.

7. Improve Brand Image

What is ‘Brand Image’?

Brand image is the customers’ interpretation about products and services of a brand. A positive image helps business to acquire new customers, cross sell and up sell, reduce marketing cost and attract investors.

A brand image is one of the most valuable assets that a company possesses. It tells customers what they can expect when they buy a product or service like quality, post purchase behavior.

explain the factors that influence customer retention


Building a brand image is costly and time consuming process.

Customer loyalty and brand image are interrelated. Customer loyalty helps business to improve brand image. On the other hand, strong brand image helps business to glue customers.

Brand image is the reflection of customers’ mind. As brand has already won trust of loyal customers, they are more likely to share positive experience than new customers.

This eventually helps a brand to retain more customers and improve customer loyalty as well as brand loyalty.

8. Stand Tall Among Competitors

In today’s competitive market, it is really difficult to separate your products from competitors. Your most profitable product can be suppressed tomorrow by your competitors.

Customer loyalty can help you a lot here. Customer loyalty toward the brand affects the buying decision of customers.

If you and your competitors have similar kind of product but you have better customer loyalty, surely your product will have highest buying priority among customers and prospects.

This is an important factor that works behind Apple’s smartphone and table business.

Except Apple’s incredible product design and features, it has highest customer loyalty in smartphone and table business. It truly helps Apple to standout in this crowded marketplace.

importance brand loyalty

And last…

9. Honest and quality feedback

Another advantage of customer loyalty…

70% of companies that deliver best in class customer experience use customer feedback. (Source: Customer Experience for Executives)

Loyal customers give honest opinion about your business, products or services.

Customers feedback helps to

  • Improve products and services
  • Launch new products
  • Measure customer experience and satisfaction
  • Retain customers and reduce churn rate
  • Forecast accurately and take better business decision

importance of customer loyalty

Before closing this article on ‘Importance of Customer Loyalty‘, let me tell you…

Never, ever take your existing customers’ loyalty for granted. It is the most valuable asset of any business.

What do you think? Are you agreeing with this?

Please share your feedback below.

If you want to read more exciting stats, click here: Customer Loyalty Statistics

Previous article: What is Customer Loyalty

Next article: Building Customer Loyalty

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Is Siebel Open UI developer friendly CRM application?

You know:

Siebel Open UI is browser and device independent Siebel client. It has better user friendly and flexible interface than traditional Siebel application.

Even you can modify existing Open UI theme/s or add custom theme/s as per business need.


Is it developer friendly CRM application too?

Thanks to John for asking this question on our Facebook page ‘TechOneStop‘.

It’s quite interesting question. Isn’t it!!

We always talk about user friendliness of an application – be it Siebel Open UI or any other application. But hardly we discuss about developer friendliness of an application.

In this article, we will discuss about developer friendliness features of Siebel Open UI.

First, let me tell you what I want to see in a developer friendly application.

There are lots of criteria to measure developer friendliness of an application.

But here, I will consider only three characteristics

  • Easy to learn
  • Easy to customize
  • Easy to debug

Let’s see how Siebel Open UI meets above three criteria.

Easy to learn:

This can be controversy…

But, I believe, Siebel is fairly easy to learn but not Siebel Open UI.

Why so?

Siebel is huge but Siebel Tools is a great help for application configuration.

Besides Oracle’s training materials, you will find lots of Siebel configuration related articles on web. There are many forums as well where you can post your problems and Siebel experts share their experiences.

Overall, if you spend some time, you can achieve mastery skill in various aspects of Siebel.


To do Siebel Open UI related changes, Oracle does not give you any tool like Siebel Tools. Plus you will not find enough materials on web about Siebel Open UI as it is relatively new.

However, learning HTML or CSS or JavaScript is not difficult. Also training materials are easily available.

Best place I could suggest to learn HTML or CSS or JS is W3schools.

Though Open UI specific script is bit different from normal JavaScript but it is quite easy to learn.

You can go through our Siebel Open UI training articles as well. Oracle also conducts training on Siebel Open UI at a regular interval.

No doubt, it is tough for any Siebel developer to learn web design on Open UI platform. But over the time, it can be learnt.


Easy to customize:

Is it an easy task to do all Siebel Open UI related changes?

Answer is definitely NO but why?

Very first reason is that there is no tool like Siebel tools to do Open UI related changes. You have to use notepad or similar kind of application to write script for Open UI. So chances of doing syntax or logical error are quite high.

If there is any error in script, there is no way to catch it without registering the file in the application. You have to remember all web design related syntaxes and Siebel Open UI methods without any help of tool. Also once script is ready and file is registered, you have to test it in all browsers one by one manually.

But, here is the best part…

You can use our PM/PR generator tool to build Presentation Model or Physical Render for applets or views. This will definitely help you to minimize syntax and logical errors.

You know,

From Siebel Open UI onward, we do not modify manifest file any more. Instead we register all files under Manifest Administration within application.

No doubt, it has minimized scripting.

But still you have two files to maintain – Presentation Model and Physical Renderer.

Presentation Model is for building logic and Physical Renderer is for rendering user interface. To know more, read our article on Presentation Model customization and Physical Renderer customization.

But if Oracle can make it a single file, it will definitely reduce scripting as well as maintenance overhead.

Recently Oracle has released web based Siebel tools – Siebel Composer. Though it is not ready for production environment right now. But when it will be available, application configuration will be faster and easier.


Easy to debug:

Do you think debugging Siebel Open UI script is easy?

Can Siebel developers understand and modify Open UI script easily?


I think, debugging is not difficult task because of browser developer tool.

Almost all modern browsers have built in browser developer tool. It gives an inspector to verify JS or CSS files have been downloaded properly or not. It allows inline modification of HTML / CSS to verify look and feel of webpage elements. Also it has debugger to set breakpoints in JavaScript and verify variables values.

To open developer tool, you just need to right click on browser and then choose ‘Inspect Element’.

To know more about debugging, you could read our article on Siebel Open UI Debugging.

If the script is well structured and as per best practices, it is not difficult for Siebel developers to understand and debug.


After analyzing all 3 criteria, I could say, though Siebel Open UI is not highly developer friendly CRM application for a Siebel developer but not difficult to learn.

However, Oracle should plan to build Siebel Open UI customization tool like Siebel Tools.

For the time being, use our PM/PR generator tool to build PM and PR files 🙂

Now it’s your turn…

What do you think – Siebel Open UI is developer friendly application? Is it easy to learn or customize or debug Siebel Open UI?

Please leave your comment below!

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What is Collaborative CRM? How does it help to build Collaborative Strategy?

What is collaborative CRMIn our last couple of articles, we have discussed about Operational CRM and Analytical CRM. Here we will discuss about 3rd type of CRM applications – Collaborative CRM and its importance to build a collaborative strategy.First let us see what do we mean by collaborative strategy and why it is important for an organization.

What is collaborative strategy?

Collaborative Strategy is a method where a company gives a common platform to build synergy among all stakeholders for business process improvement, product innovation and pricing, customer or employee retention.

Steps to build a successful collaborative strategy:

1) Understand the business goal:

An enterprise may have different collaborative strategy for different business needs. For example: Strategy for business process improvement may differ from employee retention strategy. So business must define their goal that they want to achive using collaborative strategy.

2) Identify stakeholders:

It is another important task for an enterprise to determine who can access business information. Data visibility rules must be set to protect data from being stolen or leaked.

3) Choose technology based on business needs:

There are lots of fancy applications available in the market but all of them may not have same capabilities to meet your requirements. Beside business requirement, you must consider other factors also like software cost and scalability, development duration, maintenance effort. This is the place where collaborative CRM comes into Collaborative Strategy.

4) Measure the effectiveness of the strategy:

Business must have some KPIs which will tell how effective the strategy was, can you continue with the same strategy or it needs any modification.

We will discuss more about Collaborative Strategy in another article, let us talk about Collaborative CRM now.

What is Collaborative CRM?

Collaborative CRM is a method in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) where various departments (like Sales, Marketing, Service, Finance) within an organization share customer information to maximize profitability, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. The purpose of collaboration is to enhance the quality of service and customer satisfaction.

Example: Feedback from a customer, gathered by technical support team could help marketing team to suggest more suitable products or services to the customer.

Interaction Management and Channel Management are two major parts in Collaborative CRM.

Interaction Management:

Collaborative CRM - Interaction ManagementThis process is responsible to manage all interactions between the organization and its customers. Some customers may prefer paper less communication like email or phone call or social media, some may prefer face-to-face interaction or physical letter. Whatever the communication channel is, it is important for an organization to reach customers via their preferred channels only. Interaction management system handles all these communications across various channels.

Channel Management:

It helps to reach customers more efficiently and effectively using their preferred interaction channels. It improves the channel interaction to maximize customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Advantages of Collaborative CRM:

– Improves customer interactions across channels
– Reduces service cost by using web or online collaborations
– Synchronizes customer data with call centre to allow multi channel interactions

Ultimate goal of Collaborative CRM is to bring customers, business processes and organization units together to achieve maximum customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Do you have any question? Please feel free to comment below.

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YouTube Linked Comment – why I can’t reply?

Have you seen ‘LINKED COMMENT‘ in YouTube? Few days back, one of our readers asked us a question – ‘What is YouTube Linked Comment? Why can’t I reply on all linked comments?

youtube linked comment

Well, before discussing the solution, let me give you brief background about our reader’s situation. Our reader has a popular YouTube channel with 50+ videos. He has noticed that few comments on his YouTube videos are marked as ‘LINKED COMMENT’. Also few of such comments have ‘Reply’ option active and for others there is no ‘Reply’ button. So he wanted to know what is YouTube Linked Comment and why there is such behaviour difference between two linked comments.

So what is YouTube Linked Comment?

Google marks a comment as ‘LINKED COMMENT’ if it is coming from Google+. Suppose you have shared a video on Google+ and your viewer has commented on that video from his Google+ page. You can see that comment on your YouTube video but marked as ‘LINKED COMMENT’.

But why ‘Reply’ option is not available for all linked comments?

This is because your viewer has restricted replies on Google+ page settings. As the comment came from Google+ page and viewer has restricted replies, there is nothing you can do here to make the ‘Reply‘ option available.linked comment

To verify further, you can go to your viewer’s Google+ page and locate your video where he has commented. You should not see ‘Add a comment‘ box.

Is there any workaround to get back ‘Reply’ button?

There are couple of workarounds that you could try to get the ‘Reply’ option.

– You could ask your viewer to add you in his Google+ circle. If your viewer has given reply permission to his circle, you will get the ‘Reply’ button back.

– If the first workaround does not work for you, copy the comment and post it as a new comment. This will make ‘Reply’ option active.

Was it enough to clear your doubt? If you have any question about YouTube Linked Comment, Please feel free to comment below.

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Also read: Policy Breach Notice: We are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account