Outlook Customer Manager – a micro CRM
Outlook Customer Manager is being released worldwide in the coming months, or sooner for Office 365 Premium users who opted into it. Free for Office 365 Premium users, this new addition to Outlook makes it easier to manage the relationships you have with your customers. Outlook Customer Manager shows you all your business dealings, meetings, e-mails and conversations organised by contact. This addition to Office 365 comes in the form as an addition to Outlook, therefore only needing an update, not an install of additional software. This will allow you to quickly pick up the addition to Outlook and work with it without having to learn any new tools.
Overview of Outlook Customer Manager
The Outlook contact manager covers many useful features and combines them into a single, easy to use area. This helps you find any information you may need on your customers quickly, such as project history, without the use of additional software. Customer details are organised on the right side of Outlook; this helps you match e-mails to customers.
The details that Outlook contact manager stores include: name of customer and name of business, any previous deals (made or failed), any pending deals, upcoming meetings, jobs and calls. The Outlook contact manager also creates a "Today" to-do list. This lets you check off details with several customers that have an event coming up soon. All of the details that go into your Outlook calendar will also automatically be added to Outlook contact manager, so you don't have to enter in the same data twice.
There is also going to be an app released with Outlook contact manager (initially only for IOS but also for other phones and devices soon after release) this app will allow you to view your agenda with each of your customers on the go and in a single app. You can also have certain events give you a notification on your phone for example, reminders for meetings or calls. The app will be seperate to the Outlook app in order to save on performance. The individual apps will still communicate together via your Office 365 account. This means that it will take slightly longer to update, when compared to the desktop version.
How can I get this update early?
If you want to have access to Outlook contact manager early you can enter into the Microsoft Office First Release. This means that you will get each piece of additional Office 365 software slightly earlier than other users. You should, however, always understand that any software that is released before the actual/official release date may still contain errors and is subject to change. So long as you know that the end result may change then you are okay to download the update early and begin practicing with your team on the new software.
To enable Office First Release, you must first go to your Office 365 homepage. After logging in go to the Office 365 admin centre, then go to settings. In settings go to Organization profile then Release preferences then click edit. To enable first release for everyone (all users in your organisation) then choose First release for everyone and click next, then confirm and save and close. If you want to enable First release for certain users, then select First release for selected users instead of First release for everyone. Then select next and confirm. Then add people by searching for them and clicking on the "+" to add them. Once you have added all the users you want to then click save and close.
Not only will you receive new software early, you will also receive updates early too. This means that if you have a scheduled time where you update all your machines, it may become invalid. You will receive all of the updates for Office 365 as they come out. This could mean an inconsistent downtime and several downloads for update fixes etc. instead of one large one per year. It is up to you if you want to manage the early updates for the early software but you can always opt out of the First Release and go back to Standard for the more consistent updates.
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