Jack Wallen discusses the benefits of using customer relationship management solutions, details how to customize ONLYOFFICE, and offers other CRM tools to consider.

Image: Magicnolia / Adobe Stock

I am constantly flooded with contacts from almost every area of ​​my life. I have information about professional, personal, social and casual relationships that has clogged my brain to the point where it becomes almost impossible to remember everything. Example: I rely on Facebook to remind me when someone has a birthday. This is neither a sustainable nor an effective model for tracking everyone in my orbit.

What are the benefits of using CRM tools?

What if I told you that there is a better way than using a simple contact manager, such as the one on your mobile device or email client? I’m talking about the tried and true management of customer relationships. Business users have been using CRM tools for years to make it exponentially easier to track customers, clients, prospects and more.

LOOK: Comparison of functions: Software and time tracking systems (TechRepublic Premium)

If it’s good enough for business, why isn’t it good enough for your personal or professional life? If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of information you collect about your contacts, and a normal contact app isn’t enough to keep your head above water, CRM may be just what you need.

You may be wondering, “Isn’t CRM redundant for someone who doesn’t need to keep track of leads, opportunities, and cases?” While many CRM tools offer features you may never use, that shouldn’t stop you from considering this powerful, flexible path to relationship management.

Think of it this way: Do you use every feature of your office suite? I would venture to assume that the majority of users use a small part of the features in Office 365 or Google Workspace. You do not believe me? Have you ever touched the Google Workspaces Forms tool? Or what about Jamboard? The truth is that most users only scratch the surface of the features that are offered in the applications they use. So why should this same thing stop you from working with a CRM solution? You shouldn’t.

While the CRM tool may include features you will never use, it will also provide everything you need to keep all your relationship information in one convenient place. Even better, you can create custom fields of any type so that the types and amount of information you can store for a contact are unlimited. Imagine you have a complete Wiki on each of your contacts, so you never know anything about them.

I started using the CRM component of ONLYOFFICE for this purpose. With this tool, I can monitor almost every aspect of my relationship, so I don’t have to try to force my aging brain to store all this information for me. And since ONLYOFFICE can be deployed for free on your LAN, you don’t have to worry that deploying the platform will cost you a penny.

How do I make this tool usable as a personal CRM solution? It’s actually quite simple. Although I do not use ONLYOFFICE tools such as features and invoices, I can use personal and business contact features to great effect. Let me show you how.

How to customize the CRM component in ONLYOFFICE

If you log in to ONLYOFFICE and go to the CRM tool, click Create | Face. Instead of filling in this contact information, click Customize custom fields (Figure A).

Figure A

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. Access the section for creating a custom user field in ONLYOFFICE.

In the window that appears, click New Field (Figure B).

Figure B

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. I have already created custom fields for my ONLYOFFICE CRM.

In the popup window (Figure C), name the field, and select the field type to add from the text, text area, check box, check box, title, and date.

Figure C

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. Pop-up window to create a custom field.

Once you’ve created your custom field, click Save and the new field is ready to go. Create as many custom fields as you need, which will make it easier for you to keep track of the information you need.

LOOK: Commands for Windows, Linux and Mac that everyone should know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

After creating the custom fields, create a new person (contact) and you will be able to add information about these fieldsFigure D).

Figure D

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. Add more contact information so you don’t forget anything about them.

Once you nail custom fields, you’ll find that tracking your different types of relationships is incredibly easy with CRM. Yes, the CRM tool you choose may be redundant, but it’s better to have too much than too little.

Even the best CRM tools

If you do not want to implement your own instance of ONLYOFFICE, you can try one of these options, which are either free or offer a free plan:

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How to make the technique work on YouTube for all the latest technical advice for business professionals from Jack Wallen.

If you’re not using a CRM tool, you’re not efficient as you could be

Previous articleNorthrop Grumman will develop a missile attack missile for the USAF
Next articleTHG to donate shares to 500 employees