Friday, November 03, 2006

VIC CRM Tip: Automatically Categorize your Journal Entries

One of the nice things about VIC is the ability to categorize your documents. If you're not familiar with this, it's a bit like the "labels" used by GMail. You can list multiple categories within a VIC document, and then you can view your documents by category. The document will appear in the categorized list under each category to which it's attached.

Confused? Don't be. If you've said that a document is a member of the categories "Sales Calls" and "CRM", when you list by category, that same call will appear under each. This allows you to view your data however you want. The only "annoying" thing is that on a busy day it's easy to forget to select the categories whenever you create a JournalEntry (phone call, email, meeting, etc.). So, while categories are extremely useful, how can they be made more convenient?

The simple answer is that you can choose to automatically categorize documents. Whenever you create a JournalEntry and assign it to a document from the Index, the JournalEntry can inherit the categories from the Person or Organization. So categorize your contacts and you automatically categorize your correspondence! Great! Here's how to implement it:

First, you'll need to go to the FieldMaps in the configuration database. On the Navigator, select the "Goto" tab, then Configuration. Then Select the "Local" tab, then Field Maps. Simple.

In VIC, If you have a document selected and try to create another document, VIC checks this list to see if the two types of documents are listed here in the FieldMaps list. The documents here have names like "Organization_to_JournalEntry". If you relate an Organization to a JournalEntry, then the fields listed in this document are copied from the Organization document to the JournalEntry document. Not only simple, but obvious, right?

So, what we want to do here is edit the FieldMaps that control the documents you want to auto-categorize. As it so happens, "Organization_to_JournalEntry" is one of them. Others include:
Organization_to_Memo
Organization_to_Letter
Organization_to_Fax
Contact_to_JournalEntry
Contact_to_Memo
Contact_to_Letter
Contact_to_Fax
You'll want to edit each of these. The change is minor. You'll just add the word "Categories" to the bottom of each list. Make absolutely sure that you keep the same number of lines in the Source Fields list and the Destination Fields list or you'll get an error when creating a document. Also, don't leave blank lines at the bottom of the list.

Do this for each FieldMap where you'd like to auto-categorize.

Remember that your documents have Alternate Category fields as well. Use "Categories" to auto-categorize, and then use "Alternate Categories" for "one-shot" categories, and you get the best of both worlds.

Categories are a powerful and flexible way of managing and reporting on your customer correspondence. Auto-categorization makes this feature as easy as it is powerful. This is one more great reason for choosing VIC CRM.

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