Highlights from Customer Master 16.1
By Lori Bayne, Customer Master Product Owner
Summer is upon us…grass is green, gardens have been planted, farmers are frantically trying to get the last of their crops into the fields and many of us are scheduling summer vacations. However, MACC hasn’t taken a vacation from enhancing Customer Master for our users! Several companies have already been upgraded to Customer Master 16.1, but I wanted to highlight a few enhancements that might pique your curiosity and help you utilize the software better in your office to streamline your operation.
Custom Free Form Fields
As a past Training Conversion Analyst and Account Manager, I was frequently asked for locations to store unique data elements within accounts. In Customer Master 16.1, we added the ability to place any data element that you wish to track on the account, customer or network level. This allows the flexibility to add unlimited data elements to the database, without having hard coded fields for storage. The custom free-form, user-defined fields provide flexibility to label the fields with desired names. The fields can track a wide variety of values, including alpha-numeric, numeric, currency, decimals, percentages, and date information. Using a drop-down, fields can be set up as editable, free form values, or predefined values. Depending on the field type, fields can be negative values, up to 80 characters, with two or four decimal places. The new custom free-form fields and values can be displayed on trouble tickets and service orders. Additionally, we added a new report to the miscellaneous menu to capture all the data stored within these new fields of the database.
Advanced Scheduler Enhancements
Several updates were made to the advanced scheduler in Customer Master. The ability to have multiple overlapping items with the schedule was added. The item display was expanded to allow users to hover over the appointment and view the hint. The expanded hint was also added to the employee work week screen. Inactive employees can be filtered out of the schedule with a checkbox to include or exclude them. Users now have the ability to double click and open the actual service order, trouble ticket or appointment from the schedule. If an appointment is in the hold area, users can double click on the service order or trouble ticket to view the appointment or open the service order/trouble ticket, via an option menu.
Export Scheduler Updates
New columns were incorporated to indicate the status, exported and export type. The status column indicates new, changed, exported, and deleted records. The new exported column allows users better filter options and indicates if the record has been exported or not. The exported type indicates if it was a v-Calendar or Outlook record. Lastly, the tool was updated to only export new, changed or deleted records. This change eliminates any duplicate notifications from being sent.
Auto Generated Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Letters
The ability to automatically print a Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) letter was added within Customer Master 16.1. Letters can be printed individually through the prompt while users are flagging the payment history row as NSF, or through a batch function in the report menu. Users have the flexibility of formatting the letter through the custom designer that is currently available with delinquent notices and payment arrangements. A template was added to the software, but users can customize it to meet their company specific needs. A company logo can be added to the letter as well. A Client Relationship Management (CRM) row will also be added to the account automatically when the NSF is flagged and a letter is generated. The CRM row will appear with an orange background.
Additional search options were added to the inquiry screen. New options to search by main number and contact number will assist users in locating accounts in a more efficient manner. The ability to search by CPNI authorized user was also added. This feature will allow employees to locate accounts that are not in the authorized user’s name. Service type, technology type and network description fields were enhanced to provide better visibility to the users on the inquiry tree view. Service orders and trouble tickets can now be viewed from the account overview screen. A user can access the print preview option of service orders and trouble tickets from the contacts and activity tables of the account overview screen. Users can highlight the row they wish to view and click on the report icon. This will provide the users access to preview the report and/or print it easily from the account overview screen. Users can also access service order and trouble tickets from the comments bubble on the inquiry screen toolbar. When users expand the type of service order or trouble ticket, and highlight a specific row, they now have the ability to click on the report. The specified order or ticket will open in a print preview screen. Users can then easily view the work history or print the report.
FCC Form 477 Updates
Census tract and block information was added to the Internet report to provide users with greater flexibility and consistency. The census block was also added to the telephone report that already included the census tract.
We continue to enhance the reporting functionality within Customer Master. Numerous reports were updated and CSV export options were added. A few highlights are the ability to include comments on some service order and trouble ticket reports. The LIS (Left in Service) number was added to the printed service order report. Users will now find the LIS number located on the right-hand side of the service order in the network number information box. A few other reporting enhancements include adding the payment method to the Daily Deposits report and providing access to that report from the payment entry screen, the ability to include inquiry notes on the Account Contacts report, and custom grid reports were expanded to include network, carrier, contact information and serving equipment.
There are many other enhancements that were included in this spring release of Customer Master. Please review the entire Update Letter that is provided by your software support representative at the time of your upgrade or view it within our Client Pages (log in required). There is also a web training class available to review the release with your staff. Enjoy your summer and we look forward to sharing the highlights of CM 16.2, which is currently under development, with you in a few short months at MBTC!