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Welly Lee
Microsoft
‎11-21-2016 12:56 PM

Getting Started with Outlook Customer Manager

‎11-21-2016 12:56 PM

Last week Microsoft released Outlook Customer Manager (OCM), a new  Office 365 service that helps small businesses track and grow their customer relationships right within Outlook. The feature is available at no extra cost to Office 365 Business Premium subscribers – and is rolled out in stages beginning with those who selected the First Release option and continuing to all subscribers in the coming weeks.  When the feature has been enabled on your account, you will see an "Customer Manager" button on the Home tab of your Outlook (windows) application. 

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Setting Up OCM

When opening OCM for the first time, you will be presented with a welcome screen. Clicking the "start" button initiates the application, including creation of an Office 365 Group called "Outlook Customer Manager". The group will be used to facilitate content sharing - a feature that is coming soon. The first user in your organization who initiates OCM is assigned as the group owner. Subsequent users will be automatically added as members during the set up.

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Tip:

  • Depending on how much data you have in Outlook, the setup may run for a few minutes. If you close the window or navigate away (including clicking another email) before it finished, you will need to start the setup all over again the next time you open OCM.

Creating your first business contact

A business contact is a specially flagged outlook contact to differentiate with your personal contacts. When opening OCM from an email, OCM checks if the email sender is already set up as a business contact. Otherwise, it will automatically prompt you to create a business contact.  

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Once the business contact is created, OCM then automatically shows communication history between you and the business contact. This include previous emails (including email sent and received by you) as well as meetings.  Any new email and meeting between you and the business contact will now be automatically shown on the timeline.

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Managing Business Contact

You can find the list of all business contacts you created by going to the Outlook's add-ins view. Look for the Add-ins icon on the lower left corner of Outlook -- note that you may need to first click  "…" to navigate to the Add-ins window.

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Click on "Contacts" tab to view your business contacts. At the top of the page, you may find several contacts shown under "Focused" section. OCM automatically shows business contact whom you have active engagements such as contacts with an active deals, active task, upcoming meetings, and any contacts you recently engaged to help you access the contacts easily.

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You can add more  business contact by creating new or convert an existing outlook contact to a business contact. You can locate existing outlook contacts by switching the filter dropdown option from "Business Contact" to "All Contacts"

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Search for the contact name or scroll the list until you find the contact. Selecting the contact opens a contact summary windows.  Click "View Details" near the top of the window to open the business contact's detailed information.

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Look for "Business Contact" toggle near the bottom of the business contact detail view. Click to switch and click "Save" to finish the update. 

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Return to the Business Contact list to view the new contact.

 

In this article, we discussed how to get started with the new Outlook Customer Manager, including adding and managing business contact. In the next article, I will discuss on creating and managing companies in OCM.

11 Comments
Armin Babaei
Regular Visitor

@Welly Lee any idea regarding OCM availability in Canada?

 

Welly Lee
Microsoft

Hi Armin, OCM has been rolled out to O365 Business Premium subscribers in Canada -- we are starting with those folks opted in to First Release. Our target is to complete the roll out to all O365 Business Premium subscribers by early 2017.

Armin Babaei
Regular Visitor

@Welly Lee Thank you for the update. We are O365 Business Premium subscriber and we have opted in to First Release. Can't wait to see "Customer Manager" button showing up.

Tim Craig
Occasional Visitor

@Welly Lee do you when OCM will be available for UK first release subscribers? 

Welly Lee
Microsoft

@Tim Craig, we have started the roll out to O365 Business Premium subscribers in UK on First Relese. However, it may take a few weeks before all users gets the upgrade. 

Reid Culp
New Contributor

Hi,

 

I recieved the OCM button in Outlook 2016, but it is greyed-out. Do I need to take an additional step to make the button clickable?

Welly Lee
Microsoft

@Reid Culp, OCM requires Outlook reading pane. Please refer to How to enable OCM on Outlook ribbon

Chad Gay
Occasional Visitor

@Welly Lee any idea regarding OCM availability in Australia?

Welly Lee
Microsoft

@Chad Gay, if you have O365 business premium and opt in for First Release, you should see OCM by end of January.

Richard Gallo
Occasional Visitor

Will the ability to add custom fields be introduced, or is it already available and I'm just missing it?

 

*Update* Nevermind, I found it. You have to add a column in the respective view. Thanks! :-)

Rande Rodrigues
New Contributor

Dear Friends, in My outlook the options to Outlook OCM add-ins view dosen`t allowed :( look the picture :( how can I enable it?

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