Getting Started with Outlook Customer Manager

Updated - April 19


This 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. 


When you open Outlook, look for "Customer Manager" icon on the home tab of your Outlook (windows) app :




You can also access OCM when opening an email on Outlook Web Access (OWA) :




... and on Outlook Mobile iOS app:




Setting Up OCM

When opening OCM for the first time, you will be prompted to login to O365 Business Premium account




  • 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.

Viewing Relationship History

When opening Customer Manager on an email, OCM automatically shows communication history between you and the email sender. 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.




Note: in the earlier version of the application, you are required to create the email sender as the business contact to view the timeline. We recently made a change to simplify the experience, so you can view timeline regardless whether or not the email sender is a business contact. You can explicitly click "add as a contact" or else the business contact will be automatically created when you add task/deal to the contact.


Addas contact.png

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.




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.




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"




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.




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




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.

Regular Visitor

@Welly Lee any idea regarding OCM availability in Canada?



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.

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.

Occasional Visitor

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


@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. 

Occasional Contributor



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?


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

Occasional Visitor

@Welly Lee any idea regarding OCM availability in Australia?


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

Frequent 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! :-)

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?


New Contributor

Welly Lee I still do not see the OCM in my outlook ribbon.  I have updated Office constantly and activated the first release in my business account.   Any update on when this will get to all customers.

Occasional Visitor

I just set up OCM and have two other people using shared contacts.  Where do people see the shared contacts?

Hi All,

Any ideas?

Capture9.PNGAny ideas?


@Stephen Birrell - we are looking into this issue


@Welly Lee  HI Welly, could you tell me what happen with the import data button ? While I was getting ready to import all my contact and company lists, I notice that the import button disappear!?  Are you planning to put it back there within an upcoming update?   

(I thought about using contact import tool from Outlook but that won't allow me to import some custom fields that I add)

Any advise?


@Franck Munn - we moved the import button from the ribbon to the upper right corner of the list. Please see below:



Occasional Visitor

@Stephen Birrell and anybody having issues with the "Something went wrong" OCM error, try completely resetting your Internet Explorer by opening up Internet Options from the Control Panel --> Advanced --> Reset --> Reset --> and restart your computer.Fix4OCM.PNG