Communications tracking (CRM)
I am posting this suggestion based on email exchange with a client - so that we can get more feedback from others.
Even though we don't normally refer to Wild Apricot as a CRM system, it has many things in common with CRM:
database of contacts
tracking of various transactions with each contact
the suggestion is to take this further:
Add 'Communications tab' to track all communications/actions with each contact: contact date & contact type, follow-up date & type, a note, tracking of emails (opens, links) and links to related correspondence records (email blasts). Among other major benefits, the system could be used for service and sales (fundraising) tracking and reporting, including the all important “tickler file”.
Add Outlook integration: include a copy of Outlook (client) inbox and sent items in the communications history for each member, to provide a complete picture of correspondence.
I would appreciate input from others.
Evgeny Zaritovskiy commented
Because we do not yet have enough requests in this post to put it there. We have a number of much higher priority items to work on (e.g online store, recurring events, RSVP for events, etc.)
Why is member communications not added to the roadmap, or something that you would tackle for the time being? This is essential to all membership systems, when working with the multiple communications that an organization or association works with for it's members.
Add ability to include notes and history, and other simple CRM functions, like simple date and time stamps, in order to meet the needs of the organizations tracking and member service notes. I've remained very surprised that this doesn't already existed, or isn't in the 5.0 upgrade. We are forced to updates and maintain a separate database from our Wild Apricot membership system, which is timely and costly.
Keith, this does not look like something we would tackle for the time being.
I have a really basic need: I need to have a database for tracking when members call with a request for service. I need to assign it to a staff or board member to follow up on. I need to send periodic automated reminders to senior staff if a call remains unresolved after a set time. I need to see when/if the member request has been filled.
This looks a lot like a customer support tracking system. What does WA use to track the requests for action from subscribers?
I have to say as much as I like Wild Apricot, its communication features seem disjointed (i.e. Sent Emails are in Settings) or lacking. A major feature of any member management system seems to be the ability to track all communications with the member, including mass and individual emails, phone calls, and regular mail (individual and packages).
This is available or in the works in the CRM systems (NEON & CitySoft) I have used and reviewed (several), but obviously not a big issue until WA emails are tracked.
Yes, the email tracking would be a great start.
Also, FYI - one thing we have in our pipeline is full tracking of all outgoing emails per contact (email blasts as well as automatic emails). I think this is closely related to what is being suggested - but I understand that you are also suggesting to track other interactions/actions and follow-ups (e.g. phone calls)
I would appreciate more input re Outlook integration - examples of other systems doing this.
As far as I understand, we are talking about displaying local Outlook data filtered by a specific recipient email.
I have not come across this kind of functionality before. I can imagine this is possible in IE via ActiveX objects (and probably would require some installation/security settings to allow for a webpage to interact with Outlook) - but I have no idea if this can work in other browsers.