There are virtually hundreds of add-on products that work with ACT!. Need calculations between two fields? Got it. Need to link ACT! to QuickBooks? Done. One of my favorite add-ons is the Call On CRM solutions that allows you to dial your phone directly from ACT!.
“What happened to the ACT! phone dialer?” is a question I’m often asked. Some of you ACT! “Old Timers” remember back in the day how easy it was to call from ACT!; there was a dialer icon right up there on the icon bar. The setup was also easy: plug a phone cord into your computer and you were good to go. But hold the phone (pun intended); that was back in the days when computers came equipped with a phone jack so that we used to connect to the Internet via a dial-up connection. If you’re using a computer that’s ready for the Smithsonian you might still have one of those but the rest of us have moved on to faster connections and therefore can’t just hook our phones to our computers.
Ironically, what was so simple a few years ago has now become a complicated mess. If you work in an office with a phone system you might be lucky enough to have a “TAPI compliant” system which is computer-speak for “connect my computer to a dial tone.” However, I find that once a company sells you a phone system the chances of getting them back in to your office to connect you to TAPI are slim to non-existent. Enter VOIP (voice over IP).
Many people think of Vonage or Skype when they think of VOIP. Those are “public” VOIP systems. “Private” VOIP carriers are designed for business users and are generally cheaper than your local phone service. Business class VOIP offers lots of cool features like “Auto Attendants” who direct callers to dial 1 for Sales or 2 for Leave me Alone, and what I affectionately call the “hunt me down like a dog” feature that will try your office, home or cell phone until you’re found. Best of all, if the VOIP solution you use is “Broadsoft” compliant it can be easily connected to your ACT! database using the Call on CRM add-on.
Here’s how Call on CRM works. When you want to call a contact in your database you simply click their number; when you complete your call the ACT! History window pops up. You can either add a few notes or simply click OK and a history of the call (included the actual time spent) appears on the contact’s History tab. The same thing happens when you receive a call; the History window pops up when you disconnect, you add a note and the History appears on the History tab. You can even have ACT! schedule an activity for any missed calls you might have received.
Call on CRM includes a number of other cool features including the ability to send a text message to multiple contacts, transfer a call to a remote staff member and keep phone call logs. Personally, I’m happy not to have to dial the phone or look up contact records. If you’d like more information you can find it at the Tech Benders website or drop us an email.