- Built into the Outlook application
- Shared database with mobile application access
- Deadline tracking with contact history and management tools
- Mobile app only for iOS
- Lacks external integrations
- Doesn’t support email management
While many Capitol Hill offices have the budget to pay for a pricey, high-end CRM application, sometimes cost efficiency is paramount. The Outlook Customer Manager service for your Office 365 subscription is a viable option to consider.
Using Outlook Customer Manager
Outlook Customer Manager is a lightweight CRM tool that can be directly accessed in the Outlook email client. Compared to other CRMs as a “Salesforce Light” platform, this tool is specifically built for small organizations. You can maintain a shared database of office contacts and constituents with tools to manage contact history, demographics, and other information. Plus, there’s a centralized dashboard that displays all of the information and tasks completed for the day — and an integration with Outlook calendars to track past and future meetings with stakeholders, constituents, colleagues, and staff.
To assist with workflow, the service lets you create a shared task list that’s accessible across several devices tied to the CRM. This feature permits users to manage collaboration and work processes from any iPhone, other Apple mobile device, PC, or Mac. Deadline management with Customer Manager is simple, given the unified database and task lists accessible to several simultaneous users.
First and foremost, Outlook Customer Manager isn’t a full, front-to-back CRM tool. Unlike Salesforce, Zoho, Nationbuilder, Fireside21, and Leidos IQ (or any CRM), Customer Manager wasn’t built to produce data, manage other communications channels like social media, or support casework. At least with most civic CRMs, almost all constituent services work can be handled inside one platform. This CRM also doesn’t provide any features for managing emails with filters, automation, or additional management tools.
There are no external integrations, but contact databases and assigned information can be exported into other Office 365 tools like Excel or Access. Additionally, Outlook Customer Manager’s mobile app is only available for Apple devices, and it’s prone to losing work and crashing.
Customer Manager is only available to users of the Microsoft Office 365 business premium subscription plan. It costs $12.50 per user, per month, on an annual basis totaling to $150 per user. Month by month plans of the business premium subscription is also available at $15 per month. The mobile application is free in the Apple App Store, but it has a 2.3-star user rating.
Outlook Customer Manager is an excellent lightweight CRM to help with essential office productivity. You can manage task lists and deadlines across platforms, and among several users, while having access to a shared database of contacts. The application lacks the features and analytics of a front-to-end CRM tool like Leidos IQ or Salesforce.
We recommend using a tool that will provide a comprehensive view of your constituents. Sadly, Customer Manager does not offer that; however, your office could benefit from it as an added productivity and organizational tool.