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How OfficeClip uses OfficeClip

by imran 10. June 2013 09:16

 

OfficeClip is one of the very few applications in the market that provides a one stop solution for customer and employee management. The OfficeClip team uses this software for prospect management, accounts management, timesheets, expenses, and issue tracking every day. This article shows how each component of OfficeClip is used by us in our everyday business.

 


Task Manager

When a new task is allocated to a member of our group the manager creates the task and then assigns it to multiple people who are supposed to work on it. The assignees get an email notifying him/her of the task. During the lifetime of the task the time spent is tracked within the task using the track time button. Later these times are imported into the OfficeClip timesheet application.

 




Contacts and Customers

In OfficeClip we store all of our prospect and customer information in our CRM. Using the contact manager's webform module we have created a form and connected it to our registration page. When someone fills inthis form on our website it creates a contact record in OfficeClip. We then track all of the events and tasks for the contact.



Campaigns and Drip Marketing

To send automated emails to our prospects at regular intervals. OfficeClip schedules a phone appointment, and then sends a few emails to the contact at varying frequencies. This is done automatically using the drip marketing module in OfficeClip.

 

 

For example: As soon as a prospect registers in OfficeClip we want to send an email to the prospect, thanking him/her for registering on our website. If the prospect does not reply within a week then we may want to send a reminder with additional information. After 30 days if the prospect has not sign up with OfficeClip we will send another reminder to the prospect to remind him/her again to consider using OfficeClip.

Invoices

The invoices application allows processing of all customer invoices, and this feature is integrated with the timesheet and expenses software. This allows ease of client billing. When the invoice is sent it provides an email link to the recipient that leads to a portal from where he/she can view the invoice, pay for the invoice, or dispute the invoice as desired. Within OfficeClip we generate an invoice whenever a customer pays for the hosting fee from our website.


Issue Tracker

Every organization needs to track issues for their employees, products, or customers at times. OfficeClip Issue tracker is a one stop solution that can cater to the needs of each of these entities while still keeping them separate.

Within OfficeClip all our bugs are tracked internally using our issue tracking system. To keep the internal and customer issues separate we have assigned separate binders for them. A binder is a combination of similar issues that can be searched, sorted, and filtered.

Issues are color coded to make sure that any open issues are not missed. We also use various filters to take a close look at the subset of issues,for example issues that are open and critical or those that have already been resolved.


Capturing customer issues using webforms

Customer issues are reported using web forms, and they are directly entered into the issue tracker. We have designated an email address so that whenever an issue is reported via a web form or email it shows up in the designated folder. This also sends a tracking ticket to the person who reported the issue so that the problem can be tracked during the life cycle of the issue.  

Creating a complete help desk

A help desk requires two way communication between customers and  an agent. The notes feature in OfficeClip allows two way communication. When the customer reports an issue; he/she is sent a tracking ticket link. Clicking on this links takes the customer to a personal portal from where the status of all the issues are shown. See How to create trouble ticketing system using OfficeClip

Timesheet, Time offs & Expenses


 The OfficeClip HRM module can track both project and employee time, expenses, and vacation time and other paid time off. 

Everyone who works in OfficeClip creates timesheets, which are sent to QuickBooks periodically using our QuickBooks interface after they have been approved. OfficeClip supports interfacing with QuickBooks, Peachtree, ADP, etc...


The OfficeClip Time Off application tracks vacations, PTO or Paid Time Off, and accruals. The time off status is automatically shown in the OfficeClip calendar, to make sure that all members of the team can see each person's vacation schedule..

Other Modules

There are other modules in OfficeClip that we use on regular basis as well. We use calendar to store meetings and events, and shared documents are stored in the document sharing module. We also use the announcements feature for team announcements.

 

 

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OfficeClip Tips | Other | Small Business Tips

Create Campaigns and Newsletter using the Contact Manager

by vasantha 15. February 2011 22:45

In the past we have received many questions about how to use the Campaign feature of OfficeClip and I thought that this blog, along with the video, will give a good idea. In short the campaign manager can do a few things:

  • Send Html or text emails to some or all your contacts
  • Ability to send campaigns made using Microsoft Word via the campaign manager (as html email)
  • Use mailmerge to merge contact information with the print campaigns made with Microsoft Word.

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OfficeClip Tips

How to manage duplicates in the Contact Manager

by SK Dutta 8. February 2011 02:00

OfficeClip Web Contact Manager allows administrators to manage duplicate entries. Duplicates can occur when data is entered or imported from various sources. The most likely reason for duplication is when data is imported without preprocessing and cleaning. OfficeClip presents all the duplicate sets to the user in an organized format allowing them to Skip, Merge and Delete duplicate entries.

This article explains various ways duplicates can be found in your contact files and how they can be resolved. Note that the users without administrative privileges will not have access to this feature.

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OfficeClip Tips

Using Predictive Dialer with Web Contact Manager

by Admin 2. February 2011 13:06

OfficeClip Contact Manager can now be used with Predictive Dialers. Steve Pavent CEO of Bluepayment.com has integrated such a dialer with his OfficeClip Contact Manager Suite. 

"The beauty of this system is that you do not need to have any expensive equipments to set it up. All it needs is a broadband connection and a usb headset", says Steve Pavent. Integrating with the predictive dialer is saving at least 50% compared to the conventional dialer he was using with OfficeClip before. The workflow of this dialer is shown below:

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OfficeClip Tips

Send Invoices to your Customers using OfficeClip

by SK Dutta 27. October 2010 13:16

OfficeClip now has a new application for invoicing customers. There is no need to export or synchronize your accounting system information with OfficeClip. You can directly invoice customers from within OfficeClip.

This feature will be useful for our service oriented users who does their Contact Management, Account Management or Web Timesheet using OfficeClip. It is available as an add-on to OfficeClip Web TimeSheet and Contact Management module.

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OfficeClip Tips

Cloud Computing: Is Dedicated Hosting still Cheaper?

by SK Dutta 2. December 2009 17:54

Cloud Computing

This week one of our customers called and asked us to provide some advise on whether to host OfficeClip Contact Manager to a Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated Server or Cloud. This led me to look at various options on cloud computing as it exists today.

Is the Cloud Computing cheaper than Dedicated Host?

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Small Business Tips

OfficeClip Release 8.2.1

by Admin 5. November 2009 14:11

  Many of you have requested enhancement via OfficeClip Forum . In this release we have implemented of most of them.

  • Dashboard Enhancements
  • FREE 2 licenses for existing users
  • Improvements in the Reporting Module
  • Earn by Referring OfficeClip
  • Implementation of Expense Synchronization

 More...

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OfficeClip News | OfficeClip Products

LinkedIn for Your Small Business

by Admin 14. July 2009 10:07

This will be the first part in a series on how to use LinkedIn for your business. We have been using LinkedIn here at OfficeClip to build brand awareness and create an online presence, as well as establish each of us individually as experts in the areas we work (such as marketing, software, development, etc.). There are several ways in which businesses can achieve these (and I must stress that it takes time and effort) and I am going to talk about a few briefly here as an introduction. Follow-up articles will discuss some of these techniques in more detail.

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Tech Skills for the Next 5 Years

by Admin 6. July 2009 09:07

Global Knowledge gives 10 technology skills you should acquire over the next 5 years. Some of them may be long gone before that so I will discuss a few that are relevant and will more than likely remain so for awhile at least.

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SEO for Small Businesses

by Admin 26. June 2009 15:06

I watched a webinar from Hubspot today, presented by VP of Inbound Marketing Mark Volpe, that covered ways small businesses can can market and promote their business besides Google PPC Ads. The presentation covered things like blogging and publishing articles, videos and podcasts as well as Search Engine Optimization. Mark broke the process of optimization of the small business website into two main parts: On Page and Off Page SEO.

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Can Bing be the Next Great Thing?

by Admin 12. June 2009 13:06

I just wanted to write a little something about Microsoft's newest adventure. Also, we ourselves are considering advertising on Bing, so I though I'd share some of our research in case others are thinking of putting some ads there.

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Creating Relationships in OfficeClip Contact Manager

by Admin 3. June 2009 08:06

Relationships exist in various forms in the real world and any software, including OfficeClip Contact Manager, could not possibly think of and fulfill all the possible relationships while implementing the system. To fill this gap the Web Contact Manager provides the ability to create arbitary relationships between various entities in OfficeClip. For example:

  • For Real Estate transactions, a Broker can be a relationship between two Contacts
  • An Account can be a Partner of another Account

Relationships are shown as the "children" of the object (for example Contacts, Accounts etc.) to which it is attached. A relationship is always created between two objects and OfficeClip shows this relationship as a "child" of both these objects.

To create a new relationship, go to the object that you want to create the relationship with and click on the Relationship link (on the object detail screen). For other tips on using the OfficeClip software and the Contact Manager in your business, check out our forum.

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OfficeClip Tips | OfficeClip Products

Companies Turn to Web Software in Recession

by Admin 20. May 2009 15:05

As the recession continues on, many companies are looking for more beneficial ways to manage projects, employees and customers while saving some money at the same time. One way of doing this is through collaboration tools such as web based software. A new Forrester Research survery states that 70% of firms may adopt some form of collaboration tool in the next 12 months. Forrester analyst T.J Kiett says:

The tough economy is forcing companies to restrict travel while keeping distributed teams in touch. In addition, changes in the composition of the workforce mean enterprises must find ways to capture the knowledge of retiring Baby Boomers and provide Gen Yers with their favored tools to work efficiently.

Web management software, like OfficeClip, is a great solution to the current reductions in travel that businesses are doing, as it allows users to have access from anywhere and supports contractors and partners as well. Once businesses begin using collaborative web software, it will more than likely remain an integral part of their customer and employee management strategy even after the recession ends.

Online project management software such as timesheets, contact manager  and issue tracking can also be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis for hosted versions. According to Meridith Levinson of CIO.com, these tools will not require companies to make a large inital investment so the risk and the cost are less than if they were installing the web software on their own servers. Both types, hosted and installed, are still much more cost effective than traditional software, as they are online and collaborative, providing great flexibility and ease of use.

We all hope the recession ends soon, but there are ways to improve your business without spending a fortune and collaborative web software is one of those ways!

Building an Online Community: Part 2

by Admin 7. May 2009 09:05
Our first post in this 2-part series talked about the use of forums in buidling an online community for your current and prospective customers. In this post, I will discuss how a blog, together with a forum, can be great resources for small businesses and serve your customers better.

 

Blogs can be used to build relationships with customers, as well as help you in product development by sharing new features and welcoming ideas and feedback from the readers. Blogging can also be used for viral marketing, as the posts can create a number of responses from other bloggers, bringing traffic to your blog and improving your SEO.

 

Blogs can help you improve your operations and this is where running a forum parallel to a blog can really benefit your customers. Blogs and forums can both give support to customers; blogs through the article format and forums more through a question and answer(s) format.

 

Although all the above are true benefits your company can experience from blogging, perhaps the biggest one is the ability to create brand awareness and set yourself apart from your competitors. At OfficeClip, we have chosen to use our blog to help other small businesses become more efficient. We do this by sharing tips on marketing and advertising techniques, technologies and strategies, and by explaining the benefits of our timesheet software, web contact manager and issue tracker.

 

Blogging is a way for us to share what we know and what we struggle with, so that we can help our current and prospective customers. Hopefully, they'll leave comments and suggestions for us too!

 

As far as platforms for blogs, we use www.wordpress.org and this is probably better for a business than www.wordpress.com because we have more control over things like widgets, adding features, changing the design, etc. to fit our specific needs. Also, we get to have our own domain name, which is very important for SEO.

 

Online communities connect us to our customers in ways that most could not have even imagined a few years ago. Building one by being transparent, honest and creative can help you establish your company on the web.

Building an Online Community: Part 1

by Admin 27. April 2009 10:04

This is the first part of a two-part series; we are now focusing on forums and the second will focus on how blogs can help small businesses to build an online community.

So far we have been serving our customers and prospects using direct email, phone and our product knowledge base. We have known for awhile that we wanted to implement a forum, where our OfficeClip customers could discuss their own findings with the software, such as easier ways to use web timesheet or web contact manager, how to set up issue tracker, etc. In effect, we want to create a community for our users so they have some place to go to find answers. This will make their satisfaction with our product even better and allow us to easily look to the conversations to see what we are doing well and where we need to improve. Additionally, prospective OfficeClip users can look to the forum to gather their preliminary information and talk with current users about their experience. This does put pressure on us though, because we want the word-of-mouth comments to be positive!

Our next step was to find a forum for us to implement. While researching for an online support forum, we found that there are many inexpensive and open source forum products out there. To my surprise the free and open source are almost as good as the paid ones.

We selected the YAF (Yet Another Forum) to implement our support forum. The advantage of being open source is that we could make some minor tweaks to the source code to make it work exactly like what we want.

When using open source, it is important to remember that developers of these open source programs need to be supported through donations (many of them have donation links on their website) or contributing to the open source product (if you are a developer and want to add more features to the product).

Please visit our OfficeClip Forum, let us know what you think and let us know if forums are working for your business. And if you like our community and want more discussions, follow us on Twitter, too!

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Small Business Tips | Marketing Strategies | Other

It Continues to Look Bleak for Newspapers

by Admin 16. April 2009 10:04

This post will be a follow up to my previous post, Would you Pay for Your Online News?, which examined what will happen to newspapers as advertisers leave in drives due to the recession and more people switch to reading online for free.

There was a very interesting post in the NYTimes about "hyperlocal" web sites and blogs that are bringing community news to the community as the major papers are cutting back on this news. These "hyperlocal" online sites are filled with links to news articles and posts from local bloggers, data feeds from city government, crime reports, restaurant openings and specials, locations for road construction and traffic, etc.

The biggest question is how these sites will make money and the answer appears to be advertising, although in a different form, and this is where the innovation of this idea could become a huge business. “When you slice further and further down, you get smaller and smaller audiences,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst who has followed the hyperlocal market for a decade. “Advertisers want that kind of targeting, but they also want to reach more people, so there’s a paradox.” 

However, he means large advertisers. But what about small ones? Numerous small businesses have never put ads online before and their estimated worth by 2013, according to Peter Krasilovsky, is $32 billion. Let's have an example.

We at OfficeClip are a small company located in Atlanta (Norcross, specifically). At present, we advertise online but not too much locally besides listings. Now let's say there is some very local news on this "hyperlocal" website about the police department nearby or a local chain restaurant adopting a new software or technological device to make their business run better, etc. That would be a great place for us to put an ad for our web timesheet software or web contact manager software. We might not reach as many people as we do with Google, but it probably would not be as expensive either. Also, there is a dedication that small businesses have to other local small businesses. This would enable them to know about one another more easily.

In all, this is probably bad for the newspapers, since they did not come up with it, but these "hyperlocal" sites still get information from them so they need to get advertisers quick in case their main artery newspaper fails. I still think this is a great idea and could really benefit local companies willing to participate!

SEM is still bigger than Social Networking

by Admin 2. April 2009 12:04

...But for how long?

CRM Magazine concedes that social networking is becoming bigger and bigger by the day but holds firm to the idea that SEO and SEM are still holding their ground. Social networks, according the article, have yet to lead to a true revolution but consumers are changing how they are searching, so marketers need to be involved and ready to adapt quickly.

5 Strategies

The article then goes on to give 5 strategies to improve your SEO and SEM by including, not excluding or ignoring, your social networking efforts.

The first one is to start preparing for mobile search. Jon Diorio of Google Adwords pointed out that people have a different mindset when they are using their mobile device for search than when they are sitting at a computer and searching. Bottom line: get ahead of the game and start devoting some of your marketing budget to this because by 2009, almost 90% of mobile internet users will be searching, compared to 13% in 2007.

The second point mentioned was to make sure that your social content is searchable. Optimize it because if you don't, there could be unintended consequences, such as searchers being attracted to your competitors whose social content is optimized.

Strategy #3 advises marketers to use brand awareness as a selling point and only 25% of marketers currently track brand awareness. 98% of ads aren't clicked, so their only real purpose then is is to create and extend brand awareness. People can be encourged to perform searches after viewing some kind of online or offline marketing. Your paid ad may not get the click, but that person may search for you later, which is even better since you won't have to pay for the click! Online and Offline campaigns can be used in combination.

This 4th strategy suggests that a TV, newspaper or radio ad could be used to drive traffic to your website by getting people to search for you.

The final idea was for companies who have ideas and budgets, but not enough personnel to manage the intiatives, to use technology.

Things like CRM software, which OfficeClip offers, can help you do this by managing campaigns and contacts. Other marketing technologies are constantly evolving and can really help you manage your programs.

So are you implementing any of these strategies? How are they working for you? What would you add to this list? Please leave comments for us!

A Discussion on Geo-Targeting

by Admin 26. March 2009 10:03

Some conversations have come up here at OfficeClip regarding reaching local businesses. Since we are located in Atlanta, GA, we are keenly aware of how many great opportunities there could be to reach out to other companies to offer our product or simply share ideas.The web is massive and sometimes  leads and sales can come from companies that want to or are willing to support other small businesses in their community.

Geo-targeting is what it's called when you do this with ad campaigns. I am not sure what it's called when it's a focus for social networking, like Twitter and Facebook...but I will lump it together for now.

My last post kind of hinted that Google has its faults (gasp!) and in this post, I am planning to return to that idea with this article, by Brian Carter of Fuel Interactive-a marketing agency in Myrtle Beach, SC and also offer some of my own thoughts on geo-targeting.

Mr. Carter's article focuses on experiences he has had with Google Adwords and his geo-targeted campaigns. He gives the following example:

"Say I want to serve ads about Myrtle Beach Hotels only to people in North Carolina – I’m creating a campaign specifically for North Carolinians with ads about a gas credit to save money on the drive down to Myrtle Beach. With AdWords’ current set-up and the query parsing exception, if someone in California searches for one of my keywords, like “myrtle beach hotels”, AdWords may still show them that ad. This happens despite the fact that the ad is for a gas credit that no one in California would ever use. Ridiculous. "

And I will have to agree with him here. Ridiculous. He goes on to further express some things I occasionally think when using Google:

"If I’m smart enough (or have good data from my analytics) to geotarget more specifically for better results or for specific campaign goals, I should be able to do so. Google either thinks their algorithm is smarter – and clearly it’s not - or they care more about making money than about helping me reach my advertising goals, or this is an antiquated approach they need to update. "

Things are tough out there right now and from what I've been hearing on Twitter and in some LinkedIn groups, people seem very committed to helping out their local businesses. Geo-targeting lets us try to get in touch with one another. If I want everyone to see my ads, I will create a campaign for the whole USA. But if I also want to target the Atlanta metro area, to see if any businesses here need web timesheet software or a web contact manager, I will want to create a campaign to geo-target this area for OfficeClip. Why does Google Adwords get to decide differently? Isn't it our money and our data? This is, for me, certainly an example that Google is too big and has too much control.

On another note, we have not implemented geo-targeting here at OfficeClip as of yet, but we are interested and engaged in our research. Any advice or comments...please post 'em as we would love to read 'em!

Telecommuting: Planning it Right

by Admin 17. February 2009 12:02

Although gasoline prices have fallen drastically in the last few, the economy has gotten far worse. Those still employed are looking for any way possible to save money and are putting in more and more hours at work. Now, with online software like OfficeClip, workers can log in from any computer with an internet connection and manage their contacts and issues, and submit their timesheets. This means telecommuting has never been easier or more efficient.

 

Benefits and Risks


IBM estimates that teleworking can help improve worker productivity by about 20%, while reducing stress, cutting commute time and giving workers a better work/life balance. This is great news for employers and employees alike. While this seems like a good way to make workplace improvements in the current economy, a workable solution must address remote access needs of teleworkers and handle the security risks this can bring. It is important to realize that without proper security in place, an organization's sensitive information can be exposed to outsiders.

Additionally, there are risks of viruses which can be transferred from an infected device to other computers on your network and of hackers who could effectively destroy much or all of your important data and information.

None of this has to be a reason to abandon telecommuting.  There are solutions out there, such as SonicWALL, which delivers real-time security that can fit into the most demanding network infrastructures. Solutions like these ensure that employees can telecommute without risking any company information or exposing the networks to viruses or hackers.

Tell us how you are using telecommuting in your company by leaving us a comment.

 

Big Brother Technology or Smart Advertising?

by Admin 4. February 2009 09:02

I am always on the lookout for new technologies, especially when it comes to marketing. When I discovered that tracking systems are being developed for use in video screens in shopping destinations, I was very surprised.

The technology is in limited use right now, but according to the New York Times, small cameras can be embedded in screens or hidden around them, tracking who looks at the screen and for how long. The software can determine the viewer's gender and approximate age range and can change ads accordingly. So if the screen determines you're a middle-aged female, the ad will change from lawnmowers to anti-aging cream.

I am unsure how I feel about this. I do marketing here at OfficeClip and I use the web contact manager to manage customers, accounts, etc. in addition to other ways to track potential and exisiting customers. Does something like this go too far? It seems a bit "Big Brother" to me, but on the other side, I can see how companies could really use this kind of information to provide targeted ads  to shoppers.

Would you use something like this as part of your marketing strategy? Would you be ok with this being used in your favorite shopping spots? Share your thoughts.

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