Zero BS CRM: Product Update #4 – Aug 2017

Zero BS CRM wrote this on August 29, 2017

Guess who’s back, back again, ZBS is back, tell a friend.  We are back with another monthly ZBS CRM product update.

We added a lot of great stuff last month. This included updates to the main site, knowledge base and this blog. August has been no exception to the trend. We’ve added even more amazing features this month and if Zero BS CRM isn’t your go-to CRM yet, the rate of our development should soon make it the only CRM you should be using for your business.

CRM Core Update

Another month passes us by and we continue to listen to your feedback and build a better CRM for everyone. This includes both additions to the core CRM (Free), and new extensions. Hitting the core in August has been some highly sought after improvements to make the CRM easier for you to use.

CRM Dashboard

Our first version of a no-nonsense CRM dashboard hit ZBS in version 2.12 – take a sneak peak here, or grab an up-to-date copy from wp.org, because this useful page is going to evolve into everything you need it to!

Manage Customer List Table

The manage customers page has always looked like the screenshot below since version 1.0 of ZBS CRM. It uses a variant of the WP_List_Table class but refined for a CRM usage. However, there’s a few things “wrong” with this picture

First up, if you don’t use Quotes or Invoices then you’re left with a couple of columns in the view you’ll never use. Also searching the customers searches by name is limited.

Finally, there’s no easy way to sort the customers, for example by status (Lead, Customer, etc) or by your tags. We’ve built a brand new manage customer view page and it looks a little something like this..

This new view also includes brand new customisable columns. Choose exactly which columns you’d like to see in your manage customers list by clicking the blue cogs button above the search bar (top right).

New Settings Design

We’ve also improved and enhanced the settings of Zero BS CRM. As the product has grown we’ve outgrown the old tabs view. The brand new settings layout makes it a bit easier to navigate around the CRM settings.

Customer “Ownership”

Next up, we’ve made a start to adding in formal customer/company ownership. This setting allows you to assign a contact/customer to one of your team so that they can manage their own “group” of customers. This will lock the customer down to edits if you do not own the customer. It’s useful if you don’t want two different CRM team members changing the details on a particular customer, and it’s likely to evolve into a sales-room tool for some of you power users.

PDF Invoicing

PDF invoicing is something that we’ve had plenty of feedback about. The PDF invoice has been an optional extra but something which people have been using (even though we have the Client Portal). So this month we have improved the PDF invoice out of the box. An invoice now looks like this

What’s different? Well, we’ve made the template fill the page and be tidier (and consistent font wise). We’ve also added a couple of action hooks. The text “Notice: This is a PDF Invoice” and the “Copyright 2017 Mike Stott”) on the above invoice are added through an action hook.

For those comfortable with adding an action to a hook, here’s the code for the above (add it to your own plugin, or your theme’s functions.php)

add_action('zbs_pdf_invoice_noticies','example_pdf_inv_notice');
function example_pdf_inv_notice(){
    $message = 'Notice: This is a PDF invoice notice';
    echo $message;
}

add_action('zbs_pdf_invoice_footer','example_pdf_inv_footer');
function example_pdf_inv_footer(){
    $message = 'Copyright 2017 Mike Stott';
    echo $message;
}

You can add whatever you want as the messages and the PDF invoice will display these messages. It adds flexibility for the users of PDF invoices without making the invoices too complicated and difficult to use. If there’s enough requests for it, we’ll build this into the UI, so let us know if you’re keen on that.

Export Options

Exporting data from the CRM is something you may want to do from time to time. Especially if you want to do some analysis on the data (in Excel for example) or have it ready to run through a Mail Merge process. The export options for companies and customers in earlier versions of the CRM have been very basic and didn’t handle things like custom fields. We’ve improved this again and now you can choose exactly which fields you want to export

This is useful as you may only want to quickly export name and email, or you may want to include all the fields as well as custom fields. You couldn’t do this before, but from version 2.12 you can.

Click to Call

Now (optionally) you can have ZBSCRM automatically generate you click 2 call links. Enabling this setting on your crm plugins settings page adds these useful link buttons to your customer records. (If you’re using skype/facetime/or a mobile, you can 1 click call customers!)

We’ve also added this in to the new list view (see above) – so you can click 2 call customers directly from your customer list!

In Summary: Building Forward

As you can see we’re burning through our feature request list, building this CRM based on feedback from our users, improving it day-in day-out. We’d love for you to join us on this journey, and are always open to constructive feedback. We’re not here to make millions, we’re here to make no-nonsense tools for entrepreneurs.

So if you’ve not already, download ZBS CRM now, send us feedback, and grab some extensions (Price increase coming VERY soon).


Posted August 29, 2017

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