Chicago ACT! USER GROUP

Meeting Notes

Meeting Date: January 14, 1997

NEWS YOU CAN USE: ACT! 3.0 users, the latest release of ACT! is version 3.0.3. (Use the command HELP, ABOUT ACT! to check which version you have.) If you don't have the latest update, you can download it from Symantec's Web site (or use ACT!'s LiveUpdate feature). Patch disks will also be available at user group meetings. Also, E Tech Systems has just published Ten Top Tips for ACT! 3.0. Learn ten ways to make using ACT! 3.0 easier. These tips are available at E Tech's Web site, www.etechsys.com

MEETING FEATURE: This month, we discussed how to grow sales by staying in touch. As you know, one of the key benefits of using ACT! is to be able to keep track of the many details of business relationships. Yet, all the data in the world doesn't amount to much (in terms of growing one's business) unless we act on it. This means understanding customers' and prospects' needs and communicating with them. It also means adding a few personal touches to our communications and building relationships.

These personal touches - the thank-you note, for example - when executed with sincerity can have a noticeable impact in customer loyalty. In today's environment, where businesses typically lose 30% of their customers each year, it makes sense that increased customer loyalty translates to greater sales Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence claims that short notes make an effective follow up to business events such as a meeting, a trade show, or making a mistake (as in OOPS! we shipped you the wrong widget). Now, thanks to ACT! and Firefly Greetings, sending personal notes has become a lot easier. Our guest speaker, David Wainwright of Firefly Greetings, demonstrated how ACT! users can send personalized business greeting cards - complete with a signature that appears to be hand written - right from their own computer.

Operation is straightforward. The first step is to select the contacts you want to mail to with an ACT! lookup. Next, print a special report (the template is furnished by Firefly) which serves as an order form. Add any specific message (up to 35 words in length) in the report and fax or e-mail the result to Firefly. Firefly will then write out the cards using a font derived from your own handwriting , prepare envelopes, affix postage, and mail the cards. You may choose from numerous card styles geared to specific business occasions and events. The most popular cards can be previewed on your PC monitor. It's also possible to add a company logo to an existing card, or even design your own card.

All this costs from $2.75 to $3.35 (exclusive of custom designed cards). Firefly is currently available for ACT! for Windows 2.0. A Windows 95/ACT! 3.0 version will be available within 60 days. For more information, contact Firefly at 800-555-6185, send e-mail to sales@fireflygreet.com, or visit their Web site at www.fireflygreet.com.

OPEN FORUM:

Obtaining ACT! 3.0 Program Updates

Q What are my options for updating ACT! 3.0? How do I access LiveUpdate?

A There are two options available. The first is to obtain a patch disk with the update (either from Symantec or E Tech systems) or use Symantec's LiveUpdate. If you have multiple PCs running ACT!, you'll save time by using a patch disk, otherwise you'll have to download the update for each and every computer. Using a patch disc is simple. The Windows 95 command is FILE, RUN SETUP. There are two ways to access LiveUpdate (provided, of course, you have a modem). The first is to use your modem to dial Symantec's dedicated BBS. The second is to visit Symantec's Internet FTP site and apply the update. Access is automatic via LiveUpdate. Make sure you shut down your machine and re-boot to apply the update.

Adding New Fields to ACT! 3.0

Q How do you add a new field to the ACT! 3.0 contact screen?

A One of the nicest things about ACT! 3.0 is that you can have unlimited fields. To add a new field, start by defining the field using the command EDIT, DEFINE FIELDS. You can specify the type (numerical or alphabetical) and format (a phone number, for example) of characters permitted as valid entries. Finally, use the command TOOLS, DESIGN LAYOUTS, FIELD to insert the new field on the tab of your choice.

No Longer Able to Access History

Q I'm using ACT! 2.0.9 for (Windows 3.1) and after deleting 1000 contact records from my database found that I can no longer access history for "my record". How can I access history?

A When all those contacts were deleted, ACT! recorded each deletion in the history of "my record". The problem is due to the sheer volume of history entries generated during this process. The solution is to purge history by deleting history for a range of dates. The command is FILE, ADMINISTRATION, MAINTENANCE. Check the box labeled 'PURGE HISTORY'.

OUR NEXT MEETING . . .

of the ACT! User Group will be on March 11. The meeting will focus on Office Telecommunications. We will discuss the benefits of integrating office telephone systems with PCs. The April 8th meeting will feature an ACT! 3.0 Mini-Lesson on Writing Form Letters.

The ACT! User Group (a SIG of the C.C.S.) holds meetings on the second Tuesday of the month eight months out of the year. User Group meetings are free and open to all C.C.S. members. They are held at the Midway Motor Lodge in Elk Grove Village. Call E Tech Systems at 847-352-4770 or visit www.etechsys.com for details.

© Copyright 1997 by Alan M. Lee, all rights reserved. Other nonprofit computer user's groups may reprint this material providing credit is given the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication reserved by Alan M. Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec Corporation.

Back