Detailed Field Information Related Information Examples & Tutorials
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Contact

The Contact form is used to define contacts and other actions scheduled to occur on specific dates. Several different types of contacts may be scheduled. The Contact form displays fields and pick lists for all the possible settings that you can choose.

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Contact form

tip.gif Please refer to Contact Basics for steps to access this form.

Schedule letters, phone calls, emails, and file reviews. Change debtor status, execute a revolving promise payment, post transactions, write notes to the Debtor record, or make one or more changes to a Debtor record. Activate or close an account, assign accounts to an operator, set a commission rate or plan. Schedule a contact plan to be run on some future date.

Contacts may be scheduled to occur on a chosen date. Set the number of days delay before a contact appears in an operator's Work In Progress (WIP) List. Schedule contacts for other operators and they will appear in the operators'' WIP lists on the date and time you specify in the contact.

When you are working your WIP List, the current contact you are working on is displayed on the Debtor form. When you select the Debtor's Contacts tab, the list of contacts will highlight the one you are working on.

Contacts have Type, Description, Due Date and Time, Priority, a Debtor, an Operator or collector, and several other settings. The date and time the contact is completed are recorded. A file can be attached to a contact to include extra details. Contacts appear in a collector's WIP List on the contact's Due Date, the day it is scheduled to be done. For example, you may schedule a phone call for two days hence. Then, when you load your WIP List for today, the contact won't appear. In two days, it will be in your list. Settings for the WIP List determine how many days' worth of contacts are displayed when you load the list.

tip.gif Often, people mistakenly use the term Contact Plan when referring to a single Contact. The term Contact refers to a single scheduled event, while a Contact Plan is a way to automate your contact management with a sequence of contact Events. It is a very useful and versatile feature of Collect!.

See Also

- Contacts Versus Contact Plans for an overview

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Type

The Type field sets the type of contact that you are scheduling. Press F2 or select the down arrow to view the list of contact types that you can choose.

The Type of contact determines a general action. For instance, Letter means print a letter, while Operator means assign an operator to the account. Other settings on the Contact form define the details, such as which letter to print, or which operator to assign to the account. Depending on the Type you choose, certain fields on the Contact form are visible or hidden. Also, the use of the Description field changes depending on the Type you select in the Type field. Please refer to each Type of contact for details.

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Types Of Contacts

When you choose a Contact Type, other fields on the Contact form change according to the Type you select.

The following is a list of predefined Contact Types with details of how your choice of Type affects the Contact form and the way Collect! handles the contact.

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Activate

The Activate Contact automatically activates a Debtor when processed. This means the Mode field on the Debtor's account is set to ACTIVE and the Closed Date field is hidden.

This will process all accounts regardless of the current setting of the Mode when you want to set it to ACTIVE by processing

tip.gif The activation takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Close

The Close Contact automatically closes a Debtor when processed. This means the Mode field on the Debtor's account is set to CLOSED and any pending and incomplete contacts are deleted, removing this Debtor from all To Do lists. Any contacts with the switch "Do not autodelete" are NOT deleted. In progress Promises and Transactions are marked 'Completed'. The Closed Date field appears displaying the current date.

tip.gif The closing of the account takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Commission

The Commission Contact sets a commission rate on the debtor's account. In the Description field, enter the percentage as a number. For example, 33 means 33% and 12.5 means 12.5%.

tip.gif The assignment takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Edit

The Edit Contact allows you to modify any field related to the Debtor form. In the Description field, you need to type in the field name and its new value, i.e. field name=some value. For example, the Description would contain Summary=Test note if you wanted Test note to appear in the Debtor Summary line. Or, you could use POE=Fred's Cleaners to put Fred's Cleaners in the debtor's POE field.

tip.gif The field name is the name that appears on the Debtor form. This works for aliased fields as well. Or, you can use the printable field code for the field. For example, @de.su=Test note

Any field of a related debtor record can be modified. For example, on an interest-bearing account, you can change the date in the Calculate interest from field in the Interest Detail section of the Financial Detail form using the format @id.cifd={date}, for example, @id.cifd=12/12/2003. This can be combined with a transaction that allows you to post the accrued interest on an account. Please see Transaction Type - Percent of Interest for details.

tip.gif The field editing takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Email

The Email Contact lets you post an email to this Debtor. Use the Description field to type in the Subject of the email. This description will also be displayed in the Operator's WIP List. By default, email is addressed to the Email Address stored in the Debtor form in the Email field.

When the Send Mail form is opened by selecting the Email field on the Debtor form, the email can be loaded, completed and sent through Collect! using your email program. See Send Mail for information about how the Email feature works.

tip.gif The Email is sent when you run your daily letter batch.

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Export

The Export Contact schedules the exporting of the records the plan is run on. This can be used in conjunction with the Import/Export module to automate scheduling of export activities.

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Letter

The Letter Contact schedules a letter to be queued for printing in your daily batch. Press F2 on the Description field to view the list of all letters and reports in your system. Select the letter to be printed.

When your daily letter batch runs, Collect! uses the Description field of each Letter contact to locate the letter to print. Please be aware that changing the name of a letter may result in Collect! not being able to process a Letter contact when the batch is run.

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Metro

The Metro contact is scheduled when you choose to report a debtor to the credit bureaus.

The Description field contains various codes representing the choices you made describing the debt type, association code and associated details for a Debtor. Collect! updates the Description automatically whenever a reportable change is made to the account.

When you send a credit report, Collect! scans the list of Metro contacts and reports all Debtors with pending Metro contacts. You must then set the contacts to Done, when the reporting process has created its file for the bureau. For more information, please refer to Credit Bureau Reporting.

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Note

The Note Contact writes one line of notes into the Debtor notes. In the Description field, enter the text you want written into the Debtor's notes. Open a new attachment file if you want to include more text.

The note line is written when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

tip.gif If an asterisk [*] is the first character in the Description, an asterisk will be placed at the beginning of the note line causing it to be at the top of the Notes.

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ODBC

The ODBC Contact is a special type of contact used in the ODBC Sync extension module. This is a licensed add-on module. Please refer to Help topic, ODBC Sync for details.

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Operator

The Operator Contact sets the operator assigned to the debtor. Any pending contacts on the account that were assigned to the previous operator will be assigned to the new operator. The Collector field holds the Collector ID to be assigned to the Debtor.

tip.gif The assignment takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Other

For general use, write a note in the Description field.

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Phone

The Phone Contact schedule a phone call to the debtor. A drop-down list arrow appears in the Description field allowing you to choose from available phone locations for this Debtor. When you choose Dial A Number from the Tools Menu, Collect! reads the Phone contact's Description field and the phone number is displayed automatically.

This number will be dialed automatically when you enter this Contact when working your WIP (if you have the Auto Dialer option).

tip.gif You can also manually type in a phone number if you want, or you can even type in text if you want. The Description field will hold up to 79 characters.

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Plan

The Plan Contact runs a contact plan. This is useful for scheduling a contact plan to run at some future date. Press F2 on the Description field to select a Contact Plan to run.

tip.gif The Plan is run when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Promise

The Promise Contact schedules a promised payment due on a specific date. In the Amount field, enter the dollar amount of the promise. Use the Description field for other details.

When a payment to the Debtor is posted, the transaction will automatically display the amount of the promise. When the promise date passes without a payment, this promise continues to appear in the WIP List as a delinquent promise.

The 'Repeat' field enables you to schedule revolving promise contacts. When a full payment of the dollar amount of the promise is received within the selected Repeat period, Collect! automatically forwards the contact. Additional options are available for tracking the Promise history.

As of version CV11.6.2.9, the Repeat intervals of First Day of the Month and Last Day of the Month have been added as selections.

The 'Create copy on repeat' creates a completed contact every time a Promise is forwarded.

The 'Log repeat to notes' writes a line to the debtor's Notes every time a Promise is forwarded.

The 'Advance overpayments' check box enables you to manage overpayments. Switch it ON to consider overpayments as fulfillment of future promises. Leave it switched OFF to forward the Promise Due Date only one Repeat period, no matter how much is overpaid.

tip.gif When an account is CLOSED, In Progress Promise contacts are marked 'Completed'.

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Rate Plan

The Rate Plan Contact sets a Commission Rate Plan on the debtor's account. Press F2 in the Description field to choose a commission rate plan ID.

tip.gif The assignment takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Review

The Review Contact schedules a review of the file. Enter a Description which will appear with this contact in the Operator's WIP List. Open a new attachment to add more information.

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Sales

The Sales Contact changes the Sales Team ID assigned to the debtor. Press F2 in the Collector field to select the Sales ID. This is very powerful, providing for flexible commission rates.

tip.gif The assignment takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Status

The Status Contact changes the debtor's Status Code. Press F2 in the Description field to pick the Status Code to assign.

tip.gif The assignment takes place when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

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Transaction

The Transaction Contact posts a Transaction to an account. Press F2 in the Description field to select the ID of the Transaction Type. Set the amount of the transaction in the Transaction Type settings, or in the Amount field on the Contact form.

The Transaction is posted to the account when you process your automatic contacts previously scheduled through Tools, Batch Processing.

tip.gif When an account is CLOSED, In Progress Transaction contacts are marked 'Completed'.

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Debtor

This is the Debtor whose account is being worked. You may want to send a letter to this debtor, make a phone call, post a promise payment or several other actions. A contact is generally attached to a specific debtor.

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Due Date

This is the Date the contact is due, the scheduled date for the contact activity. The Due Date determines when this contact shows up in an operator's WIP List. For batch processing, the Due Date is the date that the contact will be processed.

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Time

This is the scheduled Time for the contact activity in 24 hour format. In other words, if you type 4 it's 4 AM. Type 16 for 4 PM, 18 for 6 PM and so on.

You can set the time to the minute. For example, you could type 16:25 and the call will pop up at 4:25 PM.

tip.gif It is not compulsory to enter a time. Timed contacts are important when you must deal with a Debtor at a specific time. (Perhaps he is only home at 7 PM to answer calls.) Then you would enter 19:00 in the time field of the contact and a prompt will pop up on your screen at that time to go to the contact. This only works when you are working accounts from your WIP List.

If you do not need a time prompt for this account, it is recommended that you leave the time field blank.

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Priority

The Priority field allows you to enter a priority for this Contact. Priority may be used to organize your WIP List, or to alert an operator to the importance of a particular contact. In the WIP List you can easily display contacts in order of priority.

Priority levels in the WIP List are as follows.

66 to 99 High
34 to 65 Medium
1 to 33 Low

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Amount

The Amount field is used to store a dollar amount. You can use it for any purpose. However, for certain types of contacts, it has a special purpose.

For a Promise Contact, as described above, the Amount field holds the dollar amount of the promise. This amount is displayed automatically whenever a payment transaction is posted to the account. Any calculations of underpayment or overpayment of the promise use this value.

For a Transaction Contact, the Amount field holds the dollar value of the transaction to be posted.

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Elapsed

This is the amount of time that you have spent on the contact. You can enter an amount in hh:mm:ss time format (for example, 00:01:53 is 1 minute and 53 seconds.) Or, Collect! can enter a value automatically.

tip.gif To automatically keep track of time spent on an account, switch ON 'Enable elapsed time counter' in the WIP Options form. If an operator stays on an account longer than 15 seconds or modifies the Debtor record, time will be calculated when they exit from the account.

Time tracking is recorded only when contacts are worked from the WIP List. Intervals of less that 15 seconds are not recorded.

Please bear in mind that the time displayed is cumulative and shows total time spent when this particular contact took the operator to the account. Repeated visits via the same contact will be added on to the Elapsed time.

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Repeat

The Repeat field allows you to automatically forward the date of a contact. This can be used, for example, to repeat printing a letter or posting a promised payment.

One use of this is posting a revolving promised payment. When the Contact occurs, Collect! reads the Repeat value. If a full payment of the Promise dollar amount has been received within the Repeat period, the Contact is forwarded automatically to the next period.

As of version CV11.6.2.9, the repeat intervals of First Day of the Month and Last Day of the Month have been added as options.

Click the drop-down arrow beside the Repeat field to select a repeat interval. When a repeat period is selected, other fields become visible.

When this field is set to Custom, the Number of Days field becomes visible.

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Max Intervals

This field is visible when you select a REPEAT value. Collect! uses it to determine how many times this Contact is repeated.

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Number Of Days

The Number of Days field holds the custom number of days the Contact is forwarded when it is processed.

This field is only displayed when the Repeat field is set to "Custom."

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Class

The Class field is for your own use. You can use it to further categorize a particular type of contact. Then a report can be made to retrieve data or write back to the account based on the Class field.

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Advance Overpayments

This setting causes Collect! to consider overpayments of promises as prepayments against future promises. For instance, if a Debtor promises to pay $100 per month, and actually makes a payment of $200, the contact's Promise Date will move ahead two payment periods when the transaction for $200 is posted. If 'Advance overpayments' is switched OFF, the Promise Date moves ahead only one period whenever an overpayment is posted.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Do Not Autodelete

Switch this ON to prevent autodeletion of this contact. This is useful for overriding events in contact plans that delete pending contacts. There may be cases where you do not want pending contacts to be deleted when a contact plan is run.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

This also affects behavior when an account is closed manually. Contacts with "Do not autodelete" switched ON are not deleted. However, Promises and Transactions will be marked done when accounts are closed, regardless of this switch setting.

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No Autocomplete

In WIP Options, the setting 'Automatically mark contacts done' can be set so that Collect! marks contacts as Done when they are worked from the WIP List. To override this global setting for this particular contact, switch ON 'No Autocomplete' .

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Data

The Data field is typically used for information related only to this particular contact. This information is stored in a metafile within the contact record. This field will display the file number by default, when you create a new entry. You can change the filename displayed in the field to anything you want, it is only a description. This field will be empty if there is no additional information for this contact.

The Data field provides a convenient and flexible way of passing messages around your office, or tracking details of specific activity occurring on an account. Adding information here keeps the related information together. Perhaps you don't want to put it in the Debtor's notes because it is not globally useful.

To the right of this field, there are three buttons. Use these buttons to open, print or delete the information contained in the metafile.

tip.gif When you print letters through Collect!, the Letter contact will save a copy of the letter you printed and store it in this field. You will see [METAFILE] displayed in the field. You can view the letter by selecting the OPEN button. Please refer to Help topic, Comprehensive Correspondence History for details.

If your letter is printed to Email, then you will see "Email: {File Number} in this field.

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Attachment

The Attachment field may be used to store an actual file with this particular contact. The field contains the full path to an already existing file on your system. You cannot use this field to create a file. This field will display the attachment filename if there is a file attached to this contact. It will remain empty if there is no attachment for this contact.

The contact Attachment may be used for attaching a scanned document or any other correspondence that you want to store with the account. This information may be quickly retrieved and viewed by selecting one of the buttons next to the field. The file opens in whatever program your system has associated with the type of file you have attached.

To the right of this field, there are four buttons. Use these buttons to perform the following actions.

- OPEN or create an attachment
- PRINT an existing attachment's contents
- DELETE an existing attachment
- SELECT an existing file to attach to this contact

To attach an existing file to this contact, select the Magnifying Glass button. This feature lets you attach any kind of file to your accounts in Collect!. As long as Windows is set up to handle that file type, you can instantly display or print any type of original information about any account.

tip.gif You can print Contact attachments in reports and letters using the @File command in your report templates. However, the attachment file can ONLY be a text file.

tip.gif If you put a URL in this field, Collect! will use your web browser to go to the web site when you select the OPEN button.

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Description

The Description field defines the details of the Contact. The functionality of the Description field changes depending on the Type of Contact that is scheduled. For example, if you schedule a Letter, the Description field becomes a pick list where you can choose the letter you want printed from the list of all reports in the system. Press F2 from the Description field to display the list. For a Note Contact, you type the actual text that you want written to the debtor's Notes into the Description field.

Please refer to each Contact Type for details about what to enter in the Description field for that type of Contact.

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Create Copy On Repeat

This field is visible only when there is a value in the Repeat field.

Switch this ON with a check mark to create a completed copy of the Contact every time it is forwarded. This allows you to track a past history of the Contact. If the Contact is a Letter, Collect! will attach a Metafile to the completed Contact if you have Metafiles enabled.

This switch is referenced when Promises are forwarded, when previously scheduled transactions are batched, when letters are batch printed, or when contacts are worked through the WIP List.

This switch will also be referenced whenever you process automatic contacts previously scheduled. All automated types of contacts are handled. This includes Activate, Commission, Rate Plan, Transaction, Plan, Status, Operator, Sales, Edit, Note and Close.

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Log Repeat To Notes

This field is visible only when there is a value in the Repeat field.

Switch this ON with a check mark to write a line to the debtor's Notes every time the Contact is forwarded.

The note is in the following format:

[Type] type contact [Description], due [Date] processed by [Op ID]

This switch is referenced when Promises are forwarded, when previously scheduled transactions are batched, when letters are batch printed, or when contacts are worked through the WIP List.

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Collector

This is the Operator ID assigned to this Contact. The contact will show up in this operator's WIP List on the contact's Date Due. Usually this is the Operator assigned to the Debtor, but could include supervisory personnel to review files, or other members of your team.

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Reply

You can construct a reply to a contact and select the Reply button to send it back to the operator in the Assigned By field.

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Assigned By

This is the operator who sent you the contact. This would ordinarily be the same as the Originator. However, when the contact has been forwarded, this could be a different operator.

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Originator

This is the operator who created the contact.

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Done By

This is the operator who completed the contact. This is a useful field to note if you need to track account activity. It tells you who worked the contact and marked it done. This field is visible only when a contact is marked "Completed."

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Created Date

This is the date the contact was created.

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Created Time

This is the time the contact was created.

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Done Date

This is the date the contact was done. This field is only visible when a contact is marked "Completed."

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Done Time

This is the time the contact was done. This field is only visible when a contact is marked "Completed."

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In Progress

A mark in the radio button beside this field means that the contact has not been done. The contact will be loaded into your WIP List until the contact is marked completed.

For example, if it's a Phone Contact, the call hasn't been made yet, and the contact will show up in the operator's WIP List. If it's a Review, the file hasn't been reviewed. If a Promise, there is still a balance owing on the account.

Select this field, or press Spacebar on it, to turn this switch ON.

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Completed

A mark in the radio button beside this field means that the contact has been completed. The contact will no longer show up in any WIP List or be processed in any other way.

When the Completed field is selected, several other fields appear on the Contact form, to date and time stamp when the contact was done. Also, the Done By field appears, displaying the ID of the operator who completed the contact.

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Copy

This field is only visible if the Contact was created as a result of the "Create copy on repeat" switch. It is a Read Only field with a check mark indicating that it was created when the repeating Contact was forwarded to the next Due Date. It can be used as a criterion in searches or just to keep track of the account's history.

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OK

Select this button to save any changes you have made to this contact and return to the previous form.

<<

Select the BACKWARD navigation button to view the previous Contact in the list.

>>

Select the FORWARD navigation button to view the next Contact in the list.

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New

Select this button to save any changes you may have made to this contact and then create a new blank contact for you to fill out.

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Defaults

Select the 'Defaults' button to open the WIP Options form where you can change the settings for the default behavior of your Work In Progress.

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Cancel

Select this button to ignore any changes you may have made to this contact and return to the previous form.

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Help

Select this button for help on the Contact form and links to related topics.

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Delete

This button is visible only on the list of all contacts. Select it to delete the highlighted contact from the database.

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Edit

This button is visible only on the list of all contacts. Select it to open and edit the highlighted contact.

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Examples Of Contact Scheduling

The following are a few examples of the contact scheduling process.

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Schedule A Future Contact

To schedule a Contact for the future:

1. Press F3 to create a new Contact record. A blank form is displayed.

2. Press F2 to change or assign a Debtor for this Contact.

3. Press Tab to move to the Type field.

4. Press F2 to pick the type of Contact you want to create.

5. Select Review, for example, and press Enter.

6. Pick a date to review the file.

7. Enter your own ID as the Operator assigned to this Contact.

8. Select the OK button to save the Contact.

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Schedule A Contact For Another Operator

To schedule a Contact for another Operator:

Do the same as the example above, just use that Operator's ID rather than your own.

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See Also

- Contact Basics - Introduction/Accessing
- How To Schedule Contacts
- How To Use The WIP List
- How To Manage Contacts

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