How to manage spouses/partners
LACRM allows you to track your contacts in the CRM, but if you frequently work with spouses or partners there are a couple of ways you can manage that data. The best way for you to keep track of partners will depend on how much you deal with each partner, and what type of information you collect for them.
Use a single contact record with existing fields.
If you primarily interact with one partner in the relationship, you can use a single contact record to track both partners. You can use the name field to enter both spouse’s names, and use the existing contact fields to track the contact details for your main point of contact. This will provide you with a single record of reference, so the history will be together in one place, while still tracking the names of the two spouses.
When you add a new contact, on the right side of the “Name” field is a small link reading “Name details.” You can select that to expand the name fields, and then use the “First Name” field to enter both spouses’ first names. If they have different last names, you can also enter the names as “Full Name & Full Name” or something similar.
Use a single contact record with additional custom fields.
If you speak with both spouses on a shared set of topics, you can again use a single contact record to track both partners. You can add custom fields for the spouse’s information to better track their details separate from the other partner. This will allow you to keep a single record, so all of the history remains together, while also separating which phone number belongs to who, and any other details you might collect.
One note to keep in mind here is that if you use custom fields to track a spouse’s phone number or email, that will prevent you from being able to click the spouse’s email to send a new email, and will prevent click-to-call from working on the spouse’s phone number. Both of those options will still work for the primary spouse using the default fields, but the custom fields you’ve created for the spouse will not allow you to click to email or call out. Additionally, emails will only be logged based on addresses saved in the default email fields, so you will not be able to log an email to a spouse if their email is saved only in a custom field.
If you mouse over “Settings” in the navigation bar on the left, you can select “Custom fields” from the menu. Next, select “Contacts” and then use the button at the top of the page to add fields to track the spouse’s details. Once the fields have been created, you can also click and drag them so fields appear in your preferred order.
Use separate contact records, connected by a relationship.
If you work with both spouses on a variety of different topics, you can create a single contact for each partner and use a relationship to connect them. Since you have a separate record for each partner, you can keep track of the unique situations that apply to each one separately. You’ll also have a history of interactions with that spouse alone, which can be particularly helpful for referencing past conversations regarding sensitive topics. This can also be a good option if you started working with a contact before they were married. The relationship will then appear as a tag on both of the records for reference, and you can click on the other spouse’s name in the relationship to jump to the other record.
Once you’ve created a record for each spouse, you can mouse over “Attach an item” just below the name of one partner. You can then select “Relationship” from the dropdown, search for the other spouse, and then describe the relationship. The description will be visible from both contacts, and the name of the other will appear near the top of the record.
Use separate contact records, connected by a contact link field.
If you interact with both spouses equally, you can again create a single contact for each partner and use a custom contact link field to connect them. You can use each separate record to keep track of details that apply to each partner separately, and maintain a history of interactions with that particular spouse. Unlike the relationship tool, you won’t need to create a description for their connection, creating a more standardized way to track partners. The custom contact link field can also be helpful if you have a lot of other relationships to track, like referrals or extended family members, since you’ll be able to easily spot the spouse separate from other relationships. Finally, you can filter by whether a custom contact link field is empty or not, which allows you to pull up everyone with a partner, so you can pull up all of the couples you work with.
If you mouse over “Settings” in the navigation bar on the left, you can select “Custom fields” from the menu. Next, select “Contacts” and click on the “Create a new custom field” button near the top of the page. You can enter a field name like “Spouse” or “Partner” and then choose “Contact link field” as the field type.
Once you’ve created the custom spouse field, you can edit an existing contact to see that new field. When you click into the field, you can search your existing contact list, and choose the appropriate person. Once you save those changes, the spouse will appear linked under that field. If you go to the spouse’s record, it’ll also indicate that they’re linked to the other. You can then repeat that process for that spouse, so that they both appear linked directly as partners.
These are the main categories of how you can track spouses, but keep in mind that there are variations within each option. As you consider what may work best for you, consider what type of information you collect, and how you interact with each spouse individually, or together as a pair. Additionally, keep in mind that any integrations you intend to use may impact how you want to save data.