In Xero, a contact is a customer, supplier, or an employee, and each has a primary person with the option to add more than one person to that contact. The below screenshot shows a contact being edited in Xero. You can see where you can "Add another person" to a Contact.
However, a Contact in Method is a Person in Xero.
In Xero, a customer can have multiple persons.
In Method, a customer can have multiple contacts.
Understandably, this can be confusing, but remember in Method a contact is under a customer or a vendor (supplier).
In this article, we cover:
What is a Customer / Vendor?
As mentioned, Customers and Suppliers are known as Contacts in Xero. In Method, we refer to a Customer or a Vendor as an Entity, however you will rarely see that term (unless you customize Method).
Any transactions you create (e.g. an estimate or invoice) is with an entity, and the entity will have a monetary balance.
For further clarification on entity:
Customer (syncs with Xero): the individual or organization your company is billing. A customer could be:
A company (e.g. McDonalds)
An outlet of a company (e.g. McDonalds Store #22 in Houston)
An individual client (e.g. Bob Crenshaw. Note that they will still, however, have a separate contact also named "Bob Crenshaw".)
Lead (does not sync with Xero): a potential customer or vendor. They have not synced to Xero and have no transactions within Xero.
Vendor (syncs with Xero): Known as a supplier in Xero. They are a company or individual from whom your company purchases goods or services.
Employee: an individual who works for your company. Currently doesn't sync from Xero to Method.
What is a Contact?
In Xero, a contact was the umbrella term for customers, suppliers, and employees. However, in Method, a contact is associated with a customer or a vendor and is the person you interact with.
In fact, there can be multiple contacts for one customer. For example, if the customer is a company, it can have multiple employees as contacts.
However, it does not work the other way. You cannot have multiple customers for one contact.
Contacts are used when you have an interaction with one of your clients. For example, if you have a meeting with one of your clients and you enter in the activity, the activity is associated with the contact of the customer, not the customer.
How the Contacts App lists contacts
Method's Contacts app lists by contact, and not by customer or vendor. What does that mean? In the below image, we have a contacts listing of some sample customers.
Note that Amy Ford and Francis Allenby are different Contacts of the same Customer: Sanford Company Art Gallery.
Now compare that with Xero. In the below listing from Xero, only Sanford Company Art Gallery is shown. In order to see the primary person, or any additional person, you would need to edit the customer.
Because Method is a CRM, relationships and your interactions with individual people are important. So the Contacts App will list every contact, and not just the parent customer or supplier.
This brings us to the next topic...
The difference between a Contact and a Customer
So what's the difference between a customer and a contact in Method? In practical terms:
A customer is assigned to transactions: estimates, invoices, sales orders, etc.
A contact is assigned to CRM interactions: activities, cases, etc.
The contact is the individual person you interact with, while the customer or vendor is the entity who is referenced on all the monetary transactions.
When you view a contact in the Contacts App, you will see the contact and their information, as well as the customer they are associated with:
Within this view, you will be able to edit the contact and the customer with the appropriate edit button.
One final thing, Contacts do not sync.
To be more specific, any person past the primary person will not sync to Xero. If you add a new contact to a customer in Method, it will not sync to Xero. If you add another person to Xero, it will not sync to Method.
It is best practice to keep your contacts within Method. Since Xero is not a CRM, it will not keep track of your interactions with each person, where Method can have a history of every interaction with every person for a customer or vendor.