The possibility to work with the ProZ.com Blue Board is one of BaccS' highlights. It provides a lot of useful features, from posting and viewing feedback for customers, to flexible mechanism of working with Blue Board database, which includes tracking of changes, marking potential customers and writing notes. Smart tracking of Blue Board information allows to find new attractive customers. Feedback not only helps both parties to improve their reputation, but also express mutual respect to each other by writing publicly visible kind words. In addition to feedback management, connection with the Blue Board database simply allows you to add new customers into BaccS database faster. To perform any actions described in this section, please follow instructions from How to connect BaccS with ProZ account article.
WORKING WITH BLUE BOARD DATABASE
To open Blue Board, click on the corresponding item in the ProZ.com section of the navigation menu:
When opened for the first time, it will be empty. In this case, the first action you have to do is to Fetch data. Click this button on the ribbon, and data importing process will start. It may take some time (about 5-10 minutes), because it is required to send about 400 requests to ProZ.com servers. When operation finishes, you will see the whole Blue Board database. It will be saved locally and available next time you launch BaccS.
In addition to default information (company name, country, URL, LWA ratings), this list contains Date added, Date updated, Comments and Marked columns. The Date added column contains date when this record was created (after first Fetch data button press, all rows will have the same value in this column). The Date update column is empty by default, but when you fetch data for the next time, a date will be added there for the updated customers. Customer is marked as updated,if during next data fetching operation any information about particular customer has been changed. For example, if a company got new feedback, it counted as updated. This allows to track changes on the Blue Board. The only thing you have to do is to click Fetch data button from time to time (for example, once per week or a month).
You can group customers by any column (LWA rating or country, or create nested groups). Here is an example of such grouping, showing Belorussian companies with 5-star rating:
To mark one or multiple customers, select them and click Mark selected rows button on the ribbon.
To add notes to one or multiple customers, select them and click Edit notes button on the ribbon.
Also, Blue Board list contains few pre-defined filters, available through drop-down list in the ribbon. They allow to quickly display Active companies (with 5-star rating for the last 12 month) or Rising companies (with 5-star rating for the last 1 month).
CONNECTING A CLIENT WITH A BLUE BOARD ENTRY
To connect any client with a corresponding ProZ.com Blue Board entry, open it (or create new one) and switch to the Blue Board tab.
There is a field named Blue Board Id, which contains zero by default. To fill this field with an actual ID, click the Search customer on Blue Board button, to open the search window:
Type company name and click Search (or press Enter). If a customer is found in the Blue Board database, select it and click OK. After that, the client from BaccS will be linked with the client’s Blue Board entry, which is confirmed by the filled Blue Board Id field and non-empty list of feedback.
If you already left feedback for this client, the program will detect it and automatically tick the Feedback is left checkbox.
After linkage you can download client details (name, address, website) by clicking the corresponding button:
To visit customer's profile page on ProZ.com, click on the Blue Board url. Profile page will be displayed using default system web-browser.
To write feedback, click the Add/edit feedback button in the menu. A new window will be displayed (if you already left feedback for this client during last 12 months, this window will be opened in edit mode):
Fields on this form are fully identical to the fields you see when posting feedback through the ProZ.com website. So, fill familiar fields, providing as many details as possible and not forgetting about the new rating system, which allows you to give not only a general rating, but also five detailed ratings. When done, click the OK button.
To delete previously created feedback, click Delete my Blue Board entry in the customer editing form. You will see popup window to provide deletion reason:
Provide the reason and click OK.
No matter if you're adding a new feedback entry, editing or deleting the old one, any change won't be reflected immediately, because such actions require authorization by ProZ.com staff. Usually the author gets an email with the results of vetting. Please be patient and do not try to post the same feedback many times. Based on experience, vetting takes from a few minutes to a whole day.