Next step: Relation Search in use

Written by Hans Adema on 14th July 2017

Besides the technical part of my Epic Search internship, of course there is an operational part as well. In this blog post, I would like to talk about how the search functionality I built can help partners be more effective in helping their customers.

What was the problem again?

It’s something the people working at larger VoIPGRID partners have probably experienced themselves: when given a company name, it’s really hard to find which account belongs to the company. The company could be a client, a partner, or both. And even if you know which list to search, it can be hard to find the company, because of the limitations of the current search functionality.

It’s currently possible to search companies on names, descriptions, and foreign codes. But while it’s technically possible to search on names, actually finding companies is hard. That’s because the current search functionality works with basic text comparison. It can’t deal with typos and it doesn’t sort results based on relevance.

When searching for a company name, you really need to think about what you’re going to search for. You need to craft a search term which is short enough you don’t have to worry about not finding the correct account due to alternative spelling, but unique enough you can actually find the company in the result set.

Additionally, it’s currently not possible to search companies based on their email addresses or phone numbers.

So what’s going to be changed?

The first thing you’ll notice is that the client and partner lists have changed a little bit. Technically, they are equivalent, but they look slightly different.

Rather than having two separate buttons for partners and clients in the main navigation bar, these lists have been grouped to a single Relations button. Instead, you’ve got the Partners and Clients buttons on the left side of the screen, where you can find the lists you’re used to.

To make room for the additional navigation, the filters have been moved to the top of the screen. Besides that, the options and selections work exactly the way they used to.

To see what’s new, go to the All tab in the sidebar navigation.

Introducing: All Relations Search

In the new All tab in the navigation, you’ll see a list which looks similar to the clients and partners lists. However, this list contains both clients and partners. In it, you can see whether the company is a partner or client, which partner it belongs to and its description.