Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

The Single Most Radical Thing You Can Do to Drastically Increase End User Adoption

Of course you want high end user adoption of your CRM system, but what are you willing to do to achieve it? How far outside the box are you willing to get?

The (Unfortunate) Gap Between Perception and Reality at One Customer

On a recent project, we were working with a new division of an existing CRM customer and the IT team said that division was struggling with end user adoption of the system. We heard quotes from IT like “it’s too many clicks” or “the sales people are lazy and just won’t enter the data they’re supposed to”. To better understand the problem, we spoke with a handful of the sales users on a 1-on-1 basis and observed them conducting their typical daily activities.

Much to my surprise, I saw the sales people entering TONS and TONS of notes about the customers they were calling on. They would record things like their nicknames, in-depth details about their current lease (this was a real estate company), known business connections, etc. Not only that, they would cross-reference the data with other external sources to make sure that the data was as accurate as possible. I was blown away and very impressed with the level of detail and accuracy. The data they entered was a sales manager and marketing executive’s dream.

Unfortunately, there was just one teeny tiny problem…the sales people were not entering all of this great data into their employer’s CRM system. Instead they were entering the data into their own system. Some were using Outlook notes, some had Excel files and some even had their own standalone CRM systems like Act!

CRMDataonEmployeeComputer

When I asked the sales people why they didn’t enter all of this great data into the corporate CRM, the answers were consistent. “I am not going to work at this company forever, so when I leave I need to be able to take all of my data with me. I developed this data over years, it’s incredibly valuable to me.”

So it turns out that the user adoption issue had nothing to do with the system’s interface, the number of clicks or anything technical. It was 100% a business process issue! The sales people happily collected and tracked amazing data but refused to enter it into the corporate CRM because they couldn’t easily take it with them when they left the company.

Being curious, I asked the sales people “If your corporate CRM system had a button you could click and it would export all of your detailed notes on your accounts instantly, would you enter your data into the corporate CRM instead of using your separate system?” All of them resoundingly answered “yes”. They recognized that their side systems were not as efficient as their corporate CRM and it was a lot of extra manual effort for them to maintain. In addition, they still had to enter some data into their corporate CRM system to make sure they their managers had some visibility about their activities. Eliminating this duplication step would save the sales people hours each week.

The Data Portability Pitch

MovingWhen I shared my findings with IT and the execs, they were shocked. They couldn’t believe that the sales people would act that way. “They should be entering that data into our CRM system, not theirs!” I tried to explain the data portability needs of the sales people and while management understood the concern, they still didn’t agree with the sales people.

I suggested that we easily create an export feature that would allow the sales people to quickly get their data when they leave, and we could even limit the export to just give the sales people to the data they personally entered. In my mind, creating the “Export my Data” feature would accomplish the best of all worlds:

  • The employer gets to keep the high quality customer data and research developed by the sales team
  • The sales person happily enters data knowing they can take a copy with them later
  • Marketing can take advantage of the customer data to help the sales people drive more sales and awareness
  • The sales teams get to use a state-of-the-art CRM system paid for and provided by their employer

Unfortunately for all parties involved, the IT and management team thought this data export feature was a little too radical and we never created the data export feature. They didn’t think others within the organization would understand why they would knowingly let sales people walk out the door with the data. We reasoned that the customer data is walking out the door with or without the export feature, but with our method at least the employer gets a copy of the data!

You can probably guess how the story ended at this customer, business as usual with the sales people entering great customer data into their own systems but not the corporate CRM. If this story sounds familiar to your organization, we would encourage you to consider adding data portability to your CRM requirements list. We think you’ll find that the easier you let the sales people get access to their data, the better quality data they’ll enter into your corporate CRM!

 

Topics: CRM Best Practices

CRM 2011 UR12+ and CRM 2013 Fetch Aggregate Bug

Recently we were upgrading the look and feel of some custom CRM 2011 web resources to match the styles in CRM 2013 and my colleague found an interesting Fetch XML aggregate bug.  A simple fetch aggregate query, like below, will work just fine in CRM 2011 UR11 and below.  When you run the same query in CRM 2011 UR12+ or CRM 2013, you will get “An unexpected error occurred.”. 

<fetch mapping="logical" aggregate="true" version="1.0">
        <entity name="account">
                <attribute groupby="true" alias="accountid" name="accountid” />
                <attribute name="name" aggregate="countcolumn" alias="accountCount" />
        </entity>
</fetch>

After some troubleshooting, my colleague determined that the accountid attribute was the culprit.  He changed the alias to something other than ‘accountid’, like below, and it ran successfully.

<fetch mapping="logical" aggregate="true" version="1.0">
        <entity name="account">
                <attribute groupby="true" alias="accountKey" name="accountid” />
                <attribute name="name" aggregate="countcolumn" alias="accountCount" />
        </entity>
</fetch>

We logged this bug with Microsoft which will hopefully be resolved in the next UR as it unexpectedly breaks previously supported code.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

The curious case of the missing letterhead

Today I am co-blogging with guest blogger Megan Burch, an Analyst at Sonoma Partners

Nathen

Today I ran in to a peculiar issue that I hadn’t seen before. I was attempting to do a deploy from our development org to our QA org for one of our projects – a pretty routine task here. Normally, I’ll hit a few errors on the first deploy, fix them by updating the target org or including some files I forgot, deploy again and everything is fine. Today, however, I received the error:

No letterhead found

“No big deal”, I thought, “I just missed adding this letterhead to the deploy.” I went adding it to the deploy, along with a few other letterheads I missed like so:

Packagexml

After this, I tried to grab the metadata from the server again and got:

Missingletterhead

One letterhead is missing! I checked that the letterhead actually did exist in Salesforce still:

Sf1

Sf2

Everything looked good there… double checking the package.xml file everything seemed fine there too. At this point, I was left scratching my head. Why wasn’t the letterhead being returned in the metadata files?

I asked Megan to take a look and see if she could spot anything I was missing.

Megan

When Nathen informed me of the issue with the letterhead, we thought it would be a quick fix. We assumed that it had been renamed at some point and that was causing the deploy issue. I quickly recreated the letterhead, but was unaware that once you had created an email template, you couldn't change the letterhead.  I had ten HTML email templates using this letterhead, and recreating all of them with the new letterhead was my last resort. I looked in the documents object where I had the .jpg and .gif files stored and saw that some files were saved in My Personal Documents and some were saved in Shared Documents. I really didn't think this would make a difference, but I moved all of them to Shared Documents and asked Nathen to try the deploy again and it worked!

Shareddocuments

It's interesting to note that the other two letterheads that did deploy correctly had an element that was saved in My Personal Documents, and one that was saved in Shared Documents. It appears that if all of the documents used in the letterhead are saved in My Personal Documents instead of Shared Documents, the letterhead wont be returned from Salesforce when it is asked for.

Moral of the story: If you want letterheads to be deployable save everything to Shared Documents!

Topics: Salesforce

Upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013? Here's What You Should Consider

If your organization is running Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (or heaven forbid CRM 4.0!), you’re probably starting to think about an upgrade to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 release. Of course you will need to upgrade eventually, but it’s a fair question to ask when is the best time to upgrade? Should you jump in right in, or take your time to get things going? Some of the big factors that we think will impact your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 upgrade decision include:

  • Lower case or upper case Upgrade
  • New user interface
  • New mobile and marketing capabilities
  • More changes coming

Lower case or upper case Upgrade?

When you’re planning for your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 upgrade, please keep in mind that not all upgrades are created equal. We make a distinction between “lower case” and “upper case” upgrades. Lower case upgrades mean that you want to update the system to the newest release by going through the upgrade process as quickly as possible. These upgrades can go pretty quickly if your deployment contains supported customizations.

However we also see customers that want to go through upper case upgrades. We refer to an upper case upgrade when customers take a step back to re-evaluate their CRM system capabilities, system successes/failures, business rules, etc. and consider making big changes at this time. Just as important, they factor into new system capabilities into their upgrade workplan. One obvious example in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 would be removing old javascript customizations and replacing them with the new Business Rules framework where possible. Of course this step isn’t required, but doing so during the upgrade might provide better administration capabilities for the coming years.

Obviously, going through an upper case upgrade takes a lot more time and planning because of the additional work involved. However, we think that customers with relatively complex or highly customized deployments should plan for upper case upgrades. Making the changes now will typically pay off with less work and re-work down the road.

Crm2013

New User Interface

If you’ve seen a demo of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, you know that Microsoft made some drastic changes to the user interface. These changes include:

  • Using the “Modern UI” look and feel to more closely match Windows 8 styling
  • Improved usability for touch screen interfaces (bigger buttons for fat fingers!)
  • Added the process bar
  • Ability to integrate Yammer feeds directly into the user interface

You need to factor these user interface changes into your upgrade decision timeline because Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 users will need some time to learn and adjust to these changes. If you have a highly successful CRM 2011 deployment with lots of happy users, please make sure you have a good change management plan in place! Change freaks people out, so you will need to make sure that the prior users know how to get stuff done in the new UI.  Planning on additional training and adjustment time makes a lot of sense to us. You might even want to conduct some end user focus groups with the new UI to get feedback because it does behave quite differently.

We also think that the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 user interface means that more customers should plan on upper case upgrades. You will want to carefully plan and think through how your users will interact with the new screens, you definitely should not run this update without careful planning.

New Mobile and Marketing Capabilities

We know that a lot of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 customers want to upgrade to CRM 2013 to take advantage of the new mobile capabilities. These new features include:

In addition to the new mobile capabilities, Microsoft also showed off a bunch of new features at the recent Microsoft Convergence conference. Some of the highlights include:

The sooner you upgrade your system to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, the sooner your users can take advantage of these new mobile capabilities. We think that strong mobile capabilities are key to making sure your system is highly adopted, so obviously getting mobile into your users’ hands faster makes a lot of sense to us!

More Changes Coming

A few years ago, Microsoft would release updates to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM software once every few years. Therefore waiting a few months to update your system didn’t really cause any problems or issues. However now Microsoft has drastically decreased the amount of time between updates so you will see more updates more frequently. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers will see multiple updates per year, while on-premise customers will see updates about once every year.

From an upgrade timing standpoint, we think this faster release cycle encourages customers to not wait too long before updates. Falling two or three updates behind the current release might create a lot of unnecessary heartburn. We talk with customers now that are running Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and for them to get to the latest release they need to go through TWO upgrades at once:

  • Upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • Upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

If your organization is considering a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 upgrade, please let us help you decide the best way to approach the project. 

 

 

Topics: CRM Upgrade Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Eight Reasons Why You Should Engage a CRM Consultant for your Selection Process

Today’s guest blogger is Bryson Engelen, a Sales Engineer at Sonoma Partners.

Companies usually evaluate CRM systems every 4-5 years: the average tenure of a CIO. This means your CIO (and his or her team) may have never done a CRM evaluation before, and if they have, only once or twice. This lack of experience is often the root cause of a long, painful, costly, and inefficient CRM evaluation.  We’ve witnessed hundreds of CRM evaluations and have compiled a list of common tragedies. If you’re vetting a CRM system be sure to file these scenarios under the “what not to do list.”

  • Do not: spend exorbitant amounts of time and money gathering your staff in a conference room to gather CRM software requirements
  • Do not: begin your evaluation process without a well-documented and clear understanding of your business process
  • Do not: come to the table without an objective sense of your needs because you will get mired in the tactical rather than the strategic
  • Do not: focus on generic CRM requirements
  • Do not: assign leadership of the CRM evaluation to someone unfamiliar and uninformed about the CRM landscape

ChecklistFor these five reasons, and dozens more not listed, I can tell you from experience that your internal staff should not be alone leading the charge on the selection of a CRM platform for your business. While your staff is critical to the process, they likely need expert guidance while navigating this complicated decision. If you want to get the best possible results in the most efficient manner, we strongly recommend that you hire a 3rd party consultant to help lead the CRM evaluation process.

Hiring a consultant? You may cringe at the thought! The truth is that the money you spend on hiring a CRM consultant to help you evaluate your CRM purchase decision will save you a considerable amount of time and money in the long run. The best, and smartest, choice you can make is to hire a CRM implementation consultant as soon as you know you need to update or change your CRM.  A highly qualified and seasoned consultant brought into the CRM evaluation process at the beginning can save you time, money, and anxiety, plus ensure you end up with a good implementation. 

Here are a few reasons why professional CRM consultants are almost always guaranteed to do a better job than your internal staff.

  • A CRM consultant has years of CRM expertise and they thoroughly know the marketplace. 
    Benefit: You don’t have to spend money training your internal resources who in the end will only know a fraction of what a CRM consultant has learned over many years.

  • A CRM consultant can bring best practices and helpful experiences from other industries to your business.
    Benefit: This will lead to a better CRM system design.

  • A CRM consultant can objectively define and document your business processes.
    Benefit: This will help you gather better requirements and consequently guarantee a better CRM implementation.

  • A CRM consultant will discover how your staff ACTUALLY does their job, not how managers THINK they do it.
    Benefit: This will lead to a more user-friendly (and used) CRM.

  • A CRM consultant can help you prioritize and weigh your requirements based on your actual processes, not generic CRM requirements.
    Benefit: This will prevent you from asking for requirements that don’t apply to your business. 

  • A CRM consultant knows the current CRM landscape and can suggest platforms that are strong today and have a good roadmap for the future. 
    Benefit: You won’t purchase a platform that peaked five years ago. 

  • A CRM consultant can evaluate if it’s better to integrate a CRM with a current tool you love, try to custom build a specific functionality into the CRM platform, or use a pre-built third party integration/solution.
    Benefit: With a CRM consultant you receive a custom solution that satisfies your business needs.

  • A CRM consultant can prioritize the proper amount of time to run a thorough evaluation, instead of asking your internal staff to do their “regular” jobs plus the CRM project!
    Benefit: You can be confident you conducted your CRM evaluation with the utmost due diligence and efficiency.

Involving a CRM consultant from the beginning can be a lifesaver for you and your project. During a good implementation you will go through a process called Discovery, where your business processes will be reviewed, documented, and estimated by a CRM consultant. You will pay a CRM consultant to do this at some point during implementation.  Why not do it before you select a platform and maximize the benefits of Discovery to guide you to the right platform in the first place?  We often find as we get into CRM implementations that the customer needs something completely different than what they thought they needed during the CRM evaluation because their internal resources couldn’t effectively define their requirements and processes. Of course, by that time they have already chosen a platform and we have to do some creative problem solving.  You avoid this headache altogether by hiring a CRM consultant to engage in Discovery before or during your CRM evaluation.


You may think hiring a consultant at the beginning of a CRM search is putting the cart before the horse, but engaging in Discovery early on allows you to find the right horse, build the right cart, and not have the passengers pull the cart along.  While some customers hire the CRM Consultant they used for Discovery for their implementation, never feel obligated to do so.  Consider the Discovery an audition for the implementation. If it turns out the Consultant you used for your CRM evaluation isn’t a good fit for you, you still get help in the process, decent documentation, and you won't have spent a ton of money on a bad fit. 

Topics: CRM Platform Selection

CRM 2013 – Save & Close is back!

Microsoft is currently rolling out UR 2 for CRM 2013 Online.  This update provides several fixes that are listed in the KB article here.  To check if your Online org is on UR 2 yet, click the ‘gear’ icon in the top right corner and then click ‘About’.  The version should start with 6.0.2 for UR 2.

 

image

 

One of the UR 2 enhancements that isn’t documented (that we know of) is the return of the Save & Close button.  When auto-save is enabled, the Save & Close button will exist only on the Create form for a record.  When auto-save is disabled, the Save & Close button will exist on both the Create and Update forms.

 

image

 

The Save & Close button was definitely missed but we’re glad to see it back!  Be on the lookout for your UR 2 update (and the Save & Close button) over the next few days.

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Convergence 2014 Recap – Sonoma Partners Booth

The Sonoma Partners crew had a blast last week at Convergence 2014!  We had a busy week of gathering knowledge from sessions as well as networking at our eventful booth. 

Mobile Buzz

If you couldn’t make it to our booth this year, we debuted a custom mobile trivia game called Mobile Buzz.  We custom built the mobile app ourselves to show off and illustrate one of our core beliefs that task specific mobile apps greatly improve the user experience and outperform “generic” mobile solutions!  Mobile Buzz was built using HTML5 that can support any type of mobile device (Android, Windows, iPhone, etc).  We used SignalR and Azure as well to make sure it was fast, responsive and scalable. 

How it Works

Attendees could go to buzz.sonomapartners.com from their device and join an upcoming game which would then display their name on our Booth Leaderboard.  Once our booth moderator started the game, the first question would show on our booth displays and then users would see multiple choice answers to the question displayed on their device.  The user would select the answer they think is correct and then wait for the time expire to see the results.  The user that answered the most questions correctly and the fastest would win. 

 image

 

Questions were of general trivia and some were more Convergence focused:

Image preview

 

Below is the Mobile Buzz UI on a device.  This screenshot was taken from a Dell Venue 8 Pro:

image

 

We started a Mobile Buzz game every 30 minutes during all booth hours and each Mobile Buzz winner took home a Nokia Lumia 520!

 

Our client, Valerie Berthelsen from National Oilwell Varco, was one of the many winners!

image

 

Mobile Buzz kept us busy and drew a great crowd each day!  Thanks to everyone that stopped by and be sure to check our booth again next year to see what we’ll be doing next!

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Topics: Microsoft Convergence Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Announces new Enterprise License

A lot of great news came out of Microsoft’s Convergence last week in Atlanta.  If you weren’t able to attend, you can watch the sessions online using Microsoft’s Virtual Convergence.  Attendees can log onto the Convergence Website and navigate to Attendee Tools to to get access to PowerPoint decks and additional recordings.

The investments Microsoft is making in Social, Service and Marketing is exciting to see with Microsoft Social Listening, Unified Service Desk / Parature / service web enhancements, and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing.  We’ll be writing about these in the upcoming weeks.

However, Microsoft also recently announced their pricing and licensing for Dynamics CRM.  One of the big bits of news from this announcement is that Microsoft is announcing a new Enterprise License that is available for $200 per user per month.

With this new license, customers will receive:

  • Dynamics Marketing (previously Marketing Pilot)
  • Unified Service Desk and additional Case Management Enhancements
  • Limited Time Offer:  US and Canada customers purchasing 10+ Enterprise seats of Dynamics CRM will receive an equal number of Parature seats.

This information is subject to change and Microsoft stated that as general availability of this functionality approached, they’ll have more details on these offers.

Topics: Microsoft Convergence Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Spring is still coming

Recently, Salesforce announced that they would be delaying the Spring ’14 release due to some performance issues with the upgrade. Yesterday, they announced the new Spring ’14 dates for the production data centers – all targeted to happen between March 15th and April 19th.  Here’s the latest list of dates for the North American servers:

  • NA4: March 15
  • NA6 – 9: April 04
  • All other NA instances: April 18

The exact time of when your instance will be upgraded changes based on the instance itself, so be sure to check out official page for when you can expect your instance to be unavailable and plan accordingly.

Unfortunately, some of the Sandboxes have already been upgraded to API 30 (Spring ’14). The delay in upgrading the production orgs, while understandable, is causing some headaches for our clients who are or will be ready to push their latest customizations and code from their sandboxes to production before the upgrade date. Here’s some of the issues we’ve run in to recently that we think are probably associated with these environments being on different releases:

  • Deploying profiles gives the error: “Unknown user permission: ViewHelpLink”.  
    This appears to be a confirmed issue by Salesforce, with the corresponding bug tracked here: https://success.salesforce.com/issues_view?id=a1p30000000T36WAAS. Salesforce says this is fixed, so if you’re still seeing this issue it’s worth opening a case with them to see if there is something else going on with your org.
  • Deploying some profiles may give the error: “layout - no Layout named CollaborationGroup-Group Layout found”. This is most likely caused by the Collaboration Group being layoutable (i.e. you can customize the layout) in Spring ’14, but not Winter ’14.
  • Deploying recently created email templates gives the error: “Invalid Api Version: 30.0”

Most or all of these issues can be worked around by modifying the XML that represents the metadata before deploying it to production.

Fortunately, these issues should resolve themselves once the production orgs are upgraded to the latest releases, so we only need to work around them in the short term.

Do you need help deploying, or want to make sure your project will go smoothly? Contact us and we can help.

Topics: Salesforce

Convergence 2014 Recap – Unified Service Desk

Last week at Convergence there was a great session called “Unified Service Desk: Enabling a super agent!” that thoroughly covered the new Unified Service Desk product coming in the Spring Update for Dynamics CRM 2013.  The majority of content in this post comes from that session but I highly recommend watching it as well so you can see it in action.

Background

Unified Service Desk (USD) is a desktop application meant for call center reps that will help provide a reliable and consistent experience across multiple channels.  Nowadays custom service requests can come from multiple channels such as phone, chat, email, or even social media so the goal of USD is to enable the rep to be more efficient and productive through all of those channels.  USD will provide a configurable UI that admins can customize to fit their reps needs.  The application can be integrated with 3rd party applications as well in order to provide all the necessary requirements of a rep’s job into one spot.

Features

  • Search
    • Easily configure searches on different entities
    • Each entity search is a separate tab
    • Admin can configure the order of the search tabs
  • Call Scripts
    • Easily configured links to help guide the rep
    • Content can dynamically pull in data from CRM records
    • Each link can perform a certain configurable action:
      • Open a tab of a CRM record
      • Open a tab with custom content
      • Navigate to a sub-set of call script links
      • Set focus to a field
  • Sessions
    • A session is a tab that runs in context of a customer
    • Multiple sessions at once
    • Each session can have multiple application tabs

  • Applications
    • An application is a tab that displays content
    • Global or session specific
    • Can have multiple application tabs per session
  • Toolbar
    • Configurable layout
    • Ability to add custom buttons
      • Buttons can perform configurable actions in context of the customer
  • Integrations
    • Ability to integrate with Line of Business applications
    • Allows for third parties to create integration components
      • LiveOps, Professional Services Aspect and Ingenius have already created CTI integrations


Customer Service Flow

The following is an example scenario from the Convergence session where a customer either calls or chats with a support rep.  Using USD, the rep can easily search the contacts in CRM to find an existing contact record.

Note – There are plans for third party telephony integrations as well so screen-pop could be used to automatically open the record.  

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The dark blue tab at the very top is the session tab.  Sessions will be in context of a certain customer and multiple sessions can be opened at the same time.  When opening the customer’s record, USD will automatically open a new session tab as shown below with Maria Campbell.

image

Actions that occur will happen in context of the current customer session.  For example as shown below, there is a custom application to “Locate the Customer” which will do a Bing Search using the customer’s address.  USD will automatically pull in the address of the customer in the current session and send it to Bing Maps which will be opened in a new application tab.

image

The rep also has easy access to the call script in the left navigation which will help guide the rep through the support case.  As each call script link is clicked, a green checkmark will display next to the link to indicate that the action has been performed already. 

image

The rep will click the first link in the list which is “New Service Request” which will then display a whole new set of sub call script links.

image

The rep will then click the new first link in the list which is “Open Customer Details”.  This opens an application tab to a Line of Business system that displays the customer details to the rep so that the rep is quickly informed about the customer.

image

The rep then clicks the next call script link, “Create a case”, which will open a new application tab which pulls in the New Case form from CRM 2013.  In this scenario, USD automatically populates the Customer lookup based on the customer session in context.

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Then the rep clicks on a call script link, “Search for a solution”, which has two options of using a KB article search or searching Bing.  The rep clicks to search Bing which opens a new application tab that automatically pulls up a Bing search with the above Case details.

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The rep then clicks the “Send Email” call script link which opens a new application tab that pulls in the New Email record from CRM 2013.  Here the rep can select from multiple templates at the top of the USD application which will pre-populate the email record based on the email template using the data from the rep and customer CRM records.

image

There is an easily accessible text field on the left navigation for notes which allows the rep to make notes throughout the customer interaction.  At any time the rep can click a button to auto-populate the case record notes with the notes that the rep has taken.

As you can see, Unified Service Desk looks to be pretty promising.  Microsoft has provided a lot of functionality that will greatly improve productivity amongst customer support teams.  USD can encapsulate a lot of functionality and systems into one easy-to-use application for users.  We feel that Unified Service Desk plus telephony integration will be a huge selling point for Dynamics CRM.

Topics: Microsoft Convergence Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013