Enrich Your Customer Service with MS Dynamic CRM

Achieve Excellence in Case Management Using  MS Dynamic CRM


Suyati, being a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, we deliver top of the line solutions in MS Dynamic CRM which include customization, development, migration and integration with other CRM and third party applications.

Agenda of the webinar:

  • Introduction to MS Dynamic CRM
  • Case management in MS Dynamics CRM
    • Creation of case
    • SLA’s and Interactive Service Hub
  • A case in point- Case study of an educational institution

MS Dynamics CRM:

In every business organization, the primary focus is given to the customer. Customer is the most important aspect of any business. So, in order to run a business successfully, organizations need to know how to manage their customers effectively. Here comes the role of CRM software, CRM is a set of strategies and technologies that organizations use to manage and analyze their customer data. The main goal is to improve the business relationship by retaining the customers and increase them. Dynamics CRM is a software package developed by Microsoft and its powerful capabilities help the users and organizations to overcome the business challenges that they face in their day to day life. Dynamics CRM comprises all the best strategies of a CRM with the flexibility and functionality that you would expect from Microsoft.

Case Management in MS Dynamics CRM

Case management is one of the most powerful features of the customer service module in Dynamics CRM which allows us to manage and track customer service activities in an organization.

The customer service functionality is broken down into 2 parts:

  • Service management
  • Service Scheduling

The service management is designed to support incident based services or cases. The case entity provides incident based tracking for issues that may arise from customers whether they are external or internal. A customer service representative creates an incident or a case to track a customer request for a problem and all the actions and communications can be tracked in the incident entity.  An incident can be in one of the 3 states—active, cancelled or resolved. The case management is designed to track the process from the initial intake of an incident to tracking the details through the remedial process and through final resolution. Dynamics cases are most commonly used in a scenario in which the customer has an issue with a product or service, activities, and so on. To resolve, the issue needs to be tracked in an organized manner from when the issue was first reported to the final resolution.

Case creation   

The steps to create a case in CRM are:

  1. First using the top navigation bar in CRM, select the “service” module, then select “case option” under that.
  2. On the command bar, click “New Case” option, now a new form will be displayed.
  3. Fill the required fields on the forms (title--name of the case, customer-the person who is associated with that case)
  4. After filling all the information, click “Save and close”. Now a new case will be created and it will stay open and can be assigned to any user, team or added to the queue to be worked on. Once the case the case in created, all the activities can be tracked and linked back to this screen.

Quick Create

Another way of creating a case is “Quick create”. As the same suggests, quick create allows us to create cases in a quick and easy manner. It helps to create a case by remaining in any part of CRM without navigating to service module. With quick create, we need to complete only few fields. Later when we have more time and more information, we can fill in more details.

To access the “quick create selector”, at the top of the screen, select case from the options listed, fill the form and click “save”, now a new case will be created.

Create case from email

In Dynamics CRM, it is possible to create a case from an email. In this scenario, when an email comes, first it will check if the sender is already existing in CRM, if not then a new contact will be created and the email will be converted to a case. If the contact is already existing, then case will be created associated to that contact. If the email is related to already existing case then actions will be taken according to already set business rules or workloads in CRM.

Setting Automatic case creation rules

Automatic case creation rules is introduced in Dynamics CRM by enabling the business rules that trigger when an email comes. Sometimes with browsing rules, CRM provides functionality to create cases by avoiding the manual process of converting email to cases. It is possible to set up case creation rules on our own, the steps are:

  1. Go to Settings> service management > automatic case creation rules.
  2. From the command bar, select New option. A new window will pop up.
  3. There we can specify the pop up screen like email, phone.
  4. In the next step we have to specify the condition for case creation
  5. In the final step we have to activate the rules. So, when an email comes, based on the conditions of the rules, a new case will be created in CRM.

Integrating Dynamic CRM with office 365 email

By integrating CRM with Office 365 email, it is possible to assist the CRM functionalities within the Office 365 mail.

To integrate CRM with office 365, first we need to buy the Office 365 Enterprise E3 Plan and set it up. Following are the steps:

  1. Go to portal.office.com.
  2. Select the Purchase Services option under Billing.
  3. Then search for Office 365 Enterprise E3 Plan under Enterprise Suite.
  4. Click on Start Free Trial. Then confirm the order and click on Continue.
  5. Navigate to User and select Active Users> select CRM User and click on Edit button under product licenses.
  6. Enable Office 365 Enterprise E3 and click on Assign button.
  7. In CRM, navigate to Mailboxes under settings > email configuration.
  8. Open CRM User Mailbox and click on Approve Email button on command bar and click on test & enable mailbox button.

After successful configuration, we should be able to see the alerts and we can see the test emails in our Office 365 Outlook.

Phone call to case

It is possible to convert a phone call to a case in Dynamic CRM. The phone call activity is used to record information and the details of an inbound or outbound call. To make a phone call, from the activity, select the phone call option and fill the details of the call.  Once the phone call activity is created, in order to convert it to a case, on top of the page, click on “convert to case” option, it will Pop up a page and we have to fill the details of the case which we have to create, once we finish with the phone, click on “convert” button, now the phone call will be converted to a new case.

It is also possible to convert a Task to a Case in CRM. Once a task is created, in order to convert it to a Case, on top of the page, click on “convert to case” option. Then it will pop up a page and we have to fill the details of the case which we are going to create. Once we finish with the phone, click on “convert” button and the task will be converted to a new case.

Resolve case

Resolving a case indicates that the case is complete which may include answering a question, solving a problem or completing a request. There are two ways to solve a case, either using a case view or using a case record. To resolve a case from a “case view”, first we have to select the case and on top of the ribbon click on the “resolve case” button. On the resolve case window, we have to select the “resolution” tag, the Resolution and the Billable Time. After that select ok, then the case will be resolved.

To resolve a case from a Case Record, we have to open the case record and on top of the screen click “resolve case” button, it will prompt a dialog box.  Enter information for the resolution type and resolution, and when the case information is complete, press ok.  Now the case will be resolved. Once the case is resolved we can see on the bottom side of the case screen, the status of the case shows “case  resolved”.  Suppose there was a mistake in closing a case or we discover that the problem hasn’t been solved, it is possible to reopen the case which is already resolved. To re-activate the case, first we have to open the case record and then on top of the screen, click on “reactivate the case” option and once reactivated, it is possible to make changes to the case.

Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offer an easy way to track the time it takes for a service representative to solve support requests. SLA is also the first step towards crafting key performance indicators and tracking performance against those KPI’s. It is possible to feed them as timers on record forms where they indicate remaining time until the prescribed time it takes to solve a  support request.

It is possible to apply a service level agreement manually to a case by updating the case records and essaying an active SLA record in the SLA ID attribute of the incident records.

The steps to create an SLA in CRM are:

  1. Go to Settings> Service management > Service level agreements > click New to create a new SLA .
  2. Fill the details like name of the SLA, type, Business hours and you have to specify whether it allows pause and resume.
  3. Then click Save, now a new SLA will be created in CRM.

Service Level agreements allow us to define rules for SLA on how it works on a Case. And it is possible to setup actions to be performed if SLA falls to warning or failure state. SLAs allow CRM representative to pause the timer depending on the status reason of the support request. For instance, if a service representative is waiting on certain information from a customer, the status reason “waiting on customer” will off the timer until the customer status reason changes. The timer hold is also tracked and recorded.

Interactive Service Hub

Interactive Service Hub feature is like a mini interactive version of Dynamics CRM. It has forms for each entity available which include charts, dashboards to create and advance find. Since this feature is more interactive, users will find it more engaging and easy to use. The redesign forms in the interactive services include components that help Customer Service Representatives to quickly handle all their important tasks from a single place.  And the customer stats feature in the form gives a complete view of customer details. Timeline gives a unified view of your customer’s interactions across various channels.

The new Interactive Service Hub is designed specially to optimize customer service. It shows all the vital information in one place and helps us focus on things that require more attention.

In the interactive service hub, we can work with record types that are enabled for the interactive experience. The record type which enables an interactive experience by default are: Phone, contact, cases, activities, queue attempt and dashboards. With the interactive case form in the interactive service hub, we can do all our important tasks and actions without navigating to different parts of the applications.

The new Interactive dashboard

And the new dashboard control includes a new list control to display case and other records in what is called its screen. A new type of chart that can show information in new and innovative ways. The best things about interactive service dashboard is we can update the records which are shown in dashboards. Also, we can create new records, deactivate the records, delete the records and assign records and many more actions can be performed on the records.

The interactive dashboards can be of two types: Multi screen or Tier 1 and Single Screen or Tier 2.  A multi-screen dashboard displays data in real time or multiple data screens. The data entry screen in based on the entity’s view or queues such as my activities or my cases  or cases in the banking queue. While a screen wall contains information about only one entity, each screen on the dashboard may contain information about a different entity.  In a multi-screen dashboard, all the screens may be displaying data based on the same entity. Single screen dashboard display real time data or one screen based on a view of a queue. And the tiles are positioned on the right side of the dashboard and are already shown. The multi-screen and single screen dashboards contain interactive charts that keep count of relevant records such as cases by priority or status. These charts also act as visual filters, we can apply additional filtering with global filters and timeframe filters. Global filters work on charts and screens on the dashboard.

Case study of an educational institution

Let us see how case management works in an educational institute. An educational institution may have different issues or scenarios which may be converted to a case. Examples are

  • Student queries
  • Process related incidents
  • Inquiry on course details
  • Leave request
  • Availability of study materials
  • Issues related with certificates
  • Request for fee structure

Assuming that a department in a college has a problem with availability of study materials for the students. Let us see how we can take this scenario as a case and manage it using Dynamic CRM.

The steps for creating a case in Dynamics CRM for the issue are as follows:

  1. Using the top navigation bar in CRM, select the Service module >select the Case option.
  2. On the command bar, click New key. A new form will be displayed and we have to fill the necessary details. Here we can write a short description of the problem like study material not available in the Title field of the form.
  3. In the Customer field we can fill the name of the customer facing the issue. In this case, we can fill the name of the school or college which has the complaint. It is also possible to specify the origin of the case, for example: form, email etc. and a description of case can also be added.
  4. After filling all the details press OK. Now a new case will be created.

Once the case is created, we can assign this to a particular team or user. Suppose if we want to assign the case to Student Service Team which usually manages issues related to various departments.

For doing this in case records, on top of the screen, click on the Assign option, now a new window will pop up and we can assign the case to a respective team or user. It is possible to add a case to a queue also. By default a queue is created for each user and team in MS Dynamics CRM. Queues share cases or activities as a group until they are taken out of the queue or are accepted by customer representative who assumes responsibility for handling them.

Steps to add a case to a queue are:

  1. Open the “case record” and on top of the screen, click on “add to queue option”, now a new window will pop-up.
  2. Select the queue to which we want to add the case. A new case will be added to the queue.

It is also possible to record all the activities related to a case. In our example, if the student service team had a phone call, with their customer, it is possible to record that in CRM.

Suppose the student service team wants to resolve a case, the steps are:

Open the case records, then on top of the case record screen, select the “resolve case” option. Now a window will pop-up and there, we have to fill the resolution time. It can be problem solved or information provided and can fill the total time taken to solve the case and remarks can also be added. Once the case is resolved, at the bottom of the case record, a message will be displayed that the case is resolved and the record will become read only.

It is also possible to share a case with various users or teams. In our example, suppose we want to share the case with say the student service team manager, it is possible to do so by performing the following steps:

Open the case record which we want to share, then on top of the screen click on the option Share, a new window will pop up where we can select the user with whom we want to share the case. It is also possible to re-open a closed case. For doing that, open the case record, then on top of the screen, click on “reactivate case”. The case will open and we can modify the case.

MS Dynamics CRM helps to manage different case activities efficiently and it ensures that case management is streamlined by recording all the tasks related to a case. It also helps to categorize cases according to business rules and provides functionality to assign security role to users for managing case data and it maintains data security also.

Questions and Answers:

Can MS Dynamics CRM help me with turnover among my Customer Service representatives?

Yes, it’s is possible MS Dynamics CRM makes it easy for your business to provide consistent and effective service and it is possible for your service employees to view and share and update the customer and product information by ensuring efficient and up to date sales and service. It also allows the queuing up of support requests ensuring that the CRM can assist more efficiently from the initial intake of the case till its resolution.

We need a solution that not only helps us acquire customers but also keep them, can MS CRM help?

Of course, Dynamics CRM helps your business to improve customer interaction and retention with a complete view of customer’s information, your sales team can track customers and new leads can be easily added. It is possible to update the response and your sales representative will find it easy to track and manage support incidents from initial intake to the resolution of the case.

What are the implications of MS Dynamics CRM being a .NET based business application?

The first CRM business application built on MS .NET technology, Dynamics CRM delivers tremendous business value through easy integration with MS Office and other third party applications and also to web services. In addition the flexible .NET architecture gives users the choice of working online or offline in MS Outlook or directly through a web browser.



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Soumya P S

Software Developer

Soumya PS is currently working as a Software Developer at Suyati Technologies. She holds a certification in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization and configuration. She is an expert in Asp.NET too.

Soumya is an avid writer who likes to write stories, screenplays, poems and blogs. She plans to publish a book in the near future. Soumya has interests in movies, theatre arts and loves to read books from varied genre. She is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and likes to do some social work too.

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