CRM Service Module: Part 1

Often when discussing a Dynamics CRM it is not uncommon to think of the application solely in the terms of how it can be used for the Sales and Marketing departments. As marketing to prospects and building potential sales are the first interactions companies usually have with a customer it is easy to see why these tend to be focal points for a CRM system. However, critical interactions with those companies do not stop after the sale, they continue on well beyond closing the opportunity and invoicing the order. If you have heard the adage, “It is easier to retain current customers than to acquire new ones,” you know I am speaking of customer service. The customer service module in Dynamics CRM is often forgotten in conversations when speaking of the capabilities of the application yet it is quite a robust piece. To bring light to this often overlooked module of Dynamics CRM over the next few articles we will highlight some of the features.

Service Management and Service Scheduling are the two functional areas which make up Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s customer service module. Service Scheduling can be a bit complex to set up in the beginning but it is an intelligent tool to help you make the efficient use of your resources when providing services to your customers. You are able to identify resources such as users, facilities, equipment and locations that are available to perform services. Additionally these resources can be grouped together so that types of technicians or complimentary equipment required for a specific service are easily identifiable. The crux of scheduling is the service itself with which rules are set up to tie various resources together with parameters for scheduling such as duration of the service and frequency it can be scheduled. Using these rules the scheduler assists you to assess the service calendar and see what times and resources are available to complete the service.

When I think of customer service my mind always jumps to a help desk environment in which I am provided with an incident-based assistance which is exactly what Service Management provides in CRM. The core piece of Service Management is the incident/ ticket/ case. This allows you to follow an issue from when it is received, through all efforts to resolve the issue such as communication with the client, troubleshooting efforts, or escalations, all the way to resolution. Service Level Agreements can also be used to ensure the case is being managed properly and timely. If your company’s method of service is based on support which are debited against a pre-purchased number of hours or cases, these can be tracked and updated against service contracts in CRM. In effort to promote faster case resolution, the Knowledge Base is a strong repository of documentation called Articles which allows the service team to build and share information with each other.

This was just a brief overview into what the Dynamics CRM module is capable of. Next time we’ll start our dive into some of the details of how these features work and are set up.

SCOTT FLORANCE | CRM Business Software Consultant

Scott Florance is one of the CRM Consultants at KTL and has proven his value as a member of the team since September 2013. Whether implementing a new CRM organization or adding to existing configurations, Scott has engaged clients with a positive and enthusiastic demeanor to help them meet their organizational needs. With four plus years of experience, Scott is familiar with CRM as both a power user and administrator. Scott received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Florida. He is a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist for Dynamics CRM as well as a Certified Scribe Technician.

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