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Sabrina Zimara, DFC Consultants

CRM Social Features – Like It!

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I’m a Facebook junkie.  I admit it.   It’s a great way to keep connected with my friends and family who are scattered across the country.  It has changed the way I communicate and I find I’m more in tune with what is happening in my friends' lives than I was before.  In October, Microsoft announced their November 2011 service update which contained Social CRM functionality.  Now, you may be skeptical.  It’s ok.   But think about how communication has changed in your lifetime.  I remember when I first started in the workforce, email was just starting to be used.  We were primarily assisting customers over the phone, fax, or mailing out documentation.  While we still use those communication methods, we also use our websites and other social media options such as Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

How could social functionality be helpful in a business setting?  Could you be more in tune with your customers and what is happening in your organization?  When I have an issue like looking for a new car I may post a status like this to my Facebook account: ,  “I need a new car but I’m wary of car salesmen – help!”  Usually, in a matter of minutes I get comments that contain empathy, advice, recommendations, tips for negotiating for this task.   Just think  how helpful that would be in your role?  Let’s say you are engaged with a prospect and are up against your main competitor.  You post an update to your Activity Feed and your fellow colleagues could share their advice, point you to resources or engage with you on this sales situation.  Imagine the time that would be saved by using this activity feed versus meeting with each individual one on one, or not being able to reach the individuals who could help you the most, through traditional communication.

Activity Feeds are a key feature available through the November 2011 service update.  They simplify business insight and collaboration across internal communities through a simple experience. Users can follow important business events and activities in an intelligent and timely manner. The activity feeds capability is available today within  Outlook and Internet Explorer end-user experiences, and will be available on other browsers when Microsoft Dynamics CRM becomes available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser users in the first half of 2012.

If you want to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Social Perspective, there is a wealth of information available to you.   DFC Consultants, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, would like to help your organization be more productive by use of CRM and these new features.  We offer a free business analysis in which we get to know your business and then show you how CRM can work for your specific needs. You can reach DFC Consultants at 800-277-5561 or email [email protected].  Or check us out online through DFC’s Facebook page or DFC’s LinkedIn profile.

By Vanessa Veflin, North Dakota Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

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