Tips and Tricks for Using Support Opportunity Management Effectively

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CRM 4.0 added considerable maturity to the support side of Dynamics CRM and 2011 added a bit of polish to really make it shine. The two big areas that are global to the entirety of CRM are Goal Metrics and Dialogs. With these two features, support managers now have native call scripts and performance tracking. Support Queues can now accept almost all CRM entity and can be assigned to teams. Service management is far more robust and handles conflicts more accurately. The new Dashboard comes with three support-related Dashboards out of the box to help maximize your service center’s performance.

In CRM 4.0, Queues were restricted to email only. Well, now any entity including custom entities that you have built yourself can be assigned to a Queue. To make an entity that supports living in a Queue, all you have to do is go to the Customization area of CRM, select the entity, and check the box under “Communication and Collaboration” for Queues (You can also have CRM automatically assign these items). A warning, turning on an entity’s support for queues is a one-way process. You cannot undo that change so choose wisely. This is especially relevant because CRM 2011 now automatically creates a Queue for each individual user and team. So, instead of having to outright reassign an activity to someone you can simply add it to their Queue. You can also use Workflows to automatically assign certain items to Queues. Unlike CRM 4.0, we use the “create” step and create a “queue item” entity. With that ability to create Queue items triggered off of the creation of the item itself, you can now automatically assign cases to various Queues as needed. Finally, Queues also support charts. Just as we showed you with sales in our previous post, you can make charts to manage your Queues which can be rolled up into your support Dashboards.

Aside from Cases, the other key area for the service section of CRM is Services. Services define what kind of work you offer your customers. In CRM 4.0, there were basic rules about how to build a service and assign resources to it. In CRM 2011, the resource role and assignment functionality is far more powerful and allows for complex conditions and options such as site isolation. This helps ensure that when your primary resources are unavailable you can define secondary resources to automatically be selected and make sure they are located in areas local to where the work is happening. You can also collect resources into resource groups for items that should always go together. For example, if a truck always needs a driver you can group the truck and driver together to make sure you never accidentally send one without the other. As with the rest of CRM, the service area takes advantage of the new Global Functionality such as Goals, Dialogs, Charts, and Dashboards. We will cover details regarding these items in the coming blogs.

by Arke Systems, Georgia Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

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