As manufacturing and service companies continue to grow and expand their businesses, they are increasingly turning to the robust platform of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to assist them with the management of their service needs and requests. With today’s increasingly complex economy and diversification into a variety of markets, companies now experience a significant challenge when it comes to staying ahead of and responding to their organizations' real-time service-related issues and statistics. Research proves that customers whose accounts are managed in CRM systems are more satisfied and happier clients.
Businesses that adopt proper CRM practices will adjust and flourish because of the enhancements that are always being made to this vibrant tool. There are three basic elements to managing services utilizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Cases, Contracts, and Services. There are many out-of-the-box features that can be immediately deployed, and there are some pieces or modules that may need some finessing or customization.
When you call your VAR provider or Microsoft (or really any company) when you need assistance, a support ticket for the service is typically generated. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is ideal for any company that provides services to their clients and wants to use CRM to log their cases. Just like opportunity or campaign activities within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, service cases and activities are stored or housed in a central spot related to that company or account. When using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage support and services, business workflow rules can also be leveraged to manage resolution of the cases. For example, our support and service teams log cases for support calls and then we manage those instances for billing and invoicing to clients.
A contract can be managed through cases. Your company may start offering service contracts that involve the number of instances or the amount of time that the contract covers, the cases that consume that time, and/or the fees incurred. The contract’s value can be tabulated with a set or hourly dollar amount or yearly amount. The contract provides more dependable budgeting and higher levels of service to small businesses and midsize enterprises.
Services are the main component of the contract. Take, for example, a scenario in which a client calls into your organization because they’re having an issue with their appliance, technology usage, or car repair: The individual contacts their provider, and in turn this creates a case. The company schedules a particular resource for the service and details the “where” and “to whom” in the scheduling, taking into account the geographic locations of the service technicians and what may be taking place in their businesses. Based on the service report, determinations are made about the type of resources that may be assigned via location and the resource’s necessary expertise.
The evolution of a CRM implementation typically starts with sales/marketing; service/support are usually the last component to be automated within an organization’s CRM tool. As your organization grows and thrives using CRM to better manage its sales and marketing activities, you should also utilize its capabilities to gain better visibility into your service and support operations.
If you are interested in learning even more about how Microsoft Dynamics can help your business, please contact The TM Group today at 888.482.2864 or visit our website for all the solutions we provide at
Submitted by Kevin Alexander, Jennifer Swiderski, and Ken Jacobsen