"Phone" Format Rings Up User Experience Upgrade in Microsoft Dynamics 2013

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CRM 2013 has a lot of treats for the end user that make the overall experience that much sweeter. One such treat, the “Phone” format, was first introduced in the December 2012 service update, but has been expanded upon for CRM 2013. In the December update there were some phone number fields that already had the new format for out of the box entities, such as main phone, business phone, etc. The fax number was not included in this release, and for good reason. The purpose of the “Phone” format was not that it provided automatic formatting for data entry, but that it enabled those fields to be clickable and optimized for devices to leverage for a phone call. Obviously a fax number wouldn’t need this feature, so the new format was not used. Yea, you got it, like a mini telephony integration feature. And it’s so useful for those of us with telephony software on our computers like Lync. Here is how it works.

When you are creating a new text or string field in CRM 2013 you have an additional option for the formatting called “Phone”. Remember that some out of the box phone number fields will already have this formatting from the December update, but now you can create new ones for custom entities or additional phone number fields on existing entities. When you select this format, a few things will be enabled for that field. Let’s start with the “Click to dial”.

phone blog format

When you hover over a phone number field with the “Phone” formatting, you will notice a small pop window that says

“Prefix the number with “+ <country code> <area code>” and install Skype to make calls from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.”

If you don’t populate the country code it will default to the US (or whatever country you have set up your CRM for), and you can still click on the number to make the call. It doesn’t matter if the number are formatted like 555-555-5555 or 5555555555 when you enter it, and if there is more or less than 10 numbers, it will still let you click on it to dial.

So you might be thinking, that’s cool, but what about the new mobile apps for IOS and Windows? Can I still click to dial in those? YES YOU CAN! Below is a pic of my iPhone showing this feature.

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I mentioned a few things, so what else happens? Well let’s say you are using this feature from your desktop, when you click on the phone number to call it will actually create a phone call record in CRM marked for “outgoing” and will populate the contact. If you are on an account record it will populate the contact field with the primary contact for that account. Pretty cool huh?

phone call format blog

This new feature enables users to make and track outgoing phone calls very efficiently with no additional customization or integrations. This is useful for any CRM user who makes phone calls from their desktop or their mobile device and is just one more reason why CRM 2013 is so AWESOME!

by Customer Effective, Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner

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