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Running a well-oiled support desk is not for the faint of heart. There are so many moving parts…Does the customer have a support agreement? Does the contacting party have authority to open a support ticket against the agreement? What is the issue? Is the issue covered under the support agreement? What is the expected turn-around time? How does this relate to its priority in the queue? Which support resource should be assigned the ticket? Is the support resource staying on top of the ticket? 

Did you know there is a whole area inside your Dynamics CRM environment that is fitted with tools to manage your support operations? It is neatly tucked away in Settings under Service Management and contains a slew of menu items to manage the many facets of the support process. 

Through the combined forces of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Entitlements you are armed with a pairing which allows for a flexible support model. SLAs offer variable levels of support, with varied turnaround times and price points, while Entitlements allow you to define the variable by which support is measured (time vs count), who can open support tickets against the agreement, the products/services covered under the agreement, and the channels by which a support ticket can be submitted.

Depending on how support tickets are received, Automatic Case Creation & Update Rules may prove to be a mighty ally. This feature automates the process of creating/updating records based upon predefined settings and conditions. One such condition is whether an Entitlement exists for the submitting customer. Take your automatically created cases, and make use of Routing Rule Sets, which read the properties of the Case and route the records to your various Support Queues to be picked up by your Support Resources to be worked on. It is worth noting that Routing Rule Sets can also be applied manually if your support tickets reside in a “bucket” for assignment.

For in depth details about Service Management, tune into this webinar.

To learn more about Dynamics CRM and other solutions we offer consulting, hosting, and support for, visit our Solutions page. Also be sure to check out our Training page, which provides valuable resources right at your fingertips.

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist, WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence

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Being part of the help desk support team affords me the opportunity to learn about little idiosyncrasies in Dynamics CRM. And I like to pass along these sweet nuggets to our loyal blog readers in case you find yourself in a similar pinch.

Have you ever wanted to add ‘Company’ to an existing Lead view, and the field is nowhere to be found?

In order to see the field, you need to perform a bit of trickery…

ü  Choose any other entity from the ‘Record Type’ dropdown,

ü  Then switch back to the Lead entity

ü  Click on the Display Name column, sort and re-sort, and like magic ‘Company’ will display

 

 

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From a View, have you wanted to filter by a specific column, but found that the sort option for that column is not available? Similarly, when performing an Advanced Find Query, a field that you would like to exercise a query filter against is not shown in the list of available fields to select from?

CRMblog-3

The reason for this is actually quite simple to remedy. The field has not been defined as ‘Searchable.’

To resolve, go to Settings à Customizations à Customize the System à Expand Entities node à Select Entity and expand à Fields node à Select Field à Change Searchable to Yes à Save, Close and Publish.

CRMblog-4

 

When performing a Global Search, records you assumed would show up, don’t?

ü  Confirm that the entity has been enabled for Search. Settings à Administration à Select Entities for Search

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ü  Also ensure that the fields are selected in the Quick Find View for the entity.

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 Last little tip -- When creating a View, you cannot configure sorting on a column that is related to the entity. You can only configure sorting on the entity for which the view pertains.

To learn more about Dynamics CRM and other solutions we offer consulting, hosting, and support for, visit our Solutions Page and download our free 30-day trial

 

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist, WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence

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The newest mobile app released by Microsoft for Dynamics CRM takes the user experience to a whole new level. The newest release is compatible with Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 and above. Below are some notable tips and tricks for navigating the mobile app.

Choose your app carefully.When you search in your mobile device’s app store, the familiar, Dynamics CRM for phone express, and the newbie Dynamics CRM for Phones, will be available to select from. The simplest identifier is their distinct logos.

You want to choose Dynamics CRM for Phones.

CRMMobile1 CRMMobile2

This app exemplifies the catch phrase, “Write once, deploy everywhere.” The experience you have grown so used to in your web client is essentially replicated in your mobile experience. As you navigate the mobile app, screens intuitively reformat, making it far more conducive to the smaller real estate, without losing a bit of functionality, including business process flows. As you swipe right and left, you are presented with all the data and all of the fields that are relevant to the entity you are working within.

The out-of-the-box core system entities and their related system views and charts are enabled for mobile access, as well as a handful of system Dashboards. Custom entities can easily be enabled for mobile access, by ticking the box in the entity node. (It is the second option that enables availability for the new app.) 

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You can refine the experience your users will have when accessing forms on their phone, by selectively defining which tabs, sections, and fields display on the form. By default, all of them will show when accessed on the mobile device. By electing to trim things down, you are allowing just the most relevant information to be displayed, which makes locating what a user needs, when they need it, far less laborious. To define what is and is not available, simply open the Properties of the Tab, Section, or Field and check or uncheck “Available on phone.” From any of your entities forms you can preview how the experience will appear when accessed from a mobile device. 

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To enable additional Dashboards for mobile access, open Dashboard properties and tick the “Enable for mobile” box. The same holds true for personal Dashboards as well.

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To round this out, for those that subscribe to CRM Online, you have a fantastic addition to pair with your CRM mobile experience, Dynamics CRM App for Outlook. This nifty little app gives Users the ability to track emails to CRM records, as well as convert emails to new CRM records.

Click here for a full rundown of what this app is all about, plus system requirements from Microsoft.

For the basics of how to navigate the mobile, head over to our YouTube channel and check out Tips and Tricks for Navigating the Dynamics CRM Mobile App.

 

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist , WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

CRM 2016 Improves Navigation Functionality

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The main navigation in the CRM 2016 ribbon not only altered its look, it also made functional changes, vastly improving the end user experience. The Main Menu Button now replaces the CRM logo. Clicking this button enables the user to switch between each of the functional areas without waiting for the page to reload. 

NavigationinCRM1

 

To add, a functional area can be selected where sub-areas are neatly organized in rows by category to easily view and select from. The fluid transition and absence of endless scrolling make for ease of navigation.

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A sleek button, aptly referred to as MRU (Most Recently Used) presents the user with up to 30 of their MRU Records and Views.

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A user can also pin any of the listed records or views, ensuring they will not be recycled. Conversely, these same records can be unpinned, should ease of access no longer be necesary. 

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If you are coming from using CRM 2015, you'll notice the remainder of the main navigational buttons are what have evolved over the last couple of updates. 

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In case you need a refresher- Quick Create offers an array of "short" forms to quickly create new records; Global Find allows for cross entity searching; and Advanced Find provides for the filtering of data by specified criteria.

To learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can improve efficiencies for your organization, visit us at www.websan.com

 

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist , WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence

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You can now brand your CRM! Themes allow you to apply your distinct logo and color scheme to your Dynamics CRM environment. Three simple clicks and you are well on your way to a CRM environment with a look of your own.

1. From the Main Menu button, select Settings

2. Select Customizations

3. Select Themes

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Upon navigating to Themes, you will find the out of the box CRM Default Theme. The default theme cannot be modified, but it can be cloned, should you want a head start on designing your theme. Otherwise, you can put your designing skills to the test and get theming. 

Theme colors are defined using a hexadecimal code. With this release, it's best to find an online resource to pull the hexadecimal codes from (such as www.color-hex.com).

 

ThemesinCRM2   ThemesinCRM3

ThemesinCRM4ThemesinCRM5

 

ThemesinCRM6       ThemesinCRM7

 One fascinating feature is the ability to take a test drive of the User Interface with a newly defined color scheme before it gets released to an organization. 

When you are ready to release the new theme, thereby making it the default, you can either select the theme from the Theme view and select Publish Theme (image below), or do the same from within the theme record.

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To learn more about how Dynamics CRM can be the right fit for your organization, download our free interactive demo. 

Click here to download our free Dynamics CRM demo

 

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist , WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence

Thursday, 26 November 2015 15:47

CRM for Outlook – Frustration Free Zone

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I was recently speaking with some likeminded CRMers in the community and we were discussing what we find to be at the top of the list for help desk inquiries. The overwhelming consensus was CRM for Outlook.

Do you ever find yourself faced with CRM for Outlook just not cooperating? Whether it be that you are having undesirable or unresponsive behaviors, the CRM tab is greyed out, or the CRM tab has vanished. Have no fear, you are not alone, and with a few checks and few clicks, more often than not, one of the following suggestions will be your golden nugget for resolution.

Check the following machine related roadblocks for starters...

ü  Ensure that your CRM for Outlook version matches up with your CRM server version. It could be that you are out of sync.

ü  Could you possibly have add-ins that are not playing nicely with one another? Begin to disable your add-ins one by one and see if CRM for Outlook is positively affected.

ü  Is your Outlook mailbox overloaded? Double-check your mailbox capacity, it may be high time you do a little housekeeping.

ü  Do you have adequate resources on your machine to support all of the applications that you are running? Check your RAM to ensure that you are not pushing the limits of what your machine is capable of.

ü  Depending on your firewall settings, it may be necessary to add your CRM server address to Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer. Along with that, it may be beneficial to clear your browser's cache.

ü  Is your anti-virus software doing too good of a job? It could actually be preventing you from performing actions which are legit!

Has your CRM tab on the ribbon disappeared without a trace?

This is usually easily remedied by navigating to File à Options à Add-Ins à Select GO and tick off the checkboxes for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

And just like that, you have brought your CRM tab back into Outlook. 

CRM for Outlook 1

 

CRM ribbon greyed out?

Again, typically a quick fix...Search for the Diagnostics Wizard on your machine and click the Enable button shown on the Advanced Troubleshooting tab.

CRM for Outlook 2          CRM for Outlook 2.1 

 

Let's wrap this up with "Track" and "Set Regarding" and also answer the common question of why "Convert To" is greyed out.

CRM for Outlook 3

 

When you select a record from your Inbox in CRM, and click ‘Track’, you are promoting the email to CRM as an activity without an association to a particular record. Depending on the Personal Options you have set, you may also be creating a new Contact or Lead at the very same time.

If I may give my two cents, I would caution against ticking off the box which auto creates new contacts or leads. You may end up with records for the local pizza place, or worse, a record created for one of those "fun emails" that slips through the Spam filter. 

‘Set Regarding’ on the other hand, not only tracks the email, but also associates it to a specific record of your choosing. The association not only relates to the record you have chosen but also rolls up to related parent records. Whether you have chosen ‘Track’, or ‘Set Regarding’, you will now notice that ‘Convert To’ has come to life and you now have the ability to convert the email into a New Opportunity, Lead, or Case.

The next time you find yourself scratching your head over why CRM for Outlook is 'acting up', come back to this post and try out some of the suggestions. You too, may just find that what you initially thought was going to be a major headache is quickly resolved with a few quick checks and clicks. For more information on this feature and other CRM questions that have you up at night, WebSan is here to help!

 

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist , WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence

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No programming knowledge? No problem!

Business Rules, which are delivered right out-of-the-box with Dynamics CRM, tackle client side logic in a user friendly way, allowing virtually anyone that is responsible for managing their company’s CRM to get off and running with this fantastic tool in no time. 

In a nutshell, this little gem allows you to create and add form design functions to the system and custom entities without a lick of development. Through “If…Then…Else” conditional statements, you too can create rules which monitor the behaviour of fields and subsequently define an action or actions to be taken upon the conditions being met.

Gone are the days of reaching out to developers for JavaScript and plug-ins each and every time a requirement rears its head. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not some sort of magic potion that will make all your wishes come true. But, you are bound to dazzle your users (and your boss), with fields that seamlessly appear just when they need them; field values which auto-complete right before their very eyes; field requirements changing on the fly, ensuring the most relevant data is always captured; and error messages, or what I prefer to call ‘reminder messages’ which prompt users to conform to best business practices. With a little creativity and some business logic in tow, Business Rules can do all that and so much more!

Still on the fence on what Business Rules on Dynamics CRM can do for you? Check these out.

Business Rules 1  Business Rules 1.1 Business Rules 1.2

 

Here’s a quick guide to find the Business Rules section:

From your Solution section, select either the Fields option or Business Rules option beneath an entity.

Business Rules 2        Business Rules 2.1

 

You can also access Business Rules from the Home tab in the ribbon of the Main Form of an entity or from the Field Properties of a field placed on the form. 

Business Rules 3    Business Rules 3.1

 

Upper management will be thrilled by how the implementation of a handful of well-planned and thought through Business Rules can simplify processes, effectively promote data integrity, and, most importantly, have all of your CRM users working synchronously.

To learn more, check out our video, New Features and Functions in CRM 2015,which includes a section dedicated to Business Rules.And of course, you can always get more information on this topic and anything else CRM related, by checking out our CRM Solutions!

 

Stacey Mancuso, CRM Certified Application Specialist , WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Sevice Excellence