Skip to main content

Standalone CRM is Not Enough

Nearly every organization wants to serve its customers and constituents better, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is seen as the answer to be better connected and more responsive to the needs of those your company, association or government agency serves.

CRM gives you a channel through which you can interact, and excellent means of tracking these customer interactions.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for instance, tracks customer service calls, orders, quotes, and marketing outreach.  With Parature for Dynamics, you get additional channels of online chat and social media. 

While CRM is a great start, and arguably essential to improving customer service, it is not enough without being integrated with other systems in your organization.  Being able to reach a customer service representative quickly is good only if that person can resolve your problem, and the information needed to solve the problem is likely in other system, such as accounting, manufacturing, orders, or appointment scheduling.

When InfoStrat worked on a Dynamics CRM implementation at a large U.S. federal agency, it required integration with over a dozen systems in order to provide all the visibility needed by a customer service representative. 

Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a modern software platform based on open standards such as web services, and lends itself to integration.  Along with other integration tools on the Microsoft development platform, you can provide an excellent user experience for customer service reps and customers alike.

So the moral of the story is to give the customer service reps access to all the data that they need so they can improve the satisfaction of all your customers.  Don't stop with just a CRM system that let's you keep score -- go the full distance so they can make it to the customer satisfaction finish line.  

Popular posts from this blog

Power Apps Portal: The Successor to Microsoft Dynamics Portal

In case you have been reviewing Microsoft's new pricing for its Dynamics products which was released this month and have been unable to find Dynamics Portal, it has been rebranded as Power Apps Portal and shifted to the Power Apps side of the Microsoft product family. Rebranding the portal product underscores the importance of app scenarios involving external users such as customers and suppliers.  It also provides a simpler interface than Dynamics 365 for occasional users. The new portal pricing is based on the number of unique users who log into the portal each month (for authenticated users) and on the number of page views for anonymous users.  "A login provides an external authenticated user access to a single portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during the 24-hour period count as 1 billable login. Internal users can be licensed either by the PowerApps per app or per users plans, or a qualifying Dynamics 365 subscription." Pricing starts at $200/mo

Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

Source:  https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/infopath/ Microsoft has offered a number of forms automation products over the years, and the most long running was InfoPath which was released as part of Office 2003.  InfoPath is a powerful and flexible product that stores user data in XML while offering form features such as rules, data validation, scripting, and integration with SharePoint.  The popularity of SharePoint resulted in many organizations standardizing on InfoPath for forms, especially internal forms which are hosted on an intranet such as employee reviews, leave and payment requests, and human resources forms. Microsoft has discontinued InfoPath, with mainstream support ending July 13th, 2021, and extended support ending July 14th, 2026. Microsoft has named Power Apps as the successor to InfoPath .  Power Apps has much in common with InfoPath.  Both products include integration with SharePoint.  Both are geared toward the citizen developer and do not require advan

5 Best Things about the Unified Interface for Microsoft Dynamics 365

The latest version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 moves most of the core functionality of sales and customer service to a new user interface - The Unified Interface client.  This user interface is not completely new as it was gradually introduced for the Hub features such as the Customer Service Hub in recent versions of the product. The new interface is quite different from the previous interface which was used from Dynamics CRM 2013 to 2018 with a few incremental changes.  This is the Unified Interface, using a form from InfoStrat's Grants Manager Plus Solution. Here is the same record shown in the previous interface which Microsoft calls Classic. Here are the top 5 features that I like best about the Unified Interface: Better menus and navigation . The sitemap on the left is more helpful than the classic menus for larger, more complex solution. Lefthand menu shortcuts are a great use of space and help users access the most popular areas.  Better subgrids .  Sub