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Tracking Service Requests in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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In this chapter from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Step by Step, you’ll learn how customer service teams can create, update, and resolve cases in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Chapter at a Glance


Many CRM system implementations are initiated by sales and marketing teams to build a shared, central repository of customer sales and order data. In the previous chapters of this book, you’ve learned how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be used to manage marketing activities, prospective customers (leads), sales opportunities, and orders. Of course, after a sale is completed, your company’s relationship with the customer does not end! To ensure that the customer is satisfied with the sale, customer service teams can use the information gathered during the marketing and sales processes to manage the post-sale relationship with the customer.

Consider the following scenario: You’ve just purchased a flight to your favorite vacation locale from a travel website. The day before you’re scheduled to leave, you receive an email message indicating that your flight has been canceled and that you’ll need to contact the travel website’s customer service team for more information. You call the customer service number listed in the message, only to be routed through three customer service representatives, explaining your situation to each before someone finally books you on another flight.

Regardless of the purchase, this scenario is not uncommon when customer support issues are involved, which is why a system that allows customer service teams to share sales and support information is such a powerful concept. All communications regarding the support request can be captured in one location and viewed by everyone on the team to ensure a speedy resolution. As the archive of service requests accumulates, customer service managers can identify common issues and trends that can then be used to drive enhancements to the sales process, service, or product development.

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, service requests are called cases. A case represents any request or support incident for a customer. Typically, a case includes a description of the service issue or problem reported by the customer and the related notes and follow-up activities that service representatives use to resolve the issue.

Providing an avenue for customers to submit requests or issues during and after the sales process is critical to ensuring that customers are satisfied and willing to do business with your company in the future.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how customer service teams can create, update, and resolve cases in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Creating and Assigning a Service Request Case

Each case in Microsoft Dynamics CRM contains the details of a customer request or issue, as well as follow-up dates, resolution steps, and other details. Multiple cases can be tracked for each customer, and each case has its own follow-up dates and status value. Because of the flexibility of the case record and the ability to customize forms and fields in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, cases are often used to track more than just support requests. Examples of how we’ve seen cases used include the following:

  • Resolving call center support requests from customers of a financial services firm

  • Managing concierge requests for top-tier clients of a hospitality provider

  • Tracking safety requests to fix potholes and replace broken streetlights for a municipal government

  • Capturing end-user requests for the CRM system itself

  • Tracking warranty requests for residential home sales

In this exercise, you’ll create a new case for a customer who is requesting a product catalog. After creating the case with the appropriate details from the customer, you’ll assign it to a customer service representative.

  1. In the Service area, click Cases to view the case list.

  2. On the ribbon, on the Cases tab, click the New button to launch the New Case form.

  3. In the Title field, enter the following text description: Product Catalog Request.

  4. Click the Lookup button next to the Customer field, and select an account.

  5. Select a Subject category for the case.

  6. Set the Case Origin field to Phone to indicate that the customer called with this request.

  7. Set the Case Type field to Request.

  8. On the Case tab of the ribbon, click Save to create the case.

  9. On the Case tab of the ribbon, in the Collaborate group, click the Assign button to assign the case to a customer service representative.

  10. In the Assign to Team or User dialog box, select Assign to another user or team and use the Lookup button to select another user record.

  11. Click OK to assign the record to the selected user.