Customer Think explores Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

A new piece at Customer Think has further explored the latest CRM software from Microsoft (Dynamics CRM 2013), looking at the developments that have been made since Dynamics 2011. The analysis also highlights some of the key aspects that any effective CRM software should possess, and for this reason alone it's worth taking a closer look. Firstly, the article quite rightly highlights the User Experience within the new software.  This is without doubt an absolute necessity when it comes to CRM management, simply because the customer relationship management makes use of a huge amount of data. Yammer integration for social networking has been added, as well as a process flow control, which enables users to add background information to static records. Expanded Mobility is another key benefit noted, and is once again an essential part of the modern CRM process.  Put simply, the digital world is growing substantially, with the mobile market in particular getting bigger every day. Dynamics 2013 is getting on board with the flow of the digital world, and now enables users to link up to Yammer, Skype and Lync via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Business Process Automation is also mentioned, and quite right, too.  It's important to ensure that if you're investing in technology, it's able to save you time and money by automating some of the necessary CRM processes.  Otherwise, why's it even there?  Essentially, as the article notes, it should help you "do more with less".  Finally, it notes that the software is cost-effective.  This is without doubt another essential you should be looking to save money on! Source: CustomerThink MyCRM a managed service partner and ISV can help deliver Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a managed service and is working towards the release date for the new version. About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ePDF.aspx Our record to PDF solution enables increased productivity directly in CRM by allowing an end user to quickly send a Quote or Order or even an invoice by email to the end customer in just a few clicks. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

6 Questions for CRM that can amplify your Brand and Customer satisfaction.

An interesting new piece in The Drum today (Simon Brace - The Real Adventure www.realadventure.co.uk) has highlighted some of the key questions that any company should ask before they engage in a customer relationship management strategy.   They are well worth exploring further and provide some real food for thought. From a CRM point of view in helping smaller businesses achieve success with CRM and social awareness I have added additional thoughts from my own experience.   Is there a high consumer need for information regarding the product? One key to increasing customer engagement (and therefore requiring a CRM system) is whether the brand or the sector you work in represents areas in which support and information is always needed.  To use an example, parenting represents the perfect area for CRM. There is a never-ending supply of first-time parents, eager to build relationships with brands that satisfy their need for both information and relevant products. But CRM is more that an organisation’s database or software component - it is a strategy that is developed over time to support your customers and their needs with the right information about your product. This can relate to many business sectors from energy to financial solutions - or as the article suggest, parents, as babies don’t come with instructions!   Are you in a position to provide answers to customers? Again, this point falls into the idea of genuinely helping your customers out.  It does not have to be based around problem-solving. However, one good example is food companies that build relationships with customers by providing great recipe ideas or by being open to accepting future product ideas.  Delia's online cookery school on Waitrose TV is a great example. To take another example Energy companies now actively use Facebook and Twitter to promote energy saving ideas so social interaction is now more important than ever.  Some organisations even go further - with product support and dedicated customer service channels being available through social media.   Do you provide a product that people can really feel passionately about? Another key to relationship building with customers is by creating a product that they will want to build relationships around.  For instance, if you are a music store, then CRM could represent a great investment. Musicians really care about their instruments and will likely welcome assistance in everything from tutorials to relevant promotions.  Again, a real sense of passion means that customers will want to engage with the brand.  Brand awareness and brand loyalty are gained by a number of key factors including “Great Quality of Product”, “Great Customer Care and Interaction” and “Great Customer / Product Awareness” and in a future post I’ll look at some of these areas that can easily help small to medium businesses embrace CRM strategy without breaking the bank.   Does your brand possess the ‘cool factor’? We are all looking for the next cool thing, but remember what is cool and funky to one is not always representable for all, so it is paramount that as a product provider your organization is in tune with what your customer wants and likes.  A good example of this would be when Apple released the iPhone and now at the iPhone 5 version customers still come back for more as it still has a cool factor.  This can be emulated across many different products and brands by many different manufacture and service providers.  See the top 100 brands here: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/2013/top-100-list-view.aspx. From this list I’ve personally interacted with 23 of the brands either through product purchase or support.   Do you support a cause? Many of the brands or organizations mentioned above have set causes to support and sponsorship deals in place that help with brand awareness. Organizations like SKY have several renewable projects in place like the “Rainforest Rescue” https://rainforestrescue.sky.com/. But does this work for small organizations that want to support a cause? All organizations and many businesses do support local or national charities and there are several ways of doing so (see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/businesses/giving/sponsorship.htm), but aligning your business or brand to a cause or a sponsorship deal needs to be fully thought through - and this comes back to understanding you customer and what their expectations of your brand might be. Here at MyCRM we opt to support local causes https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151627582429690&set=pb.367480604689.-2207520000.1381487296.&type=3&theater like our sponsorship of a local under 15 football team. So does this help with a CRM strategy? Well if done correctly then this can help with awareness of your business supporting a good cause.   What’s your consumer worth? Is that Consumer or Customer? I’d personally like to say Customer but this is a very good question and brings the closing comments back to business. When I first ventured into a sales environment I very quickly worked out that existing and loyal customers had significant value to the business I was working for, and great product and customer service will help with customer loyalty. As mentioned in the article, organizations look to provide additional services to loyal customers and, for example, most of the phone networks are very good at this.    Source: The Drum   About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eWorkflow.aspx  Our extended workflow solution set enables organisation to increase productivity through the use of custom workflows. We also offer through our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com    

Some common causes of CRM Data Duplication

Anyone looking to improve the way in which they utilise their CRM systems will know the issues that can arise when data is duplicated as a result of poor system management or software error.  Usefully, though, a new piece on CIO.com has focused on the different ways in which this issue occurs and what to look out for: Often, humans inputting data will simply not double check the existing records before adding in new potential leads, accounts or contacts.  Whilst this is obviously something that should be discouraged at a basic level, (it is poor administration!), it remains a major reason for duplication. On some occasions, data import tools may not be successful in identifying duplication before they carry out their tasks. Although some of the software does use a "potential duplicate" flag. Often, integration with other outside sources such as website registration forms, partner portals and message brokers will mean that other applications could end up not querying the CRM data before it inserts additions to the existing records. The other main existing cause is again an administrative one, with errors and software bugs typically causing the existing software to lead to thousands of duplications being created. The article correctly highlights the fact that at around 2% duplication, there is very little to actually worry about, as long as you have effective tools in place that will seek out the duplication and correct it.  However, if the figure goes beyond 5% then users will begin to complain and you will run the risk of losing existing customers. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM you have the advantage of duplication rules and the ability to merge duplicated records if they exist, but the key factor is to make sure that end users are aware of search and find capability that is easy to use, products from MyCRM like eView http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eView.aspx can and will enhance customer search capability giving the end user a quick 360 degree view of a customer record and activity. Source: CIO.com To find out more about how MyCRM can help you manage your customer interaction then please visit our web site at www.mycrmgroup.com

eMap the next generation of CRM Mapping version 1.1.3 has been released

After many months of work and some great customer feedback from all of our customers using eMap for CRM 2011 we now have a new release with a range of new functionality which extends data visualisation and manipulation even further in the Microsoft CRM interface.  The new functionality includes 1.       Pivot Data through relationships 2.       View Selector at entity layer 3.       Default Pan and Zoom   Pivot Data and Pivot Rules though data relationships One of the great new features with eMap is the ability to pivot related data from a single pin, this means you can now select a single Account pin and show related data on the map for that account based on a configurable rule. Rules are created in the settings and can be used on different layers   You can create a rule that maps a relationship to the data that is requested for the relationship to display As an example you can see below the data for the Isle of Wight, this is where MyCRM is based and in the first screen shot you can see all related data    Now by switching the pivot view on you only see related data for the Account Record based on the rule    This is a very powerful option as it enable end users to identify single customers with related data and work directly with those records selected. View Selector at entity layer Another of the great new features for this release of eMap is the ability to switch on the view selector at the layer level, which gives end users the ability to quickly switch data views    By switching this setting on end users have access to system and personnel views that have been created on the CRM system for the data type.       This extend further the ability to visualize CRM data on a map interface and work directly with different view sets.  Default Pan and Zoom   The final new feature in this release of eMap is the ability to set the default pan and zoom when loading a Map in CRM   The map centre can be set to “All Pins” or “Form Entity”. “All Pins” is the current default behaviour and zooms and pans the map to fit all available pins.  New settings “Form Entity” only works on Form maps, and will set the centre of the map to be the location of the form entity. When this option is used, a default zoom level can also be set.    To get access to the latest version of eMap either view setting in the MyCRM licence manager where eMap is install or head to our application download centre to get a 14 day trial http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx   About MyCRM MyCRM Limited is a UK based global seller of ISV extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  We provide a number of extension products via our Application Download Centre and also offer a fully managed service for CRM to organisation across the UK and EMEA. Trading since 2009 MyCRM Limited has seen continued growth year and year with profits at an average of 28% of revenue. Please contact Alistair Dickinson for any clarification or further information Alistair@mycrmgroup.com  

eMap Release Candidate Now Ready for Beta Testing

LATEST UPDATE 6th December :- eMap is released via Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx LATEST UPDATE :- The new demo video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqLKpkrL3Ws&feature=plcp   It’s been a little while since I blogged about our forthcoming release of eMap which is a full integration with Bing Maps and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  There are a number of reasons for this and below we cover off some of the points on why we decided to delay the release to improve on what was the initial proto-type.Originally we had built a solution in Silverlight that delivered some Bing Map functionality, but after further development we quickly realised that the adoption of Silverlight was probably not the best option for end users.  At this point we decided to hit the brakes and go with JavaScript and below you can see some of the results of how this looks in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.       The one thing we really wanted to achieve was a slick look and feel that complemented the way CRM worked, but extend the functionality of MAPS so that end users could easily work with data as pins on a MAP.    You can easily see from the map pin pop-up on the above screen shot that not only is the data that is shown in the pop-up configurable but there are a number of functions that enable actionsThese include:- 1. Add the pin to the route you are planning2. Create any standard or custom activities in CRM3. Assign a record to another CRM user In nearly all circumstances we have followed the standard design and reuse of Microsoft CRM components so if you wanted to create an activity from the pop-up then you would see the standard screen in CRM      If you then go onto create an activity as you would expect all the data from the record will come across to the newly created entity.      You can see from the side navigation tool bar that there are a number of MAP functions available for working with the data on the different layers. You can also see that you have the option to select different MAPS as within the eMAP solution there is the ability to create more than one map with one or more layers.  This means you could have a Customer map, or a Sales Opportunity Map by territory or a Service case Map, so the whole business can actively see where current activity is.      Currently in the eMAP solution there are 6 main functions to work with CRM data these are:-1. Map Section:- As stated before you can create more than one MAP and this part of the tool allows you to select which map you want to work with.2. View Type:- The view type allows you to select how you see the map either Aerial, Road or the standard Automatic setting.3. Quick Filter:- As the name suggest this allows you to filter the CRM data on the MAP layers  by typing In a name of a company or a contact or related record that is displayed on the Map4. Entity Distance Filter:- This filter enables an end user to quickly find records that are within a distance of each other and in the above example you can see contacts that are within 5 miles of an account record.5. Route Planner:- The route planner is a great way of creating a drive route  or visit plan for a number of listed customers and there a number of way to do.6. List Creator:- The list creator is a great feature for creating bulk actions and from here a user can create a bulk workflow job, add record to a Marketing list, copy data to the clipboard and bulk assign records from the selected list. One of the great features of eMAP is the ability to create lists containing data so that different actions can be taken, the screen shot below shows a range of data that has been selected.     You can see that the data is then displayed in a table and from here bulk jobs can be performed. These tasks include1. Copy the data from the table to the local clipboard so that it can be used in Microsoft Word or Excel or other applications2. Run a workflow against selected records3. Add selected records to a marketing list4. Add the data selected to use a quick campaign 5. Bulk assigns records to a new user or different team or Queue.So far we have only been looking at the Map capability from the left navigation but MAPs can also be included in individual entities giving additional functions The screen shot below shows a typical account with a map  Note that related sub accounts and contacts can be shown at the individual layer and easy to get navigation and driving instructions to a contact can be obtained by using the router planner and adding the contact to the route. This covers off most of the features available in eMAP with the first release with additional features like location sorting and data filtering coming in future releases. eMAP is a practical and easy way to work with Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides a great visualisation tool for Sales, Marketing and Service.There are many features and ways to combine MAP and GIS features into your business. For more information please register with the MyCRM Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ or email sales@mycrmgroup.com    

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey Soon to be released is the latest fully integrated solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from MyCRM.  eSurvey is a full functional Survey, Poll and Data collection solution that can be used for Customer and Prospect Surveys, Competitions and even has the option to be used for running online Quizzes and Training, resulting in response scores and total scores. Data capture has never been so easy, as all questions can be created in CRM and all responses to the questions asked if stored against the contact.We have taken the opportunity although there are other no so functional options available to extend Microsoft CRM Marketing even further.With a drag and drop flexible user interface creating surveys has never been so easy the screen shot details the main survey screen in CRM.       With the rise in popularity of Social media and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs, you now have the ability to track in CRM where the responses came from. So if you were running a Poll or a Competition on Facebook and LinkedIn you could record the success and data from the individual responses, and trend the response rates. All the Survey responses are recorded directly in the CRM and this is a great way to also record prospect data that has contributed to an individual survey or entered a competition.     Each of the responses is stored within CRM can be used in workflow, so if certain questions are answered in a certain way then a work flow could trigger a call or an activity in CRM, increasing return on investment and coherence  between Marketing and Sales functions within the organisation. Each Survey, Poll or Competition will create a landing page for recipients outside of the organisation, this page can be branded to you company colours and you can add a default logo directly from CRM    After configuration the page might look like this, although this is just an example of colour change and adding logo’s     eSurvey will be accessible for demo via the MyCRM Download Centre detailing current on-premise price points for 2012.Please email Sales@mycrmgroup.com for further information        

Event Invitations for Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011

Here is our latest Demo solution for Event Invitation tracking within Microsoft CRM This solution is designed to work with eCampaign to enable organisations to track Events and Event responses directly in #CRM2011 after send the related Accept and Decline Links via an email marketing campaign.    For more information on eEvent and Invitation tracking please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alisatir

Event Invitation tracking in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

We have recently been working with a number of our eCampaign customers to develop a complete solution for Event Invitation Tracking in CRM. So what is Event Invitation tracking, in some circumstances your organisation many want to send customers an invitation to attend a webinar or an event that is being held, and track the responses in CRM to create a list of contacts that wish to attend, We have done this in the following way by adding new entities to CRM for Event and Event responses PIC EV 1   On the creation of an event in CRM, two URL’s are created for the Accept and Decline process and these can be used in eCampaign to send a bulk email with event invitations. When a recipiant recieves the email they will have two options, below is an example of an email for an event in eCampaign PIC EV 2     When a recipient selects the Accept button from the email they will be taken to your event page which details the event and will display a message saying they have opted to attend PIC EV 3   Likewise if the recipient Declines a similar page is displayed with a message saying they are not attending. PIC EV 4    For more information on eEvent and Invitation tracking please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alisatir     

Creating Images Galleries and Selected Images in Microsoft CRM2011

What we need is an Image Gallery!! Having had the opportunity to work on a number of projects and see a whole range of requirements and needs for CRM, I thought I would share this one as this forms part of our new solution ePicture.I was recently working with a customer, who had a catalogue of images for products that they sold, these happened to be images of Telephone handsets and switches.  There was a requirement and a need to include these images into CRM so they could be used with Quotes, Orders and web site integration.  It was also made quite clear that there was no apparent budget or desire to introduce a SharePoint instance or integration into the organisation. As an organisation they wanted to keep everything in one please, one system and one over all solution with one technology, usually a difficult ask, but this is what we delivered to meet the need ePicture (Images Galleries for CRM 2011) First we thought about having an area in settings, which can enable the creation of image galleries so that we could easily add images to any record type or entity with in CRM This way the ePicture solution can be used through simple configuration, any entity in CRM can have an associated picture gallery and the example I use is Contacts and Products.  Let me explain Why Online Selling and Online shops is growing at a pace and the old adage “A Picture Paints 1000 Words” rings true, as when you shop online or request a quote you are always more interested when you have a picture of the product your thinking of buying.  With ePicture you can enhance the product library in CRM2011 and send your customers compelling graphical quotes, which are generated through the standard reporting in CRM 2011.The other use for ePicture here is the use of a solution like this to capture pictures of contacts on your CRM system. Why you might ask Well this is great when your organisation is inviting people to an event and you want to issue an ID card you can simple take a web cam and record at registration point the person’s photo for the event purpose, this said you can also use the same feature for leisure or club membership where it is important to capture an image of the individual.  ePicture comes with an additional resource so that you can add a primary picture to the top level record while you may capture more than one picture for the individual in the image library. ePicture will be release toward the end of May 2012 via the MyCRM download Site, Register here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alistair    

Empower Your #Microsoft #CRM2011 Workflow with 36 New Workflow Functions

We are pleased to announce our first Workflow Function Library for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, in this release we have added 36 new function calls for CRM Workflow that extend the business logic for Business Automation and processing of Data eWorkflow – Marketing                     Function – GetLastCampaignForMember                    Function - GetLastCampaignResponseForMember                    Function – MarketingSubscribeUnSubscriberMember                    Function – UnsubscribeMemberFromAllMarketingLists                    Function – IsAMarketingListMember  eWorkflow – Calculations                     Function – BasicMath                     Function – ConvertTextToNum                    Function – EquationSolver/SumUp                     Function – CalculateMaximum                     Function – CalculateMinimum  eWorkflow – Dates                      Function – AddBusinessDaysToDate                     Function – AddToDate                     Function – DateDifference                     Function – DateDifferenceBusinessDay                    Function – GetDayNameAndNumber                     Function – PareseDateFromString                     Function – SubtractBusinessDaysFromDate                     Function – SubtractDaysFromDate  eWorkflow – RegEx                       Function – RegexMatch                      Function – RegexRelpace                      Function – RegexReturnMatch                      Function – RegexStringFormat  eWorkflow – Strings                       Function – CapitiliseString                      Function – PadString                      Function – RemoveWhitespace                     Function – ReplaceString                     Function – StringLength                     Function – SubString eWorkflow – Web                       Function –WebURLDecode                     Function –WebURLEncode eWorkflow – Sales                       Function – CountRelatedRecords (Entities)                     Function – TotalValueOfInvoices                      Function – TotalValueOfOpportunities                      Function – TotalValueOfOrders                      Function – TotalValueOfQuotes  eWorkflow – Other                       Function – CustomerType   We will be working on a release 2 and release 3 of the eWorkflow Library and will continue to extend the Library functionality, with community and customer feedback. For further information please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com   Release 11th May 2012, Pre-Register Here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/