Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
Service Module Introduction
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Service Module Introduction
This video is designed to be a relatively brief introduction, for the CRM Online user, to the Service module. The reason we say “relatively brief” is because, of all the modules in CRM Online, the Service module could be construed as one of the most powerful and complex. The designers decided it would be good to accommodate as many different types of service organizations as possible while retaining a degree of simplicity allowing almost any service organization to use this. This introduction video presents the Service module components so you can decide which aspects you may or may not use.
Navigate to Service > Cases. A view of existing cases appears to the right. The default view is “My Active Cases”. Click the view name to choose any available view from a drop-down menu.
Cases represent the “heart and soul” of the Service module. (For those familiar with early versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a case was previously called an “incident”.) Essentially, a case is something that happens that requires attention. Some in the industry may know them as “Service Requests”. If your business is an organization that solves problems, or perhaps one that provides contracted services based on duration or time period, the Service module may be for you. Cases provide the way you track your interaction with the customer in a service organization.
Let’s examine a Case record. Open the one called “Average order shipment time (sample)”. (See the First Steps video for more information about installing the Microsoft sample data.)
The Case window opens, titled by the ID of the current case “CAS-01043-L2TP8”.
The Title field is required. The format is not critical, but it’s suggested to follow some naming convention, for example, the product followed by the sub area followed by the symptom, as in “printer ink dry”.
The Customer field is also required. It identifies an Account or Contact record representing the customer we’re helping in this case. It is a “look up” field, recognized by the magnifying glass icon that opens the Look Up Records dialog. Something to note: If we set the Customer field to a Contact record rather than an Account record, and that Contact record has a Parent Account record, this case will be seen listed under both the Contact and Account records. This makes it easy to track cases by the individuals (the contacts) that reported the problems, as well as track all cases by all employees of a particular customer company (the account).
The Subject field identifies an item from the “Subject Catalog” (Subject Tree), another component of the Service module that we discuss further below.
The Case Type drop-down menu lets the user (the service technician) quickly categorize the case when generating it. The choices are customizable so that the case types fit your business model.
Under Assignment Information, the Owner field identifies the CRM Online user who owns, and is responsible for, this case: the service technician performing the fix. Follow Up By is a date field. Status Reason gives more detail about the status of the case, corresponding to phases of work. The Priority drop down offers typical priority classifications, but, as with almost everything in CRM Online, is customizable, in case you wanted to add “ultra-high VIP”, for example.
None of the fields under the Contract and Product Information section are required, but they point to other CRM Online entity records relating contracts to this case. We’ll discuss Contracts later (00:10:50).
Look at the left side of the Case form under Related and Common and you’ll find Activities. By clicking Activities, you’ll cause to be listed any activities (phone calls, e-mails, etc.) that are related to this case. These activities represent the various efforts by users to resolve the case. Each case can have any number of activities associated with it. Activities related to a case can also be found by looking in the customer record (the contact and or account record) this case is related to.
To demonstrate this, let’s create a new activity for this case. (We should still be in the Case window with Activities listed in the center pane.) In the List Tools Activities tab of the ribbon, click Add New Activity and choose Phone Call from the drop-down list. The Phone Call New window opens. Enter something in the Subject field (the video uses “Customer Called in to complain”). In the ribbon of the Phone Call window, click Save & Close. The Phone Call window closes, returning us to the Case window. The new activity is now listed in the list of activities related to this case in the center pane.
Let’s see if it shows up under the customer record as well. In the left pane of the Case window, under Information, click General, and then look in the center pane for the Customer field. Click the name that appears in that field to open the customer’s record, either a contact or an account. (In the video, the customer record is an account called “Advanced Components (sample)”. The Account window opens. In the left pane, under Related and Common, click Activities. The phone call activity we created above appears in the list here as well.
It’s important to know that, by default, activities are related to cases, and cases are related to contacts (or accounts) in such a way that if a contact is deleted, all the cases related to that contact are deleted, and all the activities related to those cases are also deleted. This default behavior can be changed by a system customizer if needed, but it is outside the scope of this introductory video. (For more research, look up Cascading Behaviors and Parental Entity Relationships.)
Let’s look at the Service Calendar now. On the main CRM Online screen, navigate to Service > Service Calendar. The service calendar appears in the center pane. This provides a certain kind of view or way to use the Service module that displays all the Service Activities (not to be confused with Cases) of users on your system, displayed by date. Service Activities are used to record the efforts to repair or solve cases. For example, a field technician may record his or her driving to a customer’s premises and working on some machinery.
Let’s look at Contracts, mentioned earlier (00:04:44). The Contract entity tracks agreements to provide customer service support to customers within a range of dates or for a specified number of cases.
Navigate to Service > Contracts. In the ribbon, click New. The Template Explorer opens. Choose a template and click OK. The Template Explorer closes and the Contract New window opens. Let’s fill in the required fields. Enter something in the Contract Name field (the video uses “MSA” for master services agreement). Use the look up button in the Customer field to choose an account, for example “Affordable Equipment (sample)”. Use the calendar button in the Contract Start Date to choose a date (today). Choose a Contract End Date as well. (You can type in the date or use the date tool.)
You’ll notice when we save this (click Save in the ribbon of the Contract window) that the Duration In Days field and the Contract ID field are automatically filled in. The data in the Billing Information section is also filled in. However, the Pricing section is not filled in yet. Pricing depends on Contract Lines.
The Contract Line entity describes what type of service a customer is entitled to. Each Contract may have any number of Contract Lines describing different types of service delivered under the same contract.
Let’s create a Contract Line. In the left pane of the Contract window, under Related > Common, click Contract Lines. The Related Contract Lines view opens in the right pane. Click Add New Contract Line in the ribbon. The Contract Line window opens. In the Title field, enter a name for this Contract Line, such as “Onsite Repairs”. The Start Date and End Date fields are required. They do not have to be the same as those of the contract, but they must fall within the date range of the contract.
In the Allotment Details section, let’s type “3,000” in the Total Cases/Minutes field, representing 3,000 minutes of customer service. The Allotments Used and Allotments Remaining fields are not user editable; they are updated by the system as related Cases use up portions of the allotment.
In the Pricing section, enter the Total Price for the allotment, such as “$6,000”. The Rate field is automatically calculated (once we save the record).
Click Save & Close in the ribbon. The Contract Line window closes, returning us to the Contract window.
Now that we have the minimum requirements for a Contract, we would be able to create Cases related to that Contract. To see what cases are related to any contract, from the Contract window, in the left pane, under Related > Service, click Cases. The view called Case Associated View appears in the right pane listing all related cases.
Click Save & Close. The Contract window closes, returning us to the Service module.
Now let’s examine the Subject Tree and its use with Cases. Each Case has a Subject field which is used to identify the area of service the Case is about. For example, a case may fall under printer repair or network support, etc. The Subject Tree is a hierarchical list of subjects that can be chosen by the user when filling in the Subject field of a Case, saving time instead of typing, and ensuring consistency in terminology from case to case. It also makes it easy later to search for similar cases by searching for cases with the same subject. The Subject Tree is editable so that each service organization can describe its own types of service.
Let’s create a few subjects in a tree. Navigate to Settings > Business > Business Management. In the right pane, click Subjects. When the pane refreshes, under Common Tasks, click Add a Subject. The Subject dialog opens. Name the new subject by typing “Technical Support” in the Title field. Click OK. The Subject dialog closes. You’ll see that this subject is now listed in the Subject Tree. Click Add a Subject again and name this subject “Server Maintenance”. Let the Parent Subject be “Technical Support” that we previously created. Server Maintenance will now be listed in the tree as falling under Technical Support. You can create as many subjects as you need and nest them or hierarchically organize them as desired. For example, you could create a Subject called Billing Support and nest Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable under it.
To see how this is used in a Case, navigate to Service > Cases and click New in the ribbon. The Case window opens. Clicking the look up button (the magnifying glass icon) in the Subject field causes the Form Assistant pane to open, displaying our Subjects. All top-level subjects are immediately visible. Nested subjects are found by clicking the arrow next to any parent subject. Close the Case window without saving.
Let’s see now how cases are resolved or cancelled. Open any active case, such as “Average order shipment time (sample)”. In the Case tab of the ribbon, notice the Resolve Case and Cancel Case buttons in the Actions section. Clicking Resolve Case closes the case as resolved, removing it from views of active cases. (All related activities must be closed before a case can be resolved.) Clicking Cancel Case would cause the case to be deactivated. That means it could no longer be assigned nor edited. However, it would stay in the database for archival purposes. (Deactivated cases can be reactivated if needed.)
Let’s look at Services. A Service (not to be confused with the Service module) is a type of work performed for a customer by one or more resources (people). Services Activities are appointments to perform Services.
Services are configurable in CRM Online. Let’s create a new Service. Navigate to Service > Services. Click New in the ribbon. The Service New form opens. In the General section, type “Electrical Maintenance” into the required Name field. The Scheduling section is used to define some of the time requirements for performing this service, such as how long it usually takes (Default Duration). The Required Resources section is used to provide information to the system about who can perform this service, how many people are required, when those people are available, etc. This information is used by the scheduling engine when creating Service Activities in conjunction with the Service Calendar.
Goals are new to version 2011. They appear in multiple modules including the Service module. Goals allow your organization to set and measure performance based on Goal Metrics such as number of resolved cases. Goals and Goal Metrics are configurable.
Navigate to Service > Goals and click New in the ribbon. The Goal window opens. As you can see, each goal is required to have a Goal Metric and a Goal Owner who the user or team of users responsible for meeting the goal. Close the window without saving.
Rollup Queries are queries used by Goals to refine which records are examined when calculating whether a goal is met. Rollup Queries are stored separately from Goals so that they can be reused. Any number of Goals can use the same Rollup Query. The interface for building a Rollup Query is similar to that for building an Advanced Find query or View query, with steps for filtering records based on their field values.
Articles are knowledge base articles such as how-to articles or quick-fix articles that can be related to Cases and sent to customers or referenced by service technicians when performing services. Articles can use templates for consistency.
We’ve given you a cursory introduction to the Service module, a robust module with much functionality you can use, ignore, or modify to fit your organization’s way of doing business.
Thank you very much for your time.