Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics: Part 4 – Satisfy

The objective with all complaining customers it to turn them into happy satisfied customers.  To do this, you need to ensure that you are committed to providing them with a great service recovery experience.  

Managing Your Customers’ Expectations is Crucial

How well you resolve complaints is considered to have a significant impact on the overall customer experience because customers are usually more emotionally involved and observant of the service they receive during the recovery process.  So, this your chance to wow them and increase their trust, confidence and ultimately loyalty to your organisation. 

Implementing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as part of your service recovery strategy is a great way to help achieve this because:

  • They are a strong statement of commitment to providing a positive service experience
  • They help manage customer expectations and set clear boundaries from the start
  • They clearly communicate to your staff that customer satisfaction is important
  • They help you quickly understand and prioritise incoming complaints
  • They help you tangibly measure your service recovery performance

If you choose not to implement SLAs then you are effectively allowing your customers to set their own service level expectations.  The risk here is that every customer is different which means their expectations are likely to vary.  This increases the chance of you failing to meet the wide variety of expectations ultimately leading to customer dissatisfaction.


How Dynamics CRM Can Help

You can set up your SLAs in CRM and easily track your performance against those SLAs.  What’s more you can also trigger automated warnings and escalations if a complaint has not yet been closed out but is nearing the SLA deadline helping to reduce the risk of you disappointing the customer. 

In the example shown below we have set up an SLA for two different levels of customer:

  • Gold customers should expect a response within 5 days and if the response hasn’t been issued after 4 days CRM will send out a warning email
  • Silver customers should expect a response within 14 days and if the response hasn’t been issued after 13 days CRM will send out a warning email

Satisfy 1

Another great feature of SLAs is that you can set them up to take into account any planned business closures e.g. bank holidays and you can also set them up so that they pause if you are waiting on information from the customer.

Benefits to Your Organisation

The benefits of using CRM to set up and manage your SLAs include:

  • Increased customer trust and loyalty leading to growth and increased profitability
  • Ensures customers receive a consistent service that meets their needs
  • Improved communication internally and externally
  • Ability to easily measure your performance and drive further service improvements
  • Minimises the risk of you failing to meet your SLAs

For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit www.tecman.co.uk/Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM-2016

Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics: Part 3 – Resolve

Having captured the complaint, routed it to the best person to deal with it and identified the cause of the issue, it’s time to look at how best to resolve the complaint. 

Empower Your Employees to Own the Customer Experience

When a customer’s complaint is dealt with and resolved quickly, it instils confidence and trust which can often lead to them becoming more loyal to your organisation. 

Your front line staff tend to be the first to know about problems and are also in the best position to determine what can be done to satisfy the customer.  That means it’s important for them to be able to handle any type of situation which involves interacting with a customer confidently and efficiently. 

To do this they need to have access to the right knowledge and information to empower them to solve problems quickly and make decisions that will be in the best interest of both your customers and your organisation; a win-win resolution. 

How Microsoft Dynamics Can Help

One of the great features of CRM is the ability to customise forms and views to display key information about your customers.  So, in the example shown below you can see that a single screen tells me straight away that this is:

  • A priority customer
  • They’ve been trading with us for a long time
  • Their level of spend with us is significant
  • They haven’t registered that many complaints with us recently
  • We are working on a £100,000 sales opportunity with them

Resolve 1

Giving front line staff visibility of this information creates context for them i.e. they see the bigger picture of what that customer means to our organisation rather than just dealing with the complaint as an isolated incident.  It means that when it’s time to make a judgement call on how to resolve the customer’s complaint we are giving them all the relevant information and empowering them to own the customer experience by:

  • Solving problems quickly
  • Delighting customers
  • Making decisions that are aligned with the organisational strategy

CRM also has a knowledge base feature which can be hugely effective in helping to answer customer questions and resolve issues quickly.  The knowledge base allows you to store information such as FAQs, product manuals, installation instructions, how to videos etc.  Staff can also email articles directly from the knowledge base to customers.

In the example below you can see that, within the Case, we have clicked on KB records and CRM has searched the knowledge base displaying all articles that may help us resolve the issue.

Resolve 2

If an article helps to resolve an issue, the staff member has the option to link that article to the case to help their colleagues resolve any similar issues that may crop up in future.  From there you can then start to keep track of how many issues have been resolved with solutions from the knowledge base but also issues that could not be resolved using the knowledge base allowing you to understand where you may need to build your organisational knowledge further. 


Benefits to Your Organisation

Using the information and knowledge sharing functionality within CRM can help to:

  • Improve efficiency and productivity leading to reduced costs
  • Improve communication both internally and externally
  • Increase customer trust and loyalty leading to growth and increased profitability
  • Encourage collaboration, creativity and innovation
  • Gain and sustain a competitive advantage
  • Increase employee satisfaction and engagement leading to even higher levels of service
  • Manage risk because they help to prevent any single points of failure

 For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit www.tecman.co.uk/Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM-2016

On-demand account information for your customers

Your finance team will spend a lot of their time, probably more than they would care to admit, dealing with simple customer questions about account information. From outstanding invoices and orders to returns – this isn’t a great use of time for either your staff or your customers.

Give yourselves a break!

Save your customer from having to call or email and keep your staff focused on their day to day tasks by using our simple solution, My Account Portal. Born as part of our Dynamics Additions range, the portal is simple – it gives the power back to your customer.

Customers can log in using their unique login information and see instantly, anytime, their account balances, processing orders and credit notes.  They can even request returns, query an invoice and make online payments…

The flexibility for you and your customers from this Dynamics Addition can genuinely help to take some of the strain off your shoulders. My Account Portal can free up time to focus on your business objectives, whilst increasing customer satisfaction by sharing the tools customers need to work with you more effectively.

Fancy seeing it in action? Pop on to YouTube and watch it step by step…


Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics: Part 2 – Identify

In the previous article, we covered how CRM can help you capture complaints effectively.  Having captured the complaint in the system the next step is to identify what has gone wrong and the best person or team to resolve the issue.   

Speed is of the Essence

In today’s competitive environment organisations are finding themselves under more pressure than ever to:

  • Respond faster
  • Be more innovative
  • Resolve more complex problems quickly

Common issues that make customers unhappy when they have a complaint are having to repeat themselves and make multiple attempts to get the issue resolved.  It’s therefore important to have effective systems in place to gather as much information as possible to determine what has gone wrong and then use that to connect your customer with the best person to resolve the issue quickly and professionally.  By doing this you stand to reduce resolution timescales which ultimately makes for a happier customer. 


How Microsoft Dynamics Can Help

A fantastic feature that CRM offers is the ability to create business process flows to help staff gather the right information quickly and guide them, step by step, through the complaint process. 

Within the business process you set out the different stages of your complaint process and then in each stage you set up the steps that must be completed before you can move onto the next stage (as shown below). 

Identify 1

What’s more you can easily track and report on the stages that each complaint is at which in turn may help to identify any bottlenecks or improvements that need to be made to processes. 

CRM also gives you the ability to set up routing rules to automatically assign complaints to the correct individual or team.  In the example shown below we have set up a rule to route all complaints received from Facebook or Twitter to the Social Media Team.

Identify 2

The routing rules are extremely flexible and can be based on product, customer priority, location or any other data stored against the case in CRM. 


Benefits to Your Organisation

Utilising the business process flows and routing rules features of CRM helps:

  • Ensure consistent data capture and a consistent approach is adopted for each complaint
  • Reduce resolution timescales leading to happier customers
  • Improve internal and external communication because everyone has visibility of the process
  • Enable smooth handoffs between individuals or teams because everyone is aware of where responsibilities lie within the process
  • Minimise the risk of losing staff resulting in loss of business process knowledge

 For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit www.tecman.co.uk//Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM-2016

Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics: Part 1 – Capture

Complaints Are a Gift – Make the Most of Them!

When customers complain to you they are not just sharing their pain points with you, they are giving you valuable insight into how to make your products or service better both now and in the future.  As Bill Gates once said “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Complaints therefore represent a huge opportunity to:

  • Increase satisfaction, loyalty and profitability
  • Gain competitive advantage
  • Identify future needs of customers

That said the challenge many organisations face today is the sheer number of channels through which a customer can complain: phone, email, fax, letter, website, live chat, social media, blogs/forums etc.  Naturally the more channels you support the trickier it becomes to effectively track and respond to complaints.  However, customers expect us to understand the history of their interactions with our organisation so that they don’t have to repeat themselves or make multiple attempts to get issues resolved.  That’s why it’s important to have excellent systems in place to make sure you can capture and act quickly when a product or service fails. 


How Microsoft Dynamics Can Help

CRM allows you to capture complaints from multiple channels funnelling them into one single place where everyone in the organisation can easily view and respond to them

Capture 1

You can also make information capture mandatory to ensure the right information is captured from the customer at the start of the process.  In the example below you can see that when creating a new case, we have made the Title, Type, Subject, Customer and Origin fields mandatory.

Capture 2

There is also the ability to capture and track all activity that happens in relation to the complaint whether that is a phone call, email, task, appointment, SMS or even live chat conversation so that everyone has a complete view of the history of conversations with the customer. 

Capture 3

Benefits to Your Organisation

Using CRM to capture your complaints means that:

  • You make it easy for customers to interact with you using the communication channel they are most comfortable with
  • Customers receive a consistent experience no matter which channel of communication they choose
  • Employees have access to the history of all interactions with the customer making interactions with customers as effective, efficient and personalised/meaningful as possible

  For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit www.tecman.co.uk/Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM-2016

Turn Customer Disappointment into Customer Delight with Microsoft Dynamics – A Five Part Series

We want your customers to have the best possible experience – even when things go wrong. Read through our 5-part series to help delight your customers with the help of Dynamics CRM.

Emotions Drive Decisions in Business

Emotions drive our everyday decisions as people and they are also what convince us to do business with organisations.  These days’ customers don’t just decide how/where to shop based on price and product alone, they are also highly influenced by the emotional experience they have with an organisation. 

Perhaps the biggest emotional experience a customer has with an organisation is when things go wrong.  Often reacting strongly to product or service failures but the reality is that failure is inevitable.  Even some of today’s most admired brands experience defects or shortcomings in their products or services. 

Most customers understand that things will go wrong so failure isn’t necessarily the biggest issue for them.  What’s more critical is their perception of how you respond to that failure because that is where the greatest potential is for you to restore trust and satisfaction or drive them to the competition.  A complaint is therefore a huge opportunity for you to demonstrate to a customer that they are highly valued. 


What’s Your Service Recovery Strategy?

Service recovery refers to the actions you take in response to a product or service failure.  It’s important to have a recovery strategy in place because customers are usually more emotionally involved in and observant of the service they receive during recovery than in routine or first-time service.  It also means that they are likely to be more dissatisfied by your failure to recover than by the original issue itself. 

When designing your strategy you should think about three key elements:

  1. Customer recovery i.e. fixing the customer’s issue to restore their trust and satisfaction
  2. Process recovery i.e. identifying and fixing the root cause of the problem to try and prevent it from happening again in future
  3. Employee recovery i.e. informing employees of why the issue occurred and what has been done to fix it so they are equipped with the right information should the issue arise again in future


The Complaint Lifecycle

In this five-part series we are going to cover each of the stages shown below in the complaint lifecycle.  For each stage we will show you how Dynamics CRM can play a key role in delivering your service recovery strategy and help you to turn customer disappointment into customer delight.


   For more insights into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite, soon to be part of Dynamics 365, visit www.tecman.co.uk/Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM-2016





Learn How Dynamics CRM Can Help Deliver Your Customer Experience Strategy

The Changing Landscape of Customer Service

In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion in digital technology along with an increase in the number of channels and platforms by which customers can interact with our organisations. 

Customers now have information about pricing, products and the competition at their fingertips which means that control of the customer experience has shifted from the sellers to their customers. 

This shift in control also means that more and more pressure is being placed on us as organisations to meet rising customer expectations.  Today’s customers are not just deciding how to shop based on price and product alone, they are also highly influenced by the emotional experience they have with an organisation.  They want us to make them feel welcome, important, valued and understood. 

To do this, we need to earn their trust by delivering a consistently excellent customer experience time after time.  If we do that we can generate a loyal customer base which means customers are more likely to purchase from us again and recommend us to others all of which can lead to increased growth and profitability.

A Winning Customer Experience Strategy

When it comes to creating a great customer experience there are three important aspects that influence how a customer perceives and evaluates their experience with our organisation:

Ease of doing business

Today’s customers are often time poor so they want us to acknowledge that their time is important by making interactions with our organisations as effortless and seamless as possible. Not only that, they want to be able to interact with us anywhere, anytime and on any device

Effectiveness of interactions

Delivering a great customer experience involves having reliable, tight and consistent processes in place along with powerful reporting and analytics which enable us identify and deliver the right service to the right customer at the right time

Emotional connection

Customers’ feelings are becoming facts. Each time a customer interacts with our organisation the experience they have will result in a set of emotions, judgements and intentions to repeat purchase or recommend to others.  

Organisations that successfully deliver against each of the above are the ones that drive loyalty, passion and advocacy for their brand and often outperform their competitors.

How Dynamics CRM Can Help

Dynamics CRM is a strategic toolkit that can help you deliver the easy, effective and emotional experience that your customers want.   It has a number of powerful features that enable you to:

  • Deliver exceptional and personalised customer experiences allowing you to build strong, long-lasting, loyal relationships with your customers
  • Deliver powerful and valuable business insight to support informed decision making and continue to drive your organisation forwards
  • Empower and engage your employees by helping them to understand their responsibilities to customers and allowing them to see the ‘bigger picture’ of customer experience

Benefits to Your Organisation

There are a huge number of benefits that CRM can bring to your business including:

  • Increased customer trust and loyalty
  • Increased growth and profitability
  • Cost and time savings due to improved efficiency and productivity
  • Improved communication internally and externally
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Measure return on investment for business decisions/initiatives
  • Risk management due to information being stored in a central location

If you’d like to know more about how Dynamics CRM pop over and visit tecman.co.uk/CRM

Don’t leave your reporting in the dark…

Your organisation will use specific business logic; all good businesses do. And it’s that logic that is the backbone of your processes, systems and most importantly – data and reporting.

Getting your business processes right is a top priority – but adding to the already endless list of tasks your processors, finance managers and sales people have to do is a big ask.

Adding in new data to Dynamics NAV dimensions is necessary and for someone who is creating new accounts or managing staff, this could be an everyday occurrence – but did you know that this doesn’t automatically post back in to your Dimensions Values?

That could mean all the documents your team are posting will not get picked up in your reporting correctly – throwing off the information you use to run your business.

In standard Dynamics NAV no notification or prompt will pop up when your team are creating a master data record telling them to add in the associated dimension value – and this will leave you in a pickle…

That’s why we have developed Dynamics Additions Default Dimensions. This simple add on will remove the risk of documents being posted with missing dimensions; saving you time and helping avoid disaster later when analysing and reporting on your company performance. It works through the automatic creation of dimension values when you add new master data – and it will even associate those values with that master data.

This really is an important, cost effective way to ensure your vital data is being posted correctly. Don’t leave your reporting in the dark…

Find out more at www.tecman.co.uk/DefaultDimensions.

10 customer service trends to watch for in 2016

It's easy when being asked about trends to talk about innovative technology and features you know will make a splash – but instead we wanted to focus on what we see the thought leaders of the customer service industry concentrating on.

With customer service and customer experience beginning to overtake price and product as brand differentiators, now is the time to really empower and embrace the age of the customer…

  1. Mobile

    The integration of mobile technology into the overall experience equation for business will have a significant impact.

    Mobiles has been viewed and built into many companies as its own silo. When merged to be a part of the customer engagement solution across channels, across touch-points, it will bring a way for companies to be both proactive and responsive in delivering the "one-company" customer experiences. It would be proactive for organisations to merge mobile information and usage with operational data to enable them to reach out before customers reach out to them, to build brand stickiness and to rescue customers at risk.

  1. Talent

    Leaders of organisations who are serious about service are going to start focusing on developing talent plans for service and support, looking at:

    • Understanding the shortcomings of the current service workforce
    • Identifying training strategies and told to better support the current workforce
    • Developing the knowledge strategies to retain the insight and information of the top performing workforce
    • Building recruitment and training plans to develop the next service workforce

    The demands for service and support continue to increase. Most organisations see the strain on their current service resources as businesses continue to diversify and expand to uncover new revenue streams. In addition to ensuring coverage for service requests, organisations would also like to differentiate via the service experience that is delivered, which is substantially impacted by talent.

  1. Journey Mapping

    The customer journey map.

    Why? Because you can't transform something you don't understand. Journey maps, when designed and use properly, help the entire organisation understand what customers are going through as they interact with your organisation. You can't improve customer service if you don't know where things are going well and where they are breaking down.

    One of the key learnings as a result of mapping the journey customers take when trying to contact or interact with service or support reps is that the customer service department is not the only department involved in a service interaction. When we can identify ownership of steps along the journey, we learn that other departments are also integral to customer service interaction. We need to get to that level of detail in order to design a better experience.

  1. Focus on Customers

    Keeping it simple for customers is critical. We all know the customer is the focus. When, and if, we lose sight of that is when the problems start. Keep your eye on the customer. Keep it simple. Keep it fair.

  1. Social Media

    Customer service will see increased demand and growth in digital channels, especially via social media and self-service via mobile apps.

    Mobile continues to evolve and improve in so many ways. Bandwidth is getting larger, smart phones are getting bigger, and tablets continue to outpace laptops in innovation and execution. With the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices, the demand and growth becomes nearly undeniable. Customers increasingly want support to be on-demand. Social media networks provide that asynchronous support with a human touch, while self-help apps and forums provide information on the go.

    Organisations need to embrace the idea that customer service is not a cost centre, but a profit centre. In most cases, it is cheaper to retain a customer by providing excellent customer support when needed than to acquire once with traditional marketing.

  1. Self-Service

    The trend towards self-service solutions is gaining in popularity. The phone may still be the number one way customers interact with the companies they do business with, but self-service is still strongly trending. This can be in the form of something as simple as a "frequently asked question" page on a website.  

    One of the best self-service solutions is video. Simple "how to" videos on YouTube or on a company's website can be like having the customer support rep personally helping you at the pace that's convenient to you.

    People want information quickly – if you have to go to a company's website to look up a contact number, you may as well look around and see if there is a self-service solution offered. And the millennial generation seems to be into the self-service option more than others, and that is a big part of our customer population.

  1. Internet of things

    The ability to bring the Internet of Things in to the forefront of customer service engagement and issue resolution.

    Today, many of the leading brands are good at providing rich knowledge answers through the self service options, which creates more effortless experiences for customers. As the Internet of Things becomes part of the mainstream customer service reality and many of the issues that require proactive service today will be eliminated, with the ability to provide predictive service and empower brands to take pre-emptive action.

    It will also give brands the opportunity to engage with their customers in a more personalised way with useful insights based on awareness, patterns, and trends.

  1. Convenience

    Customers want what they want, when they want it. Smart companies are demonstrating there is the monumental business model shift in empowering customers with more control over their services, and with the timely and always-accessible customer service to support it. Web and mobiles apps and front line staff must be ready.

    The bar for customer service expectations continues to rise, so providing service that saves time and is easy to use is exactly what people want – but not all companies are leveraging this today.

  1. Knowledge

    The availability and accessibility of knowledge, both internally and externally, is vital.

    Many brands and organisations are jumping ahead and making big investments in items such as personalisation and customised customer journeys before they get the basics right… but this is like building a house on the sand. If you don't have a solid service foundation, the beautiful front door and the foyer painted in the customer's favourite colour won't keep the customer relationship standing for long.

    A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report supports this theory. In a survey of more than 2000 global consumers, when asked which parts were more important in an ideal customer experience, respondents listed fast response to enquiries or complaints (47%) as their top choice, with personalisation (12%), relationship building (10%) and customised offers based on preferences (7%) all landing near the bottom. The availability and accessibility of knowledge matters.

  1. Customer Engagement

    Companies will need to evolve from customer service to customer engagement – and learn how to change during that very experience.

    Imagine a barman asking you, as a first time customer, what kind of gin would you like for your martini and then, remembering you, making it exactly as you like it every time thereafter, asking first if you would like the same or try another brand. To be that focused on each customer's preferences, companies will need to rely on technology to store that information and to have it readily accessible for everyone in the company who interacts with the customer for subsequent interactions. Only then will the customer truly be served and remain loyal.

    Not only will the experience have to be engaging, it has to be personalised too. A company could have thousands of customers being served by hundreds of employees. But no one customer cares about the other customers. All he cares about is himself. And when he is speaking with one employee, he is asking "Does this employee care about me?" – you have to take the time to make your customers feel important.

Driving forward

If you're interested in how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help you deliver intelligent customer service, get in touch with Technology Management today.

Function Overloading in Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Object oriented programming has the concept of function overloading, that is, an object can have multiple functions with the same name as long as their signatures (the combination of parameters and return value) are different. This allows an object to respond to a function call differently depending on the context.

But wait, what are you talking about? Microsoft Dynamics NAV doesn’t work like that. C/AL is not an object oriented language.

It’s true, but that doesn’t mean that some of the good reasons to use function overloading in other languages don’t apply to NAV development. Unscrambling the double negative in the previous sentence – the principle behind function overloading can still be helpful in NAV development.

Time for an example:

I’ve got an AddData function. We don’t need to worry too much about what it does for now other than it creates records in a table.


Later in the development I realise that I need a new field in the table that will be populated in some circumstances, but not most. The obvious solution is to add a new parameter to the existing function. But that will break my existing code, requiring a change to the function and any code that calls it.

Making changes to code that already works has an inherent risk that you’ll introduce bugs and so is something that should be minimised.

As already noted, I can’t have another function called AddData with a different signature, but I can do the next best thing.


Create a new function, AddDataWithControlType with the same parameters as AddData plus the new ControlType parameter I need. This has several benefits:

  • I avoid changing the AddData function and existing code that calls it – therefore I can’t introduce any bugs
  • My new function can reuse the AddData function that I know already works
  • I only call this new function when it is relevant. I don’t have to pass the ControlType parameter in scenarios where it won’t be used – it keeps the code cleaner and easier for someone else to read.

This is a fairly trivial example, but the concepts of minimising changes to existing code and reusing existing code are important and will help you to write more extensible and less buggy code.

An alternative approach to function overloading to consider is the Argument Table design pattern.