With the upcoming enhancement for the service module in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 "eService Accelerator", the Service Management concept gets even more extensive and powerful! In a short while our customers will be able to - out of the box, I might emphasis, web-enable the service module of CRM. Meaning that the service actually goes beyond the borders of the company, the phones, mails, faxes, letters, meetings etc.
Beta program airing right now
I have been walking around the eService Accelerator for a couple of days now and let me give you the short version first: It works and it is GREAT! And now for the slightly longer version...
The intro text states: "The eService accelerator provides businesses the ability to deliver self-service capabilities to their customers while tracking and managing these interactions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM." And it is right, it does just that. Some of the cool features are:
Authentication: An employee at the company using CRM creates the contact as normally, including his or her email address. Then in a drop down list (a new field in the person form) the web-access-level is selected. Now an email is sent to the contact with a link to the company's customer service portal complete with login.
Self-service data: From here (s)he can edit own data (name, phone numbers etc.) and all changes goes back into CRM of course.
Self-service tasks: The contact (customer to the company) can now view service cases and create new ones, schedule service visits etc. What really gave me a kick was that (s)he can comment on cases and these will be seen as additional notes in CRM on the case. Here an employee can comment further - creating effective and documented dialogue with the customer. Now, hold on for this is not all! The employee can also make a note on the case that can NOT be seen from the outside, so you have the tool to have internal dialogues about the case at the same time! And in the same tool! That is great!
Self-service knowledge: The contact can also search the knowledge base articles, email the right one found to another contact or whomever.
The company gets MORE: Now, this is still not all. The usefulness of this goes on. Let me end this post with just another idea; the employees can of course use the same portal or CRM and have the same access to knowledge as the customers, so they can learn to do it themselves. I see a lot of processes in many companies getting smarter and quicker and at the same time the companies customers are getting more service at their own pace and time, when and where they want it. Could it be any better? :-)
A comment on the license:
The eService Accelerator itself is free for all CRM customers. The eService Accelerator requires a "Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 External Connector" license for external users (that don’t have a CAL). Internal users will require a CAL.
Now, get ready to enjoy! :-)
Martin Houlberg JensenCRM EvangelistMicrosoft Dynamics CRM team