Imagine a single system where you can take the pulse of your whole business from one dashboard. Not just business development and marketing but every process throughout your whole client lifecycle.
A system where you can see every interaction your client has with your business.
Where tasks can be created against a subset of clients and allocated to the right person or team to execute in a few clicks.
Where departments can go to a list of activities and records that require action in one single place and everyone across the organisation has the ability to see what’s happening with your clients.
When everything is in one system it makes it easy to:
- Improve the business by quickly identifying areas of risk where KPIs are not being met from one central easy-to-understand dashboard.
- Improve the customer experience by identifying areas where SLAs are not being met (or are at risk of not being met) so that you can take action before the customer even notices.
- Easier, better compliance reporting with a full, immutable audit trail of every activity completed, when, and by whom.
- Understand where your best business comes from.
- Understand what causes you to win and lose business.
- Measure teams and individuals against KPIs and quickly report on performance.
Most organisations assume that this will require a complex software integration with significant customisations. But we know it doesn’t because most of this can be achieved with some simple knowledge and without any customisation – right within Dynamics 365.
So, if these things sound good, and if you’re not using activities, queues, and quick campaigns yet, then read on to discover how these out of the box features can improve your productivity and the value you can get from your Dynamics 365 system.
An activity can be a completed or scheduled phone call, email, or task. They can be manually created, or created through automated workflows.
Quickly create tasks from Activities Dashboard:
Figure 1 – Quickly Create an Activity from Activities dashboard
Or in the activity area of your client form
Figure 2 – Activity area on the account record
Activities can be assigned to individual users or whole teams.
Figure 3 & 4 – Assigning a task to a user or team
Traditionally, most businesses use these activities for business development and marketing only, but they can also be used to replicate business processes in Dynamics 365. For example, we have clients that use activities for managing:
- Client on-boarding
- Investor CDD
- Regular compliance monitoring
- Establishing and winding up entities
- Opening and closing bank accounts
- Payment processing
- Entity calendar management
Dynamics 365 allows for these activities to be recorded against any record including accounts, contacts, opportunities, and cases.
Figure 5 – Activities are normally regarding a record, but don’t have to be.
If we log activities against a case or opportunity in CRM we will see them linked to the contact or account level allowing us visibility of all client activities at the account or contact level.
Figure 6 – Activities roll up to their parent record
When an organisation starts to collaborate on customer activities it’s common practice to use emails. However, knowing that CRM links activities back to the contact or account, it makes sense to create these tasks in CRM.
Whenever a user or a team is created in CRM it has a queue created automatically. Any new activity assigned to a user or a team is placed on the queue.
So it makes sense for teams to view their queue to see what activities they have coming up.
Figure 7 – Queues are accessed via the sidebar menu
The Queue filter allows to see list of Queue you have access to. Simply being in a team means you can see the queue.
Figure 8 & Figure 8.5 – Queue Views and Queue Filters
CRM has some really helpful features around queues for working in teams.
For example, a team member can pick a task and everyone in the team can see that it’s being worked on.
Figure 9 – See who’s working on a queues task, pick items to work on, release them back to the queue
A queue item can be Released to the queue, completed, or routed to another user or team. Whenever an activity is marked as competed it is removed from the queue.
If you’re used to using activities already but just not looked at Queues then they have been put onto queues and removed in the background without you knowing.
Sometimes we need to do some kind of activity like annual filings across many clients.
Normally some kind of “action tracker” is created in an excel spreadsheet and is worked through by the business.
But with CRM, these sorts of activities can easily be created and assigned to the appropriate team member by using quick campaigns.
This allows you to create lots of similar activities for a group of clients or records quickly whilst having this data in CRM means that the tasks can be shared and managed in one central system.
Figure 10 & Figure 10.5 – Launch Quick Campaigns from the ellipse on the ribbon / command bar
Figure 11 – Quick Campaigns can be launched from advanced find as well
A simple wizard helps you create the campaign and set all the defaults
Figure 12 – Quick Campaign Introduction
Figure 13 – Give the Quick Campaign a name
Figure 14 – Choose an activity type, the activity owners and queue if required.
Figure 15 – Set the activity defaults, some fields are read-only where the wizard fills them in
Figure 16 – Once Complete a summary of the wizard is displayed
Once complete the campaign creates a quick campaign record joining all the data together. This is really useful for managing the activities in one central record.
Figure 17 – A Quick Campaign record
Switching to the Quick Campaigns Activities it’s easy to see and filter the activities. Having these activities in CRM means we can easily manage and see the across the records.
Figure 18 – Viewing the progress of a quick campaign
Just like most records in CRM we can create charts next to our data to see summaries and drill down and filter the lists. The campaign details can also be displayed in Dashboards for management information and sharing with other stakeholders in your business.
Figure 19 – Inline Charts and filtering a great feature everywhere
Are you interested in understanding more about how the power of out-of-the-box features like activities in Dynamics 365 could help you with your specific challenges? Get in touch with Mark who will be happy to meet with you to talk you through some out-of-the-box options with no obligation to buy anything from us.
Zachery Walsh O'Brien
Zachery is a Web Developer with a great eye for front end web development. He has studied Graphic Design, received a Higher National Diploma in Visual Communications, and interned as a Graphic Designer upon leaving college in a digital design agency in Ireland.
Zachery originally focused on WordPress web design but has now diversified his skillset towards a web development role being able to leverage many front end languages and frameworks.