Email To Case Automation with Features and Functionalities

We use Cases in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to track issues or problems that need resolution.

When a constituent sends an email to support mailbox (to an address you designate), Work 365 Email to Case Automation add-on automatically creates a Case in CRM and auto-populates Case fields from email body.

To understand the business benefits and the high-level process flow for Email to Case Automation, please refer my earlier blog “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Automation – Email to Case“.

While Email to Case is pretty awesome, there are few downsides that you may come across over a period of time. This blog provides an overview of various features and functionalities that have been added to overcome these gaps and pitfalls based on experience with our customers.

Functionality of Email To Case Automation:

 

  • Case Exclusion Settings
  • Case Creation Settings
  • Case Owner Assignment Settings
  • Existing Case Check Settings
  • Automatic Response Email Notification Settings

 

1. Case Exclusion Settings

 

Spam: Support addresses like support@ or help@ will get a lot of spam. If you do not have a mechanism to filter this spam then you will end up with a lot of junk cases.

In Email to Case add-on, you can not only specify the domains and email list that you would like to exclude from case creation but also configure the keywords that would be matched with the email subject.

Email looping: A best practice for email to case is to have an auto-reply going back to the constituent with case number and information on how to get back in touch. This is fantastic unless/until that person also has an auto-reply.

However, it’s still not that worse compared to an infinite loop of emails and cases that could happen if the receiver also has some email-to-case mechanism.

In Email to Case add-on, there is a built-in mechanism to identify and break the loop from happening. This is also configurable.

Re-Creation of Cases on restarting of CRM Email router: CRM Email router fetches all emails from the mailbox into CRM and creates an email activity.

If you follow a practice of deleting the unwanted email activities from CRM (but not from mailbox) and by any chance, you need to restart the router then all the old email activities will get re-created automatically and will result in a lot of unwanted cases.

In Email to Case add-on, you can specify the exclusion criteria for emails to be ignored if older than X hours.

2. Case Creation Settings

When a Case is created in CRM using Email to Case add-on, the title of the case is populated by the email subject whereas the description of the case is populated by the email body.

Stripping of HTML from Email body: Most of the emails today are in HTML format and directly pasting the body to description will display a lot of junk text.

Email to Case add-on will extract the email body, strip the HTML content and then copy it to the Case description.

Attachments: Wouldn’t you like the attachments from email to be easily available along with the Case?

Email to Case add-on has the option to extract the attachment from incoming email and pushing it to the Case Notes for easy reference.

Case Closure or escalation email notification: One of the important use cases is sending of Case Closure email to the constituent who had sent email to support. We know that this can be easily achieved by writing an out-of-box workflow which would send this email when Case status changes to resolve.

However, when building this workflow, you will soon realize that it is not possible to send email to the Case. Customer field. So in a workflow, you will need to use “Responsible Contact” field.

Email to Case add-on allows setting of the “Case. Responsible Contact” to a Contact in CRM by searching the Contacts database with the sender’s email id. This is very helpful in sending case closure or case escalation emails thus keeping your contacts informed about the latest status of the cases.

Automatic Linking of Case to Account or Contact in CRM:

1. Account (Search Contact): E2CA tries matching email id of the sender with Contact E-mail, E-mail Address 2, E-mail Address 3. If the match is found then it links the newly created case to the Parent Account of this contact.
We find this option quite useful because many of our customers like to track cases at Account level…however the sender’s email address needs to be matched against the Contacts in CRM.
2. Account (Search Account): E2CA tries matching email id of the sender with Account E-mail, E-mail Address 2, E-mail Address 3.
3. Contact: E2CA tries matching email id of the sender with Contact E-mail, E-mail Address 2, E-mail Address 3
4. Contact & Account: E2CA first searches Contact database and if no matching found then searches account database.
5. Account & Contact: E2CA first searches Account database and if no matching found then searches Contact database.

3. Case Owner Assignment Settings

Email to Case add-on provides the below options for automatically assigning the Case Owner on case creation:

1. Default CRM User
2. Default CRM Team
3. CRM Support Users in Round Robin fashion: In telecommunication companies, traffic of customer support requests is always high. There is a possibility that some of the support executives are very busy in providing customer service, while others being utilized to a minimum. To avoid such condition, Email To Case Add-on provides the functionality of assigning the cases to customer support users on round robin basis, thus ensuring that the load of work is distributed more evenly across the support team members.
4. Account / Contact Owner against whom the Case is logged
5. Preferred User set in Account / Contact against whom the Case is logged

In some organizations, there may be a dedicated account manager or a preferred customer support executive to provide the support services to a client. In case of a financial company, an account manager may be the right person to solve the client’s queries quickly with personalized attention.

However, in case of a software maintenance company, a client would be more comfortable with a preferred support user due to his proximity to reach client office in less time.

For such scenarios, Email to Case add-on enables the company to configure whether the cases will be directly assigned to the Account Manager or any other preferred support user thus providing personalized support experience to the customer and increasing client satisfaction.

4. Existing Case Check – Searching for Case Number in the email subject

 

Before creating a new case, Email to Case add-on will first check if the incoming email is part of communication for an existing case.

There are following options provided:
1. Use CRM Smart Matching technique
2. Create new case always
3. Search for case number in all open cases only:
In addition to the default smart matching technique that comes built-in, Work 365 Email to Case add-on provides a “Case Number search” algorithm that allows searching of Case Number from open cases to the keywords present in the Email subject. Since there are a lot of limitations in using the smart matching technique, this has been one of the most appreciated features by our customers.
4. Search for case number in open as well as a closed case:
Email to Case add-on also provides an option to re-open an existing resolved case if the time since closure is less than that mentioned in configuration.

5. Auto Response Emails notification settings

 

Often, the most important thing in the customer support process can be the simplest – letting the customer know you’re listening. One of the most powerful ways is to send a simple auto-reply to your customer letting them know that you received their request.

Email to Case add-on allows you to select the email template for sending auto-response. Further, there is also an option to mark the Case Owner in the CC section of the email.

CRM Dynamics is a great platform to build CRM solutions for small business to an enterprise organization. However, to enhance the platform, add-ons from different partners provide a great way to improve the user experience and improve productivity.

Simplify Office 365 Environments by Delegating Administrative Privileges

How to customize management of multiple domains using WORK 365’s Delegated Admin App for Office 365 

The larger your company, the more domains your IT department will likely be managing. And while Microsoft’s Office 365 has made overseeing user access and privileges for global administrators much easier, there are a few areas where Office 365 falls short when supporting staff who require cross-domain access or groups of users from different domains who require certain privileges.  

Specifically, global administrators who support staff working across multiple domains face the choice of either: 

  1. Authorizing every change on every domain level, a time-consuming chore which might require hiring more administrators

or

  1. Granting adminprivileges to a number of users who might not need them, which carries a risk of error 

WORK 365’s latest application, Delegated Admin, solves Office 365’s cross-domain administration issue by creating the ability to grant domain management access vertically, not just horizontally, across all administrative levels.  

 

Let’s review an example. A large organization with offices in different countries will most likely have a domain for each of those countries. Currently in Office 365, if our example company needed to grant administrative privileges for a certain set of users in each country, the only way to do so is to make those users “global administrators”. While this can be done, your IT team would also be granting these users authority over all domains, not just the ones they are responsible for. 

Using WORK 365’s Delegated Admin for Office 365, your global admin can create a group of Delegated admins in each country, who are then given the appropriate levels of access for only their domains. This feature ensures a more efficient and time-saving flow of administrative privileges without the need for direct supervisor permission.   

Get a free trial or request a demo try out the product and see how it enhances the administrative experience for all Dynamics users.  

Find Delegated Admin and other apps for Dynamics 365, SharePoint and Office 365 in the new WORK 365 online store! 

Tools and Techniques to Reduce Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud Migration Effort

Hard to Migrate Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud Migration

Over the last several years the SaaS versions of applications like Dynamics 365 have been the focus of product management departments at companies such as Microsoft.

The online versions receive the product updates faster and there is a trend for customers to migrate their workloads to the Cloud/SaaS-based versions of the application.

Migrations to the cloud need to be planned and sometimes become challenging with the following considerations: 

  • Reporting capabilities are not the same with Dynamics 365 in the cloud. When you have a SQL based on premise Dynamics install, where you can have direct access to the database, it’s easier to schedule reports and get snapshots of these reports.
  • Integration with on-premise systems needs to be re-developed. With on-premise systems that are within the same network the trust level makes it easier to integrate the data and systems. With Dynamics 365, online API’s and web services must then be developed and consumed between applications that are accessing business and data level services across different networks.
  • Finally, the size of the database itself can be a hindrance in moving to the cloud. Having a database that has been upgraded over multiple versions of CRM just tends to have a lot of data bloat. This data bloat usually is in the form of documents and attachments that are tracked in CRM through emails.

Dynamics 365 online is a highly flexible, scalable application that brings the power of integration and other services and is certainly worth all the rethinking and redesign.

Tips on Migration of Dynamics 365 CRM 

Use the Work 365 Apps Report Scheduler to get some scheduling and reporting back to your routine. Report Scheduler allows you to schedule a view in Dynamics 365. This view can include links back to your CRM records as well as group and total number fields in the scheduled email report that you receive. Also using a tool like PowerBI makes it easier to visualize and source data from multiple systems.  

Using a commercial integration service or tools like Scribe or Kingsway allows you to build data and system level APIs. These integrations can be scheduled or run real time as well as between on-premise and online systems or even just multiple online systems.  

Finally, data migration can be challenging for multiple reasons – it takes time and effort to migrate and data storage costs more in the cloud or you have to pay for exactly what you use.

Azure Storage costs for Dynamics 365 online are $5GB/month. Storage costs per GB of data have been reduced since the release of Dynamics 365, however, it’s still quota based – you purchase a certain amount of data and you are entitled to use up to that limit. Microsoft sends you warnings and notifications as you approach these thresholds.

We have recently released the Work 365 Attachment Manager application to alleviate some of these data management issues in Dynamics 365.

The Attachment Manager app moves documents and attachments from Dynamics 365 into the Azure cloud and provides a link back into those records.

Using the Attachment Manager to move the bulky space-consuming attachments prior to any cloud migration project can significantly reduce your data footprint, making it easier for you to migrate to the cloud and use less storage while saving money on storage costs overall.  

Make Your Data Work for You : The Answer to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Data Retrieval

Why Report Scheduler Needs

A common challenge for many Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM users is the retrieval of “Reports” on a consistent and customizable basis. Not everyone who needs certain data sets has the necessary skills or knowledge to extract what they need, and even for those who are trained, manually extracting data is a drain on time and resources.

For example, let’s say that the accounting team and sales team each need their own sets of data which all exist in one general report. Accounting needs trial dates and revenue from subscriptions while the sales team needs lead source information and referrals.

That’s where the WORK 365’s Report Scheduler App comes in. This Dynamics CRM app enables the automatic sending of data sets in customizable report formats. These reports can be sent to defined user groups on set schedules and can be accessed in an online environment (including mobile phones).

So, the sales team can get completely customized reports sent to them at the frequency they need or desire, with the appropriate information they need while the accounting team can also get their own reports customized by information and the schedule they need as well.

This allows for efficient allocation of resources while also saving time and money by allowing each department or team to receive exactly what they are looking for without having to go through multiple channels or providing extra work.

How Report Scheduler Helps

Let’s take a look at a sample scenario to see how the WORK 365’s Report Scheduler App can help Dynamics CRM users.

Sample Scenario: A Sales Manager would like to receive a report on leads at 4.00pm every day of new leads added in Dynamics 365 by his/her team.

 

Step 1: Create a Personal View for Leads with the filter condition “Created On”: “Today”:

 

Report scheduler example 1

 

Step 2: Schedule the view for email delivery using the Report Scheduler App as shown below by customizing delivery and schedule options according to who will receive the report and the frequency of delivery:

 

Report scheduler 2

 

As shown below, Dynamics 365 CRM data has been received in email both inline as well as in an attachment, which can be opened on any device including mobile phones.

And that’s it! The report will now be delivered to the appropriately designated recipients following the schedule and frequency are chosen in the delivery option setup.

See how WORK 365’s Report Scheduler App for Dynamics 365 can make your report maintenance and data retrieval easier and more efficient by getting a FREE TRIAL TODAY!

 

 

Check out our other Dynamics 365 CRM Add-ons:

Related Blog Posts –

Copying or Cloning a Dynamic Marketing List in Dynamics 365

Why Cloning a Marketing List Needs

In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Marketers works with data constantly and need to segment this data using filters from various fields. These filters are used to build marketing lists.

Dynamics 365 uses Dynamic Marketing Lists which essentially means that members of this list itself are queried dynamically to satisfy the filter conditions. So when new contacts are created, they are automatically included in this list as long as they satisfy the filter criterion.

The issue is that sometimes these filter conditions are complex and new marketing lists need to be created from these existing ones. You just need to tweak a field or value of a field. What makes this issue challenging is the fact that Dynamics 365 does not have an out-of-the-box record copying or cloning function for these marketing lists.

Currently, if you wanted to duplicate a marketing list on Dynamics 365, you would have to manually recreate all the filters for each additional copy. Even though the change you are making to the copy is minor. Some marketing lists can get very detailed and complex. This allows a large room for error when copied manually.

Record Clone

Some 3rd Party solutions in Dynamics 365 have realized that a need to clone and copy records seems to be an ongoing need and is a time saver. In these situations, the out of the box entities does not have copy or cloning capabilities. The only real option is to manually recreate these records or use a record copy or cloning solution like Work 365’s Record Clone for Dynamics 365.

The Work 365 Record Clone add-on or plugin allows one-click duplication of parts of our entire marketing lists, or any other custom or out of the box entity. These duplicated records can then be modified or customized however you wish and saved for use.

 

 

Steps Needed to Cloning a Dynamic Marketing List in Dynamics 365 CRM:

 

Step 1: Configure the base Marketing List to Clone: This is just a one-time setup step.

Note that only dynamic marketing lists are supported and not static through the cloning function.

 

Configuring Cloning of Marketing List 

Step 2: Click the Clone button!

 

Cloning Marketing Lists

 

Here, we have a Dynamic Marketing List of all my customers for Report Scheduler App whose territory in Europe. I can easily clone this and create another marketing list for another Territory or application with just a couple of clicks.

We could repeat this very easily and create multiple lists in a matter of couple minutes. And if we had to re-create all of them because my base list had an issue that’s when I can save a lot more time.  

Work 365 Clone App can be configured for any out-of-box entity as well as Custom entities.

Related Blog Posts:

Hourly Leave feature of Time App is released and updated

We are excited to introduce the Hourly Leave feature of Time App. With this new feature, employees can now apply leave on an hourly basis. This has been one of the most awaited and frequently asked features and now this function is achievable with just one change in the configuration setting. Please view the video from the link below to see just how easily the new update for Time & Leave Management app works.   

Watch the Video: Work 365 Time & Leave management- Hourly Leave Update   

Downloading or Emailing Microsoft Dynamics CRM reports as PDF, word or excel document in just 1 click

One common issue with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is generating reports and extracting that data into a pdf document format. This is process is cumbersome and involves a lot of steps and clicks.

It can take about 13 clicks to export a quote to PDF from CRM report and then finally get a chance to send it or email it. This is time-consuming and frustrating for users.

So to speed up this process, we decided to automate all the steps.

First, let me provide some context: for purposes of this discussion, I’ll be referring to the Work 365 1-Cick PDF solution which is a productivity enhancement for generating pdf, word or excel documents from the report on the fly on click of a button.

There is a configuration entity where we store details like the entity, report, action (Download, Attach to email, Attach to notes), File format (PDF, Word, Excel). Now all these parameters are tied to an action ID which is linked to a button. Thus on click of a button, all the above steps run in an automated fashion.

Below screen shows the configuration entity:

 

This custom button (which is a web resource) can be placed by CRM admin anywhere on the CRM form as shown in the screenshot below:

 

Here three custom buttons have been added to the Quote form :

  • Download Quote – Downloads the PDF copy of quote report locally (You could configure it to get a word or excel too if needed)
  • Email Quote – Generates the pdf of quote report on the fly and creates an email activity with this report added as an attachment
  • Attach to Notes – Generates the pdf of quote report on the fly and attaches this to the notes section.

Another approach is to click the 1-Click PDF button from the ribbon of the form or grid and then select the report to run.

Below screenshot shows running the Account Overview report by clicking 1-Click PDF button from the form ribbon.

 

Below screenshot shows running the Account Overview report by clicking 1-Click PDF button from the account grid ribbon (multiple records selected):

 

Below screenshot shows running the contact profile report by clicking the custom button that has been added to Contact form:

 

The above 3 reports (Account Overview, Contact profile, Quote) discussed in this blog are provided as free report samples to get you started fast. The standard report templates available out-of-box in CRM are limited in terms of functionality.

If you need to make even a minor change, you need to re-design the entire report using FetchXML (if you intend to use CRM online). The report templates that we provide work seamlessly in CRM Online as well as On-Premise.

CRM Dynamics is a great platform to build CRM solutions for small business to an enterprise organization.

However, to enhance the platform, add-ons from different partners provide a great way to improve the user experience and improve productivity.

Check out our other add-ons that you can purchase from our online store:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Service Automation – Email to Case

E-Mail to Case Automation

Email to Case Automation involves converting inbound emails received at your companies support or sales mailbox directly into a support ticket or case in CRM.

Now, the first question that comes to mind is why we need to automate the conversion of email to case?

The traditional approach in CRM would be:

  • Email is received at support mailbox. The Service agent retrieves the mail and adds it to CRM either by manually creating a new case and linking it to this email or converting to a case using “Convert To” option available in Outlook.
  • Agent then searches the customer database in CRM (accounts and contacts) to see if senders email address matches with either of email fields. Please note that in total there are three email address fields in account and three in contacts. If a match is found then the new case is linked to the customer.
  • Agent then sets case origin, enters case title & description and then adds the new case to the support queue. Further a new case notification can be sent to the customer with the case id.

This would easily involve 10-15 clicks per new case that is being created. Automating this process will result in an instant ROI.

Following are some of the benefits:

  • Increased Agent productivity
  • Increase ROI by reducing number of clicks per response
  • Customers receive better service
  • Improved and consistent support process

This functionality can be built by a CRM administrator using CRM workflows.

However, there are various limitations to this out-of-the-box approach. Some of them are as below:

  • Workflows cannot directly search the customer database to find out if the email sender is actually a customer.
  • Spam and auto-response emails would result in a lot of junk cases being created in the system. Also if an auto-response has been added then there is a possibility of going into an infinite loop of case creation and email notification.
  • An email received regarding an existing case with the slightly modified subject line will result in an incorrect creation of new case. The desired functionality would have been to link this email with the existing open case.

Email to Case Automation solution not only overcomes these limitations but also takes the case creation automation to the next level.

Below is the process flow:

Support Queue: Email to Case Automation can monitor multiple mailboxes creating tickets or cases in CRM automatically whenever emails are received.

Exclusion \ Inclusion Configurator: Unwanted case creation can be avoided by excluding emails received from a specific domain and email addresses. Further email loop protection settings will also allow the exclusion of auto-responded emails. (There is also a provision to override the exclusion criteria for certain user-scenarios)

Case Creator: Case record is created with case-fields automatically populated from email as well as fields that have been configured with default values. Some of the fields that could be auto-populated are case title, description, origin, subject, etc.

Case Linker: Case record is linked with either contacts or accounts based on the settings. If no match is found then the case could also be linked to a dummy account or dummy contact.
If the email is regarding an existing case then the search algorithm can also search for case ID in the subject line (all of this is configurable).

Auto-Response Management: Automatic email notifications (both internal and external) could be sent on case creation based on the email template selected. Further, there is an additional functionality to add direct URL for case record in CRM (this would allow CRM users to directly browse to the case record in CRM).

Features of Email to Case Automation:

  • Supports multiple queues
  • Automatic linking to Contact or Account
  • Email spam protection
  • Email loop protection
  • Email domain address exclusion
  • Supports HTML email
  • 100% Native – works from within CRM
  • Multiple Email Templates with additional functionality to add direct links to CRM record
  • Fully configurable
  • Can be extended based on individual requirements

 

CRM Dynamics is a great platform to build CRM solutions for small business to an enterprise organization.

However, to enhance the platform, add-ons from different partners provide a great way to improve the user experience and improve productivity.

Check out the various add-ons that you can purchase from our online store:

Report Scheduler for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and On-Premise

Report Scheduler add-on

WORK 365’s Dynamics 365 Report Scheduler add-on enables easy scheduling of CRM data and works for CRM Online as well as On-Premise.

Using WORK 365’s Dynamics 365 CRM Report Scheduler solution, you can automatically send reports (CRM View) via email to your colleagues, executive management and non-CRM users in a recurring weekly or monthly pattern.

Benefits of Report Scheduler 

Some user scenarios where scheduling can help in providing useful business insight and create a proactive engagement are:

  • Daily report of new leads
  • Opportunities nearing the established closed date
  • Opportunities won this week
  • Cases created or resolved this week
  • Contracts expiring next month
  • Contacts having birthday in next day / week / month

How Report Scheduler Works

report scheduler email received

 

The best part of using report scheduler is that there is no additional effort needed to create CRM SSRS reports…as report scheduler uses CRM Views which can be easily created or modified using CRM Advanced Find.

With the release of new Version 11 of report scheduler, we have also added the functionality to deliver data via attachments – CSV or TXT files which can be directly opened in Microsoft Excel.

To receive the CRM View data as CSV attachment, below 2 additional configuration settings need to be performed:

  • Check the Attachment option
  • Select Render format as CSV or TXT

 

report scheduler crm view

 

Report Scheduler already sends the CRM View data to inline in email body in the tabular format. The additional CSV attachment option allows the users to directly open data in Microsoft Excel.

Further, this can also be useful where there is a need to extract data for backup purpose (for creating snapshot) on a regular automated basis.

If you have an existing version of report scheduler already installed then refer instructions mentioned in KB article “2.18 Upgrading to a higher version” for backing up and restoring existing scheduled records.

 

 

CRM Dynamics is a great platform to build CRM solutions for small business to an enterprise organization.

To enhance the Dynamics CRM platform, add-ons from different partners provide a great way to improve the user experience and improve productivity.

Check out our other Dynamics 365 CRM Add-ons:

Related Blog Posts –

 

Copy Records in Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Record Clone

Even though Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM is packed with functionalities and features, there are a few gaps, which if overcome, could increase your CRM productivity and double the fun of working with it.

One of such limitations is, repetition of work due to missing record-copying or cloning functionality!

Record Clone Add-on

record clone or record copy allows you to replicate any record (Lead, Account, Contact, Opportunity, Product, Quote, Order, and Invoice) in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

You can just select the record you want to copy and hit ‘clone’ to clone or copy such entity along with its related entities and avoid reworking on a similar Quotation (along with its product lines), Order or Invoice record.

record clone

How to Clone or Copy a custom record along with its related entities:

Copying of Custom Record and their related entities:

In order to copy Custom and their related entities, we need to make certain configuration settings. Let’s take an example as below:

clone record and its related entities

Here “Equipment” is the Parent entity and has “N” number of related “Installed Accessories”. So when we copy an “Equipment” record, we would also like to clone its related “Installed Accessories”.

Navigate to: Settings –> Clone Related and create a new record as shown below:

 

active clone related config

 

Apart from this, we need to register the Clone plugin and also modify the XML file to show the Clone button in the ribbon. This has been explained very well in the user guide. If you need any help with deployment & configuration then our team is always there to help you!! Email us @ support@work365apps.com.

How to exclude fields that you do not want to copy:

Functionality to exclude fields that should not be cloned:

In order to exclude certain fields from cloning:

1. Navigate to Settings –> Clone Exclude

2. Enter the entity name and comma-separated list of field names that need to be excluded from cloning as shown below:

 

active clone exclude config

 

In this example, when an Accounts record is cloned, then the “account number” and “emailaddress1” fields will not be cloned.

Record Clone / Record Copy works both in on-premise and online versions.

CRM Dynamics is the great platform to build CRM solutions for small business to an enterprise organization. However, to enhance the platform, dynamics add-ons from different partners provide a great way to improve the user experience and improve productivity.

Check out other add-ons that you can purchase from our online Work 365 Store:

Related Blog Post: