Among the great enhancements delivered to the customer service module in Microsoft Dynamics CRM (starting with the Spring ’14 release), a stand-out feature to me was the inclusion of an out of the box timer function that can count down the time spent (or the time remaining) left to action a request by providing a series of visual cues.
In this post, I examine the timer control in more detail and demonstrate how the form is manipulated to escalate a case.
When would you use the Timer in CRM?
The CRM timer control is nimble enough to be used with workflow rules which support the use of time-dependent functionality. It is also available across many entities and can be fit to a variety of business scenarios.
Let’s start with an example: On the Case form, the timer control is triggered from a Date/Time field (perhaps the created on date of Case) as soon as a business-defined threshold is hit. If the initial response email is sent out to the customer immediately after receiving the request, the first acknowledgement will be recognized and the “First Response Sent” flag is set.
The timer may start again and a follow-up response may be needed within 24 hours in order to actually “Resolve” the issue. In this scenario, the timer will start again and a follow-up response is required within 24 hours in order to actually mark this issue as “Resolved”. If the resolution fails to happen, the timer will continue to run and the text will change to red. The timer will then start counting out the delay.
Select the timer icon in the Customization Ribbon. Below I am using the Case Entity.
You will be prompted with a timer control form where you do the initial setup. You will need to add the Success/Warning and Cancel conditions that will control the timer depending on how and when the Customer Service rep responds. Remember these actions can also be tied to workflow.
Add the CRM Timer control function to the form like this:
Once the timer is activated:
If the First Response is sent out, the timer changes to “Succeeded,” like below.
Test out the Timer in CRM
There are some great tools now available within the Customer Service module of Dynamics CRM and more enhancements are expected soon. Our advice would be to test out how the timer in CRM — in combination with defined SLA’s — can help your business and drive customer service and retention.