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Are you looking for way to extend Dynamics CRM to allow your customers to contact you and effectively manage that feedback within CRM? These types of requirements can span in complexity from a simple email form on a website to a full customer portal where customers manage their accounts and issues via a website. If your needs fall somewhere in between, you can probably achieve the level of customer support in CRM 2011 you’re looking for with PowerWebForm connected to Cases.


Dynamics CRM administrators can download and install a free trial of PowerWebForm. From there, it’s simple to configure it to insert customer feedback directly into an entity in CRM. (While we are talking about Customer Support and Cases in this example, it’s important to note that PowerWebForm allows you to choose the entity – it doesn’t have to be Cases.)

Once you have selected Cases as the type of record the web form will create, you must then map the CRM fields to the web form.

PowerWebForm for customer support in CRM 2011

There are step-by-step instructions for setting up PowerWebForm using a specified Account (or Contact) in the lookup in our User Guide. The Case form requires a customer lookup. For this to work as a support mini-portal, a single “support” Account or Contact must be set up and passed via a hidden field to the form in order to save the record. Lookups where the database is queried for your customer names are not supported via PowerWebForm, as this could expose your customer list to the outside world. Instead, create a simple text field where users can type in their customer name and pass that data to your team, then have your support personnel associate the correct account on the form when they take ownership of the case.

Just like in CRM, you can make some fields on the web form required, and others optional. If cases need to be segmented and routed to different teams, you can set it up to happen automatically via simple views displayed on dashboards, or via workflow for more complex routing logic.

My favorite customer service dashboard configuration shows one window for unassigned new tickets so that users can pull tickets to themselves, one window for cases the user has assigned to them, and a window that displays “My Activities” so the user can manage follow-up from the dashboard. If your team is really motivated by competition, you might also think about adding a “Support Leaderboard” to that dashboard that shows the rankings on case resolutions.

customer support in CRM 2011 sample

This basic routing is easy, since “My Active Cases” is an out-of-the-box view. To create a view of unassigned tickets, simply create a system view of all tickets which are owned by the user tied to the forms. Then as your support team reassigns cases to themselves, they fall out of that window and appear in the “My Active Cases” window.

For more information about managing system views check out:

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe CRM is a CRM superhero who runs on pure Microsoft Dynamics CRM adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe CRM’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics CRM and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.