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Hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Service Scheduling

Helping your company reduce inefficiencies while improving customer service

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 includes a built-in Service Scheduling and dispatch system that provides a centralized, consolidated view of your professional service workers' calendars and schedules. Your service dispatcher and service delivery staff can use the Service Scheduling functionality to easily search for available time slots, specialized talents, and capital resources (such as trucks) and to promptly schedule service appointments for customers. Microsoft CRM 4.0 helps you reduce resource inefficiencies and deliver prompt, accurate service to customers, strengthening customer satisfaction.

Scheduling appointments right the first time

For many businesses, a high priority of customer service is effectively scheduling service appointments. Doctor and dentist offices, tax services, electricians, and many other businesses need an automated, efficient way to track resource availability and plan for staffing needs. Businesses such as these need to understand what resources are required for each service and when those resources are available. And, of course, your customers want service that is on time and on target. A service appointment gone wrong can damage your standing with customers.

Are you being served? Follow a service activity from call to reservation

The diagram in this article illustrates how you can schedule a service activity in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. A service activity is an appointment to provide a service to a customer. It uses one or more resources to perform a service at a specific time.

  • Initiate - A customer calls to make an appointment.
  • Request - The scheduler creates a service activity, selects a service that the customer wants, and then searches for availability within a time frame, such as “This Week.”
  • Search - Microsoft Dynamics CRM uses the selection rule to search for available times in the work schedules of the resources that can perform the service.
  • Reserve - The scheduler discusses the choices with the customer, who chooses one.

hosted microsoft crm service scheduling

Automated Service Scheduling works the way you work

Microsoft CRM 4.0 includes an appointment-based service scheduling capability that enables you to define your services, resources, work schedules, and service locations. A sophisticated scheduling engine manages appointment booking and service availability according to your business rules. You can adjust it to optimize scheduling and reduce resource usage and costs. Point-and-click reports help service managers identify trends and adjust services and resources to meet demand. And because service scheduling is an integral part of Microsoft CRM 4.0, your staff can easily reference customer histories, demographics, and preferences in scheduling services. This functionality enables you to deliver more personalized, customized service as well as feed customer service histories back into your marketing and sales processes.

For example, an automotive repair shop might define services in Microsoft CRM as brake jobs, front-end alignments, transmission overhauls, and other service offerings. The repair shop might define resources as individual mechanics, vehicle bays, tools, and parts. When a customer calls for a service appointment, any worker in the shop with access to a computer can schedule an appointment. Depending on the service needed and time slots that are open, Microsoft CRM 4.0 displays the dates and times that are available. The Suggestion Pane even lists resources and services that the customer has used before. With the customer on the phone, the worker can schedule an appointment in a click. Then the appointment (scheduled and finished) becomes a permanent part of that customer's Microsoft CRM record.

Business benefits of Service Scheduling in Microsoft CRM

  • Automate service scheduling and centralize dispatching of resources and services
  • Enhance productivity, optimize resource usage, and lower operational costs
  • Improve customer satisfaction with timely delivery of accurate services
  • Meet response time commitments and avoid penalties
  • Keep customers informed by setting initial expectations and keeping them apprised of scheduling updates if circumstances change
  • Adjust resource assignments in real time to meet high priority requests

With Service Scheduling in Microsoft CRM, you can centralize and automate scheduling, simplifying the work involved in booking appointments and improving service delivery to customers. One more way Microsoft CRM helps you get closer to customers and work more efficiently.

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