Tag: User Adoption

12Mar

CRM 2013 Gamification


CRM 2013 Gamification

Today we’re talking about CRM 2013 Gamification.  Before we start, I want you to know that I cringe at the word “gamification”.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually like, believe, and implement gamification; however, gamification has a bad connotation because of how people have hyped and improperly implemented it.  There are fantastic examples of very successful gamification, my favorite being stack overflow.  But for every good example, there are probably dozens of implementations that ended with loyalty backlash and frustrating results.  The good news, is that today I’m going to share with you the secrets of good CRM 2013 Gamification for the low, low price of…

 

An example of what not to include with Gamification in CRM 2013

Imagine staring at this all day…

Congratulations, you’re a Winner!

Sorry, the first thing to know about gamification is: avoid cheesy things!  No one wants blinking or moving graphics.  No one.  Instead of focusing on the negatives though, I want to talk about the things you need in order to get productivity gains coupled with user engagement.

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8Feb

Processes within CRM 2013

One question I always try to ask users is, “does anything feel redundant?”  If you ask a few people this question, you’ll sometimes find sticking points you never even thought of.  What’s great about this question is that CRM 2013 seems to always have a solution to the user’s frustration.  One solution I go back to again and again is the “Process” dialog.

Let’s look at a real-life example…

The Dreaded Weekly Work Plan

A client I’m working with has to build out a plan each week of the projects they are going to work on.  Each user typically has one or more projects taking place each week and each project typically last several months.  Additionally, at the start of each month users are typically expected to have five weeks of work planned out.

To management, this was important to understand who was freeing up as well as anticipated cash-flow of billable projects.  To the users, this was one of two TPS reports they had to deal with.  Both were frustrated since users were slow to get these entered and management always felt the numbers were unreliable.

In this case, the users were asked only minimal information:

A basic CRM form with minimal input fields.

A basic CRM form with minimal input fields.

 

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7Feb

Chasing a Dream

 A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Bruce Lee

This week I heard for yet another time that I did not make my goal of being a Microsoft MVP for CRM Dynamics.  Some around me encouraged me to keep going, keep digging, and keep embracing the Microsoft community.  A few said forget about them, that I share more with people directly than blog posts could ever capture.  Others, told me to drop the pursuit entirely since it wasn’t something I’d ever realize.

User Adoption of CRM can sometimes be like this award I’m chasing.  First of all, you can’t strong-arm people into using CRM; instead, you have to match their needs well enough for them to want to use the system.  Secondly, you have to research what matters to them.  For user adoption, it’s often the case that I sit down with users one-on-one and experience a day in the life of what they do.  I take notes of redundancy or monotonous activities but avoid commenting on it, unless they complain about something being mundane.  With the award, I’m turning over every stone I can to find out how others have achieved it.  With user adoption, you have to find what’s missing and if they’re not using CRM for something, then what is filling their need.

If you’re discouraged with your CRM User Adoption, realize that CRM works and it works really well.  If users are resisting the system, go back to them and make sure they are involved throughout the configuration process.  Talk to them about what they like and build on the wins.  In the end, it will take time, patience, and encouragement.

Failure is interesting, but it doesn’t mean the story ends there.  I realize that everyone around me is trying to make me better, make me feel better, or just allowing me to not dwell.  Luckily, I’m not upset or discouraged.  Instead, I’m motivated.

26Sep

Introducing CRM Data Detective

With my eyes focused on visual studio, I didn’t even notice her walk into my office.  No knock, no “hello”, just an aura of frustration crashed into one of my pleather chairs.  I looked up to say “hi” and was met with a  silent cry for help.  I’ve seen this look before and knew whatever it was, it wasn’t going to be easy.

Turns out a new customer was coming to us after a failed CRM implementation with another partner.  Doing what I do, I see it every now and again.  This customer, was a really good kid, but unfortunately got mixed up with the wrong crowd.  It happens.  You can’t blame the kid, but sometimes those shiny lights turn out to have a dim glow and user adoption turns into user betrayal.

My colleagues frustrations came from how the configuration was all over the place.  Fields were scattered all over the place; some were used, some were hidden, but all of it was a mess.  We didn’t have a requirements document to fall back on, but we did have one crazy idea to solve this mystery… CRM Data Detective!

CRM Data Detective Landing Page

CRM Data Detective Landing Page

Granted, CRM Data Detective wasn’t our only method, but it clearly helped.  We used the Data Detective to analyze the customer’s CRM environment and got a handle on what attributes we could remove and which attributes needed to be more prevalent on the form.  Another case closed and another happy customer.
18Jan

CRM 2011 – Creating a 3rd-Party Dashboard Widget

The “snapshot view” of Dashboards within CRM 2011 is a phenomenal feature that many organizations neglect.  If in your environment people seem to disregard your dashboard needs, then this should hopefully help add some spice.

Today, we’re going to create a widget for a customizable list of stocks.

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Although stocks may not apply to your needs specifically, I hope the concept of bringing in data from outside CRM into a dashboard widget will be something you’ll see the need for.

 

Preparing our Entity

To start, we’re going to use the account entity.  Luckily for us, the account entity already contains an attribute for us to use called “Ticker Symbol”.  (Microsoft knew I’d want something cool to blog about in 2013).  So, our first step is to add this stock symbol attribute to our form so we can update any of our publicly traded accounts.

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If you notice, the “Ticker Symbol” field includes a hyperlink.  When the user double clicks the link it will take them directly into the MSN money page for the symbol, which is a pretty cool feature.

Taking this further…

I also went ahead and included an ownership attribute.  This would allow you to use some JavaScript to show or hide the ticker symbol field.  Additionally you can create a view called “Public Companies without a Stock Symbol” to help find newly created companies without stock symbols more easily.  Or you could require the ticker symbol for public companies.  That’s what I love about CRM – wicked flexibility.

Once we have added the field to the form, let’s update a few companies with their appropriate stock symbols.

 

Getting the Stock Symbols out of CRM

Now that our form configuration is done, let’s do a little development work.  I began by building a new Solution called “Stock Widget”.

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Inside of my solution, I’m using jQuery and JCL.  I also created a listing.html web resource to get started working with.

So far, here is what I have (the final code is available for direct download at the end of the post):

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This is pulling our related companies and creating a URL to query the JSONP service.  The window.open command (line 38) should prompt you to download a text file.  You can then copy and paste the text file into a JSON formatter (e.g.http://jsonformatter.curiousconcept.com/).

A quick aside…

To query the data, we’re using Fetch.  Since I based this query off of the “My Active Companies” view, I went to the advanced find from the view and clicked “Download Fetch”.  This allowed me to mostly copy and paste this fetch into my JavaScript.  I had to add the tickersymbol filter line, but most of my work was already done for me.

Notice also in this file, I’ve established paths within my web resources.  This is good practice for keeping your web resources organized within your environment.

 

Getting the Stock Data

Now, we need to handle the stock results we’re getting back.  From our previous step, we were able to get a nicely formatted JSON set of data.  This step is about calling the JSONP stock service and actually do something with the results.

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There are three changes in this step we need to make:

  • Add the callback parameter (Line 24).
  • Add our “processStockInfo” function (Lines 43-52).
  • Replace the window.open line with an AJAX call to the JSONP stock service (Line 39).

These changes collectively convert the JSON results into a table with specific stock information.

 

Cleaning up the Widget

Once we have this updated inside our solution, let’s add our widget into a dashboard. Here’s what we get:

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At this point the widget looks ugly.  Let’s apply some CSS to make this look like it’s a native CRM add-on.

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Putting it all together, we end up with the following control on our dashboard:

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Going Forward

This post focused on creating a 3rd party widget; however, you could create your own JSONP service to display any kind of data just as easily.

All of the code can be downloaded here:  https://github.com/paul-way/JCL/tree/master/Examples/Stock%20Listing

If you made it this far, I’m sure you’re well versed with knowing CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.  I’m sure you’re also familiar with the term XRM.  However, instead of thinking about “eXtensible Relationship Management”, I want you to start thinking “eXtensible Relationship Mash-up”.  If that’s too cheesy for you, I at least hope this little demo is a reminder that data doesn’t have to live in CRM for data to be used inside of CRM.

As always follow me on twitter (@paul_way) and let me know if you like it or hate it.  Also, throw some comments out there.

I hope you enjoy!

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