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The Hidden Gem in Dynamics 365

Introduction…back in the day!

For many years, whilst running my own consultancy, I used to have any new staff and Interns learnt our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, at the time we used GoldMine, by conducting a relatively simply Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT).

This was a phone-based survey, and we would use a simple Likert scale (1-7) question on our past performance over the preceding months. To be clear, this was an ad hoc survey, but regularly conducted once a year as a benchmark and more importantly a feedback tool for myself. The idea was that since the interviewer had had no previous experience of working with the interviewee, the result should be unbiased. Apart from the score, I was interested in the ‘comments’ section.

But that was then, GoldMine used a simple ‘Other’ task activity type so I could track this type of survey per client, per contact over the years. Simple, but effective.

I applied the same approach whenever, I've taken over a role and in 2019, my assistant conducted this survey again as a quick introduction to Dynamics 365 to get accustomed to using CRM but also to give me a benchmark of our clients opinions in my first weeks in this new role.


However, whilst that was a great first benchmarking process, alongside many other clients, we are getting more sophisticated in our needs for feedback from our clients. And with Dynamics 365 we now have the toolkit to get this information.

Nowadays, customer surveys have got much more complex with metrics such as NPS (Net Promoter Score) and Sentient analysis for instance and whilst there are a range of off-the-shelf packages with Survey Monkey and Qualtrics to name just two, which are effective.

Consequently, talking to clients, it is no surprise these applications are generally used in their own “silos” with data extracted from the clients own CRM or held as lists in the app and although may have integration options, many times your data is disassociated and not dynamic and there is no single view over time of survey information being built up. Most clients tend to not go to the extra trouble or costs of integrating into CRM, instead relying data extracts and separate reporting of results through the survey app.

But this can be limiting and as clients have increased their survey usage cases (e.g. CSAT, NPS, client and staff onboarding, order feedback and the list goes on), this has meant departments want to utilise these numerous types of survey with consequent increase in creating separate “silos” of information away from CRM.

The rise in importance of Customer Experience (CX) and digital transformation strategies, embraced more widely since the start of the pandemic, has meant that these surveys of customers, suppliers and staff is now also a more regular activity then the traditional once or twice a year CSAT surveys conducted by my team 10 years ago.

A Hidden Gem…Dynamics 365 Customer Voice

Working on a current project with a client has shown me how far we have come in these few years in terms of this functionality being included in the Dynamics 365 platform, as long as you have an Enterprise licence.

I term this a “hidden gem”.

It is not always known to clients since most times it tends not be a key requirement at the outset of a project, but will come up post sale and in Account Reviews. Clients will often pigeon-hole functionality requests based on their own knowledge, so NPS/CSAT surveys don’t often appear in tenders or RFI’s.

Dynamics 365 Customer Voice is now the in-built survey app and all clients having Enterprise licence Users will have access to this module. Included with the pricing are up to 2k responses per month, so 24k over the year, but more ‘responses’ can be purchased as required (in 1k response increments) through the CSP (Cloud Service Provider) monthly pricing model for anticipated larger audience responses.

What can it do?

Customer Voice builds upon the earlier versions, known as Forms Pro and this is now a very powerful tool and has been heavily invested in as part of the Dynamics 365 platform roadmap, so will continue to evolve and expand with two major updates per year.

Whilst not diving into too much detail, Customer Voice has the capability to do a multitude of survey type questions with different formats of answers together with the ability to do branching questions.

Multi-language (currently there are up to 23) as well, to help you get started, there are 7 templates with the top 3 here probably having most relevance to readers of this post.

• Periodic Customer Survey-based on Forrester CX best practices, 3 question survey, probably most nearly reflects my old CSAT survey.

• Service Visit-after an onsite visit.

• Support-experience with support.

From a visual design perspective, you can choose fonts, theme colours and add branding.

Importantly, these Surveys are Mobile responsive as well, displaying on your mobile phone or tablet.

Key benefits

Whilst not an exhaustive feature-based list, some of the core reasons for having and using Customer Voice if you are looking to survey your clients, staff or indeed your suppliers on a regular basis for me include:

• Maintaining a single source of truth inside of MS Cloud

• Same domain for sending will help your response and email delivery rates.

• Ability to automate survey sending with Power Automate or Dynamics 365 Marketing

• Ability to show results in real-time.

• Includes 2k responses per month (you can buy extra 1k responses as required)

• Ability to create segments and Customer Journey using the Dynamics 365 Marketing App integration

• Integration with Power BI for more complex reporting requirements

How to deliver these Surveys and automation

One of the weaknesses in the past is that these surveys have tended to be quite static and are manually sent out, usually after a email list has been compiled, but these can become quickly out of date and still sit in their own ‘silos’.

With Customer Voice and automation (e.g. using Power Automate (Flow) and Dynamics 365 Marketing app) you can make these a lot more dynamic and timely.

Responses Rates

Rates in Survey can vary and often depend on the questions, the audience and of course the design and relevancy of the survey. According to Customer Thermometer, typical response rates can vary from 5-30%, and this site offers some good tips via an Infographic for both design and for improving your response rates, so well worth a quick read. As always, a lot depends on you, your industry and who and what you are asking and not least how long it will take to complete the survey.

Another aspect is ensuring the survey is timely and at present, I am working with a client to send a number of surveys to their End User clients and prospects on their customer experience and this will go out automatically based on a timed trigger event.

We are then combining the power of Customer Voice with Dynamics 365 Marketing, its personalisation, segmentation and the ability to build Customer Journeys and this will give the client some detailed analytics over time enabling them to identify to improve their own customer experience. Which leads me nicely to…


Again, within Customer Voice there is a built-in Dashboard and in-App Reporting tool. This gives you core metrics.

These reports can be complimented by gaining insights from Power BI using the Dataverse / CDS (Common Data Service) connectors, although you may need some help here reviewing where data is sorted in CRM and translating this. Certainly, at this point, reviewing some of the tutorials, my suggestion is that you need a skilled Power BI person, but these results once done, can of course by shared within the organisation and cross related to other key information, for example by Industry type, geography etc.

All in all, a rich blend of powerful reporting options to choose from, but for most of us, the core Survey information is pretty much out-of-the-box, until you need a deeper, more complex analysis.

Some final thoughts and call to action!

So, now you know more about this hidden gem, why don’t you activate this and give it a go?

The first steps in my view can be a sending a simple survey to your staff/users to give you some meaningful data and practice prior to trying this out on your customers. Then a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) survey is usually quite easy to send out as an initial email and more importantly this can give you a benchmark for later surveys.

As with anything if you are considering using any automation, do make sure that you do some thorough testing first or if in doubt, speak to your Dynamics 365 partner for support.

Action now

The Summer period I think whilst for many industries is relatively quiet, this can be a great time to conduct CSAT surveys to benchmark your client base and to help you gain key insights from customers and even prospects. So why wait?

Start looking now into how you can use Customer Voice make the most of the hidden gem.


30th July 2021