I find it interesting that Microsoft Dynamics CRM tends to be the ‘Silver Bullet’ to most ERP issues. This is the case even when it shouldn’t be. I introduce this because I am a firm believer that the system should be used as it was designed to be used and heavy deviation from that purpose tends to be a mistake in the long run. This does not mean that you should not use Dynamics CRM in an xRM capacity. In my opinion, the system was designed to be used this way.
The case entity brings up an interesting point to the question: should the case be highly customized to work beyond customer service? I believe the answer is yes. I typically refer to the ‘case’ as the umbrella around potentially numerous communications. In the specific sense of customer service, a case typically starts with a phone call or email, continues with research which may have more phone calls and emails, and then a resolution. The resolution will have some sort of final communication.
Thinking about this model, the case as an umbrella, can be applied in many different ways. We have used this to handle interactions in a medical call center scenario. The case was automatically generated when someone called in for the first time. Additional calls would be evaluated to see if it is part of the same topic or a new topic. In the case of a new topic, a new case is created. As part of this particular project, Dynamics CRM interacted with a secure messaging option to allow for secure communication outside of the phone.
We have used cases in the public sector around services in the Health and Human Services space. The introduction of the Business Process Flows in Dynamics CRM 2013 as well as the enhancements in Dynamics CRM 2015 have allowed for the case and the steps to move and resolve these cases to come alive. We are no longer looking at fields and attempting to establish phase or state depending on fields that are filled in. We have moved into a visual representation of process to allow for each worker to do their part in a clear and defined space within their stage of the business process.
When considering how to group interactions and communications with a client, look to the case. While you first think of customer service, consider it for more.