In my previous post about the new functionality included in CRM 2013 SP1 / Spring ’14 release I laid out the big picture of how case creation and routing rules relate to cases and queues in Dynamics CRM. Now it’s time to take a more detailed look at how you would actually configure these rules to automate your case creation process. There are a few limitations that it’s good to be aware of before you jump into applying these new tools in your service management scenarios.
Case Creation Rules
As illustrated in the big picture of queue and case management in my previous article, Case Creation Rules are specific to a single queue. Also, you can only have one Case Creation Rule per queue – per channel. It is nevertheless a 1:N relationship between queues and rules, since a queue can have a Case Creation Rule both for email and social activities (the latter of which are not yet leveraged in this release). The Command Bar buttons on the updated queue form, labelled “Email To Case Settings” and “Social To Case Settings”, take you to the respective rule record.
The Case Creation Rule form allows you to configure predefined conditions for case creation. Emails from unknown senders can be filtered away from case creation. Also the existence of a valid entitlement for the sender (contact) or the senders company (parent account) can be used as a filter. Finally, email related to an already resolved case can be set to generate a new case record, with a configurable “quarantine” time period. So, if you resolve a case today and the customer replies “thanks for your help”, this probably shouldn’t generate a new case, but a reply sent after 3 days to the same email thread might warrant opening up a whole new case record.
That’s all the conditions you can apply for the automatic case creation. There’s an additional entity called Case Creation Rule Item that’s found in the “Specify Case Details” subgrid. What this feature allows you to do is specify a condition on the activity record (email or social activity) and set values for the newly created case’s fields. As an example, if the email subject contains word X, you could populate the case subject lookup field with value Y. So, you can’t use these Rule Items to determine whether a case will be created or not, but you can pass along some variables from the originating activity.
The entity fields you can access in the Conditions box are limited to those directly related to the email (or social) activity. There is however one welcome exception and that is the Senders Account. This means that when the email is coming from a known contact, there’s a way to reach into the fields of the account related to the contact (related to the activity), to check variables like relationship status, customer category or other important pieces of information in a B2B service scenario. [Read more…]