A few weeks ago I launched a demo survey built on Voice of the Customer, the brand new survey tool from Microsoft. The goals I had for this exercise were twofold: 1) see how these type of interactive tools could be used in live events like eXtremeCRM 2016 Warsaw, and 2) gain some experience on what it is actually like to work with incoming survey response data inside Dynamics CRM. In this post I’ll mainly be focusing on the latter one, although the example data we’ll be looking at are the live answers you & other readers of this blog submitted via the eXtreme MVP Survey.
As you may know, Voice of the Customer (or VoC as we’ll refer to it from now on) is a pure XRM solution. Although the actual customer facing survey forms are of course not presented via the Dynamics CRM client UI, everything that you use for configuring the survey questions and logic, as well as the incoming survey responses, is managed with CRM entities and stored into the CRM database. The reason this is such a big deal is that most of you will already possess the skills needed for leveraging such data via views, charts and dashboards as it’s just XRM all the way. Furthermore, you’re free to design business processes around the survey functionality with tools like real-time workflows or business rules. Naturally you’re also able to interact with the survey entities and records via the latest CRM Web API, should you come across some integration scenarios where data needs to either flow in or out to another system.
The flip side of this coin is that VoC is unfortunately very XRM-ish to work with. If you compared it to dedicated survey apps that do nothing but questionnaire design (like SurveyMonkey, Surveypal and the likes), survey publishing and response data analysis, then there’s still quite a big gap for Microsoft to work on bridging when it comes to the end user experience of this tool. In a way this is quite understandable since the value proposition of VoC really is all about the tight integration with your customer data and the ability to send survey invitations automatically as a part of your customer facing processes; such as a survey link being emailed to a customer after a support case is closed in CRM, to gather quick ratings and design automatic escalation paths if the KPI’s are not met. Nevertheless, since VoC does also support creating pretty advanced surveys for collecting quantitative data from a broad target group in more traditional campaign style satisfaction surveys, as well as anonymous survey links presented on website, it’s good to understand what it’s like analyzing such data inside Dynamics CRM.
There are a lot of components in the VoC solution right out of the box. First off, there are four SSRS reports: Survey Summary, Question Summary, Net Promoter Score and Survey Export. The first two are general purpose reports with tables and charts summarizing the data either across a single survey or a specific question, as illustrated in the screenshots shown here. The NPS report is naturally aimed for this particular survey type, whereas the export one is a single huge matrix for dumping out the raw survey response data into Excel for further manipulation.
For more interactive data analysis there are eight dashboards in the VoC solution. However, these may not be all that useful for many real life scenarios, since they suffer from the same limitation as all Dynamics CRM dashboards: there are no global filters you can apply for all the dashboard components. Meaning, unlike with an SSRS report launched from CRM, you can’t set the context of the dashboard to be a specific survey. Yes, with the new “interactive experience dashboards” introduced in CRM 2016 you do get this type of filters, but since right now those features are limited to the Interactive Service Hub only (which in turn has a fair number of limitations for general use), it’s not exactly the kind of solution we’d need right here.
That doesn’t mean we couldn’t build pretty dashboards to summarize our survey responses, though. I had a go at this with the eXtreme MVP Survey and it turned out pretty well. Have a look (click for a larger image):
In the survey form I had three pages full of questions and I constructed the corresponding pages as personal CRM dashboards. This allowed me to both monitor the incoming responses during the survey data collection period as well as present the results to the audience at the MVP Showcase session in eXtremeCRM. It looks good, it appears very familiar to existing CRM users and it gets the job done without having to resort to any complex report development. [Read more…]