Customer Relationship Management Blog

Monday, May 9, 2011

CRM for Outlook: Tracking in CRM

Several users are already using the Outlook integration for CRM. This allows users to sync appointments created in CRM with their Outlook and allows them to quickly track e-mails in CRM. Today, I will be explaining how to track your e-mails in CRM and how to sync your appointments between Outlook and CRM. If you need more information on getting Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook please read the AskLuke Tutorial.

Tracking e-mails in CRM is very easy using CRM for Outlook. If you want to track and incoming message, simply click the “Set Regarding” button. This will open a box for you to search for the record this e-mail should be tracked with. The e-mail will be tracked with the record you select instead of everyone on the e-mail. To track outgoing messages, simply click “Set Regarding”. Again, you will want to choose the student or other record that this e-mail is in regard to. The e-mail will be placed on the CRM record of the contact it is regarding. That means the contents will be pushed to Banner comments as well.

CRM Set Regarding in Outlook Toolbar

Now, there are two ways to sync your appointments between CRM Online and Outlook. You can either create it in CRM Online and have it sync to Outlook or vice versa.

The recommended approach is to set up you appointments by going to Then use Multi Search to find the correct student. Click Actions -> New Activity -> Appointment. Enter the time you plan to meet with the student and any initial information. Remember all of this information will be sent to the student’s Banner comments. Press “Save and Close”. Be careful not to press “Save as Completed” because this will close the Activity and you will not be able to edit it. After it has been saved, it will sync to your Outlook within 15 minutes.

To create the appointment in Outlook first, open a new Appointment and fill in the meeting time and information as usual. Then select the “Set Regarding” button and search for the student. When you save the appointment, it will be sent to the Regarding student’s Activities list. Any changes you make to this appointment will be updated on CRM and sent to the student’s Banner comments.

Appointment CRM Set Regarding

Now that the appointments are in CRM and Outlook they can easily be completed when the student comes in at their meeting time. Simply open the Calendar item. Select view in CRM to open the standard CRM Appointment screen. Now you can add any dispositions and complete your comments. You can also click on the student’s name to view their CRM record if you need to review any information. When you are done documenting the appointment, select “Save as Completed” to finish the Activity.

View in CRM

CRM Activity Created through Outlook

View Regarding

So now you know how to track e-mails in CRM and sync your appointments between CRM and Outlook. Don’t forget that open Activities can always be seen in CRM by clicking the Activities link on the left-hand side. This will show you Activities you have not completed so you can put in the rest of the information. If you have any problems you can contact the CRM team by e-mailing Jeremy Dudley at or Kylie Marsh at  

Posted at 2:03 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Monday, April 11, 2011

Alert CASAS Disposition

Recently CASAS came to us because the Resident Admissions call center agents often needed to contact them about specific students. This process would involve the agent manually sending an e-mail to a member of CASAS. However, CASAS is utilizing CRM functionality that automatically sends an e-mail to when a student is in need of professional advising or another kind of assistance. Faculty members use this disposition when they meet with students. So, CASAS wanted to share this functionality with Resident Admissions.

Now, this functionality has been enabled for these agents as well. Let me explain how it works.

When the agent creates a Phone Call or Appointment activity and the student needs to be contacted by CASAS or is in need of another kind of assistance, the agent can select the “Alert CASAS” Disposition on the Activity.

Alert CASAS Disposition

When the Activity is saved, an e-mail will automatically be sent to The e-mail will contain the name of the agent, the name of the student and any comments from the Phone Call or Appointment activity. So the agent can write the student’s problem in the comments and it will be forwarded to retention so CASAS can find help for the student.

Agents will even be able to view this e-mail in the student’s history if necessary.

Alert CASAS sent e-mail

If you have any questions about this functionality or you would like to share this feature or a similar feature with your department, please don’t hesitate to contact the CRM Team ( or We would be happy to show you how CRM can make your life easier.

Posted at 9:54 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What’s new in CRM: FCI View

On February 23rd the CRM team launched a new tab. This new tab will be located under the “Money” section of a Contact record and will be labeled “FCI”. The tab will show whether a Contact has completed Financial Check-In and whether or not the student is Withdrawn. If there are any entries in the first section of the tab, it means that the student has successfully completed Financial Check-in.

Has the student withdrawn? Lokk to the side of the FCI Completion date

Further, if the Contact abandoned during the process of FCI the view will indicate which step they left off on, by showing a step-by-step breakdown of their FCI progress.

CRM FCI view then the student did not complete FCI

Of course, if they followed the process the whole way through, you could see every step and the time it was done. Then, at the end of the list you can see a “Y” meaning they completed FCI successfully.

CRM FCI view when the student successfully completed all steps

This new tab will make it much easier for agents to know a student’s Financial Check-in status quickly. If your group is interested in having this view, please contact the CRM team.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New CRM Features

The CRM Team has recently released a few features to help make your work easier. Here is some information about the new releases:

1. Activity Preview - When you click “History” on the left hand navigation of a Contact record, it displays the student’s communication history. Clicking the small arrow will allow you to view a preview of the Activity, including whether an Email or Phone Call was Incoming or Outgoing. Other options can be added to this preview, so please let your supervisor know if you have a recommendation.

CRM Activity preview

2. Course Tab Term – When you choose “All” from the dropdown on the Course tab, it will now show the Term in the far right hand column.

CRM Banner Courses tab term column

3. Template Search – Perhaps the most exciting new feature is Template Search functionality. Instead of having to scroll through the seemingly unending list of templates, this search will allow you to easily identify which template you wish to send.

CRM E-mail template search

If you have questions or comments please feel free to let the CRM team know by emailing

Posted at 4:12 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Friday, September 17, 2010

CRM Feature Spotlight: Dialer Integration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a very customizable system that can be integrated with other systems used by Liberty University. It is integrated with Banner by allowing authorized users to make changes to Banner through CRM and providing views into Banner from CRM. Another important integration is the SER integration, otherwise known as the Dialer.

The Dialer is a system that makes telephone calls. You can put the number in to the computer application and it will automatically place the call. This is used in the call centers around campus such as Development, Resident Admissions, and the Liberty University Online call centers.

Andrew Reynolds, Senior Analyst at Liberty, had this to say: 

“Liberty uses the SER Dialer as an outbound dialing solution for manned and unmanned call campaigns. Predictive dialing takes advantage of the full ability of the dialer but it also offers slower more controlled modes such as preview and paced dialing. We have a blended integration with it that can automatically move agents on and off of dialer when certain inbound queue thresholds are met. The last major integration built on around the dialer allows leads to automatically be posted to the dialer after they post to Banner and Dynamics CRM and then allow the agents the ability to disposition the call only in dialer and have it complete the call in CRM as well.”

The Dialer is useful when making outbound calls especially if it is for a call campaign. It can be programmed for the campaign and then when an agent is free, it will automatically call the next number. This is very good because the agents spend more time productively and less time dialing the phones manually.

The Dialer also accounts for time zones. This means that people will not be called too early in the day or too late at night. A new feature that is currently being developed will enable those who call in to set their preferred call time. Then, the dialer will only call during those times. This preferred call time will be saved in CRM so it can be useful to all CRM users not just those who are also using the Dialer integration.

The Dialer has been integrated with CRM to provide some added functionality. The CRM Product Team developed a screen for the Dialer that allows an agent to document what happens in the phone call directly from Dialer rather than documenting in SER and in another database. So, the agent can be talking to a student and make notes about the call right there on the Dialer screen. Then this information is pushed back to CRM in the form of a Phone Call Activity. In addition, there is a button added to the Dialer screen that says “View CRM Record.” Rather than having to search, an agent can click this button to quickly view the individual’s CRM record and find any information they may need.

These changes make the call centers more effective because they do not need to waste time dialing the phone, setting up an activity for the phone call, or even searching for the student. Everything is right there. It is more convenient and easier to use than the old method of calling and then documenting on a student’s Banner record. This is just another way the CRM team is working to help Liberty University run more efficiently.

Posted at 1:26 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Friday, September 3, 2010

CRM Feature Spotlight: Multi Search

The CRM Product Team is constantly working to improve your experience with CRM and to help other people use it too. One way we have done this is with the addition of a feature called Multi Search. This is the way you can search for contacts within the system. I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about why we created it and what it does.

The CRM product we use is called Microsoft Dynamics CRM. There is some built-in functionality but our team of developers is always writing new features to cater to the specific needs of Liberty University. The built-in search function of CRM is very slow because our database is so large, and the search was not designed to be used by an organization as vast as Liberty.

Multi Search is our way of getting around these obstacles to enhance the User experience. Here is how Clif, a developer who worked heavily on this tool, described it:

“Multi-Search is a high performance alternative to the default CRM Contact view. It allows you to search for both Contacts and Leads simultaneously using the most common identifying information. By focusing on only the information we need to find a student, the search is able to greatly outperform the standard implementation.“

Multi Search allows you to choose from many different search methods. These include: name, Liberty ID, e-mail, telephone, birthday, address and social security number. Now, in case you are wondering, your social security number is not stored in CRM. There is no way that someone looking at a person’s record in CRM can learn this information. A contact’s SSN is stored in Banner, so CRM can search the table and then return the record of the person after retrieving the information from Banner.

Recently there have been even more improvements to Multi Search. Error handling has been improved so that if an error occurs, a button pops up that allows you to copy the “technical” error to your clipboard. Then you can paste this into an e-mail and send it to us or the HelpDesk. By doing this, Information Technology will know better how to approach the problem and find a solution faster. Another convenient feature being developed is birthday highlighting. This automatically highlights the birthday field in Multi Search if it is that contact’s birthday. This makes the record of the birthday person stand out to an agent searching for them.

In addition, a pattern matching feature has been enabled. This will save time because you no longer need to select the search criteria. You can just start typing. It will automatically detect the format of what you are typing and set the search to read that specific field. There has also been a change made to the telephone search so that it works much faster and checks all phone numbers, not just the primary number. It strips all the characters out of the input phone number and then puts it into the 3 most common telephone formats. Then, this is compared to the stored telephone numbers, making it more likely to find the correct record even if the searched number and stored number are in different formats.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Multi Search feature developed by the CRM Product Team. We are busy working on other features such as an Online Application and enabling more people to access CRM, such as the Liberty University Online Admissions and New Enrollment Call Centers. We will continue to keep you up to date on these improvements and changes.

For more information, please visit our HelpDesk DIY

Posted at 2:33 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Friday, August 27, 2010

Introduction to CRM

Welcome to the CRM blog. Here you can learn about new features and what is going on with the CRM team. The plan for this entire website is to keep you up to date with new developments on the project and give you insight into what it is like to work on this team. There will be many more blog entries about the developers and about what they are working on but right now we want to help you understand and become familiar with the system. 

First, you need to know how to access the system. To do this, simply go to Internet Explorer and type “CRM” in the web address bar. For more information on this please read the HelpDesk DIY article on accessing CRM.

Next, it is very important to learn how to search for a record. To watch a demonstration and read about it you can visit the Multi Search in CRM HelpDesk DIY article. The best way to do this is by using the Multi Search tool which was actually created by the developers on the CRM team. You will get to learn more about this in future blog entries. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management so the first part of that is finding the customer. This is what Multi Search is for. When you open a record for a contact, in our case that is usually a student, you can view information about them and about interactions they have had with other people and departments within the University. These interactions are called Activities. To learn how to create an activity associated with a particular person’s record you can visit the HelpDesk DIY article on creating activities in CRM.

An Activity is something that has happened or is planned to happen. In CRM this can be a Task, Fax, Phone Call, E-mail, Letter, Appointment, Service Activity or Campaign Response. Each of these has a slightly different form to fill out based on the kind of communication that took place. It is recommended that you take time to look at each one and decide which will be the most useful for you. If you create an Activity and “Save and Close” it, it will go into the “Activities” section. This means the Activity has not yet been completed so you can go back and add details later. If you “Save as Complete” then it will go into History.

The History section of CRM keeps track of Activities that have already taken place. This is different from Activities because Activities will only show what is still going to take place. You can look in the History section to see who this person has already been in contact with and what this communication regarded. To learn more about Activities and History you can watch the HelpDesk DIY video Exploring a Contact Record.

For more advanced users of CRM, you may want to try out the advanced find feature. Here you can search for contacts, articles, and many other things in CRM. You can add different filters to refine your search as much as you wish. This can be useful for better gearing marketing campaigns. For instance, you can search for all contacts, who have donated to the school in the last year and who live in a certain geographic area. Or it can be used to search for people involved in an alumni chapter. It can even be used to search for all people who have told the school they work as pastors. This could be very helpful if a  conference for pastors was being planned and you were looking for people who would be interested in receiving information about it.

As you can see, CRM is a very powerful system with a lot of benefits to offer. It can be useful for tracking interactions with students so that they won’t have to repeat their problem to multiple sources. It can also be useful for finding people that would be interested in particular events. This blog is here to introduce you to some of those features. For more information you can always find more information on HelpDesk DIY including videos and written directions to do many common CRM tasks.

If you would like more in-depth help, CASAS and IT Training will be offering CRM training. Feel free to contact them or visit the ProDev Portal for more information.

Posted at 8:52 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Monday, August 16, 2010

CRM Advanced Find

I am still relatively new to using CRM so I keep finding new and interesting things. Today, I was enthralled by the Advanced Find tool on CRM and Jeremy told me to blog about it so all of you can know how to use it to. Trust me, you will also be enthralled.

When using Multi Search you can only search using certain pre-defined search criteria and you can only use one at a time. So, you can search for a person by name and then look at the birthdays to identify which is the person you want, but you cannot search by name and by birthday at the same time. With Advanced find that is not true. By using the Advanced Find tool you can see how many people in the system have the same birthday, and first name as you. Or you can see how many people have zip codes that begin with the same numbers as yours does. The possibilities are endless.

Let me explain to you how to do this. First enter the CRM system, either by tying “CRM” into the web address bar of Internet Explorer or, if you have installed CRM for Outlook, just open your outlook. Now, find the button marked “Advanced Find” that has binoculars beside it.

If you are on Internet Explorer it will look like this:

 CRM Header showing location of Advanced Find tool

If you are on Outlook it will look something like this:

 Outlook header showing placement of Advanced Find CRM tool

Click this button and the following screen should open up:

 CRM Advanced Find Screenshot

Now, you can begin your search. To start you must decide what you want to look for. I find it most interesting to look for “Contacts” because then you are finding actual people in the system. But you can look for many other things such as Appointments, High Schools, and Gifts. To set this you will pick something from the “Look for:” drop down. For our example, I will choose to search for contacts.

Advanced Find location of Look For drop down

Now, we can add our search criteria. I will follow through an example for you that will help you get the idea. Then, you can try out many different things on your own. For this example, let us search for females who have an e-mail address that is not from hotmail.

1. Use the drop down box to select the first search field.

Choose search criteria Advanced Find

2. As the first search field, select “is Donor?”

 advanced find

3. Now it will say “Equals” and then have a text box. Attempt to type in this box or press the “. . .” sign that comes up beside it.

 where to select values crm advanced find

4. A screen will pop up where you can choose which answers are available. Select “Yes.”

 crm advanced find select yes

5. Press the “>>” button to move it to the selected side.

 crm advanced find use >> to move to other side

6. Now press “OK”.

 crm advanced find press OK

7. Here is how your query should appear now. This would search for all donors in the system.

 crm advanced find find donors in the system

8. Now, press the drop down menu and add a new condition. Find “Address 1: State/Province” and select it.

 crm advanced find search by state

9. Leave the “Equals” as it is, although this can be changed as we will see later, and type “VA” in the text box. Your search should now look like this. If you pressed “Find” now you would find all Donors who live in Virginia.

 crm advanced find enter state to search by

10. Now, we want to add the condition that they must have made a donation last year or this year. We also should make sure the donation is not $0.00. Select the drop down menu again to add a new condition. Scroll down towards the bottom of the list and you will find a “Related Fields” section. Under this heading, select “Transactions (Recipient)”. This will add a new section to your search.

 crm advanced find search a contact's transactions

11. Again select the drop down menu and you will notice that the available search fields have changed. This is because they are now searching through transactions not a person’s record. Select “Payment Date” then click where it says “Equals.” This will become a drop down menu and you want to select “Last Year.”

 crm advanced find search by payment date

12. Click the new drop down box and again select “Payment Date” but this time set it for payments “This Year.”

 crm advanced find search by payment date

13. Since both of these conditions cannot be simultaneously true, we must say you want the payment to have been last year OR this year. To do this, click on the tiny arrow beside one of the rows.

 crm advanced find click row arrow

14. The arrow will bring up some options and you want to click on “Select Row.”

 crm advanced find select row

15. Do this for the second row (under Transactions) as well.

 crm advanced find select row

16. Now that both Payment Date rows are selected, click the “Group Or” button at the top of the search.

 crm advanced find group or

17. This is how you search should now appear. This means you will be searching for Virginia Donors who donated either last year OR this year.

crm advance find group or

18. We have one final condition to add. Again you want to select the drop down menu (under Transactions) and find “Transaction Amount” as the search criteria.

 crm advanced find search transaction amount

19. You will want to click on “Equals” and change this to “Does Not Equal.” Then, type “0” in the text box.

 crm advanced find enter value

20. Now, just press “Find” to see your results.

crm advanced find donors in va who have donated since 2009

crm advanced find results

As you can see this tool can be very useful for targeting specific marketing groups and figuring out who may be interested in different campaigns. Try using Advanced Find for yourself and see what searches you can do!

Thank you for keeping up to date with the CRM team. Good luck with your current and future CRM endeavors.

Posted at 9:48 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Monday, August 16, 2010

Faculty & CRM

Faculty Survey

This is a questionnaire for a faculty member to fill out about a student they have met with. It is a way to get a grasp on how the student is doing at Liberty and if there are any needs in their life. This allows the University to understand a little more about the student and give information about what they could be struggling with or areas where they need help. It is also a good way to alert CASAS if a student may be considering leaving Liberty or be in need of counseling. To learn how to fill out the survey, you can view the Faculty Survey in CRM article on HelpDesk DIY. 

Student Success Plan

A student’s success plan is viewable to faculty to aid them in their advising of students. The success plan is filled out by CASAS detailing how the student can succeed at Liberty. Each student will have a success plan associated with their file once they have visited their advisor in CASAS. A faculty member can access this information to become familiar with the student and may be able to identify risk areas that could be discussed with the student. The information a faculty member gains from reading a student’s success plan may be helpful when completing the Student Retention Survey as well. If you are unable to see the success plan button you may need to clear your cache.

How to use the success plan function in CRM

Posted at 9:42 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink

Customer Relationship Management Blog

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