Leverage Dialogs to Guide Customer Interactions

Dialogs in CRM 2011 guide users through a business process in a wizard like fashion.  You may configure dialogs to present questions and store the responses, dynamically deliver prompts based on the information gathered and update existing records or create new ones.

In this article I provide an overview of a dialog designed for customer service representatives to use when calling a customer to schedule a time for the customer to pick up their made to order widgets.  In this scenario, a new filed named “Pickup Date & Time” was added to the Order entity then placed on the form, a N:1 relationship was created between the Site and Order entities with the label “Pickup Location”, and a look up to this was placed on the Order form.

The Dialog in Action
The customer service representative selects an order from their queue, starts the dialog is presented with a screen that provides information pulled from the Order record in the Tip section:

Prompt and Response



When the customer service representative selects a pickup location, the Tip section provides a reminder to confirm the information with the customer before completing the call.



The customer service representative clicks Next and then Finish to complete the dialog.  This dialog is configured to update the Pickup Location and Order Date & Time on the Order record, add the Order to the Ready for Customer Pickup Queue and send a confirmation email to the customer.  The confirmation email includes a hyperlink to the company’s website:

Workflow Generated Email Excerpt

Dialog Configuration

Now let’s have a look at how the dialog is configured.  If you are familiar with Workflows in CRM, this will seem quite familiar.

The dialog properties are:


Dialog Properties


Here is a high level look at the steps:

High Level Steps


And each of the steps in more detail:

Prompt and Repsone Step


Dialog Date Prompt


Dialog Update Record Step

Dialog Create Queue Item Step


Dialog Send Email Step

The functionality offered by dialogs is applicable to a wide range of business processes including scheduling a service call or appointment, qualifying a lead as well as creating or updating records such as accounts, contacts and opportunities.