Microsoft’s latest releases and updates for CRM have really enhanced the user experience, but one of my favorite features is the new Timers Control. This great little feature is a new control which you can place on any customizable out of the box or custom entity form. They can also be added to Quick Create and Quick View forms. But how do we use them exactly? In this blog we will briefly cover how to add a timer to a record and then I will review some real life scenarios where they may be useful for any business user.

To add this feature to a form you simply go to the individual form editor, click on the insert tab, and select the timer to create it.

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This visual indicator will let the user know how many hours/minutes/seconds remain, or have been exceeded against the specified defined failure date/time field. The visual indicators are different colors based on the status and are in large text on the form which is an excellent way to let the user know exactly where they stand against the deadline.

 

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So great. Now we know how to add them and how they work, but what do we use them for? Well I have included a few examples that any business user could leverage a timer for to help keep them on track with their time sensitive tasks.

The most obvious and most common example: Case Management and First Response By field on a case. If a Timer control is associated with the First Response By field on a Case record, it will display how many hours, minutes, and seconds are left until the date/time set in the First Response By field.

Personal activities/tasks: Use timers for time management: Do you need to do employee reviews or surveys quarterly? Do payroll weekly? or need to eventually call the technician about the system update? Or perhaps you need to call someone back sometime this month who has been on the bottom of your to do list for too long… Well, use timers to indicate to yourself how much time you have left to complete your personal tasks and manage your day, week, month and even your year more efficiently.

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This is a GREAT one for a rapidly changing sales environment: Use timers on Promo or Product Articles or Records. For example, you are running a promo for the month of November and you want your sales team to have a sense of urgency when they see the promo offer related to the account? Maybe you have a special bundle product offer for a ”limited time only”. Add a timer!! They can then share that countdown with the customer and drive sales before its too late!

To Qualify or Disqualify, that is the question: Use timers for lead management. Have a bunch of old leads sitting around? Set a due date for a lead to be dealt with and then add a timer for a visual aid on how long we have to Qualify or not. This visual aid will let the user know they have a limited time to work that lead and also know how close they are to moving on. No more open old leads clogging up the queue!

Don’t forget the Quick View with Timers!! You could use this quick view to see the related policy expiration date from the member account form, or perhaps the contract or subscription expiration date from the account record as well.

Timers are an awesome new feature that can be leveraged for multiple time sensitive purposes. Get creative with them and make your work just a little bit easier to manage.

The Best Little Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Feature You Might Not Know What To Do With: Timers is a post from: CRM Software Blog

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