For the Decision-Maker - Tools for Surveys

For the Decision-Maker - Tools for Surveys

Tools for Surveying within the Microsoft family

The Situation

A major part of digital engagement for any organization is to open and create a dialogue with customers and other stakeholders - such as potential employees, vendors, and owners - and it can be difficult doing it completely digitally. That is why reaching out via a variety of survey techniques is so crucial in this emerging business landscape. Customers want to be heard and provide input on a large variety of issues, regardless if you are large or small; private or public. There are a plethora of one-off survey tools of every description available, and selecting one can be confusing. However, one of our key tenets of high quality digital solutions is integration: tools that work together; data that is readily shared. This is our take within the Microsoft platform


In our view Voice of the Customer provides everything an organization needs in a general purpose survey tool: elegance, rich feature set, workflow driven, and the data resides right within Dynamics 365. We believe that it is greatly under-utilized.

The Options

If you are using Dynamics 365 as your primary customer experience application then there are only a few options besides Voice of the Customer if you want complete integration. Microsoft Forms, a value-added Office 365 tool (like Bookings and StaffHub) is simple and really easy to use. It has a modest feature set and creates professional looking surveys. Data is collected in an Excel spreadsheet which can be brought into D365 using Flow, if required. In our experience it is best suited for one-off polls and quizzes as it lacks robust branching and workflow capabilities and the extra step of setting up the Flow integration. At one time the ClickDimensions surveying feature was the only game in town if you were using Dynamics 365. Although it is native to D365 and connects seamlessly with its other email marketing and campaign automation capabilities it is looking a little long in tooth these days. The surveys don't always look as high quality as Voice of the Customer or even Forms, and its branching logic isn't nearly as sophisticated as those found in Voice of the Customer, without doing sophisticated coding. Through Azure services there are several other survey applications available but at this point their level of integration is very rudimentary 

Picture of a survey.jpg

The Benefits

So for us the choice is clearly Voice of the Customer. Consider the benefits that we have found working with it for our clients:

  • It is available as part of any Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement app or plan, except for D365 Sales Pro
  • Results are stored right in D365 and can be analyzed in several different manners using entities, searches, dashboards, custom reports and PowerBI. Feedback entities allow responses for a specific survey to be collected in their own entity for advanced workflow and analytics.  
  • Out of all the options listed above it offers the most amount of flexibility for:
    • Type of questions
    • Survey design
    • Workflow and configuration:
      • Link question responses across multiple surveys
        • Response routing
        •  Configure customer satisfaction and net promoter scores for individual questions
      • Set minimum and maximum score weighted values for individual questions
      • Determine the flow for individual options, e.g. happy to sad, score 1-100, score 100-1, good to bad and vice versa
      • Show tips for completing individual questions
  • Can be built into other workflows or even called as part of a ClickDimensions Campaign Automation

The major constraint at this point is that currently Voice of the Customer is limited to 200 published surveys and 250 questions per survey. There is also a 1 million record limit for survey responses, that should not be an issue for most businesses.  Voice of the Customer also requires some training in order to plan, design and configure surveys.

The Extensions

Although is was built for and as a part of Microsoft's Customer Engagement product suite, it is like so many of this platforms capabilities: easily extensible to many other uses. Like the concept of Relationship Management, Voice of the Customer could be used for engaging with any organizational stakeholder:

  • Investor
  • Employee
  • Vendor or Supplier
  • Recruiting Candidate
  • The General Public

Withe the above mentioned constraints in mind we still beleive that Voice of the Customer can be used for many longer form analytical surveys used for in-depth public relations, customer or prospect, or even brand research. It is that powerful!


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