MB2-718 Certification: (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service) – Voice of the Customer (Part Two)

As I revise for the MB2-718 exam (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service) I’m creating blog posts detailing all aspects of my revision. I hope these posts will aid anyone who is also revising for this exam. In this post I will review Voice of the Customer (VoC).

You can see the skills measured statement below that relates to VoC. As there is an entire section devoted to it I guess we need to know it pretty well!

VoC is a pretty large topic! Which is why this is the second part of two posts. In my first post I decribed how to install VoC and create a basic campaign. In this post I will build on those concepts to describe some of the more advanced features of VoC.

Distributing Surveys

So far I have really only covered sending out non-anonymous surveys. (As I have shown how to send them using an invitation link.) These are typically emailed to a specific contact, account or lead. These people would be invited to take the survey. You will need to be aware that it is also possible to have anonymous respondents.

Anonymous surveys can also be sent to run in iframes. (Useful if you want to embed them into your website!)

Anonymous surveys are sent out by a copy and paste of the anonymous URL from the survey form. This link could be sent in an email. If required leads can be created automatically from anonymous responses. Below you can see my survey, notice that I have highlighted the anonymous link. Also notice that we have an option “Run in IFrame”. Selecting this option additionally enables a second url for the iFrame version of the survey.

With non-anonymous surveys respondents are sent a unique URL. Which can be generated when the email snippet field is used or the invitation url copied from a survey activity. These survey invitations are then embedded into emails.

Piped data (explained below) can be added to non-anonymous surveys but can not be added to anonymous ones.

The table below gives a summary of distribution methods and their capabilities;

Piped Data

On the survey you will also find a copy snippet option that can be used to quickly copy the survey link ready to be included in an email. Adding the snippet to the body of an email effectively inserts the invitation link into the email.

Piped data is customer data that can be added to the survey. It is called piped data as each field is separated by a pipe. This data can then be used to personalize the survey. In the screen shot below you can see that whenever I’m editing text whilst creating the survey I can use this “(Pipe)” option to add a place holder for the piped data.

Piped data can be for a limited number of fields, those being use, product, service, customer, location, Data Time, Other 1 and Other 2.

Later on, when creating an email to send out the survey (typically in a workflow) we can alter the survey snippet to include the data. For example, to be able to include the name of my customer (Alex Smith) and my name (Neil Parkhurst) in the survey I might create a snippet to include in the email that looks like the one below.

[Survey-Snippet-Start]2dfd9f6d-400e-4488-ad18-773357e758ea|Customer=Alex Smith|User=Neil Parkhurst[Survey-Snippet-End]

As you’ll probably send emails containing the survey from a workflow, adding pipe delimited data like customer and user should be fairly straight forward. (Although I won’t cover the detail of using workflows in this post.)

Survey Responses / Feedback

Survey results can actually be reported back in two ways. As survey responses or feedback. (With responses being the default approach.)

Survey responses will commonly used for short running surveys. As they are simple to create and put the minimal load on the system. Survey responses are also the best option if the questions within your survey are likely to change overtime.

An alternative approach is to have your responses come back as feedback. Feedback is more appropriate for long running campaigns that seldom or never change. For example if you have a standard customer satisfaction survey which will be used to compare the same results month after month. (Or even year after year.)

You can configure the response approach on a survey by survey basis. (A survey can use either responses or feedback, but never both at the same time!)

With the responses approach, all responses for all surveys will be held in the same standard responses entity in Dynamics 365. This gives us one area to check all survey data. This is the default approach. Survey responses are ideal for most of your surveys. (In particular if those surveys are short lived or frequently change.)

Feedback is very different! In this approach Dynamics 365 actually creates a custom entity that is used for holding the responses just for one specific survey. A custom entity can be created when the survey is first published. This might be useful if you need to customize the feedback entity! As a custom entity is created this gives great flexibility but as a new entity is created for each survey this concept should be used sparingly. (You might need to be aware that Dynamics 365 has a limit on the number of custom entities per instance!) Hence feedback is probably best applied to long running campaigns that are unlikely to change.

When enabling a survey for feedback you can opt to automatically create the entities when the survey is published or create them manually. When you select to enable feedback on a survey additional fields show on the form. Here you can define the solution and schema name for the entity. Along with some additional parameters. (With the additional parameters allowing you to name the feedback entity and relate it to contacts or accounts etc.)

Task Alerts

Many questions on surveys contribute to a score. This overall score for the survey can be used to trigger alerts. Meaning if the survey falls below a given threshold an alert can be generated.

So, task alerts allow us to know if someone has completed a survey with a total score less than a certain threshold.

Response Routing

Response routing is used to execute actions based on answers to survey questions. A condition is defined and then response actions happen accordingly.

Conditions can contain either “AND” or “OR” logical operators but they cannot contain both.

The actions can be client or server level. Client meaning things that happen within the survey, server meaning things that happen within the Dynamics 365 application.

Client actions may include showing / hiding survey elements, skipping to a section in the survey, ending the survey or linking to another survey.

Server actions may create response outcomes like complaints, low scores, high scores etc. And additionally send a notification email to a user or queue.

Multiple actions are allowed per response routing.

You will find a response routing option in the navigation bar when viewing your survey.

Using the response routing option you can therefore define conditions and actions as required. (As shown below.)

The example above touches on yet another concept! Response outcomes. Response outcomes can be created when certain events happen. These can then be used to govern what happens next! Below you can see that I have listed two response outcomes for low scores given by two contacts.

Tip: I could use the creation of these outcome records to trigger further workflows! And in doing so automate whatever steps I would like to take as a result of this outcome.

Additionally response outcomes maybe be useful when creating dashboards / reports. As you could plot the number of particular outcomes by date (etc). Then drill into the outcomes to see the surveys and responses behind those outcomes.


Additionally you might need to be aware that it is possible to allow respondents to unsubscribe.

First we create an unsubscribe survey! This will be an anonymous survey that restricts multiple completions. It also won’t have the allow unsubscribe link selected. (you can’t unsubscribe form the unsubscribe survey!!

Next on the unsubscribe survey form we can control what will happen is an unsubscribe response is received.

You will now continue to build an unsubscribe survey in the normal way. For example, you will most likely want to ask people why they are want to leave!

Once you have created your unsubscribe survey, whenever you create a survey you can opt to enable unsubscribe. This is done be simply selecting the “Allow Unsubscribe” option and then selecting your unsubscribe survey.

I hope this post will have helped with your preparation for any questions on VoC during your MB2-718 exam. Voice of the customer is a big topic and probably not one you can fully appreciate from a couple of blogs post! You will therefore benefit from researching this topic deeper and creating some surveys of your own.

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