How to Pipe CRM Data Into Voice of the Customer Surveys


In our earlier post we looked the new Voice of the Customer solution for Dynamics CRM Online and demonstrated how to create and distribute surveys.

To increase the quality of survey responses Voice of the Customer can pipe in CRM data to survey forms to create greater personalisation.

For example, this could be used to insert a customer’s first name into the web page for added emphasis.

Or, insert the name of a CRM user who a client has been in communication with by referencing their name when asking a question about the service they've received. This could be a support agent who has resolved a service issue, or an account manager.

Through this personalisation it means that survey forms aren't simply a generic 'one size fits all' design for everyone but dynamically adapt for each recipient.

CRM data can be piped into specific survey questions, or to survey sections.

Voice of the Customer classifies piped data in a series of frequently used data types. This includes Customer, Location, CRM User and Product. These standard titles can't be amended but as we'll see survey publishers can determine which field data is used.

In this example we will pipe in a Customer field to prefix a Voice of the Customer section. This will be used to show the first name of a contact which we’ll configure shortly in the survey invitation email:


We also want to insert the name of the client’s account manager. This will dynamically display data for each recipient to insert the name of the manage who is working on the account.

In this instance we have selected User as the piping option for this question that asks a client to rate their satisfaction with their account manager.


In the survey designer the both elements of the piped data are shown:


Now we need to define which CRM fields will be used.

This is done by customising the unique Survey Snippet.

Our survey has been saved and published so a snippet string has already been created by the system.

Rather that displaying a long snippet link in the survey invitation email we’ve entered some text which means that this link is shown as ‘Take Survey Now!’:


Before we move on to the email template the survey snippet code must be copied from the menu.


Apart from anonymous surveys Voice of the Customer links are distributed as CRM email templates. These might be delivered as part of a CRM workflow process, as a quick campaign, or emailed to contacts individually from a CRM record.

In this email template we’ve already pasted in the unique survey snippet:



The next step is to customise the snippet to define the additional customer and user data that needs to be piped into the survey.

This done by inserting the vertical line (or pipe symbol) on your keyboard | - it’s often located next to the Z button - before the [Survey-Snippet-End] command.

First we’ll set the CRM field for the ‘Customer’ pipe we’ve defined. In this instance I’ll set this as the contact first name field. This CRM field can be selected from the add data value button in the template design.

For the ‘User’ pipe we will define this as the Account Manager field on the associated Account record for this contact record.

The revised snippet containing both piped CRM data fields is shown as follows:


Although the CRM template shows the full snippet link as we've already defined in this survey the email recipient will view this line as ‘Take Survey Now’ when they receive the email:


When a recipient in our database clicks the email link the appropriate CRM data is automatically piped in to the survey form from the snippet. In this example it appears as follows:


With this level of personalisation surveys can be designed to be highly adaptable to each recipient with the aim of increasing customer engagement and collecting valuable insight.

One word of caution to finish on. If you are using this option to pipe data from CRM you should ensure that confidential data isn’t published.

Also, this will only be viable if you hold data in these fields for each survey recipient.

For example, of this survey contact record isn’t associated with an account, or if an account manager field has not been set, our survey field will simply expose the generic pipe command to the recipient which publishers would obviously want to avoid:


Hopefully this has given you a good taster of how Voice of the Customer will help you improve the design of your own surveys.


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