Working with Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice

By Welly Lee
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  1. Chapter 1: Introducing Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice

About this book

Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 Customer Voice enable organizations to collect and analyze feedback from employees and customers, helping developers to integrate their feedback and business users to collect feedback that will guide them to develop customer-centric solutions.

This book takes a hands-on approach to leveraging Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 Customer Voice capabilities for common feedback scenarios and covers best practices and tips and tricks to have your solution up and running in no time. You'll start by exploring common scenarios where organizations collect feedback from employees and customers and implement end-to-end solutions with Forms. You’ll then discover how to create surveys and get to grips with different configuration options commonly used for each scenario. Throughout the book, you'll also find sample questions and step-by-step instructions for integrating the survey with related technology such as Microsoft Teams, Power Automate, and Power BI for an end-to-end scenario.

By the end of this Microsoft book, you’ll be able to build and deploy your complete solution using Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, allowing you to listen to customers or employees, interpret their feedback, take timely follow-up action, and monitor results.

Publication date:
June 2021
Publisher
Packt
Pages
336
ISBN
9781801070171

 

Chapter 1: Introducing Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice

In September 2020, my team released Dynamics 365 Customer Voice as an upgrade for Microsoft Forms Pro. Soon after, we noticed that the Net Promoter Score (NPS) started to fall. From the user feedback, we learned that many users were not happy with the data export functionality in the new product. Along with the product upgrade, we switched the data export format from Excel to .csv format, to enable the exporting of larger datasets. Users hated the new .csv format, so based on the feedback, we quickly made a change to go back to exporting data to Excel format and only provided an option for .csv for larger datasets. After we introduced the change, we saw that the NPS score started to go up again.

That story is a real-life example of how collecting feedback can help you identify issues early, and then track your progress in solving them to make customers happy. Despite our best attempts to use data to drive decisions, many of our day-to-day decisions still rely on intuition. While product leaders use their experience to shape their intuition, occasionally the wrong decision is made, and having a feedback measurement system in place is critical to provide an early warning signal to correct your decision.

Our goal at Microsoft is to make it easy for you to collect feedback from your employees and your customers through two products: Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. Microsoft Forms is a productivity tool targeted at collecting simple surveys and quizzes. Dynamics 365 Customer Voice is an enterprise feedback management system used to collect feedback from employees and customers and integrate the survey data with your existing business application systems. In this chapter, we will review the two products, including their key capabilities and licensing requirements. By the end of this chapter, you will understand the difference between the two products and when to use one over the other.

We will cover the following topics:

  • What is Microsoft Forms?
  • What is Dynamics 365 Customer Voice?
  • Differences between Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 Customer Voice
  • Licensing requirements
 

What is Microsoft Forms?

Microsoft Forms (forms.microsoft.com) is an application that enables you to collect simple data from people both inside and outside your organization. Without any training, a user can create a simple survey through an easy-to-use interface and share a direct link to the survey. It uses artificial intelligence throughout the experience to make it easy for anyone to get started. When you create a new survey and type in a survey name, Microsoft Forms provides suggestions of commonly used questions based on the survey title. For example, when creating a new survey with the title Customer feedback survey, you may get a question suggested such as Overall, how satisfied are you with our company? (as shown in Figure 1.1):

Figure 1.1 – Suggested questions for a customer feedback survey

Figure 1.1 – Suggested questions for a customer feedback survey

You can select any or all of the suggested questions or use your own questions by first selecting a question type. Based on the survey questions, Microsoft Forms provides suggestions that may be relevant to your questions:

Figure 1.2 – Suggested options on a survey question

Figure 1.2 – Suggested options on a survey question

You can access a link to the survey and then share it with responders to collect their feedback. The collected information is shown through a built-in report as in the following figure:

Figure 1.3 – Report summary

Figure 1.3 – Report summary

In addition to viewing the results from the report summary, you can export the data to Excel and then share the results with other people in your organization.

Microsoft Forms is integrated with other Microsoft Office applications (such as Microsoft Teams) to allow the collection of data as part of the application's experience. For example, you can create a poll to display in a Teams channel, and then have the results displayed instantly to all channel members:

Figure 1.4 – Meeting poll in Teams

Figure 1.4 – Meeting poll in Teams

In addition to adding a poll to a channel, you can create polls prior to a Teams meeting, and then show the poll during the meeting. We will discuss creating a poll for a meeting in Chapter 4, Conducting a More Productive Meeting with Microsoft Forms and Microsoft Teams.

You can also use Microsoft Forms to create a quiz, making it a popular tool for the education sector. When creating a quiz, teachers can include mathematical formulas as part of a question or multiple-choice options to test the students' knowledge, as shown in Figure 1.5:

Figure 1.5 – Example of a quiz in Microsoft Forms

Figure 1.5 – Example of a quiz in Microsoft Forms

You can mark the correct option to the question and assign points for students who answer it correctly. We will discuss quiz capability in Chapter 5, Post-Training Assessment and Feedback.

With its easy-to-use interface and integration with Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft Forms has become a popular tool for business users and educators to easily collect data from colleagues and students. As Microsoft Forms is intended for simple data collection tool, it lacks more advanced functionalities. Dynamics 365 Customer Voice fills the gap and offer more capabilities for an enterprise feedback management solution.

 

What is Dynamics 365 Customer Voice?

Microsoft released Microsoft Forms Pro as an advanced version of Microsoft Forms in July 2019 and rebranded it as Dynamics 365 Customer Voice a year later. Customer Voice builds upon Microsoft Forms' simple survey authoring experience and adds the capabilities needed for an enterprise feedback management platform. Organizations using Dynamics 365 as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can benefit from the built-in integration to send survey data directly to customer contacts and have survey results be automatically linked to customer records. Organizations using other CRM systems can integrate through Power Automate using its 300+ connectors to many popular non-Microsoft business applications.

You can get started with Customer Voice by going to https://aka.ms/CustomerVoice and starting a 30-day trial. After completing the sign-up process, you are presented with a list of survey project templates:

Figure 1.6 – Customer Voice project template gallery

Figure 1.6 – Customer Voice project template gallery

The scenario-based templates include survey questions commonly used for periodic customer feedback, sending a survey after an order delivery or a service visit, and sending a survey after a customer support case is closed. We will go over the customer support template later in Chapter 8, Automating Customer Support Surveys with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice .

Some of the project templates include built-in workflows to automate sending the survey based on activities in Dynamics 365. If you are not using Dynamics 365 for your CRM system, you can customize the workflows to connect to your own application.

After you select a template, a survey is created with relevant questions. You can customize the questions by adding and removing them with a similarly easy-to-use authoring experience to that of Microsoft Forms. In addition to the simple survey authoring features, Customer Voice includes advanced survey authoring capabilities such as advanced branching rules (which enable you to skip ahead or dynamically control showing/hiding other questions based on survey responses), branding (styling), and personalizing the survey with variables:

Figure 1.7 – Advanced survey authoring customization pane

Figure 1.7 – Advanced survey authoring customization pane

The personalization options enable you to dynamically customize the survey questions based on an individual responder's data, such as what product the customer bought, and use the personalization data as additional context for the survey responses. For example, when collecting anonymous feedback for an employee pulse survey, you can include information such as roles or departments without capturing personally identifiable information. We will cover these options in Chapter 6, Conducting an Employee Survey with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice.

In addition to the advanced customization, Customer Voice also includes Satisfaction metrics:

Figure 1.8 – Satisfaction metrics configuration panel

Figure 1.8 – Satisfaction metrics configuration panel

You can define one or more metrics to measure customer or employee satisfaction and map the metrics to questions in your survey. Customer Voice includes a dashboard to report the score for each metric and set alert notifications when the metric is triggered by specified conditions.

Customer Voice includes the ability to distribute surveys through an automated process or on-demand. You can upload a list of contacts to receive the survey invitation by uploading from a .csv file. Each of the recipients will receive a personalized survey invitation email and individualized survey link. The individualized survey link allows you to identify people outside your organization who respond to your survey without requiring them to log in. The email invitation also includes an unsubscribe functionality to enable your recipient to opt out, helping to comply with your organization's compliance and privacy policies.

After you send the survey invitations, you can track the progress by going to the Send tab from your survey. The survey invite report includes email tracking capability to monitor the number of recipients who read the email, start the survey, and complete the survey:

Figure 1.9 – Survey distribution report

Figure 1.9 – Survey distribution report

In addition, you can automate sending survey invitations based on a customer activity, such as automatically sending a survey invite after a customer support call. You can use the out-of-the-box workflow templates to automate the process or customize your own workflows using Microsoft Power Automate. We will cover automation in detail in Chapter 8, Automating Customer Support Surveys with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, and Chapter 9, Closing a Feedback Loop with Customer Voice.

While Forms provides a summary report from your survey results, it does not support filtering. Customer Voice provides a more robust report filtering based on dates, user responses or survey variables. In addition to the survey report, you can specify satisfaction metrics for your survey and track the metrics through satisfaction metrics dashboard under the Reports section. You can also define alerts on a metric to notify you when you receive feedback below the target so that you can follow up with your customers or employees in a timely manner:

Figure 1.10 – Satisfaction metrics dashboard

Figure 1.10 – Satisfaction metrics dashboard

Customer Voice writes the survey data directly to Dataverse, the online data storage part of your Microsoft 365 subscription. If you are using Dynamics 365 to manage your customer relationship, you can select the Dataverse instance for your environment so the survey responses are automatically linked to your customer records. This provides everyone who works with the customer the ability to view the latest customer feedback. The Dataverse integration enables other Microsoft business applications such as Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform to use the data being collected. For example, using Power BI, you can create a custom dashboard that shows customer sentiment in the context of a customer profile by reading data directly from Dataverse without the need to export data and import it into another data storage solution.

The integration with the Microsoft business application platform makes Customer Voice a powerful tool for you to collect customer and employee feedback as part of your business process, and having the information tie back to customer and employee records enables you to get the right insights and take timely actions.

Now that we have discussed Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice, what are the differences between the two products and when should we use one over the other?

 

Difference between Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice

Customer Voice is built on top of Microsoft Forms and includes most of Forms' functionalities. In addition to the easy survey-authoring experience from Microsoft Forms, Customer Voice adds what is needed for an end-to-end feedback management solution.

The following table summarizes the functionalities Forms and Customer Voice have in common and the additional capabilities that are unique to Customer Voice:

Figure 1.11 – Feature capability summary between Forms and Customer Voice

Figure 1.11 – Feature capability summary between Forms and Customer Voice

Important note

Megan Walker, Microsoft MVP and the technical reviewer for this book, published a detailed blog post to compare Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice features. You can find her blog post at https://aka.ms/FormsVsCV.

With the capability comparison in Figure 1.11, how do you decide when to use Microsoft Forms and when to use Customer Voice? It depends on your use case. Microsoft Forms is a great productivity tool designed for collecting ad hoc survey feedback, especially when you need to collect and share feedback through Microsoft office application suite such as Teams.

When you need to collect feedback on behalf of your organization from your customers or your employees, then you should consider using Customer Voice. Customer Voice is designed to deliver high-volume surveys and integrate data with your business systems so that you can link the feedback to customer and employee records. Customer Voice also includes closed-loop actions so you can define metrics and get notified when you receive a low metric score so you can get back to customers or employees in a timely manner.

In addition to the feature capability and use case scenarios, Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice have different license requirements to consider.

 

License requirements for Microsoft Forms and Customer Voice

Microsoft Forms is included in most Office 365 work/school account subscriptions and is also available as part of your free personal Microsoft account (such as for outlook.com). The Microsoft Forms that comes as part of your personal Microsoft account is similar to the one that comes as part of your work/school account but has a limit of 200 responses per survey and does not include the following features:

  • Share to collaborate
  • File upload question type
  • Customization of theme color
  • AI-based insights on report summary
  • Email receipt
  • Grading and post-quiz scores
  • Office integration

The version included as part of your work/account Office subscription includes a limit of 200 surveys/user and 50,000 responses/survey.

Customer Voice requires a license and is not included as part of your Microsoft 365 subscription. The Customer Voice license is based on survey responses. You can distribute your survey to as many people as you need, and the usage is tracked when you receive survey responses. The Customer Voice base license starts at $200 for a 2,000 responses-per-month capacity for your entire organization. There is no additional user license for Customer Voice but anyone using Customer Voice will be linked to the same capacity. For example, if there are two users in your organization and each user receives 100 responses for a survey they create, you have 1,800 as your remaining response capacity.

Customer Voice tracks usage against capacity at the annual level to provide flexibility for organizations to send surveys periodically (such as quarterly or annual surveys), so you can use your annual capacity at once and not send a survey again until next year. Chapter 11, Managing Usage with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, will cover how you can manage capacity, including how to distribute capacity to different department users and how to track usage against capacity.

Several Dynamics 365 applications include 2,000 survey responses/month as part of the license entitlement. These applications are listed here:

  • Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise and Sales Premium
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing
  • Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation
  • Dynamics 365 Human Resources

Note that the 2000 responses included as part of your Dynamics 365 subscription is for your entire organization (not for each user). If you need additional responses, you can purchase an additional license at $100/1,000 responses per month.

 

Summary

In this chapter, you have learned about Microsoft Forms and Dynamics 365 Customer Voice and the difference between the two products. Microsoft Forms provides a basic survey capability and Customer Voice adds more feature-rich functionalities to support enterprise feedback management scenarios.

Now that you understand the tools you can use to create surveys and collect feedback, in Chapter 2, Best Practices for Collecting Feedback through Surveys, we will discuss how to design survey questions, distribute surveys, and analyze survey results.

About the Author

  • Welly Lee

    Welly Lee has been with Microsoft for 14 years working on product development for several products such as SQL Server, SharePoint, and Dynamics 365. In the last 3 years, he has been leading the product management team for Dynamics 365 Customer Voice including leading product launch of Microsoft Forms Pro in 2019 which was rebranded and relaunched to Dynamics 365 Customer Voice in 2020.

    Prior to Microsoft, he had been in professional consulting for 10 years working to help enterprise organizations to through business process re-engineering and digitally transformed the business process through technology.

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