Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Reading time: 6 minutes
How do you make sure that you build your business practices and innovations around your customer’s expectations rather than around your internal knowledge and beliefs? Start by asking yourself how often you look at your business from the customers’ point of view and leverage your relationship with customers to co-create innovations in your products to better meet their needs.
Listening to our customers – Microsoft Dynamics partners - and acting on their feedback is an integral part of 1ClickFactory’s service development process. At 1ClickFactory we apply a structured process for listening to our partners (through annual partner satisfaction surveys, front-line people, feedback from the website, and other channels), work with their insights, and most importantly - act on them.
A key part of this process is communicating our actions back to partners. We strive to be transparent with our partners and regularly share our plans and achievements in the partner experience area, which are born from their feedback.
This blog post also serves this purpose. We hope, this transparency also motivates our partners to respond more eagerly to our feedback collection activities and to contribute their valuable insights.
Here are some of the major enhancements in the partner experience area we have recently introduced, thanks to our partners sharing their feedback:
EXPERIENCE IMPROVEMENTS IN UPGRADE AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES IN 2020/21
- Project management process improvements: According to our annual partner satisfaction research, our partners consistently rate the quality of project management highly year over year. However, some partners voiced the need for more clarity on requirements for partner contributions during the project management process. To fulfill this, we have recently released a project checklist – a step-by-step guide to lead our partners through the project management process. This will bring more clarity for partners on what contribution is needed from their side throughout different phases of a project.
- Support service enhancements: partner support is one of the most critical touchpoints so we are constantly monitoring it and proactively introducing improvements:
- Last year we launched the online support center to enable Dynamics partners to quickly and at any time, find the answers they need to the generic service-related questions via self-service.
- This spring, the new support desk was introduced, to better fulfill the need for a helpdesk system, and to make many partner support related tasks easier in the future.
- Some Dynamics partners we work with raised the need to keep the same delivery team on to support a partner in the after-project delivery phase. To respond to this, we are currently adjusting our team allocation methods to make sure we keep the same professionals (at least in mid-size and large-scale projects) who know the specifics of the project, assigned to that account. This will save partners time and effort during the project support phase.
- We regularly invest in providing training to our support agents to ensure timely, professional and caring support to our partners.
- New capabilities in the Upgrade Analyzer: With 1ClickFactory’s Upgrade Analyzer, a self-service online tool, Microsoft Dynamics partners can easily simulate the upgrade price for various upgrade options that their customer might need. In real time. For free. Just by uploading a .fob file of their customer’s solution. We regularly enhance this tool to make our partners’ experience easier, more valuable and more enjoyable. Here are some major enhancements since mid-2020:
- Upgrade Options were updated and new introduced (in relation with Dynamics 365 Business Central Wave 2 release - the first fully AL product version) to help Dynamics partners decide which upgrade path is the most beneficial for a customer to take.
- Conversion to Extension option was introduced in the Upgrade Analyzer which now estimates a fixed price (!) for moving a solution to an extension, even from Classic Client. Everyone dealing with transitioning to extension projects knows how much thought should be put into fixing a price for such complex projects. We’ve managed to do just that! And we continue to further enhance our methodologies to make our estimates more precise and affordable for our Dynamics partners.
- Upgrade Request form was decreased to the minimum to save Dynamics partners’ time and effort. Instead of asking a partner to provide multiple lines of information about their solution, we use our intelligence to pull this data from the uploaded files and our repositories.
Other areas we are currently working on:
- Project portfolio management system: To save our partners’ time and effort, and to avoid forcing them to repeat the same things related to their project’s specifics, we’re working on implementing a project portfolio management system. This will help us to better utilize a partner’s historical project data to more easily transfer information about partner specifics to implementation teams when we are dealing with new partner projects.
- Integrating C/AL to Extension Analyzer into Upgrade Analyzer: This will enable Dynamics partners to request and review C/AL to Extension Analyzer Reports straight from the Upgrade Analyzer.
- Estimating project duration: Soon we’ll add a useful new feature to the Upgrade Analyzer that enables Dynamics partners to see the preliminary project duration for a selected upgrade option.
RECENT EXPERIENCE IMPROVEMENTS TO OUR SELF-PROVISIONING ON AZURE SERVICE
In online subscription services like 1ClickFactory Self-Provisioning on Microsoft Azure, where we have less human interaction and thus less opportunity to hear direct feedback from service users, it’s vital to set a structured and periodic feedback process to give partners a chance to voice their needs so we can fulfill them. Our main feedback channels for the Self-Provisioning service contain periodic service users’ satisfaction surveys, in-product feedback forms, and insights that we gain by analyzing partners’ support cases.
Listening to the voices of the service users, we have implemented the following major enhancements over the past few months:
- We have further automated and minimized steps for major version upgrades. As a result, service users can now enjoy an automated platform upgrade starting with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central version 15.
- An early version of the performance monitoring dashboard was introduced to help users quickly identify potential issues with customer installations, enabling them to take timely action to resolve these issues.
- The online support center was launched to enable users to quickly find the answers they need to generic service-related questions.
Other areas we are currently working on:
- New user onboarding: Educating new users on how to get the most out of the Self-Provisioning service is an important step in the overall partner journey. Our current new user onboarding process is based mainly on educational sessions provided by a human agent, where we walk each new Dynamics partner through the platform, listen to their questions and concerns, and answer them. To revamp this experience to better serve users who prefer the self-service experience or who want to quickly access onboarding resources any time they need, we are expanding the library of on-demand/online service materials with specific, easily consumable content dedicated to the service onboarding stage.
- Monitoring and performance: We are continuing to work on enhancing a performance monitoring panel as part of the service platform to provide service users with greater visibility on the potential issues with customer installations, enabling them to take timely action to resolve them.
- Consistent quality in all major service touchpoints: We’re continuing with initiatives that we started in previous years to ensure consistent quality in the major touchpoints in the Self-Provisioning service, such as providing quick and professional partner support, enhancing the billing and invoicing experience, and bringing new and valuable features into the service platform.
We strongly believe all this will help YOU – our partners – to better accomplish your goals while using 1ClickFactory services.