Microsoft Dynamics CRM Instant Messaging

Guest blogger and CRM MVP Donna Edwards talks about a tip to help you communicate with your customers.

Are you having trouble contacting a customer to arrange a meeting, respond to a service request, or obtain some critical information to move forward on a request? You’ve probably tried Phone Calls, and E-mail with little to no success.

Here is another trick that you can pull from your hat if you have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 installed. Of course, whenever using this or other methods of communication with your Customer and Vendor base, you will always want to follow your company’s communication guidelines and business protocol.

Open a Contact view like Active Contacts in CRM. Find the Contact you would like to speak with but don’t open the Contact record.


Notice the small circle icon in front of the Contact name. Right click the circle icon and you will see several options. One of the options is to add the Contact to your Instant Messaging (IM) program.


When you select this option the Windows Live wizard will open to allow you to add the contact to Windows Live Messenger and will send the Contact an invite to install Windows Live Messenger if they do not have the application installed. Of course, please follow your company’s business rules for the installation and use of Messaging protocols. You may also want to contact the Customer prior to adding them to your Windows Live Account.

After you completed the wizard, and select the circle icon next to the Contact Name, the “Reply with Instant Message” option will be available and you can now send the Contact an instant message so that you can move the business critical items forward. Additionally, the circle icon will turn Green if the Customer is online and available.

This feature can really come in handy for those mission critical, customer satisfaction items like the Tee-Time and Directions for the round of golf you are sponsoring or where to meet before the Sporting Event that you are going to enjoy with your Customer.



Donna Edwards

Comments (11)

  1. Larry Lentz says:

    Donna – When I try this on my own system the context menu (rt-click) doesn’t contain the options you list. I only get Open, Copy Shortcut, Send Shortcut, Print, and Refresh List. What am I missing?

  2. While this is an excellent way to reach your contacts, I think that it is important to note that this also opens you up to receiving messages from your contacts.  Additionally, anytime that you are your contacts are signed into their instant messaging application they will be aware of your presence.  So before you go about implementing this ask yourself if you want your contacts to be able to reach you as easily as you can reach them.

  3. Kirti Suri says:

    Even i got the same thing…When I try this on my own system the context menu (rt-click) doesn’t contain the options you list. I only get Open, Copy Shortcut, Send Shortcut, Print, and Refresh List. What am I missing?

  4. Gloamingon says:

    Donna – I did not found the circle icon? How to catch this icon?


  5. You will need to have MSN Messenger installed on your machine to see the options.    

  6. If you don’t have MSN Messenger installed, install that application and you should be able to see the options.

  7. Benoit Kreins says:

    Hi Donna,

    Do you know if it is possible to parametrize MSN Messenger? I would like to disable games and other non-business stuffs.


  8. Nicola says:

    Hi Donna,

    How do you then get that instant message communication in to CRM history against the contact?


  9. Oscar says:

    I was having the same problem. I couldn't see the circle icon eventhough I had installed Live Messenger.

    The solution I found is this:

    – Go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Security

    – Add your CRM address to Trusted Sites

    – Apply the changes

    – Refresh the page and now you will be able to see the circle icons

  10. Mike says:

    Thanks Oscar. Been trying to figure this one out for a while. Even have OCS installed and they would not turn on until I followed your steps.

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