The Power of Dynamics 365 CE Customer Service Portals

by | Updated August 1, 2020 | Dynamics CRM

The Dynamics 365 CE Customer Service application is a powerful system to manage your customer inquiries in the form of product support, inquires, or any interaction with a customer that you want to take to some sort of resolution.

The Case entity in CE’s Customer Service application is the foundational core to track your customer interactions to resolution. Many clients rely on their Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s) to take incoming phone calls or emails and manually create these cases with the information that they receive. Some clients have implemented the Dynamics CE “Automatic Record Creation and Update Rules” function to create Case records automatically when emails are sent to specific email addresses (i.e. support@yourcompany.com). But that functionality simply gets a case created for your CSR’s to work with. Too often, the customer’s email does not have enough information to resolve the issue and your CSR’s are spending their time returning phone calls and emails with all the hassles that go with those communications.

A better and more robust solution is out there waiting for you and it is called PowerApp Portals (formerly known as Dynamics 365 Portals). Getting into a basic portal may be less expensive than you think. Microsoft has portal templates to spin up several different types of portals, and a Customer Self-Service Portal is one of them. The template offers two key areas of functionality that most Customer Service departments will appreciate:

Knowledge Base Articles

The Customer Self-Service Portal offers your customers the ability to search for articles that you publish to the portal so that they can resolve issues on their own before they even contact you. These Knowledge Base Articles (KB Articles) are created and maintained in Dynamics CE. These same articles can be used in Dynamics by your internal CSR’s when they are looking for resolutions as well. In fact, ALL portal content is maintained in Dynamics 365 CE. You can determine which articles you want to be published to the portal and which ones you would rather not be exposed to your customers.

Case Creation & Interaction

Probably the most widely used area of the Customer Self-Service Portal is the ability for your customers to create and interact with service cases. Your authenticated customers can login to the portal and submit new cases. The benefit of this is you can ask (and even require) them to fill in the information on a form and submit the case to you. This will create the same Dynamics 365 CE case records you may be already working with. They can also interact with the case after submitting to make any updates or even resolve the case themselves if needed. They can also communicate with your CSR’s in for form of case comments which can include attachments. All of this saves a lot of time by collecting important information upfront on the case portal form and greatly reduces the need to go back and forth with your customers with phone calls and emails. Certain portal users can be identified as your customer’s administrators which will allow them to see all support cases for their company. Otherwise, a standard portal user can only see the cases that they have specifically submitted.

Case Creation & Interactions

Above is an example of a portal case entry form. Note the required fields with a RED *. Also, the form is configurable just like your internal Dynamics CE forms, and is done the same way. You simply designate which Dynamics 365 CE case form will be used on the portal.

Authentication

The portal users will be required to login to submit cases. This ensures you know who the cases are coming from and controls their security. Many clients only offer portal functionality to their “priority” customers, but you can determine which clients you want to invite to use the portal. Security is maintained for each portal user. You can determine what areas of the portal functionality each user has available along with what records they can see and interact with. There are several ways to manage your customer’s login credentials for portal use. The most common methods are:

  • Dynamics 365 CE Contact Records – The login credentials are maintained in Dynamics as part of their contact record. Passwords are stored in encrypted fields in Dynamics CE and field level security can be deployed to protect passwords. Invitations to the portal can be sent on a Contact’s record in Dynamics.
  • Azure/Active Directory – If you are using Active Directory syncing with Azure AD, then you could set up portal users in your Active Directory and link their portal user to that login. This is usually done with well known portal users or 3rd party partners set up to use the portal.
  • Outside Identity Partners – LinkedIn or other social media platform logins can be linked and used for portal users.

Customer Self-Service Portals are a great way to get concise, accurate information from your customers who have a need to submit and interact with service cases. Portals reduce the back and forth emails and phone calls often associated with customer support. Lastly, it also allows your customers to view Knowledge Base Articles which can lead to customers solving their own issues and reducing the stress and volume on your customer service team.

Related Posts

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events

september

01sep10:00 am10:30 amEnsuring Quality and Compliance for Batch Manufacturers in Life Sciences

01sep12:00 pm12:30 pmIs it Worth It to Move to the Cloud? A Look at Considerations for Current Agribusinesses Using Dynamics GP

01sep2:00 pm2:45 pmWhat’s New in Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain

09sep11:00 am12:00 pmConfab Live with Stoneridge – Data Strategy and Reporting – Mining Decision Making Insights

15sep10:00 am11:00 amSolving the Biggest Challenges in Agribusiness Through Innovation and Technology

22sep12:00 am12:30 pmSimplifying Payroll and HR Management with ADP Workforce Now

22sep10:00 am10:30 amStreamlining Batch Manufacturing with Technology

22sep2:00 pm2:30 pmProcess Automation for Microsoft Dynamics D365 for Business Central, Finance and Operations and GP

23sep11:00 am12:00 pmConfab LIVE with Stoneridge - Riding the Wave 2 Release – Key Features Coming to Dynamics 365 this October

27sep(sep 27)9:00 am15oct(oct 15)11:00 amDynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Development Training - Online Workshop

29sep10:00 am11:00 amTop Five Reasons Why NOW is the Right Time to Move from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

29sep12:00 pm12:45 pmUnderstanding Job Costing and Tax Management in Business Central

29sep2:00 pm3:00 pmDigitalizing Horticulture & Agriculture - How to Sell Plants Online and Simplify Business Management

30sep12:00 pm4:00 pmSecurity and Permissions Training for D365 Business Central or Dynamics NAV

october

27sep(sep 27)9:00 am15oct(oct 15)11:00 amDynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Development Training - Online Workshop

06oct10:00 am10:30 amPreview of D365 Business Central Fall Release Features and Functionality

06oct12:00 pm12:30 pmInsider's Guide to New Features Available in the Fall Release of D365 Finance and Supply Chain

07oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab LIVE with Stoneridge - Dataverse and Dynamics in Review – Let’s Get Technical

21oct11:00 am12:00 pmConfab LIVE with Stoneridge - Dataverse and Dynamics in Review – Let’s Get Functional

26oct(oct 26)9:00 am28(oct 28)5:00 pmStoneridge Connect Leadership and Community Conference

About Stoneridge
Stoneridge Software is a unique Microsoft Gold Partner, with emphasis on partner. With specialties in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we focus on attracting the most knowledgeable experts in the field to our team, and prioritize delivering stellar solutions with maximum impact for your business. At Stoneridge, we are deeply committed to your results. Each engagement is met with a dedicated team, ready to provide thorough, tailored, and expert service. Based in Minnesota, we intentionally “step into your shoes,” wherever you are. We focus on what you care about, and develop trusting, long-term relationships with our clients.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Sign up to get periodic updates on the latest posts.

Thank you for subscribing!

X