Back to The Basics: Introduction to Service Within Dynamics 365

Posted on: Feb 17th, 2017
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By Ryan Talsma, CRM Product Manager

The purpose of this blog is to provide an introduction to the core entities within the Service module of Dynamics 365, specifically those revolving around case management. The intended audience includes individuals who are brand new to Dynamics 365 and are interested in how the service module can help you provide exceptional customer service to your customers. Specifically, I will be covering the Account, Contact, Case, and Queues entities. Beyond these entities is a very expansive platform that includes much more functionality, however these entities are the basis of the customer service module within Dynamics 365 in relation to case management.

Click here to view our Intro to Service in Dynamics 365 Demo. 

Accounts

Think of Accounts as the companies or vendors that you work with. This is the top-level record which you can use to track numerous pieces of valuable information for existing customers such as:

  • Key information about the company itself, such as the given company’s name, location, website and size
  • Company hierarchies (Parent and sub-accounts)
  • Past and future activities related to the given company
  • The individuals that work at the given company (Contacts)
  • Recent Service Cases
  • Service Entitlements/Contracts
  • Recent Sales Opportunities (if you also have Dynamics 365 for Sales)

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to create or edit an Account.

Contacts

As mentioned above, we have to capability to track the individuals that we work with as well within Dynamics 365, these records are called contacts. Tracking Contacts in Dynamics 365 allows us to capture critical information on the individuals we work with in a centralized database accessible to everyone else in the company in real-time. Examples of information we can store within the contact record includes:

  • Details specific to the contact itself, including their: name, job title, phone number, email etc.
  • The ability to track which company (account) they work for
  • Information on when they were last contacted via phone calls, emails, faxes, etc.
  • Service cases they are the primary contact for
  • Sales opportunities they are the primary contact for if you also have the Sales module

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to edit or create contacts in Dynamics 365.

Cases

Next, we’ll discuss cases, which is the most commonly used entity within the service module. Cases is a broad label that encompasses any type of customer issue or request. The Case entity allows us to track the incident/ticket from beginning to end, showing all communication and actions that took place in resolving the case. Cases can be owned and worked on by individuals or teams. Later we will discuss how these cases can be added to individual or team service queues.

Within the case record we can:

  • Provide an interactive, guided business process flow outlining a step-by-step incident resolution process specific to your business’s needs.
  • Capture key information on the case such as the customer account, primary contact, subject of the case, how the case was received, case priority, description, etc.
  • Track all actions (tasks, appointments) and communication (phone calls, emails, etc.) that have occurred to resolve the case.
  • Apply Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) to automatically calculate response/resolution times based off of various criteria.
  • Apply an entitlement contract that tracks the number of service cases a customer is entitled to, as well as automatically track how many have been used against that entitlement contract.
  • Review and track knowledge base articles related to the case.
  • Escalate or assign the case to another user or queue.

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to edit or create Cases in Dynamics 365.

Queues

Finally let’s talk about queues. Think of queues as a container that stores all of the tasks that are assigned to you to work on. Specific to the service module, is the ability to track tasks, as well as entire cases to be worked on. Every user in Dynamics 365 has a personal queue created for them automatically, however, users can also be a member of other queues managed by multiple individuals such as escalation queues, subject matter expert queues, etc.

Some of the additional capabilities of queues within Dynamics 365 are:

  • The ability select queue items to add to your own personal queue(s)
  • Assign queue items to other users/queues
  • Specify which queue item(s) I am currently working on
  • Automatic case creation and routing to specific queues based on customized criteria
  • Specify who does and does not have access to specific queues

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to edit or create Opportunities in Dynamics 365.

Conclusion

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is just scratching the surface of the capabilities of the Service module. In future blog entries, I will expand on the additional functionality of the Service module including: Entitlements, SLA’s, Contracts, Knowledge Base Articles, the Service Calendar, and more.

As it has always been with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in Microsoft Dynamics 365 you still have the ability to configure all of the out of the box entities, as well create new ones to fit your specific business needs. Need help with this or anything covered in this blog? Feel free to contact us and we would love to partner with you!

About Ryan Talsma:
Ryan Talsma is the CRM Product Manager at InterDyn BMI, who has previously spent time as a functional, technical, and support consultant. Ryan has extensive experience in CRM installs, upgrades, IFD/AD FS implementations, JavaScript, workflows, solution architecture, and implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM/Dynamics 365 Online as well as On Premise. 
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