Customer Engagement & Dynamics CRM Forum


By Dian Taylor posted Sep 15, 2020 12:49 PM


In July 2020 the release notes for wave 2 came out for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform and on August 3rd we were able to enable these features for early access. In last week’s article I wrote the first half of enhancements and new features for Dynamics 365 Customer Service. If you haven’t read that article yet, you can do so here. In today’s article I’ll discuss the second and final half of Dynamics 365 Customer Service features and updates.
The topics I’ll discuss are:

  • Analytics and Insights Settings
  • Legacy Scheduling
  • Knowledge Articles
  • Multi-session Forms
  • Customer Service Workspace App
  • Smart Assist

Analytics and Insights Settings

There are two Analytics and Insights areas in the Customer Service Hub, one in the Service area and one in the Service Management area. I am discussing the section in the Service Management area under Analytics and Insights. We were already able to turn on the Insights reports from here, but now Suggestions has been added here too. Suggestions is an AI feature which helps resolve cases faster through AI-suggested knowledge base articles and similar cases in the new Customer Service Workspace app. You can read the details under the ‘Customer Service Workspace app’ section below. Keep in mind, all of these features are in preview.

Suggestions Settings

Legacy Scheduling

In this release the legacy scheduling experience has also been moved to the unified interface. When changing the area picker to ‘Scheduling’ you’ll see that all the scheduling entities are now accessible here. The entities that were brought over are:

  • Facilities/Equipment
  • Resource Groups
  • Service
  • Service Activity
  • Sites
  • Service Calendar
  • Search Availability

Knowledge Articles

The editing experience for KB Articles has been enhanced in this release. There are several formatting features that have been added to the formatting bar on the content area; subscript, text direction from left to right and right to left, superscript and several experiences haven been improved; anchor icons, change div container and embedding media in an article. The message that showed on a preview tab ‘This content was not generated by Microsoft and may not be secure‘ has been removed. You’ll also notice that some of the icons look a bit fresher than before and the undo buttons have moved below. Another feature that has been added to is the ability to configure sections in an article to be collapsible. This will allow users to only access the content of the article that is important to them. Lastly I noticed that the KB control on my case form has been updated a bit as well. There are now 3 icons/actions instead of 5 and the icons look fresher. The ‘copy link to article’ and ‘link this article to case and email customer’ actions have been removed. ‘Link article to case’,’Pop out the article in a new window’ and ‘Email to customer’ are what remain. I have to say it does look a lot cleaner this way.

Multi-session forms

While researching these features I noticed one new dashboard (Customer Service Agent Dashboard) and several new types of forms added to the application. There are currently three entities for which these forms are available: the account, contact and case entities. When you look at the name of these forms (I.E Account for multi-session experience) you would think they allow us to enable multi-sessions for certain records in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, but that is not the case. These forms have been ‘cleaned up’ a bit by removing the reference panel so there is more room on the page for the productivity pane (see customer service workspace app below) and some other fields were moved around. So this means that you can use any form and you don’t have to use the new forms. Ok, but what does ‘multi-session’ mean? Anyone who has seen the add-on Omnichannel for Customer Service knows what I am referring to as this is the only other app that has the ability to use multi-sessions. Multi-sessions is the ability to have multiple sessions happening at the same time. These sessions will open on the left side of the screen as shown in the screen shot below. This way agents can very quickly navigate to different records/sessions.

NOTE: Currently the only two apps that allow for multi-sessions are the Omnichannel app and the new Customer Service Workspace app and there is not a way today to enable multi-session behavior in other apps. Microsoft is working on this, but there is no date when this will be ready as of yet.

Customer Service Workspace App

In this release there is a new app available, but keep in mind this is a preview feature and therefor not ready for production as of yet. (Maybe that’s also why it wasn’t behaving as I expected) This app already has the previous forms and dashboards mentioned above enabled. When you log into the app you should see the new ‘Customer Service Agent Dashboard’ on the (3) main/home screen, unless a different dashboard was configured as the default dashboard. If this is the case, you can use the dashboard picker to select the new dashboard. When you hold the shift key and click on a (1)record link, a (2)new session will open on the left side of the screen. Users can navigate between sessions by clicking on the tabs. To return to the main page users can click the (4) home button. When the +icon(5) is clicked users can pick a different entity and a new tab will open on the top (6) of the screen. You can also click the CTRL button and click a record link to open a record in a top tab vs a side tab/session.

Customer Service Workspace App

Smart Assist

When logging into the Customer Service Workspace app you’ll also notice the (7)smart assist pane at the right side of the screen. This pane can be expanded to show Smart Assist. Smart Assist will host a productivity pane which will suggest intelligence-driven knowledge base articles that could be relevant to the case an agent is working on and/or other cases which could be similar to the case at hand. This productivity pane is also in preview. During this preview, the productivity pane is automatically enabled. Users will see Smart Assist when opening a case as a new session, however, and administrator will need to enable AI-suggested similar cases and knowledge articles, which is another preview feature. You can turn this on by navigating to the ‘Service Management’ area in the Customer Service Hub app and clicking ‘Settings’ under Analytics and Insights. Microsoft will continue to add functionality to this pane to help customer service agents be more productive.

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