Getting Started with Dynamics 365 Web Portals


You might know about self-service, considering you are here to read this article. Thanks to that revolutionary feature, we don’t have to take on the traditional approach – calling the customer support agent to cancel or track an order. Not only this, it has become a crucial part considering 88 percent of US respondents want self-service. In comparison, 80 percent of sales are based on engagement, making a platform for collaboration a necessity.

Looking at this, Dynamics launched Dynamics 365 portal to extend the capabilities of businesses further. If you plan to extend your CRM functionalities with Dynamics, this article is for you. Learn all about the Dynamics 365 portal, its types, and how it can help your business before proceeding with the integration.

What is Dynamics 365 Portal

A Dynamics 365 Portal is a way to extend your services beyond websites. It’s a front-end interface that interacts with your Dynamics 365 system and allows access to CRM users and non-CRM users. It provides personalized experiences to your customers, members, and partners. As it’s integrated with the Dynamics 365 system, all the information is directly included in the CRM. You or your portal users don’t have to re-enter the information. Portal allows you to create a wide range of experiences by providing exclusive resources such as sales and marketing information, training and certifications, product and service information, performance management tools, etc. There are various activities that your users can perform with a portal. For example,

  • Customers can generate tickets for incidents and search the knowledge base for articles.
  • Partners can view and manage business opportunities.
  • Employees can focus on trivial tasks by automating the workflow.
  • You can make calculated decisions by tracking everyone’s performance and planning the strategies accordingly.

Likewise, the information and the features help you create long-lasting relationships, close deals effectively and enhance customer experience. It reduces workload and opens up communication and engagement opportunities.

Why Do You Need a Dynamics Portal?

A portal makes it easy for you to interact with your customers and other stakeholders. As communication and data sharing will be on one platform, it will streamline your business processes. The ability to access the portal from anywhere empowers you to expand your services and run business 24*7. This also strengthens your relationship with the customers and stakeholders. You are able to track everyone’s activities and gain insights into the performances and trends. The information helps you better understand your customers, employees, and partners and provide services tailored to their requirements.

With the help of a portal solution, you will be able to manage your team and customers better. The functionalities portal offers help build loyalty and trust. Instead of handling everything manually, you can expose them to the specific CRM data, empowering them to be accountable with the freedom to accomplish their tasks themselves at their own pace. A good example is the profile section, where users can view all their activities, including transaction details, ticket status, etc. This way, you can understand your users’ requirements and work on them. You can promote open dialogue with community forums and create a set of questions to get constructive feedback.

You can provide exceptional services to customers requiring support, give them access to the knowledge base, and enable them to create their own support tickets. With Dynamics 365 portal, you can add value to your business and customer service.

What are the Capabilities of Dynamics 365 Portal

You can use a portal to allow customers to raise their tickets and track their status themselves or simplify your employees’ tasks by automating workflows. There are various things you can do with a portal, such as:

Self-Service

Your customers, partners, and employees can carry out their activities themselves. Say a customer wants to know the status of their ticket. They can know its status through the portal without asking the customer support executive. Similarly, if the support person requires a customers’ information to solve a particular issue, they can view it from their login area, depending on their role and access rights. This way, you can reduce the help requests volume and smoothen the customer service.

Customer Engagement

You can provide a knowledge base targeted to solve portal user queries. It can also show relevant articles to the users based on the keywords they add to the search box. In FAQs, you can include the answers that customers frequently look for. To further enhance engagement, you can include chat options and analytics features and make your customer interaction more convenient.

This means more visibility, improved conversation, and greater awareness. If people like what you do and the services you offer, they are more likely to recommend you to others.

Partner Relationship

In case you collaborate with your partners, a Dynamics partner portal gives you the ability to offer personalized services to your channel partners. Since everything is in one place and accessible to everyone, it builds transparency and strengthens relationships. It smoothens the conversation by allowing you to share essential data from every stakeholder. It lets you give them a space to cultivate their ideas and opportunities.

Vendor Collaboration

Your vendors can manage their orders, invoices and keep track of quantity, delivery dates, etc., in real-time. This is a much-needed feature for businesses looking to improve their supply chain efficiency. With a vendor-specific portal, you can collaborate with your vendors from one single place. They can create orders and track their status through the portal. You can share quotes, accept/reject order requests, and track invoices.

Ticket Management

One of the primary reasons for having a portal is customer service. This feature allows your customers to raise a ticket whenever they have an issue and track its status via a portal. They don’t have to do customer care and ask them to generate one. Apart from that, the portal offers workflow features such as case deflection that makes users search through the existing cases and see if a ticket with a similar issue already exists. In such cases, customers won’t have to generate a new ticket. They can refer to the existing one and solve their issue.

Community Forums

With Dynamics 365 portal, you can create small forums to enhance customer-to-customer or customer-to-service interaction. The interactions can include discussions about products and services or customer suggestions.

There’s a lot more you can do with the Dynamics portal, depending on the type of portal you choose.

Types of Dynamic 365 Portal

  • Dynamics 365 Customer Portal

A customer portal helps your customers serve themselves without manual support. You can provide knowledge base articles to help them find relevant answers. You can also enable them to add ratings and reviews and share feedback to improve the overall experience. Live chat, FAQs, how-to guides, video tutorials, user manuals, etc., are other features you can offer.

  • Employee Portal

With an employee portal, your employees can manage tasks, share knowledge, access resources, and interact with customers and internal teams. They can view FAQs, articles, guides, videos, and more.

HR for Dynamics is an employee portal for HR and managers. Using this portal, your employees can interact with HR regarding leaves, reimbursements, and other details. They can update their bank and other contact details directly from the portal.

For managers, it simplifies their daily tasks. They can access their team’s performance, summary details, leaves, delays, and more in real-time and make timely decisions.

  • Community Portal

A community portal is a place where people can discuss their problems, share ideas, ask for suggestions, collaborate, write blogs, articles, reviews, etc. This type of portal encourages users to promote your brand. Take the Dynamics Community, for example.

  • Partner Portal

Partner portal provides your partners easy access to various components, including orders, invoices, and payment history. They can manage their contract details, update information, and collaborate on a single opportunity with other partners. The information provides insights into deals, leads, opportunities, and more. It makes it easy for them to communicate with you and figure out the issues.

  • Project Service Automation Portal

A Project Service Automation Portal gives your partners a complete view of entities such as assets, agreements, invoices, and orders. You can get this portal with an ERP plan.

Likewise, you can use a Dynamics portal for specific industries like travel, retail, healthcare, finance, and more.

What Features of Dynamics 365 Customer Portals Will Help Your Business?

Wondering whether Dynamics customer portal is right for you or not? Here are a few features Dynamics 365 customer portal can provide you to improve your customer experience.

  • Easy Configuration and Customization

Apart from the basic layout of Dynamics CRM, you and your customers can customize the portal layout based on your preferences. Besides, the stacked and organized elements make navigation smooth. As for the configuration, it is readily available. You have to deploy it and start using it in a few minutes.

  • Ticket Management

As a business owner, your primary goal is to fix your customers’ problems. For that, Dynamics 365 customer portal provides a ticketing system. Your customers can raise their own tickets with it, while your employees can interact with them without sending long emails. It’s easy for you to manage documents, cases, schedules, accounts and save time.

  • Dashboard with BI Integration

The Dynamics portal allows BI integration that will give you all the customer insights on the dashboard.

  • Knowledge Base

Do you find your customers are waiting for you to share the resources they need at every stage? With Dynamics 365 customer portal, you can offer them a knowledge base full of articles, how-to guides, user manuals, FAQs, documentation, videos, etc. At any point during their journey, they can access the resources.

  • Document Management with SharePoint Integration

How do you expect your customers to access or share the required information? You’re mistaken if you expect them to download the assets from email updates. A Dynamics portal provides document management where customers and employees can share documents and collaborate on them. SharePoint integration makes it easy to share documents internally with your employees directly from the portal. It helps collaborate seamlessly.

  • Role-Based Access

Running the business, you know the importance of security. The Dynamics 365 portal ensures that your data is processed and stored securely in one place. Besides, a feature like role-based access limits access to the data. Only authorized users can access the data, and thus there are no data leaks or breaches.

Advantages of Dynamics 365 Portal

The main benefit of the Dynamics 365 customer portal is that it’s easy to start with. Employing it results in better collaboration and engagement with no need to focus on the additional resources. Customers, partners, employees, and every entity, including you, can benefit from the Dynamics portal. You might be thinking about how this is possible. Here are a few ways in which the portal offers your customers better support and a personalized experience:

  • Builds Loyalty

Through the Dynamics 365 portal, your customers and other stakeholders will access all the information they need 24*7. The timely and accurate responses show that you’re responsive to their needs. This increases their loyalty towards you and gives a better chance of retention. With multiple communication channels, you can eliminate the burden of your customers in reaching out to you and waiting for your response.

  • Creates Engaging Relationship

With a customer portal, you can build a long-lasting relationship with your customers by connecting with them all the time. You can help them with training, tutorials, and other personalized information. The in-app chat feature ensures that you are available for your customers all the time.

  • Reduces Margin of Error

Data centralization ensures that the latest version of a document will be available. The accurate data reduces the chances of error and inaccurate documents.

  • Offer Personalized Services

You can gather the data of your customers’ journey and experiences at every touchpoint and provide services they may prefer. You can recommend products and services they might be interested in.

  • Provides Incentives and Rewards

You can offer incentives and rewards to show your customers and partners that they are important. A Dynamics 365 customer portal helps you keep track of their activities and reward them for their loyalty. This is how you can tell them that you care about them and their preferences.

Are you ready to improve your customer service?

A Dynamics 365 portal is a tool that will help you optimize your business process. It will give your customers and partners a better understanding of your business and guide them in the right direction. By empowering them with self-service, you can gain a competitive advantage and give them a better experience. So, what are you waiting for? Bring in the Dynamics 365 portal today!

Author Bio

Mr. Maulik Shah is the founder of CRMJetty, a hub of innovative customer relationship solutions, provides ready to CMS integrate portal solutions for various CRM, including Dynamics 365 portal, Dynamics 365 customer portal. Maulik is a tech enthusiast and writes about the various aspects of e-commerce technology.

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Using the Content Access Level for KB Articles in Customer Self-Service Portal


Suppose we have already configured Portal, created contacts and associated KB article to the Portal.

Now the scenario we want to implement is we want a particular user to have access to all the KB article and another user to only specific KB Articles.

For this, we will make use of Content Access Level concept of the portals.

Content access level can be assigned to KB Article and can also be assigned to the Contact Users.

There are 3 content access levels OOB, we can also create our own content access levels.

We have 2 users in our portal, one user we have assigned Default content access level and to another user, we have assigned Premium Users content access level.

Now let us associate content access level to the KB Article.

If we try to edit the KB Article in the Web, we will be presented with the following information

Let us open the Customer Service Hub

The other challenge we will face here is the default and the only form being displayed inside the Customer Service Hub for the KB Article doesn’t include the section or sub-grid for Content Access Level.

To add the Portal Interactive Experience Form, open the Customer Service Hub app in app designer (Settings à My Apps) and add the form, followed by Publish.

Now let us update our KB Article and associate content access levels.

Now the most important step, enabling the Content Access Levels for the website.

Navigate to Portals à Site Settings and set Value field as True.

With all the required configuration done, let us search for the keyword booking in the portal for both the users.

  • User 1 (on the left)à Default Users CAL and User 2 à Premium Users CAL
  • Booking Travel KB Article à Premium Users CAL.

The article is accessible only to User 2.

Now search for Instruction Manuals and Drivers KB Article which has both Default and Premium Users CAL.

As expected the article is accessible to both the users

More articles on Portals

https://nishantrana.me/2017/03/07/portal-blog-post-list/

Hope it helps..

Hide “Sign in with an external account” from Dynamics 365 Portal


To hide the Sign in with an external account section from the Sign In and Register page of the portal.

Set the following site settings value to false à

Followed by Restart of the portal.

To add any additional JavaScript or HTML, for e.g. we wanted to disable the Email text box on the Register page,

Go to Portals à Content Snippets and create a new code snippet record

The output:-

code

The helpful post –

http://benitezhere.blogspot.ae/2018/01/hiding-sign-in-with-external-account.html

http://arpitmscrmhunt.blogspot.ae/2017/12/customise-registration-page-in-crm.html

Hope it helps..

Hide a Primary Navigation link using Web Page Access Control rule in Portals in Dynamics 365


Say for e.g. we want to hide Test Page navigation link from the Portal for anonymous users and make it visible only for authenticated users.

For this we can create a Web Page Access Control Rule,

Go to Portals à Web Page Access Control Rules and create a new rule as shown below

Select the Website and the web page to be hidden.

For Right, select Restrict Read and in Web Roles add Authenticated Users Web Role.

On refreshing the portal à

For logged in user

For anonymous user

Hope it helps..

Missing Price for Products in The Portal Connector – E Commerce Settings – Dynamics CRM.


Recently we configured products from CRM to e-commerce setting of The Portal Connector and found that the price for the product was missing.

The way to fix this issue is to Open the product form in CRM and add the list price field on the product form and specify the value there.

Once value is specified, go to administration – portal connector configuration and click on Resynchronize to update the product record in the portal.

Once synchronization is done, we can see the values updated in the portal.

Hope it helps..

Using Multiple Choice Matrix and Likert Scape Option Sets in Web Form in Dynamics 365.


Let us continue with our previous example wherein we have already setup a sample Survey Web Form and added a Multi choice Field

https://nishantrana.me/2017/03/06/configuring-multiple-choice-field-for-web-form-in-portal-dynamics-365/

Here we would be making use of Multiple Choice Matrix.

For this first let us create 2 option sets in our Survey Entity. We’d put those field in Step 3 Tab.

  • Here we will use the existing global option set for Likert Scale which is added by the Portal in CRM.

Our first field – FacilityLikert Scale Satisfaction.

Our second field

Below are the different Likert Scale Global Option Set available within CRM added by Portal.

Now in the Survey form we have added a section named “Please Rate” and with the newly created fields inside it.

In the Web Form Step corresponding to the Step 3 tab and we added Web Form Metadata records one for each of the fields.

Style Multiple Choice Matrix
Group Name MCM

Refreshing the page in the Portal shows the option sets as Multi Choice Matrix

Hope it helps..

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