Microsoft Dynamics 365 2022 Review: Features, Pricing and More

If you were looking for information on Microsoft Parature, you’ve come to the right place: support for this tool dropped in 2018 and all functionality was transferred to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

The “365” refers to the new direction that Microsoft has taken in recent years to move all of its software products to the SaaS (software as a service) model. This enables cloud-based features including live updates, cloud storage, and better team collaboration.

So this is a review of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, a product line of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications, and specifically the customer support features it offers. .

Who is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for?

Like most Microsoft products, Dynamics 365 works well on its own but thrives when connected to the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem. This software infrastructure is expensive on its own, but Dynamics 365 is particularly expensive with plans starting at $50/month, per user.

Although the price is steep, the advantages of Dynamics 365 are many, including the long list of features, streamlined functionality, and relatively shallow learning curve.

This tool is more suitable for enterprise users than small businesses, as the latter will not be able to use Dynamics 365 to its full potential.

Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Issue Tracking

  • Problem management: Dynamics 365 lets you view, search, update, and interact with issue task tickets.
  • Email to ticket: Dynamics 365 converts request and problem email submissions into support tickets.

service desk

  • Self-service portal: Allows end users to access their support tickets to track the progress of solutions and check for outages and other updates.
  • Live chat on website: Dynamics 365 will handle all live discussions with end users so you can provide quick solutions without relying on the formal ticket submission system.
  • Call handling: Make and track your service calls (voice or video) within the Dynamics 365 platform.

Content management

  • Knowledge base management: Manage all support articles and release notes through Dynamics 365.

Surveillance

  • Reports and analysis: Track and measure support success with the many reporting and analysis tools offered by Dynamics 365.
  • Dashboards : Track service desk activity in real time using detailed Dynamics 365 dashboards.

Additional Features

  • Automatic ticket allocation: Dynamics 365 automatically assigns tickets to available technicians using your own preferred routing method.
  • Custom email request templates: Use standard request templates or create your own custom form to meet any need or problem.

The ease of use of Microsoft Dynamics 365

Wow, what a step up from some of the Microsoft products I’ve used over the years. Microsoft sometimes rubs shoulders with its first successes; it often buys out successful software companies or creates overly complicated competing clones in the market, resulting in disappointing user experience. This is not the case with Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers a clean and smooth operating interface that mirrors what a multi-billion dollar company is capable of creating. Navigation is simple, features are plentiful, and the experience is enjoyable.

Granted, I’m more of an Apple fanboy, but I appreciate the clean, minimalist aesthetic that Microsoft has embraced over the past few years.

Dynamics 365 adopts a quasi-kanban style for one of its workflow options. Image source: author

Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 is a great example of Microsoft doing something right. However, the functionality of this tool is not original. Many design cues come from leading software platforms, but that means you shouldn’t have any problems learning how to use this tool.

Chat requests come through your live chat portal, and agents can accept or reject the customer conversation.

Once you accept the chat, the chat window leads to a chat screen and a chat details page that displays all known customer information, including pre-chat inquiry details, past interactions with that customer, contact information, and the ability to create a new case.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer summary screen with fields for customer, issue, and conversation summary

Your representatives will have the information they need to serve your customers. Image source: author

Dynamics 365.

Once you’ve created a new case for a customer, it’s immediately viewable by other users as part of the department’s workflow. What’s more impressive is the tab system, which lets you manage and hold multiple customer conversations at once.

I’ve seen this feature implemented more frequently recently, and like its convenience in systems like this.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Summary tab feature enabling multiple customer conversations

Tabs are no longer restricted to Internet browsers. The future is now. Image source: author

Dynamics 365.

Depending on the problems of your client, you have several avenues at your disposal. First, if you understand the problem and know the solution, you can communicate it and record your interaction as another successful case.

Second, if you don’t know the answer, you can search your knowledge base directly on file using the knowledge base search feature in the Related section of the dashboard.

Additionally, you can establish Internet of Things (IoT) connections through Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure that will notify you of any technical issues your customer encounters. This will allow you to confirm the issues they are facing and document the problem.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 IOT alert screen showing case details, SLA times and activity

Example of IoT alert in Microsoft Dynamics 365. Image source: author

That’s the beauty of Microsoft 365 products. They talk to each other, and if you dig deep enough into the Microsoft ecosystem, you can create an elegant network of powerful tools. Features like these are more complicated to set up and are outside the immediate purview of using Dynamics 365 for customer service and support.

Dynamics 365 is a very user-friendly and powerful platform that will do just about anything you need it to.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 pricing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers two pricing tiers: Professional and Enterprise, with additional features available at slight price increases.

Unfortunately, some add-on features are only available for the more expensive Enterprise version and not the Professional version, such as SMS messaging and live chat support. I love everything about Dynamics, but why do I have to choose the most expensive pricing tier to enjoy spending even more money on add-ons? It seems strange to me.

  • Professional — $50/month, per user: Unlimited Named Users, Case Management, Knowledge Management, Mobile App, Microsoft Office 365 Integrations, Customer Service Information Integrations, Microsoft Forms Integration
  • Enterprise — $95/month, per user: All previous features, unified service center, built-in intelligence, service gamification, custom apps, workflow automation, digital messaging (SMS, chatbots, etc.) and live chat add-on

This pricing is better suited to large enterprises. Given the lack of a free option, I don’t see many small businesses justifying the cost with so many other affordable options.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 support

Like all Microsoft products, Dynamics 365 offers many support options, including product guides, user forums, FAQs, product update videos, troubleshooting, and email support and by telephone. If there’s one thing Microsoft is good at, it’s customer support.

Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365

The main advantage of Dynamics 365 is the huge Microsoft ecosystem to back it up. This tool works great without it, but to optimize your customer service experience, there are plenty of Microsoft integrations available.

You can run your entire business using only Microsoft products, which is one way to ensure streamlined operation on all fronts.

Second major advantage of Dynamics 365: this tool does not need the ecosystem to function correctly or powerfully. My biggest complaint about Microsoft Project was the lack of capability without the ecosystem, which limited its viability as a standalone product. Dynamics does not have this problem.

Verdict: I’m glad Microsoft can still surprise me

I don’t know why Microsoft called to leave Parature. I never got to use or see the platform, but I’m glad to see it’s been replaced with a quality product. Dynamics 365 is expensive, but it’s a powerful and convenient customer service tool for businesses.

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