MB-230: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service – Automate Cases (Part Two)

I am currently revising for the MB-230 exam. This exam is for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and covers all aspects of customer service. As I revise I plan to publish blog posts that collectively will become a complete revision guide for anyone embarking on the same journey as me. In this post I will begin to discuss the options available to use for case automation.

Part of the skills measured statement relating to case management and case automation is shown below. From this we can see that case automation includes many topics. Including record creation rules, case routing, status reason transitions and more.

I have already covered the following topics in a previous post;

  • Similarity Rules
  • Record Creation and Update Rules
  • Case Routing Rules

In this post I will focus on;

  • Case resolution form
  • Status reason transitions
  • Busines Process flows

Note:
I will leave “Customer Voice” for a further post as that “feels” like a bigger subject that deserves its own post.

Case Resolution Forms

The point of a case is to log and resolve a customer query. Therefore the resolution approach is essential to this process. With previous versions of Dynamics 365 we had just one possible approach to case resolution but we can now customize the resolution process. It will therefore be essential that during your revision you are aware of the options to customize the resolution dialog.

Within the customer service hub you will find the service management area. It is here that we find many options that control the settings connected with customer service. In the “Service Configuration Settings” option you will find the ability to change the case resolution dialog from the standard dialog into a customizable dialog or a quick create dialog.

Standard Dialog

The standard case resolution dialog is shown below. This is the standard approach to case resolution that has existed in Dynamics 365 for many versions. And in many situations will work perfectly well without change.

Customizable dialog

Next we have the customizable case resolution dialog. At first glance it will look very similar to the standard dialog!

However as a developer I can use “make.powerapps.com” to customize the resolution form. So if we navigate to the “Case Resolution” entity you will find the “Information” form. As an example I have created a solution and added the information form of the case resolution entity.

Once done I can now use the Power Apps form editor to make makes to the form. Maybe, for example, I don’t need to see the total time and billable time fields. So I could simply hide them on this information. Once the change is completed and published my case resolution form will behave differently.

Quick create dialog

The final option available is to use the quick create dialog from the case resolution entity. And like the customizable dialog mentioned above a developer could tailor the quick create form as required.

Below you can see an example of the quick create dialog. Notice that the user experience is slightly different but until I customize the quick create form the fields is identical.

Tip: This post from Microsoft includes a description of a possible way we might want to customize the resolution process.

Status Reason Transitions

The is idea of customizing status reason transitions is to enforce a logic in what status values can be assigned next. You may, for example, want to ensure a user can change an “on hold” case to be “In progress” but you may want to prevent the user taking an “on hold” case directly to a resolved state.

Before considering status reason transitions you should ensure you understand the concepts of status and status reason.

  • Status … the status is the “ultimate state” of a record. Typically the values cannot be customized and for most entities just two states exist. (Active and inactive.) Although a case can be “Active”, “Resolved” and “Cancelled”.
  • Status Reason … the status reason field shows the reason for a particular state. For example, an active case can be “In Progress”, “No Hold”, “Waiting for Details” and “Researching”. You can customize the options in the status reason! (Meaning you can add additional reasons as required.)

Status reason transitions allow us to decide which values are available for transition at each reason. This concept might be of particular use if you have created custom status reason values and want to control their behavior.

Below you can see that I have opened my status reason field on the case. It is here that I have customize the options available. I can also use the “edit Status Reason Transitions” option. Importantly notice I am using the classic interface, you may need to be aware of this! As at the time I am creating this blog post I don’t believe you can edit the transition reasons in the newer interface found in “make.powerapps.com”. But luckily we do have a “switch to classic” option which helps in rare situations like this!

Below you can see that I have clicked on edit status reason transitions and I have enabled the feature. Now, for each status reason I can define which reasons can be selected.

For example, with the settings below I can change a case in status “Waiting for Details” to be “Information Provided”, “Cancelled” or “Merged”. But no other state. Therefore before the case can be resolved I would force the user to show that the information has been provided.

This article from Microsoft might be useful when reviewing status reason transitions …. Define status reason transitions with Power Apps – Power Apps | Microsoft Docs

Business Process Flows

Business process flows are a key element of working with cases. Typically, organizations have specific stages in their service management processes. Business process flows can help guide users through the steps to complete each stage.  On a Dynamics 365 record, each stage of the process is represented by a circle.  Additionally, within each stage multiple steps can be found that the user needs to take before they move on to the next stage.  Some of these steps  may be mandatory and need to be completed before the user can navigate to the next stage. (For example: in the identify stage you must enter the customer before moving to the research stage.)

You can see which is the current stage as it has the “double circle” icon. Usefully we can see how long this case has been paused at this stage. Completed stages are marked with a tick.

Clicking on a “stage circle” shows the steps (or fields) which need to be completed before progressing to the next stage in the business process.

The out of the box business process flow on cases includes the following stages / steps;

Stage Steps
Identify Find customer (Mandatory)

Find Contact

Research Assign to Others (Mandatory)
Resolve Mark as resolved

Business processes help to provide a consistent approach to handling cases. They can also contain conditional branches giving the ability to handle multiple scenarios.

You can move forward and backwards in the business process. The active stage is indicated by the position of the “double circle” icon in the process bar. And how long the entire process has been active. In my example above the research stage has been active for just 1 minute, as I have only just move the process forward to that stage.

An out of the box process for management of cases is provided but it can be customized to meet an individual organization’s needs. In fact I would suggest that this process will almost always need to be customized to meet the specific needs of each organization.

Note:
Cases aren’t the only record type that can leverage business process flows, they can be applied nearly any record type in Dynamics 365. It is quite common, for example, to have a business process flow to manage the lead to opportunity cycle.

In the case resolution stage we can use the finish button on the business process flow to stop the timers in the business process flow. Therefore, after actually resolving the case you may want to also use the finish button to halt the business process flow.

Tip:
If you do finish the business process flow and the case is reactivated, you may need to also reactivate the business process flow. If, for example, you need to move the stage back to “Research” now the case is re-opened. You do this from the Process option on the case. (As shown below.)

I suggest that part of your revision should include “playing” with the put of the box business process flow. Try moving cases from stage to stage to understand how this operates in detail. And experiment with finishing and reactivating processes.

You may also want to attempt to customize the business process flow. Below you can see that we have a design screen available at make.powerapps.com. This gives developers that ability to tailor business process flows..

If you wish to find out more about amending business process flows …. you could refer to this post for more information on business process flows.

In this post I have (again) covered loads of detail! This time around case resolution, status reason transitions and business process flows. Your MB 230 revision should include some significant hands on time experimenting with these features. Enjoy!

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