Microsoft Power Apps Portals with Virtual Agents in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement: Key Takeaways

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With more people working virtually, it is more important than ever to be there for your customers, anywhere, at any time. Empowering people, either inside or outside your organization, to securely access the information they need to engage with your company should be a strategic imperative for any organization. Today there are low code, no code solutions that can unlock a host of business engagement opportunities for employees, business to business partner relationships and end customers.

In this interview, Uma Kaliaperumal, a Senior Software Consultant at Crowe, answers the most frequently asked questions about these powerful solutions.

Ryan: What is Power Apps Portal?  

Uma: PowerApps Portals allow organizations to quickly create branded websites that can be shared with users external to their organization either anonymously or through the login providers such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Microsoft Account, Azure AD and more. The best part is that the web portal is automatically integrated with your Dynamics 365 system. So any information a person submits through the web portal automatically lands in Dynamics 365 where further actions can take place.

Ryan: What are some key selling points and examples of people using Power Apps Portals?

Uma: Now you can build professional grade web portals very rapidly and modernize processes across the organization without expensive web development projects. A lot of challenges can now be solved by deploying simple engagement apps. For example, you could create an employee portal that allows employees to submit time-off requests, or even upload forms related to their health benefits enrollment. We also have bank customers that use the Power Apps Portals to capture borrower information and documentation related to their loan requests.

The new designer interface is also very simple for anyone to use. Microsoft created an end-to-end experience so designers can quickly create a website and customize it with portal pages, define specific layouts, and add a variety of content. We can reuse page designs through templates to save time and add forms and views to securely display key data from Dynamics 365.

Power Virtual Agent

Ryan: What is Power Virtual Agent?

Uma: Power Virtual Agents are intelligent chatbots that can be used with the Power Apps Portals and the Power Platform. They can be used to automatically answer common internal employee or external customer facing questions. These chatbots can be quickly created and deployed using a guided, no-code graphical interface without the need for data scientists or developers.

Ryan: What is key selling point for power virtual agent?

Uma: Power Virtual Agents free up staff to focus on more complex issues. Also, simple and common requests can oftentimes be the highest priority for your customers. If a customer is having a login issue, a typical response could be to highlight some troubleshooting steps. They expect a rapid response to move past their critical issue and if they don’t receive one, they are not going to be happy. Though important, it can be very disrupting if a subject matter expert on the team has to stop helping another customer with a more complex problem to send a common list of login troubleshooting steps. This is where a Virtual Agent comes to the rescue.

Ryan: What are some business use case scenarios for Power Virtual Agent?

Uma: A few scenarios that come to mind would be if you had an e-commerce website and you wanted the virtual agent to provide recommendations based on the time of the year or the specific geography you live in. Checking on certain statuses, for example, product shipping status could be another great example where you can employ a virtual agent. Another great use case would be around seasonal type work or short-term events needing more employees on a temporary basis. Employing virtual agents to temporarily support the increased volume without hiring more staff can not only bolster your bottom line, the increased coverage can positively influence your levels of customer engagement.

Ryan: What are some pain points that Power Virtual Agent solves?

Uma: Organizations that need to do more with less can really take advantage of virtual agents. Even in this ever-increasing global economy, a lot of companies are ill-equipped to handle 24x7 customer support. A virtual agent can fill those coverage gaps. Product knowledge is also difficult to transfer when an employee leaves the company. Training a new employee takes time and can be expensive. You can mitigate this risk through the use of product knowledgebases. A virtual agent can draw upon a product knowledgebase to provide rapid responses that are consistent and thorough. You also don’t need to worry about a virtual agent being impolite because they are having a bad day.

Next Steps:

Many organizations have developed and delivered low-code apps to internal employees with Power Apps. Now, with Power Apps Portals you can build low-code, responsive websites which allow external users to interact with the data stored in the Common Data Service. Think of the many compelling use cases for working with partners, customers, franchisees, and others who are outside your organization. And by adding Power Virtual Agents you can bring a whole new level of customer engagement to your customer experience.

Every day, Crowe is working hard to make it easier for businesses like yours to increase efficiency and drive business transformation by taking advantage of the most advanced technologies out there. Our deep industry specialization – and our long partnership with Microsoft – mean we know how to implement, optimize, and support Microsoft technology to create the greatest impact for your business.

Crowe can tailor Microsoft Dynamics 365 to your business and industry needs.  The Crowe team brings a combination of deep process, industry, and software expertise along with a proven framework for implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365. We work closely with your team to get a detailed understanding of your business and its needs so Microsoft Dynamics 365 works just the way you need it to.

If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Automate contact us today.

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By Ryan Plourde, Crowe, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM 

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