A Quick Guide To Omnichannel for Customer Service

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Omnichannel for Customer Service is an add-on for Dynamics 365 Customer Service featuring live chat capabilities to help agents resolve issues online.

These include contextual customer identification, real-time alerts and knowledge integration to increase the value of self-service web portals. Additional features include routing and a work distribution engine to configure agent presence, availability, and routing rules through Dynamics 365.


This is a paid add-on for Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise and is licensed for each chat user. An active subscription of Chat for Dynamics 365 Customer Service and a subscription to D365 Customer Service Enterprise must be in the tenant for each Chat user.

Extended Omnichannel capabilities for SMS engagement and Facebook messaging are available with a Dynamics 365 for Digital Messaging licence. In this post we are focusing on the live chat features delivered through Chat for D365 Customer Service.

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Within each chat session, agents are able to capture notes in a separate pane. These entries are recorded on the conversation record and tracked to the associated contact, case or other record type.

Within a chat session, agents can search and share contextual knowledge base articles to help customers find answers and resolve issues. Clicking the knowledge tab opens the search dialog to match relevant posts by keywords.


Chat Widget Design

With the Omnichannel Administration App, admins can create a new chat widget to generate HTML code that will display the chat on a portal, or other website.

Settings include options for a widget icon, colour theme and a title for the widget. This can also be configured to display the widget during defined operating hours only.

Other settings include permissions to allow or prevent files being sent as attachments during chat sessions by agents or customers, and enable chat transcripts to be emailed or downloaded.

Transcripts of each chat will be saved to the conversation record. This provides a history of each live chat session including a timeline and details of any transfers to other agents or escalations.

Chat widget

Proactive Chat

Rules can be configured that will automatically invite customers to a chat session. This can be accepted or closed, or prompts will automatically close after 1 minute.

Pre-Chat Surveys

A survey can be configured that will be shown to users before the chat session is started. This enables up to 5 questions to be asked in a pre-chat survey and these responses can be used to search for details in records and display results. For example, on an account or contact, a search will be performed on name, email or phone fields and for cases, a search can also be run using the case number field.

When new conversation requests are received, agents will see notifications containing contextual detail including any matched customer or case data.

Authenticated chat is enabled when portal users are logged in as user details will be used to search and display contact detail in the customer summary page. A pre-chat survey can still be used to identify specific case records.

For a new, or unauthenticated contact, agents can create new accounts / contacts or search for an existing record within the conversation record.


Work Streams

A work stream combines routing and distribution settings to define how conversations should be routed to queues and allocated to agents within a queue. In Omnichannel for Customer Service, individual work streams can be created for live chat as well as other channels including SMS.

Work distribution defines how agents can take up a conversation. This will be either in Push mode where conversations are directed to agents automatically by screen-pop, or Pick mode where agents manually open chat requests and automatic invites.

Working with Virtual Agents

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents enables chat bots to be deployed that will automate routine conversations. Chat sessions can initially be handled by a bot and then handed over to a human agent using live chat in Omnichannel for Customer Service. In this scenario, a full transcript of the earlier bot conversation will be shown when a bot is added to a one, or more, queues.

Skill Based Routing

Through skill-based routing, conversations are distributed to an agent who is best-qualified to solve the issue. This is especially relevant if a diversity of issues are raised in online sessions, or if chats will be across multiple products and languages.

In these scenarios, when customers start an online chat, skill attachment rules and routing rules will direct the conversation to the relevant defined queue. Within the work distribution system, the identified skills required will be matched to available agents. Conversations will then be automatically assigned when an exact match, or the closest match, is found.

Skills and other data that drives routing rules in Omnichannel for Customer Service will be shared across Dynamics 365 and other model-driven apps in an environment.

Evaluating Omnichannel for Customer Service

A 30-day trial of these channels can be activated through trials.dynamics.com or via the Microsoft 365 admin center.


The chat capabilities featured in this post are available with either of the following licences (also requires D365 Customer Service Enterprise)

  • Chat for Dynamics 365 Customer Service @ £45.20+VAT (USD 60) per user / month
  • Digital Messaging @ £56.60+VAT (USD 75) per user / month

Power BI Reporting

Supervisor reporting is also available covering Omnichannel Intraday Insights, Chat Insights and Sentiment Insights Dashboards. These require a Power BI Pro licence or higher for each individual in a Supervisor role.

Demonstrating Omnichannel for Customer Service - Chat Capabilities

Want to effectively handle all inquiries coming from your web chats? Watch our demonstration on how to use functionality such as queues, transfers and agent skill sets to ensure the right person is dealing with the customer service case.

Next Steps

Contact Preact to learn more about Omnichannel for Customer Service. We'll answer your questions, provide a demonstration and discuss how this solution can be deployed within your organisation to enhance your service delivery.

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