Microsoft Dynamics 365Microsoft describes a Community Portal as, “a starter portal that is meant to be used as a platform for an online community.”

Often, they’re used for services of the same organization. They might be used for a local city council, for example.

Community Portals consist of two important channels: Self-Service and Assisted Service.

Self-Service allows the customer to assist themselves without the help of your organization. Zendesk reports that “67% of customers prefer self-service portals to live assistants today.”

That’s a number that shouldn’t be ignored. Self-service portals give your customers access to:

  • Knowledgebase articles
  • Blog posts that share relevant information
  • Advanced search across your website

In addition, Assisted Service helps customer service agents:

  • Submit cases and tickets via configurable web forms
  • Review, update and comment on existing cases
  • And participate in discussion and community forums

These two elements create a collaborative and efficient online space for the customer and organization alike.

They allow visitors to access:


Forums

These “allow members of a particular community with common interests to post questions, start discussions or ask for help.”

Your team can set up and configure them using the Dynamics 365 Portal App. (We will cover step-by-step instructions for setting this up in a future blog.)

Forums help communities interact with each other by asking questions, starting discussions, or seeking help.

In Microsoft Dynamics 265, they support multi-lingual deployments and can even be language-agnostic or linked to a specific language. This helps you be inclusive as a brand and expand your local presence to a global base.

Forums are also available on the Community, Customer Self-Service, Employee Self-Service, and Partner Portals.


You can learn even more about them when you start unit two of this Microsoft Learn path yourself. 


Blogs

This Community Portal feature allows members of the online community to post blogs.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you can also configure this feature to allow for authentication, unauthenticated, moderated, and unmoderated comments in the blog section.

An engaging blog goes a long way in the story of your organization’s short and long-term success. Here, you can engage your community and promote different products or services in relevant CTAs.

With blogs, of course, it’s important to not be overly self-promoting, but serve your community members with proper insight, news, and information surrounding your industry, brand, product, and services in the most interesting ways. Remember, you’re writing for them, not at them.

Microsoft elaborates upon more benefits of Community Portal blogs within this unit.


Ideas

Microsoft says Ideas are “an extension of the Forum feature where it allows members of the public to ‘crowdsource’ particular ideas or suggestions.”

Ideas are available in:

  • Community Portal
  • Customer Self-Service Portal
  • Employee Self-Service Portal

Ideas allow members to easily submit feedback to organizations. Policies for voting and feedback in Ideas are configured from the Dynamics 365 Portal App.

Microsoft provides the example of being to vote up or down for an idea, for example.


Knowledge Articles

Knowledge Articles help “maximize the use of helpful content” by providing users with “the ability to search and surface Knowledge Articles on a Dynamics 365 Portal.”

Knowledge Articles are available on:

  • Community Portal
  • Customer Self-Service Portal
  • Employee Self-Service Portal
  • Partner Portal

Microsoft says organizations can determine “which of its existing Knowledge Articles should be surfaced on the Portal by setting the Internal flag and by associating the Knowledge Article to the appropriate Categories.”

Users can “navigate the category structure to locate a specific Knowledge Article or by using the keyword search features.”


Support Cases

Support cases can be used with:

  • Community Portal
  • Customer Self-Service Portal
  • Employee Self-Service Portal
  • Partner Portal

“Organizations can allow customers to log in to the portal and begin the support process by first seeing if the particular question or issue can be resolved with existing information in Forum posts or Knowledge Articles.”

Support cases enable customer service reps to solve customer issues and concerns with more efficiency, accuracy, and seamlessness.


This really just touches the surface of what each of these features can do in Community Portals and beyond.

Learn more about Community Portals and its features when you start with Microsoft Learn here.


If you need help navigating your Microsoft Dynamics 365 system, reach out to Ledgeview’s CRM support team for help.

Learn more about Ledgeview’s Customer Service ConsultingMicrosoft Dynamics 365 Consulting, and CRM Support Services here.


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