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Power Virtual Agent: What omnichannel in Dynamics 365 Customer Service is all a-“bot”

Written by Martin Hlay, Solution Enablement Lead, Arbela Technologies

If you spent any time at all online today, chances are you encountered a chat bot. Bots are a cost-effective, frontline customer service mechanism, the first channel in omnichannel customer service.

The old-school way of thinking — nobody wants to talk with a bot — is just that: old school, outdated, just about dunzo. Most people know now that a bot is almost always step one in customer service and, often, prevents them from having to wait for a customer service rep by connecting them to the exact resource they need immediately.

Is your business bot-ready yet? If not, well it’s a-bot time you got going. And the great news is that Microsoft Power Platform Power Virtual Agent has just about everything you need to build bots with ZERO CODING. (If you need help getting started, you can always come to one of our workshops.)

Build a bot with no coding

Power Virtual Agent is a great way to get started with virtual bots without the need for coding.

The GUI is very easy to use and understand, which lends itself to a quick creation and deployment process. With a bit of Topic and Keyword creativity, you can have your bot replying, answering questions, and directing your customers to FAQs, portals, or knowledge base articles enabling customer self-service, saving them time and saving you money.

We mention Topic and Keyword creativity, but that’s actually Topic and Keyword functionality. Selecting Topics and Keywords customers are interested in and use (respectively) is step one to “building the conversation” and can only get us so far. With Microsoft’s Power Platform, we can extend this experience to a higher level.

Power Platform encompasses four Microsoft products — Power Apps (Canvas Apps, Model-Driven Apps, and Portals), Power Automate (Flows), Power BI (data analytics), and Power Virtual Agents — that work together to help users access data, automate data processing, manipulate data, and analyze data in a meaningful way for all levels of your business. It also includes an extensive list of connectors to other systems to help create a Dataverse where all of your systems’ data can live.

How do we take our Power Virtual Agent to the next level? We dig into Power Platform and create some Power Automate Flows to interact with our Power Platform Apps and our Dataverse.

Examples speak louder than just words, so let’s begin with a very common one: the sales order.

Example scenario: the bot meets the sales order

It’s great that your Power Virtual Agent can communicate with your customer and offer answers and suggestions, but what if they have a specific question about a sales order?

From within your Power Virtual Agent Topic, you can ask your customer for information about their case or order. Below, we ask for an order number so we can return a status.





Once a customer response is given, you can call an action which includes Inputs, Outputs, and a call to your Power Automate Flow.







The Flow then searches for the Order Number within your sales system and retrieves the Order Status. Once your Flow has finished, it returns Outputs that you can incorporate into a response to your customer.





Rather than simply determining the issue was a sales order and routing the call to a sales rep, Power Platform - the processes it creates and the data sources it taps into - actually SOLVED the issue, and all without a human agent.

Think of all the other flows you could create:

  • Return case status
  • Return next appointment date and time
  • Create an appointment with a Sales Rep or Customer Service Rep
  • Confirm appointment
  • Reorder products

With Power Platform, connecting bots to data sources and workflows, the applications are limited only by your imagination.

Need more information?

Arbela Technologies can answer all your questions regarding Power Virtual Agents and how to extend them to meet your business needs. If you’re interested in Power Virtual Agents or would like more information on Abela’s Dynamics 365 entire Customer Service offering, please contact us.