Tip #1006: Case management vs. ticket management in Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 customer service functionality includes case management, which is used for a wide variety of purposes. Many companies use Dynamics 365 for management of incidents (cases), which can be everything from a service issue, a customer complaint, or a request. Dynamics 365 cases have rich functionality, just a few examples:

  • Hierarchical parent/child cases
  • Queues
  • Rules-based routing
  • Automatic creation from email and other sources
  • SLA enforcement and escalation
  • Support for complex branching processes
  • Entitlement management to enforce service contract allowances

Dynamics 365 can handle very complex case management scenarios. But what about more simple scenarios, such as ticket management.

Note–different industries and standards organizations like ITIL have precise definitions around terms like incident, ticket, request. The definition used for case and ticket in this post are based on common usage, not any specific industry definition.

While “ticket” and “case” are frequently used interchangeably, they generally describe slightly different things. Tickets are frequently closed quickly, have fewer details than a case, and are email (or other message) centric. A common workflow for a ticket is:

  1. Request received from customer
  2. Ticket created
  3. Ticket assigned
  4. Agent resolves issue
  5. Agent responds to request
  6. Ticket is closed

Common systems used for ticket management include ServiceNow and ZenDesk.

Simple cases may follow a similar workflow as tickets, but for more complex issues, a case can be open for a much longer time, include more people, and have more steps. Dynamics 365 is built to handle very complex case scenarios.

But is CRM a good fit for more simple ticket management? The answer is yes, it can be, if you configure it correctly. The standard case configuration may seem cumbersome if you mainly manage simple tickets, but with a little bit of configuration, it can be a great fit for ticket management

The following are some tips for how to simplify the CRM Case entity for simple ticket management. Special thanks to Leon Tribe for his input on this tip:

  • Remove the stuff you don’t need. Doing tickets for internal helpdesk and don’t need entitlements? Turn it off and remove it from the form.
  • If most of your tickets are closed in one step, turn off business process flow for cases.
  • One complaint about CRM cases in email-centric ticketing processes is that the original email can get lost in the noise of the activity pane on the case form. Especially if you have processes sending emails to clients when cases are created or updated, if the agent wants to easily respond to the original email from the client, it can be hard to find it among all of the other case activity history. To make it easier for the agent to respond to the client’s email, add a subgrid of email records with a view filtered to exclude emails sent from the account that sends the case notification emails. This makes it very easy to locate the original email and respond to it. When you do so, the response email will be automatically linked to the case.
  • If most tickets are closed in one step, add case resolution fields to the case form, and have a workflow close the case when these fields are populated. While this only saves a few seconds per case, in a busy helpdesk, this can be a significant timesaver.
  • Want auto-text that the agent can insert to an email response and make some quick edits to send to client? Knowlege base articles or email templates can provide this functionality.

Do you have any other recommendations on how to simplify Dynamics 365 cases to better fit simple ticket management scenarios? Leave them in the comments.


3 thoughts on “Tip #1006: Case management vs. ticket management in Dynamics 365

  1. Albert says:

    I think that the first thing would be setup mailboxes to incoming emails and probably add some record creation and update rule

  2. Haris Pasic says:

    A close case radio button (or other type of field) on the activity object within the case: When a value is set it can automatically resolve the case.

  3. Will says:

    Can you have both cases & tickets in one Dynamics instance?

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