It is fairly regular that you will be navigating the internet to then come across a pop up on the side of your screen asking you if you require assistance. This live support functionality is designed to capture needs right as they happen or very shortly after so if your having a problem, such as not being able to find what your looking for, you can ask immediately without having to email a support ticket and then wait and manage the response. Your query will be actioned much quicker and by doing so the query or issue you have is likely to not have escalated or gotten more critical from waiting in a telephone queue or a week for a response from a ticket. This approach has lots of business advantages too, as it means support queues can be kept to a minimum and customer service agents are not under so much pressure, ensuring they deliver a fantastic level of service all whilst keeping in their SLA.

I’ve used this functionality not long ago on the Lootcrate website, An item was missing from my box. Whilst I was looking for the email address to submit a support query the live chat popped up asking me if i needed help, and in almost next to no time of me reporting the problem, an agent (Hannah) was on the other end of the IM asking me for my details and resolving my problem in about, i’d say 10 minutes. I was emailed the chat conversation for my records. This is where I believe the difference is between customer experience, and customer service. Yes, I received great customer service on that specific occasion, but now I’ve had that, the experience of the company has increased because they were able to offer me fantastic customer service which suited my needs because I don’t have time to call and sometimes I really don’t want to speak to 10 people explaining the problem to each of them. From an emotional point of view, when you are contacting customer service, its normally for a problem, so your going to be annoyed before you have even started writing the email – having someone available straight away at convenience to you helps calm you down as you know someone is looking into resolving your problem right now.

The great news is this functionality is now possible within Dynamics 365 with very little additional effort thanks to CafeX. It can be used with USD and Microsoft Dynamics 365 using Portals. CafeX is, at time of writing, available for a free 30 day trial and installed via AppSource. This post will walk through how to set this functionality up and how to use it once it is.


To set this up, there are a few steps required.

  1. Have a trial which is specifically NOT UK at the moment – this can be EU or US. (UK has not yet been set up for CafeX)
  2. Navigate to Appsource and search for ‘Live Assist’ and you will be able to see the trial available

3. Click ‘Free Trial’, Read the Terms and Conditions. If your happy with them accept them and move forward. You need to have your popup blocker off or subdued for this as a new tab opens.

4. In the new tab, it will ask you to select the instance, read more terms and conditions and if your happy, accept them and agree to the setup. You’ll likely need to authorise the app to use the account and move forward once your happy. It takes about 10 minutes to then set up and you need to wait for the email you should receive will further instructions to tell you your good to go. Whilst your waiting you can set up Portals.

5.  Go to your Applications and go to Portals and click on Manage – follow the steps that I already covered in this blog post to complete the setup (also links to a video walk-through). The time on this can vary between 15 mins to 1 hour and even then it could take longer, so have some patience! (It also depends if you have queued any other applications for install too!)

6. Once your Cafe X trial is ready to be setup, you should get an email with further instructions looking like the one below. Follow the link and authorise the application to use your credentials if your happy to do so. You should then be taken to a dashboard where you see some key metrics about your subscription.

7. Click on ‘Get Started’ in the Dashboard screen which is at the top and click the number ‘2’ on the presentation to be presented with ‘Add the code snippet to Website’ section. (As below). This gives you the code we need to add to our Portal via Dynamics 365 to hook both applications up.

8. Navigating back to Dynamics 365, you’ll likely notice you now have a new expandable sidebar to the right of the screen, similar to Charts. Its not linked up to anything yet, which is the next steps. Portals need to have finished installing and have a portal made – either have a custom one or a templated one ready to use. I used the Customer-Self-Service.

9. Navigate to your Website, and then the Header page of your site. You need to paste the code from the CafeX site in the earlier step (which you can simply click the quick link ‘Copy’) and paste it into the top of the header page, as below.



10. You should now be able to navigate to your portal site and see a ‘Live Chat’ popup on the side of the page (as below).

11. This is where it gets exciting, and when your testing this out (which I think its important to do) you can experience it from the perspective of the two different roles – the user from the website (referred to as the ‘Customer’) and the Customer Service Agent from Dynamics 365 (referred to as the ‘Agent’).

Cafe X Live Assist Functionality Walk-through

You’ll notice when, as a Customer, you click on the popup via the portal, you’ll get the window below. In Dynamics 365, an Agent will immediately see a notification in the right hand bar letting them know there is a message waiting to be responded to which they can click to expand. Once the Agent has opened the chat window there is an automatic response to tell the Customer that they are chatting with – Sarah – for example.

The Chat window which opens when a Customer clicks it for the first time

The Dynamics 365 Live Assist Sidebar

The new chat window begins and starts the chat by notifying the Customer which Agent they are now connected with

What the Customer sees when the Agent has opened the chat window in Dynamics 365

12. The Agent posts a message in the chat window which immediately appears on the customer’s screen. A dialog is started to find out what the agent can to do help the customer.

The Agent begins talking to the Customer within Dynamics 365

How the Agents message appears to the Customer

13. If there are delays in the Agent’s responses, the application automatically posts messages to put the Customer at ease to let them know they are currently working on the problem. It also automatically closes the chat if there is no response for a period of time.

Automatic responses are posted at intervals in times of inactivity from the Agent

How the Agents Auto-Messages appear to the Customer

Customer’s Live Chat Functionality

So that is the general conversation or discussion ability surrounding the Live Chat functionality which is great. Theres even more to this so lets take a look at what functionality the Customer has available to them from the chat menu:

The functionality a Customer has during Live Assist

They can :

  • Email their transcript
  • Print their transcript
  • Mute the notifications
  • Pop the window out if they are doing more than one thing
  • End the Conversation.

These are all good things and standard functionality you’d expect from a chat application. The email transcript comes through very quickly and is nicely formatted.

The emailed chat transcript requested by a Customer in Live Assist

Agent’s Live Chat Functionality

The next part is to take a look how the Customer Service Agent can use this functionality and what kind of customer service they can provide from the functionality. This is summarised below:

  • CoBrowse
  • Browse the User’s information e.g. brower, location, page history and chat history
  • Use Canned Messages
  • Knowledge Article Search with last chat input to text
  • Transfer to another Agent
  • Open up Chat activity in Dynamics
  • Create a Case in Dynamics

Toolbar from within Live Assist menu within Dynamics 365


The first one to look at is the CoBrowse. This is functionality that allows a user to request to see the user’s screen and to walk them through what they are trying to achieve in a number of different ways – either by highlighting or circling the screen, clicking through, or using mouse pointer to show them specific areas.

Click the blue button in the top right of the conversation within Dynamics to launch a CoBrowse session request

The Customer will receive a request to then either Accept or Reject

The Agent would click the blue screen button at the top of their chat window to request the user to a CoBrowse Session which the user would need to accept. Once accepted, a popup loads with a screen share of the user’s window with a toolbar at the top. This toolbar allows you to annotate the screen, point and click or click through links to show the Customer what they require.  The video below is a short walk-through of that functionality.

To end the CoBrowse session, click the red button on the toolbar to stop screensharing.

Visitor Information

Agents have lots of other functionality available to them, including the ability to look at a visitors information:

Displays basic information about the Customer in the chat window

Click ‘View More’ to expand to a full-page view which gives the Page Navigation History and the Chat History of the Visitor.

Knowledge Article Search

Agents can search for Knowledge Articles on the fly, with the last text input by the Customer being automatically added into the search bar for you. This is accessed with the Knowledge Article button in the toolbar. You can remove the search term and search for other articles if you wish and also change the sorting options (e.g. Relevance, Newest first etc).

Canned Messages

They can also automatically use Canned Messages which are pre-written messages for common scenarios.

Examples of Canned Messages

Open Chat Activity record

An Agent can open the Chat Activity that is automatically created when a user begins a new chat. This is automatically populated with information already for reporting purposes including the chat transcript and the ID to see the chat again. This is automatically closed as ‘Completed’ when the chat is closed.

In Progress Chat Activity record

Completed Chat Activity record

Transfer to another Agent

The Agent can transfer to another Agent who may be better equipped to manage the customers queries or is useful in instances of escalation to management.

Transfer to another Agent

Create a Case within Dynamics 365

The Agent can create a case directly from the toolbar itself and start completing the data whilst the customer is still within live chat.

Create a Case directly from a Live Chat conversation to log the support query and make follow up actions if required

I hope that gets you started with the Cafe X Live Assist functionality with Microsoft Portals and has given a well rounded overview of the functionality from both a Customer’s and an Agent’s perspective. Any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you.