In October 2020, Microsoft reported that Microsoft Teams had nearly 115 million daily active users. It’s a great collaboration platform, even more so since most of the payroll has moved to telecommuting. Whether it’s exchanging messages through chats, participating in online meetings through video conferencing, or sharing documents or files within a team, Microsoft Teams is an effective tool that’s easy to use. . However, this platform can offer much more than these basic communication functions.
For Microsoft Development Services With the Power Platform, you can maximize the use of Microsoft Teams to speed up and simplify your daily tasks. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy to automate your processes through the Power Platform app , and any user can do it. There are several out-of-the-box application templates and there is no need to hard-code to set up your process. This app may also be available in the Microsoft Teams mobile app, making it more accessible for your users. In this article, I’ll tell you about some simple automations you can try creating for your users, customers, or employees.
Create virtual agents (chatbots)
Some day-to-day tasks have to be done manually and require many steps, like asking HR a simple question, sending requests and approvals, or reporting a ticket to IT support. All of these repetitive tasks can be automated with Power Virtual Agents . Are you a team administrator and want to create chatbots to answer common questions asked by your employees or colleagues? This feature is for you. Here’s how to create a virtual agent for your team or business.
First, you need to add the Power Virtual Agents app to Microsoft Teams. To do this, select Apps at the bottom of the navigation pane in Microsoft Teams:
In the search box, type power virtual agents and then select the tile that appears. Select Add for me in the description window that appears. The app is added to the navigation pane on the left. You can pin the new app for easier navigation:
Power Virtual Agents
Now that you’ve added the Power Virtual Agents app, you can start building your chatbot. The chatbot must be assigned to a team and each member of this team will be able to use it. If you want other people to be able to use this chatbot, you will need to add those people to the team where you created the virtual agent.
To create the chatbot, open the Power Virtual Agents app you just added. Choose the team in which you want to create the chatbot. Select Create to start building your bot. This process can take time, especially the first time. Once the process is complete, give your chatbot a name and then click the Create button to complete the process.
Now that you’ve created the bot in your team, it’s time to define its logical flow and how it will respond to requests from your users. In Power Virtual Agents, the chatbot will answer questions asked by users based on the topic . You can create topics by customizing the provided templates.
- To create topics, go to the Topics tab in the navigation bar:
- Select New topic:
Define the name, description, and trigger expressions for this topic. The trigger phrase may be the starting question for your users. You can use short phrases and keywords related to the topic. There is no need to over-multiply trigger expressions as the bot can figure out what the user is asking for and associate it with a related topic. You can then save this topic and start creating another one.
Once you’ve set up the topics, it’s time to automate the process. You can set conversation flow or set auto-reply for your topics. Navigate to the topics you created and click Go to authoring canvas:
The authoring canvas lets you define the flow of conversation for your topic. You can use automatically created nodes that you have modified or add a new node by clicking on the plus sign (+). Here are five options for defining the conversation flow your bot will use to respond to your topics:
Ask a question: You can let your users ask questions. This is either a multiple choice question or a field where they can enter their request.
Add Condition: You can add branching logic based on variables. These variables allow you to save the responses provided by your customers during a conversation with your bot so that you can reuse them in the conversation, such as the username for the variable called UserName .
Call Action: This feature is used when integrating Power Automate workflows.
Display a message: you can answer the user’s question with a message. Power Automate provides basic font formatting options like bold, italic, and numbering.
End with a survey: At the end of the conversation, you can ask the user to answer a questionnaire. Responses will be collected and added to the Customer Satisfaction Analysis page.
Once you have everything set up, you can preview and test your bot to verify that everything is working as expected and make any necessary changes. Once you’ve made sure the bot is working properly, it’s time to release it for your users to enjoy. In the digital age, it is advisable to automate processes that require a lot of steps. By using bots to answer frequently asked questions from your users, you will increase the productivity and efficiency of the whole company.