If you have strong applied knowledge of Customer Service, along with experience implementing Dynamics 365 omnichannel solutions that focus on service, quality, reliability, efficiency, and customer satisfaction, the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate certification could be a great fit for you. In addition, this certification demonstrates that you know how to collaborate with a customer engagement administrator to implement and upgrade Microsoft Power Platform components, including knowledge management, customer feedback, and connected services.
A Microsoft Certification validates to the world that you have these skills—whether you’re just starting out, looking to use your functional consultant prowess to advance your career, or wanting to take your career journey in a new direction.
Companies are searching for new automated solutions for their customers. In today’s tech workforce, there’s great demand for employees and consultants who can adapt innovations that bring better and faster customer experiences. The Microsoft approach to certification focuses on building a strong learning culture and encouraging learners on their journey. This drives tech intensity. A Microsoft white paper on role-based tech training and certifications reports that 91 percent of IT professionals with certifications believe that the effort employees put into acquiring new skills strongly contributes to their success in digital transformation.
You can add your certifications to your résumé and your LinkedIn page to alert organizations to your expertise. In this post in our series on discovering your career path, we look at the benefits of earning the Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate certification. Plus, we suggest other certifications that can be useful for functional consultants who want to call attention to their broad variety of professional skills.
You fit the profile for this certification if you’re a functional consultant responsible for configuring and implementing Dynamics 365 Customer Service solutions for customers. You can use this certification to shine a light on your skills and to help advance your career.
As a functional consultant, you know how to work with project managers, developers, and solution architects. For this certification, you need a minimum of one to three years of experience as a functional consultant implementing Dynamics 365.
The functional consultant with Customer Service expertise must have significant experience in meeting user needs through Dynamics 365 Customer Service, including in-depth understanding of cases, knowledge management, queues, entitlements, resource scheduling, service-level agreements (SLAs), visualizations, connected services, Customer Service Insights, Power Virtual Agents, and Omnichannel for Customer Service. Their knowledge should include a comprehensive understanding of the Customer Service application's role in relationship to the Dynamics 365 suite of applications, along with a basic understanding of the solution architecture and quality assurance.
In this role, you need experience with both Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365, so you must pass two exams to earn this certification:
If you’re relatively new to the workforce, having a certification on your résumé can set you apart. You know that organizations need to keep pace with the digital transformation trend. A certification tells employers that you’ve studied for and passed an exam for specific skill sets and that you’re ready to keep learning, regardless of where you are on your career path. It’s a way to distinguish yourself from colleagues who don’t have certifications. The Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report found that IT professionals with certifications, on average, earn more than their peers without any.
Interestingly, the survey found that the more certifications a professional holds, the higher their average salary. In fact, 12 percent of individuals who received a raise attribute it to new skills. IT professionals who obtained a new certification saw their salary increase nearly $13,000. Dynamics 365 certifications are popular—80 percent of respondents in the 2020–2021 Microsoft Dynamics Salary Survey from Nigel Frank believe that Dynamics 365 certifications are important for increasing earning potential. Plus, 74 percent listed “understanding business models” and “having business acumen” as hard skills that would make them more attractive to employers.
In the Pearson VUE Value of IT Certification report, professionals list their top reasons for certification as improving professional standing, increasing technical knowledge, and increasing their chances of a salary increase. Plus, 67 percent of the respondents indicate greater self-confidence in their abilities, and 55 percent note that the knowledge they gained was transferable to actual work situations.
Depending on where you want to take your career, consider investigating the different Microsoft Certifications available to you. They signal that you have the skills that organizations are looking for when they hire and advance employees. Certification, combined with your expertise and experience, can help you take the next step in your career.
If you’re interested in the Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant certification, your skill set might also be a great fit for the Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Field Service Functional Consultant Associate certification (pass Exam PL-200 and Exam MB-240).
Another a great way to call attention to the breadth of your Microsoft Power Platform abilities is to get the fundamentals certification. Check out Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Fundamentals (pass Exam PL-900). This baseline certification proves your flexibility in using Microsoft Power Platform skills to help improve your team’s productivity.
If you’re familiar with business operations and customer relationship management (CRM), and you’re IT savvy, explore this fundamentals certification: Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (CRM) (pass Exam MB-910).
If you want to use your skills to open up your career options, consider exploring other Dynamics 365 associate certifications:
Depending on the depth of your experience and interest, when you’re ready, a next step might be to pursue an advanced certification for solution architects, such as Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Solution Architect Expert (complete a prerequisite and pass Exam PL-600).
Sensitivity to customer needs, a drive to innovate, and technical skills characterize Customer Service functional consultants. You’re inspired to solve problems, and you have experience working on teams that focus on creating and implementing experiences that benefit your organization’s customers by providing them convenient and fast solutions.
However, if you don’t feel ready to take the two required exams just yet, we have a few suggestions for you. Try working on a Dynamics 365 Customer Service implementation project. Or you might work with a functional consultant who regularly uses Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Be strategic about taking your two required exams. One approach would be to focus on first passing the required exam that fits your skill set best. Just by reading this blog post, you’ve probably noted that Exam PL-200 is a paired requirement for this certification and several others, so it might be a good exam to take first. Find more support by exploring training opportunities or taking an instructor-led course. No matter where you are on your journey, we have training that can help you get underway.
To get started with this certification, check out our Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate certification journey map. You can also find the journey map in the resources section on the Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate certification and exam pages.
To map out your journey, follow the sequence on the Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate journey map. Start at the beginning by deciding whether this certification is a good fit for you.
Next, choose the training you’ll need to be prepared. To understand what you’ll be measured on when you take the two required exams, review the Exam PL-200 skills outline guide and the Exam MB-230 skills outline guide on their respective exam pages. Then sign up for the training that fits your learning style and experience:
After you pass the actual exams and earn your certification, you can continue to add to your technical expertise by taking one of the other certifications described in this blog post or by exploring other certification offerings. Consider our associate and expert certifications when you aim for the next milestones on your career journey. Use this diagram to map out the possibilities: Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 certification paths.
Join other Customer Service functional consultants in a community! Share your career journey with colleagues who have similar interests in Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 technologies. Here are some places where you can share and gather information and learn from your peers and others.
When you earn a certification or learn a new skill, celebrate your accomplishment with your network. It often takes less than a minute to update your LinkedIn profile and share your achievements, highlight your skills, and help boost your career potential. Here’s how:
When your Dynamics 365 Customer Service Functional Consultant Associate certification expires, we’ve got good news. You can renew your current certifications by passing a free renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn—anytime within six months before your certification expires. For more details, read our blog post, Stay current with in-demand skills through free certification renewals.
Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform resources
Are you ready to validate that you can implement innovative customer connections as the business environment evolves and changes? As a Customer Service functional consultant, you have a passion for providing Customer Service solutions that satisfy customer needs. Certifications signal that you have what it takes to build a new future—for your organization and your customers.
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