Recently we implemented a helpdesk case management system for our customer who also had requirement for tracking billable & non-billable time spent on support cases. In these series of blogs, we present to you a simple approach on how to track time for support cases that we implemented through CRM configuration (no custom development).

For businesses that charge their customers for support based on time spent, keeping track of time-spent on cases is a vital functionality. Besides this can also provide great insights such as:

  • Billable vs non-billable hours
  • Which cases are requiring more time
  • Which support agents require more time for particular category of cases, etc.

For more information on business benefits of tracking time for support cases, refer blog: Why you need to track time for support cases – when using Dynamics 365 for Customer Service CRM.

In this blog, we will go through the available out-of-box options for tracking billable time spent on cases and understand the limitations:

When you click the “Resolve Case” button on case form: a popup “Case resolution” form opens up as shown in screenshot below:

Here, “Total Time” is calculated as sum of time spent on all activities that are tracked against the case. The time spent needs to be entered in “Duration” field of each tracked activity record.

In “Billable Time” field, you need to manually enter the total billable time spent on the case.

Points to note:

  1. This billable time is not stored in Case record but in a related “Case resolution activity” record.
  2. Non-Billable time or total time is not stored anywhere.

Limitations of present case time tracking functionality:

Not able to track time spent on case on per agent basis:
If you have multiple agents working on the case, then you would need to track time spent by each agent. However there is no option to specify multiple billable times across the case. You can only enter total billable time when resolving the case.

Can’t add any additional meta-data information when tracking support time (eg scenario: need to store category of tracked-time which could be: Consulting / Std. support / Chat support etc. This would be useful when invoicing the customer for time spent on support):
When resolving the case, agent has option to specify only the billable time. This field is shown in the case resolution form which cannot be customized. Hence user will not be able to enter any other information regarding the time being tracked.

Unable to generate any useful report
Since out-of-box only billable time is stored without any other information, it is not possible to do any meaningful analysis of time spent by support team on cases. Besides this, billable time is stored in a seperate related entity called as “Case Resolution activity”…hence generating report is difficult.

Solution: We designed a solution which could be achieved entirely by configuration (NO CODE APPROACH). For solution details, refer my next blog: Solution for tracking billable and non-billable times spent on support cases – No Code Approach for Dynamics 365 for Customer Service CRM.