Provide different types of support to your customers

Appropriate roles: See GDAP role guidance | Helpdesk agent

Partners transacting in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) model are trusted advisors to their customers. This trusted advisor relationship includes supporting your customers when they have questions or issues. By providing support to your customers, you have the opportunity to learn more about them and their businesses. Doing so helps you to identify new services and solutions that drive value.

  • Direct bill partners own the customer relationship from end-to-end.

  • Indirect resellers should work with their indirect providers to support customers.

It's expected that you solve problems on behalf of your customers. Your first steps should be to check service health for existing, documented problems. If that doesn't address the customer issue, then you can use your admin privileges to troubleshoot the software, settings, and configuration.

However, there are several categories of issues that you need to hand off to Microsoft to fix:

  • Undocumented problems with services that aren't operating according to service descriptions.
  • Unavailable services
  • Bugs and other irregularities that affect service appearance or operation
  • Large-scale network disruptions
  • Regional issues with multitenant impact

Successful customer communication with Microsoft

In general, we expect all communications with the customer to come from the CSP partner. Because you own the customer billing relationship, Microsoft won't send communications directly to your customers related to their subscriptions.

Microsoft might communicate directly with customers about service incidents or other operational information.

For customers that already have existing commercial relationships with Microsoft, Microsoft continues to communicate directly with them about their non-CSP products and services.

Fulfilling the support requirement

CSP customers can't create support requests themselves. They must contact you for support.

When customers contact you for support, you're required to:

  • Receive incoming support requests from customers.
  • Diagnose issues to the best of your ability.
  • Resolve issues within scope of the baseline support boundaries.

To fulfill your customer support requirement, you can:

  • Resell support from another company.
  • Outsource all or part of the support structure.
  • Set up a structure to provide support directly.

You can charge for all or part of the support that you provide to customers. Be sure to tell customers the types of support you provide, the service hours, contact method, and the pricing if you're charging for support.

Customer self-support through Microsoft 365 admin center or Azure portal

Customers can sign in to Microsoft 365 admin center or Azure portal to manage their own accounts. From these portals they can:

  • View in-product communications and notifications, such as service health information, in the Message Center.
  • Perform all the service configuration and admin tasks as if they purchased directly from Microsoft. These tasks include configuring Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, or other services that they've purchased.

To purchase more subscriptions or cancel their subscriptions, customers should contact their Cloud Solution Provider partner. Customers can't change their own subscriptions directly with Microsoft.

When customers need help with products, they can find product resources on Support. We encourage partners to point their customers to these resources as a first step.

For technical product support, the customer experience in both Microsoft 365 & Azure Portals redirects the customer to contact their Partner of record. The contact details are displayed in the Microsoft 365 Portal from the customer support profile in the legal information.