The COVID-19 outbreak has challenged customer service teams to rapidly adapt operations to respond to an influx of volume, particularly in contact centers. When that volume is tied to a time of crisis and your contact center agents are working remotely while responding to new waves of questions and issues, it can be even more challenging to figure out how to set your teams up for success.
We're introducing new tools to help your team continue to deliver exceptional customer experiences while navigating a new way of working. The latest wave of updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Omnichannel for Customer Service, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights includes intelligent and productivity-enhancing features to help your teams stay focused on customer success in any business climate.
Our team has been working fast and furious to get more intelligent and productivity-enhancing features out the door and into your Customer Service environments since our last release wave. The intensity has certainly not let up for this first release of 2020! In addition to the highlighted features detailed below, we invite you to explore the full rundown of updates in the 2020 release wave 1 guide.
The highlights from this release focus on three key areas:
- Expanding customer engagement options within Omnichannel for Customer Service
- Extending proactive customer service with IoT technology
- Further infusing AI into Customer Service with Customer Service Insights
Expanding Omnichannel for Customer Service
We continue to invest heavily in innovations that expand the number of digital communication channels available within our omnichannel experience. To complement the existing channels we already supportsuch as phone, email, Facebook Messenger, and SMSwe are also delivering support through the digital messaging channels customers already use, including WhatsApp, WeChat, Twitter Direct Message, and LINE. These new social channels increase the communication choices available to more than 6 billion users globally.
There are times when an issue can only be resolved by conversing directly with the customer. For these instances, we've added the ability for an agent to elevate a conversation from live chat to a voice or video call easily using familiar buttons like camera on or off, mute or unmute, and end call.
We've also added third-party support of co-browse and remote desktop capabilities. Agents now have the option to view an issue on a customer's device through co-browse for screen sharing, or by accessing the device to commit a fix with remote desktop. Both features enable critical support scenarios and provide another layer of productivity enhancement within Omnichannel for Customer Service.
One of our customers, BYU Pathway-Worldwide, is using the digital messaging capabilities in Dynamics 365 Customer Service to support the increased demand for virtual class environments due to COVID-19. Using the omnichannel engagement capabilities available within Dynamics 365 Customer Service, BYU Pathway has been able to maintain business and educational continuity through this crisis. With the increased demand for virtual class environments due to COVID-19, support is now more critical than ever for its students. Using Customer Service, the University's 120 contact center agents can work from home and continue to provide regular support engagements with no downtime to the over 40,000 student body.
To help your teams quickly adapt to new work environment requirements while continuing to support the increased demand on contact centers during the COVID-19 crisis, we're offering Dynamics 365 Customer Service (including Digital Messaging) free of charge for up to six months. For more details on this offer, or for specific guidance to help you solve business-critical challenges, please contact your Microsoft sales representative.
The Microsoft Teams channel for internal support delivery scenarios
In addition to expanded customer channels, businesses can now facilitate internal, employee support services such as human resources, tech support, and finance through Microsoft Teams. For companies that already use Microsoft Teams, it expands the collaboration scenarios to internal support using Omnichannel for Customer Service. For many organizations, this will reduce the number of tools and infrastructure needed to manage internal communication and collaboration tools.
Extending proactive customer service with IoT technology
Connected Customer Service helps organizations transform into a proactive and predictive service model by integrating IoT diagnostics, IoT device update, and case management platform into Dynamics 365 Customer Service. In addition to servicing devices when customers reach out for support, agents can also monitor devices and proactively send commands to update devices without the customer having to report the issue.
This allows agents using Customer Service Hub to diagnose and fix issues remotely, which leads to cost savings and improved customer satisfaction. Customer service organizations can reduce downtime by connecting to IoT devices to diagnose problems before customers are aware of an issue, as well as address issues faster by remotely monitoring and updating devices and keeping customers in the loop.
With Connected Customer Service, organizations can now leverage the wealth of existing IoT data they already have to accelerate predictive and proactive customer service.
Further infusing AI into Customer Service Insights
In addition to the enhancements coming to Customer Service and Omnichannel for Customer Service, it's important to gain insights into critical performance metrics, operational data, and emerging trends to make more informed business decisions. The best way to gain these insights is with Customer Service Insights.
Customer Service Insights weaves together AI, business intelligence (BI), and machine learning (ML) technologies to bring clarity into contact center operations, revealing not just what is happening, but also why it is happening and what you should do about it.
This release embeds the rich analytics and insights from Customer Service Insights within the familiar context of the Customer Service app by way of a new landing page in each workspace that provides focused insights on key topics and support issues. Customer Service Insights then goes the extra mile by explaining why the insights are important and makes recommendations on what action to take.
We're also including additional historical analytics through multiple interactive reports that help track key operational metrics to ensure customers are satisfied and agents are providing quality support. Leveraging the market-leading visualization capabilities of Power BI, the historical reports are interactive and modernized, providing insights beyond what's possible with the current operational dashboards.
Other preview features continue to advance the intelligence in Customer Service Insights, including improved AI-driven topic clustering. Phrases that can skew clustering can be easily identified and excluded, thereby providing more accurate results for what support topics are driving case volumes.
The home page surfaces automated suggestions for the best topics to add to the conversations Microsoft Power Virtual Agents can support. This new user experience makes it easy to automate high-volume topics that can be appropriately handled by Power Virtual Agents and frees up agents to work on more complex issues.
The features we've highlighted are just a handful of the latest enhancements being added to an already powerful end-to-end customer service offering. Explore the resources below to learn how Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Omnichannel for Customer Service, and Customer Service Insights help you earn more customers for life. Read the release plans for Customer Service and Omnichannel for Customer Service and Customer Service Insights.
- Get a first look at the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform innovations in the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event.
- Learn more about Dynamics 365 Customer Service.
- View documentation for new features in Customer Service, Omnichannel for Customer Service, and Customer Service Insights.
- Discover the combined strength of Power Virtual Agents and Customer Service Insights in our Virtual Agent for Customer Service.
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