Following the Microsoft product strategy – cloud first, mobile first – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is described as a system of intelligence with updates aimed at driving productivity, improving business process, enabling engagement at scale with enhanced capabilities and enhancing the user experience with a best in breed interface. Microsoft have also recognised that the journey to the cloud is unique for each organisation with some applications being on premise and others online with this in mind they have developed hybrid connections allowing greater integration across applications. This blog will look to highlight key themes from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 release following Microsoft Convergence 2015 EMEA.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 has been described as the biggest release ever, driving businesses to adapt to a new way of engaging customers through improvements in:
- Building intelligence
- Intelligent social
- User experience
Building intelligence – algorithms driving machine learning to support customer satisfaction
Using the Azure cloud infrastructure to build algorithms, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 can make recommendations based on what customers have purchased in the past; making up-sell and cross-sell opportunities simple for sales and customer service teams.
Using text analytics CRM can detect keywords to bring more knowledge to the customer service team by locating resources to help them resolve customer issues. Topic analysis allows customer service to review performance by looking at KPI’s such as the number of cases you are receiving and what these may be in relation to (e.g. when a new product is released you may receive troubleshooting enquiries). Topic analysis can also help make inferences about the cases you may receive in the future and highlight trends.
Secure mobility – work from anywhere, anytime with rich functionality
A common challenge for field sales teams is accessing and using CRM whilst on the road or in blackspots; this impacts user engagement and compliance issues for sales management.
Improvements in mobile offline support allows users to continue working whether connected or not; there is no system functionality loss, everything that has been changed is updated once connectivity is established again. Organisations can define what functionality they would like to be accessible, by defining rules using mobile management. Mobile devices can be accessed remotely to protect enterprise data using Microsoft Intune if a mobile device is misplaced.
Mobile device management allows app to app linking to bring in information rendered in the mobile device and supports document management. Improvements have also been made to the mobile interface by creating controls friendly to the mobile application. CRM is now easier and more intuitive to use on a mobile device – users can customise task based experiences, reducing the number of clicks it takes to complete tasks and input masks control user input to minimise errors. Rich controls can be placed on forms, dashboards and activity grids such as sliders, gauges and flip switches make the experience more user friendly with the ability to input information with one touch.
Improved employee engagement and collaboration – leveraging gamification and next generation search in Dynamics CRM
As well as the improvement in the mobile user experience mentioned above, functionalities have been added for ease of use. An improved search experience allows for linguistic full text search, e.g. “find me info related to …” CRM is able to bring up the records associated with the users search.
FantasySalesTeam is a new application which monitors employee engagement, motivation, operations, behaviours and activities to drive better sales by focusing on the big picture of your team and not solely on results. FantasySalesTeam allows management to monitor service and opportunity pipeline KPIs in real time and weigh up important factors relating to individual performance, drafting competing teams using performance based metrics.
Driving productivity through deep integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016
Cortana can now monitor interactions and has evolved from a personal assistant to truly become your business assistant. Cortana looks up surface information and transfers the data you need, for example for a client meeting, into other applications such as Dynamics CRM.
Delve allows you to monitor, control and improve your work activities. How? CRM users can view documents that are shared with others, relationship graphs, trending documents in their network, analyse how they spend the working day and which colleagues they interact with the most from inside CRM.
With further Office 365 and Dynamics CRM integration, users can export to Excel within the browser to pre-saved templates or build new templates; allowing greater analysis of key activities such as pipeline management. Users can also export into Word which is useful for proposals and allows field service to complete work orders and send invoices without having to return to the office.
Further integration with the CRM App for Outlook – the outlook web application, allows for more interactive experiences online users can view information and track emails from within CRM.
OneDrive for Business allows integration with Office 365 Groups, OneNote and SharePoint, facilitating further collaboration by allowing calendar, conversations, notebooks and documents to be integrated into CRM.
Improved customer service experiences – Unified service desk, knowledge management, field service processes, Omni-channel interaction
Unified service brings new functionality for SMB’s – with native knowledge management capabilities which allow you to manage the entire lifecycle and control the sharing of information.
A key part of anticipating and delivering customer satisfaction is to measure it – and to do this in an unobtrusive manner as possible.
After every interaction, customer surveys can be used to measure how well the organisation performed in meeting customer aspirations. Workflows can be used to schedule an activity or to send automated messages once a survey is complete. Survey responses are linked to the contact record in CRM and can be accumulated to evaluate the survey results. A role tailored experience for tiered agents allows for definition of responsibilities in relation to job role and complexity of customer cases. A full 360 degree view of the customer is available through timeline views and tracking using omni-channel integration.
Future Developments for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
The future of Dynamics CRM is set to focus around intelligence (machine learning), business process (unifying administration of processes), mobility (native device integration), engagement (customer portals, partner portals, chat integrations) and productivity.
To find out more about what is included in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 release download the preview guide here. For more information about how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help your business contact Prodware today.