In the most recent release of Dynamics CRM, Microsoft has put a ton of attention into the features used by call centers and customer care teams.  Let’s take a look at the most recent new features, as well as some of the other customer service features added since CRM 2011.

Webinar – Click to Signup: Microsoft CRM 2016 Customer Service Demo

If part of your team is using Dynamics CRM, but your Customer Service team is using a different application, it’s time to rethink that decision.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM is now among the very best Customer Service applications available.  When combined with Parature, it is even better.  And research suggests that having your customer-facing team using the same application is a big boost to productivity, job satisfaction and performance.

#1 Interactive Service Hub

CRM 2016 introduces the Interactive Service Hub.  Not only is this a leap forward for customer service – it is a first step at reinventing the CRM user interface.  It is a single landing page for CRM that combines the best of dashboards, views, web and mobile into a single interactive user interface.  Your service team is going to love it – and it will soon be available for all of the CRM modules.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Customer Service Interactive Service Hub
There are four key elements:

Interactive Dashboards: Pages combine dashboards and views.  When you click on a chart, the data on the page automatically filters to whatever you have clicked on.  You may be familiar with this concept when work with a chart next to a view.  Now this functionality extends to the entire home page for service users.  Think of it as building dashboards that include both views and charts (which you can do today), but when you click on any chart, all of the other views and charts on that page “drill down” to show just the records that you have selected.

Interaction Wall: Views on the interactive dashboard now appear in more of a “social” format.  And multiple views appear side-by-side.  So your team can see all of their interactions and workloads on a single wall. 

Inline References: Part of the interaction wall, individual records can now take up multiple lines , users can click an “expander” icon to expand records (so much more information can fit onto the “card” for each record in a view).  Pictures can also be included in views now.

In combination, these 3 items allow users to see more data and to better handle prioritizing their workloads.   And it looks pretty cool too!

Reinvented Forms: Forms have also received a significant makeover. 

Interactive Service Hub CRM 2016 Form

In brief, forms in the Interactive Service Hub (using the web browser) will now look a lot like forms do on your mobile device.  More consistency.  Easier adoption.  Nice!

#2 KnowledgeBase

Dynamics CRM has always had a KnowledgeBase (KB) that Customer Service teams could use to store and easily share helpful articles.  In CRM 2016, there are now two options for knowledge management:

1. The built in KB has received a significant make-over.  Articles can be stored in a richer format including embedding images, videos and other media.  And searching the KB can be made available from any entity (want to store digital marketing tip sheets in CRM so that your marketing team can easily find them?  Go for it!)

2. If you want even richer KB capabilities to share across your organization (inside or outside of CRM), then you can choose to use the Parature KB instead of the CRM built-in KB.  Parature can put knowledge at the fingertips of your users in whatever corner of your digital workplace that they find themselves in, and can also be extended to customers and partners through web portals.

Factoid: The average US worker spends 19% of their time searching for the knowledge that they need to get their jobs done (Harvard Business Review, “Social Media’s Productivity Payoff,” August 2012).  In a 1,000 person organization with an average salary of $50,000, that’s $10 million spent on searching for stuff!


#3 Voice of Customer Surveys

Voice of Customer CX Surveys

Also new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 (still in late preview mode, but soon to be available to anyone) is an online surveying tool called “Voice of Customer.”  Although billed as a customer service addition, these surveys can be used for anything (we’re already using them to send out Dynamics CRM, Salesforce and SharePoint satisfaction surveys when doing health checks for our clients).

Survey design is point-and-click-and-drag-and-drop-and-neato-torpedo.  In other words, slick and easy to use.  It includes standard CSAT (customer satisfaction), Net Promoter ® and other standard satisfaction scoring metrics.  Data is stored in CRM and can be integrated into other processes.

More to Come

Those are just the three biggest updates available directly in CRM.  There’s also Parature (mentioned above, but another product from Microsoft that is for Customer Service), FieldOne Sky (another Customer Service extension available for free from Microsoft – focused on handling field service, work orders, etc), and tons of small updates that add up to big changes.

We’ll be covering all of these in upcoming webinars on Customer Service in CRM, as well as future articles.  Stay tuned!