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After a very challenging 2020, many companies are adapting their business processes for 2021 and beyond. To be successful, entrepreneurs are constantly devising ways to offer solutions quickly and exceed their customers’ expectations. One of the ways a company can transform their business operations is adopting a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution. But what companies want specifics when it comes to making businesses more responsive to customers with a cloud-based CRM. Amaxra looks at how deploying a Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solution to centralize all customer data and help your company to automate business processes internally while increasing external customer engagement and support.
The shift to outcome-based customer support
Customer service has drastically changed in the past five to ten years. The latest generation of customer support models provide on-demand convenience across not just phone calls, but email, text, instant messaging, and social media channels (sometimes referred to as “omnichannel”). These end-to-end omnichannel support solutions are designed with successful business outcomes in mind: to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and business longevity.
The new outcome-based customer support model is in stark contrast to the break-fix expectation of the not-too distant past of the late 1990s-early 2000s when ecommerce was ramping up. Back then, customer support was objectively considered a cost center to the company—an expensive service requiring a lot of people, time, and effort.
In the past decade or so, many businesses have successfully optimized their support with clever technologies. Much of these technologies are cloud-based: Interactive voice response (IVR) systems for phone calls, searchable online help to find a fix quickly, and artificial intelligence systems or “chat bots” that appear to be a human being that guides customers through support experiences online. This streamlined cloud-powered support apparatus is designed to be both helpful to the customer whilst reducing the costly labor for the company. It took a few years, but customer support can now be a profit center for a company if done correctly.
The importance of removing data silos
A single source of data and intelligence is key to making that happen. The problem is that data is often siloed inside companies of every size. For example, a widget factory might have a NetSuite enterprise resource planning (ERP) system on the product side, Salesforce CRM for their sales and marketing, a custom accounting program for the finance department, and a 3rd-party contact center. Even though all of those systems are “cloud-based,” they require a lot of work to get data from each system into the other. The widget factory in this example is now hamstrung by the fact that their IT cannot offer a single source of truth for making data-driven decisions that help make and support products that delight their customers.
Obviously, these IT decisions are never purposely made by companies to silo their business data. More often than not, businesses hand off IT decisions to external consultants who are engaged on an ad hoc basis. You can see how over a period of business growth that lasts five or ten years, technology drastically changes, and goals shift significantly. The result is a hodgepodge of multiple systems that doesn’t easily bring customer data together. To avoid this, Amaxra works with enterprises to help set IT goals that are strategically focused on delivering data transparency with a single source of truth for the entire company.
Standardization of knowledge with Dynamics 365
Amaxra recommends Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM for most mid-to-large businesses that want that single source of truth when it comes to corporate data. Using that standardization of knowledge within the company results in access into production, finance, marketing, and sales data that can be used for outcome-driven customer support.
Many of our clients have Microsoft 365 productivity solutions for their email and team collaboration. A few of them were using Salesforce and NetSuite but have seen the value of connecting previously siloed data across all divisions of the company by integrating a Dynamics 365 CRM solution into their existing Microsoft 365. One of the key features of Dynamics 365 CRM is that it is cloud powered and always on, enabling automated business processes (e.g., supply chain disruptions, financial dependencies, sales/marketing on the same page) that trickles down into an outcome-based customer support experience.
Businesses using Dynamics 365 CRM in their support organizations have the added advantage of deploying Microsoft Virtual Support Agents. These AI-powered chat bots are built into Dynamics 365 to act as a frontline aid for live support agents. By leveraging the company’s single source of truth contained in the cloud-based CRM, Virtual Support Agents can help answer many support questions automatically in a simple chat window on your website—thereby reducing the need for live Tier One support agents to answer phone calls.
Amaxra has the CRM expertise you need
Whether you already have an existing CRM or can’t decide between all of the many choices, Amaxra can help. Our consultants work with you on the planning, configuration, and process modeling that makes the difference between deploying a CRM system that has little impact and one that enables holistic, outcome-driven support. And most importantly, Amaxra offers multiple CRM solutions tailored for your specific business needs. Even though we are a Microsoft Gold Partner, we never sell you Dynamics 365 CRM “just because” and will always match the right CRM solution scaled for your business.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425 749 7471 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.
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