While tools such Power Platform ones seem to be getting most of the attention these days in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem, it’s easy to overlook the fact that first party apps such as Customer Service continue to improve.
Jeff Comstock, GM for Dynamics 365 Customer and Field Service writes in a new blog post"We continue to make enhancements to the omnichannel experience within Dynamics 365 Customer Service.” While there is a list of planned enhancements for the tool coming in the 2020 release wave 1, the blog post took the opportunity to explain the most recent improvements, in omnichannel and elsewhere, that customer can start deploying now.
A part of the latest D365 Customer Service updates include new Power Platform products. There is a new Power Virtual Agents service which can be leveraged to build bots for Customer Service that handle incoming chat requests, with escalation to human agents when required.
Other more incremental updates can be seen with Facebook Messenger which is now in GA as a support channel for asynchronous communication with agents. Proactive chat invitations can also be launched now based on bespoke criteria such as browsing patterns.
Some of the efficiency improvements include bots to assist agents in the context of their interactions, macros to automate repetitive tasks, agent scrips, and skills-based routing. Agents are now able to see a customer’s self-service navigation history and get sentiment scores for when communicating through various messaging channels.
As the 2019 release wave 2 concludes, D365 Customer Service 2020 release wave 1 plans include both incremental improvements in areas like knowledge management, routing and queuing, SLAs, and e-mail, as well as the introduction of Connected Customer Service. This links to IoT signals to the customer service team for converting alerts to support cases, sending commands to customer devices, and visibility of IoT data in the context of cases.
Tess Palmer, Microsoft group product manager, reports that in Customer Service Insights the product is getting a new home page that makes data easier to decipher and analyse by providing it in terms of topics. Palmer states that the company’s algorithms are key for a manager’s view of data like incoming case volume.
Microsoft may or may not be focused on making Power Apps an £800 million platform, but core products like Customer Service make up today’s estimated £1.9 billion in revenue generated by the Dynamics product ecosystem every year. In order to keep these first-party apps relevant in a world of citizen developers and customisation, Microsoft’s product team seems to be counting on investing in a mix of pragmatic feature enhancements and more impressive tech advances that pull in IoT AI, ML, mixed reality, bots, and more.