Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thoughts on Convergence 2014 Day 1 - Part III

In the first part of this series, I talked a little bit about how the Dynamics Business suite fits into Microsoft's overarching plan of delivering innovation to the customer, and also discussed some details on the Dynamics CRM roadmap specifically with the Spring and Autumn updates. The second post was all about the marketing tools available within Dynamics CRM as part of the Spring Update.

In this post, the focus will be on the upcoming enhancements to the Customer Service suite through the Spring Update of Dynamics CRM.

One constant theme of Day 1 of Convergence 2014 was on products delivering amazing customer experience regardless of the channel they use. The acquisition of Parature by Microsoft in January of this year was one way for Dynamics CRM to deliver on that vision.

Why Parature, and what do they do?
Parature is the industry’s leading provider of cloud-based customer service software and is used to support more than 3,000 brands and approximately 70 million end users worldwide. Parature provides customers with the ability to centralize their customer service and to manage, resolve and respond to a high volume of service issues.

The service is provided across multiple communication channels which is especially useful to monitor the growing number of service-related conversations that are happening every day on social media and mobile devices. This is important as around 67% of the customers that use self service access it via disparate mediums.

Parature solutions allow any organization to provide more effective and efficient customer service through more self-serve options.

Multi-Channel Service and Innovation
Using Parature’s cloud-based customer service software, customers can reach out to any organization at any time in whatever way

Customer Retention
Parature provides Dynamics CRM users with the innovative tools it needs to take the collective pulse of the customer service efforts and adjust and improve as necessary.

Social Customer Service
Parature provides a centralized customer service solution that spans multiple social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and more.

Parature’s robust reporting tools provide real-time intelligence that allows your company to make informed business decisions and proactively adjust to trends.

Parature's API and technology partners provide applications that complement Parature’s product suite to optimize all business processes.

The net result is not only satisfied customers but also knowledgeable agents with the right tools at their disposal to provide the best customer service.

The presentation delved into how was able to keep their branding and have users search/ ask questions across multiple channels. The highlighted section in the screen shot below provides the knowledge base search for the user.

The knowledge base search is not just confined to articles but also returns blogs and other social feeds which are categorized for the best user experience.

Another example of a company leveraging Parature was Konami which used an external facing portal to integrate with social channels like facebook from right within the customer website.

Below is a screen shot of Dynamics CRM 2013 with the Unified Service Desk features available in the Spring Update. The call center agent now has just one single application to provide the best customer experience to a caller, all of this this right within Dyamics CRM.

Now that Convergence 2014 is wrapping up, I hope that the details of the upcoming changes have you all excited about the direction of the product. Microsoft is betting big on Dynamics and the investments in marketing, social listening and customer service will help Dynamics CRM stay relevant in the ever shifting CRM space.

Thanks for reading!

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