Core capabilities, intended audience, and pricing
For a multitude of reasons, our whole world is increasingly digitizing. And recent years have only intensified the speed of its evolution. Since this means that the vast majority of sales research and activities are now conducted online, your customers’ experiences (good and bad) have exponentialized, resulting in increasingly more sophisticated expectations. To put it another way, the more your customers interact online, the more they learn, and the more they expect from you based on experiences that you can’t control or even see. How do you stay ahead of this curve? The answer lies in machine learning and predictive analytics. After all, the silver lining of all this online activity is that there is now more data than ever to guide processes. Companies need to start leveraging the data that they can access now, in order to make objective, data-driven decisions. This is where Dynamics 365 Customer Insights steps in.
Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is a data mediator that joins information from different sources, allowing you to map, match, layer, merge, and enrich customer-based data. A classic example would be to merge data from various points of sale (online or in-store) with that from a customer service software, like Freshdesk, for performance and trend analysis. And you can slice and dice your data however you see fit, segmenting groups out by activity metrics and demographics that you set. This allows you to see behavior captured from a variety of systems that indicates a customer is a loyal one. For instance, identifying someone who repeatedly rents jet skis without a reservation during overcast or rough weather and rewarding them with discounts to encourage the behavior and promote referrals.
A Little Clarification
Before getting too much further, it’s important to be clear which of the Insight applications we’re discussing in this article. It’s fair to assume that any Dynamics 365 product that has “Insights” in the name is typically an AI-centric tool. With that being said, there are three main Insight products available to enhance Dynamics solutions.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service is customer-focused tool that provides self-serve and assisted scenarios across various channels that meet your customers where they are online. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights provides the most complete 360-degree view of the customer with machine-learned insights that allow you to see and tailor personalized customer experiences. And then, we have Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights add-in for Dynamics 365 Customer Service, which helps customer service technicians managers “make better decisions to improve operational efficiency with confidence and achieve customer satisfaction,” according to Microsoft’s definitions.
For the purpose of this article, we’re focusing exclusively on the Dynamics 365 Customer Insights application.
- Ready-made connectors combine all customer interaction data on a single platform, including transactional, behavioral, and downloaded data from popular sources.
- Disparate customer data is intelligently transformed, unified, and standardized to be compatible with the Microsoft Common Data Model.
- Personalized customer engagement, alerts, and automations can trigger directly from other business applications that use the API.
- AI and custom machine learning predict customer intentions, leading to proactive engagement.
- Connection to Power Apps allows you to create unique solutions that leverage Customer Insights data.
- Configurable indicators and KPIs and a customizable connection to Microsoft Power BI allow for deeper and more accurate insight.
- Complies with all requirements for privacy and data protection, as well GDPR.
Capabilities on the Horizon
Customer Insights will soon be getting new integrations with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, which will enrich customer profiles with sentiment and customer feedback data. It will also be getting more AI functionality, including out-of-the box machine learning templates and improved integration with Azure Synapse Analytics for advanced analytics. And since cybersecurity is of increasingly more importance, it’s on track for more new features designed to help strengthen data governance and loss prevention with policies around classification, labeling, and protection for data based on its sensitivity.
Is It Right for You?
The end-to-end applications in the Dynamics 365 product suite are designed to be easily understood and leveraged without any understanding of the data sources, databases, tables, and fields. Contrarily, Microsoft’s “insight” tools are designed for tech-savvy users, such as data technicians who grasp the core data structure and its connections. To take advantage of Customer Insights without continuously returning to a specialized Microsoft consultant , it is recommended to appoint a person with knowledge about Microsoft’s data connectors to perform the initial setup and maintain any changes. Without this commitment, the ever-changing opportunities will become burdensome (not to mention expensive). Companies that are willing to make a part-time labor investment in the assessment, application, and maintenance of the data that Customer Insights offers will see agility combined with a low cost of ownership.
Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences Based on the Full Picture
As a Microsoft gold competency Partner, we can help you not only identify the right licensing and data structure formation, but we can also help you construct a technological plan that allows you to manage and enhance your system yourself after it’s installed. We are committed to ensuring that your data works for you the way you need it, where you need it. And we believe that our clients benefit most when guided to help themselves as much as possible. Contact us today to speak with one of our Dynamics 365 experts and find out what it will actually take to use the power of Microsoft’s business solutions to accelerate your future.
Dynamics 365 CE (CRM) How-To eGuide
41 pages of step-by-step instructions for 6 different key tasks in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM). Includes interactions with PowerApps and Flow!Get the eGuide