As part of Microsoft’s six-month cadence to enhance Dynamics 365 CE, new features started rolling out in early April. Additional functionality will be accessible over the next few months, and you can see what’s available in the admin console to determine whether you’re ready to receive each function. Just click, and the new capabilities will automatically upload to your D365 CE subscription.
To give you a preview of the enhancements to expect, here’s what to look for across the Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, and Field Service modules. We also present new functionality offered by two components integrated into D365 CE—Dynamics 365 Guides and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist.
Improved integration with Microsoft Teams will allow your marketing team to work within D365 CE and have online chats with colleagues about marketing projects and interactions with specific prospects. The spring release enhancement also allows you to set up triggers based on a change to a prospect or customer record. For example, if they are changed to <High> priority, that can initiate a journey or an event to push or collect information.
Marketing can also personalize interactions using a unified view of customer and prospect activity across marketing, sales, and customer service interactions—such as emails, phone calls, events, and service incidents. Previously, marketing had to go to a tab called Insights. But now, they see this information in a timeline—all the information is consolidated into one spot.
There’s also dynamic text to personalize email messaging based on a prospect’s attributes. You can base the personalization on a single data point for each target within a list as opposed to sending a generic e-mail to everyone.
With the link between D365 CE and D365 Customer Insights, you can create e-mails quickly by re-using stored content from your data lake. The data can come from D365, your website, or other enterprise data sources. You can also segment the audience based on specific data points and create individual journeys for prospects and customers. The spring release makes this easier with natural query language to help you identify segments based on prospect and customer attributes.
As with Marketing, the D365 CE Sales module also features improved integration with Microsoft Teams. With Teams embedded into D365 CE, managers and reps can look at sales data while chatting or talking through Teams. They can share screenshots of forecasts, pipeline intelligence, and projected sales vs. actual sales. Kanban functionality gives you the flexibility to look at data using various views.
The Sales module also now includes conversational intelligence—by transcribing conversations with customers and prospects and then analyzing recurring phrases to identify key pain points and requirements of the solutions they are looking for. This also helps segment targets based on the attributes share so you can determine the next step in providing the right solution.
Sales managers will also appreciate the new process automation capabilities of the spring release. For example, D365 CE now offers a routing tool to automatically assign leads and opportunities to the right salesperson. Managers can match the attributes of prospects to sales reps to increase the likelihood of closing on business.
For sales reps in the field, their contacts on their phone can be moved into D365 CE and vice versa. They can also upload recent calls and convert hand-written notes. This way, everything they do on their phone is automatically saved in D365 CE.
Similar to the Sales module, the Customer Service module now provides more control over unified routing of service cases. It uses artificial intelligence to route cases to the most applicable agent based on case criteria and agent capabilities.
Your customer service team will also benefit from improved search capabilities. When a service incident is created (flowing in from e-mail, a portal or manually), D365 CE analyzes key terms and phrases and automatically points to knowledge-based articles relevant to the case.
Microsoft adjusted this feature to make sure the articles are now more on topic. You can also leverage embedded Microsoft Power BI reports to measure how often each knowledge article is used and how helpful they are in solving customer issues.
For service level agreements, D365 CE now provides editing flexibility rather than nailing down the structure of the agreements. You can adjust alerts for when SLA failures might occur and track how often failures occur.
Dynamics 365 CE also features an improved system administrator experience within the Customer Service module. It’s easier to configure everything that’s customer service oriented such as setting up the knowledge management pane, making changes to SLAs, service incident queues, and escalation routing. Managers can also get views into agent experiences, customer insights, and event calendars.
The most notable difference in this module is the enhanced schedule board. It uses full-screen views to show the daily activities of the field services team and information associated with each technician and each customer.
The module also uses Microsoft Bing maps to show where all technicians are located and the routes they need to take to get from one work order to the next. The full-screen view is particularly helpful if you have a bunch of technicians clustered in one small area. You can click on each pin to drill into the status of all work orders and see technician reports.
Technicians can also work offline on their mobile devices if they are disconnected from the company network or don’t have Internet access. The new capabilities in this module allow you to fully optimize your mobile teams so they can take pictures and scan barcodes. They can also see more information on their on their devices as opposed to just viewing from a form-factor perspective.
Dynamics 365 Guides
This cool feature can provide benefits to all your internal teams but is particularly helpful for the field services team. It lets you create holographic instructions for employees to follow on their devices on how to follow an established process such as a service incident.
You can also grant access to allow customers to view the holograms or for vendors to create content your internal teams or your customers can use. This gives your staff and your customers an alternative way to learn rather than reading through a manual or a document and is great for remote training.
The Dynamics 365 Guides also include learning tools using other media forms. Sales managers, for example, can accelerate sales cycles by creating guides to walk sellers through how to interact with certain industry sectors or geographies. Reps can follow specific steps based on the type of prospect.
Dynamics 365 Remote Assist
Another cool feature that field technicians will appreciate is Dynamics 365 Remote Assist. Using headgear or mobile devices, an onsite technician can allow another technician back at the home office to see what they are looking at when trying to service a customer system.
This is particularly helpful when a senior technician is helping a junior technician in the field. In addition to sharing views of customer systems, the technicians can circle things on the screen, point out different information, and bring up schematics to look at together.
Remote Assist can also be used by customers to facilitate surveys and walkthroughs and to see what customers are seeing. This may make it possible to resolve issues faster by sharing knowledge and service insights.