Making Customer Engagement Central to Your Business StrategyGaurav Narang
CRM being just a “technology” or a “solution” is a misnomer, should rather be viewed as a Business Strategy to better understand and manage customer relationships. It requires a customer-centric business philosophy and culture across an organization. CRM, as a technology solution, is just an enabler. It links up information about stakeholders from a variety of disparate sources – internal, external systems and touchpoints. CRM solutions have also evolved over years from being an operational data capturing system with workflow automation capabilities to bring in operational efficiency across different organization functions to more of a platform with next-gen intelligent business apps to enable organizations to embark on their digital transformation journey.
Microsoft’s D365 Customer Engagement Platform, in particular, is empowering businesses of all nature and scale to accelerate this transformation by offering purpose-built applications (Project Service Automation, Field Service Automation, Sales, Marketing, Service) to address their specific business needs. Apart from that, being on Microsoft cloud environment, enterprises are also leveraging Microsoft’s Azure platform for the AI/ML/Cognitive capabilities to further extend the capabilities of these applications.
Project Service Automation solution, for instance, helps project-based organizations such as IT/ITeS, Consulting, Infrastructure, Professional Services, etc. to effectively track and manage the entire project lifecycle from planning, estimation, resource management, timesheet booking, billing to tracking project progress in terms of effort, cost, schedule and profitability. This can either be used to only manage the project lifecycle or can also be used along with Sales app to foster better collaboration between the Sales and Delivery teams during pre-sales stage for better estimation and demand forecasting.
Likewise, organizations involved in manufacturing and providing preventive/corrective support for high-end medical devices, industrial equipment, consumer goods, printers, etc. wherein high uptime of the installed equipment is of utmost importance can leverage field service capabilities to optimize the cost of service operations by increasing productivity of the technicians through optimized routes, scheduling, provide them critical information on the field, even when offline, to help them spend more time on issue resolution than on administrative tasks. This also empowers management with real-time tracking and updates for faster decision making. This can further be extended to proactively detect and resolve the issues remotely by leveraging IoT and remote assist capabilities.
Unified Service Desk solution, on the other hand, helps in streamlining contact center operations by aggregating the disparate applications that a contact center executive might have to toggle across for fulfillment of any incident thus enabling these businesses to increase FTRs (First Time Resolution) and improve SLA (Service Level Agreement) compliance.
For enterprises looking to further enhance the Omni-channel customer experience, the platform also offers add-ons to engage with customers over Chat, SMS and Social Media.
Social Media Engagement capabilities allow these organizations to actively engage with the stakeholders across leading social media platforms not only to identify buying signals but also to address negative sentiments.
We all understand that adoption is one of the key pillars for successful CRM implementations. Taking that into consideration, the platform also offers capabilities to gamify the entire experience by incentivizing people to help increase adoption.
Other than these business-specific applications, D365 platform’s portal capabilities are being used across different industries to help them offer self-service capabilities to its internal as well external stakeholders – Customers, Channel Partners, Vendors, and Employees.
Likewise, Microsoft’s PowerApps platform is allowing enterprises to get more out of their investments in this platform by providing framework to build apps to help them solve specific business problems, such as travel request and expense claim management, site reporting, channel-driven sales to name a few, at a lightning pace through intuitive visual tools and ready connectors with minimum coding to shorten the time to market.
Knowing that CRM is a business strategy with the customer being at the core, an organization first needs to do a fair assessment of their own maturity level and accordingly embark on this digital transformation journey by adopting a platform approach.
Alletec has been a leading provider of Business Technology Solutions & IT Services to Growth Companies since 2000. Recognized consistently by Microsoft to be amongst their Top Microsoft Dynamics NAV/Business Central Partners, Alletec has been part of the global elite Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle and President’s Club. Working with customers in US, UK Hong Kong, Europe, India, Australia, Africa, and Middle-East, the company has helped companies across various industries in their Implementation and up-gradation of Microsoft products.