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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service Spring Release Highlights

Posted by Ryan J. Wells

Microsoft recently revealed the Spring 2018 release notes for their Microsoft Business Applications portfolio. The release notes span multiple Microsoft business applications, including Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Power BI and the Common Data Service (CDS).

The Spring 2018 release for Microsoft Dynamics 365 includes significant improvements for Dynamics 365 CRM for Marketing, Sales, Customer Service and Field Service. Microsoft has made significant advancements unifying their business applications, enabling companies to solve their unique business problems across the Dynamics 365 applications.

Dynamics 365 Interface and GDPR Compliance

Dynamics 365 users will benefit from the Unified Interface Framework providing them with a consistent user experience across web, mobile and client interfaces. Microsoft has worked on compliance to address the European privacy laws, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), across all Dynamics 365 applications. To learn more about compliance, GDPR and accessibility enhancements, check out Microsoft’s Trust Center.

Dynamics 365 Sales Intelligence

Intelligence plays a big role in the Spring 2018 release, enabling sales team members with a wide variety of improvements to help them focus more on selling their product or service. Sales intelligence is embedded into the Sales app via Relationship Assistant, Auto Capture, and Email Engagement features providing sales insights. The Relationship Assistant analyzes customer interaction data to provide sales team members insights and suggestions for next steps. Auto Capture provides a thorough scan of a Dynamics user’s Outlook inbox, offering suggestions of related emails for tracking. Finally, Email Engagements will monitor email recipient’s actions, allowing for sales team members to be better informed about their sales efforts.

Dynamics 365 LinkedIn Sales Navigator Integration

Microsoft has enhanced the Dynamics 365 integration with LinkedIn via the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to improve sales workflow. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows seamless insight into company and contact information displayed on a form to allow sales team members instant access to up-to-date information to streamline their work.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Hub

Microsoft has also made improvements to the Customer Service Hub to empower agents to support their clients in a fast and effective way. The Customer Service Hub provides agents with interactive dashboards and business process flows to help guide them through issues when they arise, escalating to tier 2 if necessary. Microsoft is also offering the ability to upgrade the Interactive Service Hub included with Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 to the new version 9.0 Customer Service Hub. To find out more about the upgrade visit MSDN.

Dynamics 365 Field Service & Customer Service

With the new release, Microsoft also added updates to the Field Service app. The Field Service app works with the Customer Service app to provide field technicians the capabilities they need to execute their work orders. This includes improvements to Resource Scheduling Optimizations (RSO) that enable automated work order scheduling for the appropriate resource while taking travel time, work hours and other constraints into consideration.

Dynamics 365 Voice of the Customer

The Spring 2018 release also gives Voice of the Customer some improvements to help users better analyze the responses. The Voice of the Customer Analytics content pack for Power BI enables companies to better explore and analyze survey data.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing

The Marketing application saw some of the biggest improvements as part of the 2018 Spring release. Microsoft implemented a marketing experience for first-time users through a guided experience to set up Dynamics 365 for Marketing. The customer journey designer comes with easily configurable templates and a simple drag-and-drop designer to guide users through the customer engagement process.

Another improvement to Dynamics 365 for Marketing is the Dynamic Segment Designer. This designer allows the user to set up rules to identify potential customers based on demographic and organization characteristics. This allows Marketing users to send high-volume emails with the ability to capture dynamic information on forms and landing pages for different events or webinars. The Marketing application is further improved by integration with other features in Dynamics 365, such as the ability to run surveys through Voice of the Customer and connect with potential customers by utilizing the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Look for these exciting enhancements to be released in April 2018.

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