Benefits call centers can see in the cloud | Migration Minded Part 2

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Welcome to Migration Minded.

The Dynamics 365 web series, where we dig into important modernization considerations with Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM experts to really help support your cloud transformation thinking. my name is Tom Wisniewski.

Im a product marketing manager for Dynamics 365.

Today we have a great episode for you were talking to Microsoft MVP Tricia Sinclair on the benefits that call centers can see in the cloud.

Were also going to look at how migrations can impact the customer service experience.

Were going to spend some time really trying to dispel some common migration misconceptions. Based in London, Tricia is the customer service European lead for Avanade and has spent the last 15 years in the Dynamics space, helping customers migrate to the cloud.

So with all that, lets get started.

Hey Tricia, hows it going? Hi Tom.

Thank you so much for having me. Now Tricia, Id love to start with some common misconceptions around migrating to the cloud and particularly within call centers. When customers come to you wanting to make the move to the cloud, what are some of the top reasons that theyre making this ask? So one of the more obvious reasons is the rapid shift to people working from home.

Now with some companies, especially companies with smaller customer service teams they were already doing this.

But the pandemic really accelerated this for a lot of companies.

So of course if you have an on-premise application, its kind of hard to have agents work from home, so they needed a cloud-based application a cloud-based contact center solution.

Another reason for this is they want to leverage all the the new native great functionality thats available in a cloud-based solution.

So for example, being able to have that holistic view of your customer.

Being able to automate and reduce the amount of effort for your agents easily without a lot of development.

These are all things that are just natively available within a cloud- based contact center solution and they want to take advantage of all the investment that Microsoft are actually putting into you know the cloud and the cloud- based contact center solution.

I would also imagine that leveraging an Omnichannel strategy would be pretty attractive to a lot of call centers and organizations.

Can you run us through what Omnichannel is and the benefits it can have? Sure. So customers like myself I like to say are pretty savvy.

We use social media. We use messaging.

We message our friends on like different messaging platforms and were really trying to resolve things Ourselves where possible.

So it doesnt mean that the traditional model of asking customers to just email or phone in, it wont work anymore.

Yes, you still need to ensure that your customers can contact you through phone, but you should also know who your customers are.

And you should see you basically need to identify how they want to reach out to you, and you should make that possible, whether that be through social channels, through messaging applications or through web chat.

Now Dynamics, customer service Omnichannel experience allows companies to have one or more channels which provide a seamless and unified customer journey irrespective of how a customer has initiated contact with you.

So they irrespective of that a customer will be able to be routed through to the correct team.

Theyll be able to get the same information and be able to be treated with the same SlAs or the applicable SlAs that they are entitled to.

And you know there is a complete process allows the agent to complete the query in a in a structured way.

So of course means that customers are much happier that they dont have to repeat themselves constantly.

And also agents are more on point as they dont have to be trained on multiple contact systems, so of course with Omni, agents will have access to that interface that allows them to surface third party applications within the context of the customer, and this saves so much time because I remember as an agent myself having to flick through three or five different systems to answer questions that would be asked by the customer and to make small talk to cover the time, you know, waiting for those systems to load, so being able to have the native channels.

But also surface third party applications is absolutely a benefit.

So Tricia those are some great reasons to move to cloud.

But you know, in talking to customers not everyone is ready to take that step.

Not everyone is the right place.

What are some common apprehensions that you hear from customers? And can you help dispel them for us? Well, it depends on the area of the business that were looking at.

So for example, some IT teams might be very familiar with when they were building the current solution that theyre implementing, and when they were building it, they realized that there were things that were missing, and they are still thinking that those things are still going to be missing in the new product because they havent kept up to date with where the products move to.

Now, as we all know, Microsoft does actually add or produce new features every six months, which means that the CRM that youre currently using if youre not using the cloud version, is not the CRM that is available in the cloud, which is the most up to date solution for Microsoft that you could actually have because its continuously, you know being updated, ensuring that you have the security patches that are all wrapped up there okay. Another thing that Ive heard is the fact that when theyre actually implementing these solutions, its often the case, especially in a contact center that you might have One solution for one channel that you might have, like a voice solution.

You might have a separate chat solution. You might then have a separate CRM, so there are all these different solutions and if you remove one or make a change in one then theyre totally afraid of what could potentially happen.

Its basically a very fragile setup, right? So moving to the cloud is not going to be an easy thing to do, but not because its not going to be an easy thing to do, means that you should totally ignore it, because the longer you leave it is the more fragile those systems will become because youre just going to be adding more and more.

Another thing as well is that there are some companies that are stuck in long term licensing agreements, and because of that they are afraid that if they do move to the cloud, theyll lose those licensing agreements.

But the thing is, you do have the ability to still to move to the cloud while still leveraging that licensing agreement just by discussing it with your Microsoft account manager.

And then the final thing I wanted to talk about was security.

I have heard this quite a lot that they feel that the cloud is not secure, but on that I would really, really really encourage them to actually do some investigation there because the cloud is actually a lot more secure than having an on- premise application or an on-premise system because Microsoft actually invest a lot more than an actual standard business would typically invest in security.

Complexity, costs and security are definitely some concerns we hear a lot.

Another one is the Unified service desk.

What solutions are available to customers that are currently dependent on a legacy system? Customers who are leveraging USD can take advantage of the Omnichannel engagement hub, which is a part of the Dynamics customer service Omni experience, because it actually is very similar.

So if youre using USD, you already are aware that you have the multi-session, multi-agent experience.

Meaning that you can resolve and handle all the different conversations coming in, but of course with Omni channel you get that same experience but with the added benefit that you now also have native channels so youve got your own inbuilt chat functionality, your own inbuilt voice functionality which is not available with USD. Now with the added benefit that you can now leverage thats solution from anywhere.

I just need my laptop and a working internet connection.

Thats not something that is possible with USD, so it is necessary for you to consider you know what what youre actually getting there.

NOTE Confidence: 0.8547111 Some might be holding on to USD because they think, okay, you know youve got legacy systems and I cant move away from that because I need USD to interact with that legacy on-premise application.

Well, the beauty about it is when we factor in the Power Platform, which is something I talked about before Power Platform has this this concept called desktop flows which is pretty much desktop automation software.

It allows us to integrate with applications which dont natively have a direct route of integration.

So if I wanted to automate or trigger something from my Omnichannel as an agent, trigger something from Omnichannel and have it go off and do something on you know on a separate legacy system, I can now do that, which this basically means that I dont have that as a blocker anymore.

I can interact with legacy applications directly from my Omnichannel agent desktop.

So we addressed some common concerns, but what about differences? How does the cloud stack up to on- prem instances and say particularly to feature parity? So you also can factor in that you get the added benefit of one of my favorite things that have come out of Microsoft out of the last few years, and thats the Power Platform.

And the Power Platform basically allows - its - I dont know how to say this.

OK, so with the Power Platform youre able to not only leverage data from other systems as well, you can surface it up in business applications and how much, how many months and how much money have you typically spent as an organization, You might actually think it would be great if we could like have an easier way to get data to be entered into a system or for someone to actually get like see data.

This is all what the Power Platform does.

It removes the barrier between the business and IT and allows the business to get on with just doing the job of making more money right? Which is basically what everybody wants to do.

You have for example, Power Apps.

Youve got Power Virtual Agent.

Youve got Power BI, and youve got Power Automate NOTE Confidence: 0.8370978 and all of these basically provides more power to the business.

This is not really possible with the on-premise solution NOTE Confidence: 0.8370978 to be honest though, it is possible with on-premise, but its just harder and not all the Power Platform modules will be possible. So for example, were talking about contact center.

Were talking about call centers and and helping them, Power Virtual Agent is a low code chat bot solution which you could leverage if you are in the cloud.

But if you are on-prem, that will not be possible, so youre not going to be able to deflect customers away from your agents and save your agents a lot of time and allow them to focus on the more complicated cases.

It sounds like there are some great work arounds in the cloud, but whats the bottom line? How can a migration impact both the customer service experience for the call centers themselves and for those customers you know the ones calling in? Basically a customer will definitely be impacted with the move to the cloud because the agents will be impacted.

One of the things that isnt often talked about is how the agent experience directly affects the customer experience. If you remove a lot of barriers from the agents then the customer gets their questions answered a lot quicker.

They get a happier agent definitely and they get you know the correct information as well.

So providing the applicable information to the agent in one screen.

Maybe not one screen but in one application as opposed to have them having to jump around - time saving - the second thing is having a streamlined contact center solution where it is directly for case management and you can adapt it to your process whatever process you need as a business that ensures that your agents are following the same process and irrespective of where that customer has come into you know whichever channel theyre coming in from.

Theyre going to have that same process, which means that they are then happier.

And of course it means that you probably have less complaints like that someone actually said something or did something you have less of that.

You also have the ability for agents to remove a lot of repetitive tasks that they typically have, so you know having to sit there and constantly put in the same information.

If its a particular type of case.

You can automate that with the click of a button.

You know if you migrate away to Dynamics Omnichannel, so thats also great.

And another thing as well is of course taking advantage of the Power platform taking advantage of the Power Platform is its a bit bigger and wider than the contact center.

It will be applicable for other areas of your business as well, but it is definitely another thing that will impact your agents to remove a lot of the NOTE Confidence: 0.87172586 headache and the manual tasks that they tend to have to do. Now from the customer side of things.

Of course, I talked about being a savvy customer and how I want to be able to look into and resolve things for myself.

A lot of the a lot of the reasons why a lot of the reasons that doesnt tend to be possible is because NOTE Confidence: 0.87172586 were still basically in an age where were looking at, you know, just standard websites.

Now, what if I cant find the information on the website Im going to be forced to contact you, but what if there was, you know, another route.

What if I could basically speak to a bot that was tailored to know who I am and provide valuable targeted contextual information to what Im actually asking it.

So if I wanted to just know okay and need to speak with someone to see if theres a deal thats going to be beneficial to me that Im actually eligible for and having that bot know that okay this is Tricia speaking and Tricia is eligible for these types of products and this product is perfect for her referral.

Suggests that product to her.

That means Im not speaking to an agent that agent I would have spoken to is now able to deal with a more urgent case.

Or another urgent case or another more challenging case so to speak.

So it does help from both sides.

My final thoughts on this is dont be afraid to look into the migration to the cloud Im not saying that its going to be easy, nothing good, nothing valuable is, you know, but the value is there.

The benefits are there, and if you would like to continue the conversation, there is so much information thats available thats going to show you how you can actually do this.

And provide guidance into what you need to consider.

Thanks so much for joining us.

This has been Migration Minded.

If you have migration questions join our Dynamics 365 migration community where you can connect with experts like Tricia there.

And if youre just getting started, I highly recommend the materials around our standard migration assessment.

Its really the first step in this process and really gets you going on that journey.

So until next time thanks so much.

Microsoft Dynamics 365: Benefits call centers can see in the cloud | Migration Minded Part 2 - Cloud Consulting