The Top 8 Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave Capabilities for Enhancing Customer Experience.
It’s just around the corner; Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave will be available in Q2 for online customers. The spring wave will build upon Dynamics CRM 2016 which was released in November of 2015 and included quite a few new capabilities to help productivity and efficiency.
The primary focus for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is continuing the journey to help companies deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Last year, Microsoft acquired two really great add-on solutions; FieldOne (in July) and Adxstudio (in September), and Microsoft has been busy fully incorporating them into Dynamics CRM.
Something completely new will be the ability to manage Projects. We have heard quite a few customers ask for the ability to manage projects in CRM for quite a while and Microsoft is listening and delivering.
There are a LOT of new features and enhancements coming in the Spring Wave. In this post we will focus on the ones we believe will bring significant value to customers. Without further adieu, the key themes for Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave are:
1 – Sales
- Guided User Navigation – An inline experience that delivers interactive and scenario-based guides that are personalized to the user-context which increases user productivity.
- Guided navigation will provide new CRM users in particular with added help to understand how to navigate, or how the steps required to move through a process.
- We feel this is a great addition for providing enhanced training guides that are customized specifically to your processes and will get new CRM users up to speed.
2 – Service
- Field Service (formerly called FieldOne) – provides class leading capabilities for field service including:
- Advanced scheduling
- Inventory tracking
- Asset management
- Contract management
- Online and offline mobile for tablets and smartphones
- With Field Service, companies now have the ability to schedule, manage and deliver onsite service – be it single-day calls or multi-day, more complex service projects.
- And it can be used for more than just field service. Nearly anything that needs scheduling can benefit from these new features. Think about managing fleet vehicles, buildings/properties, people with complex schedules, site visits, and more.
3 – Projects
The brand new Project Management capability will great benefits to companies that require project based services. Now have the projects you work on linked with the rest of your customer data. No more silos of information. Projects will help with estimating, planning and managing projects. This solution will have the capability to work very closely with the field service offering discussed above.
The ability to have a single system for recording time, tasks, resources, availability, skills; and now be able to go from lead, prospect, opportunity to project and support is extremely useful. Most often multiple systems are used to manage these complex interactions which not only causes errors, but also greatly reduces the speed and efficiency of organizations service customers effectively.
- Project Management – Estimate, quote, plan and assign resources, capture time, expenses and progress, and real time insights.
- Shared Resources – resource pools with both field and project service teams
4 – Portals
This release will debut the first Microsoft branded portal solution. These features are a result of the Adxstudio Portals add on purchase. Portals allow organizations to extend their Dynamics CRM system to customers, partners, prospects and non-Dynamics CRM employees. This initial wave will offer a few pre-built out-of-the-box solutions:
- Customer Portal allows for customer engagement. This solution grants customers access to cases, invoices, orders, knowledge base and other support resources.
- Employee Portal creates a space where employees can engage with each other and have one source of knowledge. It is designed to streamline the process of finding information related customers or internal process; think new employee onboarding as one possibility.
- Community Portal will allow for individual interactions through forums and blogs. Content can be provided to the community by internal and external users and can be a great source of knowledge, self-help and general community engagement.
5 – Mobile
The mobile offline capabilities of the Dynamics CRM app was initially launched as a preview feature with CRM 2016 (December release) and will be generally available for CRM Online customers in the Spring Wave. The new mobile offline capabilities provide a better offline experience for end users, as well as a new task oriented experience.
Our view is the mobile offering is getting better, however, if you need full featured mobile capabilities, particularly working in offline mode, Resco is still the better option.
- Mobile offline enhancements – view, update, and add records while offline without having to save changes or additions as drafts first.
- Mobile Management enhancements – integration with Intune Mobile Application Management (MAM), a techy thing that helps IT better manage devices connecting to company resources.
- Company news timeline for mobile – new timeline for Account, Lead, Contact or Opportunity. The Company news timeline enables users to get a quick glimpse of the latest news articles from Bing news. The news timeline will contain the headline of the news article along with, time elapsed, source of the news article and where relevant categorized as Financing, New Offerings, Management, Cost Cutting, Earnings, Growth, Legal, Acquisitions and Partnerships.
6 – Business Intelligence
This release includes an improved out-of-the-box Sales Analytics Power BI Content Pack for Sales Managers and a new Service Manager content pack Content Packs are simply pre-built templates.
The Sales Manager content pack provides analysis of sales performance, sales pipeline, activities, and lead pipeline with detailed metrics and charts.
Key Metrics for Sales Manager Content Pack include:
- Won Revenue
- Win Rate
- Average Deal Size
- Open Revenue
- New Leads
- Conversion Rate
- Top performers.
- Drill into reports to slice data by dimensions such as region, territory, industry, owner, and so on.
The Service Manager content pack provides analysis of service performance, incoming cases, and team activities with detailed metrics and charts; including:
- Average Handling Time
- CSAT Score
- % of SLA met
- Resolved Cases
- Active Cases
- Escalated Cases
- Top performers
- Drill into reports to slice data by time, owner, or subject area.
7 – Social
The Social Engagement feature is an underused capability that provides a tremendous amount of capabilities for enhancing customer experience through social channels.
Setup keyword and phrase searches to notify you when customers or prospects are talking about your company, products or services. Monitor competitors to see customer’s perspective of their products and services. Create tickets directly from social media posts, helping you provide top notch customer service. Customer Engagement provides sentiment analysis to help you understand if customers are having positive or negative or conversations.
- Added support for forums, Instagram, and blogs extension in Microsoft Social Engagement
- Publish and engage/reply with photo and share posts in Microsoft Social Engagement
- Intelligent social: tags, intentions, sentiment, languages
- Social CRM: automation and enhancement
8 – Marketing
Quite a few updates to Dynamics Marketing. While we like the enhancements to the Marketing capabilities, our general recommendation remains to be cautious on this product. If you have a larger marketing team and your processes include a lot of workflow around content review and approvals, it’s a great fit. If your needs are more toward effective and easy newsletters, emails, landing pages and the like; there are other recommendations we would make.
- Digital asset management, publishing and security improvements
- Email marketing editor enhancements
- Create marketing segments based on email behavior – enhanced dynamic lists
- Expanded feeds and activity log for marketing analytics
- Marketing services integration enhancements
You can get the details here about the many more social and marketing features the 2016 Spring Wave is releasing.
To learn more about these capabilities or others, contact us for a personal demonstration or deep dive on these capabilities. Or, sign up for our webinar on June 8th, 2016 where we will include a live demo of many of these features.