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When Artificial Intelligence Fuels More Personal and Efficient Customer Interactions

Post Author: Joe D365 |

Did you know that more than two-thirds of customers expect and want an organization to reach out and engage with proactive customer notifications? The reason is simple: such proactive experiences feed the customer’s need to be recognized, which in turn generates customer engagement and strengthens loyalty. In other words, it’s a win-win!

It boils down to this: your customers – the current ones you’re trying to retain and the future ones you hope to acquire – are looking for more than just a quick and complete resolution when they engage with you. They expect that much at a bare minimum – it has become the baseline expectation. Increasingly, they also desire and in fact demand a more proactive and personalized experience. Is your organization equipped to deliver?

And on that note… welcome back to our three-part series exploring different Microsoft technology solutions that deliver the type of world-class customer service today’s consumer demands!

Let’s get started…

Artificial Intelligence: Changing How Businesses Communicate with Customers

Historically, when the topic of Artificial Intelligence – or AI – came up in customer service strategy planning sessions, there was a fear that it meant creating a highly impersonal and less than memorable customer experience. But in fact, precisely the opposite is true!

The newer AI modules in the Microsoft Business Application Stack – Power Virtual Agents, Customer Insights, and Customer Service Insights – are not only creating a personalized interaction with your customers, but also allowing your service agents access to a “customer 360” view to get a full picture of every touchpoint your customer has had on their journey. Why is this important? Customers don’t want to repeat their issues over again, they want you to understand their past history and expect you to fix it – the first time.

Power Virtual Agents and AI

Power Virtual Agents uses a universal language model trained on data, and it is optimized for the way people use language when interacting with chatbots. When setting up chatbots built with Power Virtual Agents, businesses define trigger phrases that will give the AI the best chance of finding the correct topic based on what the customer is typing. But over its lifetime, the AI has gotten so advanced that it will detect a user’s intent even if the trigger phrases aren’t exactly matched. And it’s only getting better. It’s to the point now where customers can speak or type in a normal way and still be understood by a bot!

Low-code, no-code virtual agents are so powerful now that businesses are starting to incorporate them into their digital channels. They are being used now in emails, SMS, and telephony. The days of virtual agents being used exclusively in chat sessions are indeed gone. And as the intelligence of these models continue advancing at unprecedented rates, the virtual agent landscape will never be the same.

Microsoft’s Customer Service Insights and Customer Insights  

For the sake of discussion, let’s say your business uses a phone system that has its own set of data points and reports. You also have a CRM system with its own set of data points and reports. Oh, and you have a Master Data Management system, too, as well as a couple of other legacy systems with customer information. Sound familiar?

If you’re like most businesses today, the answer is a resounding yes. You have all this disparate data and it is hard to get a true picture of what's going on in your business. You need insight! And that’s the whole idea behind Microsoft’s Customer Service Insights (MCSI), which is capable of curating a tremendous volume of data from multiple sources. It analyzes case information – things like title, subject, and description – and runs it through a combination of machine learning and AI to group similar requests (e.g., check order status, what is the status of my order, and did you receive my order). While those are all the same topic, the text is different. But due to its AI capabilities, MCSI groups them all under the topic of order status. Then the magic starts!

It slices the data by product, by channel, by time of day, by request type, and by several other data points. MCSI puts it all together and analyzes it – and the analysis gets more robust each time because the AI and machine learning make the tool steadily smarter. Within each slice of data, there are countless drill-down opportunities, meaning you can really get into the weeds. And it’s in the weeds where you’ll discover the incremental process improvements that will collectively enhance your customer service delivery during the stress of the pandemic.

If you like MCSI and the data that it collects, surfaces, and reveals, also consider Microsoft Customer Insights (MCI), which leverages an intuitive and flexible customer data platform (CDP) to uncover valuable insight into customer needs and habits. It seamlessly delivers the 360-degree view of the customer that businesses have always wanted but have struggled to effectively achieve because doing so requires the arduous process of combining various source systems together. What MCI offers is a way to create this CDP using the power of AI instead of manually creating mapping logic the way you might with a data warehouse.

Companies working in silos and gaining their customer data from static Excel spreadsheets and email chains are at a critical disadvantage. Successful organizations must be able to make quick decisions and pivot on the fly, and the latest data insight tools help you do exactly that.

Of course, HCL-PowerObjects can help, so don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service experts. We are, after all, Microsoft’s Customer Service Global Partner of the Year for two years running.

Happy Customer Service Delivery!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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