As mentioned in our overview post for the Dynamics year ahead, the upcoming Leo update is for both on-premise CRM and CRM Online solutions.
While the recent focus (as well as some upcoming focus) has been targeted towards Sales and Marketing, it’s good to see the Service area getting an overhaul (not just an update) – with further improvements to be made in Q4 when Microsoft has its initial Parature integration with CRM. In the meantime, let’s have a look at what the Leo update will mean to CRM.
One of the main updates is the new Unified Service Desk (USD) – one place to create your cases (from any channel) and able to handle multiple cases at the same time (in different tabs) while using multiple applications. Essentially, this where service agents can record information, research, look at history and respond to multiple cases – but all in one location. The key here is that it is the client-facing program, but can be easily connected to existing systems to centralise all information and allowing agents to work on multiple cases as it often is in the working environment. This USD also features a fantastic Knowledgebase which dynamically picks up keywords relating to the case to present the service agent with solutions, and also additional information to go that bit further (i.e. offers they weren’t aware of).
Looking at enhancing customer experience, Microsoft have added a new feature into case forms, which look at Service Level Agreement (SLA) times. These can be set against case priority and shows the agents a countdown timer for how long they have left to respond to the customer in order to comply with SLA agreements. This is to encourage fast responses so customers are quickly responded to and left happy, but can also help companies to easily see how well they are working to SLA agreements against open cases. This fits in nicely with the automatic case creation (when emails are sent in they are automatically turned into a case on CRM) to reduce time and keep on target.
Another update to the case forms is a quick-view of important information (name and phone number) and a call script to help guide service agents through the process. This fits in nicely with the great workflows we saw when Dynamics CRM 2013 was released, which have been further improved for the Service side to ensure all information needed is captured and agents cannot move onto the next stage if something is missing (to help remove human error). We can also expect case hierarchy through parent/child cases to continue simplifying the service workflow and better ability to merge cases.
A new feature being built in is Entitlements, where entitlements to what the customer should receive is set against the customer (with timeframes and requirements). For example premium customers could have more entitlements than a basic customers and service agents will be able to quickly see this and reduce time spent querying what level of service should or should not be given.
Finally, CRM Online users (or future users) can enjoy updates to Exchange online synchronisation to ensure any tasks/ appointments set up in CRM are immediately updated to your Outlook calendar (without the need for Outlook to be running as before), but no further news of crossover synchronisation (from Online to on-premise and vice-versa).
It’s great to see Microsoft focusing its efforts on every sector of CRM this year and while users who main utilise the Service module haven’t had as many exciting updates as the Marketing and Sales side, we think it’s been worth the wait.