AI-powered innovations enhance customer service with 2024 release wave 1

We’re excited to announce the general availability of new and enhanced experiences in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service as part of our 2024 release wave 1 cadence. This release focuses on extending Microsoft Copilot capabilities by infusing generative AI into customer, agent, and supervisor experiences. We’re also enhancing voice, messaging, and email channels to provide a unified, omnichannel experience.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps organizations improve every aspect of contact center operations. We’re continuing to invest in generative AI to help contact centers create seamless self-service options for common questions. Plus, it helps every agent become a super-agent when it comes to more complex, high-touch issues.

Copilot and AI innovation in Customer Service

Since we announced Copilot capabilities a year ago, organizations have been realizing the benefits of generative AI in the contact center. Copilot answers agents’ questions, drafts email, provides case and conversation summaries, and automates time-consuming tasks. We’ve enhanced the email drafting capability further by including a contextual inline email editor, making it even easier for agents to deliver personalized service.

Also in this release, we’re enabling agents to generate AI-powered timeline highlights to get an overview of key activities like emails, notes, appointments, tasks, phone calls, and conversations. This minimizes the amount of clicking and scrolling an agent must do to get caught up on case and customer details.

Organizations can extend Copilot capabilities with prompt plug-ins in public preview this month. With plug-ins, agents can generate a summary of their customers, products, cases, or any other entities in Microsoft Dataverse without having to switch tabs or log in to a separate app.

Generative AI in external apps with Microsoft Copilot for Service

In February, we introduced Microsoft Copilot for Service, which enables organizations to use Copilot capabilities with their existing customer relationship management (CRM) solutions such as Salesforce, and other productivity apps like Microsoft Teams and Outlook. It helps organizations by making their knowledge more accessible. This speeds up training and problem-solving, making work easier for agents.

In Teams, agents can save time by accessing a customer’s CRM records during a meeting. Agents can update the case and contact details, and link to open CRM records from Teams.

In Outlook, Copilot for Service can draft personalized, contextual customer service emails based on predefined intents, or agents can provide their own custom intents. Copilot can also help agents catch up on email quickly by generating summaries of long email conversations and display summaries of all the activities and information of a case. They can then save the summary to the CRM system and access it later.

Preparing for meetings is easier for agents because Copilot for Service provides the case summary associated with the meeting, along with access to view and edit CRM records. Furthermore, Copilot for Service can recommend CRM updates to agents based on information it finds in Outlook, such as contacts, emails, meetings, and summaries.

Voice channel enhancements in Customer Service

The omnichannel capabilities in Dynamics 365 Customer Service help organizations provide support to customers across multiple channels, including email, voice, text message, chat, and social media. This release brings several voice channel enhancements and certifications.

With enhancements to outbound dialing, agents can easily search for a customer in the outbound dialer and open the customer record right from the call history. They can now test the microphone and speakers before and during calls. Agents can also rate the call quality using a five-star rating system with the ability to describe issues with lower quality calls. We’re also enhancing customer trust, compliance, and security with sensitive data masking in data storage, during interactive voice response (IVR) sessions, and agent sessions.

IVR enhancements to the Dynamics 365 Customer Service Omnichannel add-on help customers self-serve before they must speak with an agent. In addition to improved speech recognition accuracy, these new voice features enable organizations to set prompts on silence, control timeouts, enable barge-in at any step, and suppress noise. The result is a smooth, contextual experience for customers.

Customers in Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud (GCC) Moderate can now access features from the voice channel. In addition, we’re submitting Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certifications for the components of the omnichannel stack in Dynamics 365 Customer Service. This high-level certification for government clouds will ensure the security of newly integrated features.

Workforce management

Intelligent forecasting with Dynamics 365 Customer Service introduces an AI-powered forecasting feature designed to predict service volumes and agent demands effectively. By analyzing historical data and trends, this intelligent model provides accurate predictions for up to six months into the future. Organizations can use this capability to optimize resource allocation, streamline operations, and improve customer satisfaction, thanks to daily and intraday forecasts for cases and conversations.

Forecasting is tailored to the unique needs of front-office and back-office operations. It distinguishes between direct customer interactions (conversations) and internal processing (cases), offering flexibility in forecasting for different service channels. This allows organizations to plan resources efficiently, ensuring optimal service levels and agent availability for both immediate and future service demands.

Operational metrics such as service level, shrinkage, and concurrency are considered in forecasting agent demand, aligning capacity with operational constraints. The model’s auto-detection of seasonality and holidays further refines accuracy, enabling businesses to adapt to service demand variations. User-friendly charts and the ability to slice forecast data by channels and queues provide valuable insights, while the export functionality enhances usability and integration with other tools.

Email enhancements

An intuitive agent experience is key to connecting with customers. Dynamics 365 Customer Service offers a robust agent desktop with generative AI, collaboration tools, and productivity features in a customizable workspace.

Agents now have a more efficient way to search for customers. They can use any part of the customer’s name to quickly find the right recipient. Email addresses are displayed alongside recipient names, making it easier for agents to identify and select the correct contact. Additionally, agents can see if recipients have set an out-of-office status, so they can adjust their communication accordingly.

The enhanced email attachment experience allows agents to quickly drag and drop attachments in emails. It also includes a reminder system that prompts agents if they mention an attachment in the email but forget to include it. These capabilities help agents save time and increase productivity when handling email communications.

To benefit the support organization, we’re also introducing the ability to create multiple cases from emails. The feature allows for automatic case creation for all mailboxes that receive an email, ensuring full visibility into customer issues. It enables teams to respond independently to customer issues, without case transfers, leading to quicker first responses and improved handling times. By avoiding case transfer delays, teams can more quickly meet service level agreements.

Next-generation AI that’s ready for enterprises

Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service offers a range of privacy features, including data encryption and secure storage. It also allows users to control access to their data and provides detailed auditing and monitoring capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is built on Azure OpenAI, so enterprises can rest assured that it offers the same level of data privacy and protection.

AI solutions built responsibly

We are committed to creating responsible AI by design. Our work is guided by a core set of principles: fairness, reliability and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability. We’re putting those principles into practice across the company to develop and deploy AI that will have a positive impact on society.

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