Creating Better Customer Experiences by Partnering in the Cloud: LiveOps and Microsoft Dynamics

The bottom-line? When you empower your customer service agents, you have the opportunity to delight your customers. Technology is key, but it actually takes more than technology to make that happen. It takes planning, people, process, strategy and then understanding how the technology affects both the person giving service (customer service agent), as well as the person getting service (the customer).

With all these new technological innovations that are evolving, it is still critical to deliver great customer service. However, the bottleneck in most organizations is often the CEO-level, who may be operating under an old paradigm that customer service is a cost center. I’ve written dozens, upon dozens of ROI models for customer service, customer experience – traditional along with social – and yet that message may still not have gotten to the CEO.

The issue with not understanding that customer service affects every aspect of the business (marketing, PR, sales, manufacturing, advertising, innovation, etc.) is that customers are voting with their mice and their feet. Whether it’s a brick and mortar store or an online presence, customers are sick and tired of bad service. When it happens, while they know, the devil they don’t know may be worse, and they often want to make a point and switch to another company.  The question to ask yourself is – can you withstand to lose 20, 30, 40, 50 percent of your customers over the next few years? If not, then the challenge is making sure that CEOs and CFOs, as well as CTOs and CIOs, really understand the integral part customer service interactions and customer / company dynamics play in the bottom line.

With many applications going to the cloud, it makes sense that having the contact center in the cloud can deliver excellent customer experiences. Some recent news is an unfolding of the integration of LiveOps’ CTI with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk, which was released in the spring of 2014. This means that organizations will have a leading, multichannel cloud contact center solution that embodies the shared vision by both companies, i.e., to connect brands with customers via innovative technology and channels to deliver amazing customer experiences.

With most customers wanting to be able to interact with brands on any channel and receive the same level of quality from the interaction, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk provides a unified experience for agents so that they can deliver efficient and effective interactions across all channels. So where does LiveOps come into the picture? The Unified Service Desk serves as a solid platform for vendors like LiveOps to showcase their customer service solutions.

In this release, LiveOps offers voice and web chat capabilities to complement the advanced, multichannel, social cloud contact center capabilities delivered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk. This CTI integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM further enhances the solution’s customer service capabilities by giving agents access to integrated contact center applications, as well as empowering managers to monitor and optimize inbound and outbound customer interactions to improve key metrics for customer satisfaction and agent productivity. The whole point of the solution is to provide a complete, integrated contact center solution that enables agents to manage every customer interaction for faster and better resolution.

How can agents manage every customer interaction, still keep the interaction fast and provide a positive resolution for both the customer and the company? Brands have to look at the whole technology landscape and decide which products allow their business to make changes quickly while remaining flexible in an ever-changing environment. That means that brands need technology that can connect with customers across traditional and mobile voice channels. Features like screen pop (customer information popping up on the agent desktop when the customer interacts with the brand), an embedded phone and chat panel, on-screen click-to-dial, integrated call recording and multichannel routing—all allow brands to more easily connect with customers across traditional and mobile voice channels.

One of the reasons features like screen pop, while simple enough, are so important is that they enable agents to deliver personalized customer experiences and first contact resolution, while increasing productivity, reducing costs and maximizing customer relationship management (CRM) investments.

Jujhar Singh, General Manager of Program Management at Microsoft Dynamics CRM said, “The majority of customers want to be able to interact with a brand on any channel and have the service quality remain consistent.” Microsoft Dynamics CRM Unified Service Desk is designed to provide an experience for the agent, which in turn directly affects the customer’s experience and their perception of the brand.

If you want to gain more customers and keep the ones you have, then it’s time to get the c-level on-board with the cloud and really reconsider how your company approaches customer experience and customer service. And that’s how I see it.

–          Dr. Natalie Petouhoff