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Telephony in Omnichannel for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Martin Hlay, Solution Enablement Lead

Omnichannel for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service is about meeting customers where they are, communicating with (rather than “to”) them in the channel (chat, SMS, telephone, email, etc.) they prefer, and bringing every customer touchpoint under one “roof.”

Omnichannel has been with us for years. We’ve all likely seen a chat interface by now, whether or not we’ve known if the other “chatter” is a real person or a virtual bot conversing with a customer. SMS, also known as texting or “the only way millennials seem to communicate”, continues to become bigger for customer service. Social media provides a means to publicly and directly communicate with a brand. And let’s not forget a good old-fashioned phone call to resolve issues.

The difference is that we previously thought of the preceding as separate means of communicating. But with Omnichannel, they essentially have become one. Social, texts, chats, calls all captured by the same solution and in the same customer record? That’s good. The question now is how do we make good better?

Let’s start with our good old-fashioned phone call. It seems that voice communication’s full integration into Omnichannel is often lagging for many companies.

A primary cause is companies have a wide array of phone services and devices implemented, sadly only some of which may have integration capabilities with Dynamics 365. Let’s look at how Omnichannel plans to change this and offer a seamless telephony channel.

Problem: Current phone service does not integrate with Dynamics 365 Omnichannel (or integrate fully). Plus, remote workers might rely on call relays or mobile phone accessibility. Agents cannot utilize the entire array of functionality offered with Dynamics 365 Omnichannel.

Solution: Offer a telephony service within Dynamics 365. Rather than having agents “pick up the phone,” run all calls directly through a computer’s audio.

What does this entail? Here are the highlights.

Native voice channel with Azure communication services phone number acquisition

Until now, administrators created resources and managed phone numbers in a separate telephony application and then manually deployed the numbers in their CRM solution. The fragmented process is inconsistent and requires continuous maintenance to keep both applications in sync.

With the native voice channel, business administrators can deploy the telephony resource and acquire phone numbers without leaving the Omnichannel administration app.

The key highlights of this feature include:

  • Telephony resource deployment using connection string or sign-in to the Azure account
  • Acquiring phone numbers of various types and plans
  • Releasing phone numbers
Call intelligence

Through historical analytics, supervisors will be able to drill into a particular call to view more details. Each call can include voice-specific metrics such as talk-to-listen ratio, talking speed, and more. Supervisors can also see the detailed sentiment throughout the call, shown alongside the transcript for further analysis. This view helps supervisors better understand how the call went and identify the areas to improve.

This capability leverages the call transcription and sentiment analysis to produce the following metrics:

  • Talking speed
  • Switches per hour
  • Pause before speaking
  • Longest customer monologue
Call transcription and sentiment analysis

Call transcription converts a phone conversation into written words and stores them as plain text as the call is in progress. Sentiment analysis, built on award-winning AI technology, tags a sentiment on the top of a conversation, and is constantly updated as the conversation evolves.

Both call transcription and sentiment analysis are included out of the box with no additional setup or configuration.

Voicebot via Power Virtual Agents

With this feature, businesses have a familiar bot authoring experience for all customer service bots, across messaging and voice. Customers will enjoy flexible, free-form service experiences, instead of inflexible menu trees.

Bots can easily hand off the call to human agents, with the conversation history and context gathered by the bot. This allows Omnichannel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service to route the customer from the bot to the best available live agent to provide a seamless, contextual handoff.

The key highlights of this feature include:

  • Enable Power Virtual Agents and Microsoft Bot Framework bots to provide intelligent voicebots on the voice channel
  • Support for built-in dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) as a secondary means to interact with the bot
  • Transfer calls to human agents with full transcript and context
  • Use bots for post-call surveys
The Arbela difference

Arbela Technologies has been working with Microsoft to better enable customer service agents to handle interactions utilizing Omnichannel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

Additionally, Arbela has created its own Smart Assist solution, which interacts not only with the Omnichannel context but can also act upon data within Dataverse: Record data, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, and Dynamics 365 Marketing can provide a richer context and create a more a seamless interaction between an agent and a customer, as the agent has more complete and more relevant information immediately available within the Omnichannel interface — no need for searching while a customer waits.

If you’re interested in moving to an all-in-one offering or would like more information on Abela’s Omnichannel for Dynamics 365 offerings, simply contact us.