Plan and prepare for Dynamics 365 Customer Service in 2021 release wave 2
This content is archived and is not being updated. For the latest documentation, go to Overview of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. For the latest release plans, go to Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform release plans.
The 2021 release wave 2 plan covers all new functionalities planned to be delivered to market from October 2021 to March 2022. In this article, you'll find the product overview and what's new and planned for Dynamics 365 Customer Service.
Dynamics 365 Customer Service is an end-to-end service for customer support, spanning self- and assisted-service scenarios across multiple channels of customer engagement. Customer Service provides comprehensive and efficient case routing and management for agents, knowledge base to author and consume knowledge articles, and robust insights through AI suggestions and rich embedded analytics. It also provides add-ons for omnichannel engagement through chat and social channels and voice.
For 2021 release wave 2, we are focused on the following areas:
- Enable customers to be up and running quickly.
- Deliver the all-in-one contact center.
- Improve knowledge authoring and management.
- Transform contact center routing.
Download the release overview guide and share with your team as you plan to onboard the new capabilities included in this release wave.
* Overview guide available in English version only.
The agent experience is the heart of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The key to improving satisfaction in service delivery is enabling agents to take customer requests from any channel, handle multiple sessions at a time, interact with multiple apps without losing context, and enhance their workflow with productivity tools.
In 2021 release wave 2, the inbox view will be integrated with the Customer Service Workspace and Omnichannel for Customer Service apps to allow agents to effectively navigate cases and conversations.
Knowledge management plays a vital role in enabling organizations to deliver world-class customer care. Allowing agents to create rich, high-quality knowledge resources, and showing the right knowledge content across engagement modalities (including self service, assisted service, and onsite service), expedites issue resolution and helps drive customer and agent satisfaction and productivity.
The ability to create, import, and share knowledge bases is a core capability of successful support delivery. With knowledge management, agents and supervisors can author knowledge articles from templates, add knowledge search providers from multiple sources (SharePoint, Microsoft search, and other Dynamics 365 organizations), and receive AI-triggered knowledge suggestions while helping customers to speed up support delivery.
The timeline is used across Dynamics 365 applications to capture activities such as notes, appointments, emails, tasks, and more, to ensure that all interactions with the customer are tracked and visible over time. Agents use the timeline to quickly catch up on all of the latest activity details with the customer to provide the most personalized support experience.
At Ignite in September 2020, we announced our voice channel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Using our Microsoft-built solution, we're providing simpler administration and management experiences without traditional cloud component integration complexities. Embracing this simplicity allows customers to focus on their core business outcomes while benefiting from the purpose-built abstractions of the Microsoft cloud.
In 2021 release wave 2, we're bringing together voice, SMS, and digital messaging channels with an intelligent interactive voice response (IVR) powered by Power Virtual Agents, real-time voice intelligence, insights across all channels, and speech-based self-service and intelligent skills-based routing.
Self-service is a critical first step in the customer service journey because it helps deliver high up-front resolution rates and increased customer satisfaction due to speed and convenience. Self-service also yields a significant Tier 1 agent cost reduction and better use of time to build domain expertise. Communities is the engine that powers self-service because it enables peer-to-peer support and the creation of relevant and high-quality content at scale.
Online communities of customers, partners, and employees offer a "wisdom of the crowds" approach to rapid user-generated content (UGC) creation through formal and informal knowledge articles, Q&A forums, and blogs. And by leveraging feedback sharing, communities can join forces to impact and drive your future investments. This helps build trust and brand loyalty by demonstrating that you listen to your customers.
Traditionally, organizations use "queue-based routing," where incoming service requests are routed to a relevant queue, and agents work on those service requests by picking them from the queue. Organizations can miss service-level agreements if agents pick the easier service requests and leave the higher-priority requests in the queue. To address this scenario, organizations either create custom workflows to periodically distribute service requests among their agents or have dedicated personnel to distribute the service requests equitably among agents while adhering to organizational and customer preferences. Both methods are inefficient and error prone and necessitate continuous queue supervision.
The intelligent routing service in Customer Service uses a combination of AI models and rules to assign incoming service requests from all channels (cases, entities, chat, digital messages, and voice) to the best-suited agents. The assignment rules take into account customer-specified criteria, such as priority and auto-skills matching. The new routing service uses AI to classify, route, and assign work items with full automation, eliminating the need for constant queue supervision and manual work distribution to offer operational efficiencies for organizations.
In 2021 release wave 2, routing diagnostics for supervisors and improved historical analytics for unified routing have been planned.
When companies deliver great customer service, customers can have a great relationship with them over a period, and throughout that relationship they may have several support inquiries through more than one support channel. Cases help businesses track customers' issues and ensure any agent who helps them at any time has the full context of their support history.
In 2021 release wave 2, we're enhancing the subject organizational structure that will make it easier for agents to view and search the subject tree hierarchy, thereby enabling them to find case subjects faster and decrease overall case resolution times.
Agent productivity tools use intelligence and automation to enable agents to find answers to customer questions and help resolve customer issues quickly, thereby improving satisfaction in service delivery.
In 2021 release wave 2, the following enhancements are planned:
- Agents can collaborate with contacts in Dynamics 365 using Microsoft Teams.
- Agents can manage appointments with scheduling and proactively resolve issues created from IoT alerts.
- Extensibility of the app side pane capability for the productivity tools, such as agent scripts and macros.
Businesses use service-level agreements (SLAs) to govern support products that customers either receive as part of their purchase or add on to their purchase. SLAs include policy details, such as how quickly a customer is entitled to receive support, how many support requests, and for how long after purchases a customer can be supported as part of the agreement.
To learn more about the entire set of capabilities being delivered during this release wave, check out the release plan for Dynamics 365 Customer Service below:
For application administrators
User-impacting features to the user experience enabled automatically
User-impacting features should be reviewed by application administrators. This facilitates release change management and enables successful onboarding of new capabilities released to market. For the complete list, look for all features tagged "Users, automatically" in the release plan.
Features that must be enabled by application administrators
This release wave contains features that must be enabled or configured by administrators, makers, or business analysts to be available for their users. For the complete list, look for all features tagged "Users by admins, makers, or analysts" in the release plan.
Get the most out of Customer Service
|View all capabilities included in the release.
|Stay up to date on latest product updates.
|Know important release milestones.
|Improve your understanding of how to license Customer Service.
|Find documentation for Customer Service.
|Engage with Customer Service experts and peers in the community.
|Find and register for in-person and online events.
|Get started with Customer Service.