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Digital Disruption from EX²

What Retailers Can Learn from Macy’s Use of Microsoft Dynamics for Creating Personalized CX

By Doug Sylvester

Today’s multichannel shopping preferences and convergence of offline and online have retailers searching for ways to take the friction out of the customer experience. While large retailers like Macy’s have turned to AI-powered platforms to accomplish this goal, the expected growth of this emerging omnichannel and AI-powered landscape is clear from a recent Chain Store Age article.

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Topics: Dynamics 365, Customer Experience

9 Things You Need to Know About Dynamics 365 Social Insights

By Doug Sylvester

Engaging customers, providing customized experiences and developing brand advocates are all important in the marketing world. For sales, the primary goals are converting qualified leads, forging strong relationships and retaining hard-won accounts. Customer service wants to anticipate what customers will need or want, be proactive rather than reactive and avoid customer experience failures. Although it might seem that marketing, sales and customer service need a variety of tools to accomplish their goals, each department can benefit from using social media to connect with customers. This task can be made easier by using the social insights module available in Dynamics 365.

In recent years, Microsoft has spent a great deal of time and money to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence to the Dynamics 365 modules. "Insights" could well be the next catchword that Microsoft uses to market Dynamics. There are customer insights, relationship insights and organization insights, but the merging of Dynamics 365 with Microsoft Social Engagement to offer social insights may be one of the most important tools available for marketing, sales and customer service. Your customers are discussing you on Twitter, online forums, blogs and Facebook. Your prospects are discussing their needs and goals on their blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Knowing what is being said and by whom can help your company in many ways, and social insights can help you obtain that information. Here are nine things you need to know about social insights.

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Topics: Dynamics 365, Customer Experience

Microsoft Is Using Artificial Intelligence and Cortana to Enhance Dynamics 365 CRM

By Doug Sylvester

When properly analyzed and leveraged, big data enhances customer engagement through targeted, personalized and contextual marketing. The data also provides significant business intelligence that can help organizations achieve a variety of goals, including understanding their public image, increasing production efficiency or enhancing customer service. The primary problem with big data has always been the difficulty in correlating the information collected to obtain actionable insights. There is simply too much data for human analysts to find worthwhile information without the proper tools. Microsoft contends that humans need not be replaced in the process of extracting meaningful intelligence from big data, but they should be empowered to maximize the benefits that the data can provide. Adding support for Cortana and artificial intelligence to Dynamics 365 CRM is one way that Microsoft is attempting to give humans better tools for finding and using insights hidden in big data.

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Topics: Dynamics 365, Customer Experience, Sales Productivity

How Messaging Is Poised to Disrupt Marketing Strategies for Customer Engagement

By Lisa Carolan

As every marketer knows, customer engagement strategies can help build strong relationships and loyal customers. Unfortunately, providing engaging experiences for your customers is more of an art than a science. There are many different approaches that you can take, none of which are foolproof. Furthermore, it is quite likely that if you find the perfect strategy for your company, innovative technologies will leave at least parts of your strategy obsolete. The increased use of messaging apps is expected to be the next game-changer for marketers who want to enhance their engagement efforts. Messaging apps and chatbots are already being used by numerous companies for "conversational commerce." Three of the best-known are Facebook Messenger, Amazon Echo and Siri for AppleTV. Users can order flowers, request a Uber ride and conduct many other secure transactions from within Facebook Messenger. Amazon Echo can browse the user's purchase history, place orders, control home devices or handle a multitude of other tasks. Siri's integration with AppleTV allows users to search for and purchase specific movies, check the current weather or perform other search and buying activities.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Big Data: Your Key to True Customer Engagement

By Lisa Carolan

In recent years, marketers have discovered the benefits of providing compelling experiences to engage customers. To accomplish their goals, an increasing number of marketing professionals are embracing big data to help them improve customer satisfaction and increase market shares through superior customer engagement strategies. The proliferation of big data has enabled marketers to gain insights into why customers behave as they do — whether the behavior is positive or negative.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Give a Boost to Your Sales with MS Dynamics 365

By Doug Sylvester

Your sales team is the lifeblood of your company. Sales personnel are the ones who have the most opportunities to interact directly with customers, build solid relationships and present the right image of your mission and values. Given their importance, it only makes sense to ensure that they have the tools needed to convert leads into sales and customers into brand advocates. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales can help your team be more productive and achieve the company's goals.

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Topics: Dynamics 365, Sales Productivity, Customer Experience

2017: Battle of the Bots

By Lisa Carolan

If there is one thing that you can count on in the tech world, it is that everything will change. A year or two ago, it was all about the apps. While it is true that apps are still important for engaging customers, increasing employee productivity and marketing your brand, bots appear to be poised to become a true game-changer. 

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Topics: Customer Experience

Are You Triggering Right Emotions in Your Buyers?

By Lisa Carolan

Very few purchases are made based entirely on logic. For example, when it comes to where you live, real estate agents know homebuyers have an immediate emotional reaction to a home. If this reaction is negative, the shopper will be less receptive to the intrinsic value: the convenient location, the unique features of the home, or the potential for the home with a few improvements. Sales of vehicles are similar: salespeople look for physical evidence of a shopper's emotional reaction to a vehicle such as facial features relaxing or a bit of a "twinkle" in the shopper’s eyes. Even shoppers who take great pride in ferreting out bargains on mundane purchases can be influenced by their emotions. A shopper may carefully compare the prices and quantities on every brand of green beans to determine the best value — and then not choose the brand with the lowest price because the shopper heard an unflattering story about the company.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Digital Marketing

How to Bring Customer-Centric Theory to Life

By Lisa Carolan

In most businesses, the sales and marketing teams share the credit when profits increase and the blame when profits decrease. In the day to day we’re busy with awesome digital strategies, operations, and getting our message out there so we stay on the good side. Oftentimes though, the view of the customer becomes lost, something that can quickly break your business.

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Topics: Customer Experience

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