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5 CRM trends to watch out for in 2021

Discover 5 CRM trends to watch out for in 2021 to thrive in a world shaken up by COVID-19.

Your relationship with customers is what will win you new business over and over again. If you manage to do it right of course. So, what do you need to do to stay ahead of the fierce competition during these troublesome times? Find out what direction CRM is heading in. Take a look at these trends to spot if your business is on the right track.

Keep reading to find out why you should watch out for these 5 leading CRM trends in 2021.

[READ ALSO] Digital Transformation Trends of 2021 >>


How AI-powered CRM tools can boost your Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence to power CRM and Customer Service

Last year, it became clear that customers’ behaviour is changing drastically and continues to grow more unpredictable each passing day.

The importance of gaining deeper insights is highlighted yet again and also challenges your business to achieve much more.

How do you manage then to do more with your real-time customer data today?

Hence why Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently one of the most anticipated developments to come in CRM. You can expect AI-powered CRM tools to push the limits of your CRM further.

Think of applications such as automating time-consuming tasks, improving your service agents’ productivity, proactively solving customer issues, advancing your chatbots, predicting your customers’ needs, and many more.


Fewer channels to spark more conversations

One-Channel or Channel-less CRM

Omnichannel is no stranger to many. Plenty of businesses already adopted the omnichannel strategy to create a seamless customer experience, even as customers jump from channel to channel.

However, this year turns out to be quite different as a single-channel approach to CRM is becoming more favoured.

What is a single-channel approach?

What this means is that current communication channels will in fact unite. Through one-channel, your sales agents and also your customer service agents no longer need to switch channels to communicate with your customers.

Add AI into the mix and the majority of the work is done, leaving you with a channel-less CRM.


Big data: The next big thing to happen to CRM

Big data and customer data platforms in CRM

Let us state the obvious. The success of CRM relies on the data that you collect as well as what you do with it. Nowadays, the personalisation of customer experience is what determines the outcome of any interaction you have with a customer. How does this actually influence your business?

Here is what you can expect from big data and customer data platform software

  • Get complete and data-driven insights on your customers.
  • Perfect your marketing strategy through one, unified view of the customer experience.
  • Allow AI to analyse your data so you can identify buying patterns and conversion opportunities.


Voice Technology on its way to CRM

Voice Assistance expected in CRM

With the rise of voice technology, it only makes sense that voice engagement is on its way to CRM. Microsoft for instance is already showing interest by funding Tact.ai, a company that owns smart voice assistance technology.

Why is Voice Technology a CRM trend to watch out for?

Currently, voice assistance empowers sales representatives to follow, message, and also alert their teams about related customer data. Now here is where things start to take an interesting turn. Imagine what voice technology paired with AI and machine learning could do for your business.

This could enable you to fuel your business with more data in addition to helpful insights.


CRM shifting to mobile and social in 2021

CRM going more social and movbile

There are two things you need to know about your customers. The first thing is that your customers crave constant connectivity.

This is what strongly drives CRM platforms to provide full and secure mobile functionality. From smartphones and tablets to any other devices that can connect to the internet.

Social Media is not slowing down in 2021

Another thing you should keep in mind is how the importance of social media is not slowing down anytime soon. Social media users today expect a response from your company almost instantly. Is this is a challenge your business is trying to overcome?

Leading CRM platforms are now planning integrations with more social networks, but the technology is not new. Current integrations with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can still strengthen and boost your relationship with customers.


Next-up: What to expect of Digital Transformation in 2021?

Digital Transformation Trends in 2021

Questions on how you can make these 5 CRM trends work in 2021?

Facebook Messenger has been added as extra digital channel in Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Dynamics 365 Customer Service adds Facebook Messenger

Just before the holiday season kicked off, Microsoft included Facebook Messenger as an extra digital channel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Customer support teams will now be able to assist their clients using this popular social messaging channel.

By adding Facebook Messenger, Dynamics 365 Customer Service is extending its omnichannel capabilities. Interaction with your customers on their preferred channel is possible in various ways like email, phone, SMS, live chat and the recently added Facebook messaging app.

Watch demo to learn more about Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Explore Dynamics 365 Customer Service capabilities

Advantages of Facebook Messenger in Dynamics 365 Customer Service

The asynchronous nature of conversations in Facebook Messenger is undoubtedly an important reason for its inclusion and integration within Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Thanks to this asynchronous character, customers experience the convenience of getting their issues resolved as and when they find time.

When using live chat, the session ends when the chat window is closed. With Facebook Messenger, the customer can continue the dialog with a customer service agent through the same window at a later time. Even when it’s started on their desktop and proceeded on their phone, the conversation is continued, creating a seamless support experience.

With more than a billion active users, Facebook Messenger is one of the biggest messaging apps worldwide. Certainly, it’s a platform many costumers are already familiar with.

Other benefits of the fresh integration of Facebook Messenger are:

  • Service agents will access the messaging conversations in Dynamics 365 Customer Service through the same unified interface already used by chat to engage with customers and resolve outstanding issues.
  • Support center supervisors and managers will also get access relevant and detailed reports to identify opportunities to increase efficiencies and effectiveness.

As a wrap for this latest update, we are quoting Erin Amstrup, Product Marketing Manager, Dynamics 365 Customer Service:

“By including Facebook Messenger to our digital messaging offer, customers can contact support organisations via their channel of choice, while simultaneously arming agents with a true 360-degree view of the customer journey and the tools needed to deliver a quick resolution that is consistent across all channels of engagement.”

Read more about Microsoft’s addition of Facebook Messenger in Dynamics 365 Customer Support on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Support or any other Dynamics 365 related question. Stay tuned for more Dynamics 365 news!

Source: Microsoft

Dynamics 365 Commerce launch

Microsoft rolls out Dynamics 365 Commerce, which is basically an e-commerce solution that helps retailers manage their business better.

With built-in web authoring as well as development tools you can create engaging and intelligent digital storefronts. While a connected marketing and commerce platform enables seamless management of content, assets, promotions, inventory and pricing across channels.

Dynamics 365 Commerce Preview - Product

There is also room for your customers to leave reviews. What’s more, the solution is an extension of Dynamics 365 for Retail and integrates with other Microsoft software. Companies are now able to communicate with their customers which is equally important.

Microsoft has also rolled out Dynamics 365 Connected Store, a service that can send alerts to employees based on information collected from sensors and cameras in physical stores.

Preview of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce and Connected Store Vision

Curious to find out how these new smart technologies look like in action? Watch the following video to discover how they can boost your business!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce and Connected Store Vision

Read more about Microsoft’s latest announcement on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more or have any other Dynamics 365 related question. Stay tuned for more Dynamics 365 news!

Image source: Microsoft

Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps

Dynamics 365: 2 major updates per year

Microsoft recently announced a change in their service update process for Dynamics 365 (online). As from now, there will be two major releases per year, foreseen in April and October. Doing so Microsoft wants to lower upgrade costs, offer the latest capabilities and functionalities to all users and provide a better support experience.

Release notes of these predictable updates will be published months prior to each major update to be prepared for the new features and improvements. Next to early visibility of the upcoming changes, both partners as customers will be able to test the latest capabilities early in the update cycle. The Dynamics 365 updates will be made available in a sandbox environment well in advance of its release.

Besides these 2 major updates, Microsoft will deploy performance and reliability improvement updates throughout the year.

Microsoft’s extended announcement is available on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about this announcement or any other Dynamics 365 related question. Stay tuned for more Dynamics 365 news!

 

Image source: Microsoft

General Data Protection Regulation is here, are you ready?

GDPR is here, are you ready?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect today (25/05/2018). To summarize, the regulation obliges companies to protect the personal data and privacy of all citizens within EU member states. The GDPR centres on two key principles. Firstly, companies need clear consent to gather personal data. Secondly, data can only be used to optimise offered services. These key principles has led to companies updating their privacy and data collection policies.

There is a lot of work to do and not all companies will be 100% ready for today’s deadline. What about you? Are you still struggling with the many requirements the European privacy regulation is imposing?

Here is how you can prepare yourself for the upcoming change. With a total of 99 articles, the legislation might seem like a challenge for your company. Have a look at our infographic below for a quick summary about the new privacy and data rules. Find out how we approach the GDPR as data is at the center of everything in today’s digital era.

Do you still have burning questions on how to prepare and ensure full compliance with GDPR requirements?

Get in touch with us, we can help you to become GDPR compliant!

GDPR is here, are you ready? Contact Admiral Dynamics.

Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

Day 3 @ Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

As you could already read on our blog, our colleague Laurent Van Aert was at the Summit EMEA in Dublin the past 3 days. Laurent’s diary of the first two days are available on this blog: read his experiences of day 1 and day 2.

Curious how his 3rd day at the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018 looked like? Laurent explains it here:

“Really enjoying the final day at the Summit EMEA in Dublin. We started off with getting some profound insights in how LinkedIn can be deeply integrated into Dynamics 365, showing the immense advantages enforcing both sales as HR performances.

This session was followed with a demo on how powerful PowerApps can be to deliver a specific application for the branches of Metro Bank enabling employees to provide a great customer experience. Of course implementing new systems, apps, procedures and other within an organisation aren’t possible without taking care of the aspect of change management. Very useful insights about this matter were provided in a dedicated session concerning internal (digital) transformation.

Last but not least the Summit ended with a comprehensive and accurate representation of the developments of email integration within Dynamics 365, including the latest alteration of keeping the Outlook client and the enhancements of the fully integrated email function within the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing module.

It has been some exciting days and the future is looking bright for sure!”

Would you like to know more about the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018? Get in touch, we’ll tell you all about it!

Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

Day 2 @ Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

As you could already read on our blog, our colleague Laurent Van Aert is currently attending the Summit EMEA in Dublin. You can read Laurent’s first day report here.

Curious how day 2 at the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018 went? Then you should read further:

“It has again been a packed day full of sessions! In the morning an elaborative session around 360° Customer Service Engagement provided us with a broad scope of possibilities for delivering a professional approach towards customers using PowerApps, Unified Service Desk solutions and more tools depending on the various ways of interaction with customers throughout the entire servicing journey.

As the deadline for being GDPR compliant is approaching rapidly, Microsoft demonstrated not only how they ensure being compliant as a data controller, but also how the Microsoft solution delivers the necessary tools and functionalities for any organisation or company in order to respond to the different challenges concerning the privacy regulation.

In the afternoon, a session on full Office 365 integration using SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote provided quite some insights in how this can be set up efficiently and how to assure an effective empowerment of employees surfing on the wave of digital transformation. Furthermore we also had the opportunity to get deeper insights in how to guarantee an efficient implementation of Portals, including Microsoft’s new v8 multiple out-of-the-box solutions.

A final highlight of the day definitely was the Vodafone Iceland case about a effective customer engagement project using Dynamics 365/CRM showing that any digital transformation program needs to be driven by and carried throughout the entire organisation to ensure being successful. It was again a very enriching day! Tomorrow it’s already the last one but my expectations are (still) high!”

Check out this blog post for an update on day 3 of the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018.

Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

Day 1 @ Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

Our colleague Laurent Van Aert is attending the Summit EMEA in Dublin. Summit EMEA is the User Group conference that brings Microsoft Dynamics 365, AX and CRM users, industry experts and software development vendors together to discuss important issues, to learn about product updates and to find genuine solutions that suit your business needs.

You can read Laurent’s impressions of day 1:

“It has been an exciting & interesting first day at the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018! We kicked off with a promising opening presentation demonstrating how Microsoft’s Business Applications can tremendously accelerate Digital Transformation. Followed by a live demo of Customer Engagement leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Social Engagement, Customer Engagement, Portal Technology and more tools all combined to engage with your customer making sure expectations set by the brand’s strategy and related commitments are more than met.

At the same pace more valuable insights were gained during the afternoon sessions focusing firstly on Resco’s brand new Inspections module. And last but not least, we were introduced to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing which will become the enabler for truly monitoring and steering the customer journey. I’m already looking forward to attend tomorrow’s sessions!”

Check out these blog items for more Dublin news: day 2 and day 3.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

April 2: Dynamics NAV in Dynamics 365 cloud

The Dynamics 365 Cloud Platform is evolving at light speed! As of April 2, full ERP capabilities of Dynamics NAV will be offered in the cloud.

Being introduced as Dynamics 365 Business Central, it will bring the full power of Dynamics NAV to the cloud. As such, Business Central has at its foundation a set of trusted, proven technologies that have served 160,000 customers and millions of users worldwide.

As a single, end-to-end application, Business Central offers (quoting Microsoft’s announcement):

  • Business without silos
    Unify your business and boost efficiency with automated tasks and workflows, all integrated within familiar Office tools like Outlook, Word, and Excel.
  • Actionable insights
    Achieve greater outcomes and gain a complete view of your business with connected data, business analytics and guidance delivered by Microsoft’s leading intelligent technologies.
  • Solutions built to evolve
    Start quickly, grow at your own pace and adapt in real time with a flexible platform that makes it easy to extend Business Central based on your changing business needs.

Dynamics 365 Business Central will be generally available on April 2 in 14 countries, including Belgium, and will be sold only through Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners like we are. You can read the extended Microsoft announcement on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about this release or any other Dynamics 365 related question.

 

Image source: Microsoft

ClickDimensions will be GDPR compliant by the May 25 deadline

ClickDimensions will be GDPR compliant by the May 25 deadline

ClickDimensions will be GDPR compliant as the deadline of the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR is coming closer. We are happy to read that our partner ClickDimensions is also taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the GDPR. ClickDimensions is the marketing automation solution for Microsoft Dynamics 365, which lots of our clients and ourselves are already using for all their email marketing and marketing automation practices.

GDPR and ClickDimensions

The European Union imposes a new regulation known as; The General Data Protection Regulation (in short: GDPR). Its goal is to ensure data protection as well as privacy of EU residents. Any organisation collecting or processing personal data of EU citizens have to be compliant with the GDPR. ClickDimensions being a data processor will meet all requirements imposed on data processors. Companies are considered data collectors when they work with ClickDimensions software. These companies are therefore accountable for their compliance.

Luckily, ClickDimensions will work on features within their tool to make it easier for clients (like ourselves) to manage GDPR-compliance. More concrete details about these changes will become clear in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned on this blog for more related info!

About ClickDimensions

For the ones who are not that familiar with ClickDimensions yet, it’s an easy-to-use marketing solution fully embedded in Dynamics 365. This means that you can access its features through the Dynamics interface, while your data is stored within your CRM database (and not in a separate marketing tool). As we are working with ClickDimensions for our own marketing activities, we can assure you that it’s very straight-forward and intuitive to use.

You can read more about ClickDimensions and their readiness plans for being GDPR compliant by May 25 on their blog.

If you still have a question about ClickDimensions, GDPR or marketing automation software, contact us through our contact form.

Image source: ClickDimensions