What is Dynamics 365 Customer Insights? And How to Use It

Unlocking the full power of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

What is Dynamics 365 Customer Insights And How to Use It - CX Today News
Data & AnalyticsInsights

Published: November 30, 2023

Rebekah Carter

Introduced at Microsoft Inspire 2023, the new Dynamics 365 Customer Insights platform offers CX innovators access to a combined customer data platform (CDP) and journey orchestration tool.

The updated solution first started rolling out in September 2023. However, since then, Microsoft has made several changes to its toolkit, introducing new features and Copilot capabilities. Now, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights promises an even more intuitive way for businesses to enhance team productivity and creativity and reduce data silos.

With this toolkit, data analysts can unify demographic, transactional, and behavioral data for a clearer view of the customer journey. Plus, every business user can leverage the power of Copilot to analyze and explore customer information, create segments, build journey maps, and more.

Here’s everything you need to know about Microsoft 365 Customer Insights, how it works, and how you can make the most of it for your team.

What is Dynamics 365 Customer Insights?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is a new resource in Microsoft’s toolkit for customer-facing employees. According to the tech giant, it lays the foundation for creating and managing personalized and connected customer journeys. Plus, it aligns sales, service, and marketing teams to boost business productivity.

Business leaders can use the toolkit to create customer segments and journey maps, while marketing teams can streamline content creation with AI-driven text and image recommendations. Sales teams get a complete view of every customer touchpoint for contextualized interactions, and customer service agents can personalize support based on user profiles.

The Dynamics 365 Customer Insights experience consists of two main components: Customer Insights Data and Customer Insights Journeys.

What is Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Data?

The “Data” part of the platform consists of Microsoft’s intuitive customer data platform, built to empower personalized customer experiences. The application gives companies a holistic view of customers and their buyer journey.

Here, marketing, sales, and service professionals can unify customer information with operational and IoT data in real time, enriching customer profiles. Plus, turnkey integrations with Microsoft and third-party applications allow for creating a comprehensive “single point of truth.”

Microsoft says companies can connect data from various sources and use prebuilt AI models to access insights. There’s even the option to design, test, and deploy unique AI/ML models using Microsoft’s built-in toolkits.

Additionally, businesses maintain complete control over all the data they align, preserving governance and compliance policies. The enterprise-grade CDP is built on Microsoft Azure and supports privacy laws, policies, and legislative requirements for businesses in all segments.

What is Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Journeys?

The “Journeys” component of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights encompasses all the tools employees can use to elevate and personalize customer experiences. Not just for marketers, this upgraded toolkit features AI and natural language input assistance via Copilot.

Employees can use the straightforward app to build trigger-based and automated journeys across multiple touchpoints, from email to text messages and push notifications. Plus, they can personalize customer insights with AI, drawing information from Data segments and profiles.

Users can also customize the scalable platform and connect with the tools they already use. For instance, you can join your CRM tools, email and text messaging platforms, and analytical tools for an end-to-end aligned experience.

The Features of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is an all-in-one toolkit for optimizing the customer journey. The solution’s core features break down into a few key areas: getting to know your customers, engagement, and boosting productivity.

Current capabilities include:

  • Rich customer profiles: Comprehensive customer profiles and identity management combining transactional, demographic, and behavioral data across channels.
  • Trend analysis: Use ready-made machine learning templates to predict customer lifetime value and accelerate time to insights.
  • Extensive integrations: Combine proprietary Microsoft audience intelligence with data from third-party sources with streamlined connectors.
  • Customer management: Use AI recommendations to discover and create new audience segments, then manage your insights from a unified environment.
  • Policy management: Implement data management policies to reduce compliance issues.
  • Orchestrate customer journeys: Build contextually relevant journeys with an included visual builder and use real-time custom-triggered events for engagement.
  • Analytics and experimentation: Run A/B test to find high-performing content and journey branches, and leverage dashboards to track KPIs and metrics.
  • Omnichannel interaction: Leverage various digital channels such as SMS, push notifications, and email to nurture accounts.
  • Content creation: Create captivating, personalized, and branded content in seconds with generative AI support from Dynamics Copilot.

Using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

Probably the best way to increase the ROI of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is with built-in Copilot capabilities. Just as Copilot is helping service and sales agents reduce average handling times and personalize interactions, it can also boost productivity in Customer Insights.

Today, business leaders and sellers can instantly use Copilot in Customer Insights to generate customer profile summaries. These summaries will highlight the critical analytical data salespeople need to increase their win rates and convert customers.

Marketers can also qualify their leads using engagement scores and other metrics, ensuring salespeople focus on the right growth opportunities. Plus, Microsoft is investing in a partnership with Optimizely to help users build personalized campaigns in real time.

Bi-directional integrations allow organizations to design hyper-personalized campaigns without code for social media, email, and offline channels. These capabilities are available to companies with Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Premium subscriptions, and those with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights plans.

How to Get Started with Customer Insights

For most companies, the journey to success with Dynamics 365 Customer Insights will start with the “Data” solution in the platform. Getting started is simple. You can sign up for a free service trial here or purchase a license. Then, all you need to do is “Create an Environment”.

Once you do, a “Getting Started” screen will display, guiding you through the necessary steps. You can upload your data with CSV files or import information from various channels. Options include importing from Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Synapse Analytics, and the Dataverse.

Once you import your data, you can run the “data unification process” to create unified profiles. Integrated AI will identify duplicates and match conditions, organizing everything you need into a comprehensive set of tables.

From there, you can enhance your data by integrating information from third-party tools or using out-of-the-box models to predict churn and expected revenues. You can also configure activities and workflows based on your data and implement measures for tracking metrics and KPIs.

Finally, companies can create segments of their customer base and export data into different environments for marketing and journey management. With segments, companies can also create unique customer experiences in Customer Insights “Journeys.”

You can create emails, push notifications, and text messages separately or join them in a single campaign. You can also design “segment-based” or “trigger-based” journeys for each customer group.

Availability and Accessibility

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is available now. However, some Copilot capabilities are rolling out at the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. Licenses are delivered per tenant, and customers can purchase additional capacity as their business evolves.

If you have a qualifying Dynamics 365 application subscription, you can also add up to 4 environments from Customer Insights to your toolkit with an “attach” plan.

Alternatively, beginners can start a free Customer Insights trial to experiment with the various features of Customer Insights Data and Journeys.

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