Back in July, we wrote a blogpost about the new Digital Contact Center Platform (DCCP) from Microsoft. We were excited to share that Microsoft had recently announced a coordinated collaboration with HCLTech (along with several appointed Global System Integrators) to launch the DCCP, adding new capabilities to our delivery of broad digital transformation for customer service operations across industries.
In the same blog, we discussed Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nuance – a global technology company focused on developing innovative solutions for speech recognition and AI software – that would add “best-in-class communication capabilities” to the already robust DCCP. Microsoft was now able to offer a truly all-in-one contact center solution, and they wanted HCLTech to be among the first global partners to implement it for new and existing customers.
Fast forward three months… the Microsoft Business Applications team at HCLTech is actively delivering the full DCCP for several clients, including a UK-based financial services firm, a global building materials company and one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world. Work is ongoing, so it’s too early to publish case studies. But in the interest of capitalizing on the momentum of the product release and our excitement as a launch partner in seeing firsthand its benefits and ROI, we are writing a 3-part blog series exploring the key capabilities of the DCCP.
In today’s first installment, we’ll cover the technologies that give the DCCP its punch, as well as the first of its five key capabilities: Omnichannel Engagement.
Next month, we’ll delve into the second and third key capabilities: Self-service and Intelligent Routing. In December’s final installment, we’ll explore Case Management & Resolution (capability #4) and Data Processes & Analytics (#5). By the time the calendar turns to 2023, our readers will be fully up to speed on the far-reaching capabilities and potential of the DCCP, and you may well find yourself wondering why your organization hasn’t already started to install it.
The Technologies of the DCCP
The five primary components of the Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform are:
- Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement
- Power Platform
Each of these technology solutions will be discussed in depth as we move through our exploration of the aforementioned five key capabilities because, as you might expect, there is a close correlation between each solution and the capability it brings to the DCCP. However, to properly set the stage, let’s begin by at least describing each of these technology solutions at a high level.
Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement
This is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool whose Case Management functionality, SLA capabilities and Knowledge Article accessibility serve as the foundation of the DCCP. The practical functionality of Dynamics 365 empowers employees to be more productive and knowledgeable and offers leaders deeper insight into performance, opportunities, financials and customer relationships.
Comprised of Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Pages (formerly Portals) and Power Virtual Agents, Microsoft’s Power Platform leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI), Hyper Automation and Mixed Reality to connect systems, automate processes, improve data insight and empower employees to do more – all on one connected platform.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud. On-premises versions of CRM are clunky and lack the security today’s businesses demand. Microsoft’s trusted and compliant cloud platform seamlessly connects with Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, scales easily, delivers faster time to value and reduces infrastructure costs.
This is the DCCP’s complete communication platform, making it easier to create sophisticated, human-like engagements that enable customers to self-serve with a chatbot, speak to the IVR in a conversational way as if they were speaking to human agent and help maximize self-service adoption and containment across any channel.
Microsoft Teams serves as collaboration hub of the DCCP, empowering contact center personnel to communicate seamlessly with the back office to more efficiently and effectively answer questions and resolve issues. It is the glue that holds the platform together.
Now, as we mentioned earlier, we’ll eventually dig deeper, but this has given us a good start. So let’s turn to the DCCP’s key capabilities, starting with omnichannel engagement.
Capability #1: Omnichannel Engagement
Why start with omnichannel engagement? It’s simple: any digital contact center solution worth its salt must deliver on one fundamental truth: today’s customers have incredibly high (and constantly increasing) expectations for flawless execution of service delivery via the channel of their choice. With that in mind, omnichannel capabilities are the lynchpin of customer acquisition, loyalty and retention.
Microsoft’s Digital Contact Center Platform’s robust omnichannel engagement capabilities draw on the collective strengths of all five of its primary technology components to provide your customers consistent, intelligent and personalized experiences no matter how they choose to connect with you:
- Dynamics 365 provides the all-important 360-degree of the customer your agents (live and virtual) must have to provide the best service. A consistent view across all channels allows agents to quickly understand the full customer journey so customers never have to repeat themselves. It also provides proactive, AI-driven recommendations based on similar cases and relevant articles from the knowledge base to help agents resolve customer issues faster.
- Nuance provides the conversational Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution that enables self-service with high containment rates while further increasing the speed, efficiency and ability of agents to resolve most incoming calls successfully using real-time data and context. It also provides real-time transcription to eliminate the need for agents to take notes (they can simply refer back to what was said without having to ask the customer to repeat information), as well as live sentiment analysis, which delivers a pulse on customer emotions throughout the call so agents can deliver the best and most appropriate experience.
- Power Platform provides the intelligent virtual agent that is versatile enough to be used as a chatbot for SMS, live chat and social messaging channels.
- Teams provides improved collaboration by enabling seamless and real-time communication with other agents and subject matter experts globally to resolve issues faster and more completely.
- Azure provides the cloud infrastructure that makes everything else possible.
When you put all of it together, as Microsoft does for you with its DCCP offering, your agents are empowered to deliver those incredibly high and constantly increasing customer expectations. And to think, we’re only scratching the surface of the full slate of capabilities the DCCP provides.
As stated, look for part 2 of our 3-part series in November, when we’ll explore the Self-service and Intelligent Routing capabilities of DCCP. In the meantime, happy omnichannel engaging!