So last week the Wave 2 2021 information dropped. It’s taken me a few days to get round to it (family stuff happening), but I’m finally able to do a quick recap of it. As most people know, Microsoft releases features in two waves – one in the spring (Wave 1), and one in the autumn (Wave 2). As usual, I’ve included the links for the full release notes across both Dynamics 365 & Power Platform below, though will be focusing on the product features for Omnichannel
The links are here:
As I’ve done before, I’m going to include the dates that are applicable (at this point in time) for each time.
GA – Oct 2021
As more and more organisations move in the direction of omnichannel system capabilities, there is a growing need for the actual agent experience to be better optimised. The inbox view that this functionality will deliver is aimed to address the needs to quickly triage requests, and allow agents to focus on customers & their issues. It will be integrated into the Customer Service workspace as well as the Omnichannel Engagement Hub, and will allow agents to effectively navigate their emails & conversions whilst handling customer interactions.
Early Access – Aug 2021. GA – Oct 2021
The Customer Service workspace and Omnichannel Engagement Hub are multi-session applications that allow users to be able to multi-task with customers to provide support on multiple cases simultaneously. This release provides usability improvements to help agents be more productive, including simplified navigation as well as the migration of productivity tools to the new extensible App side pane.
GA – Nov 2021
Agents who use Dynamics 365 Customer Service can easily collaborate with anyone within their organization, such as agents from other departments, supervisors, customer service peers, or support experts, over Microsoft Teams to resolve customer issues, without leavingthe case or conversation. Chats over Teams will be linked directly to Customer Service records, enabling a contextual experience
Some of the key features coming in this release are:
At Ignite in September 2020, Microsoft announced the new Voice channel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The aim of the solution is to provide simpler administration & management experiences within the platform itself, rather then needing traditional cloud component integration complexities.
With the release of this, voice, SMS, and digital messaging channels, and a PVA-powered intelligent interactive voice response (IVR), real-time voice intelligence, and insights across all channels, speech-based self-service, and intelligent skills-based routing are all brought together in a single package.
As mentioned in the Wave 1 2021 post, there’s a new voice channel that’s coming in. This new solution for Customer Service enables an all-in-one customer service solution without fragmentation or requirement of manual data integration. It will provide a single view of the customer that empowers agents to provide personalised service across all channels, and true omnichannel analytics and insights for agents and supervisors alike. Providing organizations with a choice of telephony delivered directly by Microsoft enables quick and easy deployment of a voice channel for their business.
Now there has been a slight delay in rolling this out. As a result, the GA dates for the below have been pushed back to Nov 2021:
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
Administrators use unified routing and routing rules across the classification and assignment stages to help ensure the work item is assigned to the best suited agent. Embedded historical analytics provides an overview of routing performance of each channel to help optimize the routing strategy and improve the routing and workforce efficiency. Providing organizations a view of the effectiveness of configurations allows them to improve routing configurations to help increase their customer satisfaction and agent satisfaction scores.
Routing diagnostics helps an organization to better understand the path a work item takes after it comes into the routing system, through all the classification and assignment rules, to ultimately land in a queue or be assigned to an agent. Current routing diagnostics are available for administrators and are more focused on the workstream and queue routing. In this release, routing diagnostics are being introduced to supervisor experiences, and the quality of the diagnostics is being improved.
I’m really quite excited to see how the new Voice channel will be received, as I think it’s a great feature addition to the overall tools available. It will be interesting to see how clients may choose to use it over their existing voice channel setup.
I’ll be looking deeper into the different functionalities, and will share them here. If there’s anything you think would be helpful to focus on, drop a comment & let me know!
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