Source: Microsoft

At Microsoft Inspire today, the company made several Dynamics 365 announcements, including Dynamics 365 Customer Voice, a real-time customer feedback tool that could compete with Qualtrics, the company SAP bought in 2018 for a cool $8 billion.

Microsoft General Manager Brenda Bown says that as more customers move online during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to capture real-time customer feedback that you can combine with other data to build a more complete picture of the customer that could lead to more successful interactions in the future.

“Customer Voice is a feedback management solution, and it’s designed to empower businesses and organizations to build better products, deliver better experiences to customers, and really build the relationships for the customers with that feedback management tool,” Bown told TechCrunch.

The data gets shared with Microsoft’s customer data platform (CDP), and is built on top of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. The latter provides a way to customize the Customer Voice tool to meet the needs of an individual company.

Brent Leary, partner and co-founder at CRM Essentials, says this solves the problem of getting feedback as the interaction is happening. He adds that being able to share that data directly with the CDP makes it even more valuable.

“Customer feedback has to be done as close to the interaction/transaction as possible and as frictionless as possible for it to really work, or else customers won’t give it to you. And then the data has to be integrated into the CDP with all the other data automatically to really be of use. And having a platform to handle both the feedback capture and the data integration optimizes the likelihood of this happening,” Leary said.

The company also announced Dynamics 365 Connected Store, a set of tools designed to help stores manage in-store and curbside traffic, among other things. As the pandemic limits the number of people in a store at one time, using sensors and cameras, Connected Store can help managers understand and manage the number of people inside the store at any given time to help aid in social distancing.

It can also help add a level of automation to curbside pickup, letting an employee know when the customer has pulled up. “It alerts the employee and they can bring out the order for a more seamless and quick pickup. And obviously this scenario is super important today because of [more people wanting] contactless pick up,” Bown said.

Finally, the company announced a fraud protection component. She says that Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection helps protect businesses online or in physical stores from fraudulent activities, which she says is even more important as more transactions are conducted digitally. New capabilities include account protection and loss prevention tooling.

Inspire is the company’s annual partner conference, which is being held virtually this year. Bown says by running it virtually, the company can involve even more partners than a typical in-person conference because companies that couldn’t previously attend because of cost and distance, are able to participate this year.

Microsoft introduces Customer Voice, a real-time customer feedback tool