9th Day of D365mas: Santa knows exactly what you want with Customer Insights!

Well well well, Santa and Microsoft have really done it this time! Ever wonder how to find the perfect gift, email communication, next step, or product for your customer?

How do we take all of the information we have about customers (profile data, transactional data, interactions, etc.) and do something smart and meaningful with it?

Customer Insights is the answer this holiday season!

Let’s take a closer look at this great new cloud based SaaS Service that leverages Microsoft Azure, multiple databases, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 to delight our customers with a personalized experience via a true holistic 360 degree view.

First, let’s quickly define what Customer Insights is and is not. The word “insights” is used a few different times describing different features of Dynamics 365 including:

  • Insights: powered by InsideView, enriches account and contact data inside of D365/CRM with external data sources
  • Social Insights: analyzes social engagement data sources like Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Organizational Insights: dashboard and analytics geared towards user adoption
  • Relationship Insights: Exchange and CRM data analytics to help better understand customers

All four of the previously mentioned features serve different purposes within Dynamics 365, and Customer Insights is a separate solution altogether. It is a cloud based SaaS service leveraging Azure Machine Learning and Analytics suite that requires an Azure subscription in order to use it in Dynamics 365.

What’s so great about this new solution called Customer Insights?

Leveraging Dynamics 365 in conjunction with Customer Insights allows the business to model interactions with customers based on multiple data sources (four different data sources are currently supported including Dynamics 365 online, Azure blob storage, Exchange online, and Microsoft Social Engagement). You can then define KPIs to measure how well the customer is doing in real time (well, almost real time… Customer Insights recalculates all of the data every 15 minutes to feed the models and analytics… that’s right. ALL that data, every 15 minutes!).

The result is a customer record with ALL the bells and whistles. Not only do you get a true “Customer 360”, but you also get the guided models, and powerful analytics to see what product to offer up next, which exact campaign to enroll them in at the exact perfect time, how likely they are to buy one product over another, or how to optimize discounts across your entire customer base. The tool leverages the powerful Azure platform and great tools like predictive scoring to bring together all the of the information we have about our customers and provide meaningful actions and “insights” into what we should or shouldn’t do next, then measures our performance as a business.

So how do you set it up? As previously mentioned an Azure subscription is required – If you don’t have an Azure subscription, you can create a free Azure trial account in just a couple of minutes via this link: click here. Right now, although there is a relatively friendly set up UI for some items, the setup steps are pretty involved. We would recommend a system administrator or developer level skill set to handle the heavy lifting and leveraging the business users to help define the KPIs and modeling.

Here is a great blog by Microsoft that walks through 7 step for setting up Customer Insights.

Step 3 of 7: add a new KPI

Overall, we are loving the new Microsoft features of Dynamics 365 including ALL of the “insights” features, but we must say, that Customer Insights is promising to be a game changer. We hope you can all leverage this great technology to make your business experience with your customers second to none. Contact the Hitachi Solutions team to learn more!