Microsoft reveals 2023 release wave 1 plans for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement
Microsoft recently announced the 2023 release wave 1 plans for Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based portfolio of intelligent business applications. Microsoft releases two waves of updates a year for its Dynamics 365 suite of applications. For this release wave, Microsoft has numerous updates, enhancements, and new features planned to be rolled out from April 2023 through September 2023.
In this post we will highlight new features and updates that users can expect for the following Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications:
Dynamics 365 Sales
New focus mode for enhanced efficiency in Dynamics 365 Sales
Dynamics 365 Sales introduces a new sales focus mode in its 2023 release wave 1, empowering sellers to efficiently manage customer records without a scheduled activity. This update enables sellers to switch any sales view to a focused mode, providing a customizable workspace that suits their workflow. The key capabilities of this new mode include the ability to switch between the current grid and focused view with one click, access to a consolidated set of filtering and sorting options, and the ability to define the structure and fields users want to see as part of the work list cards in the focused view. With these enhancements, sellers can tailor their workspaces to their use cases, improving their productivity and efficiency.
Streamline opportunity management with the new pipeline view
Dynamics 365 Sales now offers a new and improved opportunity view for sellers, providing them with a comprehensive overview of their pipeline to manage opportunities in a more efficient and intuitive way. This enhanced experience has been thoughtfully designed with the seller’s workflow in mind, minimizing redundant steps and improving overall sales efficiency. With the new opportunity view, sellers can easily:
- Customize the organization of their opportunities
- Personalize the view to match their preferences
- Quickly update information using an editable grid and side-panel
- Add notes, tasks, and more to streamline their workflow
- View key metrics, including pipeline value and number of deals, in aggregated form
Detecting intent and qualifying leads
Sales teams receive hundreds or thousands of potential leads a year and each lead requires a seller’s time to analyze, engage, and determine customer needs. In the latest release wave, Microsoft introduces a new AI-based feature that helps sellers detect customer intent from emails and ensure that good quality leads are acted upon by the sellers at the right time. This helps ensure seller’s capacity and efficiency are maximized while working on leads. With this feature, sellers will be able to:
- Engage with the lead for the possible next steps based on the intent detected by the AI model
- Be proactive in the customer engagement and improve the sales process
Other top features from the Dynamics 365 Sales 2023 release wave 1
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales 2023 release wave 1 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Up next form widget enhancements
- Forecasting updates and enhancements
- Sales accelerator worklist items to help sellers work efficiently
- Prevent duplicate record creation
- Empower sellers to adapt sequences to personalize sales approach
- Streamline sequence creation with looping of repeated steps with templates
Dynamics 365 Marketing
Include stakeholders in email campaigns
In the 2023 release wave 1 of Dynamics 365 Marketing, new capabilities will be added so that marketers can copy key stakeholders on email campaigns. This enables marketers to keep sales, customer service, and finance teams in the loop. With this feature, marketers can add up to five additional recipients to emails in the cc field. Additionally, marketers can dynamically select cc recipients using personalization by choosing parameters such as Contact > BusinessOwner.
Examples of use cases for this feature include:
- Copy account managers to personally follow up with clients so they can increase their marketing/sales campaign success rates.
- Include support teams to provide more efficient (1:1) support and increase customer satisfaction.
- Add key stakeholders to email communications to raise awareness in your enterprise and collaborate effectively.
Pre-built analytics dashboards
Dynamics 365 Marketing users can now access pre-built dashboards to monitor pipeline development and assess the effectiveness of their marketing efforts across different stages of the customer journey. This feature enables marketers to:
- Integrate Dynamics 365 Marketing with Dynamics 365 Sales to gain a holistic view of accounts moving through the pipeline
- Identify the primary drivers of lead generation and qualification
- Identify the most successful sources for generating high-quality leads
Improved lead scoring and qualification
Microsoft is introducing a new lead scoring builder in the 2023 release wave 1 of Dynamics 365 Marketing to help marketers score and qualify leads more efficiently. The new lead scoring builder provides a simple but powerful interface to define qualification criteria and post-qualification actions, enabling marketers to grow their pipeline while ensuring that each qualified lead receives appropriate attention from sales teams. With this feature, marketers can:
- Quickly start with the easy-to-use lead score builder and continually update or optimize the model.
- Define lead scoring models using not only behavioral but also demographic or firmographic conditions.
- Evaluate the performance of the scoring model using a new set of enhanced insights.
- Define lead qualification criteria and post-qualification actions to streamline the lead management process.
Other top features from the Dynamics 365 Marketing 2023 release wave 1
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing 2023 release wave 1 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Measure marketing activity using Urchin tracking module (UTM) tagging
- Monthly interactions and marketing contacts capacity increased
- New form building experience
- Easily create engaging content using AI-powered content ideas
- Save time by easily moving triggers between environments
- Accurately target customers using improved AI-powered natural language segments
- Prevent message fatigue by limiting the messages sent to a customer in a specific period
Dynamics 365 Customer Service
Agent capacity and case volume prediction
In October 2022, Microsoft released a preview feature to help managers generate forecasts for daily case and conversation volumes. These predictions allow managers to make sure they have enough agents available while avoiding under- or over-capacity situations. In the upcoming 2023 release wave 1 of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Microsoft will introduce more accurate forecasting at 15-minute intervals to enable managers to perform agent planning and scheduling with even greater precision. The new features for case and conversation forecasting include:
- Predict volumes at 15-minute intervals using historical data
- Generate daily predictions for conversation and case volumes
- Automatically detect seasonal trends from historical traffic to help customer service managers accurately forecast conversation and case volumes during special events
- Forecast agent demand for managing predicted conversation volumes to meet business goals such as service-level agreements (SLAs) and average handle time
- Visualize forecasts on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis for up to six months
- Slice volume and agent predictions by any combination of channels and queues
Improved design of the workspace layout
In the upcoming release wave, Dynamics 365 Customer Service workspace will undergo significant improvements aimed at enhancing agent productivity. The improvements aim to allow agents to switch seamlessly between cases, conversations, and issues, without losing context. The workspace app will introduce new capabilities such as horizontal display of sessions and child tabs, improved handling of overflow tabs and sessions, and a visible tab bar only when multiple tabs are present. There will also be an improved site map accessible from the Menu, with support for grouping and areas, making navigation easier. Additionally, accessibility will be improved with the introduction of a 400 percent zoom mode, while session closure in multisession apps will be more predictable. Finally, in-app notifications will align with the multisession navigation to streamline the agent experience.
AI-powered suggested replies for Customer Service
In the upcoming 2023 release wave 1, Dynamics 365 Customer Service will introduce AI-powered suggested replies to help agents provide quick and accurate responses to customers. Leveraging advanced natural language processing technology, these suggested replies will offer multiline prompts and contextual response suggestions to agents in the chat control. The model will continually learn from an organization’s chat history to provide relevant and personalized suggestions. Key features of this new capability include:
- Real-time AI-powered suggested replies for agents within the chat interface
- Personalized responses for each user through automated named-entity recognition and population
- Easy configuration of the reply set through a simplified data configuration experience
- Robust reply management capabilities for administrators, including visibility into discovered responses and the ability to edit or consolidate them
- On-demand model retraining to ensure the suggestions are always up-to-date and accurate
- Unique models for each organization trained on their historical support conversation data
Other top features from the Dynamics 365 Customer Service 2023 release wave 1
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service 2023 release wave 1 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- New email template designer
- Access improved customer summary form
- Customize visualizations of omnichannel real-time analytics dashboard
- Monitor support operations in near real time
- Personalize out of the box real-time analytics reports
- Enhancements to simplify case management
Dynamics 365 Field Service
Using trades to organize service operations
Dynamics 365 Field Service users can now organize their service operations using the new “trade” feature, available in the 2023 release wave 1. Trades enable businesses to categorize the types of service they provide. When creating a work order, users will only see incident types related to the selected trade, and trades can be associated with specific locations and accounts to filter the types of services users are allowed to provide. By ensuring that users are only providing agreed-upon services, this feature helps organizations save time and money. Examples of trades that can be used in Dynamics 365 Field Service include:
- Cleaning services
- Appliance repair
New not-to-exceed capability for work orders
In the 2023 release wave 1 of Dynamics 365 Field Service, Microsoft has introduced a new feature that allows service providers to set not-to-exceed values for cost and price on work orders. This feature ensures that businesses can stay within the preapproved cost and price limits set by their customers while also enabling frontline workers to stay within the preapproved cost limits for work orders. The not-to-exceed amounts can be automatically applied to the work order based on the customer, incident type, and location of work or entered manually by the user. With this feature, service providers can effectively manage their costs and pricing, while maintaining customer satisfaction.
Enhancements to the mobile app
Microsoft is set to offer several upgrades to the Dynamics 365 Field Service mobile app in this release wave. These improvements are designed to provide users with prompt access to relevant information needed for work execution and data updates. The new features to be implemented during this release wave include faster loading times for forms and the app itself, quicker offline data synchronization, fewer errors in low network conditions, and improved stability aimed at reducing app crashes and freezing.
Other top features from the Dynamics 365 Field Service 2023 release wave 1
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service 2023 release wave 1 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Find Field Service information with enhanced search
- Model location and asset hierarchies for large facilities
- Simplify user experience by optionally removing work order costs
- Track costs per work order to establish predictable cost trends for your services
Dynamics 365 Project Operations
Enhanced project budget control and forecasting
Microsoft’s upcoming release wave 1 of Dynamics 365 Project Operations will introduce a new feature aimed at improving control over spend and work progress. The feature is designed to assist project managers in forecasting future trends during the project’s duration. By adding this key capability, Project Operations enables project managers to gain a clear understanding of their progress toward spending and progress targets. The feature allows the addition of forecasts based on current spending trends and their tracking at a desired level of granularity, as configured using project calendars and working days. With this release, time-phased forecasting will be available in Project Operations Lite deployment, while the full feature will be enabled for Project Operations for resource/nonstocked deployment.
Improved project invoicing experience and performance
Microsoft has introduced enhancements in this release to streamline the project invoicing process and provide a clean, intuitive, and high-performance experience. These improvements are designed to add significant business value and ensure the smooth functioning of service-centric practices. The release includes the following enhancements:
- Usability improvements aimed at enabling project managers to easily review billing backlog for the next inventory cycle, make adjustments to billable hours and chargeable aspects of transactions, add transactions to the invoiced, and quickly evaluate the impact of any changes on the invoiced amount.
- Improved control and selection of transactions that can be included on an invoice to enhance the creation of proforma invoice entry points.
- Improved selection and control of transactions to be included in a proforma invoice by refining the creation of proforma invoice entry points.
Streamlined creation of quotes, wins, and contracts
Microsoft will release usability and performance improvements on Quotes and Contracts to empower salespeople working on project proposals to create quotes with detailed estimates and accurate pricing information. Updated form layouts and improvements to editable grid experiences make it easy to change prices, hours, and resourcing mixes. This also aids in understanding the impact of these changes to the value, feasibility, and profitability of the bid. Key enhancements include:
- Limit the creation of chargeable roles and categories for every new contract line
- Leverage xMultiple paradigms and parellize CRUD options in the contract creation context
- Continue usability improvements to quotes to make it easy to visualize key metrics, update prices for specific roles and categories, and to complete the migration to editable grid experiences
Other top features from the Dynamics 365 Project Operations 2023 release wave 1
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations 2023 release wave 1 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
Want to learn more?
The new features and enhancement listed above are only a few highlights of what Microsoft has planned in the 2023 release wave 1 of Dynamics 365. Users can start exploring these new features and capabilities. Additionally, many D365 users rely on a Microsoft partner for assistance reviewing the most impactful updates. The right Dynamics 365 partner helps users identify the features most beneficial to their organization and provides training for users to maintain peak performance.