Copilot is a module within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot which was launched in limited preview this month. The offer features Microsoft’s new Copilot generative AI and natural language processing engine built natively into various Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM and ERP apps. Employees in functions such as sales, customer service, marketing, operations, and supply chain can leverage the Copilot capabilities in the apps to create content faster, complete complex tasks, and gain insights into their work.

Copilot helps contact centre agents resolve customer issues more quickly and efficiently. It helps agents craft responses to customer inquiries by understanding the context of a live conversation and identifying relevant information. Responses are composed in seconds; agents can review and modify the response before sending to the customer. In addition, task automation allows agents’ to focus attention on whatever action items they wish. Copilot also enables the swift construction of conversational chatbot agents.

Through Copilot, Microsoft is capitalizing on two key contact centre trends: the pivot from a multi-channel orientation to an omni-channel orientation and the emergence of AI.

Both multi-channel and omni-channel support a variety of contact channels (such as voice, chat, SMS, email, video, and social media). However, a multi-channel approach suffers from the potential to perpetuate silos, whereas an omni-channel approach is marked by a standardized customer experience. Thus, omni-channel has supplanted multi-channel.

Microsoft is providing the ability to build chatbots and conversation flows quickly, and then replicate them across any channel, thus allowing for a true omni-channel environment.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot launch is well timed

Since the onset of the pandemic, AI technology has become an integral component of contact centre, which are now central to providing an optimum customer experience. Microsoft’s launch is well timed. Due to today’s uncertain economic climate, businesses are feeling intense pressure to maximize the value of every customer interaction while reducing costs. As a result, heavy reliance on contact centre capabilities delivered via AI (especially self-service) has become popular.

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The launch marks a big step forward for Microsoft’s contact centre AI capabilities. AI is leveraged to provide a customer experience marked by the provision of self-service capabilities and the proactive recognition of customer needs to resolve issues within their preferred channels of engagement. AI also feeds the agent experience, reserving agents’ time for addressing complex customer inquiries and equipping them with the knowledge required to fulfil those inquiries.

Looking ahead, AI will be foundational to digital-first customer experience (DFCX) approaches. The core tenet of digital-first is centering the customer journey on a data-centric model cutting across all customer interactions regardless of location or channel. This allows for faster, more informed, and more personalized responses to customer issues. In this way, DFCX adds a layer of intelligence onto omnichannel experiences.

Microsoft needs to take the next step and clarify how Microsoft Digital Contact Centre Platform (its existing AI-driven, omni-channel offer) plays with Copilot in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Microsoft also must create integration between its contact centre capabilities and Microsoft Teams to fulfil the growing need for integrated UCaaS and CCaaS that allows all customer facing employees (inside and outside the contact centre) to better serve customers.