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There’s an old adage that says, “The customer is always right.” While we can certainly argue about the relative truth of such an oversimplification, one thing is for certain: Customer expectations are higher and, often, more unrealistic than ever before. In today’s blog, we’ll describe why customer demands have risen so dramatically, as well as how you can potentially manage to keep pace by implementing a powerful Dynamics 365 tool called the customer portal .

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portals

Our great world of technology is a double-edged sword. While it’s wonderful being connected to people, places, and things with all the different devices each of us has, it is also becoming harder and harder to exceed (or even meet!) customer expectations in today’s impatient world. Indeed, consumers are now demanding instant gratification. On the one hand, this ability to connect immediately and find real-time resolutions to questions or problems is awesome… but on the other hand, when the resolutions are not immediate, well, it disappoints just that much more.

Consumers expect visibility and control when they interact with businesses, especially when field service is involved. We live in an age where customers can track the minute-by-minute status of their pizza delivery, so why wouldn’t they also expect to know exactly when a technician will arrive at their home and precisely how long the service will last, right?

To try to keep pace with customer expectations, an ever-increasing number of businesses are adopting more modern field service management software solutions, such as a customer portal. And while some businesses maintain that a customer portal is irrelevant and unnecessary, companies can experience many very real benefits by putting everything at the fingertips of their customers. These potential benefits include:

1.)Increased customer satisfaction

2.)Convenience
A self-service portal allows customers to manage their account with your company. By logging into your website, consumers can perform a variety of tasks, such as:

Request service and schedule appointments 24/7

Track repairs, as well as appointment details and status

Send messages directly to a technician

Review their service history

Find maintenance tips

Learn about product upgrades

View account info and manage payments

Get support for sales and product questions

In fact, a CSG International study revealed that 86 percent of consumers would pay a premium of up to $25 for enhanced scheduling options, including the ability to choose a specific arrival time for the technician. In other words, by allowing your customers to choose a precise time that fits their preferences, you can distinguish your service from your competitors. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

3,)Provide transparency

89% of respondents prefer a tool that provides technician location and continually-updated estimated arrival times. Over 70% also want the ability to see the technician’s name and photo. A portal that allows customers to see their technician can build trust and provide transparency into your operations. If technicians are running late, a courtesy call, email, or mobile alert shows your customers that you value their time.

4.)Reduce confusion

5.)Improve resource allocation

6.)Reduce costs

7.)Boost revenue

8.)Manage expectations

Businesses should focus more and more on customer communication preferences and providing the necessary visibility into relevant job information, costs, procedures, and technician status.

Listen, it’s always been a competitive world out there, and it’s only getting harder to meet (not to mention exceed) ever-expanding customer expectations. But if we can help our customers to help themselves… well, that may just be your company’s secret weapon, giving you a leg up on your competition.

For more information on Dynamics 365 portal, check out Microsoft’s Getting Started with Portals.

Happy CRM’ing!

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Joe D365

Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.