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For SMEs, Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is a must-have

Running a business requires a great deal of focus, dedication and hard work. Even when times are good and things are running smoothly, a business demands of its owners and senior leadership team their complete and undivided attention. Like a swan that’s gliding beautifully across the water, the legs of a business are always working.

Unlike the big players in the market, however, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) often lack the resources and time required to meet the ever-changing yet always pressing demands of corporate life. In order to achieve sustainable success, SMEs need the help of smart, productive and easy-to-use technology; without it, the demands of running a business will overwhelm even the most industrious of workers.

Getting the most out of every interaction

When you’re an SME, finding new customers can be one of the biggest challenges your business faces. Digital transformation has opened up the competitive landscape, and even those playing in what were traditionally considered niche fields, are now seeing greater difficulty in successfully converting new customers. As a result, customer retention and customer relationship management have become mission-critical pillars of any business’s growth strategy.

Two questions need to be on every SMEs’ mind:

  1. What am I doing to make sure my customers are satisfied?
  2. How am I making every interaction with my customers count?

When you don’t have the people-power to track these questions effortlessly and you’ve got a small number of account managers looking after multiple high-stakes accounts, a product like Dynamics 365 App for Outlook can truly be the tool that makes or breaks your business’s chances of success.

Do it all from the comfort of your Outlook

Being able to track your interaction with customers gives you and your staff the insights needed to successfully navigate customer relationships in ways that benefit both your business and your customers.

With the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, you can work within Dynamics 365 straight from the comfort of your Outlook. Take, for example, the acquisition of a new customer. When you first start engaging with a customer, your email communication with them is vital. Dynamics 365 App for Outlook gives users the power to immediately create a contact record straight from Outlook and into Dynamics 365, adding that individual as either a contact or a lead. 

Once there, you can start linking important email communications, meetings, updating the lead with various actions, etc. and start developing a relationship map for that customer. Over time, your ongoing communication with customers will start to produce invaluable insights by virtue of the types of interactions your business has with them.

The relationship assistant functionality of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook helps anyone talking to a customer or lead by serving all salient and relevant information related to particular actions that should be performed on that customer. For instance, the relationship assistant might remind you of an upcoming event or webinar a particular customer has signed up for – a perfect opportunity for you to engage with that customer and get their thoughts on what they’re most looking forward to getting out of that event – or it may remind you of an action with that customer that’s still outstanding – say, perhaps a service delivery order which has yet to be dispatched.

By breaking down silos between your communications and your Dynamics 365 app you’re able to make customers feel valued, listened to and most importantly unique: you know their specific requirements and the specific journey they’re undertaking with your business.

[Read a how-to guide on integrating Dynamics 365 with Outlook.]

There are countless reasons why we at Advantage recommend the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, but to get the conversation started, we thought we’d focus on our top 5:

  1. Work anywhere, anytime:
    Because you’re using Outlook Web Access and Dynamics 365, you’re able to track emails using any device that has access to the internet. Whether you’re at a client, on the train or in a completely different country, you can always keep yourself and your business up-to-date.
  2. Schedule activities and keep the relationship moving forward:
    Instead of jumping from one app to the other, keep your creative juices flowing and create follow-up activities straight from your Outlook emails. You can set appointments, scheduling in a call or add a task that needs to be actioned by another member of your organisation. When your records are automatically matched to leads, accounts and contacts you can have a clear understanding of what needs to be done with a particular customer to move that relationship forward to the next stage.
  3. Template responses and save time:
    If you find yourself sending similar types of emails to customers, prospect or even colleagues the most logical thing you can do to save time is set templates in CRM that are ready to go in your Outlook. For example, if your business follows a particular path to purchase, or there’s an activity you always do – say, a feedback form after a training event – having an email template ready to go makes sure necessary, yet not mission critical pieces of work, get done without having to set aside a big chunk of your day to do it.
  4. Go into conversations with the knowledge you need:
    Dynamics 365 App for Outlook instantly matches CRM records the moment you start composing a new message. While you’re typing your email, you can see the history that contact has had with your organisation, as well as any upcoming actions. If, for example, there was a complaint that was logged or a big success, you can reference that in your message and let the customer know you care. By integrating small details into your communications, as well as all the transactional knowledge you need to get a particular objective met, you can build fruitful relationship management principles with each of your business’s contacts.
  5. A smarter way to market your business:
    With the GDPR now in place, a great way to ensure your marketing communications collateral is still reaching customers that have a legitimate interest is to add sales literature and articles into your transactional emails. With Dynamics 365’s capability to easily attach centralise documents, posts and articles into your email communications, you can serve prospects that are going through the sales funnel or existing customer that look to your business for thought leadership and advice, with material that adds value and builds your brand’s reputation and credibility.

Words by Camilo Lascano Tribin

To find out how Advantage can help you build meaningful and commercially relevant relationships with your customers, talk to us today

Find out more information about Dynamics 365.

Find out more information about Microsoft Outlook & Office 365.  

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