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Featured Story | Written by Luke Johnson
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What happens when Microsoft Social Engagement is turned off for good?

With a new year, comes new challenges - and for users of Microsoft’s Social Engagement application, the feature’s discontinuation, on January 16th 2020, presents a particular conundrum.

14 Jan - 5 min read

What is Social Media Management anyway?

Microsoft’s Social Engagement feature which enabled Microsoft Dynamics users to carry out basic social listening – provided insight around direct brand mentions, customer feedback, and discussions regarding specific keywords or topics. 

This type of awareness is invaluable to an organisation. It enables them to identify and engage unhappy customers before things escalate, with the ability to quickly open a case in Dynamics 365 if necessary. It’s also great for spotting opportunities to sell, with those talking about your product or service effortlessly discovered. It’s then up to you whether you choose to begin a conversation on social, or simply create a lead in the CRM for later.

With this real-time data no longer available as part of the Microsoft Dynamics package, many will be left wondering how they can seamlessly replace Social Engagement and still surface the same level of insight. 

Thankfully, with solutions available such as Orlo’s integration with Dynamics 365, there’s an opportunity to add a piece of software to your tech stack that not only matches Microsoft’s Social Engagement capabilities, but truly exceeds them. 

A deep integration like Orlo’s, enables brands to elevate social media insights by combining them with the rich data held within Dynamics 365. By bringing both systems together, you’re increasing efficiency and reducing the time it takes for employees to carry out their everyday tasks, as their need to toggle between platforms is eliminated. 

Bringing social into your world

In the world of social customer care, a customer may tweet your organisation or send a message on Facebook Messenger. If an agent comes across a customer who is complaining, they’re able to quickly get a view of the key information from across the business, without switching screens. With this added context, they are empowered to provide the best customer experience possible – opening a case before responding on social to ensure they can handle the situation in the best way for the customer. This not only increases satisfaction for the customer, but is also a more enjoyable experience for the agent, with less friction. 

In fact, Jarrod Williams, Communications Manager at Bromford Housing, spoke about exactly that at Orlo’s Digital Engagement Masterclass in November 2019. Having worked with Orlo for a long time, Bromford was really happy with the platform and how it was helping it to deliver a great experience for their customers. The only difficulty was that the platform was detached from the CRM system, so Customer Service agents had to constantly switch between systems and tabs to get all the information they needed. With Orlo’s CRM integration, this issue will be a thing of the past. 

Jarrod said: “Bringing Orlo into the Microsoft ecosystem means that when someone contacts us, all their information will pop up on screen straight away, without the agent having to click through anything. We can see more information on cases, who they are and what has been happening with that customer recently. This enables agents to deal with enquiries immediately, providing a resolution as fast as possible, in the right way, on the right channel, with no additional questions or shifting the customer to another channel. For us, that has really changed the customer experience for our customers.” 

You can find out more about Bromford Housing’s social media journey by clicking here to watch Jarrod’s presentation.

But what if a case already exists for that customer and is being handled by someone else? Well, messages can be assigned to someone else in the team at the touch of a button using Orlo’s customisable automation, ensuring consistency in communication, as the customer is contacted by the same agent they have been dealing with throughout. You can also quickly update Dynamics 365 cases with notes from within the Orlo platform, as well as attaching messages to the case. And if input is required from someone who doesn’t have access to the Orlo platform, you can forward the message to them in an email to give them visibility, all in real-time. 

The integration can also be useful when an opportunity to sell or a potential sales prospect is identified on social media, as within the Orlo platform, you will soon be able to create a lead based on someone found through social monitoring. And this works in reverse too – Orlo sits within Dynamics 365, allowing social activity for leads and customers to be directly populated in the CRM, augmenting customer data to provide an enhanced understanding of who they are and enabling the best possible service to be delivered. 

When two become one

It’s clear that with two powerful systems combined, there’s plenty of value to be gained for users and consumers – not only in terms of increased efficiency and CX effectiveness, but also the depth of insight provided through analytics. Orlo has its own suite of analytics, and we’re currently building a feature that will enable you to export this data from the platform and import it into Microsoft Power BI, making surfacing meaningful insight even easier. 

With such deep integrations available, making social media work for you and your customers – in your world – isn’t so hard without Microsoft Social Engagement after all. So, whether you’re at the beginning of your social media management journey, or you’re a seasoned professional who’s been using Microsoft Social Engagement, there’s an out of the box solution out there for you. Find out more about how Orlo’s integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 can work for you by clicking here.

Luke believes that amazing experiences are at the heart of any great product - an ethos he carries with him as the Product Manager at Orlo. Luke spends his spare time cooking exotic meals and enjoys playing board games with friends.

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