Microsoft Corp. is rolling out its newest release of Parature, a solution that helps businesses manage their customer service experiences across different channels like the web, email, social media, online chat, and help tickets.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company acquired Parature in January 2014 in a bid to build out its self-service capabilities for Dynamics, its customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Now, we’re seeing the latest release of Parature, post-acquisition, and this release now has 30 new features geared towards helping customer service reps communicate with clients, figure out their issues, and help them fix them.
For example, some of the areas Parature is tackling include “knowledge management,” which means giving both customer service reps and customers access to the information they need. Parature will make it easier for employees to put related content together, helping customers easily jump from article to article to find out what they need to know under their own steam. It also allows employees to create step-by-step content, which will help customers with any difficult signups or processes.
The new release of Parature also allows for easier support ticketing. For example, if a customer service rep is checking out a support ticket, it’s helpful to know who the customer is and what kinds of interactions they’ve had with the company in the past. Going deeper, there will also be a feature called “above the queue” insight, which allows customer service reps to see what content customers have searched for and looked at on the support portal.
On social media channels, Parature is offering a widget that will let customer service reps look at full conversation histories on a customer’s Facebook post or tweet. And not only will reps be able to see what that individual customer has said, but they’ll also get a look at related conversations. It’s also adding support for LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, channels that perhaps haven’t received as much attention as Facebook and Twitter have in the past.
And on the enterprise side, the newest release of Parature also allows enterprise organizations to set up an omni-portal. These are for the organizations that might house several departments, making it confusing for a customer to navigate their sites and to try to figure out where a request or complaint should go.
For those organizations, Parature’s new release will allow customers to look at content from specific departments, as well as to send a request to a department to ask for help. That means less time spent trawling through a company website, and less headache for the customer – and that can only improve the whole customer support experience. The omni-portal will also allow customer service reps to send requests to the right departments, giving customers better solutions to their problems.
There are a whole slew of other features that Parature is bringing to the table, but one of the main takeaways here is that Microsoft is trying to be as comprehensive as possible when it comes to the Dynamics CRM. There’s something of a CRM arms race among companies like Salesforce, IBM, SAP, Oracle, and so on, so with this latest cross-channel release of Parature, Microsoft is making a concerted effort to up its game.
The newest release of Parature is set to roll out in 50 different markets, including Canada, and it will be available in 10 languages. Microsoft will be offering Parature through solutions providers, and customers can also buy it directly from Microsoft Online Services.