Customer experience is more important now than ever before. The coronavirus pandemic has forced consumers to adopt new habits, reevaluate priorities, and shift consumption. Increasingly, transactions have moved online, and companies are limited to virtual engagement. Buying trends are changing rapidly as consumers face many uncertainties and at the same time expect brands to react quickly to the shifting environment and deliver on expectations for products and services.

In this second installment of a three-part blog series on best practices for the retail sectorleading up to a virtual fireside chat debuting on Tuesday, June 30we'll explore how retailers can drive more personalized experiences in today's challenging economic environment.

Use data to adapt and respond to customer needs

According to Gartner, just 2 percent of businesses believe they can continue operations as normal through the disruption caused by COVID-19. Some key commonalities among organizations that have found a way to succeed despite the economic recession: they listen and stay connected to their customers, they quickly adapt to changing needs, and they continue to deliver value.

Companies need reliable data and insights to effectively communicate and interact with their customers and provide trusted and meaningful engagements. Showing extra care and empathy today will have a lasting impact on customer loyalty and the future viability of businesses. With ever-increasing remote workforce, organizations must ensure that the quality and access to their data remains unchanged during this period of uncertainty. This requires a new level of organizational agility.

Drive meaningful actions in real-time across all channels with a 360-degree view of customers

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights provides organizations a deep understanding of customers to ensure that interactions are timely and tailored individually to this moment. Customer Insights enables organizations to democratize access to the data needed by decentralized workforces while maintaining governance and compliance with data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. A single view of customers with real-time insights helps spot trends and identify needs, empowering every employeefrom data analysts, marketers, and sellers to customer service agentsto rapidly adjust to new business models and continue to serve their customers on digital channels.

Organizations also need to focus on ways to track customer health and improve long-term relationships. Chipotle Mexican Grill, one of the most popular chains of fast casual dining, is using Customer Insights to create more meaningful customer experiences. They chose Microsoft's customer data platform (CDP) to unlock real-time, up-to-the-moment understanding of their customers to drive relevant and intelligent engagement. They can now leverage data across channels to better understand their customers' needs, personalize offers and repivot messaging around delivery and take-out offers, and adjust media plans in real-time to serve ads on channels that are more widely used. Watch the demo at the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event to see the solution in action.

Customer Insights positions you to embrace a new way of doing business

Customer Insights is a preassembled, enterprise-grade CDP with built-in AI to unify customer data and generate actionable insights that drive personalized experiences. Customer Insights proactively identifies segments and generates predictive insights such as churn rates, lifetime value, and recommended products. Real-time integration with business applications and business processes ensure that marketing, sales, and service efforts are tailored for each customer. As digital channels and interactions grow, Customer Insights can also bring in data from emerging sources like social shopping, augmented reality, and chatbots to further enhance the individual customer journey.

Now is the time for companies to stay connected with customers through relevant and meaningful engagements. Customer Insights provides the platform to gain a truly 360-degree view of customers and increase trust and loyalty with personalized experiences across all channels.

Join our virtual fireside chat: Best Practices for Thriving in the Retail Industry Today

Debuts Tuesday, June 30, 2020 10:00 AM 11:00 AM Pacific Time.

Register for the virtual fireside chat with Microsoft experts to learn about best practices from the retail sector, including how to mitigate fraud risk, control operational costs, gain visibility into your end-to-end supply chain management, and leverage increases in e-commerce activity. Learn from Microsoft's partnerships with global retailers how to protect revenue first, setting up your organization for growth in the new economic environment.

Hosted by Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications and Global Industry Microsoft and Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, Global Retail and Consumer Goods, Microsoft.

Don't miss the conversation: register today.

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