The Microsoft Stores have a story to tell: a digital transformation story that continues to be written, chapter by chapter, by One Microsoft.
From the storefront to the back office, Microsoft’s retail success is powered by its own technology. For example, Azure powers the videos that play on the walls of more than 100 locations worldwide. Office 365 provides the latest information to the stores’ more than 3,500 associates. And Dynamics 365 is helping the Microsoft Stores deliver a more personalized and transformative customer experience from acquisition all the way through to retention.
Empower Employees, Engage Customers
To acquire new customers and create raving fans of Microsoft products and services, engagement with the Microsoft Stores’ more than 50 million customers are managed through Dynamics 365. “The ability to access insights on all of our customers empowers us to provide a level of personalized service that truly sets our store experience apart from the competition,” notes Travis Walter, General Manager, Worldwide Physical Stores.
From scheduling appointments to interacting with customers who walk into the store, Dynamics 365 empowers employees with the knowledge they need to engage customers in a more personalized way, from information on the products the customer owns to previous transactions and interactions. Dynamics 365 is available on all associates’ POS devices, be it mobile or hard-line, so customers don’t have to move around from place to place or associate to associate during their visit to learn more, make a purchase or request support.
If a customer does need support with a product or service, associates can immediately move from sales to service in Dynamics 365 to create a case. The customer service case is then shared between the associate in the front of the store with the technical associate in the back who will work on the device or issue. As service is underway, the customer is kept informed of progress via email, phone or text – whichever method the customer prefers.
But the engagement doesn’t stop once the customer leaves the store. Dynamics 365 is also used to email receipts, collect customer feedback, and to provide additional product and service information through nurture campaigns. Dynamics 365 is also used to help promote and manage the up to 4,000 events and workshops that are held in stores weekly. Microsoft has found that customers on average spend two times more with Microsoft because of continued engagement.
Optimize Operations, Transform Products
Dynamics 365 also helps power the more than 5,000 transactions that happen every day in store. Beyond sales management, Dynamics 365 is used to look up and organize inventory, complete cycle counts and manage inventory in the back of house. “Dynamics 365 is the life force behind our operations. The Operations and BI capabilities allow us to be operationally efficient across our entire system, as well as in reporting back to Corporate,” says Walter. At any time, on any device, I can access real-time data on store performance. That type of access to information is incredibly valuable for retailers.”
The Microsoft Stores’ finance team uses Dynamics 365 for Operations to manage integration with the Corporate General Ledger and reporting systems to report accurately out to Wall Street. It also leverages the tax calculation in Dynamics 365, with invoice management for small, medium and business sales. (Did you know? Business sales make up more than 35% of the stores’ revenue outside of product launches and holiday sales.)
As the added intelligence behind optimizing operations, PowerBI provides reporting and analytics on customer usage of devices, customer acquisition in stores, event theater utilization, and the customer and product feedback needed (and used) to transform products. More than 600 product improvements are the direct result of customer feedback from the Microsoft Stores.
Microsoft Stores have come a long way since the first location’s opening in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2009 – and so has Microsoft technology. With physical and digital store locations in approximately 190 countries around the world today and Microsoft’s leadership innovation in the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, there’s no end in sight to the Stores’ and Microsoft’s story of digital transformation. It will just keep getting better and better.
Learn More About Retail Digital Transformation
To learn more about Microsoft Stores, click here.
To learn more about Dynamics 365, and how its empowering digital transformation in retail (and every industry), click here.