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It’s been a big year for us here at the Microsoft Partner Network since we started our new Customer Experience program. This year, with our Partner of the Year Award for Customer Experience, we are honoring four partner companies who have shown outstanding dedication to customer success. Based on the number of highly qualified applicants, we hope to turn this award into an ongoing program to recognize all Microsoft partner companies who are putting their customers at the center of their business.

Today I want to recognize the 2017 Winner of our Partner of the Year award for Customer Experience, Qorus, as well as our three finalists, MediaValet, Content and Code and Calvary. Please come hear these leaders share their journey in our session titled “The Customer Revolution” at Microsoft Inspire on July 10, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience is a customer’s perception of their interaction with an organization. It’s the customer journey, the multiple brand touchpoints, and all the environments they come across, including dashboards, customer support, tools, and even the sales and marketing processes.

This customer perception has a direct impact on behavior and creates the memories on which customer loyalty is built. It’s based on their rational experience, but also of their emotional and even subconscious experiences. Understanding your customer experience is really about getting in their heads and looking at your organization from their perspective over the length of the customer journey.

Customer Experience in the Cloud

We talk frequently about how important customer experience is, because when it comes to cloud technology, it’s that experience that can make or break a customer relationship. Customers are no longer just choosing to partner with the service providers who offer the best prices, or even the best services. “Best” is a relative term for customers. What works for one customer might be a terrible fit for another. Your job is to know your customer well enough to know what they want, whether it’s the white glove approach or simple convenience.

One winning strategy we have learned from our partners around getting inside the heads of their customers, and therefore deepening loyalty as well as increasing cloud revenue and profitability, is to focus on cloud usage. Partners who include training, deployment, and adoption plans as they are closing deals are actively seeing their usage numbers and customer satisfaction increase. It’s that commitment to customer experience that makes a difference for both the customer and the organization.

Microsoft Cloud Dashboard: A Tool for Customer Experience

Do you know how your customers are using their cloud services? Understanding this can help you find trigger points for marketing across the customer journey and provide opportunities to sell more services and solutions. One particularly helpful tool for understanding customer cloud usage is the Microsoft Cloud Dashboard.

“This is a great report and very easy to use. I love the top-level reports where you can see all of your sales and usage across the workloads and rapidly drill down to see usage by product type. We use this report to ensure our clients are getting measurable returns from their Microsoft investment. If we can see that they are using the products, we know they will be long term repeat clients.”

– Tim Wallis, CEO of Content and Code

This dashboard helps you track the status of your customers’ subscriptions for Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other Microsoft Cloud products. It contains the data you need to efficiently manage the subscriptions of your customers who have designated your organization as their partner of record. This is a single point of access for trials, quotes, and customer status. You can also see upcoming expirations, making it easy to proactively communicate to your customers before renewals start and find out how you can help, what issues you can resolve, and plan ahead for future needs.

The customer journey has changed and we’re seeing that purchasing habits are now focused on monthly buys, so a focus on usage is your key to maximizing revenue.

Have you tried out the Microsoft Cloud Dashboard tool? How has it helped you improve your customer experience? Share your thoughts in the Microsoft Partner Community.