Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

The Butterfly Effect By JP Saunders

Like a caterpillar, some things sit for a long time, with incremental changes in size and shape until one day they reemerge from a catatonic state of transformation. Typically, we reflect on the butterfly’s beautiful colorful changes, but for me the splendor from this cocooned change is more the contrast in its newly formed mobility – which can also be described in colors, I guess -- one minute crawling in the browns and greens on its belly, the next gliding through the blues and whites with its wings. (Ever wondered who teaches the caterpillar how to fly?) A little poetic perhaps, but there is a connection between technology and nature - freedom.

The term “mobility” refers to movement but is more often used when describing some status of a person’s lack of physical ability (“reduced mobility”), whereas, the term “mobile” is used to describe a higher state of physical ability (“upwardly mobile”).  Thankfully, within technology we generally don't discriminate between our use of these two terms.  They both simply mean freedom--that untethered state where we are connected to the source but unrestricted in movement.  

Mobile freedom comes in many forms, and the transformation of the telephone into the mobile phone best personifies this  newfound power of mobility that most of us are experiencing - talking, texting, surfing… staying connected while on the move, in remote locations, and during times we shouldn't. From the outside view, it might not seems as glamorous as our butterfly example with all its splendid colors. But from the inside view, that feeling of freedom of mobility is very much evenly matched.  Why? Because of the value that extra connectivity brings to our lives - be that emotional, or financial, or just informational.

The combination of freedom and connectivity drives meaningful change in our attitudes and behaviors. Because of this, it is understandably addictive and can be hard to let go of, even for an instance. Ask any teenager to give-up their phone even for an hour, and they will likely respond, “Your taking away my freedom!” Some days being tethered in my office can feel much like this and leave me with an inconsolable longing to be mobile again, free to roam the hallways and coffee shops while remaining connected and productive.

In business staying connected to your customers can be critical to your business goals. The recent transformation and advancements in mobile devices such as the Apple iPad, have enabled this same level of freedom and connectivity for people in business as they have the consumer, which in turn has resulted in measurable value through increased productivity, efficiency and engagement.

This is why the May 2013 release of the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service has been developed to empower your frontline people with mobile device access to their agent desktop.  Your office agents can now freely move about your office to collaborate on resolving customer issues. Your remote field workers can have access to critical customer information and service records while keeping the office up-to-speed with the latest developments. Your managers can stay connected to the latest performance metrics of their team while in meetings and remote locations.  Transform your organizations performance, while improving your customers' experiences with the freedom of Oracle Mobile Solutions.

Friday Apr 05, 2013

Cloud Speed Means Failing Fast, Failing Forward to Win the Race

If you have not been to Oracle CloudWorld yet, you must go. No other event brings together so many SaaS experts, from Oracle business and development executives to global customers and thought leaders.

A perfect example is CloudWorld Mumbai where 1,491 participants converged to hear keynotes by Alan Lapofsky of Constellation Research talk about how social in changing the way we do business and Sandeep Mathur, Managing Director of Oracle India detail Oracle’s cloud strategy across applications and technologies. Participants then attended sessions in six different Cloud tracks:

Application Development
Cloud Infrastructure
Sales and Marketing
Customer Service and Support
Human Capital Management
Finance and Operations.

I attended the Service and Support track featuring a panel discussion with Oracle customer Make My Trip and its Chief Innovation Officer, Rajnish Kapur. Make My Trip is India’s largest online travel company with 5 million customers and $200 million in annual revenue.

Kapur talked about how he uses Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow) to thread his organization’s silos together to maintain a single conversation with customers as they move across channels—and how this seamless customer dialogue has led to a significant increase in Net Promoter Score and market value.

Venky Vijay, CEO of Oracle implementation partner Virtuos, pointed out that Make My Trip’s market value has more than doubled since it began using Oracle Service Cloud to enhance its customer experience. During that same time, the market value of Make My Trip’s closest competitor dropped, supporting Forrester’s finding that Customer Experience leaders outperform laggards by 3:1.

David Vap, Group Vice President, Oracle Applications and Kapur agreed that the ability to “fail fast and fail forward” is a key advantage of cloud solutions. They enable companies to try things quickly and keep iterating until they get it right.

Kapur recently launched a My Feedback section on Make My Trip’s website that enables customers to check the status of their support requests, reopen cases and provide suggestions. The section is so popular, it already has 83% usage. As Panel moderator Michel Van Woudenberg, Oracle Vice President, CRM, Asia-Pacific said, “Now that’s succeeding fast and forward!” And that’s what Oracle Cloud solutions can do for your business.

For more information on Oracle Service Cloud, please visit our website. Register for a CloudWorld event near you.

Monday Mar 18, 2013

Delight Customers with Web Self-Service in the Cloud

According to Forrester, 72% of customers prefer using a company's website to answer their questions. However, only 52.4% find the information they need online.  Customers want to solve their issues quickly and easily on the web. When they can, they will buy more from you, with 88% saying they will increase their purchases. 

Companies want to empower consumers to serve themselves online because it not only increases customer loyalty, but it also reduces support costs—by more than 50x since the average support call costs $5.50 versus $.10 for a web interaction.

However, most companies aren’t doing enough to guide customers to the answers they need online. That’s a costly mistake because 89% of customers will stop doing business with you after one bad experience. The organizations that are investing in web-self service are doing much better, achieving customer self-service success rates of 65.6%, which translate into an average $22 million saved on unnecessary channel escalations. 

You can achieve similar results by investing in three web self-service areas:

1. Understand your customer’s needs to personally guide the online experience

Invest in master data management to develop a 360-degree view of your customer. With this unified profile, you can deliver personalized, relevant content on your site to guide customers to the best, fastest resolution based on their needs and value.

Big Fish Games, for example, uses its 360-degree customer view to personalize online service based on information from the customer’s profile and web session. Using this approach, Big Fish Games has achieved a web self-service rate of 96.4% and savings of $870,000 from call and email deflection.

2. Empower your customer with online self-service tools

Empower your customer with self-service tools for quickly and easily resolving issues. Knowledge tools facilitate the customer’s journey with natural language and federated search to find the best answer across multiple sources. Social collaboration tools enrich the customer’s experience by enabling information sharing on Facebook support sites or peer-to-peer communities. Chat, cobrowse, and click-to-call reassure customers that help is just a click away.

Drugstore.com offers customer support on Facebook, and monitors and responds to customer social media interactions just like any other support request. With this strategy, drugstore.com has decreased email volume by 30% and saved over $350,000 per year on call deflection.

3. Adapt support processes to meet your customer’s rising expectations

Use analytics, outbound communications and customer feedback to deliver personalized web self-service that meet your customer's rising expectations.

  • Analytics and social monitoring help you identify and address knowledge gaps and support issues
  • Outbound communications anticipate customer needs by notifying them of relevant events—service alerts, knowledge updates, product offers—in their channel of choice.
  • Customer feedback builds consumer input into your business processes so you can continually improve your customer service and products.

Travelocity uses proactive outbound communications to deliver travel alerts across 40 websites, as well as analytics and customer feedback to continually improve service.

To learn more about Oracle Service's Web Self-Service offerings, please register to attend a CloudWorld event near you.

Also, visit Oracle Service's website to learn three key tips for transforming web self-service.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Social, Customer Experience, and the Cloud

Oracle held its second CloudWorld event in Los Angeles yesterday. Social permeated throughout sessions the entire day touching on customer experience (CX), sales performance, and service and support optimization.[Read More]

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