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Interview with TAISTech CTO - Discover the How and the Why of Cloud Migrations

Carrie Leader, Principal Product Manager, Oracle Cloud-based platforms are gaining in popularity as companies seek opportunities to become innovators, driving operational efficiencies and delivering on the promise of superior customer experiences. I asked TAISTech’s CTO Aman Bedi how companies should approach cloud implementations and for best practices on migrating from an on-premise platform, like ATG, to Oracle Commerce Cloud. Let’s start with why would your customers consider updating their on-premise commerce platforms to the cloud? Sure. The primary high level reasons are quicker time to market, flexibility, TCO, and responsiveness to business needs. The time it takes to purchase, configure, and install servers has gone from months or weeks to literally minutes or even seconds. With regard to SaaS, most of the heavy lifting on required functionality gets done by the platform itself, which means quicker time to market. Upgrades are simpler compared to on-premise because they’re automatically provided on a quarterly basis. And finally, Oracle Commerce Cloud provides flexibility in terms of architecture from API first to headless, which decouples the back-end services from the front-end UI, which provides the flexibility to use best-in-class frameworks based on the client’s preference.      Does the cloud offer similar capabilities to those that ATG customers have come to expect from commerce platforms? Yes. In most cases, their capabilities in the cloud are even more robust, especially around B2B functionality. Features, like AB testing, recommendations, and AI, are already pre-integrated and part of OCC’s single subscription cost. Additionally, Commerce Cloud offers full REST API coverage out of the box and integrates with other CX suite products already in place; whereas, these integrations require a custom build in ATG. Beyond these extras that are included with all OCC subscriptions, there is additional choice in implementation models. This is significant given that headless architecture has come to be expected in the commerce domain.  How does cloud development differ from on-premise development? On-premise development typically requires a lot of technical expertise around the ATG code base and requires ATG-specific Java experience. Oracle Commerce Cloud uses standards-based languages, such as HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript, and NodeJS, which are abundantly available in the market and often at a much lower cost. ATG also requires a significant amount of back-end and front-end development. With OCC, much of the back-end development is streamlined, enabling developers to focus more on the front-end experience. OCC exposes much more of the back-end functionality through the admin configuration, which in ATG, has to be coded from scratch. A good example of this is ATG’s catalog structure, which can only be defined with the help of development in the XML repository. Alternatively, any OCC business user can update the catalog structure as long as they have access to the Admin console. Without the worry of custom code, merchants can instead focus on differentiating the experience through server-side extensions and on leveraging Oracle PaaS to test and deploy innovations faster. Finally, OCC comes pre-integrated with numerous 3rd-party applications (e.g., payment, tax, etc.) that can be easily configured from the admin console. With on-premise, the majority of these integrations need to be developed from scratch, adding time and cost. Taken together, the cloud has made great strides in easing the development process thanks to Oracle’s top-rated PaaS development cloud framework. From a security perspective, what do customers gain from moving to the cloud?   Regardless of whether or not a client has invested in security compliance, Oracle has invested heavily in setting industry standards for cloud infrastructure. These strict security measures are baked into all Cloud products and are implicitly available to all Cloud customers, so instead of managing PCI, GDPR, or whatever comes next, customers can rest assured that Oracle is handling it. How can organizations determine their level of cloud readiness? One of the most important activities a customer can engage in is a feature-to-feature mapping of OCC to their ATG installation. This provides a broad look at how much customization, if any, will be required. TAISTech offers a Cloud Readiness Assessment that reviews different aspects of a client’s technology ecosystem and how their IT team is organized. This Assessment includes a feature-to-feature mapping and an ATG to OCC data migration toolkit for product, pricing, inventory, and customer data. At the conclusion of our assessment, we provide customers with a score that indicates their readiness to adopt a cloud solution. Our experience is that customers are either ready, or we provide them with the services and information they need in order to be ready. How should a company with an on-premise solution prepare for a migration to the cloud? And how does TAISTech help to mitigate any migration risks? From the client side, they should have their business requirements well documented before taking on a cloud migration and should plan to have a Cloud Readiness Assessment conducted. Documented business requirements ensure that the Cloud Readiness Assessment accurately reflects what is required in order to move to the cloud and that the customer journey has been fully mapped out.  Additionally, TAISTech has developed an ATG Migration Toolkit that can transfer products, categories (in OCC they are called collections), and customer data. Developed by TAISTech’s expert ATG and OCC developers, this toolkit removes the need to develop a custom migration solution.  It also reduces the effort required for migration and will abridge the timeline. Configurations and customizations will still have to be refactored and added to OCC, but the extensibility of the OCC Web Services (API) layer is best-in-class and allows for fast integrations and customizations to the platform. Most organizations can have a complementary mixture of on-premise and cloud. How do your customers blend the two models as they consider moving to a cloud-based commerce platform? This will likely be the trend for several years to come as companies adapt and adopt more SaaS products. For example, we’ve seen ATG on-premise customers integrate with cloud-based personalization engines. We also have ATG on-premise customers who now use cloud infrastructure to support their business. Many clients temporarily find themselves with this blended model, which works well when integrations are planned and mapped out. We have also noticed that once they begin adopting cloud products, they continue migrating over to more SaaS-based applications, with the ultimate goal being to manage less technology, not more. Cloud is still new for many companies. What does the timeline and process look like? With the help of our accelerator, the timeline can be as short as three months. Starting with the discovery phase, TAISTech’s Cloud Readiness Tool Kit accelerates the process of determining business requirements. This is then followed by our ATG-OCC Migration Toolkit, which expedites data migration mapping from ATG to OCC. The majority of the implementation work then revolves around configuration and UI rather than back-end development, but the result post-implementation, is a website that requires fewer resources and a smaller team. A typical time frame is two to four weeks for Discovery, six to eight weeks for Development, and in parallel to Development, two weeks for Data Migration. A lot of companies debate internally their readiness for cloud with various business groups often having differing opinions. What have been the most effective arguments for migrating, and has the value proposition been fulfilled? The value proposition can differ by business user. For instance, the CIO may appreciate that SaaS solutions offer the ability to scale infrastructure in seconds; whereas, the benefit for the CFO may be in the TCO selling point, and for the CMO, a better user interface that doesn’t require developers. The value of a cloud-based platform for the business as a whole though comes from speed-to-market and the reduction in time and cost for upgrades. With more than 17 years of experience, TAISTech, a Mastek company, envisions, creates and designs digital commerce transformations across the globe. Clients rely on our strategic, innovative, and technical expertise to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Wherever there is a touchpoint, we help make the connection. TAISTech delivers a broad portfolio of products, including Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Commerce, Oracle CX, and Marketing Cloud, among others. For more information, visit https://www.taistech.com/ and to learn more about migrating from an on-premise ecommerce platform to Oracle Commerce Cloud, listen to the replay of TAISTech’s latest webinar on YouTube.            

Carrie Leader, Principal Product Manager, Oracle Cloud-based platforms are gaining in popularity as companies seek opportunities to become innovators, driving operational efficiencies and delivering on...

CX News & Events

How AI Technology Is Influencing Gen Z Engagement Strategies - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX Social Content: In case you missed @OracleCommerce Cloud roadmap #webinar- it's now available for playback! http://ora.cl/l2Yk6 #OracleCX #OracleCX Unity Looks Like a Real Customer Data Platform http://ora.cl/uD01v by @draab via @CustomerThink #CX Curious about the future of @OracleServCloud? How do you integrate functional #chatbots into #ServiceCloud? https://lnkd.in/dEEWCit What are the major CPQ software trends & which #CPQ features will be most used in 2019 http://ora.cl/nl3ny via #SmarterCX How thinking bigger about #CX benefits impacts strategy? Join the #webinar w/@jaybaer & David Troll, 12/12 to learn: http://ora.cl/cY0Wp   Oracle CX in the News: Oracle CX Unity Looks Like A Real Customer Data Platform – David Raab, CustomerThink, 11.26.18 Highlights Oracle CX Unity as providing a comprehensive template for what a customer management system should include and by which buyers can measure other systems against.   Industry News: Shoppers Turn To BOPIS To Reduce Holiday Stress – Dan O’Shea, Retail Dive, 11.29.18 According to GPShopper, in addition to the desire to skip lines, shoppers want to use mobile tools to ease and enhance their in-store experiences this holiday season. Tips For Prioritizing Customer Experience Investments – Phil Britt, CMSWire, 11.28.18 Regardless of the company, the strategy for the next CX investment should be data-driven, proactive and dependent on the company’s business strategy. How AI Technology Is Influencing Gen Z Engagement Strategies – Gurps Rai, Retail Customer Experience, 11.28.18 When marketing to Gen Z, brands should implement a variety of data-driven AI technologies to improve digital experiences across the customer journey. New Research: 45% Of Marketers Double ROI With ABM – Elise Schoening, Demand Gen Report, 11.28.18 Survey of B2B marketers found 77 percent of marketers believe ABM has driven greater success with their target accounts and 45 percent have seen at least double the ROI. To Convert Browsers To Buyers, Choose Your E-Commerce Solution Wisely – Abhijit Shanbhag, CRM Buyer, 11.27.18 User personalization, registered shopping habits, tailored advertisements and customer engagement, all backed by AI, can increase the likelihood of ecommerce purchases.  

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX Social Content: In case you missed @OracleCommerce Cloud roadmap #webinar- it's now available for...

Empower Your Agents So They Don’t Waste My Time!

When people once thought of the future, they pondered flying cars and Marty McFly. But those were the 80’s, when big hair and even bigger shoulder pads ran rampant. Nowadays, when people picture the future, they may be visualizing artificial intelligence, some sort of robot apocalypse or civilian space travel. If we take a good look at the developed world of today and appreciate the strides we’ve taken to incorporate future thinking into every portion of our lives, I believe the future is right now. When I order dog treats from Amazon with 1 click of a button, they arrive at my door in a few hours. I use AI every time I upload a new pic to Facebook, because Facebook facial recognition tells me whom to tag, saving me time because I don’t have to scroll through my friends to click on their names. These technologies are created and implemented from a time saving perspective. And luckily, they do save us time. And it’s this time that we try so hard to use as intelligently as possible. Anything that takes time away from us that’s not on our terms is viewed as a waste. As consumers, we don’t want to waste our time on things we don’t want to do. It’s that simple. For example, I didn’t want to be on the phone with my village office, trying to find a time that works for their field agent to see if my sump pump is compliant with village standards, but it’s what I did for 30 minutes last week. I wasted my time. Or rather, they wasted my time. A Mother’s Quiet Disturbed Why couldn’t I just quickly sign up for a time slot online?  When the field rep arrived, why didn’t he already know the dialog history that I had with the call center service rep? Better yet, why didn’t she ask me if I had any special requests?  Ringing the doorbell during my 1 year-old’s naptime is the worst thing he could have done! But it happened.  I wondered why Susan from the village office couldn't inform her agent of our discussion before he woke up my kid and disgruntled me? Seems simple, right? I’m certain she knows that calling segments of the 50,000 people that live in our Chicago-land village to set up agent visits is a waste of her time too. Imagine the time and the cost with this ill-constructed practice. It’s these simple ideas in theory that can become complicated to execute. But they don’t have to be. Service agents can be briefed on special requests and given allotted time slots at the convenience of the customer with the right tech in place, like with Oracle Field Service. With Field Service, Susan would be able to: Make sure that her field agent with the appropriate equipment and skills is routed to my house. Alert said field rep that nap time falls into their window of service, so don’t ring the doorbell and wake a sleeping baby. Understand the workload her agents can handle in a given time frame in order to focus resources on the most critical tasks. Give me choices and flexibility and alert me when the agent arrives. That way, if he arrives 15 minutes before scheduled, I can let him know if it’s time appropriate. See her field rep’s notes on whether or not my sump pump is compliant or if I need it serviced. And if I need to get it serviced, the village can supply me with individuals who can help me, or put an appointment on the CAL to do so – Engagement Cloud Check out this page for several examples of what Susan and her agents could do, if they used Oracle Service Cloud.... As I wrapped up the appointment with the village agent and day-dreamed of not having to participate in these tedious tasks, I took a breath, thanked the agent for his time, and wished him good luck on the rest of his appointments, knowing there were a variety of other ways that his time could be better spent. Look at how the City of San Jose is achieving their smart city vision.        

When people once thought of the future, they pondered flying cars and Marty McFly. But those were the 80’s, when big hair and even bigger shoulder pads ran rampant. Nowadays, when people picture the...

Ask the Experts

Oracle Commerce Cloud Roadmap Webinar Playback

Did you miss our recent Oracle Commerce Cloud roadmap webinar? Good news -- it's now available for playback! Gary Kirschner from the Oracle Commerce Product Management team recently presented the latest Oracle Commerce and Oracle Commerce Cloud Roadmap via webinar, brought to you by the official Oracle Commerce User Group, Pipeline Pros. For a limited time, you can watch the webinar playback for free here: https://pipelinepros.org/webinars/roadmapvideoplayback Our Oracle Commerce and Oracle Commerce Cloud roadmap webinar includes: What’s coming in the 11.3.1 release of Oracle Commerce On-Premise and beyond – from improved business user experience and unified tooling to search improvements, microservices, cloud migration, and more. CY2018 highlights from the latest features released in Oracle Commerce Cloud, including: Audiences for Personalization Shopper-Initiated Returns Back in Stock Notifications Loyalty Support B2B Punchout Dynamic Curation AI-Driven Search Results Ability for Agent to shop “on behalf” of the Customer Server-Side Extensions Native OBIEE UI for Dashboard and Reports A number of Storefront-related improvements for both B2B and B2C – from additional promotion and layout types to Quick Order and Purchase Lists to SEO and GDPR What next-gen commerce looks like as we continue to broaden the definition of commerce to include subscriptions, loyalty, CPQ, AI. Our key development focus areas and future initiatives, including our product evolution to support next-gen commerce - from continued investments in B2B and Service and Asset-based Commerce to Merchant Insights and Business Optimization. Watch the webinar playback here – available for a limited time. To get even more insights about what’s coming next in commerce and how you can best position yourself and your business, meet us in person next year! Registration is now open for two of our main Oracle Commerce and Oracle Commerce Cloud events: Modern Customer Experience 2019 will be held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 19-21, 2019. Register today and save 55% -- use code: CXVIP  This is the premier Oracle Commerce and Oracle Commerce Cloud event from Oracle and it's coming up quick, so make sure to register. Get learnings and insights directly from Oracle product management, customers, and partners. Speakers get free passes, so talk with us ASAP about being on a panel or presenting a session! Insight 2019: Oracle Commerce User Group Conference will be held at the Hilton Austin in Austin, Texas from August 26-28, 2019. Register today and save 20% off customer registration -- use code: CYBER20 This is a great way to connect with Oracle Commerce customers and partners at the end of next Summer and extend the conversations and learnings from our Modern Customer Experience event in March. If you’re an Oracle Commerce Cloud customer, get a free one-year membership! Email anna.taylor at pipelinepros.org for more info. Don't miss these two events!  

Did you miss our recent Oracle Commerce Cloud roadmap webinar? Good news -- it's now available for playback! Gary Kirschner from the Oracle Commerce Product Management team recently presented the...

CX News & Events

Six Ways AI Can Help a CEO and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Giants Like Oracle and Salesforce Are Salivating Over Direct-to-Consumer Startups, but Insiders Say Winning Business Is 'Inherently Messy' by Lauren Johnson, Business Insider, 11.14.18 Advertisers are eyeing direct-to-consumer brands, and Oracle’s Dave Helmreich shares the importance of marketing strategies within these businesses. Realtor.com Creates 1:1 Experiences with Oracle Responsys by Oracle, 11.9.18 The online real estate pioneer needed sophisticated personalization to help customers find their dream homes. Using Oracle Marketing Cloud, Realtor.com designs dynamic campaigns that target customers on a singular level. Enabling the Enterprise in the Experience Economy by Rob Tarkoff, LinkedIn, 11.6.18 Oracle's Rob Tarkoff explains the Experience Economy, one where your customer is the innovator and their experience with your brand is inseparable from the value of the goods and services you provide. It's Not Me, It's Definitely You - Why I've Lost Patience With Sneaky Customer Service by John Katsoulis, Oracle CX Blog, 11.14.18 We've all had frustrating customer service experiences. Yet delivering great service isn't about adopting new technologies, it's about harnessing the right set of tools to truly understand customers' needs. 6 Ways AI Can Help a CEO by Alice Park, Oracle CX Blog, 11.7.18 During the AI Summit in San Francisco, Oracle's VP of Adaptive Intelligent Applications, Melissa Boxer, identified six challenges that CEOs encounter when running their business and how "Pragmatic AI" can help.  Industry News: Physical Stores, Mobile Among Winners This Holiday Season by Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age, 11.14.18 Omnichannel shopping experiences will reign this holiday season, as shoppers prefer the ability to visit both the digital and physical retail outlets of a company. Improving Customer Experience Strategy With Digital Tweaks vs. Transformation by Albert McKeon, TechTarget, 11.14.18 Aligning an organization’s customer experience strategy with consumers' digital practices may only require incremental steps instead of a complete overhaul. Why Embracing New Technology Is a Good Thing for Retailers by Andy Tow, Retail Customer Experience, 11.14.18 Instead of resisting digital revolution, retailers should embrace it to attract and retain customers through an enhanced shopping experience with cutting-edge technology. The Fine Art of Keeping B2B Buyers Engaged by Richard Adhikari, CRM Buyer, 11.13.18 By having open, authentic interactions with prospects and leveraging information sources buyers already trust, vendors can better engage with B2B buyers. While Tempting, B-to-B Marketers Need to Approach Emerging Tech With Skepticism by James Turner, Adweek, 11.13.18 When evaluating new technologies, B2B marketers should look at where they fit within sales and marketing strategies and how they will improve customer experiences.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Giants Like Oracle and Salesforce Are Salivating Over Direct-to-Consumer Startups, but...

Customer Experience Technology

CX Unity In Action - Integrating Data Silos to Unleash Greater Customer Experiences

By Abbas Makhdum, Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud Today’s empowered customer interacts with a brand on their own terms. As a result, the traditional (i.e. linear) customer journey is dead. The brand is no longer in control and in today’s competitive environment, creating a better customer experience is what distinguishes winning companies from the rest. If 81% of consumers are willing to pay for a better experience, what is your organization doing to please them? Solutions providers that claim to solve this problem through consolidated data have been overpromising and under-delivering for 30 years. Does this sound familiar?  “Don’t worry.  We’ll bring all your data together in an enterprise warehouse and that will fix your customer experience problem.” In the old days, getting a customer view meant merging your CRM list with your direct mail list. And now? The volume and variety of customer data has proliferated and made consolidation almost impossible. Today’s solutions do a decent job in optimizing customer touch points within a domain - marketing, sales, commerce, service, loyalty, etc. But, when every touch point creates even more siloed data, it has become increasingly challenging to get a single view of your customer and provide that precious, connected brand experience, no matter how or where your customer engages. The optimization of marketing or sales or service is no longer good enough in providing a connected customer experience. The Value of a Connected Experience CX professionals that want to increase customer satisfaction and grow customer lifetime value can’t do it with siloed customer data. Optimal customer experiences require a comprehensive view of your customer that connects data across every customer interaction. What if you could? Open new revenue streams by enabling service reps at each service interaction? Suppress marketing and sales communications to customers having service issues and avoid repeating yourself at every interaction? Show new and high-potential customers the benefits of loyalty programs instead of random offers? Move from issue resolution toward issue avoidance by using integrated, behavioral data to predict churn and proactively intervene? Seamlessly leverage historical loyalty information to optimize marketing offers to win customers back? These are just a few of the opportunities that Oracle CX Unity will make possible. Embedded in Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Oracle CX Unity is a customer intelligence platform that enables a connected customer experience across marketing, sales and service. And you don’t need data scientists to help you with that. With built-in AI-powered predictive intelligence, Oracle CX Unity will enable contextually rich personalized engagement by connecting customer intelligence across the entire customer journey, applying data-driven intelligence to determine the next best experience and activating those actions directly into Oracle CX Cloud and partner applications. What would a connected experience look like with CX Unity? Oracle has been actively investing for a while in solving the problems where today’s solutions fall short, i.e. helping CX Professionals deliver a customer experience that is timely, relevant and consistent across each and every brand interaction. CX Unity will do this in 3 core areas: Connected Customer Profile: It all starts with your data at the core. Integrating online, offline and 3rd party data sources into a single view of your customer Comprehensive Customer Intelligence: An AI and machine learning intelligence layer acts on the massive amounts of data to model, predict and prescribe the optimal audience for your business objectives.  Compelling Customer Experiences: The ability to activate the intelligence by connecting with marketing, sales and service applications to orchestrate the next best experience at the moment that is needed More than anyone else, Oracle has a history in helping companies to get more value from their data assets. Oracle CX Unity will take that to the next level, enabling CX Professionals to leverage data and intelligence to retain and grow their most profitable customers. CX Unity In Action This video demonstrates the value of a connected experience across marketing, sales and service at a fictitious company, TG Insurance. TG Insurance has a new liability insurance product that they would like to promote to their customers who have business insurance policies with them already. Because CX Unity will enable TG Insurance to create a comprehensive customer profile based upon all relevant interactions of their customers, they are able to leverage the built-in intelligence to ensure their customers receive an experience that is consistent, connected and timely. Oracle CX Unity is a Customer Intelligence Platform embedded within Oracle CX Cloud. Built for CX Professionals, CX Unity will redefine Customer Intelligence resulting in greater sales, improved customer satisfaction and greater customer lifetime value.  

By Abbas Makhdum, Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud Today’s empowered customer interacts with a brand on their own terms. As a result, the traditional (i.e. linear) customer...

Customer Experience Strategy

It’s not Me, It’s Definitely You - Why I’ve Lost Patience With Sneaky Customer Service

By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing I’ve a read a lot about customer service over the past month to try and better explain where service is heading. My natural inclination was to pepper in the latest buzzwords to get my point across.  But I realized that during that same period, I had personally engaged with some companies that I’m somewhat loyal to, and experienced different levels of satisfaction. One company I deal with on a monthly basis called me about a great deal for high speed Internet. They bundled in some cable channels and threw in a home phone – all for $99 dollars.  Sounds like a great deal, right? The customer service rep that called me, lets call her Sara, was very polite. Sara advised me that moving forward, she would be my “personal concierge” for any account-related issues. I decided to take her up on the offer, which by the way, cost $20 more than what I was already paying, prior to our call. Now I’ve dealt with this company for many years.  During that time, I’ve learned to expect what I call a “fine print” moment – a tiny detail that was conveniently omitted which would have completely changed my decision-making process. I’ll get to that in a moment. I booked the appointment for the field service technician.  A few days later, I realized I forgot to record the date on my Android device. After scanning my email, I realized Sara didn’t send me a confirmation email, and I had to call back. After a few minutes I spoke to Sara.  The issue was resolved.  I received the email and the field service technician did the installation.  All of my services were working.  So far so good. A week ago, I picked up my mail and noticed a package from this same company. Inside the package was a very informative welcome kit explaining everything from how to use my new home phone, the channels I had, how to use my new DVR and a host of other useful information. Hidden in the back of the package was a summary of the services I added, with a great discount, at a cost of $99, with a contract for two years. You're Fired! The next day, I cancelled all my services with this company. Extreme? I don’t think so. You see, my experience with other companies I do business with has changed my expectations on many levels. Take for example, an email provider I use that’s linked to a personal blog I use to privately post family events and pictures. My provider provides a seamless experience and has a simplified pricing model that is question free – no fine print. Not only that, but they use virtual assistants to handle simple inquiries which connect you to a live service person via chat functionality on their website. Anyone that knows me knows I prefer to call companies I do business with.   My email provider has found the perfect mix of live and assisted service that fits my needs. My cell phone provider is another good example of a company that is paying attention to me, and others like me. They don’t email or send me bills because I use their app. They realize that I don’t pay my bill every month because I prefer to pay it once every two months, so they send me a simple text message to nudge me. “Hey! Here is just a friendly reminder to pay for your last two months of cell service. If you need to reach us call….” If I was a gambling man, I’d be confident enough to bet my money on the fact that everyone has a personal frustration with a company they’ve done business with. Given my personal frustrations, I’m very happy I support a group of products at Oracle that I know will make a positive impact in B2C, especially pertaining to how consumers and companies engage with each other. For me, getting service right isn’t just about adopting new technologies. It’s about adopting the right set of integrated tools and applications that allow an organization to truly understand me and get my service needs right. It’s about adopting technologies that enable better interactions and are predictive so that you can provide best guess data-driven recommendations.   And most importantly, it’s about the developers and marketers I work with at Oracle who focus on providing the best CX products possible. Read  "Give Your Customers a Story Worth Sharing" about how a positive story travels fast and far, but so does a negative one!      

By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing I’ve a read a lot about customer service over the past month to try and better explain where service is heading. My natural inclination was to...

CX News & Events

The Unexpected Ways IoT Will Change the Customer Experience and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: How Emerging Technologies Are Changing the Retail Shopping Experience by Bob Meixner, Retail Customer Experience, 11.5.18 Oracle's Bob Meixner provides insights into how emerging technologies such as AI, AR, and VR present new possibilities for engaging with customers both in stores and online. Great Customer Experience Shouldn't Be Rocket Science by Molly Ambrogi-Yanson, Oracle CX Blog, 10.16.18 AirBorn, a leading manufacturer of spacecraft components, adopted a customer-centric strategy that will allow the company to scale for growth and differentiate from its competitors. The Forrester WaveTM: B2B Marketing Automation Platforms, Q4 2018 Forrester, 10.15.18 Oracle is top-ranked in the Current Offering and Strategy categories with high scores in data management, lead nurturing, vision, go-to-market, product roadmap, innovation agenda, and support for global deployments criteria.  The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q4, 2018 by Forrester, 10.22.18 Oracle is a leader in this report, receiving the highest possible score in SFA, CPQ, marketing, automation, customer service, field service, and customer journey support criteria. CMOs: Put Down the Journey Maps and Think Data First by Sasha Banks-Louie, Forbes, 11.6.18 Once the standard for web-based marketing campaigns, journey maps are being displaced by intelligent data platforms that do much more than prescribe responses.  Industry News: Not Dealing with Failure Demand Is Hurting Your Customer Experience by Adrian Swinscoe, Forbes, 11.8.18 The lack of effective responses to persistent issues is draining valuable resources and preventing brands from deploying those resources in solving more complex issues. Why Catalogs Still Have a Hold on Holiday Marketing by Cara Salpini, Retail Dive, 11.2.18 Many retailers are foregoing email marketing in favor of holiday catalogs in an effort to capitalize on the season’s sentimentality. Yes, Customer Experience Still Matters for Retail by David Clarke, Retail Touchpoints, 11.2.18 Amid rising consumer expectations and emerging technologies, retailers have a lot to consider. However, great customer experiences should not be pushed aside. The IoT May Change Customer Experience, But Not in the Ways We'd Expect by Alan J. Porter, CMSWire, 11.2.18 As IoT continues to evolve, how the technology will be used within customer service is expected to continue evolving as well. Professional Services Firms See Huge Potential in Machine Learning by MIT Technology Review's editorial staff, 11.2.18 B2B marketers in the professional services sector share strong convictions about how data analytics can help them understand and reach their customers.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: How Emerging Technologies Are Changing the Retail Shopping Experience by Bob Meixner,...

CX News & Events

Oracle is Named a Leader in Latest CRM Suites Evaluation by Forrester

By Kimberly Guillon Oracle is top-ranked in current offering category, receiving the highest possible scores in the sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation and customer service criteria Oracle has been named a leader in CRM suites by Forrester Research. The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites, Q4 2018 gave Oracle the highest score of any vendor in the current offering category and cites Oracle’s ability to unify front- and back-office functions, noting that “Oracle's far-reaching vision is to enable the connected digital enterprise by integrating data, intelligence, and experiences across B2B and B2C customer journeys that span the front and back office.” According to Forrester, modern CRM strategies enable differentiated customer experiences “by leveraging vast amounts of interaction, behavioral and transaction data to enable contextual experiences that deliver value to the customer...” Forrester cites intelligence as a key differentiator, saying “Intelligence-driven engagement streamlines work and allows CRM users to focus on the tasks that matter most to business outcomes.” The report also notes “the value of CRM has shifted toward helping organizations better support customers in their end-to-end engagement journeys to garner their satisfaction and long-term loyalty...” “At Oracle we know there is no such thing as a static and predictable customer journey and that’s why we are focused on providing powerful and actionable insights in context, in motion and in real time across the entire customer experience,” said Stephen Fioretti, Vice President Product Management, Oracle Service Cloud. “We believe our position in the Forrester Wave for CRM Suites underscores our data-driven approach to helping organizations make every customer interaction matter.” For the report, 11 vendors were evaluated across 33 criteria, which were grouped into three categories: current offering, strategy and market presence. Oracle received the highest score of any vendor in the current offering category, and received the highest score possible in the product strategy criterion. Oracle also received the highest possible scores in the sales force automation (SFA), confi­gure price quote (CPQ), marketing automation, customer service, field service, customer journey support criteria, as well as the highest score of any vendor in the go-to-market approach criterion. Oracle (Customer Experience) CX Cloud is an integrated set of applications that empower organizations to take a smarter approach to customer experience management and business transformation initiatives. By providing a trusted business platform that connects data, experiences, and outcomes, Oracle CX Cloud helps customers reduce IT complexity, deliver innovative customer experiences, and achieve predictable and tangible business results. Download The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites, Q4 2018 by clicking here.    

By Kimberly Guillon Oracle is top-ranked in current offering category, receiving the highest possible scores in the sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation and customer service criteria Oracle...

CX News & Events

6 Ways AI Can Help a CEO

In the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about AI innovating and improving our lifestyles. Remember when Waze first came out and it shortened your commute? Siri is pretty cool too. As AI becomes more developed, it’s becoming less about “cool” new innovations and more about business impact.   I recently attended the AI Summit in San Francisco where Melissa Boxer, Oracle’s VP of Adaptive Intelligent Applications, gave her keynote on Practical AI. In her session, Melissa tapped into the perspective of the CEO by addressing 6 challenges of running her business and how “Pragmatic AI” can help. Are you in full control of your data? Customer trust is everything in today’s digital world.Hacking remains a major threat. As a CEO, the data you manage contains powerful customer insights but also carries a great deal of responsibility to ensure data privacy and security. Autonomous Cloud is an example where AI and machine learning automate processes that address security concerns and increase productivity so the IT department can focus on more important and bigger business decisions. Are you relevant to customers? It’s no secret how important customers are to any business owner. What we didn’t realize was how difficult it is to personalize engagements with customers across every interaction with us, in real-time. Oracle AI Apps provide convenient capabilities that help you deliver intelligent recommendations and interactions to Marketing, Sales, Commerce and Service teams to personalize each engagement with customers at the right time. Are your employees engaged? “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs. As a CEO, leading an organization means leading people. However, hiring and retaining the best match remains difficult. With Oracle AI Apps for HCM, the goal is to help recruiters identify and rank candidates based on their likelihood to satisfy the requirements of the role, fit-in with company culture and ultimately thrive at the company over a long tenure. How effective is your salesforce? In a Harvard Business Review study, it was found that “Two thirds of sales people are average or worse.” Being a top seller is extremely difficult. When revenue growth is a top priority for a CEO, how can sellers, sell more? Today, Oracle AI apps for CX can minimize pipeline risk and drive deals toward closure with intelligent ranking of opportunities through AI-powered win probabilities, and recommended next best actions. Are you optimizing cash flow? Is your supply chain risky? Traditionally, supply chain was considered a connected, linear system that involved everything from planning to delivering a finished product. But in the digital age, supply chain has morphed into an” interconnected web, with the customer in the center”. As a CEO, you need to strategically look at your entire business at all times necessary. Oracle AI Apps for ERP uses AI to classify your supply base across a number of factors including strategic importance and financial stability as well as identifying organizations most suited to initiatives such as discount programs that offer early payment in exchange for discounts which in turn increases working capital. Are my teams efficiently developing AI innovations for my business? As the world continues to innovate and AI becomes a part of our realities, it’s important to remain competitive with leveraging technologies that will allow you to accelerate your business. As a business leader, investing in the right tools, frameworks and infrastructure can be the backbone to leverage machine learning quickly to drive positive business outcomes before your competition. As Melissa asked the audience these 6 questions, I realized how valuable AI can be to an entire business strategy. AI is not just “cool.” It is practical and touches the entire business. If you want to learn more about Adaptive Intelligent Apps, I would encourage anyone who’s interested to attend the AI Summit in New York on December 5-6. Further Reading Autonomous and Secure – Oracle magazine article discusses how Oracle technology protects your most valuable investment—your data.

In the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about AI innovating and improving our lifestyles. Remember when Waze first came out and it shortened your commute? Siri is pretty cool too. As AI...

CX News & Events

The Debate on Gating B2B Content and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: 2018 SuperNova Award Winners Announced at Connected Enterprise by Courtney Sato, Constellation Research, 10.25.18 Oracle CX customer, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), took home the SuperNova Award for Next Generation Customer Experience given out by Constellation Research. Oracle OpenWorld 2018 - City of San Jose Reimagines the Citizen Experience with Oracle by Derek du Preez, Diginomica, 10.23.18 The City of San Jose is home to over a million residents. It developed an app using Oracle Service Cloud, which gives citizens visibility and control over what's happening in their neighborhoods. How Three Enterprise Leaders are Driving Personalized Customer Experience by Shalaka Nalawade, Martech Advisor, 10.31.18 Creating personalized, relevant customer experiences increases customer retention and benefits business outcomes. Oracle CX Cloud maintains a continued focus in this area.  3 Ad-Tech Stories You Need to Know this Week by Ronan Shields, Adweek, 10.30.18 Oracle unveils CX Unity to improve brand understanding. This article highlights commentary from Oracle’s Rob Tarkoff. Oracle Announces Oracle CX Unity, Skyword Merges with TrackMaven, More News by Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 10.26.18 Oracle announced CX Unity to help marketers and customer experience professionals manage customer data and deliver experiences across all interactions.  Industry News: Rethink Customer Service Tools to Be the Solution, Not the Problem by Pete Slease, InformationWeek, 11.1.18 Despite the proliferation of new technology tools for customer service centers, companies need to identify and troubleshoot challenges in order to be effective. Customers Rank Trust Over Technology, LinkedIn Sales Report Finds by eWeek's editorial staff, 11.1.18 According to LinkedIn’s annual State of Sales report, establishing customer trust outranks technology in keeping and maintaining customers. B2B Content: To Gate or Not to Gate, That is the Question by Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer, 10.31.18 While gated content builds lead databases and proves the value of marketing campaigns, gating too often or too soon may drive away potential customers. Warehouse-as-a-Service Providers Address Ecommerce Fulfillment Niche by Mike O'Brien, Multichannel Merchant, 10.30.18 The growth of online sales, limited ecommerce fulfillment center space, and increasing customer demands are key drivers behind Warehouse-as-a-Service offerings. The Phone Is Still a Big Deal for Your Customer Experience by Blake Morgan, Forbes, 10.29.18 While connecting with customers via social media, chatbots, and email channels are effective and useful, customer service via phone is still a critical tool for customer service providers.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: 2018 SuperNova Award Winners Announced at Connected Enterprise by Courtney Sato,...

CX News & Events

Artificial Intelligence in My Life

I recently attended the AI Summit in San Francisco where Melissa Boxer, Oracle’s VP of Adaptive Intelligent Applications gave her keynote on "Practical AI" from a CEO’s perspective.  While her presentation got me excited about all the new developments and solutions from Oracle, it also got me thinking about how pervasive AI is in my life, and maybe yours too. We’re so busy with everything we do - whether it’s selling, marketing, or running a business, and all the while, catching up with life - dinners, exercise, Netflix and family time. The way most mass media portrays Artificial Intelligence, it would appear that it’s right around the corner and we should all start to prepare for it. But what most of us don’t think about is that AI is already happening – right now. Last week, I uploaded pictures on Facebook and it automatically recommended whom I should tag with photo recognition. Although this feature has been around for a while, every time this happens I think to myself, “This saves me so much time!” Guess what? This is AI. Related to this, Instagram announced they use AI to automatically detect and filter out bullying comments. Businesses that touch our lifestyles are using AI to automate processes, but also to improve the way we use technology. Then there are devices that have started to become a part of my reality. Before I go to sleep, I ask Alexa to set my alarm for 6am. Alexa wakes me up, and I ask her to play Spotify as I get ready. Then I ask her for the weather, or a traffic update. The possibilities are endless, trust me. The next time you come across Alexa, I dare you to say, “Alexa, Meow Meow.” Banks have also started using AI. Bank of America launched Erica, a virtual voice assistant. You can ask her about your balance, when your credit card is due, and other questions about your banking needs. This is all happening today. In the Marvel world, J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just a Rather Very Intelligent System), is Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence that can connect to Stark industries central database and Stark’s personal server to help fight evil as well as act as Stark’s voice of reason. Before I let my inner geek get carried away, theoretically, J.A.R.V.I.S. was connected as the central nervous system of everything that powered other systems to do, essentially, what Ironman can do. Now let’s get back to reality- where we have AI popping up in our lives. Alexa, Siri, etc. Imagine you are waking up and all these systems are connected together. To be able to do this, all this cool new technology would be connecting all of your data into all these different systems, leveraging AI based off of what they learn about you in real-time. AI is only good as the data that drives it In today’s lifestyles, these technologies are not yet connected to be our one and only J.A.R.V.I.S. to make our lives better. However, in business, it is possible for you to leverage AI now. If it all comes down to data and serving your customers, you need to have everything you can possibly know about a customer. Currently, Oracle is the largest 3rd party vendor of data that businesses can leverage with AI. Unlike other vendors, Oracle’s AI is built from the bottom up, to connect intelligence to each layer of applications- whether it’s for marketing, commerce, sales, HCM or ERP. As we start to leverage and invest in AI, it’s important to learn as much as possible about what this means to your business and how you can truly capitalize on a connected data-driven solution. If you want to learn more about Adaptive Intelligent Apps, I would encourage anyone who’s interested to attend the AI Summit in New York on December 5-6 or click here to read more about how Oracle 's machine learning cloud apps strategy.  

I recently attended the AI Summit in San Francisco where Melissa Boxer, Oracle’s VP of Adaptive Intelligent Applications gave her keynote on "Practical AI" from a CEO’s perspective.  While her...

CX News & Events

Oracle Unveils CX Unity at OpenWorld and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: The Big Story Podcast: Twitchy Trigger Finger by Ryan Joe, AdExchanger, 10.25.18 Oracle Marketing Cloud announced new positioning within the Oracle structure, along with a new go-to-market strategy for its customer data platform (CDP). Oracle CX Unity Unveiled at OpenWorld by Jess Scardina, TechTarget, 10.23.18 Signaling that it will dive deeper into the battle of CX improvement, Oracle launched CX Unity, which brings together data from Oracle's various cloud products, and also announced a subscription management software tool.  Oracle Announces A New Secure Cloud at OpenWorld 2018 by Sam del Rowe, destinationCRM, 10.22.18 At OpenWorld, Oracle announced CX Unity, Subscription Management, and a new SMB data solution for B2B marketers, along with a new secure cloud. Oracle Gets into the CDP Game with CX Unity by Tilde Herrera, AdExchanger, 10.22.18 Oracle launched a customer data platform (CDP) and Subscription Management service, highlighting insights from Oracle’s Rob Tarkoff.  Industry News: Artificial Intelligence Success Comes Through Growth, Not Labor Savings by Joe McKendrick, Forbes, 10.25.18 Seventy-two percent of AI leaders are expecting AI to increase their revenue in the next five years rather than for it cut costs through, for example, the elimination of a human workforce. Holiday Shoppers Open Up Their Wallets For Experiences by Marianna Wilson, Chain Store Age, 10.23.18 According to Deloitte, experience spending will account for 40 percent of shoppers’ holiday budgets this year, while gifts will account for 34 percent of their budgets. How AI is Blurring the Lines Between Martech and Adtech by Shalaka Nalawade, MarTech Advisor, 10.23.18 Many believe that MarTech is more about personalization, while AdTech is for media buys, however, AI is helping both groups achieve the same goal: customer experience. AI Sales Technology Trends for 2019 and Beyond by Bridget Botelho, TechTarget, 10.19.18 AI automation tools for sales technology have the potential to lead sales teams toward certainty in their decision-making, grow pipelines, and reduce risks. Invest in the Human Side of the Customer Experience Equation by Douglas Eldgridge, CMSWire, 10.19.18 Humans are a vital part of the customer experience process, whether in terms of human or physical capital, ultimately serving customers in the ways they want to be served.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: The Big Story Podcast: Twitchy Trigger Finger by Ryan Joe, AdExchanger, 10.25.18 Oracle ...

Customer Experience Strategy

4 Ways for Manufacturers to Go Direct and Build the Next CX Frontier

By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing Consumer brands have a unique opportunity to leverage disruptive change to grow their organizations and gain market share. Direct-to-consumer eCommerce continues to be a disruptive force, as consumers increasingly want to know who and what is behind the products they buy. Brands need to work with their channel partners to create stellar customer experiences that drive positive win-win results. Digital Disruption is All the Rage When brands go direct; it's also good for retailers too. Better manufacturer sites improve both sales, and customer satisfaction across channels. As direct programs continue to drive positive outcomes with retail sales, new technology advancements are revolutionizing supplier-retailer relationships and sales models. Modernizing the customer experience to integrate service, commerce, and marketing helps to streamline the retail buyer’s experience, creates greater transparency, and opens up new opportunities that benefit the entire value-building chain. As marketing and supplier boundaries evaporate, both suppliers and manufacturers can better engage with consumers at scale for the first time. It’s changing how brands manufacture, advertise, and sell their products. This disruption has brands feeling uneasy about solely relying on traditional supplier channels and has resulted in them expanding their options to own a bigger piece of the customer journey. Selling to consumers involves a complex mix of players, each owning a distinct role in the management and execution of a brand's growth strategy. Previously, manufacturers and suppliers were more concerned with demand chain logistics, but digital commerce allows them to take more ownership of the customer journey and opens new opportunities for growth. This is where CPG marketers are making their top investments to meet company goals, and there are many examples of B2C organizations making similar investments. Commerce strategy is now top of mind with executive teams, as is investing in comprehensive technology platforms that can handle these complexities while streamlining costs and driving growth. What Customers Really Want Consumers want immediate and accurate access to information. Consumer demands for closer brand relationships is a top driver of why brands have gone direct. Over a third of consumers reported that they bought from a manufacturer’s web site in the last year. However, brands must determine what value they will deliver to consumers who buy this way, and how they can differentiate against other channel fulfillment options. Digital transformation is now at a stage where companies are looking beyond their traditional marketing, commerce, and service organizational silos to deliver the next frontier in customer experience. For their customers, this means being on the receiving end of a seamless interaction that demonstrates that both retailers and manufacturers understand them across marketing, commerce, and service interactions. Whether brands are creating a direct channel for the first time, or investing deeper in an existing program, understanding what shoppers want from a direct relationship is crucial and should be built around the following concepts. 1) Provide Customers with Channel Choices You’d think most brands would have gotten this right by 2018! But sadly, many still lag on this front.  When engaging with a brand, a customer won’t distinguish whether it’s a storefront, a website or a mobile experience.  Consumers crave authenticity and they want multiple options when they decide how to interact with a brand. Offering a variety of customer service resources such as chat, call center, self-service and co-browse service helps customers feel heard, builds trust and creates more loyalty. Brands should also create hyper-targeted marketing and service interactions such as how-to guides and other personalized content about using, caring for, or styling their products. Brands can also provide additional options for customers via social channels and personalized website experiences to drive customer intimacy. 2) Feed the Information Frenzy Consumers are experts at consuming information and they’re always hungry for more. Direct sites can address what's missing from crowded retail websites – specifically, rich and complete product content to catch the customer's eye. Most consumers use their mobile phones in-store while shopping to look-up information.  Therefore, product content that‘s mobile-optimized will help shoppers find what they need. And, brands should urge retail partners to use online content as a sales resource to help store associates who may be assisting shoppers. 3) Give Customers the VIP Treatment….. Always! Winning brands are reinventing their CX strategies to ensure they deliver an exclusive experience that shoppers can’t get anywhere else. They know their direct shopper has a higher customer lifetime value (CLTV), drives 70 percent or more of revenue, spends more to have their needs met and are the ideal upsell and cross sell opportunity. To delight them, brands should showcase their complete product range, with special “only available here” styles, colors, and models. Selling products exclusively on a branded site alleviates channel competition and serves as a platform to test new and limited edition products and reduces excess inventory with special sales. 4) Owning the Entire Customer Experience is all about the Data Marketing, commerce and service teams shouldn’t operate as individual business units when the end goal is to have happy, loyal customers. Marketing orchestration, customer service, commerce, and loyalty interactions should be part of a larger coordinated customer experience, linked at each step while taking advantage of mobile whenever possible. Companies that "go direct" with a focus on extracting value from each CX touch point will position themselves to be disruptors in a highly competitive market. Building the Next CX Frontier Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges of digital transformation is finding the expertise and cultivating the talent necessary to take the brand through the journey. This level of organizational change requires executive sponsorship, the right technology partners, and clear goals. Digital transformation impacts many roles and systems. CIOs have critical responsibilities when a company’s future relies on digital growth and reliance on IT systems. The CMO has also evolved from being responsible for branding and advertising to being more involved with the entire product development and customer lifecycle and in many cases, driving revenue.  When executives guide teams through successful digital transformation, decisions are bold, change happens quickly, and the organization is focused on execution. Companies that evolve in a staged manner tend to hit more pitfalls than those that swiftly move towards major change. The three biggest pitfalls of digital transformation are siloed mindsets and behaviors, lack of a common culture across business units, and no common view of customers across the organization. How is your organization prepared to face the future? Read more about how to growth hack your business with Oracle CX    

By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing Consumer brands have a unique opportunity to leverage disruptive change to grow their organizations and gain market share. Direct-to-consumer...

CX News & Events

The Cure for A Sales Leader’s Biggest Headache – The Sales Planning Process

By Fortune Alexander, Sr. Director, CX Product Strategy, Oracle As a sales leader, are you haunted by your annual planning process? Do you cringe when your CEO or CFO asks you when the Sales Plan will finally be ready? Does your Head of Sales Ops threaten to quit during the planning cycle? If so, you’re not alone.  Most sales organizations take weeks, even months, to produce their sales plans. In fact, only 28% of companies have incentive compensation plans, territories, and quotas ready on day one of a new fiscal year, according to a survey by WorldAtWork. When sales reps don’t get their plans on time, it stalls momentum and creates a drag on productivity.   The sales planning process is complex. The challenge is to optimize sales territories, quotas, and comp plans so that they can actually deliver on the overall revenue target. To do this, sales ops teams typically spend weeks cranking through complex spreadsheets with complicated formulas which are rolled-up across your Sales organization – several times over. These spreadsheets invariably get out of sync, take days to reconcile, and prolong the process.     To reign in the chaos, some forward-thinking sales leaders have started to invest in sales planning tools. These tools, collectively called sales performance management (SPM), make the planning process more efficient. But advanced sales organizations want more–they need a planning tool to help predict optimal outcomes.        Here’s the good news. Oracle just released a “next generation” sales planning solution that helps you build even smarter sales plans. Oracle Sales Planning uses advanced analytics and statistical methods to create predictive models that help steer your planning decisions. This prescriptive application enables your entire organization to work collaboratively throughout the planning process. And it’s pre-built using best practice planning methodologies, so it’s faster to get up and running. It also lets your power users access the app via Microsoft Excel.   Even better, your CFO will also love the fact that Oracle Sales Planning is built on Oracle’s EPM platform. This allows for seamless collaboration with your Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) team who are typically responsible for integrating the Sales Plan with the Annual Financial Plan. The end result is that you get rid of the sales planning nightmares and make your CFO a hero as well.  

By Fortune Alexander, Sr. Director, CX Product Strategy, Oracle As a sales leader, are you haunted by your annual planning process? Do you cringe when your CEO or CFO asks you when the Sales Plan will...

Customer Experience Technology

Oracle CX Unity Redefines Customer Intelligence

By Manoj Goyal, GVP Engineering for Oracle Marketing Cloud Let’s all repeat it together - the traditional “customer journey” is dead!   Consumer expectations have changed. The real way customers engage with brands is dynamic, unpredictable, and they expect to be served with a relevant experience in real-time, every time they interact with a brand. Thus, while the problem of understanding customers continues to get more challenging, the solution to serve them these appropriate, device-centric, contextually accurate experiences also gets more difficult. The reason for this conundrum is simple – data.  Rather, the issue is the inability of brands to make sense of all this data.  Do you realize that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day?  This includes an enormous amount of customer behavioral, transactional, financial and demographical data, most of which resides in siloes across many different organizational and geographic boundaries.  There are also various systems such as CRM, POS, Web Analytics, Service Ticketing, Marketing Automation, Commerce and many more. This separation of customer data and the inability to cultivate meaningful customer insights from it is the number one barrier preventing companies from delivering exceptional customer experiences. Today’s Solutions Fall Short Thousands of different marketing technologies promise a solution to this problem. And this, in itself, is a problem because the customer experience is not limited to marketing. Many of today’s solutions are too narrowly focused and do not consider the end-to-end customer experience across marketing, sales, service, loyalty, etc. Let’s consider CDPs (or Customer Data Platforms). CDPs are a solution category that is hot right now. In fact, they are at the top of the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising. Our viewpoint is that today’s CDPs fall short and do not go far enough in addressing the real concerns of CX professionals.  Today’s CDPs (along with data lakes and service providers) fall short in one or more areas.  1) they are limited in their scope to a few marketing-specific use case; 2)  are “data storage” centric; 3) struggle with stitching large amounts of data and profiles together and; 4) lack the artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities that can make sense of the massive amounts of data. Further, they tend to have limited direct integrations to marketing, sales and service applications for using the data to influence the customer experience in a contextually rich way. But, CX professionals care about understanding their customers better and being able to use that as intelligence to engage with them in a more relevant way across every interaction. They do this with the objective of increased customer satisfaction, greater customer lifetime value and more brand loyalty. We have been actively investing for a while in solving the problems that today’s solutions have failed to address for our customers, i.e. helping them connect their data sources and enrich this data to deliver highly personalized experiences at every touchpoint of the customer journey. More than anyone else, Oracle has a history of investing in helping our customers get more value from their data assets. We are the best in the world at data management. A Shift in Thinking But how should brands think about really solving this big data challenge?  One thing they must do is shift their thinking from a customer journey-centric view to a data-first approach, where the customer is in the center. This enables you to change the dialogue you have with your customers from being very “CRM, predictable and transactional” to being incredibly “responsive and conversational”. Companies looking to transform customer experiences need customer data that is real-time, intelligent, and predictive in order to deliver the most relevant, in-the-moment and personalized customer experiences at scale.  Introducing Oracle CX Unity Oracle CX Unity is a new customer intelligence platform that will be embedded within Oracle CX Cloud. It will enable contextually rich individualized engagements by connecting data, intelligence, and outcomes across the entire customer experience. CX Unity applies data-driven intelligence to determine the next best experience by feeding those actions directly into Oracle and partner applications. For example, if a customer is interacting with a service agent to report an issue, it’s important the agent knows this is a high value customer who just made a major purchase, getting that information from the sales team. This approach enables the brand to optimize how they engage with their customers, helping to improve customer satisfaction and increasing customer lifetime value. Oracle CX Unity offers a unique approach to enable organizations to react and respond to the unknowns and optimize the way they engage with their customers at each and every interaction. Connected Data: CX Unity simplifies the consolidation of offline, online, and 3rd-party individual-level customer data from all disparate systems in real-time into a dynamic and connected profile. Connected Intelligence: CX unity leverages AI and machine learning to add an intelligence layer on top of the data to contextually derive the next best customer experience. Connected Experience: Because CX Unity is embedded in Oracle CX Cloud, it can activate individualized experiences across the entire customer journey from marketing to sales and service. We are excited about the value CX Unity will deliver to our customers and its ability to enable CX Professionals across all industries to deliver contextually aware and highly personalized experiences that delight their customers whenever and however they engage with your brand. For them, the results will speak for themselves – happier, more loyal customers who become advocates for their brand. Read the Oracle CX Unity press release by clicking here. Click here to learn more about Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Solutions        

By Manoj Goyal, GVP Engineering for Oracle Marketing Cloud Let’s all repeat it together - the traditional “customer journey” is dead!   Consumer expectations have changed. The real way customers engage...

Sales

Enhance Your Selling Through Storytelling

If you’ve ever been a corporate seller, then you’ve probably gone through some sort of training. You’re taught to listen to your customer’s pains, and then use your product and industry expertise to find the best offer to resolve their issues. This practical approach is called ‘solution selling’, a methodology that’s been a leader in selling best practices since the 1970’s. As a corporate seller, you’ve also probably had your fair share of getting rejected by prospects. I know I have. We’re trained to believe that people use logic and reasoning to make buying decisions; that the answer, or ‘solution’, is always right. So why do we often still fail to close a deal when the choice is clearly backed by facts? My worldview was enlightened by the innovative strategy for communicating with customers after reading Michael Bosworth and Ben Zoldan’s What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story. The authors dove deep into solution selling’s origins, and how it was supposed to solve the “80/20” rule where 80% of the business was made by the top 20% of salespeople. They shared their findings through their own short stories, explaining why telling a story connects people emotionally and can be effective when you speak with a prospect for the first time. Empathy + Emotion = Connecting as People Bosworth has a deep understanding to the old approach of selling. In fact he published a best seller in 1994 called Solution Selling where he taught a methodology that uses a series of questions to uncover customer pains, then illustrates value propositions to portray the best vision of a product offer – exactly what we are trained to do today. The process has parameters however, as it requires the buyer to cooperate with the sales person and make decisions using logic and reasoning. It actually discounts the value of making an emotional connection with the buyer, or showing vulnerability, because there’s a perception that you are the all-knowing salesperson that has all the answers. Bosworth later realized that building an emotional connection was a key asset in winning over your customer. Zoldan experienced solution selling’s fatal flaw first hand in 2008 during his time as a sales trainer. After leading a workshop, Zoldan was asked to sit in on one of his student’s sales calls with their CEO. Excited to showcase his methodology, he was stunned to see the call sharply fall into chaos when the customer became irritated and unresponsive, building tension in the room. After an awkward moment of silence had passed, the CEO spoke up about an experience he had working at a different company. Within a few minutes, the mood relaxed. The customer opened up and started telling his own stories that mixed business with family, while the CEO listened with intent. Zoldan was amazed at how quickly the air cleared by something as simple as telling a personal story. Storytelling and High Technology Many have said that people make decisions with emotion and justify those decisions based on logic and rationale, but for a long time that was hard to prove. This book delves into the decision process directly in the brain, using anatomy and neuroscience to analyze behavior. It explains how and why stories are a better way to connect with your audience, rather than a series of directional questions to gain better understanding of their situation. This book educates the reader through exercises and examples told in story form that teach you how to build your own stories and relate to your customers. The high technology industry is accustomed to constant change. We frequently see technology evolve, but customer expectations speed past the industry and continuously raise the bar for how we as sellers engage with them. We need to let go of past paradigms for selling and innovate our best practices faster than we do our products. The customer-sales person dynamic has changed. Selling has become less about products and more about building relationships. Having a conversation around KPI’s and ROI is still important but irrelevant if you’re unable to emotionally connect with your customer. While showing vulnerability may be uncomfortable, it humanizes the customer’s perception of you and eases their defenses. If you’re looking to evolve your sales skills to the next level I highly recommend you try giving this book a read.      

If you’ve ever been a corporate seller, then you’ve probably gone through some sort of training. You’re taught to listen to your customer’s pains, and then use your product and industry expertise to...

CX News & Events

Where Will Customers Begin Their Online Holiday Shopping and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Answers the Call to Help Cities Improve Citizen Services by Oracle, 10.16.18 Cities across the country have selected Oracle Service Cloud to rethink traditional 311 services and provide the best possible citizen experience. <<Click to Tweet. The End of Ownership by Des Cahill, Oracle CX Blog, 10.18.18 As consumers trade brand loyalty for new experiences, we're ushering in a new era: The End of Ownership. Oracle's VP and Head CX Evangelist, Des Cahill, talks about what this means for brands.  <<Click to Tweet.  How Long Will Your Customer Wait for a Field Service Technician? by Jeffrey Wartgow, SmarterCX, 10.18.18 The length of time a customer is prepared to wait for a field service technician and how he or she feels about a company as a result of the service depends on three factors. <<Click to Tweet.  Podcast: Consulting The Oracle by Zach Rogers, AdExchanger, 10.16.18 Oracle's Dave Helmreich discusses how Oracle Marketing Cloud aims to capitalize on customer data management as client organizations embrace greater accountability.  <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Here's Where Online Customers Will Begin Their Holiday Shopping by Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 10.18.18 According to CPC Strategy, 80 percent of holiday shoppers will start their search on Amazon this year, up from 72 percent last year. Channel Marketing Chat: What's Fueling the Growing Focus on Partner Programs? by Brian Anderson, Demand Gen Report, 10.17.18 Ongoing shifts in buyer behavior and rapid developments in technology are impacting the role of indirect channel partners in the B2B marketplace. Natural Language Generation Fuels Marketing, Decreases Time to Market by Michael Gerard, Chief Marketer, 10.15.18 By automating routine content creation tasks, natural language generation allows marketers to provide a higher degree of personalization, using data to their advantage. Privacy Is Your Organization's Most Valuable Resource, You Should Treat It as Such by Dana Simberkoff, CMSWire, 10.15.18 Companies should be making privacy and security a priority, utilizing a holistic approach to a robust and layered strategy. Voice-First, AI, AR: Three Technologies Race to Again Change how We Shop by Alex Berg, GeekWire, 10.13.18 While some emerging technologies are behind-the-scenes and others are upfront, voice-first, AI and AR are all impacting commerce in a unique way.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Answers the Call to Help Cities Improve Citizen Services by Oracle, 10.16.18 Citie...

Customer Experience Technology

Oracle Engagement Cloud: The Evolution of a Name

It was Shakespeare who knowingly said, “what’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And while a rose, would certainly have the same smell no matter what name you’d call it – the truth of the matter is, in the world of business, names carry great weight. And sometimes a name needs to be modified to hold truth to the transition and growth of what it once was to what it is, now. For over two years, Oracle has been developing Engagement Cloud, the cornerstone of the CX suite, which unifies sales and service and builds in automatic connections to marketing, commerce, CPQ and more. And since Engagement Cloud includes all Sales Cloud functionality, it’s come to retire the Sales Cloud name in favor of the broader offering that encompasses sales and more. You may ask ‘Why not just leave the name, Sales Cloud?  Why are you changing it?’  Great questions. The answer is because our customers are also changing – they’ve evolved. These days, end user customers don’t differentiate between sales and service. They expect a seamless process through every engagement point. As Kate Leggett from Forrester states, “Sales and service organizations need the right data, information, and insights about their customers at the right time — and in context, so that they can focus on nurturing relationships instead of data entry.” Oracle Engagement Cloud is the solution that allows service and sales representatives to switch from requests and sales calls, bridging the chasm between their sales and service departments to create a unified customer experience. Oracle Engagement Cloud stretches far beyond the traditional settings of what was previously thought of as a sales inquiry or service request, to give Engagement Cloud users a way to: Deliver a Single CX – Unify sales and service departments to deliver an individualized and streamlined experience to every individual at every touch point on their journey with your business. Innovate Beyond Customer Experiences  - Give customers access to self-service and omni-channel experiences. Deliver beyond wants and exceed expectations to keep your business ahead of the competitive market. Create Intelligent Interactions at Every Touch Point - Leverage AI to make smarter decisions in real-time to gain guidance on how to win more business. Future Proof Your CX - Eliminate vendor fragmentation and complex integrations.  Allow your  organization to maintain agility and efficiency as it grows. Empower Visionary Engagement - Allowing employees to do their jobs more efficiently and more intelligently frees up organizations from inefficient and repetitive administrative tasks. Your customers aren’t standing around just smelling the roses, content to tolerate mediocre service.  Adapting to their needs and innovating is the only way to stay ahead of your competitors. Going to Oracle Open World and want to hear about the latest Innovations for Sales? Be sure to clear your calendar on Monday, October 22nd at 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. for the General Sales session and be sure to include plenty of Oracle Engagement Cloud session on your agenda, listed here.  

It was Shakespeare who knowingly said, “what’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And while a rose, would certainly have the same smell no matter what name...

CX News & Events

The End of Ownership

When I was a kid, there were three channels on TV. You had to be home in your living room to watch your favorite shows at the exact time when they were broadcast. Now? I can binge on Westworld, The Walking Dead, or Leave it to Beaver, whenever and wherever I want. There are hundreds of satellite and cable options like Hulu, Netflix, AppleTV and Amazon Prime offering something for everyone. NBA Channel, heck yeah! This explosion of choice is happening in practically every category and industry. Where once there was a narrow selection of vendors offering a limited range of products, we now have a seemingly endless selection of offerings with a vast range of consumption options. Buyers have embraced this cornucopia of choice with a healthy appetite to trial, test, and experiment. Brand loyalty is increasingly fragile and fleeting as buyers seek new solutions that specifically address their needs. This lack of buyer commitment is driving brands to offer new purchasing models such as pay-as-you-go service access, guaranteed consumption rates, individually configured bundles, and subscriptions that allow consumers to adjust consumption as their needs grow or change. It can also represent a source of recurring revenue for the vendor, which is an attractive business model for a number of reasons. The On-Demand Evolution This shift to on-demand buying preferences started with inexpensive retail goods like groceries and spread to luxury categories like women’s fashion. It then expanded to durable goods such as automobiles. Increasingly, we see businesses that sell to other businesses also adopting the subscription business model, even for complex machinery. Giants such as Rolls Royce let companies buy hours of jet engine usage. Medical device manufacturers charge for MRI machines on a per scan basis, and automotive companies such as Volvo and Porsche are driving full speed into monthly vehicle subscriptions.  As this trend evolves, subscription-based products and service offerings are set to dramatically increase. Subscriptions have exploded in recent years for everything from cosmetics to packaged meal kits. In fact, meal subscription services are expected to exceed $3 billion in 2018. It isn't just niche services that are taking advantage of this shift in buying behaviors. Fortune 1000 industrial names are exploring this game-changing development and rethinking business models to accommodate new ways to sell products and services.  We're entering an era of experimentation where consumers are questioning the very notion of ownership. Why should they invest in a product upfront when it’s cost-effective to access the service or output the product provides, and pay for it via a subscription that changes and evolves as needed? An entire generation of buyers is learning that they can have the convenience of almost any product or service, without the traditional cost and complexity that comes with ownership. We are seeing that the flexibility of subscribing trumps the status of ownership. It's the end of ownership.    By 2025 10% of all vehicle sales will be subscription based Sentury Tire is test marketing a tire subscription service starting $17.95 a month John Deere moves into high tech subscriptions with  JDLink FlexFlow offers on Demand Gas Subscriptions What it Means The opportunity to innovate business models and engage buyers in closer, recurring relationships is both huge and daunting. Organizations must rethink internal systems and processes to accommodate new ways of offering products and services to support the complete customer lifecycle including sales, service, fulfillment, invoicing, revenue recognition, customer satisfaction, and renewals. That means tightly integrating processes from the front office all the way through the back office. You can prepare your organization to meet these challenges by examining the end-to-end customer experience and planning how to provide customer facing personnel with the precisely the right data and information that empowers them to do their job with confidence and speed. Done properly, you enable your company to generate additional revenue from your goods and services and thrive as subscription consumption becomes the new normal. Welcome to the end of ownership.    

When I was a kid, there were three channels on TV. You had to be home in your living room to watch your favorite shows at the exact time when they were broadcast. Now? I can binge on Westworld,...

CPQ

Great Customer Experience Shouldn’t Be Rocket Science

Reinventing your customer experience (CX) strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider the Texas-based manufacturer, AirBorn. AirBorn serves customers across a variety of industries, but they’re well known for building and testing innovative, highly reliable spacecraft components for NASA, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin. Their components helped make the Apollo missions, the Hubble Telescope, and the Mars Rovers possible. Yet, AirBorn’s biggest challenge wasn’t fabricating products that can withstand the extreme temperatures and damaging orbital debris in outer space. Instead, after 60 years in business, AirBorn was challenged to re-address its CX strategy. To put this in perspective, AirBorn’s products are highly configurable. There are millions of possible part combinations depending on a customer’s needs and requirements. Many of these parts are configured for the first time, and thus are not detailed in their ERP systems. In the past, one inbound customer inquiry could spur 20 different internal emails in order to formulate an appropriate quote. It was a very high-touch, manual process that relied on spreadsheets, institutional knowledge, and in-house configuration tools. By the time a quote was ready, the company was already a week behind. AirBorn began its digital transformation with the service-oriented CRM solution, Oracle Service Cloud. This streamlines the influx of customer inquiries and gives sales reps a 360-degree view of these unique interactions. With the addition of Oracle Configure Price Quote (CPQ) and Commerce Cloud, AirBorn’s customers can self-serve through guided selling, finding the right part family and the right part number. Customers can build products and request quotes in just a few hours without involving the vendor’s employees– a process that historically took 3-10 days.   Self Service CPQ Process Improves Customer Experience This CX-trifecta of Oracle Service, CPQ, and Commerce Clouds works as a customer-facing overlay that’s agnostic to back office systems. Regardless of the products configured, each order flows seamlessly into AirBorn’s three different ERP systems, efficiently producing a bill of materials, determining costs, and planning production lead time.   Oracle CX Cloud and ERP Integration Boosts Customer Service This manufacturer of spacecraft components made it easier for customers to do business with them. It’s a customer-centric strategy–which will help scale for future growth and differentiate AirBorn from its competition in the industry. While digital transformation may seem like rocket science to some, AirBorn proves that it’s possible to deliver increasing value to your customers, despite organizational and product complexities. Learn more - Forbes - How to Build a Spaceship, the (Relatively) Easy Way    

Reinventing your customer experience (CX) strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider the Texas-based manufacturer, AirBorn. AirBorn serves customers across a variety of industries, but they’re...

CPQ

CPQ is the Underrated CX Middle Child and Here’s Why You Should Love It!

Sitting in between a CRM and an ERP, a CPQ is the middle child of any great business! This is because while it’s vastly underrated by those who see it as a mere sales automation add-on to the more popular, front-facing CRM, a CPQ is actually indispensable. Just as a middle child is integral to connecting the family together, a CPQ does the same for a business. Complimenting the front office, a CPQ is the vital link that gives currency to the downstream fulfillment, the ERP. Without it, the accuracy of orders and dollars of your business are at stake. Don’t be mistaken. Having a CPQ can make or break your business. It may be the underrated, middle child, but you should love it more than all others. Let’s discuss why. As a middle child myself, I will try my hardest not to be biased. When explaining CPQ to a Sales VP, enablement of their sales force may dictate the conversation. Giving access to their reps to be able to quote faster and accurately while on the go is essential. Yet, while speaking to a CFO, or someone in the financial department, correct fulfillment, contract management and margin control may be top of mind. These are both accurate, but there is more. The solution impacts a variety of departments, often meaning different things to different people. CPQ is not just a one-layer solution.  Its dimensions impact finance, sales, service, marketing and commerce. CPQ is vital to streamlining the customer experience and Oracle’s CX suite serves a variety of industries with broad functionality.  Through CPQ, a business can leverage Oracle CX products to do the following: Service Cloud and CPQ to enable guided selling through complex service scenarios. Commerce Cloud and CPQ to provide self-service portals to dealers. Subscription Management and CPQ to sell tangible assets or subscriptions for services delivered. ERP Cloud and CPQ for 100% error-free orders and correct downstream fulfillment. Engagement Cloud and CPQ in order to connect the chasm between service and sales functionality seen in complex quoting and ordering. Any CRM and CPQ Cloud to enable sales reps to work smarter and more efficiently. These are just a few examples of how CPQ streamlines CX and holds business processes together. What can your business do with CPQ? Are you attending Open World? See how CPQ Supercharges Sales Productivity, Accelerates Sales, and Improves Margins. Whether you are the youngest in your family, oldest or 1 of 5, the middle child should never be overlooked or discredited, for it’s the vital glue that holds the family together. Click here to learn more about all of the CPQ sessions at Oracle Open World

Sitting in between a CRM and an ERP, a CPQ is the middle child of any great business! This is because while it’s vastly underrated by those who see it as a mere sales automation add-on to the more...

CX News & Events

The Advantage of Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Interview with Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud by Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 10.10.18 Oracle SVP Shashi Seth covers his experience with product innovation, Oracle’s position within the CX market, and how CMOs can utilize recent innovations within the space. <<Click to Tweet. OK Google, What Does the Future of Marketing Look Like? by Shashi Seth, CMSWire, 10.10.18 Oracle SVP Shashi Seth discusses how voice assistants and AI-powered devices will impact modern marketing.  <<Click to Tweet.  The Customer Experience Advantage of Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud by Blake Morgan, Forbes, 10.8.18 AI helps provide personalized solutions in a more efficient way, highlighting how the Australian Red Cross manages donors with Oracle CX Cloud. <<Click to Tweet.  How Emerging Technologies Are Changing the Retail Shopping Experience by Bob Meixner, Retail Customer Experience, 10.5.18 Oracle Sr. Product Strategist, Bob Meixner, provides insights into how retailers can use emerging technologies to create, optimize, and scale for an immersive and customer-centric shopping experience.  <<Click to Tweet.  City of Albuquerque hires Alexa to Help with Service Requests from Residents by Brent Leary, ZDNet, 10.5.18 By integrating Alexa into its 311 Contact Center strategy, the City of Albuquerque is meeting its citizens' growing expectations. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: It's Time for Sales and Marketing to Put Aside Their Differences and Find Common Ground by Theresa O'Neil, AdWeek, 10.10.18 Marketing and sales teams need to align, as 60 percent of respondents believe misalignment is damaging to financial performance, according to LinkedIn and CMI. Augmented Reality: The Future of Field Service Management by Ryan Snellings, CIOReview, 10.9.18 Within field service, AR has the potential to lower costs, improve customer satisfaction, provide better technical support, and reduce in-house training time. This Holiday Message Creates the Biggest Conversions by Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 10.8.18 According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, emails highlighting Cyber Monday generated the highest average conversion rate, 9.8 percent, among all holiday emails in 2017. Infographic: CMOs Are Leading the Charge as Customer Experience Increasingly Requires Collaboration by Erik Wander, AdWeek, 10.7.18 Marketers find that meeting customer expectations is taking unprecedented levels of collaboration across functions, technologies, teams, and partners. For Data-Savvy Marketers, There's a New Keyword: Intent by MIT Technology Review's Editorial Staff, 10.5.18 As more companies look to machine learning for insights, marketers need to use new tools and technology to engage potential customers at the right time and place.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Interview with Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud by Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech...

Customer Experience Technology

Take Control of Your CX with AI and Commerce Cloud

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most popular cutting edge technologies that has the potential to transform every industry. Allow me to describe how we at Oracle are incorporating AI across our line of CX solutions for commerce, marketing, sales, and service professionals. We call our AI-enabled apps “Adaptive Intelligent” applications. Our Commerce & Marketing apps helps digital leaders and their teams provider superior customer experiences because they; Optimize ad spend, Drive more traffic to their digital properties, Increase conversion with relevant offers, and Understand customers better by providing shopper insights with data from the world’s largest third-party data marketplace (Oracle Data Cloud). Best of all, CX leaders can tailor them to their specific needs by optimizing various offers at the category, brand, and product levels. Built into Commerce Cloud is the ability to set based on brand exclusivity, inventory, and price. It provides an unprecedented level of scale when creating personalized, relevant experiences while allowing merchandisers to intelligently recalibrate based on the appropriate level of customer engagement. Put Your Best First, on Top Creating experiences that inspire people to buy is both art and science. The most recent release of Oracle Commerce Cloud combines the science of AI with the art of curation with our new Dynamic Curation feature.  Today’s commerce sites require merchandisers to deploy multiple strategies across landing pages and search results to boost the right products to the top. Dynamic Curation helps merchandisers show their best products first. For example, a landing page for the Fall collection could prioritize new and most viewed products while a search for “black dresses” could prioritize best selling and in stock. Commerce Cloud puts merchandisers in control by giving them the ability to influence relevancy across several key retail metrics such as:  Analytics metrics – product views in last 30 days Sales metrics – number of purchases in last 30 days Inventory information – whether or not a SKU is in stock Catalog data – when the product was first sold, whether it’s on sale, product type Merchandisers can combine multiple criteria to best drive results with complex, dynamic data. They can also set up a default curation that applies to all result, and overrides where necessary to work more efficiently. To ensure accuracy, changes can be reviewed visually via preview.  These native capabilities are critical to an experience-driven approach to commerce. Oracle Commerce Cloud gives merchandisers a single tool to control site layout and product listing functions across browse and search. No more need to bounce around multiple tools or submitting a request to IT to modify the search index! Providing these capabilities in a comprehensive solution means our customers achieve faster time to market and reduce complexity by steering clear of disjointed point solutions. After all, isn’t it easier to create a unified customer experience if you have unified tools? Our customers think so. To learn more about AI and Commerce Cloud, attend the Trends and Innovation Highlights session at Oracle Open World this month in San Francisco.     

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most popular cutting edge technologies that has the potential to transform every industry. Allow me to describe how we at Oracle are incorporating AI across...

Ask the Experts

Cognizant’s Siebel Strategy of Co-Existence with Oracle CX Cloud

By Diganta Tah, Director for Oracle CX, Cognizant Technology Solutions Once I was meeting some important stakeholders of a telecom company who were planning to move from Siebel to the Oracle CX cloud applications. It was the final meeting before signing the deal and one of the key decision makers from the procurement team asked me “why doesn’t Oracle just put the Siebel application on the cloud? It could have made our lives so much easier.”   We educated the customer on the Siebel roadmap, a very important aspect to investigate before deciding to fully transition out of Siebel. A reasonable percent of customers that we speak with indicate that a “Cloud First Strategy” is why they want to discuss Siebel transformation. But if cloud is the only requirement, then we should be aware that Siebel CRM is already Cloud Ready, and can be deployed on Oracle’s Private Cloud (IaaS) infrastructure. However, for customers in specific industries, geographies, or with specific functional requirements and data regulations, Siebel On Premise or on the Private Cloud may be the best option. But where Siebel is replaced by or integrates with other CX applications, a strategy of co-existence may be the most pragmatic and practical way to build a customer-centric organization. Paraphrasing the Croatian professor Eraldo Banovac’s words “The essence of coexistence is quite simple: live and respect how others live.” I relate this by advising clients that we can help them deliver superior capability by leveraging the strength of Siebel as well as the next generation CX applications. Siebel CRM in the Cloud Coexistence Makes Progress with Minimal Disruption The practice of coexisting is to adopt functions incrementally at a pace that suits the organization. Oracle’s CX Cloud platform makes it possible for its modules to be integrated with other systems. Cloud applications can extend the capabilities of the core apps and augment existing product lines, allowing companies to modernize their investments as they see fit. By taking an incremental approach, organizations also minimize the risks associated with updating an entire system. This way, they can take advantage of new key functionalities without having to incur many of the disruptions that come with full-scale deployments. In the meantime, their core systems continue to be updated and supported, while the Fusion offerings are steadily improved and expanded As a best practice, organizations should follow this coexistence strategy. Otherwise, they should prepare for a comprehensive project rollout to migrate to a new system and part ways with the legacy completely. This means larger implementation costs and increased timelines. Co-Existence not only reduces IT investments but also enables organizations to build an implementation roadmap to adopt Oracle Cloud applications in incremental steps without going through a major overhaul. Most of the time a traditional requirements driven or a fit-gap-analysis approach might not suit the purpose. To produce the blueprint for the co-existence Cognizant follows a unique approach known as CLOUDMAP TM for CX. Oracle also recommends a similar approach to Siebel Evolution where they follow an “Extend, pivot, and transform” framework. Extend: Modernize your critical Siebel instances with Oracle’s CX ecosystem of leading applications by leveraging REST and preconfigured connectors to extend Siebel. Pivot: Seamlessly replace strategic Siebel functions with Oracle’s CX cloud, enabling agility and modernization with minimal disruption. Transform: Replace Siebel with an ideal CX footprint designed to business requirement with migration support The CloudMap to Your Siebel Evolution is Unique There might be no secret sauce for transformation nor there is “One Way.” It is a must to follow a time tested methodology that has the power to overcome the traditional challenges of any large modernization program. We need to ensure the change management aspects are taken care and all stakeholders work together. Think big but start small i.e., work in phases rather than a big bang release. Oracle’s CX Platform is the only option where you get these great “best-of-breed” combinations to choose from and extend your existing SFA capabilities in new areas like Oracle Commerce Cloud or “Configure, Price and Quote Cloud.” Similarly, you could extend your Service application into Oracle Field Service Cloud or Advanced Knowledge Cloud.” But of course the other most important thing that you need is a great partner to navigate the path along with you and choose wisely. So email me for immediate queries if you have questions about a Siebel Modernization journey. Come visit us at Oracle Open World in San Francisco and review the several sessions we will present. Click here to read more about Cognizant's CX solutions. Diganta Tah is Director for Oracle CX, for Cognizant Technology Solutions. Currently he is responsible for the CX practice at Cognizant, helping customers to transform digitally, leveraging technologies like Oracle Engagement Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, CPQ and Oracle Service Cloud. Diganta has over 22 years of experience in the arena of Information Technology with more than a decade in Oracle's CRM products and Analytics. He has applied experience in Information Technology and verticals that include Financial, Pharma, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Retail, Logistics, Transportation and Travel Services.  Diganta holds a Ph.D in Decision Support Systems and has passion to conceptualize and deliver sustainable customer centric solutions.        

By Diganta Tah, Director for Oracle CX, Cognizant Technology Solutions Once I was meeting some important stakeholders of a telecom company who were planning to move from Siebel to the Oracle CX cloud...

CX News & Events

Will AR Bring Joy to Holiday Marketing? And Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Q&A: Oracle Adaptive Intelligence Strategy Pervades Apps by Mark Labbe, TechTarget, 9.28.18 Oracle's Melissa Boxer discusses the evolution, advantages, and future of Oracle AI Apps, noting AI use cases within the Oracle Sales Cloud portfolio. <<Click to Tweet. Empowering the Next Generation of Field Service Technicians with Augmented Reality by John Ranalli, Field Technologies Online, 9.25.18 Oracle's John Ranalli provides insights into how AR will captivate the field service industry and be key in training the next generation of field service technicians.  <<Click to Tweet.  Oracle Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management 2018 by Andrea Tucker, Modern Marketing Blog, 10.1.18 In a recent report, Gartner evaluated 14 different vendors on their ability to manage the processes associated with CRM Lead Management and Oracle was named a 'Leader.' <<Click to Tweet.  Brazilian Retailer's New Commerce Platform in Step with 'Fast Fashion' by Sasha Banks-Louie, Forbes, 10.2.18 Learn how Carmen Steffens, an upscale Brazilian retailer, stays ahead of the country's fashion trends by powering its B2B and B2C websites with Oracle Commerce Cloud.  <<Click to Tweet.  Oracle Eloqua Innovations Accelerate Lead Generation and Increase Conversion Rates by Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 10.3.18 Innovations to Oracle Eloqua help marketers communicate with prospects and customers through new content creation, sales tools, and auditing capabilities. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Customer Experience in 2018: Progress, But Still Room to Grow by Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 10.2.18 As businesses focus on customer experiences, brand experience and social consciousness will be effective in connecting with the next generation of consumers. Frictionless Marketing: Retail's Next Frontier by Darren Ross, Chief Marketer, 10.2.18 Whether it’s due to the subscription economy or individual mobile payments, customers continue to expect an increasingly frictionless and convenient experience. Are Visual Chatbots the Next Step of the Conversational Interfaces Revolution? by Andrew Arnold, Forbes, 10.1.18 By enabling chatbots with vision capabilities and deep learning, chatbots may become full visual interactors capable of delivering exceptional customer experiences. Will AI Bring Joy to Holiday Marketing? by Dianna Christe, Retail Dive, 10.1.18 As the holidays approach, AR is expected to play a more prominent role across advertising, mobile shopping, and within physical stores. Buyer Enablement is the Key to B2B Sales by Sam Del Rowe, destinationCRM, 10.1.18 Buyers spend a considerable amount of time researching, increasing the importance of buyer enablement which leads to higher-value purchases and less purchase regret later on.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Q&A: Oracle Adaptive Intelligence Strategy Pervades Apps by Mark Labbe, TechTarget,...

CPQ

If You Need a Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis, Then Read This

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle CX   It’s a pretty common business scenario when an organization grows by acquiring companies, changes their product portfolio, adds partners and sales channels.  But, what happens when they discover that the tools and processes that brought them to their current point of success may not take them to the next level where they need to go? In this situation, an organization that wants to adapt can get creative and squeeze more life out of their existing tools.  This may buy a little more time, but it ultimately won’t address the root cause of the process issue. I suggest that organizations seeking to evolve up the maturity scale should investigate how a Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution can play a significant part in a wider company transformation. A great place to start this investigation is with a BOA workshop. Oracle Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis (BOA) An Oracle Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis (BOA) is a comprehensive two day workshop with the sole purpose of identifying opportunities for improvement in your company’s selling process. The goal is to carefully map current quote to cash processes, including all supporting systems, to provide a holistic understanding of the real business process flow. BOA workshops are typically part of larger ‘get well’ initiatives for many organizations because this is often the first time participants across the company map out the entire sales and quoting process including all parties involved, system challenges, approval points, wild card dependencies and commonly accepted process disturbances that may be unique to your organization. Armed with a concrete understanding of the process, participants can benchmark the value of potential changes CPQ may offer. There are many advantages of engaging Oracle to conduct a BOA. We’ve led hundreds of these workshops and uncovered millions of dollars of opportunity to transform sales teams and processes to fuel growth. That’s because we’ve worked through these challenges with many organizations and provided an invaluable perspective with innovative ideas that may not otherwise be considered. The outcome of a BOA workshop is building a quantified defensible business case for you to use based on industry standards, best practices and existing customer reference cases. What opportunities can we uncover for you? Read Financial Impact of Selecting the Wrong Configure Price Quote Solution Exec Paper Read what the leading analysts say - Gartner Positions Oracle CPQ Cloud as a Leader Learn more about Oracle CPQ Cloud  

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle CX   It’s a pretty common business scenario when an organization grows by acquiring companies, changes their product portfolio, adds partners...

Customer Experience Strategy

6 CX Habits That Will Fuel Your Customer Success

By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing Consider a typical visit to a brick-and-mortar retail store. As you browse through the shelves and racks deciding what to buy, what kind of salesperson do you hope to find when you need help? Do you prefer someone aggressive and continuously asking if you’re ready to make a purchase? Or, can you even find someone when you have a question, no matter how hard you look? Most customers would say the perfect salesperson is ready to help and follows your cue. Thanks to years of shopping in stores, consumers know exactly what they want from a brick-and-mortar experience.  Savvy retailers train their salespeople to get this right. But what about a different shopping or service situation? What attracts or repels customers online? What should digital retailers and service providers do to compel customers to buy and remain loyal?  When customers call your service department to complain, are your service teams empowered to deliver seamless customer experiences that demonstrate you understand your customers and their needs? Modern consumers are fickle and they have choices, so they don’t need to put up with lousy digital experiences. They know exactly what they want. This has created a tipping point for B2C marketers. With so many new ways to engage customers, they need to find the perfect mix and get their digital handshake right. Build the Digital Handshake Around the Customer Establishing a great digital customer experience starts with the organization itself. Most companies are structured in silos, with teams put in place piece to support different stages of the customer journey, whether related to digital or mobile advertising, email marketing, service, commerce or the next big thing. This approach has proven detrimental. When fragmented teams work against each other instead of towards integrated consumer goals, customers get inconsistent messaging and interactions that are disorganized, and often frustrating. Managing the final customer experience means coordinating those teams around the audience itself. Service and marketing teams can better control the information they send out, so that consumers are neither inundated nor ignored. But that’s just the beginning. To get the digital handshake right, it's important to examine processes even further.  Developing and honing to precision these six practical habits will help put contending brands ahead. Prioritize the Mobile Experience – Just as Marketing teams make mobile a key component in each step of their content strategy, Service teams should deliver the same level of interaction and engagement while demonstrating an understanding of current service issues.  Customers won’t differentiate between your mobile site and website, so make sure they work together as part of a consistent experience.  Find the Right “Service and Engagement” Balance – Successful CX involves lines of business working together from a common strategy where whenever the customer chooses to engage, the brand is prepared to serve the right information at that particular touch point.  Understand Short-Term Goals Versus Long-Term Brand Equity – To create lasting brand equity, the new digital handshake involved teams collaborating on a long-term plan where short-term goals contribute to its success.  Create the Right Design Experience – What constitutes good design is constantly changing with evolving habits and new trends. The trick for B2C marketing and service teams is to find the mix of capabilities needed to support engagement where the customer experience is enhanced at each step. Regularly Test Engagement and Big Business Questions – The most successful organizations test robustly across customer touch-points, leveraging data to successfully deliver personalized experiences that are intelligently crafted at every touch point. Go Beyond Personalization – Personalization around marketing messages across channels and service interactions, supplemented by modern marketing capabilities, can improve the whole shopping experience. These details need to be continuously monitored and improved to stand up against the competition. Oracle Knows Data Brands that successfully transform their digital operations have linked their systems, tools, and teams to achieve a single view of the customer. The Oracle CX platform powers digital transformation for greater agility, efficiency, and visibility. Oracle is the number one analyst-rated Digital Experience Platform and is unique in its ability to power B2C eCommerce experiences for any organization. Our modern architecture makes it simple to leverage any Oracle, third-party, or homegrown system to grow in any direction the market and your customers take you. Oracle customers can select from a wide variety of applications and services as their needs grow and evolve. Click here to Learn How to Growth Hack Your Business with Oracle CX        

By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing Consider a typical visit to a brick-and-mortar retail store. As you browse through the shelves and racks deciding what to buy, what kind of...

CX News & Events

Five Warning Signs of a CPQ Project Failure and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Announces Updates for Eloqua, the B2B Marketing Automation Platform by MarTech Advisor's Editorial Staff, 9.26.18 New updates to Oracle Eloqua help marketers accelerate lead generation and increase conversion rates through content creation, sales tools and auditing capabilities. <<Click to Tweet. The Future of Commerce: Customer Experience by Michael Krigsman, CXOTalk, 9.20.18 Oracle's Katrina Gosek and Scott Silverman, principal at Scott Silverman Associates, talk about the importance of frictionless, fast service in this CXOTalk interview.  <<Click to Tweet.  Planning for Today and the Future With Oracle Engagement Cloud, YouTube, 9.20.18 Learn more about the benefits of giving sales and service teams a 360-degree view of the customer in order to deliver a better customer experience while driving more business. <<Click to Tweet.  5 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Customers' Time by Heather Foidart, Oracle CX Blog, 9.20.18 How your brand respects its consumers' time shapes their customer experience and their perception of your business. Read how you can stop wasting their time.  <<Click to Tweet.  5 Warning Signs of a CPQ Project Failure by Graham McInnes, Oracle CX Blog, 9.25.18 All too often, a CPQ evaluation is weighted in favor of the lowest licensing costs and ignores the importance of vetting a vendor and their implementation expertise. Here are five warning signs to look out for. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Survey: 80% of Shoppers Plan to Spend at Least as Much as Last Year on Holidays by Erica Sweeney, Retail Dive, 9.25.18 A new survey revealed that consumers have a positive economic outlook. Eighty percent plan to spend the same or more than last year on gifts this holiday season. Customer Experience and Engagement Fuels the Most Progressive Digital Transformation Strategies by Brian Solis, Forbes, 9.24.18 As technology continues to drive shifts in consumer expectations, customer experience has become the catalyst for transformation and progress within enterprises. 5 Challenges of Interactive Content Marketing and How to Overcome Them by Vandita Grover, MarTech Advisor, 9.21.18 Common challenges in interactive content marketing include an imperfect understanding of human behavior, difficulty in creating high-quality content, and lack of budget. Big Bang Disruption: The Speed of Change in the Digital Era by Jamal Starr, Field Technologies Online, 9.21.18 Modern service businesses need to evaluate their viability, volatility, durability, and vulnerability as technological innovations disrupt industries at incredible speeds. B2B Customer Experience is Catching Up, But Still Has a Long Way to Go by Jason Michaels, CMSWire, 9.21.18 According to Accenture, forward-looking B2B organizations should focus on digital commerce, mobile strategies, and multichannel and omnichannel experiences.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Announces Updates for Eloqua, the B2B Marketing Automation Platform by MarTech...

Customer Experience Technology

Oracle Recognized as Leader In Gartner 2018 Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant

Originally published on SmarterCX View a complimentary copy of the full report. When it comes to customer experience, we tend to hear and read a lot about the ever-changing needs of the customer, shifts in both B2B and B2C buying habits, and the rise of the digitally-native consumer. Less talked-about but perhaps equally as important to creating a smarter customer experience are the humans and the technology on the other end of the interaction – including salespeople, sales enablement technology, and sales force automation technology. According to Gartner’s recently-released Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, “The sales force automation market grew 15.7% to $6.2 billion in 2017, and embedded predictive analytics is now a common capability from the leading SFA vendors.” Defining sales force automation as “systems that support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for organizations’ sales professionals,” Gartner evaluates 15 vendors in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation. View a complimentary copy of the full report to learn more. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, Tad Travis, Ilona Hansen, Julian Poulter, Melissa Hilbert, 9 July 2018. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Originally published on SmarterCX View a complimentary copy of the full report. When it comes to customer experience, we tend to hear and read a lot about the ever-changing needs of the customer, shifts...

CPQ

5 Warning Signs of a CPQ Project Failure

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager At Oracle, we’re committed to improving your sales and business outcomes with our software. As a leading vendor of configure, price and quote solutions, it’s painful to watch a company select a CPQ solution that’s unsuitable for their organization. All too often, a CPQ evaluation is weighted in favor of the lowest licensing costs and ignores the importance of vetting a vendor and their implementation expertise. The results often cost millions of dollars and waste countless staff hours and ultimately fail to remedy the original challenge. Deciding when it’s time to draw the line and call a CPQ project a failure might be difficult. The initial price could have been low and the purchase process was fast and easy. But, just as soon as the vendor provisioned the software and provided user credentials, that’s when the challenges began. I’ll bet there were likely warning signs before the implementation even started. Here are some warning signs to watch for. Product Focused - If the vendor’s primary focus is only highlighting software capabilities and not on solving your organizational challenges, look for another vendor. The primary benefit of a CPQ solution is supposed to be the transformational impact on your business. Pilot Project - Sometimes limited-scope, proof-of-concept projects are leveraged to test the software against one or more use cases. This might seem like a good idea but POCs frequently spend money and time without rendering a definitive conclusion. Vendors that recommend POCs are betting on your escalating commitment during this artificial “honeymoon period”. Unless the vendor can satisfactorily outline one or more implementation options for your high-priority use cases during the sales process, seek another vendor. Promised Functionality - If your business challenges require the CPQ vendor to augment their roadmap with significant future functionality promised, this indicates either a solution deficiency or an imprecise understanding of how to solve your organizational challenges. Either way, this is a solid warning sign to look elsewhere. Re-scoping Efforts - When your CPQ implementation progress seems sputter or stop and discussions shift towards changing the scope of the project from the original plan, it’s a solid indication that it’s time to look for another vendor.  Vendor Churn - The CPQ vendor ecosystem is full of upstarts, tentative alliances, crumbling partnerships, mergers, and solid assurances. If you’re apprehensive about your CPQ vendor’s dependability, trust your instincts and look for another vendor. Oracle CPQ is committed to the success of its customers. For businesses finding themselves in situations where a CPQ project has not gone successfully, our methodology provides a clear path forward. We genuinely want to help you pick up the pieces and get back on track for a successful CPQ deployment. The path back to success starts with a comprehensive two-day workshop called a Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis, or BOA. The purposes of this workshop are to map your current processes and supporting systems, provide a holistic understanding of the business process flow, identify opportunities for improvement, and engage all organizational functions associated with sales processes. We’ve lead hundreds of these workshops to work through many different transformational challenges with other organizations. The outcome of a BOA workshop is building a sensible, supportable business case based on industry standards, best practices and existing customer reference cases. Picking up the pieces of a failed CPQ project is much easier with a clear path forward that a BOA provides, even if there are highly charged politics and emotions from the previous experience.  Oracle CPQ is trusted by over 600 well-known brand names and used by more than 600,000 employees. Let Oracle help you get back on the right CPQ track with a BOA. For More information Financial Impact of Selecting the Wrong Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Solution Exec Paper Gartner Positions Oracle CPQ Cloud as a Leader Read more about Oracle CPQ  

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager At Oracle, we’re committed to improving your sales and business outcomes with our software. As a leading vendor of configure, price and quote solutions,...

CX News & Events

90% of Consumers Report Being Brand Loyal and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Sales and Service Tech: Two Sides of the Same Coin? by Kate Leggett, Forrester, 9.17.18 According to Kate Leggett, evolving sales and service organizations need the right data at the right time to focus on nurturing customer relationships. CRM vendors, like Oracle Engagement Cloud, are making this easier by bringing historically siloed departments together. <<Click to Tweet. B2B Marketing: Gaining Multi-Channel ROI by Michael Krigsman, CXOTalk, 9.13.18 Shashi Seth, senior vice president at Oracle Marketing Cloud, and Neil Tolbert, director of marketing communications at Mack Trucks, share how companies can ensure ROI in B2B marketing using a multi-channel approach. <<Click to Tweet.  Go Beyond Sales Force Automation: 3 Reasons to Integrate Customer Service by Sasha Banks-Louie, Forbes, 9.19.18 Combining your sales and service applications will put your customer at the center of your CX strategy. Oracle's Stephen Fioretti and Fortune Alexander, as well as Forrester's Kate Leggett explain why. <<Click to Tweet.  You're Just a Brand - Enter Oracle Engagement Cloud by Jeff Wartgow, Oracle CX Blog, 9.12.18 Customers don't see sales or service organizations when they interact with you. To them, you're just a brand. Oracle Engagement Cloud is the nucleus for digital transformation, ensuring that you deliver modern customer experiences that blend both sales and service.  <<Click to Tweet.  Supernova Awards 2018: Recognizing Leaders in Disruptive Technology by Constellation Research, 9.13.18 Kenya Revenue Authority's Grace Wandera is a finalist for the Next Generation Customer Experience Category. Learn how Kenya is transforming its tax compliance system and improving public perception with Oracle CX. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Survey Surprise: 90% of Consumers Report Being Brand Loyal by Greg Sterling, Marketing Land, 9.19.18 Over 90 percent of respondents to a Yotpo survey reported that they are more brand-loyal than a year ago, citing product quality as the leading factor. How Cultural Differences Impact Customer Experience by Karolina Kualch, CMSWire, 9.19.18 When analyzing foreign markets, consider cultural aspects such as everyday communication, internet usage, marketing and advertising, and ecommerce trust. CGOs Prioritize, Focus, Collaborate Differently Than CMOs: Study by Patty Odell, Chief Marketer, 9.17.18 Chief growth officers are reshaping the modern role of CMOs by defining the differences between gains and growth, connecting across functional silos and thinking like a CEO. Points-Based Rewards Motivate Loyalty Among All Generations of Shoppers by Bryan Wassel, Retail Touchpoints, 9.17.18 According to Kobie Marketing, analyzing generational preferences, considering a points-based program, and prioritizing convenience increases long-term customer interest. How to Build a Repeat Customer Base Through an Outstanding E-Commerce Experience by Fan Bi, Inc., 9.14.18 Providing a simple and outstanding buying experience, giving customers a voice, and offering a liberal return policy contributes to ecommerce brand loyalty.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Sales and Service Tech: Two Sides of the Same Coin? by Kate Leggett, Forrester, 9.17.18 A...

Customer Experience Strategy

5 Ways to Stop Wasting Your Customers' Time

Warren Buffett famously said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” In today’s service economy, customer experiences can make or break a brand’s reputation in seconds via a flurry of re-tweets, shared videos, and hashtags. We value our time as a finite resource and in our connected economy we expect results with speed and efficiency. How your brand respects its consumers’ time shapes their experience and their perception of your business. We’ve all experienced a situation of mounting frustration when our time is wasted–being placed on lengthy holds, stuck in slow-moving lines, and even waiting for slow-responding websites. Yet businesses only measure time as it relates to how it impacts their own business. What if instead, we focused externally on the most precious and finite resource available–our customer’s time? If we view our customer’s time as an investment in our brand, how might we operate differently to protect that asset? To help us de-construct and dissect any business strategy that is long on innovation and short on end-user experience, we can coin the term “CX-Coin” to measure how your firm is valuing your customer’s time. Here are 5 ways you can increase the value of CX-Coin by investing in your customer’s time. Analyze the impact of the customer experience on every business decision. It is an oft-repeated axiom that customer service is the result of a bad customer experience. Yet the responsibility of delivering exceptional customer experiences no longer lies with just customer-facing departments. Instead, CX must factor into every investment decision. When a CX-first mindset is embedded into your company’s culture, it has the power to yield substantial financial results by influencing customer attitudes that drive behaviors. With every change to process or technology, consider how it impacts CX-Coin’s “investors.” Does the proposed change yield a definite benefit, neutral, or negative impact on the customer experience? Prototype, test, and validate proposed changes from an outside-in perspective. Focus on a holistic view of the customer journey. Customer Journey Mapping is an effective method to review behaviors and attitudes from the customer point of view. When you look at a continuum of interactions, consider how your customer’s time is being spent and how it impacts them individually. Time isn’t just money–it’s a finite and irreplaceable resource that the customer is currently investing in you. If you squander it, that time will be just as surely invested in your competition. Proactively deliver value in every moment. Buffett also reminds us that "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." When technology and processes become investments in UX and CX, your brand’s value appreciates in the customer’s portfolio. Innovating from the customer’s point of view will deposit valuable currency into their wallets. Remind yourself often that what you think matters to your customer is worth a nickel. What actually matters to them is worth a dollar. Take the time to understand that disparity by asking your customers what is relevant and essential to them? In the value equation, empathy and listening are always free. When customers are engaged, they are willing to invest time upfront, where it can pay big dividends in the future. Incremental, bite-sized innovation can deliver substantial returns. It’s often the small things that yield the highest returns. The path to useful innovation is achieved incrementally. Bite-sized changes that invest in the customer experience compound over time to yield meaningful results. Like the stock market, there will be bullish runs and bearish downturns–both the peaks and the valleys can offer an opportunity. You can invest in fixing problem areas that are costing customers time, or double-down in the places that are already valuable differentiators in your customers’ eyes. Improve the ease of doing business with you. It’s human nature–we don’t invest in things we don’t understand (or at least we shouldn’t). Before engaging with you, prospects will do the majority of their research online. They expect personalized experiences and responsiveness. So, design your digital strategy with that buyer’s time in mind. Start with systems that let you innovate faster. By integrating data and systems to anticipate their needs, you can respond more intelligently, proactively, and rapidly.  Your customer’s time is precious, so be the brand that’s easy to do business with. You can inoculate your company against business cycle extremes by investing vigorously in CX across your organization. Be the next market “Unicorn” by issuing your own CX-Coin that signals to your customers a guaranteed return on a resource so precious that it is limitless in value–their time.

Warren Buffett famously said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” In today’s service economy,...

Customer Experience Strategy

Measuring the Value in a Customer Journey

With Christian Patrik Brands are struggling to understand experiences from a customer point-of-view, and how to invest strategically to maximize business potential.  Fragmented data and a web of point solutions make it difficult to measure marketing performance and customer behavior. Brands are forced to act reactively, wasting time, effort, and money without a holistic customer lens. Winning firms use customer intelligence to make every interaction count.  They constantly measure their actions in order to refine their strategies to increase customer loyalty, drive business value and increase their competitive advantage. Oracle offers world-class Journey Mapping and Value Study solutions to provide you with a customer-centric framework and methodology to drive your business evolution. Journey Mapping leverages design thinking so brands can prioritize investments that influence customer behaviors that deliver results. This is a practical approach to overcome the lack of priorities and specifics that are required to affect change. You’ll gain the perspective of your current customer journey versus the desired experience. In the workshop, the team will imagine solutions that deliver customer and organizational value, resulting in the vision, calls to action, ownership and accountability necessary to provide quantifiable value to your business and customers. We observe your customers’ journeys and review how your customers interact with you, evaluating touchpoints and linking valuable insights from the workshop to business justification.  Outputs are business cases that are actionable, board-ready and qualitatively and quantitatively supported. What is Customer Journey Mapping? The value study gathers critical data points on your current processes and associated metrics.  Then, we reference industry best practices, equivalent KPIs, and benchmarks to present analogous baseline data modeled against your current state. After validating initial findings, The Oracle Value Strategy Group presents a series of compiled recommendations, including a ROI-rooted business case and an actionable roadmap presented during an executive read-out to share the potential business impact as well as the methods to best measure that impact.  Through our integrated approach, your business can objectively engage the enterprise in developing actionable roadmaps that connect opportunity areas to business strategies and customer expectations to real ROI benefits. Read the brief "Measuring the Value in a Customer Journey"        

With Christian Patrik Brands are struggling to understand experiences from a customer point-of-view, and how to invest strategically to maximize business potential.  Fragmented data and a web of point...

CX News & Events

CX Sales at Oracle OpenWorld 2018

October 22-25 Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco Oracle OpenWorld 2018 is upon us!  Transformational technologies, the move to a subscription economy, Artificial intelligence, IoT and Data-Driven CX will be highlighted customer experience topics. Learn how systems throughout the customer journey can integrate seamlessly for a consistent customer experience. In addition to live conference Keynotes by Larry Ellison and the sensational customer appreciation event featuring Beck, Portugal.The Man, and The Bleachers, if you are a sales professional, use this useful CX Sales Track session guide to navigate the halls of Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco to attend the sessions that matter most. This year, CX is based in Moscone South with a CX Exhibit area located on the lower floor with sessions on floors 1, 2 and 3. The opening CX session is presented by Rob Tarkoff, EVP CRM/CX Cloud, Oracle. A next-generation approach to customer experience starts with a unified view of the customer, and real-time, AI-driven insights powering relevant interactions on any channel—chatbot, field sales, social ad, or WhatsApp conversation. In this session learn about these topics and how Oracle CX helps organizations build continual customer relationships. The Next Generation of Customer Experience [PKN6661], Tuesday, October 23rd, 11:15am-12:30pm, Moscone South, Room 153 Don’t miss the CX Sales General Session presented by Oracle and Tata Consulting Services where you can hear about the latest CX innovations for sales professionals and what impact this can have on your business. General Session: The Latest CX Innovations for Sales [GEN5787], Monday, October 22nd, 11:30am-12:45pm, Room 313.  We have two Roadmap sessions. The first will present the vision for Engagement Cloud, a solution that provides insights and recommendations for sales professionals, by combining sales and service functionality on a single platform. The second will present the evolution of the leading CPQ Cloud Service in the marketplace. Your Roadmap of the Future for Sales and Service [PRM5789], Tuesday, October 23rd, 3:45-4:30pm, Moscone South – Room 314 Future Evolution of Oracle CPQ Cloud Service: Roadmap and Development Horizon [PRM4535], Thursday, October 25th, 9:00-9:45am, Moscone South – Room 314 Listen to Oracle experts in these featured sessions as they discuss how they are using Intelligent Cloud Applications at Oracle to modernize business practices. Attend these sessions for a unique inside perspective. Oracle’s Journey to the Cloud [BUS3974], Tuesday, October 23rd, 3:45-4:30pm, Moscone South -Room 154 Oracle Sales Cloud at Oracle: How We Increased CDM Adoption by 100x with a PaaS App [BUS4057], Thursday, October 25th, 12:00-12:45pm, Moscone South – Room 313 Extending the Next Generation Engagement Platform with Partners [PRO5791], Wednesday, October 24th, 12:30-1:15pm, Moscone South – Room 314 Attend these CX Industry sessions on High Tech & Manufacturing, Communications & Media and Consumer Goods & Retail to learn how these companies are leveraging prebuilt applications for their businesses, saving on implementation time and addressing specific industry challenges with tailored solutions. High-Tech and Manufacturing Industries: Thriving in the Digital World [PRO6189], Monday, October 22, 4:45-5:30pm, Moscone South – Room 314 Communications and Media Industries: Winning the Digital Customer [PRO6188], Thursday, October 25th, 11:00-11:45am, Moscone South – Room 216 Consumer Goods and Retail Industries: Winning the Digitals [PRO6190], Thursday, October 25th, 1:00-1:45pm, Moscone South – Room 314 And there’s more! Additional sessions include Adaptive Intelligence, Business Intelligence and integration approaches that support sales organizations in the modern economy. The CX area at the Exhibit Hall will be in Moscone South, lower floor. There will be five featured always-on demonstration areas featuring some of the most dynamic and transformational technologies, featured demos at the CX Theater and plenty of opportunity to mingle with CX experts and advisors. The always-on demos include: Adaptive Intelligent Apps for CX – Adaptive Intelligent applications for marketing, sales, service and commerce IoT and Augmented Reality – Featured demos on Internet of Things and Augmented Reality Digital Assistants – featuring sales and service virtual assistants and a chatbot platform. Subscription Management– new product launch at OpenWorld! Data-Driven CX – presenting the new Customer Data Platform Don’t miss out on this year’s major announcements. Stay informed of the new, cutting-edge and sometimes unfamiliar. It’s your opportunity to learn, explore and network with fellow attendees at the conference! Visit Oracle OpenWorld 2018

October 22-25 Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco Oracle OpenWorld 2018 is upon us!  Transformational technologies, the move to a subscription economy, Artificial intelligence, IoT and Data-Driven...

CPQ

How Committed is Your CPQ Vendor?

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager  “How committed is Oracle to CPQ?” is a logical question to ask, given the CPQ vendor market explosion in recent years.   Potential customers have to navigate through new unicorns, crumbling alliances, questionable partnerships and over-exaggerated, one-size-fits-all solutions. They want assurances the solution they select will serve their long-term needs.  Properly vetting a CPQ vendor is incredibly important because a CPQ project impacts many facets of an organization and a project failure could be be highly-visible and potentially career ending. So, is Oracle committed to CPQ? Yes! In fact, the largest known deployment of a CPQ solution is Oracle itself. As of early 2018, our CPQ solution is used by 41,000 Oracle staff for 90% of our total revenue, and about $34.2 Billion in revenue and counting. The solution supports thousands of offer variables with a global footprint that includes regional pricing and discounting rules. The organizational impact has been significant with KPI’s that include: 9x increase in volume of self-service quoting by sales reps. 10x improvement in order accuracy due to guided selling. 2x increase in the average velocity of a deal moving through the system. 8 weeks increase in sales time by eliminating quarterly blackout periods (less time pressure on more than $5.7 Billion of sales activity). 4x reduction in time and effort it takes to introduce a new product by minimizing the needs for IT or infrastructure teams. 2x improvement in customer satisfaction among CPQ users, including sales reps and channel managers. As a company, we employ CPQ to improve the productivity of our sales organization and to liberate them from as much internal process complexity as possible. Judging by the positive impact on our business, CPQ has been a stunning success. What are Oracle’s long-term CPQ Plans? Our lead in the marketplace is no accident.  We continue to invest in CPQ development. Our primary roadmap goal is to further enable customers' success with functionality that drives sales efficiency, simplifies administration, enables greater flexibility and provides performance at an ever-increasing scale.  Specific developments are based on prioritizing and selecting customer feature requests, helping us lead the CPQ marketplace. We’ve recently added Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) and Subscription Management capabilities to the solution footprint. These additions to the engineering and product management teams serve to unite the Enterprise Contracts with the CPQ Development team. As a company with a broad portfolio serving many different industry verticals, Oracle sees the opportunity to leverage CPQ to provide functionality not available elsewhere for a growing number of front office customer use cases. Recent examples: Service Cloud + CPQ to enable guided selling through complex service scenarios.  Commerce Cloud + CPQ to provide self-service portals enabling customers to navigate, configure, and quote complex offerings. transportation logistics companies to configure, price, quote and plan a broad variety of intermodal, logistics and dedicated transportation solutions to customers. Investing in Success Most importantly, Oracle continues to invest in our customer’s long-term success. We realize that CPQ tooling is often employed as part of a wider transformational change within a company as organizations seek to evolve up the maturity scale. For that reason, Oracle makes significant investments to provide Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis (BOA) workshops that identify opportunities for improvements in your selling process. These comprehensive two-day workshops carefully map out quote to cash processes, including all supporting systems to provide a holistic understanding of the real business process flows. BOA workshops are often the first time participants across the company map out the sales and quoting process.  They involve all parties and address system challenges, approval points, wild card dependencies and commonly accepted process disturbances that may be unique to your organization. Participants can accurately benchmark the value of potential changes CPQ may offer.   Oracle CPQ is trusted by over 600 well-known brand names and used by more than 600,000 employees. Internally, we have over 41,000 users and more than $34 billion dollars of company revenue flows through the tool. You can trust us. We’re here for the long term. For more info, read - Financial Impact of Selecting the Wrong Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Solution Exec Paper                            

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager  “How committed is Oracle to CPQ?” is a logical question to ask, given the CPQ vendor market explosion in recent years.   Potential customers have to...

CX News & Events

Online Holiday Sales to Increase 15% in 2018 and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Future of Customer Experience by Michael Krigsman, CXOTalk Michael Krigsman interviews Oracle's Des Cahill about integrating data across marketing, sales, service, and commerce to improve the customer experience. <<Click to Tweet. Constellation ShortList for Field Service Management by R "Ray" Wang, Constellation Research Oracle Field Service Cloud was named to the Constellation Research ShortList for top vendors in the Field Service Management Category. <<Click to Tweet.  Forklift Maker Hoists Dealer, Customer Know-How by Sasha Banks-Louie, Forbes, 9.11.2018 Hyster-Yale, a global manufacturer of lift trucks, improves its customer experience with a scalable and comprehensive quoting process with Oracle CPQ Cloud. <<Click to Tweet.  Unforgettable Episode 7: Demonstrate Knowledge by Samantha Hausler, SmarterCX, 9.14.18 In this episode, Shep Hyken discusses knowledge and how to use it to build credibility and trust with your customers.  <<Click to Tweet.  5 Essential Service Sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2018 by Jodi Warner, SmarterCX, 9.13.18 Oracle OpenWorld 2018 will take place October 22-25 in San Francisco. With over 1,000 planned sessions, don't miss these 5 essential service-focused opportunities. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Online Holiday Sales to Increase 15%, According to Forecast by Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age, 9.12.18 NetElixir predicts e-commerce growth of 15 percent this holiday season, up from 13 percent last year, with voice-search shopping making up 30 percent of mobile searches. B2B Marketers Lack Confidence in Data: D&B by Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer, 9.12.18 According to Dun & Bradstreet, half of B2B professionals lack confidence in the quality of their marketing data, hindering adoption of ABM to increase engagement. Customer Experience Metrics, Through A New Lens by Diane Gordon, CMSWire, 9.11.18 In addition to frequently used metrics, CX can be measured through the lens of acquisitions, engagement and retention frameworks. Effective Enterprise Communication: The Foundation of Strategic Field Service by Sarah Nicastro, Field Service Technologies Online, 9.10.18 Effective enterprise communication enables field service organizations to be more intentional and strategic in their service delivery. How Online Retailers Can Make the Most of Preorders to Maximize Sales by Olivier Schott, CRM Buyer, 9.10.18 Online retailers can take advantage of preorders to boost sales by properly marketing their products, preparing for online traffic, and creating enticing product bundles.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Future of Customer Experience by Michael Krigsman, CXOTalk Michael Krigsman interviews...

Customer Experience Technology

You’re Just A Brand - Enter Oracle Engagement Cloud

Many of you have built robust service and sales organizations.  Your highly trained service teams stand by to answer any customer questions. Your sales teams are carefully organized by territory and industry to ensure that every customer gets the necessary attention they deserve. Partners are in place.  Your marketing campaigns are dialed in and every team works together smoothly like the gears of a Swiss Watch.  Sounds great, right? However, the customer only sees the face of the watch. The people, processes, technology and brilliant organizational engineering pass through unappreciated from engagement-to-engagement because to the customer, you’re not a well-oiled machine. You are just a brand…and that is how it should be! Customers should never have to build a watch to get the time. They shouldn’t have to connect the gears among marketing, sales and service, nor figure out how to “game the system.” They expect a seamless operation regardless of their point of engagement–whether they talk to your sales reps or your service agents, it’s all the same to them. This expectation is even more apparent as Generation Z now enters the workforce. These young digital natives are more financially savvy than their predecessors. They’re more willing to do their homework and research before making a purchase, and are less tolerant of poor customer service (just check #badservice on any social media site if you don’t believe me).   Their skyrocketing expectations place a tremendous pressure on service and sales organizations. Sales teams need to know when high-value customers have questions or unresolved problems. Furthermore, they need to act when important relationships are threatened. Service agents need to know what was promised and what was sold. Each department must share a 360-degree-view of the customer because every engagement is now a team effort. For many companies, meeting this expectation requires changing the gears of their customer experience watch. Blurring the Lines Between Sales and Service Fortifies the Brand Experience For the past two years at Oracle, we have been developing our Engagement Cloud product. This integrated sales and service tool is our nucleus for digital transformation. It’s a platform that allows service and sales representatives to switch hats on requests and empowers businesses to work continuously with dedicated sales and service teams. This new tool is designed to blur the lines and go beyond the needs of siloed departments to benefit the brand as a whole and deliver superior modern customer experiences. It’s a watch that tells the time no matter who is asking. Matching the pace of innovation set by today’s modern customers, Oracle is combining its CX Sales Cloud and CX Engagement Cloud brands into one unified product. This suite offers robust service tools and cutting-edge sales automation capabilities all on one platform. This combined offering sets the stage for continuous innovation, replacing a well-oiled swiss watch with a digital version capable of delivering new experiences that will further set the pace of the market. Heading to Oracle Open World in October? Join me in the CX Service General Session to learn how companies are re-thinking the strategic principals of of service and sales, for one immersive experience. And don’t miss Fortune Alexander’s General Sales Session, exploring the future of sales professionals, and how blending service and sales will not only add value, but transform businesses.              

Many of you have built robust service and sales organizations.  Your highly trained service teams stand by to answer any customer questions. Your sales teams are carefully organized by territory and...

CX News & Events

Consumers' Use of Grocery Apps Forecasted to Double and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Advanced Technology Key to These Retailers' Success, Survival by Linda Currey Post, The Wall Street Journal, 7.26.18 The digital revolution is changing the retail industry, and Oracle customers like Moleskine, Murray's Cheese Shop, and Wiggle are employing innovative technology to get ahead. <<Click to Tweet.  HOPE Lingerie Builds Loyalty with Unified B2C and B2B Commerce, Oracle, 8.2018 With 180 stores, HOPE Lingerie needed a flexible, user-friendly platform to deliver engaging B2B and B2C experiences. <<Click to Tweet.  Unforgettable Episode 5: Be Convenient by Samantha Hausler, SmarterCX, 8.31.18 In this episode, Shep Hyken shares how convenience is the secret to taking your customer experience to the next level.  <<Click to Tweet.  3 Ways to Scale Customer Engagement as Your Business Grows by David Goltz, SmarterCX, 9.6.18 According to Harvard Business Review, customers engaged on multiple channels spend more in store and online. Here are three ways to stay close to your customers and scale simultaneously. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Customer Experience Index Reveals Brands Lack Human Connection by Victor Milligan, Forbes, 9.6.18 Forrester's 2018 Customer Experience Index results show that companies are struggling to create and sustain a human connection with their customers. Social Media Marketing: Looking Beyond Reach by Pierre DeBois, CMSWire, 9.6.18 By monitoring message consistency over time and audience sentiment in response to messaging, marketers can better control the impact of their social media presence. 4 Simple Strategies That Will Help You Offer Excellent Customer Service by Toby Nwazor, Entrepreneur, 9.5.18 By getting to know your customers, fixing mistakes, being thorough and responding quickly to inquiries, companies are able to provide better customer service. Forecast: Consumers' Use Of Grocery Apps To Nearly Double This Year by Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 9.5.18 On-demand grocery delivery apps are among the fastest-growing app categories in the U.S., with 18 million adults using an app for shopping at least once a month in 2018. Tips For Aligning Digital Tech To The Retail Customer Journey by Julie Smith and Kristen Lenci, Retail Customer Experience, 9.4.18 Before implementing digital technologies for retail, businesses should be asking themselves how the technology can benefit their business and customers.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Advanced Technology Key to These Retailers' Success, Survival by Linda Currey Post, The...

CX News & Events

How to Kick-Start Digital Transformation in Your Enterprise and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: 10 Ways to Create an Unforgettable Customer Experience by Shep Hyken, SmarterCX, 8.20.18 Today's customers are more demanding than ever. So how do you create an unforgettable experience that makes your customers want to do business with you and nobody else? <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: How to Kick-Start Digital Transformation in Your Enterprise: 6 Tips by Alison DeNisco Rayome, TechRepublic, 8.22.18 According to a new Forrester report, a successful digital transformation project requires C-level support, change management skills, and the right mix of talent, among others. Customers Want Your Marketing to Be Personal. Here Are 4 Tactics That Really Work by Michelle Manafy, Inc., 8.21.18 As customers demand greater personalization, marketers must strive to provide accurate recommendations, invest in predictive analytics, and engage mobile channels. 4 Stumbling Blocks to AR ROI in Field Service by Sarah Nicastro, Field Technologies Online, 8.21.18 As companies implement AR within their field service initiatives, roadblocks to consider include issues with connectivity, battery life, wearables, and workforce resistance. 10 Examples of Customer Experience Innovation in Healthcare by Blake Morgan, Forbes, 8.21.18 Customer experience innovations in healthcare will include AR, AI, connected devices, big data, virtual networks, and telemedicine. Six Digital Trends to Stay On Top Of by Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age, 8.20.18 According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending, smart speaker adoption, and augmented reality are among the six digital trends marketers should be keeping an eye on.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: 10 Ways to Create an Unforgettable Customer Experience by Shep Hyken, SmarterCX,...

CX News & Events

Tips from Customer Experience Experts and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Named a Leader Again in Gartner's 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, by Fortune Alexander, 8.13.18 Oracle's focus on business transformation encompasses both front and back office cloud apps and integrations, directly benefitting its Sales Force Automation solution. <<Click to Tweet. Weekly Tips for How to Provide Unforgettable Customer Experiences, by Jay Baer, Convince & Convert, 8.13.18 Jay Baer is partnering with SmarterCX and Oracle to produce Unforgettable: a multi-media education program featuring a rotating team of CX experts sharing modern customer experience excellence. <<Click to Tweet. Unforgettable Episode 2: One of Us Represents All of Us, Samantha Hausler, SmarterCX, 8.10.18 In this episode, Shep Hyken discusses why any one point of contact with a customer must reflect the whole brand. <<Click to Tweet.  Exelon Focuses on Delivering Enhanced Customer Experience, Oracle, 8.8.18 Paul Mason shares how Exelon, a leading North American utility company, uses Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Utilities solutions to innovate and deliver better CX. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: 11 Customer Experience Experts: Here’s How To Get Customers Talking About Your Company by Dan Gingiss, Forbes, 8.16.18 By focusing on a great customer experience, companies are able to win more customer advocates who, in turn, will generate additional business. T-Mobile CEO John Legere Wants To Make Customer Service Something People Don’t Hate by Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 8.15.18 T-Mobile announced that it is revamping its call centers to reduce the hassle of confusing phone trees, unhelpful chat bots, and uninformed human representatives. 3 Reasons Why CMOs Should Embrace Experiential Marketing by Steve Olenski, Forbes, 8.15.18 Lasting impressions, greater access to data, and gaining an active understanding of your own products are reasons why enterprises should invest in experiential marketing. Ask The Board: Laying The Foundation Of A Successful Customer Experience Initiative by Sarah Nicastro, Field Technologies Online, 8.14.18 To build a successful foundation for CX efforts, companies should create a customer success role, ensure company-wide alignment, and invest in appropriate technologies. Search Is At The Heart Of E-Commerce: 60% Of Shoppers Frustrated By Irrelevant Results by Bryan Wassel, Retail Touchpoints, 8.13.18 Accuracy and convenience are the most important aspects for online shoppers, meaning retailers need accurate search engines in order to boost conversions and deliver on personalization.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Named a Leader Again in Gartner's 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation,...

Customer Experience Technology

Oracle Named a Leader Again in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation

By Fortune Alexander, Sr. Director, CX Product Strategy, Oracle  Gartner has just named Oracle a Leader once again in its newly published 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation report. Gartner also published the accompanying Critical Capabilities for Sales Force Automation report in which it aligns each vendor’s capabilities against the five most common selling use cases. Oracle received the second highest Use Case scores in all five of the use cases: B2B Long-Cycle Sales B2B Short-Cycle Sales B2C Long-Cycle Sales B2C Short-Cycle Sales, and Indirect/Relationship Sales. Check out the report here. What I believe sets Oracle apart from other vendors is our focus on business transformation that encompasses both front and back office cloud apps and integration. Sales Force Automation is one of the key solution areas that benefits from this approach, enabling Oracle to deliver on the ability to execute and completeness of vision that makes us a recognized industry Leader. While this vision spans the entire spectrum of CX applications, we can identify five key trends that specifically drive our strategy and vision for Sales Force Automation: Moving Beyond Core SFA Oracle is helping brands deliver differentiated customer experiences that are fueled by connected data, insights and recommendations. Our solution features native integration with emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, virtual sales assistants, and chat bots. It also seamlessly integrates with other sales processes like Partner Relationship Management, Sales Contracts and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) to extend seller and partner productivity. By expanding beyond core SFA capabilities, Oracle’s solution combines predictive and intelligent insights with deal-specific recommendations to close more business, faster.   Using Adaptive Intelligence to Win More Deals Sales reps want relevant, contextual and optimized information in real-time. Oracle’s process-aware business intelligence guides reps through each stage of the sales cycle with recommended actions, relevant content, smart call points, and other machine-driven business intelligence. Turning all this data into actionable insights means businesses can close more deals, increase deal size, and speed up the deal process.   Improving Productivity Oracle Engagement Cloud’s voice-controlled Sales Assistant keeps reps and managers working on the go. With mobile access, email integration, and built-in guided learning tools, sales reps can work any time, from anywhere. And by contextually embedding social content, reps can better leverage social channels as a powerful selling tool.   Flexible Configuration Pre-configured industry-specific business flows decrease the need for customization and speed on-boarding. Oracle Engagement Cloud provides one single location where users can holistically modify experiences across channels like web, mobile, email, messaging and chat without the need for IT involvement. Integration with Partner Relationship Management, Sales Performance Management or CPQ modules is just a point-and-click extension away. Complete CX Suite for Completely Connected Experiences Customers don’t see the difference between sales and service departments.  They see just one customer experience. Oracle Engagement Cloud empowers sales and service reps with increased visibility to keep key accounts healthy, secure renewals, and identify ongoing upsell opportunities. These connected experiences result from optimized sales processes from modeling incentive compensation, territories and quotas to flowing leads from Marketing to generating quotes in CPQ to viewing order status in ERP. It’s exciting to see this vision and strategy come to life for our customers of all sizes and industries. For more information, click here to view the full Magic Quadrant report to learn more.   Recent analyst recognition for Oracle includes: A Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management A Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce A Leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management A Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation A Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center A Leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites  Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, Tad Travis, Ilona Hansen, Julian Poulter, Melissa A. Hilbert, 9 July 2018. Gartner Critical Capabilities for Sales Force Automation, Tad Travis, Ilona Hansen, Julian Poulter, Melissa A. Hilbert, 23 July 2018. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

By Fortune Alexander, Sr. Director, CX Product Strategy, Oracle  Gartner has just named Oracle a Leader once again in its newly published 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation report. Gartner...

CX News & Events

Three Reasons CX Initiatives Are Failing and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Yamaha Revs Up Digital Strategy In Race For New Revenue by Clint Boulton, CIO, 8.6.18 Yamaha’s CIO discusses how Oracle software is used to aggregate, cleanse, and store customer information as Yamaha works to strengthen customer relationships. <<Click to Tweet. Unforgettable Episode 1: Balance Between Digital and Human Experience by Samantha Hausler, SmarterCX, 8.3.18 Shep Hyken, customer experience expert and bestselling author, discusses the balance between human and digital experiences. <<Click to Tweet. Victoria University Optimizes Its Campaigns with Oracle CX, 8.6.18 In this video, learn how a Victoria University uses Marketing Cloud automation capabilities to deliver more personalized, engaging, and timely communications to its students. <<Click to Tweet.    Industry News: 3 Reasons Customer Experience Initiatives Are Failing, by Sarah Nicastro, Field Technologies Online, 8.8.18 Common customer experience missteps within field service include the misunderstanding of customer input and the lack of focus on innovation. Study: Cumbersome Checkout Alienates Online Shoppers, by Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 8.9.18 Complicated online checkouts are taking a toll on digital sales, with 87 percent of shoppers abandoning their online carts due to long or complicated checkout processes. 61% of Consumers Will Share Personal Data for Personalized Marketing Communications, by John Koetsier, Inc., 8.8.18 According to a new study, 61 percent of consumers are willing to share more data with companies in exchange for more personalized and relevant communications. Top 5 Technological Innovations That Will Impact the Future of CX, by Vandita Grover, MarTech Advisor, 8.7.18 Digital experience platforms, voice of customer programs, cybernetic CX, and emerging technologies such as AR, VR, and IoT are expected to take CX to the next level. Natural Language Processing is Hitting Its Stride, by Erika Morphy, CMSWire, 8.7.18 As Natural Language Process (NLP) continues to advance, customer service chatbots, for instance, become more efficient and capable of more complicated tasks.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Yamaha Revs Up Digital Strategy In Race For New Revenue by Clint Boulton, CIO, 8.6.18 Yam...

CPQ

Learn Lessons From 4 CPQ Projects That Failed

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle As a leading vendor of configure, price and quote solutions, we at Oracle see several constants in the industry. One is when starting to investigate CPQ, there are internal challenges that can’t be solved by repurposing existing tools. Another is using CPQ as a transformational change agent that’s been designed to evolve the organizational up the maturity scale. In both of these, it’s not unusual to see new executive leadership brought in to help guide the organization to the next stage of development. We see this all the time. The challenge is that new executives, often in a rush to affect an immediate outcome, may make hasty decisions. As the old saying goes 'a new broom may sweep clean, but an old one knows all the corners'. Hasty evaluations of CPQ solutions are typically heavily weighted in favor of minimal licensing costs while ignoring the important nuances of the implementation of the solution. It’s painful to watch a company select a CPQ solution that’s either not up for the challenge, or is unsuitable for the organization. Outcomes are often long, arduous projects costing millions of dollars, wasting countless staff hours, and ending executive careers.  Here are some examples. # 1 Communications Company - Scope Creep Drives Rising Costs After spending $3 million on a CPQ contract, they needed extra functionality to cover additional product lines. So, the CPQ vendor revised their development roadmap to accommodate them.  But after building that functionality, to cover the implementation of the solution, the vendor requested and was awarded an additional $4 million dollars! Three years later, in order to deploy, the vendor asked for an additional $500 thousand dollars to complete the solution for a single product! Cost: $7.5 million dollars direct spend. 36 months lost opportunity time and countless staff hours. Result was a quoting tool still unable to support multiple product lines. Lesson learned: Don’t count on promised roadmap functionality to solve challenges you have today. Go with the CPQ solution that offers the most robust product feature set and has a proven history of delighting companies, like yours. # 2 IT Technology Provider – Shape Up, or Ship Out Executives selected a niche CPQ vendor, expecting their company to be an important customer and receive greater levels of engagement. However, they didn’t anticipate overwhelming the vendor with their project that struggled for over three years before it ultimately failed. The executive team was fired and replaced. The new team rushed through a new CPQ evaluation and nearly selected the lowest cost vendor with an even smaller customer base than the first failed project vendor. Cooler heads prevailed when execs realized the career-ending potential of another lengthy project failure. Cost: Careers ruined for executive staff 40 months lost opportunity cost. 200 staff months wasted.    Lesson learned: The primary focus of a CPQ project needs to be the transformational impact on your business, not on nurturing and developing a CPQ vendor and their software. # 3 Industrial Manufacturer – Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail This firm ran a pilot project with a small, low-price vendor using a limited set of products in a minor division of the company. The pilot dragged on for 18 months before management pulled the plug. Ultimately, the selected configurator didn’t function nor did the integrations with their enterprise software. The organization re-scoped the project as a global solution with a heavy emphasis on thoroughly blueprinting their requirements, data needs and engagements.  Cost: 18 months of lost time 72 staff months wasted Lesson learned: Pilot projects can waste time and resources. If you're unsure of how product functionality applies to your particular needs, demand a series of demos showing solutions that are similar to your challenges and how they’d work in your business. If you’re unsure of the value of CPQ, commit to a vendor that truly understands your business and has a history of delivering successful projects.  # 4 High Tech Manufacturer – When in a Hole, Stop Digging This business created a CPQ solution by extending the configurator functionality of their legacy ERP system. The resulting process combined a series of disconnected tools in a manual workflow that used email for approvals. Rolling out a new product required arduous modeling of ERP product definitions. The user experience was terrible. To create a baseline quote, sales staff manually worked through 50+ different product parameters, many of which required pre-existing knowledge or training to set correctly. Frequently, the quotes generated by this system included expired SKUs, each of these necessitated manual troubleshooting and intervention.  Cost: Tremendous time invested to maintain the system The quoting solution was still ineffective and inaccurate. Lesson learned: To address a sales efficiency problem, focus on a CPQ solution designed to maximize the sales user experience. Can it present products in the way that a sales user and customers think of them? Does it allow you to define and govern what you want to sell so that only valid products are added to quotes? Does the solution provide automated rules-based approval steps to ensure that quotes are commercially validated before converting them to, and order? Oracle CPQ Cloud - Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis (BOA) In Conclusion Drawing the line and calling a CPQ project a failure is a difficult and painful organizational decision to make. For dozens of businesses that found themselves in this position, Oracle has helped them pick up the pieces and get back on track for a successful CPQ deployment. Based on these experiences, we have a proven methodology that delivers a clear path forward. Our preferred starting point is to organize a comprehensive two-day workshop called a Breakthrough Opportunity Analysis (BOA). The purpose of this workshop is to; Map your current processes and supporting systems Provide a holistic understanding of the business process flow Identify opportunities for improvement, and Engage all organizational functions associated with sales processes. We’ve lead 100s of these workshops to work through many different transformational challenges with other organizations. The outcome of a BOA workshop is to build a sensible, supportable business case based on industry standards, best practices and existing customer reference cases. The BOA provides a clear path forward so that picking up the pieces of a failed project can be much easier even if there are highly charged politics and emotions from the previous experience.  Let Oracle help you get back on the right CPQ track with a BOA. For More information   Read the executive paper - Financial Impact of Selecting the Wrong Configure Price Quote Solution Gartner Positions Oracle CPQ Cloud as a Leader Learn more about Oracle CPQ Cloud  

By Graham McInnes, Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle As a leading vendor of configure, price and quote solutions, we at Oracle see several constants in the industry. One is when starting to...

CX News & Events

Innovative B2B Marketing Strategies and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Mack Trucks Proves B2B Doesn’t Have To Be Boring With RoadLifeTV Campaign, VR by Klaudia Tirico, Demand Gen Report, 8.1.18 Mack Trucks is leveraging offerings like Oracle Marketing Cloud in its digital marketing initiatives, including Mack Trucks’ latest launch of RoadLifeTV. <<Click to Tweet. In Kenya, Virtual Tax Services Improve Compliance, Boost Revenue by Sasha Banks-Louie, Forbes, 7.31.18 Kenya Revenue Authority is on a mission to build brand love and increase Kenya’s tax compliance with Oracle CX. Learn how they’re succeeding in doing just that. <<Click to Tweet. The Future Is Now! @ Oracle Marketing Cloud by Jeff Leroux and Shastri Purushotma, B2B Signals, 7.30.18 Technology is accelerating the pace of change within modern marketing and creating profound implications for businesses, according to insights from Oracle’s Shashi Seth. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: B2B Firms Now Embracing AR/VR As Powerful Sales Tools by Greg Nichols, ZDNet, 7.27.18 AR and VR demonstrations are becoming an essential tool in sales, providing customers with a virtual walk-through of a product rather than numerous, disjointed calls. Blockchain To Drive $164B In Efficiencies For Retail By 2030 by Dan Alaimo, Retail Dive, 8.2.18 Retail and e-commerce industries expect to see $164 billion in business value by 2030 as a result of cost savings and efficiencies from incorporating blockchain strategies. How Legacy Systems Stifle Marketing Analytics by Ross Benes, eMarketer, 8.1.18 According to Harvard Business Review, 36 percent of marketers believe that legacy systems prevent them from implementing real-time analytics with user data. How Predictive Content Marketing Can Drive B2B Marketing ROI by Sonali Datta, MarTech Advisor, 7.31.18 By identifying specific content that delivers maximum impact throughout the buying journey, predictive content marketing can enhance the B2B customer experience. AI Investments Will Hit $323B By 2025, But Businesses Don’t Plan To Cut Jobs by Alison DeNisco Rayome, TechRepublic, 7.30.18 About 40 percent of companies plan to increase their AI investment by at least 20 percent within the next three years, despite obstacles like a lack of talent and clear goals, says KPMG.  

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Mack Trucks Proves B2B Doesn’t Have To Be Boring With RoadLifeTV Campaign, VR by...

CX News & Events

Mobile Phone Consumers Demand a Better CX and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Responsys Introduces SMS Public Aggregator Network, by The MTA News Desk, MarTech Advisor, 7.17.18 Oracle Responsys’ new SMS Public Aggregator Network (SPAN) enables customers to quickly find, order, and manage SMS services directly from the mobile aggregator of their choice. <<Click to Tweet. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, Gartner, 7.9.18 Learn why Oracle was named a leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation. <<Click to Tweet. Fysiko Aerio Hellenic Energy Company Transforms with Oracle, 7.16.18 In this video, learn how a 160-year-old Greek company is transforming their customer experience with Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Marketing Cloud. <<Click to Tweet.  42 Simple Rules For The Worst CX, 7.16.18 There is plenty of advice on how to deliver a great customer experience. But what if your goal is to offer bad CX? Oracle Service Cloud’s Outbound Product Management Team created a tutorial with simple rules to do just that. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Can You Hear Me Now? Some Mobile Consumers Want Better CX, by P.J. Bednarski, MediaPost, 7.24.18 Mobile network customers ranked poor customer experience near the top of their list of irritants, along with price and choice, leading them to look into competing offerings. Four Predictions On How Retailing Will Evolve, by Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age, 7.25.18 Global analytics provider Quantzig predicts that retail stores will evolve to eliminate long checkout queues, recognize customers, embrace a Millennial mentality, and more. Brands Value Quality Over Quantity When It Comes To Influencer Marketing, by Corey Brueggemeyer, Loyalty360, 7.25.18 Marketers are expanding their influencer marketing strategies, but in order for these strategies to be effective, customers must trust the influencers’ authenticity. Improving Digital Connections With Customers, With TGI Fridays CMO, by Blake Morgan, Forbes, 7.24.18 Stephanie Perdue, TGI Fridays’ CMO, offers insights to improve digital touchpoints with customers via initiatives like loyalty programs. When Should Marketers Use AR And When VR, by Barry Levine, MarTech Today, 7.24.18 When deciding between AR and VR, marketers should identify the overarching goal of their campaign and decide whether to fully suspend reality (VR), or simply add to it (AR).

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Oracle Responsys Introduces SMS Public Aggregator Network, by The MTA News Desk,...

CX News & Events

Influencers Make a Big Impact on Digital Marketing and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape.   Oracle CX in the News: Forward-Thinking B2B Marketers Partner with Influencers to Create Cross-Channel, Long-Term Campaigns by Elise Schoening, Demand Gen Report, 7.18.18 As forward-thinking B2B marketers begin partnering with influencers, Oracle’s Andrea Tucker provides insights into the impact influencers have had on Oracle’s own marketing efforts. Click to Tweet   Oracle Helps Businesses Launch Mobile Marketing Faster and Easier Oracle, 7.17.18 To help marketers quickly and easily source the best operator for maximizing the ROI of their mobile campaigns, Oracle Responsys introduced the SMS Public Aggregator Network (SPAN). SPAN makes it easier for customers to find, order, and manage SMS services directly from their aggregator of choice.  Click to Tweet   The State of Ecommerce and Prepping for Holiday 2018 by Brenna Johnson, Smarter CX, 7.12.18 Oracle is surveying digital businesses and practitioners to learn how retailers are prepping for the ultra-competitive 2018 holiday season. We’re digging into the data, and need your input in this quick and anonymous 10-click survey. Click to Tweet   The New Social Landscape by Robert Preston, Profit Magazine, Summer 2018 Oracle Marketing Cloud’s Shashi Seth shares how Oracle Infinity and Oracle CX Audience will help marketers create more personalized and profitable customer connections.  Click to Tweet   City: Access to Amazon Alexa 311 Data is Limited by Marie C. Baca, Albuquerque Journal, 6.21.18 The City of Albuquerque was the first municipality in the nation to integrate its 311 nonemergency call center with Alexa during a time when technology companies are being heavily scrutinized regarding personal data. The response has been positive. Click to Tweet   Juniper Networks Makes the Complex Simple by Graham McInnes, Oracle CX Blog, 7.18.18 Juniper Networks, an Oracle Marketing Cloud customer, implemented Oracle CPQ to give their global organization the flexibility to scale as their business transforms. Click to Tweet   Industry News: 6 Reasons Influencers Should Be Part of Your Social Strategy by Charlotte McCleary, Chief Marketer, 7.16.18 Social media influencers are well-trusted, provide value-laden content, and stretch brand awareness, making them an integral part of digital marketing initiatives.   Make Customer Experience Your Competitive Advantage with These 3 Steps by Dave Angelow, CMSWire, 7.19.18 By developing an opportunity map and a better understanding of your competitors, you can build a better customer experience that differentiates your brand.   How Restaurants Like Chick-fil-A Balance Demand for Both Service and Technology by Alicia Kelso, Forbes, 7.16.18 In the service industry, consumers expect technology-driven experiences that enable speed, but not at the expense of better service and customer experiences.   5 Ways Machine Learning Can Impact Marketing ROI by Indrajeet Deshpande, MarTech Advisor, 7.13.18 Machine learning can improve marketing campaigns through personalization, customer service and support, customer churn predictions, and customer profitability forecasts.   Augmented Reality in Retail Transforms Customer Experiences by Christine Parizo, SearchCRM, 7.13.18 VR and AR help brands remove physical limitations from the shopping experience, and brands much consider this 360-degree approach to reaching the consumer in today’s marketplace.  

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape.   Oracle CX in the News: Forward-Thinking B2B Marketers Partner with Influencers to Create Cross-Channel,...

CX News & Events

Brands Look Ahead to Holiday Sales and Other CX News You Can Use

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Worldwide Customer Service Takes Cultural Sensitivity, by Sam Del Rowe, destinationCRM, 7.1.18 Companies need a consistent strategy across geographic boundaries when offering international customer service, according to insights from Oracle’s Daniel Foppen. <<Click to Tweet. The New Normal: Real-Time Customer Insight, by Des Cahill at Forrester CX NYC “Data is the new sexy,” according to Des Cahill. His presentation at the Forrester CX NYC event explores the evolution of data, AI and Chatbots. <<Click to Tweet. Your Engagement Center Needs More Than Just Traditional CRM, by Jeff Wartgow, 6.28.18 Traditional CRM systems no longer meet the needs of today’s organizations. Oracle continues to invest in complimentary tools to set its customers apart from their competitors. Read about it, and learn why Oracle Service Cloud was recognized as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. <<Click to Tweet.  Industry News: Customer Loyalty Is Key To Driving Holiday Season Sales, by Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 7.12.18 Retailers are boosting their customer loyalty efforts by safeguarding customer information and offering personalized discounts ahead of the holiday season. Luxury Marketing For The Digital Age, by Ariella Brown, DMN, 7.11.18 Luxury marketing for today’s digital customers should focus on providing the customer with exactly what they want, regardless of price, while minimizing time and hassle. 5 Reasons Podcasting Should Be A Part Of Your Marketing Playbook, by Erika Morphy, CMSWire, 7.11.18 Companies should incorporate podcasting into their marketing strategy in order to position their brand as an authority, add a customer touchpoint and more. How Can Businesses Adapt To Meet Future Customer Service Challenges?, destinationCRM, 7.9.18 To address evolving customer service challenges, companies must understand how their customers are changing in order to prepare for the future customer journey. Linking Machine To Technician: A Journey To Improving Service Profitability, by Scott E. Day, Field Technologies Online, 6.29.18 Technicians can increase efficiency and service profitability by linking machines and technicians in a holistic way through the use of AI and a structured IoT platform.

Enjoy our weekly roundup of top news stories across the Customer Experience (CX) landscape. Oracle CX in the News: Worldwide Customer Service Takes Cultural Sensitivity, by Sam Del Rowe, destinationCRM,...

CX News & Events

Mobile Is Taking Over the Customer Journey - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: .@YamahaMotorUSA is using emerging technologies like #AR and #VR plus @OracleServCloud for new insights into motorcycle mechanics, @WSJ http://ora.cl/bA26z #OSvC  Click to Tweet Congratulations to @MajidAlFuttaim Communities on the successful launch of Oracle Sales, Service and Marketing Cloud solutions! #OracleCloud  #OracleCX #OracleCustomers #CXC Click to Tweet More Than 1,000 #oow18 sessions live! Explore the catalog to see which will be of the most interest to attend: http://ora.cl/h51tM Click to Tweet Find out how to improve your #CX & ensure that #customers are always at the center of your #business strategy: http://ora.cl/IO3z4 by @nathanjoynt Click to Tweet Learn how you can give #consumers the personalized, relevant, and consistent #experiences they want: http://ora.cl/S3e4c via @OracleMktgCloud Click to Tweet   Industry News: Understanding The Role Of Artificial Intelligence In The Digital Workplace – David Roe, CMSWire, 6.28.18 Recent survey results show that while employees are excited about digital opportunities in the workplace, many do not believe that their digital needs are currently being met. Shopping Via Voice Gains Momentum – Dan Alaimo, Retail Dive, 6.27.18 26 percent of smart speaker owners have made a purchase via their smart device, with household items, apparel and entertainment as the most popular purchases. Sales Intelligence 101: Demystifying The State Of B2B Buying In 2018 – Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 6.27.18 Organizations can use sales intelligence tools to support better sales motions and sales conversations, which have become key to mastering B2B buying. Mobile Is Taking Over The Customer Journey – Brian Solis, Marketing Land, 6.26.18 While mobile capabilities are important, digital strategists must also understand how preferences, expectations and intent evolve and impact user interactions. 7 Keys To Global E-Commerce Success – Vivian Wagner, CRM Buyer, 6.26.18 To expand sales globally, organizations should first work out global logistics, learn the new markets, understand taxes and fees, and focus on providing good customer service.   Innovation: New Forbes Insights Report Details Framework For Deriving Breakthrough Value From IoT – Forbes, 6.25.18 The report details how the Internet of Things is creating game-changing breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and robotics. Due to growing momentum, IoT protocol ran out of its 4.3 billion addresses and was replaced with a new protocol. How The Internet Of Things Impacts Supply Chain -  Andrew Arnold, Forbes, 6.23.18 The combination of cloud computing, analytics and hardware advancements have created a new avenue for conducting delivery and fulfillment operations, powered by the Internet of Things.   Field Service: 5 Payment Trends in Field Service Creating Opportunities for ISVs -  Jay Ablian, Devprojournal, 6.21.18 ISVs that can provide an integrated payments solution in the field service market stand to rise above the competition and offer an end-to-end solution that is certain to grow business and profits exponentially.   Customer Service: How AI and social media can improve customer service and reduce cost -Dan Patterson, Techrepublic, 6.22.18 AI and machine learning are changing a number of industries, not to mention social media. Of course social media, but social media along with customer service. Customer Service Professionals Gather In Las Vegas For CEX ... And Much More - Shep Hyken, Forbes, 6.24.18 Great customer service is no longer a differentiator. It’s expected. Check out details from customer service professionals.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: .@YamahaMotorUSA is using emerging technologies like #AR and #VR plus @OracleServCloud for new insights...

Customer Service

Your Customer Engagement Center Needs More Than Just Traditional CRM

Once upon a time, assisted service ruled the world. Customers with questions called the contact center where customer service representatives relied on CRM systems and personal experience to solve the customer’s problem. Oh how things have changed! Today’s customers have an unbridled desire for self-service across almost every industry. This is coupled with an increasing demand for ease. Consumers want to solve their problems by pressing a button. The challenge for an Engagement Center is that while customers want things easier, service requests are becoming more complex. Tried-and-true CRM systems, the mainstay of customer service for the past 30 years, no longer meet the needs of today’s organizations. The state-of-the-art Engagement Center is now a sophisticated network of highly complementary applications, designed to assist in answering even the most complex support request, regardless of what channel it arrives on. Agents change their role on a whim, from service agent, to sales rep, to consultant. All have the goal of delivering one consistent and unique customer experience. Once again, Oracle is a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. For decades, Oracle’s core engagement center technology has been a mainstay of the CX software industry. However, as I mentioned before, to meet the expectations of today’s customers, organizations need more than just easy access to accurate customer records and workflows. Delivering an unforgettable customer experience that differentiates a brand requires investment beyond the fundamentals. In addition to Oracle’s Engagement Center products, our team continually invests in complementary toolsets designed to keep our customers on the bleeding edge. These investments include the development of scalable Knowledge Management Systems that provide customers and agents access to easily searchable answers. Oracle offers one-of-a-kind Smart Advice Systems, like Oracle Policy Automation, to assist in the most complex tasks. Our mobile and web self-service platform can scale to support millions of sessions per month, and our co-browse functionality is an option to deliver white-glove experiences. Finally, our solution includes industry leading tools, such as Oracle Field Service Cloud, that extend service beyond an organization’s walls directly to the customer site. Many of these offerings are critical to delivering a complete service experience in today’s digital era. Today’s empowered consumers expect that if they interact with your brand–through service, sales, marketing, commerce, or field service channels–that they will have a consistent experience. As a result, all systems throughout the customer journey must integrate seamlessly. Oracle Service Cloud is one piece of that integrated, customer experience. We hope you find Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center  enlightening. And whether you are starting on a journey to modernize your engagement center, or shoring up a well-oiled machine, keep in mind how your needs may extend beyond core CRM offerings. Oracle Service Cloud and the broader Oracle CX Suite will put these tools at your fingertips, helping you differentiate your brand with exceptional customer experiences. Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center, Michael Maoz, Brian Manusama, 16 May 2018. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Once upon a time, assisted service ruled the world. Customers with questions called the contact center where customer service representatives relied on CRM systems and personal experience to solve the...

Customer Experience Strategy

Oracle and IDC Webcast - The Future of Customer Experience for Telcos

I recently participated in a webcast held in conjunction with IDC entitled, “The Future of Customer Experience for Telcos”.  Two experts in this field, Andy Hicks of IDC, and Elmar Rode, the Oracle communications industry expert for CX, joined me. The webcast followed an IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Oracle, which looks at the future of CX. With the InfoBrief concluding that CX will become the main differentiator among Telcos - the key question addressed by the webcast is not if to invest in CX, but where to invest in CX to avoid falling behind. For those that missed it—here’s an edited transcript from the session – but you can always watch the webcast here (registration required). Neil Pridham: How is customer experience different in the telecom industry? Andy Hicks: When telcos began measuring themselves with Net Promoter Score (NPS), they discovered they were at the bottom. That was a real wake-up call, because they had traditionally focused on things that they knew how to assure, such as whether the network services were available or billing errors. They thought they were doing a good job. However, when they actually looked at the NPS rankings, they realized that there was an urgent need for improvement. They had to redefine what they meant by “customer experience”. Neil Pridham: Where should companies focus their efforts to improve NPS and subsequently, customer experience? Andy Hicks: You could pick almost any aspect of the telco organization and do something to improve customer experience. However, to achieve the greatest benefit, you should focus on business level KPIs, and make certain that everything in the organization is moving towards something that is measured on a business outcome. For example, if you want to increase the lifetime value of the customer, you need to make sure that they can easily execute transactions. That means your transactions platform has to be very easy to use and seamlessly integrated with other services. You also have to design enough additional services in order for them to have something to actually buy, such as content or a roaming package. Neil Pridham: Can you talk a little more about where CSP companies should focus their time investment to get the most out of their CX strategy? Andy Hicks: It’s all about next best investment. If customer experience is a priority, then you have to focus your new spending, your innovation spending, making sure that you get the best bang for the buck. A good example of this is customer care and retail stores. Previously, retail stores were not a focus area, and in some telcos, they were almost an embarrassment. But now, people are realizing that your NPS can be disproportionately impacted by face-to-face interactions. The retail store really is the front face of your brand. So, people are working on integrating the customer journey across channels. It’s back to omni-channel, but really includes every channel. You should be able to begin a journey on a telco’s website, and then physically complete it in-store. It’s all about identifying your top-level goals. If you want to reduce churn, then add predictive churn analytics, but you also use those analytics to identify sticking points in the customer journey. You need to examine how to improve your process—not just which customers will churn next month or in six months’ time. You need to make sure that you’re allocating money to the processes that will best improve your customer experience score, even if some other departments are getting less in terms of innovation funding than they used to. Neil Pridham: Finally, could you summarize the top three issues that telcos should focus on to improve their own customers' experiences? Andy Hicks: (Slide image to support) Define your CX KPIs clearly for the entire organization.  Set top-level customer experience goals at the company and ensure that everyone in the organization is working towards those goals. Design things from the customer's perspective. Really look at customer journeys throughout the organization, thinking about the customer's point of view. Too often people are designing based on what they can do, rather than thinking about what the customer actually requires. Future-proof your transformation. Because there will be services and use-cases that you haven’t thought of yet, you need to have a system that is integrated, digital, cloud-native, real-time, and flexible enough so that when you come up with these use cases, you can implement them without having to re-architect the whole platform. You can still check out the webcast here (registration required). And here’s a reminder of the original IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Oracle.    

I recently participated in a webcast held in conjunction with IDC entitled, “The Future of Customer Experience for Telcos”.  Two experts in this field, Andy Hicks of IDC, and Elmar Rode, the Oracle...

CX News & Events

Great Customer Journeys Begin with the Right Tools - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: . @ESET ‏ swiftly grows pipeline with data segmentation through @OracleMktgCloud http://ora.cl/Xm6pI Click to Tweet Find out why companies on the @inc5000 named #CX as their key to #BizGrowth http://ora.cl/Dm8kf Click to Tweet .@Gartner_inc predicts that over 50% of companies will redirect investments towards #CX innovations in 2018. http://ora.cl/3FU5y Click to Tweet #ModernCX: Here's @Paul_K_Archer, @duel CEO, on unlocking #opportunities and turning #customers into super powerful sales books: http://ora.cl/lH6zu Click to Tweet Identify and rejuvenate your inactive customers. Discover how to understand & help them: http://ora.cl/3vB7H #CX #custserv Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Oracle Provides Marketers with New Capabilities – Phillip Britt, DestinationCRM, June 2018 Print Issue MCX 2018 featured a roundup of new Oracle Marketing Cloud features in addition to Oracle’s Shashi Seth and his keynote on the changing marketing landscape.   Industry News: Customer Experience Is ‘Tipping Point’ For Choosing A Brand – Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age, 6.20.18 According to a recent customer survey, customer experience expectations have doubled in the past two years, particularly within the United States. How A Newsletter Can Boost Your Business – Vivian Wagner, CRMBuyer, 6.20.18 Through newsletters, companies open up channels of communication, enhance customer loyalty, establish authority, build their brand and develop relationships. Great Customer Journeys Begin With The Right Tools – Douglas Eldridge, CMSWire, 6.20.18 To create performance-based, convenient, personalized and trustworthy customer experiences, firms must recognize their audience and invest in the proper technologies. The Real Differences Between B2C And B2B Marketing – Jennifer Hakim, Chief Marketer, 6.15.18 The key differences between B2C and B2B marketing include different driving factors behind campaigns, marketing investments and goals.   Innovation: AI Is A Sales Manager's Best Friend - Jim Ninivaggi, Forbes, 6.20.18 AI fills the role of “screener assistant” for sales managers-making them better at their jobs by enabling them to spend more time assessing and coaching reps who truly need help. How IoT, AI, & Blockchain will Empower Tomorrow's Autonomous Supply Chain - Mark Morley, Ebnonline, 6.18.18 IoT and AI have the potential to shift global supply chains, taken together, they have the power to completely revolutionize the process via the first truly ‘autonomous’ supply chain.   Field Service: Ask The Board: The Biggest Challenges Facing Field Service Today – Sarah Nicastro, Field Technologies Online, 6.21.18 The biggest challenges facing field service today include finding, training and retaining talent, complex technology implementation and the pressure to improve profitability.   Customer Service: Despite tech advances, great customer service is driven by human interaction - Jane Betschel, Mybusiness, 6.4.18 When it comes to providing superior customer service, if human-led digital encounters are the way forward, it is time for small and medium sized businesses beyond the advisory sector to take up the tools. Customer Service Powered by AI – CIOReview, 6.11.18 Giving machine learning algorithms access to historical customer service data will enable it to identify patterns and do the learning in a humanized way.  

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: . @ESET ‏ swiftly grows pipeline with data segmentation through @OracleMktgCloud http://ora.cl/Xm6pI Click...

Customer Experience Strategy

5 Ways to Make Customer Experience Your Brand

Leverage the following tips to immediately improve your CX and ensure customers are always at the center of your business strategy. When you think how consumers interact with companies today, it’s almost impossible not to consider the level of accuracy that digital has allowed companies to deliver because of what they already know about customers.  In the era of likes, tracked behaviors, targeted ads, and personalized service. Modern companies have fine-tuned engagement into a science that, when done right, can deliver tremendous returns. But what happens when that perfect service interaction is disrupted by inconsistencies by other lines of business like your marketing and advertising teams? More importantly, how do your customers feel when they’re on the receiving end of these experiences and interactions? Most digital professionals would agree that no one wants to deliver a bad customer experience. But even with so much effort being pushed into service, commerce, and marketing applications, things can still go wrong. Based on our experience working with thousands of organizations worldwide, it’s clear that even companies that are already delivering a reasonably good customer experience are looking for new ways to transform their service and marketing experience into one that’s more memorable to customers, builds loyalty, and drives revenue. Unfortunately, not all companies are there yet. Most suffer from a common disconnect between lines of business that frustrate customers to the point where they turn elsewhere for the same product or service. On an hourly basis, consumers are being tracked, monitored, and targeted by advertisements, advertorials, videos, and other content—making it clear to them just how much companies know about them. The media has also shed enormous light on how much targeting and segmentation is taking place across everything from appliance purchases to voting. But when these same consumers move from the “service step” to a different touch point, they realize that information is siloed and uncoordinated. Take for example a customer that calls into a service department about a problem with a ‘connected’ IoT product they recently purchased. The customer takes the time out of their busy schedule to explain the problem to the service department. The service department can access additional information about the product because the product is connected and is able the ascertain that a service call will be necessary. Frustrated, the customer selects an appointment time and date and hopes that once there, the technician will resolve the problem. In the days prior to the appointment the customer continues to receive marketing messages about the product, and other complimentary products as if nothing was wrong.  In an age of micro-moment targeting, why wouldn’t the customer receive a communication acknowledging the situation, assuring the customer that they will resolve their problem? Its what customers expect today. Is that your current situation? If so, consider how you can make experience part of your overall brand strategy, more specifically marketing and commerce powered service, in order to deliver on the customer experience that people both expect and deserve: 1. Connect Everything: Customers don’t care about your technology systems or how they work. They just expect that when they call a company the information they’ve provided online, in person, via chat, or on another telephone call will be available to further refine their experience with your company. Demonstrating understanding in one area, such as marketing, without connecting that understanding to commerce or service, will only lead to customer frustration. 2. Set Standards: In an age of micro-moment personalization, you should have rules in place to ensure that customers with ongoing service issues receive communications that acknowledge their current situation. 3. Have the Right Conversations: There is nothing more frustrating than calling into a company for help only to have to repeat yourself over and over again, and to be on the receiving end of communications that clearly demonstrate the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. 4. Make CX Part of Everyone’s Job: Too often, organizations get fixated on the service department as being the front line when it comes to the customer experience. But in the age of digital, each customer touch point—including marketing, loyalty, commerce, and the respective lines of business—should coordinate their piece of the customer experience to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. 5. Search for and Fix the Areas Where Customers Are Most Frustrated: Early quick wins are important to keep the momentum going. Learn how Oracle can help you make customer experience your brand.

Leverage the following tips to immediately improve your CX and ensure customers are always at the center of your business strategy. When you think how consumers interact with companies today,...

Oracle Commerce Leads Again in Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Oracle Commerce Leads Again in Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce By Katrina Gosek According to Gartner, leaders in digital commerce execute against their current vision and are well positioned for tomorrow. I couldn’t agree more! View the full report. Leaders will bring their customers a cohesive and integrated – yet highly open and extensible - customer experience (CX) platform on which to build their business. These commerce leaders must support the following standards. 1) Pervasive commerce - Commerce engagements often lead the digital customer journey and are growing at an exponential rate. Next generation providers will take an API-first approach with an open and standards-based platform of tools and technologies to support innovation in order to support the customer journey. 2) Beyond commerce – For several years, ecommerce has been much more than just a shopping cart for B2C retail. The next era requires a single platform for brands to build their B2C interactions as well as their B2B trading partners across all industries. The capabilities for a next-gen digital commerce solution include innovations such as hyper personalized marketing and recommendations, built-in A/B testing and powerful search to re-ordering and support for complex products and services. 3) Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Infused Commerce – AI/ML data can help online brands to provide better customer experiences and also identify insights and recommendations to business users on how to make decisions that further optimize their business. Regardless of your business operation model, the time is right to partner with the digital commerce leader. For more information, click here to view the full report to learn more.   Source: Gartner (June 2018) Gartner "Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce", Penny Gillespie, Jason Daigler, Mike Lowndes, Christina Klock, Yanna Dharmasthira, Sandy Shen, 5 June 2018. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.    

Oracle Commerce Leads Again in Gartner 2018 Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce By Katrina Gosek According to Gartner, leaders in digital commerce execute against their current vision and are well...

Customer Experience Technology

What is Headless Commerce?

Original post here by Gary Kirschner, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle One of the biggest topics in digital commerce technology is using a headless architecture when developing ecommerce sites. Broadly speaking, a headless approach separates the UI layer from the underlying backend services, and connects the two through a set of web services. Contrast this with a more ‘traditional’ approach where the commerce system manages not only the services, but also the front-end UI, with technologies such as JSP pages. Benefits of headless commerce Development efficiency. UI development teams can work on changes to the UI layer, using the commerce backend as a set of services. In doing so, the UI can be updated and changed without updating and retesting all the core commerce logic and integrations. Likewise, with two separate code bases, teams have greater ability to work in parallel. Simplified integration via the UI layer. Deploying a flexible UI layer that is consuming services from backend systems allows it to pull in data and services from a range of systems. The UI layer can act as a ‘mash up’ of various sets of services to present a coherent experience to the user, essentially moving much of the integration to that layer. Add commerce into any front end or existing UI. Similar to the prior benefit, with a separate UI layer, commerce functionality can be inserted into any other system quickly and efficiently, without having to disrupt the overall approach and architecture. With the above benefits, many merchants are faced with making key decisions on their technical direction. Significant market pressure requires that teams innovate more quickly, yet this innovation must be in the context of the overall brand experience and differentiated from competitors. Will a headless approach help meet those goals? And will existing back end systems enable and simplify implementation, or be a barrier?  Beyond the broad definition provided above, there is actually a spectrum of possible approaches to running headless, and it is valuable to look at them to understand each. Types of headless commerce 1. Non-headless commerce In a non-headless approach, the UI layer and the commerce services layer are tightly connected and typically run as a single system. While this approach allows a tight integration between commerce tooling and experience management, it also means that all aspects of the commerce site are in the same system, causing inefficiencies in large development teams. Further, it does not necessarily require that services be exposed for commerce services, as they may only be accessed internally between the commerce application’s UI component and the application’s services. 2. Headless, Non-integrated There are a range of UI layer tools and platforms available to developers for building the front-end UI for a commerce application. These approaches include using a web content platform outside the commerce platform, or even developing the UI layer in house.  Without integration with the commerce platform’s tools, users have to rely on the UI layer’s tools for creating and managing the user experience for the site. If developed in house, that means there is a need to also develop tools to allow business users to manage the experience as much as possible.  Further, some UI platforms may not give you the flexibility to integrate and allow the commerce platform to influence the experience, even if the time and money is available to do the work. Whenever either of these approaches is taken, unless it is an explicit goal and extra effort is undertaken, the UI layer will not be able to be managed from the commerce application.  Page layouts, content selection, personalization, testing and more will all be driven by the UI layer, and its tools. 3. Headless, Integrated UI Tools With this approach, the UI layer is separate from the set of backend services and communication is based on web services. However, unlike the prior approach, the UI layer is still integrated with the commerce application, such that commerce application capabilities, like site design tools, personalization, A/B Testing, etc. can all be leveraged. In this approach, the UI layer can be provided as a part of the commerce application, it could be a custom developed UI solution, or it could be a platform provided by another vendor. However, the latter two approaches require extensive work to leverage all capabilities of the commerce solution. Headless commerce with Oracle Commerce Cloud Oracle Commerce Cloud gives you the flexibility to choose either of the headless flavors described above. Critical for these headless approaches is a robust set of REST web services (which helped us score very highly in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for digital commerce). Oracle Commerce Cloud has been designed from the bottom up to take an “API First” approach, ensuring that all functionality is available via services. This presents a very wide range of options for implementation. Out of the box, Oracle Commerce Cloud provides a storefront UI layer and application that is brandable, extensible, and fully integrated with the commerce application tool set. It is a single page application that communicates with the platform through a complete set of REST services, and allows customers or their implementation partners to use Oracle provided building blocks (“widgets”) to build up pages, or create their own widgets and place on appropriate locations on the site. In a similar manner, all the other capabilities of the Oracle Commerce Cloud solution, such as personalization, AB Testing, Recommendations, responsive site design, and content capabilities are made available through the storefront framework and tools, and provided widgets. Just as Oracle has provided a storefront application in a separate UI layer, using REST services and being tightly integrated with the Commerce Cloud tool set, an implementer can build their storefront application using the same REST APIs that Oracle uses. At a minimum level, the storefront can use these APIs only for core commerce services, such as catalog browse and search, cart, checkout, and so on. However, just as Oracle has used these APIs to leverage the commerce site design tools, so could a custom UI layer, albeit with more effort. Check out our public API documentation here. The choice is really for the merchant to make, depending on what best fits with their strategy and capabilities. Is headless commerce right for my organization? The choice to go headless, and the selected approach to headless, are not easy decisions to make. While there are benefits, such as improved independence of development teams, there are a number of challenges that customers have run into that are worth review. Headless sites typically rely on JavaScript technology for much of the site functionality. While doing so can give a great user experience, it does present challenges for search engine bots, SEO, and other web technologies. Oracle Commerce Cloud’s storefront leverages a number of different approaches to handle bot traffic such that the site’s pages are rendered correctly and indexed appropriately by external sites.  Unless significant effort is made to integrate the UI layer with the commerce platform tools, business users will end up with two systems to use, with two sets of tools, and the need to copy paste between them. Even if fully integrated, from an IT perspective, the group will need to understand, manage, and test an additional application, associated integrations, etc. for two platforms. Essentially, running a second platform is not free, either technically or from a usage perspective. If your IT capacity is not sufficient, or your business process is not flexible enough for use of two systems and tools, a non-integrated UI layer, headless approach may not be right for you. Integrating a completely separate UI layer with your backend commerce services can be more difficult than expected. While usage of standard commerce services is usually straightforward, to get the most benefit and not have business users jumping between multiple tools, you want the UI layer to leverage customer information, including commerce activity, and other commerce data, to present the best experience. That data either needs to be shared between the commerce platform and the UI platform, or query/used as needed. Either way, it is a more complex integration effort and can extend deployment times and costs. Conclusions While headless approaches for commerce sites can provide a range of benefits, these benefits do not come without costs or risks. These costs and risks should be evaluated by each individual merchant to understand which is the best approach for them. Oracle Commerce Cloud provides a unique set of capabilities that gives merchants a great deal of flexibility in choosing the approach that best meets their needs. That could be using the Commerce Cloud storefront provided by Oracle to get the benefits of a headless approach, with Oracle doing the hard work around integration, common tools, SEO, and more. Or, it could be leveraging a third-party platform or technology that utilizes Commerce Cloud’s REST framework, allowing implementers to leverage these same tools, or run in a non-integrated fashion. Watch a recording and demo about Commerce Cloud’s API and innovations for developers from the Modern Customer Experience conference. Get the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2018 report.

Original post here by Gary Kirschner, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle One of the biggest topics in digital commerce technology is using a headless architecture when developing ecommerce...

CX News & Events

AI for Customer Service at the Peril of Personal Relations - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #Oracle is named a leader in the June 2018 @Gartner_Inc #MagicQuadrant for #DigitalCommerce. Download the report: http://ora.cl/Pi6TS Click to Tweet Where does your #CX stand? See what the current #customerexperience landscape looks like in the 2018 #SmarterCX Insights Report: http://ora.cl/5j2zu Click to Tweet #Albuquerque is the first city in the world to integrate with Amazon #Alexa to make service interactions with the city easier http://ora.cl/Bt6G1 #CX Click to Tweet "Inactive" customers can represent a real concern for every marketer. Here are two things you can do to further understand them: http://ora.cl/a7WH2  @OracleMktgCloud Click to Tweet A look back at highlights from the #CX Excellence awards at #ModernCX w/some of the 2018 winners: @LaurenWiedt, @ADP, @ScriptPro, @Pier1. See more highlights from this year's event: http://ora.cl/H0P4F Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Conversational Platform-as-a-Service Company, RapportBoost.AI, Becomes Oracle PartnerNetwork Gold Level Partner- Digitaljournal, 6.13.18 RapportBoost.AI’s Conversational Platform-as-a-Service will appear on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace and currently works with Oracle Right Now Cloud Service customers to optimize their live chat communications.   Industry News: Upselling Can Help Stem Churn And Increase Retention: Study – Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer, 6.12.18 According to a new report, upselling customers within the first three months of their contract can help companies stem churn and increase retention by 30 percent. New Research: B2B Marketers Doubling Monthly Video Efforts, Usage Across Channels – Elise Schoening, Demand Gen Report, 6.12.18 Video usage in sales conversations grew from 25 percent to 37 percent in the last year as video production experienced an uptick within the B2B marketing space. Do Brands Use Email And Marketing Automation Effectively? – Editorial Staff, MarTech Series, 6.11.18 Despite the vast benefits of using marketing automation, a report finds that many marketers are not using the full capabilities of their marketing automation tools.   Innovation: Retail IoT Could Be $94 Billion Market By 2025 – Dan O’Shea, Retail Dive, 6.13.18 The worldwide market for IoT hardware for retail applications, including sensors, RFID tags, beacons and wearables, is expected to grow to more than $94 billion by 2025. IoT Is Building Higher Levels Of Customer Engagement – Forbes, 6.14.18 IoT through interconnected devices and strong data analytics makes an entirely new level of customer surprise, delight and convenience possible today, it brings relevant experiences and information to consumers, whether to facilitate the operation of smart homes or to provide relevant health and wellness data that can be shared with medical professionals.   Customer Service: Customer Service Rage: Myth or Reality? - Anand Subramaniam, Customerthink, 6.5.18 While customer service rage could be real, it could easily become myth with the right technologies and the right solution partner. AI for customer service at the peril of personal relations - Bridget Botelho, Searchcrm, 6.18 AI tools in CRM help companies deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences but prevent customers from actually having personal interactions with service agents.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #Oracle is named a leader in the June 2018 @Gartner_Inc #MagicQuadrant for #DigitalCommerce. Download...

Customer Experience Strategy

3 Key Strategies to Deliver Modern Customer Experiences

“We aim to put the customer at the center of everything we do.” Apple CEO Tim Cook’s words echoed throughout the company’s 2018 Worldwide Developer’s Conference, an event touting impressive software innovations from the tech giant. It’s incredible that, despite Apple’s scale and focus on groundbreaking technologies, customer experience (CX) is the company’s principal driver. This sentiment is echoed throughout the management consulting community, where Bain & Company says, “companies are competing for customers based on the quality of the experience.” Such differentiation applies across industries, from high-touch retailers to industrial manufacturers with multi-year sales cycles. While the definition of “high quality experience” varies among disparate marketplaces, the shift towards the CX imperative spans industries. To address this, modern organizations are bringing into focus three strategies that can help them deliver differentiating experiences to their customers: customer-obsessed culture, processes that span the customer journey, and unified customer data. 1. Customer Obsession Many companies pay lip-service to the term “customer-obsession.” However, those who successfully execute on CX strategies possess a culture where customer-obsession is ingrained from front-line workers up to the C-suite. For example, Costco nurtures a customer-centric culture by taking care of employees in a manner unmatched by competing big box retailers.  They emphasize worker happiness, which in turn allows employees to focus on customers. Disney’s maniacal customer focus comes from rigorous training to help employees deliver personalized experiences to park attendees, driven by a sense of purpose to “create happiness.”  Apple allows individual contributors to share innovative ideas on how to improve retail experiences. That level of ownership allows organizations to deliver amazing CX at scale. 2.  Processes That Span the Customer Journey While most front-line employees have sound processes to help with individual customer interactions, few organizations understand when a customer is at risk of leaving for a competitor, or when they may become a brand advocate. Video: Customer Experience Journey Mapping with Oracle CX At Oracle, we help customers through Customer Experience Journey Mapping to identify these opportunities. We’ve also used this method to improve understanding of our own customer relationships when Oracle launched its Accelerated Buying Experience, a way to allow customers to purchase cloud services with the click of a button. The initiative began with analysis of customer purchase behaviors. Oracle leveraged its findings to give salespeople the ability to deliver seamless buying experiences to their customers. The scale of information required for this analysis demanded incredible competencies around customer data, which leads to the third strategy for delivering Modern CX - unified data. 3.  Unified Customer Data Disconnected experiences between online, phone, and in-person interactions lead to  frustrating buying and service experiences. The inability to factor past purchases into advertising audiences can lead customers to associate brands with annoying, irrelevant ads and spam. Lack of insight into the health of an account leaves sales professionals unprepared for prospecting calls and on-site meetings. Both B2B and B2C organizations need to understand how collecting, managing, and analyzing customer data holistically can impact customer journeys. In recent years, avenues for collecting customer data have become more sophisticated with data management platforms that blend data from partners and 3rd party sources. Data collection is only the first step towards delivering transformative customer experiences. Disparate touchpoints and siloed customer information present issues with providing the business with a 360º view of the buyer. Honing data analytics capabilities to precision can lead to personal, individualized brand customer interactions. In such an ecosystem, customer data is clean, de-duplicated, and centralized. Effectively managed data unleashes a firm’s ability to perform valuable customer analysis. The result could be as simple as showing a complete view of a client to a service agent during an inbound call, chat session, or online co-browse. It means understanding the performance of an email + display ad campaign among different target audience segments. On a strategic level, this information bubbles up to provide broad views of customer satisfaction, attrition, customer lifetime value, and persona-based profitability. Across the management chain, these insights allow executives to develop the next iteration of their company’s CX strategies. Begin Your Customer Journey with a Map Purposeful data analysis, collection and management are only a part of the Modern Customer Experience story. Top performing organizations extract value from these technical competencies with culture and processes that revolve around the customer. For many brands, a meaningful start involves Customer Experience Journey Mapping to understand risks and opportunities within each customer touch point. With the support of executives and the buy-in of practitioners, organizations can take those findings and design workflows and attitudes towards customer-centricity. With processes and culture supported by systems that provide a holistic view of the customer, organizations can make strides forward in capturing market share and heart share in a time when customer experience matters.

“We aim to put the customer at the center of everything we do.” Apple CEO Tim Cook’s words echoed throughout the company’s 2018 Worldwide Developer’s Conference, an event touting impressive software...

CX News & Events

How AI Might Create More, Not Less, Work Opportunity - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Time to transform your #lifestyle & be #innovative! @jwartgow tells you more about "organic channels" & how they can be a vision of tomorrow's @OracleServCloud: http://ora.cl/BG4b8 #CX  Click to Tweet Find out three primary benefits of adding visualizations to #CPQ to improve the selling process http://ora.cl/Lp3a0  Click to Tweet #UchidaYoko Improves User Satisfaction by Constructing IR FAQ with @OracleServCloud http://ora.cl/kX5aM #CX  Click to Tweet Take a moment to debunk some of the myths that are floating around about #OracleCPQ Cloud  http://ora.cl/Kk4im Click to Tweet What is the key for #marketers to win the trust & confidence of #sales? @Oracle's @amandajobbins on how Oracle does marketing: http://ora.cl/9vr0F Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Seeking The Optimal Digital Channel – Christopher Hosford, B-to-B Marketer, 6.7.18 B2B marketers can use new technologies like chatbots to take advantage of the variety of lead-generation channels available today, according to Oracle’s Pierre Custeau.   Industry News: Study: Global Digital Commerce Spending On The Rise – Deena Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 6.6.18 According to a recent digital commerce report, consumer spending of digital commerce will reach $14.7 trillion by 2022, up 60 percent since last year’s figures. How Thick Data Helps You Build Emotional Connections With Customers – Matt Wright, CMSWire, 6.5.18 Companies can generate “thick data” through contextual inquiries, diary studies and ethnographic research to better understand their customers’ emotional needs. How Business Leaders Can Get The Best Return On Their Tech Investments – Alison DeNisco Rayome, TechRepublic, 6.5.18 According to a report from KPMG, brands that deliver the best customer experiences achieve higher revenue growth than brands that were ranked poorly by customers. Create Compelling + Engaging Content With Influencers – Karen Koslow, Chief Marketer, 6.4.18 The keys to ensuring quality sponsored brand content include identifying the right influencers, treating the relationship like a collaboration and trusting the influencers.   Innovation: Call Center Artificial Intelligence Trends Drive Chat, Decision-Making – Don Fluckinger, SearchCRM (TechTarget), 5.1.18 As AI infiltrates call centers, the technology may help front-line agents better care for customers, who are contacting companies for service in greater numbers than ever. How AI Might Create More, Not Less, Work Opportunity – Lan Xuezhao, Forbes, 6.6.18 AI can help reduce the labor shortage in labor-heavy industries such as manufacturing and agriculture and humans will be able to focus on higher-level work that robots may not be able to do – work that requires more thinking, decision-making, or emotional intelligence.   Customer Service: Why Great Customer Service Doesn't Cut It – Adam Butler, Forbes, 5.30.18 Stop touting your “great customer service” and focus on the specifics that make your service exceptional to achieve success. The Challenge of AI Voice Assistants in Customer Service – Kaye Chapman, Customerthink, 6.7.18 Now is the time to reflect on how our businesses will handle customer-side automation coming this year, and how more organizations can handle automation-related issues generally as technology develops.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Time to transform your #lifestyle & be #innovative! @jwartgow tells you more about "organic channels" &...

Customer Experience Strategy

Winning the Consumer Goods and Retail Digital Revolution

Sunil Chhabra, VP of Industry CX Product Management for CG&R It’s no surprise the consumer goods and retail (CG&R) industry is undergoing a seismic shift as these headlines below clearly demonstrate. There’s no sign of any let-up in the pace of change. Nestle and Starbucks Agree To A $7B Distribution Deal Here’s What Toys ’R Us Store Closures Mean for Amazon, Mattel, and Others Payless to Close Up to 800 Stores in Total For CG&R brands that are struggling to compete, Oracle wants to help.  Over the past several months, Oracle has worked closely with companies and partners to dig deep into the trends and challenges facing this industry. Based on these learnings, we are now offering Cloud-based solutions to help companies: Get Smarter With Data: get better customer insights Think Different: how to flawlessly execute omni-channel direct-to-consumer (D2C), and Fulfill Perfectly: how to execute frictionless and perfect omni-channel fulfillment at scale Smart Consumer Insights The journey to a successful digital transformation starts with honing to precision the ability to acquire and harvest consumer data – transactional, behavioral, and social – from all sources.  And then, become capable to use AI to make intelligent decisions. These multidimensional insights will help CG&R companies to quickly and accurately identify consumers at their ‘moment of need’; create relevant intent and behavior driven offers, prices and messages. Marketing and sales will effectively link to improve conversion rates to generate higher revenue and improved margins with greater predictability. Oracle Consumer Markets Flawless Omni-Channel Direct to Consumer Consumers today want companies and retailers to think differently – from a "by the pallet" mentality to a 'by the each" mindset. Companies need to cultivate the ability to provide continuity and context as conversations with the consumer traverse all channels. This direct relationship with the consumer presents multiple benefits including more opportunities to upsell, cross sell, and increase brand equity by protecting margins and reducing discounts and the threat of generic brands. Perfect Omni-Channel Fulfillment Customers expect the commitment made during the purchasing process will conclude with a perfect delivery experience. CG&R companies need to also provide consistently accurate information across all channels, allowing them to flawlessly process and ship orders, bill consumers accurately, and make the experience omni-channel worthy by making it easy for consumers to cancel or return orders through any channel. Consumer Goods & Retail is a space that’s ripe for innovation due to technological, demographic and societal changes. Oracle CX can help CG&R companies be better prepared to succeed with these changes. Click here to read more about Oracle Consumer Goods and Retail solutions Read the eBook Reinventing the Customer Experience in the Era of the Connected Consumer Read this WSJ article - How Artificial Intelligence Will Make Retail More Intelligent  

Sunil Chhabra, VP of Industry CX Product Management for CG&R It’s no surprise the consumer goods and retail (CG&R) industry is undergoing a seismic shift as these headlines below clearly demonstrate....

Customer Experience Strategy

Data Centers on Wheels – Monetize the Digitization of the Automobile Industry

Murali Varmaraja, Oracle Automotive Industry Solution Lead As the digital revolution accelerates, macro technology trends like “connected…autonomous …shared…and electric” are enabling new experiences. These will disrupt and be a catalyst for significant change that will transform the automotive industry. The case for this transformation is based on changing customer expectations. The question to auto makers is “Are you ready?” Before You Know It Think about these stats. 2020 is less than two years away!  Companies are extending their range of products and services with new platforms and ecosystems where digital, AI and data will be crucial. By 2020, there will be 20.4 billion IoT devices. 70% of value for a product will come from digital sources. AI will generate $2.9 trillion in business value. There is going to be 5,200 gigabytes of data for every person on earth. Autonomous driving cars will produce 1-4 terabytes of data per car per day. By 2030, the automotive data industry will be worth half a trillion dollars. To deal with these changes, a modern car embeds more than 100 Million lines of code and a vehicle has essentially become a data center on wheels.   Automobiles will provide new customer services enabled by connectivity and data.. Passengers will be able to procure a luxury vehicle as a service, multimode mobility services, pay as you drive (PAYD) and pay how you drive (PHYD) and mileage-based auto insurance.     To win, companies should start by focusing on the irresistible customer experiences they want to provide, and work backwards towards the technology.   Oracle can help. Oracle CX for Automotive Connected Innovations The world of mobility impacts every human being on the planet. The transformations going on enabled by digital technologies are opening doors to new ways of consuming mobility and related services that simply didn’t exist even a few years ago. These transformations are also opening new monetization opportunities that didn’t exist before – opportunities that soon may exceed revenue from sales of core automobiles. We are excited to be agents helping the industry successfully adopt and manage these disruptions. Oracle is enabling OEMs and dealers to provide richer digital-enabled experiences to increase the lifetime value of their customers. Deep Customer/Vehicle Insight with IoT and Driver DNA: Acquire and leverage actionable data and create unique living profiles of prospects, owners, occupants, customer driving habits and vehicles that leverage all in-house data - including IoT and other connected vehicle data. Augment this with the industry’s most comprehensive and highest quality external data that’s based on customer intent and behaviors to secure an individualized ‘segment-of-one’ profile of buyers and users. AI-Powered Personalized Customer and Dealer Digital  Experiences: Leverage deep customer and vehicle insights to orchestrate AI-powered omnichannel innovative digital/AR/VR engagements that help you connect with your customers in unique ways.  Provide value at the right moment across marketing, sales, service, finance, loyalty, warranty, supply chain, and dealer operations to deliver hyper-personalized engagements, offers and services. Vehicle-as-a-Services offers: Create innovative bundles and offers to provide flexible consumption for vehicles, insurance, maintenance services, monitoring, partner offers, and vehicle lifecycle management services. Automate subscription billings and payments processing. To read more about the Oracle Automotive Industry Viewpoints – Click here Click to read - Toyota Selects Oracle Cloud to Analyze Ha:mo Sharing Service in Verification Project Click to read Volvo Group Logistics Services Reduces Costs with Oracle Transportation Management

Murali Varmaraja, Oracle Automotive Industry Solution Lead As the digital revolution accelerates, macro technology trends like “connected…autonomous …shared…and electric” are enabling new experiences....

Customer Experience Strategy

Customer Experience is the Last Competitive Advantage in a Mobile World

David Lorengo, CX Solutions Architect, Oracle Imagine a world where personal ownership of transportation devices is obsolete. In this world, people journey from point A to point B using the most convenient service in their moment of need with just a couple of clicks from their mobile device. The consumer gets immediate gratification based on convenience, value and personalized experience. In this world, mobile services continue to upend the transportation industry, as we know it. Different elements of this model have emerged. There’s car sharing with ZipCar and car2go. There are transportation networks such as Lyft and Uber, and bike sharing with Lime Bikes, Spin and Ofo. Soon, we will have public and private autonomous transit. Tomorrow’s consumers will see very little difference among competing services. For example, when Lyft and Uber are roughly the same price, consumers choose based on the shortest wait time and personal affinity to the brand built up through quality of their ridership experience.  The consumer’s transition from an ownership experience to a service experience has profound implications for manufacturers. The way a service provider’s fleet buyer looks at ownership is very different from how a consumer buys a vehicle today. Manufacturers are redefining who their end customers are and what they value as their own customers evolve from consumers to service providers. Automotive brands struggle today to build and maintain a direct relationship with consumers whose primary interaction is with the dealership. Manufacturers will address a shrinking market of people who prefer car ownership and grapple with being further removed from them by the service provider. Mobility’s Time is Coming Soon Traditional mobility providers (rental cars, taxi, public transit systems) also need to re-examine their value proposition and how they’ll remain relevant in a market driven by consumer experience. Uber and Lyft have changed the way consumers think about transportation because they disrupted taxi and rental car markets that weren’t focused on convenience and ubiquity. The days of waiting for a taxi, bus or train, and dealing with the rental and return processes are almost over. For service providers, providing a great customer experience will be the ultimate advantage. As mobility transitions to a commodity, a service provider’s only means of competitive advantage will be their customer experience.  Mobile consumers just want to get from A to B quickly, safely and hassle free. Today, the consumer has to evaluate each segment of the journey on its own, and piece together their own personalized journey across multiple providers. Tomorrow’s mobility leaders will be able to offer the entire set of services between point A and point B in total, giving the consumer a single experience for evaluating, purchasing, and consuming services across multiple providers. The market is still very fragmented and the opportunity for market leadership is available for the provider who is able to re-think what customers value and deliver. The service provider’s ability to master journey mapping, big data, data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence will be critical to delivering this experience.  Winning providers will understand the customer journey across channels and providers. Apps and sensors will generate detailed data about the activity on their service.  They’ll continuously and creatively combine their data with other data sources; like a consumer’s past purchase history, service performance history, real time location, weather, traffic, and service schedules. Finally, providers will need to harness machine learning and artificial intelligence to create a unique, individualized journey and offer for each consumer, at the best time. Accomplishing this presents regulatory and business model challenges. Service providers will need to develop strategic relationships with or acquire other providers.  They will need to earn the consumer’s trust to convince them to opt-in to the necessary data sharing agreements.   We are in the early stages of a mobility market that is exploding with choices for the consumer.  The service providers who are able to deliver the best end-to-end experience will be the winners.

David Lorengo, CX Solutions Architect, Oracle Imagine a world where personal ownership of transportation devices is obsolete. In this world, people journey from point A to point B using the most...

Ask the Experts

Innovation, Ideas and Service Experiences - Part 2 of an Interview with Jeff Wartgow

I recently spoke with Jeff Wartgow, Oracle’s Senior Director of Product Management for Fusion CX Strategy. Here is part two of our discussion.   Jeff and I continue to talk about the ways organizations can leverage technology with their service capabilities toward creating great customer experiences. (Click here to read part 1 of our chat) A trendy concept that you’ve discussed is Automation. I’m referring to things like Virtual Assistants, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, and AI. How far away are we from these technologies being a part of our world? What should businesses invest in? Anything that I thought was borderline science fiction two years ago seems to be ready for implementation today.  Virtual assistants and AI can make an immediate impact on an organization. I highly recommend businesses experiment with them now, as I believe they will be come as vital as voicemail in the next few years. For customers who service physical devices, IoT should change your world, presuming it hasn’t already. If you don’t have smart devices, it’s time to start building them. One day we will all be angry when the washing machine can’t fix itself. Try not to just let technology take over existing processes. Instead, ask yourself, “What have we never been able to do before?” As a millennial, I’ve had my fair share of communicating with brands. I’ve tweeted, Facebook-messaged, chatted, and even Instagram ‘Direct Messaged.’  What are the different engagement trends you see for the future? Millennials figured this all out early. The best way to receive service is not through the phone. If fact, one of our largest customers said, “our millennial customers don’t want to talk to us, and our millennial service reps don’t want to talk to them.”  This is because chat, messaging apps, and even Instagram are better forms of communication. Think about it. You have a written record. You don’t need to repeat information. You can just exchange pictures, videos, links, etc.  Why limit yourself to just voice?  Us old Gen Xers are now starting to catch on. What does the future hold? I don’t know. If you want to see the future, just look at your kids. Millennial parents…your two-year-old can use an iPad before they walk. Keep that in mind when you design your next self-service portal. Three main traditional service goals are driving service costs down, reducing service requests, and decreasing resolution times. With new solutions being deployed every day, what’s the number one issue you keep seeing in the Service world? Unfortunately, all of us in the Service world are still too often considered a cost center. Hence, the goals you mentioned.  Most service organizations I speak with know how to deliver great CX.  They know what their customers want from them. But, the challenge is finding the budget and resources to execute.  Many transformational companies are investigating ways to leverage service organizations in a different capacity. The goal is to change them from cost centers to…dare I say it…profit centers!  Oracle has been working to connect the CX dots to help make this dream a reality. You live and breathe service every day. How did you get into this space and what does service as a strategy mean to you? I’m a lifetime tech nerd.  I’ve worked in hardware, IT, professional services and now software.  I love seeing how technology can change people’s lives.  When I was offered the chance to work in service, it was so easy to get excited about the space because it touches us every day.  Right now, a guy is picking up my recycling…that’s service.  My garage just emailed me to let me know that they repaired the oil pan on our old Jeep and it’s ready for pick up…that’s service.  I might engage with 10 brands in a single day. Every one of them has an opportunity to differentiate themselves and win more of my business through a creative service strategy.  In conclusion, why is it important to have connected business solutions from a Service perspective and why now? Unless your service request is something simple like “Change my Password,” chances are your request is tied to a previous event in the customer experience.  This includes what you purchased, how you purchased, your agreed upon entitlements and your relationship with the brand.  Therefore, to solve my service request the right way, an agent must be connected to all the other business solutions as a foundational starting point.  Why now?  First, because it is now possible and cost effective. Second, because customers will not tolerate anything less. Click here to read Jeff's article "Using Connected Intelligence" from Profit Magazine.  

I recently spoke with Jeff Wartgow, Oracle’s Senior Director of Product Management for Fusion CX Strategy. Here is part two of our discussion.   Jeff and I continue to talk about the ways...

Ask the Experts

Innovation, Knowledge and Organic Service Channels - an Interview with Jeff Wartgow

Part One of Two Once I’ve tasted the good life, I expect nothing less. I’m instantly attracted to irresistible experiences like a magnet. But whenever I have a terrible experience, guess what? I tell my friends. Thus, I often wonder what it would take to upgrade a business’s service experience to please me? I recently spoke with Jeff Wartgow, Oracle’s Senior Director of Product Management for Fusion CX Strategy.  Jeff leads the product management team for the Oracle Service Cloud Platform. Notice his title includes ‘CX Strategy.’  The thing I learned is that it’s not just about technology.  It’s also about our changing lifestyles and innovating ways of servicing into reality. Companies that are transforming our lifestyles and the way we do business provide convenience to the end user. For example, Instacart delivers groceries to your door at the touch of our fingertips. Amazon delivers packages inside your door to prevent damage or theft. As more companies strive to create differentiated experiences that center on service, what are the critical elements to balance innovation with reality? There have been so many innovations in Service Technologies, that many of the customers I speak with are surprised about the “service dreams” they can now make a reality.  At Oracle, we have proven a vast number of service use cases can be completely automated using robotics and virtual assistants.  With such enormous potential, what is the critical element to consider?  That’s going to differ by organization, industry, and the customers they serve.  My advice is to start by mapping the customer journey, and apply innovations that deliver maximum economic impact one piece at a time. With Knowledge as the core component of Oracle’s Service solution, I like to think of Knowledge as the “brain” of Service.  It helps service people resolve requests as efficiently as possible by pulling Knowledge-related answers. But, there’s another angle to the story and that’s customers themselves. How does Knowledge benefit customers from their perspective?  How can this contribute to a brand strategy? Customers keep showing more of a preference for self-service over speaking with an agent. What better way to build a brand than by giving people what they want? By making more knowledge available through self-service channels, customer experience can soar. Giving a personal example, I taught myself how to cook almost entirely through YouTube videos. If I could do that, why couldn’t I learn to do routine maintenance on my car simply by watching instructional videos provided directly from the manufacturer? Can you describe what you mean by “organic channels” as a vision of tomorrow’s service? What does this mean and what’s needed to manage it? We hear a lot about omni channel - where we engage on the channel of our choice. An organic channel is the evolution of the omnichannel concept, where customers engage with a brand on several channels simultaneously. For example, have you ever gone to a company’s website for information and then called them?  Have you stayed on their website while speaking to their agent on the phone?  Have you started a chat with a second agent while speaking to a live agent?  The layers keep building. My personal record for interacting with one brand for a single incident is seven channels!  When we start mashing channels together, we’re creating our own customer experience.  I started on the website. My channel grows with each layer. When I log off or hang-up, the channel dies.  Hence, the organic channel. For brands, this means that you not only need to future-proof yourself against new channels, but also any infinite combination of channels a customer might create.  Automation and consistent knowledge management will certainly help in this new world. Click here to read Jeff's article "Using Connected Intelligence" from Profit Magazine.

Part One of Two Once I’ve tasted the good life, I expect nothing less. I’m instantly attracted to irresistible experiences like a magnet. But whenever I have a terrible experience, guess what? I tell...

CX News & Events

How to Provide a Seamless Service Experience - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #IoT with @OracleServCloud will help your business perform easy & predictive management of products in the field http://ora.cl/Xh2tG #OSvC Click to Tweet Join us for a live webinar with @SMAssociation on 6/27 and learn how #BusinessIntelligence is reshaping modern #sales organizations. Register now: http://ora.cl/yS7kp Click to Tweet #ModernCX 2018 was really Legendary. Details in our blog: http://ora.cl/KA60d Click to Tweet 3 #CX takeaways from the @Gartner_inc 2018 Digital #Marketing Conference, by @Oracle's @juliezisman http://ora.cl/vk4J0  via @SmarterCX Click to Tweet Planning to attend #oow18? Register Now to Save $400.Don't let time run out! Early Bird prices end August 11. http://ora.cl/P7iB0 Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Uchida Yoko Improves User Satisfaction by Constructing IR FAQ with Oracle Cloud – Oracle The company improved CX while reducing internal workload with Oracle Service Cloud solution. Albuquerque Amazon Alexa Skill Takes Heat Off Call Center – Don Fluckinger, SearchCRM (TechTarget), 5.24.18 The City of Albuquerque is using an Amazon Alexa skill powered by Oracle Service Cloud to provide automated answers to citizens while reducing call center volume.   Industry News: Emotions Matter When It Comes To Engagement: Report – Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer, 5.30.18 According to a recent study, emotions and gut feelings can often be the deciding factor in making purchasing decisions across both B2B and B2C marketing. 6 Tips For Providing A Seamless Service Experience – Sarah Nicastro, Field Technologies Online, 5.30.18 In order to deliver seamless service, consider omnichannel communication, proactive pre-appointment communication and company-wide visibility. Unified Commerce Is Here: The Customer Experience Of The Future – Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 5.29.18 The new model for customer-centric retailing and selling goes beyond the traditional omnichannel approach and includes emerging technologies like AR, VR, AI and more. Blockchain In Retail: Building A New Level Of Consumer Trust – Vish Ganapathy, Chain Store Age, 5.25.18 As consumers want to trust their retailers, the benefits of blockchain could transform retailers’ supply chains to the advantage of brands and consumers alike.   Innovation: AI And IoT Lead The Way For Enterprise New Tech Investment In 2018 - Tony Safoian, Forbes, 5.29.18 38% of the 500 IT professionals surveyed, claimed that AI was the primary focus of emerging tech projects, with IoT and blockchain coming in at 31% and 10%, respectively. Blockchain, service-centric networking key to IoT success - Patrick Nelson, Networkworld, 5.31.18 IoT needs monetization, security, and a strong edge network. Researchers say they have the solution-Blockcloud-blockchain along with a service-name addressing system. IoT Will Have The Most Impact On Business In The Next Five Years, Survey Says - Michelle Evans, Forbes, 5.31.18 In the next five years, the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) will be the top two technologies for planned investments.   Customer Service: Ten Tips For Honing Social Media Customer Service Skills – Don Fluckinger, SearchCRM (TechTarget), 5.24.18 To boost social media customer service efforts, organizations must explore how service can be integrated seamlessly into social media channels. Augmenting customer Service with AI - Sunil Aryan, Analyticsindiamag, 5.31.18 While the IVA/AI interface can lack empathy, tone & timber for human conversation, it makes it up by being objective, efficient and accurate.  These bots have the capability to enrich customer service experience.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #IoT with @OracleServCloud will help your business perform easy & predictive management of products in...

Customer Service

Albuquerque is a City at the Frontier of CX Innovation

When I arrived in Albuquerque, it looked like any normal city. From Sunport airport, I turned off the I-25 that cuts right through downtown and I started appreciating the adobe walls and the historical Spanish street names. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling something was off. And then suddenly it struck me. There was no graffiti. This was the first of many pleasant surprises I had during my visit. I could talk for hours about how nice the people are and how awesome the food is. (Fun fact: the official NM state question is “Red or Green?” when ordering your preferred chili with your food). But instead, let’s talk about the customer experience (CX). The City of Albuquerque takes tremendous pride and ownership in ensuring the best possible experience for their constituents. Brian Osterloh, Associate CIO at the City of Albuquerque, said that when he collects taxes from the people of Albuquerque, he wants to deliver back a service that’s worthy of the hard work citizens put in to earn that money. It’s refreshing to hear city officials say that providing a great customer experience is important simply because that’s their job. The City of Albuquerque takes a very technologist mindset when designing their citizen experiences. In fact, Peter Ambs, CIO of the city, proudly mentions that “in 2017 Albuquerque was voted the second most digital city in the U.S. by the Center of Digital Government, right after the city of Los Angeles." The city has been investing in establishing new lines of communication with the community, a 300Mbs fiber optic internet downtown, smart sensors all over the city, IoT-enabled sprinklers (Albuquerque lies in the Chihuahuan Desert and water is scarce), open data interfaces, and many more capabilities. All these technologies make living in the city more pleasant. It's not just technology. The city has designed their 311 Contact Center approach around the CX. In the US, 311 is the local number you can dial to contact the city for non-emergency situations. Carrie Prothero, 311 Division Manager, explained how her department is more than just a phone number people can dial. There is a full contact center behind the number, with well-designed processes, highly trained agents, and multiple contact channels. Plus, it’s deeply integrated with various city departments. Albuquerque is the first city in the world to integrate with Amazon Alexa to make service interactions with the city easier. You can now use Amazon Alexa as a channel to report issues to the 311 Contact Center, like picking up an old sofa or other large items, missed trash-pickups and graffiti removal. Check out this short video of how Amazon Alexa works in Albuquerque. Albuquerque recognized that certain segments of their constituents could benefit a lot from this new mode of interaction. For example, the visually impaired or older generations that may not be familiar with apps and mobile phones might find it easier to interact with Alexa. Often when constituents report new graffiti, whether by phone, email, chat or by talking to Amazon Alexa, it is removed within the hour. It’s a well executed process and the removal team takes pride doing their part in keeping the city devoid of graffiti. Or as the heavily tattooed graffiti removal team member said: “Dude. This city is clean bro.” Check out the full video in which the city officials explain their approach to providing great customer experience. Let us know your thoughts and leave a comment! How does your city approach innovation? What can organizations from other industries learn from Albuquerque?  

When I arrived in Albuquerque, it looked like any normal city. From Sunport airport, I turned off the I-25 that cuts right through downtown and I started appreciating the adobe walls and...

CX News & Events

How AI Is Helping Improve Employee Experiences - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Hear how @LinkedIn innovated w/ @OracleServCloud to monitor and log network performance for their global #cctr http://ora.cl/vM15a #custserv #CX Click to Tweet Is your #customerexperience the best it can be? Find out where your #CX scores against hundreds of CX professionals with our 2-minute assessment: http://ora.cl/oE71E Click to Tweet Check out a short introduction about a super exciting new product that has been released w/@OracleServCloud 18B #release: #VirtualAssistant http://ora.cl/N4Uh3 #OSvC Click to Tweet 4 ways #chatbots can increase engagement and improve the #CX from Oracle Marketing Cloud's @kiumarse: http://ora.cl/tp0W1 Click to Tweet #Oracle is excited to be recognized as a #leader in the #ForresterWave: Cross-Channel Campaign Management - a category that describes how we view the challenges and needs of our #B2C customers. http://ora.cl/y1xz1 Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: TechBytes With Jeri Kelley, Sr. Product Strategist, Oracle Commerce Cloud – Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 5.24.18 Oracle’s Jeri Kelley provides commentary on ways B2B sellers can better leverage technology and create results-oriented product maps for their customers.   Industry News: Create Great Customer Experiences By Embracing Human Insights – Chris Hicken, MediaPost, 5.24.18 Three key best practices to creating great customer experiences include embracing the human element, democratizing CX research and understanding the customer journey. Study: Consumers Wary About Facial Recognition – Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 5.22.18 Retailers must embrace an omnichannel approach to customer experience above all else before adopting tech trends customers tend to be wary of, like facial recognition. Effective Customer Engagement Requires Collaboration – Robin Gareiss, No Jitter, 5.22.18 Collaboration applications not only help employees communicate and solve problems, but they also enhance customer engagement and help derive value for customers. Understanding The Six Pillars Of Digital Transformation Beyond Tech – Daniel Newman, Forbes, 5.21.18 While digital transformation is driven by technology, businesses need to incorporate experiences, people, change, innovation, leadership and culture to be truly successful. 3 Challenges With Big Data For Marketers – Chitra Iyer, MarTech Advisor, 5.21.18 Marketers using big data still experience challenges in collaborating with IT teams, integrating and translating big data points and deriving value from the data itself.   Innovation: India wants to fire up its AI industry. Catching up to China and the US will be a challenge – Cnbc, 5.11.18 An Indian government-appointed task force has released a comprehensive plan with recommendations to boost the AI sector in the country for at least the next five years-from developing AI technologies and infrastructure, to data usage and research. IoT Tech Enables Both Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change – Steve Jennis, Ioti, 5.22.18 IoT is a “technology toolkit” that can be applied to create new business value while protecting your enterprise from digital disruption. How AI Is Helping Improve Employee Experiences – David Roe, CMSWire, 5.21.18 By using AI to improve employee experiences via smarter staffing decisions, enriched meetings and more, companies are also able to improve their customers’ experiences.   Customer Service: Facebook launches new tools for Group admins, including free customer service - Sarah Perez, Techcrunch, 5.23.18 Facebook is rolling out a series of new features aimed at those who create and manage these groups, including customer support with answers and help provided by a real person, not a machine or automated responses.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Hear how @LinkedIn innovated w/ @OracleServCloud to monitor and log network performance for their global...

CPQ

CPQ Visualizations Improve the Selling Process

Graham McInnes, Senior Principle Product Manager, Oracle One of the most fundamental sales challenges is to accurately communicate complex product information to a visually-oriented audience. What’s missing is being shown what the offer actually looks like.  A CPQ product is great at helping the user navigate complex, oft-changing product configurations to find a solution that meets their needs.  If more than half of the human brain is devoted to understanding visual data, it’s no surprise that 65% of the people learn most effectively when information is presented in a visual fashion.  Therefore, if you add visuals to CPQ to take advantage of this in order to improve the sales process, how much more might you drive revenue? Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that visual aids increase persuasiveness by 43%.  If you could make your sales quotes 43% more effective, wouldn’t you do it? The obvious answer is yes.  Visualizations add value to the sales process and improve the CPQ user’s experience. There are three primary benefits of adding visualizations to CPQ. They add a ‘wow factor’ to the sales experience, improve customer engagement, and address the visual buyer. It saves quoting time by eliminating the need to engage drafting or CAD teams for drawings. Visuals confirm the accuracy of what’s being purchased, especially when fitting with existing equipment. The decision to incorporate visualizations will depend on your product and the buyer personae you're addressing. If you’re selling  products that must fit into complex physical spaces, sellers and buyers might benefit from full virtual reality modeling that creates immersive digital interaction. Less complex products, on the other hand, would benefit from simple diagrammatic representations to illustrate dimensional information. Basic types of visualization 2D- Objects are rendered visually flat using only two planes of width and height (X and Y). Two dimensional drawings are typical dimensional drafting illustrations that are used to confirm product data. Figure 1 Image Courtesy of Catalog Data Solutions 3D- Objects are rendered visually using three planes, width, height and depth (X ,Y and Z). Three dimensional imagery may include rendering an object with photographic realism, or, as a technical line drawing that can be interactively rotated on any axis in a 3D drawing program. Figure 2 Image Courtesy of Catalog Data Solutions AR - Augmented Reality is the combination of actual and computer-generated images where digital images or video are superimposed onto the real world setting to illustrate size, shape or positioning. Figure 3 Image Courtesy of Atlatl VR- Virtual Reality typically uses a stereoscopic headset to provide an immersive visual experience in which the user is projected into a computer-generated reality. How will your organization benefit from visualizations? What are the steps to make visual sales your reality? Let us help you determine the best approach for your organization. Oracle CPQ works with several visualization partners for a broad range of customer applications ranging from 2D drawings to CAD engineering documents and complex augmented reality applications. You can experience Augmented Reality now by downloading the free Oracle Partner Atlatl AR APP from iTunes on your iOS device and scanning this marker.  Click the links below to learn more information on Oracle CPQ Forrester Positions Oracle CPQ Cloud as a Leader Partner Links https://www.atlatlsoftware.com/ https://www.catalogdatasolutions.com/      

Graham McInnes, Senior Principle Product Manager, Oracle One of the most fundamental sales challenges is to accurately communicate complex product information to a visually-oriented audience. What’s...

Customer Experience Technology

Introducing Oracle CX Audience

Gabrielle Tao, VP Product Management, Oracle Marketers want to connect data and intelligence in order to provide great experiences for their customers. But, only 11% of marketers express strong confidence that they’re reaching the right audience. To make my point, let’s take an average current data eco-system.  It all too often looks like the following where each dotted line is a set of data extract, transform and load (ETL) jobs stitched together: Figure 1: A disconnected data ecosystem does not help create connected intelligence nor experiences. This eco-system approach often suffers from 4 problems; Disconnectedness, Difficulty in scaling, A rigid 3rd party data enrichment process, and, It’s too IT-centric. And as a result, the aspiration for having a single customer view remains elusive. Oracle recently introduced a new product called CX Audience that provides a solution for large-scale audience segmentation and audience analytics. This is the next step in a larger Oracle vision to realize the vision of a comprehensive data platform. CX Audience offers these 3 main benefits: Manage and enrich data: You can import all kinds of cross-channel data into CX Audience - simple or complex, online or offline. In addition, 3rd party data from Oracle Data Cloud is readily available for use. Explore and segment customers: Without needing developers to write SQL queries, a business user can use a simple drag-and-drop user interface to tap into even complex data. For example, “Give me all the customers who have purchased anything from me 3 times in the last 12 months.” Counts are provided at each step in seconds to minutes - a far cry from the hours that it usually takes to write SQLs - allowing business users to adjust audiences easily to balance reach with targeted impact. Figure 2: Find your most engaged audience across all channels. Analyze audience performance: After an audience is created but before they get included in any campaign execution, might you be curious about how the audience behaved in the past? Have they ever opened any similar emails in the past? Audience Insights within CX Audience allows you to analyze audiences on such a pre-campaign basis. Once the audiences have been published to Oracle Responsys for campaign execution purpose, the performance data from Responsys will automatically be made available within CX Audience, allowing business users to analyze the post-campaign performance. Figure 3: Explore and analyze audience behavioral data. Some use case example questions of what CX Audience can help you answer include the following. Who is your most engaged audience that you can directly market to across all interaction channels, including Web, e-mail, SMS, mobile app, and even offline? Who responded to promotions in store? You just signed up a new customer with very little info on them. How do you communicate to them beyond “Welcome?” Are my inactive customers buying similar products from my competitors? In CX Audience, marketers will find a data system that is connected (segmentation with analytics, pre-campaign with campaign and post-campaign), allows for flexible access 3rd party data readily built in, scales to handle cross-channel interactions data, and is business user-led.                          

Gabrielle Tao, VP Product Management, Oracle Marketers want to connect data and intelligence in order to provide great experiences for their customers. But, only 11% of marketers express strong...

Customer Experience Strategy

CPQ is an Auditor’s Best Friend

By Andy Pieroux, Founder and Managing Director of Walpole Partnership Ltd.   One of the reasons many companies invest in a Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) system is to provide a robust audit trail for their pricing decisions. Let’s take a look at why, and how CPQ can help. First, apologies if you are an auditor. I’ve always been on the business side - either in sales, sales management, or as a pricing manager. I can appreciate your view may be different from the other side of the controls. Perhaps by the end of this article our points of view may become closer? If your business has the potential to get audited, I know that I can speak on your behalf to say we all just love being audited. We love the time taken away from our day jobs. We love the stress of feeling that something may be unearthed that exposes us or gets us in trouble, even if we’ve never knowingly done anything wrong. We love the thought of our practices being exposed as 'in need of improvement' and relish the chance to dig through old documents and folders to try and piece together the story of why we did what we did… especially when it was several years ago. Yes sir, bring on the audit. The reason we love it so much is that in our heart of hearts, we know audits are needed for our organization to prosper in the future. We dread the thought that our company might be caught up in a scandal like the mis-selling of pensions, or PPI (payment protection insurance), or serious accounting frauds like Enron. It was scandals like Enron in the early 2000s that gave rise to stricter audit requirements and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).  This set a high standard required for internal controls, and much tougher penalties for board members who fail to ensure that financial statements are accurate. The role of pricing decisions (e.g. who authorized what and when), and the accuracy of revenue reporting becomes paramount when evidencing compliance with audit arrangements such as this. At this point, a CPQ system can be the simple answer to your audit needs. All requests for discount, and the way revenue is allocated across products and services is documented. All approvals can be; attributed to an individual, time stamped, and with reasons captured at the time of approval. More importantly, the ability to show an auditor the entire history of a decision and to follow the breadcrumbs from a signed deal all the way to reported revenue at the click of a button means you have nothing to hide, and a clear understanding of the decisions. This is music to an auditor’s ears. It builds trust and confidence in the process and means any anomalies can be quickly analyzed. When you have all this information securely stored in the cloud, under controlled access to only those who need it, and a tamper-proof process, that means it is designed with integrity in mind, and makes the process of passing an audit so much easier. All the anxiety and pain mentioned above disappears. Auditors are no longer the enemy. You will find they can help advise on improvements to the rules in your system to make future audits even more enjoyable. Yes - that’s right…. I said it. Enjoyable Audits! So, CPQ is an auditor’s friend, and an auditee’s friend too. It doesn’t just apply to the big-scale audit requirements like SOX, but any organization that is auditable. Whether you’re a telecommunications company affected by IFRS 15, an organization impacted by GDPR, or any one of a thousand other guidelines, rules or quality policies that get checked - having data and decisions stored in a CPQ system will make you love audits too.    

By Andy Pieroux, Founder and Managing Director of Walpole Partnership Ltd.   One of the reasons many companies invest in a Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) system is to provide a robust audit trail for...

CX News & Events

Modern Customer Experience 2018 was Legendary

During his keynote at Modern Customer Experience 2018, Des Cahill, Head CX Evangelist, stated that CX should stand for Continuous Experimentation. He encouraged 4,500 enthusiastic marketers, customer service, sales, and commerce professional us to try new strategies, to take risks, strive to be remarkable, and triumph through sheer determination. Casey Neistat echoed Des, challenging us to “do what you can’t,” while best-selling author Cheryl Strayed inspired us to look past our fears and be brave. “Courage isn’t success,” she reminded us, “it’s doing what’s hard regardless of the outcome.” CX professionals today face numerous challenges: the relentless rise of customer expectations, the accelerating pace of innovation, evolving regulations like GDPR, increase ROI, plus the constant pressure to raise the bar. Modern Customer Experience not only inspired attendees to become the heroes of their organization, but it armed each with the tools to do so. If you missed Carolyne-Matseshe Crawford, VP of Fan Experience at Fanatics talk about how her company’s culture pervades the entire customer experience, or how Magen Hanrahan VP of Product Marketing at Kraft Heinz is obsessed with data driven marketing tactics, give them a watch. And don’t miss Comcast’s Executive VP, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Charlie Herrin, who wants to build proactive customer experience and dialogue into Comcast’s products themselves with artificial intelligence. The Modern Customer Experience X Room showcased CX innovation, like augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. But it wasn’t all just mock-ups and demos, a Mack Truck, a Yamaha motorcycle, and an Elgin Street Sweeper were on display, showcasing how Oracle customers put innovation to use to create legendary customer experiences. Attendees were able to let off some steam during morning yoga and group runs. They relived the 90s with Weezer during CX Fest, and our Canine Heroes from Canine Therapy Corps were a highlight of everyone’s day. But don’t just take it from us. Here’s what a few of our attendees had to say about the event. “Modern Customer Experience gives me the ability to learn about new products on the horizon, discuss challenges, connect with other MCX participants, learn best practices and understand we’re not alone in our journey.” – Matt Adams, Sales Cloud Manager, ArcBest  “Modern Customer Experience really allows me to do my job more effectively. Without it, I don’t know where I would be! It’s the best conference of the year.” – Joshua Parker, Digital Marketing and Automation Manager, Rosetta Stone We’re still soaking it all in. You can watch all the highlights from Modern Customer Experience keynotes on YouTube, and peruse the event’s photo slideshow. Download the slides from your favorite session or access content from those you missed.  Don’t forget to share your images on social media, with #ModernCX and sign up for alerts when registration for Modern Customer Experience 2019 opens!

During his keynote at Modern Customer Experience 2018, Des Cahill, Head CX Evangelist, stated that CX should stand for Continuous Experimentation. He encouraged 4,500 enthusiastic marketers, customer...

CX News & Events

The Future of Customer Experience - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Bring a touch of genius to your audiences with #AI, A/B testing, & business intelligence...all built in. See a live demo from #ModernCX. http://ora.cl/7sL37 @Katrina_gosek Click to Tweet Ready to learn from #Oracle customers, leaders, and experts? Here is the #oow18 session catalog: http://ora.cl/FP3mJ Click to Tweet Find out leaders and stewards in the @OracleServCloud Community from all over  the world! http://ora.cl/1dq4C #OSvC Click to Tweet #CX leaders! Think of #CustomerExperience as a magic trick. Expert @JayBaer shares his insights and tricks of the trade after 25 years in the industry: http://ora.cl/RU3O7 #SmarterCX Click to Tweet There were over 100 nominations for the 2018 @ORCLSalesCloud & Service Execution Excellence awards at #ModernCX, but few of them were lucky winners. Here you can find the full list: http://ora.cl/aW7cd Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: The Price Of Success: MarTech Pricing Changes Under Consideration – Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer, 5.14.18 According to Oracle’s Shashi Seth, many organizations are looking toward new pricing models in light of new pressure on marketing spending and results. B2B Sellers Missing Digital Opportunities: Survey – Beth Negus Viveiros, Chief Marketer, 5.14.18 A recent study by Oracle Commerce Cloud/Mirakl reveals definite room for improvement when it comes to digital B2B e-commerce experiences. The MarTech Minute: Moat Chosen As LinkedIn Video Viewability Partner, Oracle Adds New Integrations & A Slew of Executive Moves – Robin Kurzer, MarTech Today, 5.11.18 Oracle Marketing Cloud’s integrations with 6sense, Demandbase, LookBookHQ and Mintigo helps identify high-potential buyers, drive engagement and close deals faster. ThoughtSpot Lands $145M In Funding, HubSpot Debuts Service Hub, More News – Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 5.11.18 The latest Oracle Marketing Cloud Eloqua integrations provide sales teams with new data insights to learn, discover and engage with high-potential buyers.   Industry News: AR Still Challenging For Marketers: Survey – Patty Odell, Chief Marketer, 5.17.18 While augmented reality presents promotional benefits for marketers, many companies still struggle to measure ROI and reach audiences at scale. Big And Small Manufacturers Find Common Ground In B2B E-Commerce – Mark Brohan, Internet Retailer, 5.15.18 Manufacturers of all sizes should build B2B e-commerce sites to identify new sales channels, attract new customers, diversify sales and create broader brand recognition. 5 Ways To Create An Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy – Vandita Grover, MarTech Advisor, 5.15.18 Companies can boost their influencer marketing strategy by identifying their key audience, establishing relationships and setting specific goals. The Future Of Customer Experience: People Plus Technology – Blake Morgan, Forbes, 5.14.18 Creating good customer experiences relies on the balance between technology and people to create transformational environments rather than just transactional ones.   Innovation: AI, IoT set to revolutionise business, says Dell - Nophakhun Limsamarnphun , Nationmultimedia, 5.14.18 The next era will be facilitated by the convergence of AI, IoT, big data, real-time connectivity and new computing power leading to the transformation of economies and societies around the world. Blockchain, IoT, and 5 Other Technologies Changing Mission Critical Processes – Iotbusinessnews, 5.13.18 Find out 7 technologies — including Blockchain technology and the IoT — that are already demonstrating how they have the potential to completely overhaul existing critical processes. The future of enterprise IoT: 2 factors to watch - Jason Hiner, Zdnet, 5.6.18 Some companies have learned from multiple generations of IoT projects, and are ready to take advantage of the next big leaps ahead.   Customer Service: Don’t Let Customer Service Automation Override Customer Experience – Don Fluckinger, SearchCRM, 5.11.18 Companies that invest in customer service automation processes and workflows can save customers’ time, improve customer experiences and beat out their competition. Three customer service trends to replicate in your business this year - Gary Birdwell, Cuinsight, 5.4.18 If you’re looking to enhance your customer service offerings in 2018, you should enhance self-service, be available to chat when your customers are, be present on social media.  

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Bring a touch of genius to your audiences with #AI, A/B testing, & business intelligence...all built in....

Customer Experience Technology

Make AI Collaboration Your Next B2B Marketing Move

Mark Tarro, Senior Solutions Engineer, Oracle One of the first AI case studies most people are familiar with is the Gary Kasparov vs Deep Blue chess match. Kasparov, one the world’s greatest chess players, was bested by artificial intelligence in 1997 and the world began to realize it would be “impossible for humans to compete” with technology advancing, combined with humanity’s propensity for error. AI’s Migration into B2B Marketing AI has crept into everyday life in a number of ways, such Alexa and Siri.  When Spotify recommends new songs or artists to me – it has all the necessary data to make good decisions.   When two opponents engage in a chess match, the piece placement and relativity to other pieces are data points the players can utilize to make the right decisions and moves. However, AI’s slow adoption within companies is mostly due to disconnected customer data across an organization, making it hard to drive appropriate AI decisions. When marketers work with fragmented data, that limited visibility leads to broken customer journeys and experiences.   With marketing, we’re making decisions to guide our customers and prospects along a journey. These decisions include; who to include within campaigns, which way to route contacts within those campaigns, how to score contacts based on their interactions, and which product or service is best to offer. This is where aggregating and connecting data will be key as B2B marketers increase their dependence on AI. Understanding that prospects are likely to purchase based on certain attributes can help with predictive scoring. The more data you connect on the customer profile, the more likely those predictive scores will be effective. The same can be said for predictive content, segments, or any time of an AI-assisted decision your team makes. Bigger is Better To understand why a bigger pool of data is better, I started out with my typical Michael Scott quest to find someone to “explain it to me like I’m five.” What I came up with revolved around Machine Learning and pumping them full of data to learn. When I was a graduate student, I worked on a project where I manually assigned numbers to keywords from interviews and counted how many times those keywords were used. As part of the academic study, this project would show valuable learnings from the interviews. However, it was a tedious process that included hours in front of a computer screen. The propensity for human error that Kasparov mentioned is sure to have caused some imperfections in that study, in addition to the weeks it took me to complete. Had a machine been taught to work through that process, it would have done so more quickly and without error. Machines can also take it a level deeper with Deep Learning. With my example, the data was all connected and related in a straightforward way. More and more of what we’re seeing is companies collecting data from a multitude of channels, sources and devices, but not knowing what to do with it. Valuable data is often discarded when it could be connected and mined for deep insights to inform decisions. Imagine knowing that your chess opponent wearing a certain brand of watch tips their strategy and moves. This piece of seemingly unrelated and unimportant data could be most valuable when looked at in a larger pool. B2B marketers who are active in the social media space might be familiar with Latent Semantic Analysis or Natural Language Processing which look at things like sentiment and possible actions based on social posts. These technologies are examples of deep learning in action.  Where people might take months or years, AI finds connections in real time, reducing human error and identifying subtle nuances, like not letting a tweet intended for customer service slip through the cracks because you hadn’t had coffee yet. Working with Sales Predictive lead scoring can point salespeople in the right direction as they work to expand within a key account and understand whom the right contact will be to engage with next. As they email the prospect and drive them to a website utilizing AI, personalized and predictive content can be served up to enhance the experience. This experience can only be optimized based on properly connected data so the predictive scores and content are aligned with marketing efforts. Imagine trying to predict content for someone based solely on his or her job title!  You might see some success, but not as much if you were also taking into account their location, company size and any other relevant data points. As we stare down the inevitable partnership humans will have with intelligent machines, it will be key to figure out which use cases make sense for AI, and which don’t. Most times the decision will come down to having the necessary data being available and connected to be effective. Investing time and effort now into connecting data will allow you to work more harmoniously with AI solutions and apps as they hit the market. Work with your sales counterparts to vet your strategy. See where AI fits and then, integrating your strategy with AI efforts will allow you to compete with the machines instead of against them.   Read 5 Data-Driven Keys to Better B2B          

Mark Tarro, Senior Solutions Engineer, Oracle One of the first AI case studies most people are familiar with is the Gary Kasparov vs Deep Blue chess match. Kasparov, one the world’s greatest chess...

CX News & Events

Oracle Expands Marketing Cloud Integrations - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #OracleCX Cloud for #Commerce was highlighted as the most complete cloud for transforming both #B2C and B2B businesses http://ora.cl/aU6N6 Click to Tweet Join the webinar to learn how to use #AI to improve #sales productivity and conversion rates http://ora.cl/U86eC #CX Click to Tweet Watch #ModernCX 2018 keynote highlights of @shashiseth, SVP of #OMC here: http://ora.cl/JQ8E8 Click to Tweet #CX developers at @objectedge, @FishbowlE20, @TaisTech solve real-world problems at #ModernCX hackathon - find out how! http://ora.cl/pU4QY Click to Tweet Check out this new #INFOGRAPHIC filled with #CX data from Oracle’s #ModernCX conference http://ora.cl/qu3eE Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Oracle Marketing Cloud Announces New Integrations To Streamline And Optimize Sales Process – Editorial Staff, MarTech Advisor, 5.9.18 The new integrations introduced to Oracle Marketing Cloud help deliver powerful data-driven insights to empower sales teams. Oracle Expands Marketing Cloud Integrations – Editorial Staff, DestinationCRM, 5.8.18 The latest Oracle Marketing Cloud product integrations provides sales teams with new data insights to learn, discover and engage with high-potential buyers. Oracle Bolsters Eloqua With New Platform Integrations – Natalie Gagliordi, ZDNet, 5.8.18 Oracle Marketing Cloud’s new integrations with 6sense, Demandbase, LookBookHQ and Mintigo help sales teams identify high-potential buyers and close deals faster. 5 MarTech Takeaways From Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018 – Shashi Seth, MarTech Advisor, 5.4.18 Oracle’s Shashi Seth highlights the top martech takeaways following Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018, noting the shift to a new normal for martech professionals. Decoding The B2B Purchasing Puzzle In 2018 – Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 5.4.18 New research led by Oracle Commerce Cloud, B2B Online, Mirakl and WBR Insights reveals top of mind considerations for decoding the current state of B2B purchasing.   Industry News: What Is Intelligent Content And How Can It Help Marketers? – Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 5.9.18 Marketers can leverage intelligent content as an asset for their marketing efforts, as it makes content adaptable, discoverable and reconfigurable. How Marketers Struggle With Analyzing Customer Data – Ross Benes, eMarketer, 5.7.18 Marketers want more customer data, but the ability to analyze and manage that data has proven to be the biggest obstacle for marketers due to a variety of challenges. Social Proof Is The Most Important Factor In Selling – Pamela Hazelton, Practical Ecommerce, 5.7.18 Social proof, whether through celebrity endorsements, user success stories or word of mouth, is a crucial factor for an online store’s success.   Innovation: 5 Industries That Are Winning With IoT – Kayla Matthews, DMN, 5.9.18 The benefits of IoT are far reaching, especially within industries like consumer electronics, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and construction. AI May Be Secret Weapon To Retain Sales Talent – Chris Bucholtz, CRM Buyer, 5.9.18 AI can be used to solve sales issues, including employee churn, by rewarding a company’s top employees, offering the right tools and identifying any dissatisfaction.   Customer Service: 5 Predictions on the Future of Customer Service - Mikhail Naumov, Forbes, 4.23.18 Experts predict, that by 2020, 85% of all customer service interactions will be handled without the need for a human agent: AI will automate simple tasks, agents will have more time, customers will begin outsourcing service… The Evolution Of Customer Service Metrics - Brad Birnbaum, Forbes, 5.8.18 Customer Lifetime Value is the key metric for customer experience-oriented businesses, this evolution is ongoing, and successful businesses need to master it.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #OracleCX Cloud for #Commerce was highlighted as the most complete cloud for transforming both #B2C and...

CPQ

Outstanding Oracle CPQ Customers Honored at Modern Customer Experience 2018

Chris Haussler, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle There were over 100 nominations for the 2018 Oracle Sales and Service Execution Excellence awards this year at the Oracle Modern Customer Experience event in Chicago. Finalists were selected for each award from a large group of highly qualified, nominated customers that included many well-known brands, public sector organizations and small innovative companies across a range of industries and geographies. The winners were announced at an invitation-only Awards Gala, on Tuesday April 10th. Two awards specifically targeted CPQ customers and one honored a customer who leverages the Oracle CX Cloud Suite, including CPQ, to facilitate legendary customer experiences. We are pleased to announce the organizations that won these awards. Direct Sales Execution Excellence Award This award recognizes customers that utilize Oracle CX to enable direct sales teams to achieve significant increases in core execution metrics, which include: Faster quote turn-around time Increased average deal size (cross-sell / upsell) Faster time-to-value with respect to new product introductions New rep ramp time Sales efficiency: increase in addressable market Improved win rate Winner: Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) is a global business headquartered in Roseland, N.J. As one of the largest payroll outsourcing providers in the world with 58,000 employees globally, ADP was an early adopter of the cloud services operating model. It is reported that ADP provides paycheck services for one in six Americans. ADP implemented Oracle CPQ using mobile guided selling, integrated with eSignature, Contract Lifecycle Management, Deal Management providing Margin Analysis Support, back-end auto-provisioning of users via CRM and Oracle Financials integration. ADP’s results with Oracle CPQ have been spectacular. The average time to create a quote decreased from two weeks to just two hours. With 260,000 quotes created in the last 12 months, that represents a timesaving of 520,000 staff weeks over the year. They have a 100% adoption rate among their 5,800 sales users across eight core product groups spanning four divisions. Plus, for their small business market, 79% of the quotes are eSigned, thus adding even greater efficiencies to the sales process. Figure 1: Suzette Godwin Romer (center) and the ADP team share the 2018 Direct Sales Execution Excellence Award Self-Service Sales Excellence Award This award recognizes companies that utilize Oracle CX to enable their customers to transact with them in a self-service manner (not requiring assistance from an agent of the company) and demonstrates the company’s commitment to and successful deployment of Oracle CPQ. Winner: Leviton Manufacturing Leviton is the largest, privately held manufacturer of electrical wiring equipment in North America.  It serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 90 countries.  Leviton eliminated multiple legacy quoting tools and streamlined manual processes with its implementation of Oracle CPQ.  This reduced quote cycle times and eliminated quote innaccuracies and order fulfillment issues among its external sales teams and distributors. While these benefits were substantial, the gains realized by individual Leviton customers are truly outstanding and worthy of this award. CPQ gives Leviton customers an easy-to-use, always-available tool that helps them find and specify the optimal lighting products for their projects.  Dynamic pricing is 100% accurate and special requests are easily shuttled to the appropriate Leviton CSR, pricing, and manufacturing teams for fast support. The result: customers prefer doing business with Leviton because the company can quickly respond to simple and custom project requests. Figure 2: Benson Wong (left) and Juby Vembenil of Leviton Manufacturing accept the 2018 Self-Service Sales Excellence Award  

Chris Haussler, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle There were over 100 nominations for the 2018 Oracle Sales and Service Execution Excellence awards this year at the Oracle Modern Customer...

CX News & Events

AI Can Be Harnessed To Change World of Marketing - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #Oracle Celebrates #CX Legends at #ModernCX! Congrats to our heroes! http://ora.cl/p415Z  Click to Tweet #B2B Sellers Need #Digital Boost to Meet Expectations of Modern Buyers http://ora.cl/9ll6f #CX Click to Tweet #Cloud takes everything our customers love about our most popular solutions & makes them even better. See how you can inspire #innovation & creativity http://ora.cl/7jo0Z Click to Tweet Why @MasterLockUS replaced #Salesforce with an end-to-end #OracleCX solution? Join us and you will learn: http://ora.cl/zP5IF Click to Tweet .@OracleLoyalty debuted as #Oracle’s hot new #CX product, and it’s generating a lot of buzz http://ora.cl/KM6Pw Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: AI Can Be Harnessed To Change World Of Marketing – Brian Curtis and Paul Allen, Bloomberg, 5.2.18 Oracle’s Shashi Seth offers insights into how AI is changing the world of marketing, the three new Ps of marketing and issues surrounding privacy. Interview With Shashi Seth, Sr. Vice President, Oracle Marketing Cloud – Sudipto Ghosh, MarTech Series, 4.30.18 Oracle’s Shashi Seth shares his views on this year’s Modern Customer Experience, the evolution of marketing and changes within the marketing cloud industry.   Industry News: 8 Considerations When Branding Your Chatbot – Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 5.3.18 When rolling out a chatbot, organizations must set realistic expectations, ensure that their chatbot is consistent with branding and consider interaction and visual design. New Study Finds Content Targeting Is The Most Effective Way For Brands To Reach Consumers – Lisa Lacy, Adweek, 5.2.18 Recent research revealed that content targeting is the most effective approach for brands looking to capture the interest of their desired audiences. How Gen Z Is Driving A Cultural Shift In Retail Branding – Meredith Ferguson, Retail Dive, 5.2.18 Retail brands must embrace change and cultural shifts in order to engage Gen Z shoppers, who are increasingly demanding that brands share the same values. How To Seamlessly Augment The Retail Experience – Rohit Gupta, MarTech Today, 5.1.18 The future of in-store interactions will be enabled by emerging technologies, such as immersive AR and VR experiences and omnichannel options. The Criticality Of A Narrow Focus For Technology Implementation – Sarah Nicastro, Field Technologies Online, 4.27.18 A narrow focus is critical for the implementation of field service technologies, as it makes it easier for companies to see a return and prevents them from investing too much.   Innovation: Biz Value of AI Will Pass $1 Trillion This Year – John K. Waters, Application Development Trends, 4.30.18 According to new research from Gartner, AI business value will pass $1 trillion by 2019, driven by the need for better customer experiences and new AI products and services. Study finds AI algorithm can diagnose blindness-causing disease more accurately than doctors - Clare McGrane, Geekwire, 5.2.18 A new study on a specialized AI algorithm found that it was able to automatically diagnose a disease that causes childhood blindness more accurately than trained physicians can, a step towards automating medical tasks that are often bottle-necked by a shortage of doctors.   Field Service: Field service mobile apps offer usability, new features - Erica Mixon, Searchmobilecomputing, 5.3.18 Now, organizations in the service industry can take advantage of advanced technologies, such as augmented reality and predictive analytics, in web and mobile field service apps, said Jason Wong, research director at Gartner. WBR Announces 2018 Field Service Best-In-Class Awards Winners - Prweb, 5.2.18 Cox Communications, Porsche Cars North America, and High Wire Networks, Inc. Honored for Excellence in Service Delivery and Innovation.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #Oracle Celebrates #CX Legends at #ModernCX! Congrats to our heroes! http://ora.cl/p415Z  Click to Tweet #...

CPQ

Modern Customer Experience 2018 - Who Was that Caped CPQ Crusader?

Chris Haussler, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle The heart of this year’s Modern Customer Experience had to be our superhero customers. Over 4,400 CX professionals joined us in Chicago for three days of non-stop activity, listened to over 300 speakers, and attended demonstrations and practical workshops. Modern CX also featured what was likely the world’s greatest concentration of CPQ enthusiasts of all time. We kicked the conference off with CPQ Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meetings. They were a hit. We especially enjoyed the passionate stories shared by Sunny Sanyal of Hyster-Yale and Badger Meter’s Jim Reinardy inspired the rest of the room to become CPQ legends in their companies too. Our 12 dedicated breakout sessions hosted standing-room-only crowds who asked questions, snapped pictures, scribbled notes, and shared business cards. The stories shared by our customers were inspiring and we are very proud to participate in their successes.  Figure 1: A session attendee grabs a quick pic for posterity During the breakout sessions, we heard from: CDK’s Freddie Garcia shared how to prepare for a seismic shift in growth strategy, as they evolve to subscription-based business models with CPQ in the driver’s seat. ADP’s Suzette Godwin-Romer covered how her organization is using the artificial intelligence powered functionality of deal management, win optimization, and price optimization to supercharge ADP. By the way, ADP won the 2018 CX Excellence Award for Direct Sales Execution Excellence, presented during Tuesday’s exclusive evening awards gala. Power team - Todd Wallen from F5 Networks, Chris Isom from Schenck Process, and Nick Winwright of Stepstone UK, demonstrated how their organizations encourage adoption of new CPQ by sales teams. Mercury Marine’s Rob Hackbarth and Equifax’s Matt Phillips, two of the newest Oracle CPQ converts, discussed their thoughts in the Collective Learning Space–a clear-walled enclosure that encouraged curiosity, engagement, and debate. Rob, fresh off Mercury Marine’s initial roll-out of CPQ a mere 10 days prior, shared how CPQ is replacing a 4-inch technical parts catalog, making his products easier to launch, configure, and quote. CPQ sales engineer superstar Adi Kosgi presented to a packed house showing how powerful CPQ can be. His snapshots, demos, and use cases of real world customer scenarios left the crowd stunned. Eaton’s Beth Hayes and Motorola's Susan Andreeff showed how their companies leverage CPQ to build and manage customer price agreements. GE Digital’s Chad Steele, Flowserve’s Mark McGrath, and Brad Moen and Stephanie Ramberg of Wolters Kluwer Financial Services shared some real battle-tested wisdom about how they selected Oracle CPQ and the dramatic impacts it has had on their businesses. Prospective customers in particular listened with rapt attention as two panelists recalled the circuitous, and costly journey they took, before landing on Oracle CPQ. We almost started cheering in this session. Airborn Interconnect’s Rommel Bayola and Robert Kleinschmidt shared a stunning example of how they boosted organizational effectiveness by using CPQ to supercharge SFA, Commerce, and Service. Go big or go home, as they say.  Out in the exhibit area, crowds were drawn to two demos that featured compelling real-life props. Attendees got behind the wheel of a boat powered by two 350 HP Mercury Marine engines. The driver, throttle in-hand, piloted the sophisticated controls and engine monitoring that Mercury Marine sells to boat builders, watching the engines react to every movement. With that experience under his belt, the driver turned to CPQ, where he could not only configure the Mercury Marine controls and rigging for the boat he’d just driven, but outfit the next boat on his shopping list. We’d like to thank Mercury Marine and Accelalpha for sharing this unique demo. And resetting everyone’s expectations of the street sweeping business, CPQ customer Elgin / Federal Signal demonstrated how an augmented reality (AR) product model combined with IoT will change the way their field service agents will troubleshoot common repairs. Wow !    Figure 2: Rob Hackbarth (Mercury Marine) and Matt Phillips (Equifax) in the Collective Learning Space Don’t miss your chance to drive legendary customer experiences in 2019. Sign up to receive alerts when registration for Modern Customer Experience 2019 opens.      

Chris Haussler, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle The heart of this year’s Modern Customer Experience had to be our superhero customers. Over 4,400 CX professionals joined us in Chicago for...

CX News & Events

Oracle Loyalty Shines at Modern Customer Experience 2018

Tasnia Khan, Product Strategist, Oracle CX Thousands of customer experience professionals congregated in Chicago earlier this month for the Modern Customer Experience 2018 event. If you missed it, don’t worry – we have you covered. Oracle Loyalty debuted as Oracle’s hot new CX product, and it’s generating a lot of buzz. Loyalty is BIG. One of the most difficult challenges brands face is acquiring and retaining loyal customers because consumers are no longer brand loyal. They switch brands more than ever, remaining loyal only to their needs in the moment. On the other hand, since loyal customers tend to spend more and are more likely to recommend your brand and become brand advocates, it’s imperative to try to build emotional connections with those loyal customers.   At Modern CX 2018, attendees learned how to provide relevant, personalized, and engaging experiences at every step of the customer journey. Here’s your inside scoop on the Modern CX Loyalty sessions. Meet Oracle Loyalty Cloud We discussed how to use the cloud to provide individualized customer experiences. Built on REST interfaces, Oracle Loyalty is incredibly innovative and can easily connect with other applications. By creatively extending the solution, companies can foster a personal connection, making their customers feel comfortable opening up through digital channels, building trust, and increasing their customer lifetime value. Know Your Customer During our customer panel, we heard from Oracle Loyalty customers Southwest Airlines, Wine.com.br, and Latham Pool on how they drive meaningful engagement to beat the competition. Southwest operates according to the “Platinum Rule” – treat people the way they want to be treated. Wine.com.br likes to surprise and delight their most loyal customers with exclusive and personalized gifts. Latham Pool uses data to better understand and effectively engage with their customers. These are just a few examples of how our Oracle Loyalty customers are finding creative and inspiring ways to build unified customer experiences that foster loyalty. Customer Loyalty in the Age of AI According to Gartner, 80 percent of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers. Successful ecommerce businesses are using AI-led experiences to foster loyalty. During this session, we discussed how conversational AI on channels like chat, text messaging, social media platforms, and voice-activated assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home can help drive profits. We explored what opportunities you could have if you knew who your customer was before they even shopped with you. Imagine having the data to build a profile on your customer, providing them with the individualized experiences they are looking for when they initially interact with your brand. Seize Micro moments with Unified Commerce, Service and Loyalty When it comes to building loyalty, commerce and service are two sides of the same coin. Today's empowered customers no longer just purchase products; they buy experiences from brands they feel confident will deliver on their ongoing needs. In this session, we discussed proactive strategies that go beyond traditional customer service through opportunities like self-service, chat and voice assistance, digitizing in-store experiences, harnessing the power of social media, and building emotional connections with your customers. These unified approaches build shopper confidence and lasting loyalty. Modern Customer Experience Heroes provide seamless and unified experiences. Combined with our CX stack, Oracle Loyalty allows brands to be unforgettable. The new Loyalty solution impressed our attendees, and drove conversations around building a loyal customer base that keeps coming back for more. We know what our customers need and with the Oracle CX stack, we are uniquely positioned to provide an integrated end-to-end journey that fosters loyalty during each and every interaction with your brand. To learn more, visit https://cloud.oracle.com/loyalty-cloud. 

Tasnia Khan, Product Strategist, Oracle CX Thousands of customer experience professionals congregated in Chicago earlier this month for the Modern Customer Experience 2018 event. If you missed it,...

CX News & Events

Oracle OpenWorld Registration is Now Open - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: . @Oraclemktgcloud takes one of the top spots in #ForresterWave “Cross-Channel Campaign Management”! http://ora.cl/GU6rS #OMC Click to Tweet How #marketing technology can help you deliver seamless #CX that exceed your customer’s expectations? Join #webinar, May 03 with @TimBurge & learn: http://ora.cl/cR1i8 Click to Tweet What makes @OpenMethods technology so powerful and unique? Discover in our blog by @nathanjoynt http://ora.cl/c2W9d Click to Tweet Check out #ModernCX "How to Be Heard" keynote highlights with @CaseyNeistat, American YouTube personality, filmmaker, vlogger, and co-founder of Beme http://ora.cl/kS1H4 Click to Tweet Are you ready for Oracle OpenWorld 2018? The registration is already open, San Francisco, October 22-25, 2018 http://bit.ly/2Hx9MEc #oow18 Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Does Marketing Automation Have A Reporting Problem? – Chitra Iyer, MarTech Advisor, 4.25.18 Oracle’s Pierre Custeau offers insight into shifting demands around marketing automation, noting the need for marketing platforms to extend reporting capabilities. Macy’s Email Campaign Nets A 6% Reactivation Rate – Dan Alaimo, Retail Dive, 4.25.18 At Modern Customer Experience 2018, Macy’s highlighted its successful email reactivation campaign, resulting in a 6 percent increase in active email subscribers.   Industry News: Ecommerce Merchants Embrace Brick-And-Mortar – Marcia Kaplan, Practical Ecommerce, 4.26.18 Online retailers are having success with physical stores and temporary pop-up locations to complement online sales while integrating digital, omni-channel applications. 4 Way AI Can Improve Your Marketing – Patty Odell, Chief Marketer, 4.25.18 AI can improve marketing communications and customer interactions by effectively guiding the buyer experience, boosting personalization and more. 5 Way Retailers Are Optimizing Foot Traffic Using Smartphones – Molly St. Louis, Adweek, 4.24.18 Retailers are tapping into the power of the smartphone to drive customers into their stores through geofencing, AR and VR, push notifications and more. 5 Ways To Build Community Around Your Brand – Vivian Wagner, CRM Buyer, 4.24.18 Online brands can build loyalty and community by focusing on the customers, inviting them on the brand’s journey and being mobile friendly.   Innovation: Artificial Intelligence Will Be Worth $1.2 Trillion To The Enterprise In 2018 – Charlie Osborne, ZDNet, 4.25.18 Gartner predicts that AI growth will be driven by organizations looking to use the technology to improve customer experiences across different industries. Blockchain could help answer one of IoT's biggest questions – Gavin Whitechurch, Internetofthingsagenda, 4.26.18 Blockchain technology can help distribute security-related decisions, allowing IoT devices themselves to play a role in detecting and reacting to network anomalies while assuring that data within the IoT network is not tampered with.   Customer Service: How AI Can Make Customer Service More Efficient - Andrew Medal, Entrepreneur, 4.25.18 Intelligence-backed digital assistants represent the change that's needed for the customer-service sector. AI programs that can filter communications and suggest appropriate responses, cutting down the time it takes for those agents to address inquiries. The Customer Service Chatbots Are Getting Smarter - Michael Belfiore, Bloomberg , 4.15.18 Amelia-a virtual, text-based customer service agent can handle thousands of requests and complaints at a time. She just needs some human guidance—for now.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: . @Oraclemktgcloud takes one of the top spots in #ForresterWave “Cross-Channel Campaign Management”! http...

Customer Success Stories

Oracle Celebrates CX Legends at Modern Customer Experience

Beth Renstrom, Product Manager, Customer Advocacy During the Modern Customer Experience 2018 event in Chicago, Oracle hosted an exclusive gala to recognize the service, sales, and CPQ leaders who are striving to meet their customers’ rising expectations. In a Blues Brothers-themed awards ceremony, Oracle raised a glass of champagne to those raising the bar with innovative and creative strategies. Congratulations to our customer experience heroes! Modern Service Transformation Award: Lane Bryant With Oracle Service, Lane Bryant transformed its contact center into a revenue-generating omnichannel experience center, delivering holistic customer-centric interactions. Contact Center Excellence Award: Pier 1 Pier 1 streamlined the agent experience with Oracle Service by putting contextual customer data at its agents’ fingertips with a unified solution.  The results of this digital transformation have been increasing their Quality Assurance scores as well as employee happiness! Digital Customer Service Excellence Award: ScriptPro With Oracle Service’s self-service capabilities, ScriptPro provides 24/7/365 customer support from any internet-accessible device, empowering globally-located customers and employees. Policy Automation Excellence Award: Caisse Nationale des Allocations Familiales (CNAF) With Oracle Policy Automation, France’s National Office for Family Allocations was able to streamline and simplify its citizen experience, on a 100% digital and personalized platform. Anytime Anywhere Sales Excellence Award: Old Dominion Freight Line Old Dominion Freight Line’s on-the-go sales reps are armed with an automated and mobile solution, Oracle CX Mobile and Oracle Sales Force Automation, allowing them to spend less time on time-consuming tasks and more time on providing an unforgettable customer experience. Direct Sales Execution Excellence Award: Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) ADP, one of the largest payroll outsourcing providers, implemented Oracle Configure Price &  Quote (Oracle CPQ) and quickly saw greater sales process efficiencies such as hundreds of thousands of time savings hours. Self-Service Sales Excellence Award: Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. By implementing Oracle CPQ, Leviton can now provide its external sales teams, partners, distributors, and customers with a personalized, accurate, and streamlined experience on digital and mobile platforms. Oracle Marketing Cloud also recognized legendary CX customers during their 14th annual Markie celebration. Read about their accomplishments in the press release, Oracle Honors the Best of the Best Customer Experience Heroes. Hats off to all our customers who constantly strive for CX excellence.  

Beth Renstrom, Product Manager, Customer Advocacy During the Modern Customer Experience 2018 event in Chicago, Oracle hosted an exclusive gala to recognize the service, sales, and CPQ leaders who are...

CX News & Events

How to Be the Next Big Thing in Commerce – A Recap of Modern Customer Experience 2018

Modern Customer Experience connects attendees with industry and product experts to give them the information and tools they need to take their businesses to the next level. If you didn’t have an opportunity to join us in Chicago earlier this month, this blog post is for you. I’ve combined the key takeaways for commerce professionals looking to drive legendary customer experiences. Commerce Transformation Accelerates in the Cloud The conference kicked off with the Commerce General Session, illuminating commerce trends and industry innovation. Garter analyst Christina Klock emphasized the four principals required to be successful in the fourth industrial revolution: Be trustworthy Focus on outcomes Act continuously, and Be anticipatory. To execute on those principles, organizations need to rely on analytics, data, and AI engines­–the core of next generation digital experience platforms. The cloud enables AI to be deployed at scale to directly impact the customer experience click by click. Oracle CX Cloud for Commerce was highlighted as the most complete cloud for transforming both B2C and B2B businesses. The Oracle CX Cloud for Commerce elevates everything people love about our most popular solutions, while inspiring innovation and creativity. It combines experience and content management, commerce, and search into one single cloud. Alistair Galbraith, Senior Director of CX Innovation, demonstrated how business users and developers can work together to achieve transformational commerce experiences with Oracle CX Cloud for Commerce. Business users can curate engaging experiences targeted at the appropriate B2B or B2C audiences across any device. Developers use an API-first architecture to innovate and inject commerce services anywhere using IDEs and frameworks of their choice. To illustrate a B2C application, Alistair gave a live augmented-reality demo, showing how furniture could be configured and placed within a room – in this case it was onstage. Judging by the applause, this was a crowd favorite. For our B2B attendees, presenters demonstrated how Oracle CX Cloud for Commerce can optimize the entire quote-to-cash process from discovery to purchase. AI Optimizes Search and Advertising Spend The benefits of AI, more tangible than ever before, were on full display at Modern Customer Experience. Adaptive Intelligent Apps for CX now cover two additional impressive use cases for commerce and marketing professionals: Commerce Cloud search results are now personalized to drive higher conversion. By leveraging Oracle Data Cloud,  (a treasure trove of anonymized data on consumer interests,) with clickstream analysis and preferences provided directly by the shopper, AI Apps for CX can put products the shopper is most likely to buy at the top of his or her search results. Business teams that have the ability to boost or constrain - by category, product, price, inventory, and brand can supervise results. This creates a better shopping experience, drives revenue and saves time. AI now extends beyond the commerce site and marketing email experiences. Marketers can now activate lookalike audiences based on the characteristics of shoppers who are actually buying their products. This allows them to hyper target their advertising spend to audiences most likely to buy. Using the insights dashboard of AI Apps for CX, marketers see the interest profiles of their customers in real time. With the click of a button, they can create lookalike audiences in Oracle Data Cloud that can be leveraged during ad buys with hundreds of media partners. This eliminates guesswork and errors as marketers determine whom to target with their ads on third party sites. This also drives more qualified traffic to the site experience. Magical Markie Moments Modern Customer Experience is host to the highly coveted Markie Awards, now in their 12th year. These awards honor marketing and commerce heroes and their commitment to creating legendary customer experiences. Our master of ceremonies, magician Nigel Mead, handed out 23 awards with added intrigue and amazement. It was a night to remember. Congratulations to the Oracle Commerce finalists and winners for 2018! Best B2C Commerce Experience: Moleskine Best B2B Commerce Experience: Calix Best Integrated Mobile Experience: Vermont Country Store Don’t miss Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2019 and your chance to become a Commerce Hero. Sign up for alerts when 2019 registration opens.

Modern Customer Experience connects attendees with industry and product experts to give them the information and tools they need to take their businesses to the next level. If you didn’t have...

Customer Service

Get to Know: OpenMethods and How to Immediately Generate Savings from your Call Center

OpenMethods offers very compellingly, complete customer service solutions for customer support contact centers to meet and exceed their goals. They work with leading brands including Kohl's, Academy Sports, and even the IRS. Their goal with their smarter service solutions is quite simple: enable a true omnichannel customer experience so service reps can offer the best service possible. I sat down with CEO Gerrit Lydecker, during the 2018 Modern Customer Experience event to discuss his solutions in more detail: 1.    What makes your technology so powerful and unique? Gerrit: Nobody wants to buy point solutions anymore. They’re looking for omnichannel selling and servicing, and they want the latest technology in chat, virtual assistants, and AI. It doesn’t matter the phone system they use; if you have Oracle Service Cloud and Contact Center, we provide the CTI (computer telephony integration) and media bar to connect these phone systems and your CRM. The result is complete customer service solution that bolsters your investment in Service Cloud Contact Center as your CRM rather than bolting on other point offers from telephone companies. 2.    That’s great, so what are some of the results you’ve seen? Gerrit: In short, we help make call centers more efficient. We are especially proud of the average handle time savings we help businesses achieve. Depending on the business, reducing handle time can translate into significant savings. For one company we did 62 seconds of average handle time reduction. We were told for this business, every 10 seconds of handle time reduction equated to a 50-headcount reduction. So, these are unprecedented numbers. In fact, we've never deployed and got less than 30 seconds of average handle time savings. These are the hard cost-saving numbers, the real measure and value of integrating systems and data and getting the most out of Oracle Service Cloud with OpenMethods. 3.    That is very compelling. What else do you want people to know about OpenMethods? Gerrit: With the savings we help businesses generate alongside Oracle Service Cloud, sometimes we can offset the cost of licensing Service Cloud completely. So, this is a fantastic win-win for the business across the board. They solve their challenges of delivering omnichannel experiences and meet their cost-saving goals. And then they get to leverage the most advanced customer service technology with Oracle Service Cloud and take advantage of future enhancements and emerging tech. The Bottom Line Most businesses accept that labor is the highest of their total call center costs. The implications of deploying modern, smarter service technology are that you can drive improvements overall in customer service and arrest labor costs. This is important too when you consider that overall call center volume is not decreasing across the board even though other emerging digital support and self-support models are increasing. For businesses going through these continuous customer service transformations, it may be even more critical to have reps focused on leveraging innovative technology such as AI. It’s also more reason to consider OpenMethods. To learn more about OpenMethods, visit their website. Gerrit Lydecker also administers the Service Cloud user group on LinkedIn which currently has over 5,000 users. To get more information from him as well as learn best practices, please join the group. Watch a Product Demo Below Do you have an innovative app that can improve Customer Experience?  Join the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, today. Tell us about your product here.

OpenMethods offers very compellingly, complete customer service solutions for customer support contact centers to meet and exceed their goals. They work with leading brands including Kohl's, Academy...

CX News & Events

Oracle's Modern CX Conference Provides Plenty of Lessons - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Missed #FieldServiceUSA? No worries, learn ways to empower #fieldservice agents & exceed #custexpectations from our free #ebook http://ora.cl/Ia5gL Click to Tweet .@OracleLoyalty Cloud delivers highly personalized experiences to improve #custloyalty, advocacy, and value: http://ow.ly/ISnf30jsmFU @katrina_gosek  Click to Tweet #CX can be a powerful #marketing tool, helping to drive growth & bolster #customerloyalty, but #brands should embrace #digitaltransformation to gain these benefits http://ora.cl/Xq587 Click to Tweet Read how @Costco uses tools within @OracleServCloud to meet business needs http://bit.ly/2FvyNC8 #CX Click to Tweet What are the hottest #retail technologies and trends making an impact this year? Details here: http://ora.cl/OA7Zn Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: La-Z-Boy’s Sweepstakes Contest Generates A 10.14% Conversion Rate – April Berthene, Internet Retailer, 4.16.18 Oracle customer La-Z-Boy highlighted the success of their recent Design Dash campaign in driving customer leads during Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018. Oracle Enhances Service Cloud – Beth Schultz, No Jitter, 4.16.18 Oracle’s latest CX Cloud Suite enhancements include updates to its Service Cloud, such as virtual assistants and video chat to help agents improve the customer experience. Oracle's Modern Customer Conference Provides Plenty Of Lessons – Shep Hyken, Forbes.com, 4.15.18 Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018 featured CX lessons from Oracle’s Des Cahill and Shashi Seth as well as Comcast’s Charlie Herrin on the evolution of CX. Oracle Modern CX Recap: Experts Share How Data & Digital Transformation Are Table Stakes For Legendary Customer Experiences – Brian Anderson, Demand Gen Report, 4.13.18 Industry experts at Modern Customer Experience 2018 stressed the need for businesses to position themselves with a strong data foundation to support digital transformation. 5 Ways AI Can Do The Heavy Lifting In The Retail Customer Experience – Katrina Gosek, Retail Customer Experience, 4.13.18 Oracle’s Katrina Gosek highlights the need for retailers to keep up with customer expectations through voice and visual search, big data, AI mobile strategies and more.   Industry News: Voice Agents And Interfaces Will Require Many New Marketing Strategies – Barry Levine, MarTech Today, 4.18.18 As with every new marketing delivery system, voice-controlled intelligent agents and interfaces will require new media and marketing strategies. Physical Retail Isn’t Dead: It’s Working With Tech To Be More Human-Focused – Warwick Heathwood, Adweek, 4.18.18 Collaboration between humans and technology is imperative to the success of physical retail, as technology on its own is not able to replicate the same customer experiences. 5 Ways Augmented and Virtual Reality Are Infiltrating the Enterprise – Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 4.18.18 AR and VR are infiltrating the areas of education, engineering and design modeling, and real-time information overlay within enterprises. Successful Retailers Make Customers ‘Fall In Love’ With Stores – Barbara Darrow, CIO, 4.17.18 Physical retail stores are evolving, using cutting-edge technology to create unique personal and social in-store customer experiences.   Innovation: Companies are migrating to the cloud for the IoT - Nicholas Shields, Businessinsider,  4.19.18 There will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 9 billion in 2017, nearly $15 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2017 and 2025. Are Millennials Excited Or Threatened By AI? - Andrew Arnold, Forbes, 4.18.18 In fact, 81% of millennials worry about their work duties being fully or partially taken over by AI technology, another concern is the way that AI collects, stores and uses data.   Field Service: Upcoming Tech Explosion Forces Industries to Go Big or Go Home - Ankush Tiwari, Iotjournal, 4.18.18 The IoT and AR can help field-service executives in many ways -through the use of wearables such as smart glasses, technicians can work hands-free and even work remotely with back-office experts. Virtual Reality Creates New Reality for Field Service in the Supply Chain  - Manuel Grenacher, Ebnonline, 4.19.18 A handful of VR technologies are radically changing how field service is being delivered. Supply chain organizations would be wise to evaluate these emerging VR technologies – as they have the potential to significantly streamline their work in the field, which leads to more satisfied customers.      Customer Service: 10 Highly Effective Ways To Transform Your Customer Service And Customer Experience - Micah Solomon, Forbes, 4.18.18 Micah Solomon brings 10 truly transformational steps that he often suggests to his clients (as a customer service consultant), that can make deep and lasting change for your company or organization.  

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Missed #FieldServiceUSA? No worries, learn ways to empower #fieldservice agents & exceed...

Customer Experience Strategy

5 Steps to GDPR Compliance - It’s Not Too Late to Prepare

Mark de Groot, Marketing Director, EMEA CX, Marketing Apps & CRM, Oracle GDPR is just around the corner, but it’s not too late to take control of your data and prepare your organization. Here are five simple steps that can help you get on the path to continuous compliance. Step 1: Don’t panic! With the deadline for GDPR closing in, it might be tempting to implement as many data protection measures as quickly as possible. While this sense of urgency is warranted, a measured and strategic approach is better. Companies first need to understand GDPR, how it applies to them, and exactly what their obligations are. This will give them a clear view of the data management and protection measures they need to address their compliance needs. Step 2: Centralize your data To better monitor their data, organizations first need to make relevant information easily accessible to all the right internal people. Years of growth and diversification may have left disjointed systems and processes, making it difficult for individual teams to understand how their data fits with data from across the organization. This makes customer information almost impossible to track in a cohesive way, which is why it’s crucial to centralize data and make sure it’s constantly updated. Step 3: Build data transparency into your organization The next step for organizations is to facilitate the exchange of information among teams. They draw on more customer data from more touch-points than ever today to help personalize products or services. But, this also means the information they collect is thinly spread across the organization.  To gain a more accurate view of their data, organizations need to integrate their systems and processes so every team has access to the data they need. Step 4: Choose consistency and simplicity over breadth With businesses collecting such large volumes of data at such a rapid rate, complexity quickly becomes the enemy of governance. Rather than opting for a breadth of technologies to manage this information, they may want to consider using a single system that extends across the organization and makes data management simple. Cloud-based applications are well suited to this end because they allow businesses to centralize both data and data-driven processes, making it easier to track where and how information is being used at all times.  Step 5: Put data protection front-of-mind for all employees New technologies can only go so far in making an organization GDPR compliant. As ever, change comes down to employees, culture and processes. Data protection must be baked into the organization’s DNA, from decisions made in the boardroom down to the way service teams interact with customers.   Much of the focus around GDPR has been on the costs that organizations will incur if their data ends up in the wrong hands.  However, it’s worth remembering that above all else, the law requires them to show they have the people, processes and technologies in place to protect their information. By following these simple steps organizations can put themselves in a better position to take control of their data.   Click here for more information on how Oracle security solutions can help support your response to GDPR.  

Mark de Groot, Marketing Director, EMEA CX, Marketing Apps & CRM, Oracle GDPR is just around the corner, but it’s not too late to take control of your data and prepare your organization. Here are...

Customer Experience Strategy

Telcos are Fixing Customer Experience While Their Customers Continue to Diversify

Andy Hicks, Research Director, EMEA Telco 2025, IDC In the research we've been doing on customer experience in telcos (including the materials we have produced for Oracle), we keep running up against a central fact: there's no such thing as "the customer." Rather, increasingly there are many types of customers, each with its own set of needs and expectations. As with many things with telcos, customer experience has historically focused on consumers. They are a big market, and until relatively recently, consumers didn't have anywhere else to go. But over-the-top providers quickly started to usurp the primary customer relationship from the telcos by providing more innovative services more cheaply. To win them back, communications SPs are improving service quality and slashing service time to market, but are also pouring money and energy into the soft side of customer experience by training customer-facing personnel, redesigning customer journeys (or, more often, consciously designing them for the first time), and implementing a better view of the customer's experience by integrating systems and improving analytics. It's understandable that the consumer market was the primary focus for so long: consumers still make up the bulk of customer relationships, and historically consumed the same handful of services. But as telcos focus more on the enterprise market as a source of higher-margin services and better competitive position against over-the-top players, they are realizing that they must design experiences for many more roles and services than they're used to. Enterprise experiences must be designed for employees in different departments, line managers, service procurement administrators, and increasingly for the enterprise's own customers in a B2B2X relationship. Moreover, all those customers expect an experience that matches the best they receive in their own lives as consumers. The reverse is true as well: in their personal lives, whenever they manage a family plan or administer their smart home remotely, consumers are performing functions that resemble enterprise functions, and that the telcos can design based on their experience with enterprise best practices. Then there's the small and medium business segment. Telcos have struggled with this area for years: taken as a whole, it's a large market, but each individual account is so low margin that it is hard to serve it efficiently. New technology may finally be the key to cracking the SMB market: automation will help telcos provide services more efficiently, and artificial intelligence will help them serve SMBs with a full set of features and capabilities without involving the contact center. And there's another new class of customers: in a sense, the Internet of Things is making all those "things" your customers as well. Of course, they won't be calling your care representatives, but they will still be interacting with your ICT infrastructure, will still be subject to SLAs, and will require segmented experiences. Your CRM systems, therefore, will increasingly have to interface with OSS and other management systems in real time. And while you're managing devices, contracts, entitlements, and accounts, you will have to prove to the humans that you have given their things the proper experience. Serving all these customers requires a telco to have systems that can not only manage the complexity, but increasingly that will use AI to find new patterns in customer behavior, whether identifying customers that are about to churn or identifying needs that can be addressed with a new feature or service. It is impossible to fully anticipate all future needs, so customer experience transformation will never truly end. Telcos should therefore create an environment that makes continuing transformation easier to achieve, supported by a truly digital, cloud-native platform. Handled well, this can enable customer experience winners to extend beyond their communications business and become heavyweight players in the broader digital marketplace. About Andy Hicks Andy Hicks is a research director in IDC's EMEA Telecommunications group. He oversees research on the services and information technology consumed by communications service providers in the region, as well as their portfolio strategies and operational models.  He increasingly writes on Digital Transformation in the telco, examining how best to change technology to improve business results.  He has also written on mobility, emerging markets telecommunications, and enterprise services.  @AndyHicks and https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyhicks  

Andy Hicks, Research Director, EMEA Telco 2025, IDC In the research we've been doing on customer experience in telcos (including the materials we have produced for Oracle), we keep running up against a...

Customer Service

Prepare for the Future of Digital Field Service

Rachel Anderson, CX Content Strategist, Oracle The greatest minds in the field service industry will gather April 17-20 in Palm Springs to discuss how to build world-class service and support operations. Field Service USA is the premier event of the year for advancing all areas of service, so there’s sure to be discussions about the latest challenges facing service leaders, as well as the opportunities presented with cutting-edge technologies. Service is the new battleground for driving sales and capturing and retaining customers.  We look forward to sharing our recommendations about how to drive lower costs and latency out of the service function, increase revenue, and deliver new contextual insights through IOT and real-time predictive analytics. With Oracle Field Service Cloud you can: Predict when a job will start and how long it will take, with 98 percent accuracy. Leverage accurate predictions to keep customers informed and improve satisfaction. Drive higher productivity, greater efficiency and cost savings thanks to optimized job assignment and intelligent routing. To learn more ways to advance your field service operations, attend the breakout session “The Future of Digital Field Service” with Oracle Senior Director of Product Management, Jeffrey Wartgow, on Thursday, April 19 at 2:50pm. This session addresses how to use next-generation technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) to build a first-rate field service experience. Experience Oracle Field Service Cloud for yourself! Stop by our booth (#319) to talk shop with a product expert, see a live demo, enter to win a stainless steel tumbler, and if you’re feeling festive, swing by during the Wednesday, April 18 afternoon networking break (3:55pm - 4:40pm), and join us for a BuzzBar— an all-natural, alcohol infused frozen treat to beat the Palm Desert heat. We look forward to seeing you in Palm Springs!

Rachel Anderson, CX Content Strategist, Oracle The greatest minds in the field service industry will gather April 17-20 in Palm Springs to discuss how to build world-class service and support...

CX News & Events

Oracle CX Cloud Suite Brings Together the Most Comprehensive Selection of Apps - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #OracleCX Cloud Suite empowers #marketing, #commerce, #sales & #custservice to quickly and easily tap into the latest innovations http://ora.cl/Oh06Q Click to Tweet #Oracle honors the best of the best #CX heroes delivered by #marketing, #commerce, #sales and #customerservice heroes http://ora.cl/ia7T1 Click to Tweet Couldn't make it to #ModernCX? Watch #keynotes here: http://ora.cl/fG0gK #CX Click to Tweet #Oracle announced new products and solution enhancements at #ModernCX! Find details here: http://ora.cl/5j0EP Click to Tweet Discover the most powerful & scalable loyalty platform in the #cloud introduced by #Oracle http://ora.cl/pl78i Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Taking Customer Experience To The Next Level – Candace Cui, CMSWire, 4.11.18 This year’s Oracle Modern Customer Experience featured insights from Oracle’s Des Cahill, Comcast’s Charlie Herrin, and Casey Neistat around the evolving CX ecosystem. Oracle Modern Customer Experience Day 1: Oracle Boosts AI, Adds Other Marketing Enhancements To CX Cloud Suite – Phillip Britt, destinationCRM, 4.11.18 At Modern Customer Experience, Oracle introduced enhancements to its CX Cloud Suite to help companies meet customer expectations, a critical factor in customer retention. Oracle CX Cloud Adds AI tools For B2C, B2B Customers – Don Fluckinger, SearchCRM, 4.10.18 The latest enhancements to the Oracle CX Cloud Suite will help sales, marketing, and service professionals better serve both B2C and B2B customers. Oracle Rolls Out Loyalty Cloud, Other New CX Products – Stephanie Condon, ZDNet, 4.10.18 New updates to the Oracle CX Cloud Suite include the Loyalty Cloud service and new features in Oracle Marketing Cloud, such as Oracle Infinity and Oracle CX Audience. Fanatics Uses The Cloud To Create Customized Shopper Experiences – Deena M. Amato-McCoy, Chain Store Age, 4.9.18 Fanatics is leveraging the Oracle CX Cloud Suite to modernize its call centers, transform how it engages with its customers, and create a unified, omni-channel experience.   Industry News: 5 Strategies For Navigating VR In The Enterprise – Alison DeNisco Rayome, TechRepublic, 4.12.18 Enterprises looking to implement VR should pay attention to new use cases, plan for the long term, and be aware of the challenges and limitations of VR technology. 5 Customer Experience Trends To Watch – Dom Nicastro, CMSWire, 4.11.18 As the need for delivering strong customer experiences increases, enterprises should be aware of the impact of employee experiences, the voice of the customer, and more. 3 Ways Brands Are Taking Advantage Of In-Store Tech--And How It Might Save Retail – Larry Alton, Inc., 4.10.18 Physical retail stores are taking advantage of new in-store technologies, such as digital ads, interactive displays, and augmented reality, to combat the rise of online retail. Will The Growing Reports Of Data Breaches Impact Customer Loyalty? – Editorial Staff, Loyalty360, 4.10.18 As more companies experience data breaches, brands must adapt by demonstrating transparency and fortifying their data security in order to maintain customer loyalty. What Our AI Perceptions Today Say About Our Plans For The Future – Tom Paquin, Field Technologies Online, 4.9.18 The future of AI in service is bright, as many field service managers are beginning to see the ways in which automation and AI technology can fit into their existing workflows.   Innovation: 9 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Be Used To Bring IoT, Edge Computing To Life - Michael Novinson, Crn, 4.11.18 Some of the IT industry's leading AI experts addressed how artificial intelligence should be incorporated into conversations around the IoT. Take a look at how they are applying AR to their IoT and edge computing practices. IoTChain – All Set to Revolutionize the IoT Space in 2018 – Newsbtc, 4.9.18 With the aim to solve to the prevalent problems and challenges in the current IoT sphere, IoTChain is all set to disrupt the IoT space this year. Amazon Brings Machine Learning Smarts To Edge Computing Through AWS Greengrass – Janakiram MSV, Forbes, 4.8.18 Amazon has built a webcam called AWS DeepLens powered by AWS IoT, AWS Greengrass and AWS Lambda. Developers can train convolutional neural networks in the cloud and deploy the trained models on DeepLens to perform object detection in offline mode.   Customer Service: To Improve Customer Service Robots Enable Humans – Informationweek, 4.11.18 Machines and people will work in tandem to create a better CX than either could have accomplished alone. It is not robots vs. humans it is robots empowering humans. The Death And Rebirth Of Customer Service And The Future Of Retail - Trevor Sumner, Forbes, 4.12.18 Today we are headed for a robot-automated and impersonal shopping experience, which affects greatly the retail industry.  

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: #OracleCX Cloud Suite empowers #marketing, #commerce, #sales & #custservice to quickly and easily tap...

Customer Experience Technology

Supercharge Your CX with Oracle Self-Service Integration Cloud Service

By Vika Mlonchina, Product Marketing Manager, Oracle As Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud, outlined during his keynote at Modern Customer Experience 2018, everyone wants to spend less time focusing on how technologies are changing and spend more time actually using the technologies to drive better experiences. From marketing to sales to customer service, providing a great customer experience is a top priority across numerous lines of business (LOB). Users juggle more and more apps to manage their CX needs and the upkeep can be overwhelming. These users are increasingly looking to perform quick and simple self-service application integration without the need for IT involvement – a huge benefit for those who don’t have the time or resources to lean on a large IT department. One of the most exciting innovations in CX arrives just in time to address the glut of apps that need to be integrated in order to deliver a seamless CX. Oracle Self-Service Integration Cloud Service (SSI) provides the right tools for anyone who wants to connect apps across their business. For example, perhaps you are a Customer Support Representative trying to automate the deployment of survey links in order to use the results to provide a better customer experience. Or, you’re a Sales Manager who wants to feed event attendees, so you need to survey respondents into your CRM in order to better serve your specific audiences at future events. SSI has the tools to address all these needs and more. Oracle Self-Service Integration solves these business challenges by: Connecting productivity apps with enterprise apps.  Address the quick growth of social and productivity apps that need to be integrated with enterprise apps. Enabling Self-service Integration - Provide line of business (LOB) users the ability to self-serve/connect applications without coding to automate repetitive tasks. Recipe-based Integration - Make it easier to work faster and smarter with modern cloud apps with an easy to use interface, library of cloud application connectors, and ready to use recipes. SSI increases productivity by bringing together collaborative applications with traditional enterprise applications, and delivers faster integration and integration updates. There is no training required to use SSI.  Simply ‘activate’ ready-to-run recipes and customer-added events will automatically trigger the flow of integration. At the end of the day, the more seamless your experience is behind the scenes, the better it will be for your customers. To learn more, attend this webcast on April 18, 2018 at 10am PT/1pm ET to hear from Vikas Anand, Oracle Vice President of Product Management as he discusses: Integration trends such as self-service, blockchain, and artificial intelligence The solutions available in Oracle Self-Service Integration Cloud Service The journey to a frictionless enterprise Register here    

By Vika Mlonchina, Product Marketing Manager, Oracle As Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud, outlined during his keynote at Modern Customer Experience 2018, everyone wants to spend less time...

CX News & Events

News from Day 2 of Modern CX 2018: Oracle Empowers CX Professionals to Embrace Innovation

In his keynote at Modern Customer Experience 2018, Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud, outlined Oracle’s commitment to rapidly innovating its CX tools, products, support structure, and interactions. The goal? To allow Oracle CX customers to spend less time focusing on how technologies are changing and spend more time actually using the technology to drive unforgettable experiences. Part of this strategy relies on Oracle CX’s extensive ecosystem of partners, harnessing hundreds of trusted business apps for sales, service, marketing, and commerce into one Oracle Marketplace. Built on an open framework that connects data, apps and media, Oracle enables CX professionals to take advantage of innovative technologies to seamlessly extend Oracle CX Cloud Suite applications. With thousands of choices at their fingertips, Oracle customers can implement emerging technologies–from augmented and virtual reality to the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence–to keep up with skyrocketing customer expectations and deliver a smarter CX. Learn more about Oracle’s CX Suite partners and their unique business offerings in today’s Modern Customer Experience announcement: Customer Experience Professionals Embrace Innovation with Oracle. Follow along with Modern Customer Experience 2018 as it unfolds this week in Chicago with the hashtag #ModernCX.  

In his keynote at Modern Customer Experience 2018, Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud, outlined Oracle’s commitment to rapidly innovating its CX tools, products, support structure, and...

CX News & Events

Oracle Announces New Products and Solution Enhancements at Modern Customer Experience 2018

As consumer expectations continue to outpace customer experiences, CX professionals are faced with the reality of trying to keep up. And while the challenges faced by marketing, commerce, customer service, and sales practitioners differ, Oracle is focused on removing the barriers that prevent organizations from creating legendary customer experiences. The latest innovations, announced today at Modern Customer Experience 2018, will help CX practitioners on their journey to delivering smarter CX. Announcing Oracle Infinity and CX Audience New data innovations across Oracle Marketing Cloud enable marketers to better pinpoint their audience and build deeper, more profitable customer relationships. By eliminating data silos and providing real-time behavioral insights, companies can craft personalized, contextual, and highly relevant customer experiences. Marketers can now capture and analyze data at scale just as quickly as customers can interact with their digital assets. Read more: New Oracle Marketing Cloud Analytics Blast through Data Silos and Enable Pinpoint Targeting Announcing Oracle Loyalty Cloud: When acquiring a new customer is seven times more expensive than keeping an existing one, Oracle Loyalty Cloud makes it easier for businesses to keep their best customers happy and influence new customer acquisition. The solution empowers organizations to engage and delight customers with personalized programs and spans every phase of the customer lifecycle while improving consumer loyalty, advocacy, and value. Read more: Oracle Makes it Easier for Brands to Keep their Best Customers Happy Oracle CX Cloud Updates: A series of new updates across the Oracle CX Cloud Suite will empower marketing, sales, commerce, and customer service professionals to craft smarter CX strategy and advance their careers. These innovations include new artificial artificial intelligence based applications, virtual assistants, and innovative search, voice, and video capabilities, to name a few. Read more: Oracle AI Powers Future of Customer Experience Management To get an inside look at Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience 2018 in Chicago, follow along with the hashtag #ModernCX  

As consumer expectations continue to outpace customer experiences, CX professionals are faced with the reality of trying to keep up. And while the challenges faced by marketing, commerce, customer...

CX News & Events

What an Impressive Lineup of Speakers Set to Take the Stage at Modern CX - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Learn about  @jaybaer journey to #tech entrepreneurship, and why he's excited for #Oracle #ModernCX: http://ora.cl/Ky7Zw via @MarTechSeries Click to Tweet Check out @MarTechSeries interview with #CX evangelist @DesCahill to discover why he's looking forward to #ModernCX: http://ora.cl/NH0Sa Click to Tweet Next week at #ModernCX @iSocialFanz will be taking over the @Oracle Instagram story. Tune in next Wednesday to see his live updates from all the action! http://ora.cl/8em57 Click to Tweet Impressive lineup of speakers set to take the stage at #ModernCX: @jaybaer, @descahill, @CherylStrayed, @CaseyNeistat & many more. You can still register:  http://ora.cl/Z7AX0 Click to Tweet Everything you need to know about #Oracle's #ModernCX event next week in Chicago: https://buff.ly/2EdWRoj #SmarterCX Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: Interview with Jay Baer, Founder, Convince & Convert – Rohan Jagan, MarTech Series, 4.4.18 Jay Baer of Convince & Convert discusses the evolution of B2B marketing and what draws him to this year’s Oracle Modern Customer Experience. Interview with Des Cahill, VP, Global Outbound Product Management, Oracle CX Cloud Suite – Rohan Jagan, MarTech Series, 4.3.18 Oracle’s Des Cahill shares his insights on Oracle’s approach to modern CX and the state of CX and B2B marketing as we head into Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018. Five9 President, Dan Burkland, to Present at Oracle Service Cloud Keynote During Oracle Modern CX - Businesswire, 4.2.18 Dan Burkland, Five9 President, will be presenting the Oracle Service Cloud keynote with a Five9 customer, Total Wine & More during the Oracle Modern Customer Experience conference April 10-12, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.   Industry News: 10 Killer Tips to Reach Gen Z – Patty Odell, Chief Marketer, 4.5.18 To capture the attention of Generation Z consumers, marketers must create a unique brand story, focus on authenticity, leverage new-age marketing tactics and more. Scaling Your Company to Always Serve Your Customers – Boyd Farrow, Entrepreneur, 4.5.18 According to a recent study, 54 percent of customers stop buying from companies due to poor service, yet founders of growing companies still tend to neglect their customers. Customer Experience Should Take On The 'Agility' Imperative – Paul Hagen, MediaPost, 4.5.18 As enterprises struggle with adaptability, customer experience professionals are key to driving agile, strategic initiatives in order to maintain pace with the changing market. The Next Generation of Ecommerce Management – Armando Roggio, Practical Ecommerce, 4.2.18 In order to organize and manage their ecommerce operations in 2018, organizations are emphasizing coding, customer service and the hiring of remote workers.   Innovation: Getting veteran sales force buy-in for AI CRM tools – Don Fluckinger, TechTarget, 4.3.18 To secure buy-in from their sales staff around AI CRM technologies, organizations must demonstrate traction around the use of these emerging sales technology solutions. Infographic: An Introduction to the Internet of Things – Roboticsbusinessreview, 4.2.18 The emerging industrial Internet of Things offers benefits across markets. Here’s a primer and some examples of what you need to know about IoT.

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: Learn about  @jaybaer journey to #tech entrepreneurship, and why he's excited for #Oracle #ModernCX: http...

CX News & Events

Get to Know: Duel and Increasing Conversion Rate through Customer Advocacy

    As many marketers and etailers know, we have moved beyond the traditional purchase funnel. Evidence of this includes the impact of customer advocacy and social proof on conversion rates as well as the likelihood of future purchases and customer lifetime value. Duel provides visual customer testimonials and social proof for commerce sites. The Duel Visual Testimonial platform enables ecommerce brands and retailers to create an emotional, trusted connection with their customers and enriches the customer experience—boosting conversions and driving high value traffic to sell more online. Using advanced automation and machine learning, Duel engages customers post-purchase and rewards them for creating visual testimonials which are then moderated, curated, and put to work at every stage of the online customer journey. Duel recently launched its Oracle Commerce Cloud (OCC) integration which is live in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace and enables OCC customers to automatically display Duel-created visual customer testimonial galleries for individual products without having to aggregate content from social media. Read on for our Q&A with Naio Tsarouchis, the Co-Founder and CTO of Duel. Learn how visual testimonials are different from ratings and reviews, and how you can grow your business through customer advocacy marketing. If you attend next week’s Oracle Modern Customer Experience, Duel’s CEO, Paul Archer, will be leading a session called “Advocacy Could Be 2018’s Biggest Trend—Embrace It” on how you can turn your most passionate customers into an army of advocates and content creators. Don’t miss it on Thursday, April 12, 11:10-11:30am, in CX Showcase Theater A (Marketing & Commerce). 1. What does Duel do and how does Duel help retailers increase conversion rate? Duel is a Customer Advocacy Marketing Platform that allows brands and retailers to turn their customers into their most valuable marketing and sales channel. It works by acquiring visual testimonials from happy customers once they’ve received a product or service, then uses them to increase conversion rates in ecommerce, drives traffic, and supercharges marketing and advertising. Customer advocacy and testimonials on product pages and in marketing (advertising, social etc.) provide social proof, add authenticity, and create emotional connections, which drives up conversion rates by 25% as well as boosts click-through rate and sales. 2. How is Duel different from other platforms that provide ratings and reviews and/or social testimonials? Duel’s unique approach and automation technology means it’s the only platform that truly scales customer advocacy, collecting testimonials across tens of thousands of products and millions of customers. It then connects those to every product SKU across the enterprise marketing stack. This results in more than 10x the engagement achieved through conventional hashtag scrapers and social-focused user generated content tools.  It also unlocks the bonus of shoppable referrals from your most passionate customers. Ratings and reviews are much more descriptive, focus on features and what the product does (e.g. how many batteries it needs). On the contrary, Duel’s visual testimonials are all about how the product and/or service makes a customer feel and why they love it, reinforcing the positive connection with the brand. 3. How does Duel leverage machine learning and AI to make the platform more effective? We use Machine Vision for automatic moderation and keyword tagging for every submitted visual customer testimonial. First, every piece of content gets scanned and analysed whether it is safe for work (with violent and explicit content being automatically banned by Duel). Then tags are added automatically to every image, including a product SKU for an easy but advanced search. Automatic moderation saves a mountain of time if you’ve have thousands of products in your store. Same goes for the keyword tagging—our automation enables retailers to repurpose visual customer testimonials from the growing database in a new campaign swiftly. 4. How can retailers use social proof to drive sales improvements through all channels, not just online? By linking and displaying visual customer testimonials for every product in a physical store. Since Duel automatically links all customer content to a specific product SKU, it can then automatically be displayed in galleries on digital signage and screens next to products, or used in printed merchandising. 5. Ratings and reviews increase conversion and are trusted by customers because they're seen as impartial. In fact, some studies show that products with both low and high ratings are trusted more than ones with only 5 stars. Do you recommend retailers use both visual testimonials as well as ratings and reviews? Does this differ by market? Yes.  Ratings and reviews are very descriptive and provide more factual information in the same clinical style of typical shop sites and are still a vital part of the ecommerce experience. On the other hand, customer advocacy, such as visual testimonials, create an emotional connection with the brand and enrich the customer journey as a whole. Conceptually, the difference is subtle but in practice, it’s very clear. It’s always helpful to have unbiased reviews for a product or a service, but it’s also just as vital to see how a product looks and makes customers feel. A visual representation of a happy customer is far more authentic and real than a text review, which are often easily faked and hence, less trusted. In India, as one example, consumers don’t actually trust written reviews (56%) or product ratings (65%) due to a flood of disinformation and tampering of feedback by websites and sellers.  In this case, visual testimonials will be a powerful tool for Indian retailers as convincingly faking photos of multiple happy customers becomes more difficult. 6. What do you see as the biggest challenges for retailers today and how does Duel help retailers solve those? Online, brands and retailers are now competing in a perfect, uniform and commodified monster of a market where the only differentiator is price, and Amazon is eating their lunch, dinner and breakfast!   The prime challenge is differentiation with online shops. They almost all have the same indistinguishable, clinical look, providing only basic information and generic professional pictures. This results in low conversion rates - a race to the bottom of similar offerings where only price (and Amazon’s ultra fast delivery) decides. Further, it’s almost impossible to be discovered in a world in which consumers are bombarded by glossy brand broadcasts and tormented by programmatic advertising -- seeing trust in marketing at an all-time low and CPAs soaring. Duel is delivering the power of customer advocacy - automated and at scale - across thousands of products, all customers, and in every relevant touch point. To solve all that, Duel drives traffic through friend’s endorsements and authentic customer-powered advertisements, boosting conversion rates through rich and credible advocate galleries at point of sale, and turning one time shoppers into loyal and advocating customers. 7. What’s next for Duel? Do you have any new cool features, products, or major initiatives that you can share? The most exciting release will be the new version of our extension that makes the set-up for clients entirely turnkey! This will be specially made for Oracle Commerce Cloud and Responsys and is going to automate the entire process of the catalog connection and the distribution of the galleries on each product page. In essence, every customer will be contacted after each purchase to be converted into an advocate. Then, every product page will display sku-specific advocate content as it’s gathered and approved, automatically boosting your sales at the flip of a switch! Also, we recently relaunched our dashboard to suit the requirements of enterprise retailers. We also improved the way we scan every piece of content and also optimized the search function so it’s easier to search by sku/product, user and tag. Check out more about Duel here in our Marketplace, and don’t forget to attend Duel’s session at Oracle Modern Customer Experiencein Chicago next week. Duel’s CEO, Paul Archer, will be leading a session called “Advocacy Could Be 2018’s Biggest Trend—Embrace It” on how you can turn your most passionate customers into an army of advocates and content creators. Don’t miss it on Thursday, April 12, 11:10-11:30am, in CX Showcase Theater A (Marketing & Commerce).    

    As many marketers and etailers know, we have moved beyond the traditional purchase funnel. Evidence of this includes the impact of customer advocacy and social proof on conversion rates as well as...

CX News & Events

Brands Need to Embrace AI to Remain Relevant With Ever-Changing Consumers - and Other News

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: You still have time! Get $600 off the onsite price of #ModernCX with code “NoFooling” now through April 8th. Register today: http://ora.cl/Z7AX0 Click to Tweet #Oracle is featured as a leader in #web support category http://ora.cl/xR07O #CRM via @destinationCRM Click to Tweet #Oracle built a product offering that can help better understand customers through robust data collection. Find some interesting updates by @katrina_gosek: http://ora.cl/m0N1w #CX Click to Tweet Find out some ways to empower your #ecommerce team to deliver smarter #CX https://buff.ly/2FMNVvZ #SmarterCX Click to Tweet Ready for #ModernCX? Tune in to the #Oracle Instagram for the @iSocialFanz story takeover on April 11th. @SmarterCX http://ora.cl/OG1P4 Click to Tweet   Oracle Customer Experience Cloud Suite News: 3 Trends That Emerged From Shoptalk and What They Mean for the Retail Industry – Ann-Marie Alcántara, Adweek, 3.23.18 Smarter brands are realizing the importance of “micro-moment” consumer interactions powered by new and emerging technologies, says Oracle’s Katrina Gosek.   Industry News: Brands Need to Embrace AI to Remain Relevant With Ever-Changing Consumers – Ben Lamm, Adweek, 3.29.18 By embracing AI, companies are able to explore new channels and initiatives and test at scale without jeopardizing the entire business or current successful strategies. Are PWAs the Future of Mobile Commerce? – Armando Roggio, Practical Ecommerce, 3.29.18 Progressive web apps are the next phase in mobile web optimization, providing customers with more convenience, native app experiences, and faster connections. Have You Found Your Voice yet? Why Voice Branding is Crucial for CX Today – Sushman Biswas, MarTech Advisor, 3.28.18 Voice branding has become critical to the overall customer experience as voice and personality can now be used to create a competitive advantage for companies.   Field Service: FieldEZ Ranks No. 1 in Capterra's Top 20 Field Service Management Software - Prnewswire, 3.28.18 Gartner company that provides guidance to organizations globally in finding the right software ranked FieldEZ No. 1 in the list of Top 20 Most Affordable Field Service Management Software.   Customer Service: Growth in AI to be Led by Customer Service – Destinationcrm, 3.23.18 IDC expects automated customer service agents to be the largest use case for artificial intelligence and cognitive computing.   CRM Magazine Names 2018 Customer Service Leaders – Prweb, 3.28.18 The 15th annual CRM Service Awards honor the leading vendors across nine customer service technology segments, four client companies that have used those solutions to reap very impressive rewards, and six Rising Stars—both emerging and established vendors—that have left an indelible mark on the industry in the past year.   Customer service could start living up to its name – Editorial Staff, The Economist, 3.28.18 AI creates a more caring and personable customer experience through a variety of means, including the enhancement of agents’ knowledge, performance, and speed.  

Enjoy our weekly round-up of top news stories across the CX landscape.   Oracle CX Social Content: You still have time! Get $600 off the onsite price of #ModernCX with code “NoFooling” now through April...

Customer Experience Strategy

GDPR is an Opportunity, Not a Chore

Roberto Negro, EMEA CX Solution Lead for Data Management and GDPR, Oracle When many people think of data-driven businesses, the temptation may be to think of major consumer-facing websites, online retailers or social media companies. But the reality is, organizations of all sizes, across all sectors are getting closer to their data in order to; improve and personalize the customer experience, help their employees work better, as well as transform whole industries and create new opportunities. For example, the UK’s NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) recently uncovered insights in its data that have helped it improve patient care and uncover nearly £600 million in savings. In India, a new crop of financial institutions have reimagined credit checks for the country’s unbanked population, assessing people for small business loans based on an analysis of their social media data. While the rise of data-driven business models and organizations has made life better for many people, it's also raised concerns about how our data is collected, used and managed. This is the major motivation behind the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which aims to raise the standard of data protection in modern businesses and provide consumers with greater transparency and control over how their personal details are used. New regulations can feel like a burden. But, organizations should see GDPR as an opportunity to put in place processes and protections that given them the ability to make the most of their data, and give consumers the confidence to keep sharing their data with the organization. To paraphrase TechUK’s Sue Daly, who joined a panel of data experts to discuss GDPR on the Oracle Business Podcast, we are moving to a world driven by connected devices, the Internet of Things, and new forms of artificial intelligence. To succeed with these technologies, businesses will need the public to trust their approach to managing data. Transparency can also be a valuable differentiator. Telefónica, one of Spain’s largest telecom operators, provides advertisers and content providers with anonymous audience insights so they can better tailor their content to individual users. In the interest of transparency, the company publishes the customer data it sends to third parties, and gives people the option to opt out of sharing their personal details. Telefónica’s data-driven approach has yielded fruitful results. Despite currency pressures and a difficult market, the company posted a 23% rise in profits at the end of February 2018. The exchange is mutually beneficial, as it allows the operator to curate the right content for its own customers and provides them with a better user experience. Telefonica has now captured 40% of Spain’s lucrative digital media and advertising market. By comparison, most telcos only contribute to roughly 2% of the advertising value chain. This perfectly illustrates why businesses should not just wait for GDPR to arrive and do the minimum required in the name of compliance. With major changes come major opportunities, but only for organizations that are proactive and look beyond the short-term regulatory burden. Nina Monckton, Chief Insight Officer at the NHSBSA, who also joined the Oracle Business Podcast panel to discuss GDPR, said, “The trick is to help people see how their data helps your business improve their quality of life. For example, when you explain that their anonymized details can help researchers find cures to serious illnesses, the benefits become much more tangible.” By acting now, companies will guarantee their approach to data is compliant and gain the confidence to continue delighting customers with better, more personalized services. Read more about GDPR. GDPR is Coming.  Are you Ready? Understanding How Oracle CX Cloud Suite Can Help You Prepare for GDPR Overview for Oracle Commerce Cloud Customers - Preparing Your Commerce Cloud Sites for GDPR  

Roberto Negro, EMEA CX Solution Lead for Data Management and GDPR, Oracle When many people think of data-driven businesses, the temptation may be to think of major consumer-facing websites, online...

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