Monday Feb 24, 2014

Oracle Service Cloud February 2014 Release – Streamlining Great Customer Service by JP Saunders

Time REALLY is money. You’re making money or losing it. Customers will either buy from you again, or they won’t. On average, seventy-one percent of consumers surveyed agree: "Valuing my time is the most important thing a company can do to provide me with good customer service."1 So for consumers and for businesses, the "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" question comes down to how much juice (value) you deliver from how much squeeze (effort). You will pay a high cost in terms of relationships, reputation, performance and profits on slow, fragmented and inconsistent customer service.

If your organization seeks to provide great customer experiences, making your service processes faster and simpler is a good place to focus your efforts. The February 2014 release of Oracle Service Cloud provides a variety of enhancements that will help you streamline your customer experiences. Here are just a few highlights from the release.

1. Understand and Route Based on Customer Needs FASTER

Oracle Virtual Assistant Cloud Service is an online concierge made up of a combination of products designed to take complexity out of the online experiences by using human-like conversational language capabilities that truly understand human speak and predict human intent. New interface extensions in the latest release enable Virtual Assistant to draw on customer profile and interaction history, providing a more personalized experience and a streamlined dialog since it asks for data only when it is needed. The latest release is also enhanced with feedback reporting to help you understand the performance of Virtual Assistant in the service process. With the ability to drill-down to specific comments in poorly rated interactions, you can identify weaknesses and take corrective action to improve them.

2. Handle Complex Self-Service and Agent-Assisted Resolutions SMOOTHLY

For organizations seeking to automate business policies, Policy Automation provides the ability to quickly transform complex customer interactions through personalized, consistent, and transparent advice across channels. In this latest release, Policy Automation further streamlines the customer interview process for both customers and agents with new calendar controls and tabular data entry. Customer Service Agents are now better equipped to handle customer interactions with support for sub-interviews that follow the natural flow of the customer interaction. Additionally, the information captured in the interview and the results can be saved back to the incident for historical tracking purposes. And, you can expand the reach of these dynamic customer interviews to more customers with support for more languages – Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Italian.

3. Deliver Timely Agent Assisted Responses CONSISTENTLY

In today’s world of anywhere, anytime service, customers often expect customer service agents to respond to customer issues on the spot. With Oracle Service Cloud’s Mobile Agent App, roaming customer support agents and managers can access their contact center information "on the go," increasing productivity and customer responsiveness. This latest release allows you to tailor your mobile application in order to streamline access to the information needed to resolve the customer issue. Full support for Custom Objects provides mobile access to important information that’s unique to your customer service processes. Mobile workspaces are enhanced with new controls, allowing you to embed analytics, integrate with external Websites, and display SmartSense controls in the workspaces. And, lastly, the Mobile Agent App allows agents to upload pictures from their iPhone camera and photo roll to objects that support attachments, further increasing the agents’ ability to troubleshoot and respond rapidly.

For more information on these high-value features, please watch the Oracle Service Cloud – February 2014 Release Overview video, or read the Oracle Service Cloud – February 2014 Capabilities and Benefits data sheet.

1 Source: Understand Communication Channel Needs To Craft Your Customer Service Strategy, Kate Leggett, Forrester Research Inc, March 11, 2013

Tuesday Feb 11, 2014

Four Ways to Increase Mobile Agent Productivity and Responsiveness by JP Saunders

Many customer support agents and managers spend time away from their desk supporting their customers. But, in today’s world of anytime, anywhere service, they still need to respond to customer issues on the spot. And, accessing the information they need to be responsive is often challenging due to lack of network connectivity or the clunky usability experience of accessing a desktop app on a mobile device. With Oracle Service Cloud’s Mobile Agent App, roaming customer support agents and managers can access their contact center “on the go” – increasing productivity and customer responsiveness!

Keep Informed

Service agents and managers are always connected and able to take action – whether it is on a customer issue or a contact center performance issue. They can manage service incidents, contacts, and tasks all from their mobile device. They can also view the customer’s survey history and access a list of unresolved incidents. A mobile dashboard with pie chart widgets, drill-in capabilities and filterable lists helps managers to monitor exceptions and stay on top of their contact center operations while away from their desks.

Access Knowledge

In addition to the increased ability to capture and respond rapidly while in the field, customer service agents and managers now also have access to answers from their mobile device, allowing them a way to use your knowledge base to solve customer problems both quickly and accurately.

Stay Connected Even When Offline

The Mobile Agent App’s offline cache not only allows access to information while offline, but also provides improved performance with nearly sub-second response time. Additionally, the ability to use profiles to customize lists and workspaces allows the Mobile Agent App to be tailored more specifically to your business processes and, thus, increases service agent productivity.

Delight Employees

Designed specifically for the iPad and now the iPhone, the Mobile Agent App leverages native Apple iOS native iPad capabilities and innovative usability patterns, easy navigation, and integrated apps, e.g. maps and FaceTime. This ease of use will delight employees. And, delighted employees help make delighted customers!

To view a demonstration, watch this video.  For more information on the latest enhancements for the Oracle RightNow Mobile Agent App, please watch the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service – November 2013 Release Overview or read the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service – November 2013 Capabilities and Benefits.

Thursday Feb 06, 2014

Now Available! Oracle Commerce Version 11 -- What's New?

It’s here! Oracle Commerce Version 11

Oracle Commerce Version 11 is an exciting release because we’ve taken what’s possible in customer experience and business tooling to the next level. Our customers are already delivering the most innovative omni-channel experiences today, but V11 enables them to push the boundaries of their omni-channel commerce vision and keep up with changing consumer and market demands like never before.

From the end-shopper’s perspective, V11 is all about delivering relevant, persistent commerce experiences wherever they are. From an internal operations perspective, V11 makes creating and scaling these experiences simpler. 

We’ve made strategic headway toward unifying commerce, content and experience, so that our customers can deliver great experiences regardless of whether shoppers are looking to buy, explore a brand, or discover products. We’ve made it simpler and faster for our customers to get live. And our flexible and battle-tested platform puts even more control in the hands of business teams and supports continuing innovation.

The Oracle Commerce V11 release continues four major themes, which are in direct response to challenges our customers have shared with us:

·       Synching Commerce, Content & Experience
·       Simplified Business Tools
·       Greater support for Omni-channel Commerce
·       Integrations

[Read More]

Monday Feb 03, 2014

4 Takeaways on Modern Customer Service from CloudWorld

Oracle held CloudWorld last week in San Francisco. While there were many ideas and themes being discussed in the Customer Service track, several stood out as key differentiators for any company interested in delighting customers.[Read More]

Wednesday Jan 22, 2014

Customer Experience is an ‘Outside In’ Job by Krassimira Iordanova

What Customers Want

As a consumer, customer experience is simple: you want to be served whenever you want, however you want (channels). You expect the company to know you and make relevant offers. If things go wrong, you expect quick fixes. You hate to repeat the same story you told the call center agent a week ago.

You also expect to be surprised in a positive way. Sometimes you really don't know what you want, but if they show you something cool, you might buy it.

For example, I remember browsing at Bungalow 8, a mind-blowing store for home furnishing in Mumbai. When I entered, they asked me "Ma'am, is there anything special you are looking for?" I said, "I'm not looking for anything in particular, but if you show me around, I might end up buying something I like." And I did.

Companies Have it ‘Inside Out’

As a company, you might have a tough time with all this customer experience stuff, because you're focused on process efficiency. Process efficiency is an ‘inside out’ view; customer experience is an ‘outside in’ view. To understand the difference, contrast most airlines’ boarding procedures (inside out) with Apple’s Genius bar (outside in). Which experience do you prefer?

A Change in Perspective

Customer Experience Journey Mapping helps you flip your perspective to ‘outside in’ so you can identify every moment of your customer’s experience, whether it is a specific interaction, or an entire relationship with your brand across touch points. As the Harvard Business Review says,

A company that manages complete journeys, would not only do its best with the individual transaction, but also seek to understand the broader reasons for… the call in the call center, address the root causes and create feedback loops to continuously improve interactions upstream and downstream..."

You can best visualize continuously improving interactions by diagramming your customer's journey across the buy and own lifecycle. This helps you see where you need to make changes. And if you deliver a great experience across this cycle, then it becomes an infinite loop where customers remain loyal because you deliver on your brand promise.

Take Action

Start cultivating an ‘outside in’ customer perspective of your organization by participating in a hands-on Journey Mapping Workshop. You will leave with practical insights you can apply right away.

Upcoming 2014 Journey Mapping Workshops:

Upcoming 2014 Journey Mapping Workshops in Europe:

Upcoming Journey Mapping Workshops in Asia-Pacific:

Find more information on journey mapping here.

Monday Jan 20, 2014

Pamper your customer's ‘Remembering Self’ by Krassimira Iordanova

A friend came back from a three-week vacation on the Maldives. Lucky guy!

"How was your vacation?" I asked.

"Great," he said. The place was just marvelous and the diving experience was phenomenal. However, the flight on the way back was horrendous. It ruined my whole vacation."

"Really?" I raised my eyebrow. "How could a nine-hour flight ruin three weeks of great vacation?"

My friend had chosen a selected piece of memory to drive how he felt about his entire experience.

To understand why, let’s look at the differences between the Experiencing self and the Remembering self, as outlined by Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics.

The Experiencing self and Remembering self 

The Experiencing self focuses on the present, which consists of a chain of moments. As Daniel Kahneman says,

"the psychological presence is set to three seconds long... so most of the experiences we have leave no trace and are completely ignored by the Remembering self. For the Remembering self, those chains of moments are lost forever, but what stays are the memories. And memories are defined by:

  • Changes
  • Significant moments
  • Endings.

 And endings are very important."

Why does this matter to Customer Experience? Because the Remembering self is the story-teller. It tells us what to keep from our experiences to create a story. That means if you have a business, you'd better address the Remembering self of your customers. Because you want to positively influence the story they will tell about you—on Facebook, Twitter, and to their friends. This matters because it will either create business value for your brand, or negatively impact it.

The Customer Experience

The customer experience is the combination of all interactions a customer has with your brand, from searching products on your website to calling a customer service agent to visiting a branch.

A customer might have a positive interaction visiting your website and chatting with an agent, but an error at checkout might cause the customer to report that "the whole experience was ruined". You might say, "Wait a second, the customer had a lot of positive experiences, only the last interaction was bad. It’s not a big deal." It is a BIG DEAL. It’s what the customer remembers—and endings matter!

That's why a consistent, positive cross-channel customer experience is one of the only sustainable advantages you have. A single bad experience can cause you to lose a customer, and all the potential customers they tell.

Key Takeaways

Experiences happen anytime, anywhere. Make sure the experiences you give customers are personalized, positive and consistent across channels.

Be there in the moments that matter most to delivering on your brand promise, and your customers will reward you with loyalty and advocacy.

Pamper your customer's Remembering self—surprise them, wow them! Last week, I received an email from Airbnb with proposed greetings cards for me to send to my hosts—all I had to do was select the design and hit send. Was I surprised? Yes! Was I wowed? Yes! Did I remember it? Yes! Did I tell my friends? Yes! My positive experience and willingness to share it with others created business value for Airbnb.

Design the story you want your customers to tell. Do that by mapping your customer’s journey with your brand, identifying all the interaction points that could leave a "memory" their Remembering self will say to themselves and others.

Start mapping your customer’s journey today by signing up for a complimentary journey mapping workshop near you.

Upcoming 2014 Journey Mapping Workshops:

 

Upcoming 2014 Journey Mapping Workshops in Europe:

Upcoming Journey Mapping Workshops in Asia-Pacific:

Friday Jan 17, 2014

Customer Experience Journey Mapping Workshops Provide Blueprint for Real-World CX Success by Robert Landon

As Steve Jobs famously said, "You've got to start with the customer experience and work back to the technology—not the other way around." In the same spirit, Oracle now offers workshops that drive a deep understanding of the complete customer journey.

The Customer Experience Journey Mapping Workshops follow a step-by-step methodology that transcends industries or individual businesses. Attendees get hands-on experience as they explore the methodology, and then can use this methodology to gain insight into the real-world journeys of their own customers.

The initial "learning" workshops last about 4 hours and have been a big hit with attendees. There is an opportunity after attending these workshops to get additional assistance to "try" this methodology through additional workshops designed to be more specific to your organizational needs.

"The workshop allowed us to identify solutions for current pains in key stages of the customer lifecycle—and propelled us to create innovative ideas for providing a differentiated customer experience," says Maricris Crisostomo, customer value chain manager at PLDT, the leading telecommunications provider in the Philippines.

From Moments to Journeys

The concept of journey mapping is simple: identify and diagram every moment across a customer experience, whether it is a specific, finite interaction—for example, a single type of online purchase—or an entire relationship with a brand across all touch points.

"At the end of the day, we are trying to cultivate empathy toward the customer, to walk a mile in their shoes," says Brian Curran, vice president of customer experience strategy and design, Oracle. "We help participants discover all the moments that matter, feel what the customer is feeling, and determine exactly what customers need both at a functional and emotional level—right in that moment."

Attendees leave the workshop with hands-on experience with a proven, repeatable methodology—one that works across products, types of interactions, and even industries. They can then share that methodology across their organization. Workshops can also result in practical insights that can drive more engaging customer experiences right away.

"We have noticed that the workshops can actually spark a virtuous cycle across an organization, getting sales, marketing, service and other functions to think of customers in a new way—to see the world through the customer’s eyes," says Curran.

Upcoming 2014 Journey Mapping Workshops:

 

Upcoming 2014 Journey Mapping Workshops in Europe:

Upcoming Journey Mapping Workshops in Asia-Pacific:

Stay tuned as registration opens for these events. Find more information on journey mapping here.

Thursday Jan 16, 2014

T-Commerce Has Joined the Omni-Channel Experience!

Television viewing is an emotional experience. As we watch our favorite shows, we laugh, we become enamored with our favorite characters, and we are sometimes moved to tears. If you are like me, you even scream at the TV during football games. On February 2, 2014, during Super Bowl XLVIII, you’ll also start to do something that was not possible until now - buy what you see advertised on one of those infamous Super Bowl ads. Shopping is also an emotional experience, so it is a shrewd move to combine these experiences. [Read More]

Thursday Jan 09, 2014

Master B2B Commerce in 2014 – Attend Oracle’s Annual B2B Commerce Summit

B2B commerce is on the rise, especially when it comes to the Web. Forrester Research predicts U.S. B2B e-commerce sales will hit $559 billion annually by the end of 2013—double B2C sales! Even with the tremendous growth of B2B e-commerce, it is hard to find resources that specifically address the unique challenges facing B2B companies.  B2B commerce professionals are in luck because Oracle has brought back our annual B2B Commerce Summit – February 13th, 2014 in Chicago![Read More]

Tuesday Jan 07, 2014

Online Commerce in The Middle East – Shopping Online – The Tipping Point Is Now?

Ajlan & Bros, a large Saudi Arabian distribution company specializing in the design, manufacture and supply of clothing across the Middle East has just announced a significant investment in online commerce.  Does this present a tipping point in the development of online commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?  Three years ago, there was very little attention outside the core early adopters.  As with many markets breaking into online commerce, those early adopters were electronics retailers catering to very tech-savvy consumers using simple open-source software or custom developments.  Is this move by Ajlan & Bros marking a turning point within the consumer base in the Middle East?[Read More]
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