Thursday Mar 19, 2015
Monday Mar 02, 2015
By Tuula Fai on Mar 02, 2015
In the last three years as a Customer Experience Strategist for Oracle, I've had the unique privilege of personally discussing Customer Experience (CX) strategies with over 100 different brands. These companies have ranged from global conglomerates to niche startups, in Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare, Entertainment, Consumer Goods (CG) and High Tech.
Fortunately, many of the executives I've met with truly appreciate customer experience as a point of strategic differentiation as a company-wide goal. The CEO of one international CG manufacturer told me, “eventually anyone can sell similar products – it’s how we sell those products that will keep us ahead.” The founder of a start-up fashion line in New York City made nearly the same comment when she explained customers, “purchase our experience – and get a nice product, too.”
However, while most savvy executives drive and define the customer experience strategy, they are too encumbered with traditional responsibilities to take the lead in developing and executing that strategy. To overcome this hurdle, industry leading companies invest in Customer Experience Leaders. They also make certain that the individual reports very near to the CEO, to break down internal barriers.
As more companies recognize the critical role of the
Customer Experience Leader, they will discover that the ideal CX candidate
possesses four key attributes:
- First, the Customer Experience Leader has high Emotional Intelligence (EI). With high self-awareness, EI allows the appointed individual to work delicately among tenured employees across multiple internal organizations, and with deep empathy. EI also keeps customer experience leaders concentrated on the real emotions of customers.
- Second, the Customer Experience Leader is Creative, as ingenuity and resourcefulness allow customer experience endeavors to be both unique and transformative.
- Third, the Customer Experience Leader is Analytical. Design thinking is critical in this capacity, but it must also be balanced with the ability to mine data, assess feasibility, evaluate ROI, and architect processes. Though not necessarily abundant, such right brain (creative) + left brain (analytical) leaders do exist, and selective companies will benefit from the unique combination.
- Finally, the Customer Experience Leader is Eclectic. The
broader the experience, the greater is the innovation potential. Industry experts are often prisoners of their
own perspectives, and many companies will find the best Customer Experience
Leaders come from outside their own company, frequently working in diverse
I challenge every company to align a commitment to CX with a dedicated Customer Experience Leader, one who possesses the traits and authority required for success. Our research indicates that 86% of customers are happy to pay 25% more for a better customer experience. A lucrative business benefit will follow–and justify–a proper investment in a qualified Customer Experience Leader.
Friday Feb 20, 2015
By Tuula Fai on Feb 20, 2015
Most people think Customer Experience is about marketing, or the activities associated with the last mile of the shopping journey. However this misses the bigger picture of many factors that support a successful customer experience.
A great example of a company doing it right is 7-Eleven. As shown in this video, 7-Eleven leverages a common foundation for what it calls the “digital guest experience,” as well as its merchandising and accounting systems. In this way, 7-Eleven serves its customers personalized and mobile in-store offers. Where it goes beyond is in applying purchasing and behavioral insights to its merchandising and assortment strategies.
Less forward-thinking retailers could take a lesson from 7-Eleven’s approach. Consider the case of specialty retailer Wet Seal. I have followed Wet Seal for a few years – the company has been very progressive in its use of in-store mobile and social shopper engagement.
So I was surprised by recent news that the company was closing two-thirds of its stores. Reportedly, Wet Seal struggled to keep pace with fashion trends (style and price) – and experienced reduced foot traffic in the malls where it invested. Given their progressive shopper engagement practices, and the data and insights these efforts generate, I would have thought Wet Seal was in a better position to foresee changes in its customers—and make different decisions regarding merchandise and assortments.
Wet Seal is not alone. Without an analytics-first approach to consumer engagement that encapsulates all facets of customer experience, retailers run the risk of focusing too heavily on the marketing aspect of the shopping journey.
For example, with deep analytics, Wet Seal would have noticed changes in customer behavior, such as greater price sensitivity, and merchandise indicators such as social chatter about preferences for competitor assortments. With such predictors of change in hand, Wet Seal could have altered pricing, promotion and assortments to stay ahead of customer preferences.
We should first accept that all shoppers are demonstrating connected behaviors, which make it essential and easy to understand what’s happening with them digitally. That’s certainly the case with 7-Eleven’s customers. Mobile and social channels can help shoppers navigate deals, alternatives and new customer experiences. Retailers can use this information to stay a step ahead.
In summary, retail customer experience should be based on an integrated view of the various business operations that support the customer’s experience. Marketing, store operations, online sales, merchandising, inventory, and service should operate off the same view of the customer providing agility and deep business intelligence.
CPG and Retail Industry Principal
Friday Feb 13, 2015
ICMI Webcast: Forbes Reveals How Financial and Retail Companies Modernize Customer Service by Cedric Turner
By Tuula Fai on Feb 13, 2015
Customers have lots of options.
If you don’t deliver the right answers fast,
they’ll go somewhere else.
That’s one of the reasons knowledge is the top customer service investment, according to a recent Forbes survey of 400+ executives. Financial services and retail companies use knowledge to provide fast, accurate answers across channels—and better train agents—while ensuring 100% regulatory compliance.
Senior Client Success Manager, Oracle
Joshua Dodge, Senior Client Success Manager at Oracle, helps companies modernize their customer service organizations to drive more efficiencies and deliver a better experience. He helps clients accelerate their progress by partnering with them to develop a clear roadmap for modern customer service. Prior to joining Oracle, Josh worked in a variety of customer service and project management leadership roles, including at Sony where he managed call center operations globally, both in-house and outsourced. Josh earned his Master’s certification in Project Management and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Principal Solutions Consultant, Oracle
Kris Friday, Principal Solutions Consultant at Oracle, works with global financial services organizations to help them grow client relationships through implementing customer experience and engagement tools. Currently, Kris is working with a number of Fortune 500 companies on developing knowledge management strategies for delivering highly personalized service at less cost. Prior to joining Oracle, Kris worked with contact centers in a variety of industries, advising them on technologies to enhance the customer experience and improve overall efficiency.
Community Specialist, ICMI
is the Community Specialist at ICMI. With a background in marketing, public relations, and social media, she brings more than six years of community management experience to ICMI. Erica manages ICMI’s robust network of community contributors – 500 strong! She also hosts ICMI’s weekly tweet chats that feature dynamic, interactive discussions with thought leaders and innovators in our community. Erica produces our webinars and many other content initiatives like Contact Center Insider, our weekly newsletter.
Wednesday Feb 11, 2015
Oracle Co-browse Recognized by Frost & Sullivan for Innovation and Product Leadership by Michelle Brusyo
By Tuula Fai on Feb 11, 2015
On January 14, 2015, Frost & Sullivan presented the Oracle Co-browse team with the 2014 North American Co-browsing Applications Product Leadership Award at an awards gala closing out the Innovate the Way You Innovate event in San Diego, CA.
Accepting the award on behalf of Oracle, Igor Khalatian remarked that 2014 was an exciting year for co-browse technology. LiveLOOK, the company he founded in 2008, was acquired by Oracle with co-browse becoming an important feature of the Oracle Service Cloud solution. The product itself was re-imagined, completely changing the way that businesses can provide live help to online and mobile customers. Oracle Co-browse was designed to be fast and easy-to-use, while addressing the privacy and security concerns of enterprise organizations and supporting the wide range of evolving use cases for screen sharing during a service interaction. The ability to securely co-browse any combination of web, mobile and desktop content is unique to Oracle Co-browse, as is its ability to handle any type of rich web media, including responsive design. This feature, called TrueView, is one of the main reasons Frost & Sullivan recognized Oracle as the leader in co-browsing technology.
It is exciting to receive this award from Frost & Sullivan, validating that Oracle’s Co-browse solution is meeting an important business need to provide efficient, personalized service to online and mobile customers.
If you’re looking for more information about how Oracle Co-browse compares to screen sharing and HTML-based co-browsing solutions, this outline goes through the differences in detail. Also check out the full report from Frost & Sullivan outlining the industry challenges that the Oracle Service Cloud addresses with its leading Co-browse solution here.
Scott Seebauer, Michelle Brusyo and Igor Khalatian of Oracle accept the Frost & Sullivan award for innovation in co-browse technology January 14, 2015.
Thursday Jan 29, 2015
By Tuula Fai on Jan 29, 2015
Consumer goods (CG) companies and retailers are asking how they can better engage with millennials to buy their brands and get them in the store. Given the attractiveness and size of the millennial market (80 million), Interbrand and Oracle recently conducted a study to understand millennials from a behavioral perspective.
The research findings determined that five segment breaks exist within the millennial generation, based upon the clustering of their various attitudes and behaviors, each representing a cluster or “tribe” that behaves similarly: 1. The Up & Comers, 2. The Mavens, 3. The Eclectics, 4. The Skeptics and 5. The Trendsetters.
This is just a glimpse into the subsets within the millennial generation. What quickly becomes clear is that targeting millenials as a whole is ineffective as they range from financially-dependent teens to married homeowners with kids. By considering these unique segments and determining which have the most potential for your brand, there’s an opportunity to build a deeper connection and deliver an experience that will appeal to the next generation of customers. Here are five themes and technologies that brands need to consider in order to win millennials:
- Drive consumer acquisition, activation and advocacy anywhere, anytime through encouraging cross-channel consumer engagement
- Provide a personalized, rich and consistent commerce experience across channels through cross-channel commerce
- Create consumer-focused category, assortment, pricing and demand plans through consumer-centric planning and optimization
- Develop rich insights on consumers through retail and consumer insights
- Acquire and manage a single and accurate view of the consumer through consumer data management and activation
Read Report now
Friday Dec 05, 2014
By Tuula Fai on Dec 05, 2014
As with any industry, there is a lot of lingo involved when talking about field service management. Don’t worry if you don’t know all of the terms: we’re here to help. Here is a glossary of the top ten words and phrases that are frequently used in field service management.
Field service management is the practice of organizing, scheduling, and routing mobile employees. This sort of management is critical to the success of businesses in a wide variety of industries and typically includes a dispatch or call center as well as a field workforce. Field service management is used by companies of all sizes, from smaller organizations with ten mobile employees to large companies with tens of thousands of staff providing services all across the globe every day.
2. Field Technician / Mobile Employee
A mobile employee, referred to as a technician in some industries, is a member of an organization’s mobile workforce. These staffers perform services in the field – at customers’ homes, places of business, or in isolated areas far from population centers. These services are wide-ranging, and can include:
- Service and repairs
- Safety and security
3. Mobile Workforce
The mobile workforce collectively refers to an organization’s mobile employees. Mobile workforce sizes and types vary greatly between industries and specific companies. For example, some businesses employ only their own field staff while others rely completely on subcontractors. Many rely on a hybrid model, comprised of both direct and third-party mobile employees. One common theme that impacts all mobile workforces is the need to effectively schedule appointments and plan routes so that customers receive the best service possible.
4. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing refers to a method of storing information on remote servers that are accessed through the Internet. When data is stored and processed in the cloud, it can be accessed by any authorized user who has an internet connection. This makes the information globally accessible. The opposite of cloud computing is storing data locally on a personal machine or an in-house server.
5. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a model of accessing software via the cloud. All of the data and capabilities of the software are stored in the cloud. Users access the programs and information through the Internet. Simply, SaaS is cloud-based software. It provides an alternative to storing information on individual machines or local servers.
6. Web-Based Application
A web-based application, or app, is accessed through the Internet. The opposite of a web-based application is a locally installed application: one that is downloaded onto a phone, tablet or other device. A good example of this is Gmail, which is Google’s email application. If you visit mail.google.com to access your email, you are using a web-based application. If you download the Gmail app to your iPhone via the iTunes store and then access your mail through the app, you are using a locally installed application.
HTML5 is a coding language used by developers when they create websites. HTML5 is the newest version of HTML, which is the primary programming language of the Internet. One of the most important elements of HTML5 is the connection it provides to the hardware, enabling access to the camera, GPS chip, storage and other functionality. Another significant feature is its ability to present multimedia content. This content can be successfully accessed and viewed by people who use different browsers and different devices to access the Internet. HTML5 helps preserve formatting and other important aspects on web pages – and helps provide the same experience to diverse users. Many modern web-based applications are built using HTML5.
8. Device Agnostic
Programs and applications are considered to be device agnostic when they function equally well across all devices. This includes iOS, Android, and Windows phones; different tablet brands; and desktop / laptop computers. Web-based applications that support HTML5’s rich feature set–which provide enterprise-level security–are also device agnostic. This is the fundamental foundation of a device agnostic application.
9. Predictive Capabilities
In software, predictive capabilities refer to the program’s ability to “learn” from data that is put into the system. Some field service management solutions, for example, are able to predict how long a job might take, based on factors like the how long each unique individual requires to perform a certain task and what inventory is available in each technician’s vehicle.
10. Context Aware
When a program is context aware, it means that it provides users with precisely the right information they need – right when they need it. For example, on an iPhone, when a user has the option to input a URL or an email address, the phone offers a ‘.com’ button. This button is available when a URL or email address is requested; it isn’t there when a URL or email address isn’t in use. This capability shows an awareness of context.
For more information, please visit our website.
Tuesday Oct 07, 2014
By Emily Creech-Oracle on Oct 07, 2014
Neil McFarlane, Managing Director of Chartered Insurance Brokers T H March, was one of four Oracle customers presenting in our annual customer-focused session at Oracle OpenWorld, Customer Voices: IT Strategies and the High-Growth Organization.
This session focused on thought leadership from executives at growing companies relating to how they are deploying technology solutions to adopt Modern Best Practice. Learn more about the tools Neil's company is implementing to deliver priceless customer experiences.
Tuesday Aug 26, 2014
Join Chuck LaDow, Kodak for Customer Service Best Practices Webcast Thursday, August 28 at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET
By Tuula Fai on Aug 26, 2014
Want to exchange best practices with fellow customer service professionals but just don't have the time?
Take 30 minutes this Thursday, August 28th at 11 am PT / 2 pm ET to listen to Chuck LaDow, Director, Global Customer Support, Eastman Kodak, share lessons learned from his 35 years of experience leading customer service organizations at Kodak, as well as Apple, Dell, HP and D&M Holdings.
Chuck was one of the first contact center executives to implement 24/7/365 customer support.
Register for the webcast.
Tuesday Aug 19, 2014
By Tuula Fai on Aug 19, 2014
"Mediocrity is the new horrible in customer service." — Blair McHaney, President/CEO, Gold's Gym
Almost everyone knows that customers' expectations have risen. But, after listening to two days of presentations at CRM Evolution, I think it’s more accurate to say that customers' expectations have skyrocketed. Fortunately, most companies have gotten the message and are taking their customer service to a higher level. For those who've been hesitant to 'boldly go where their customer service organization has not gone before,' take heart. I’ve got some statistics that will encourage you to take those first few steps.
Why should I change?
- By engaging customers online, ancestry.com achieved a 99.5% customer satisfaction score (CSAT) while improving retention and saving millions on greater efficiency, including a 38%-50% drop in inbound calls and emails.1
- By empowering employees to delight customers, Gold’s Gym achieved a 77.5% Net Promoter Score (NPS) and 22% customer churn rate. No small feat when you consider the industry averages are 40% NPS and 45% churn.2
- By adapting quickly to social media, brands like Verizon have benefited from social community members spending 2.5x-10x more than average customers.3
‘The fierce urgency of now’ is upon us in customer service. You can take your customer service to a higher level! To find out more, click here.
CRM Evolution Customer Service Experience Footnotes:
*Arvindh Balakrishnan, Vice President, CX and CRM Applications Business Group, Is Your Customer Service Modern?
*Blair McHaney, President/CEO, Gold's Gym, Wire Your Organization with Customer Feedback
*Becky Carroll, Associate Partner, Cloud Strategy and Solutions, IBM, The Power of Communities for Improving the Service Experience and Building Advocates
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