Thursday Aug 27, 2015

Latest Oracle Field Service Cloud Release: Improving the User Experience to Enhance Service

Delivering an exceptional customer experience is critical to the success of any organization. For organizations sending field service resources to customers' homes and businesses to deliver products or perform services, empowering those resources can help ensure a better experience for the end customer. Oracle Field Service Cloud's latest release includes product enhancements that help organizations empower their field resources and enhance their experience in using the solution. 

[Read More]

Tuesday Aug 25, 2015

Five Lessons Learned at CRM Evolution

Check out what Meg Bear, group vice president, Oracle Social Cloud experienced last week while attending the 2015 CRM Evolution conference in New York.  Read more here about how the customer experience, engagement, and service conversations are evolving as well as how customer service is becoming the new marketing!

Monday Aug 17, 2015

Latest Oracle Release Helps Brands Power Positive Social Service Experiences by Stephen Fioretti

Today more than one in three customers prefer to contact brands through social channels rather than by phone or email (Nielsen), and the distinction between social and traditional channels is eroding. To deliver the best possible customer experience across traditional and digital channels, customer care organizations need to provide a positive and unified experience where and when customers want, whether they are on Twitter, Facebook, peer to peer communities or other social networks. Through a connected and fluid customer experience across engagements, organizations can establish a competitive advantage!

Coming on the heels of Oracle’s recent Twitter-enriched social customer service solution announcement, the latest release of Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud continues to power that positive and differentiated customer experience.  The new functionality helps brands deliver competitive social service experiences, increase social engagement and gain valuable business insights along the way through:

New Community Self-Service Solution

  • A new approach to web self-service that brings community functionality directly into the core Oracle Service Cloud multi-channel web experience.
  • Customers no longer have to separately navigate self-service and community sites to find an answer; instead they can interact with formal knowledge (Knowledge Base) and customer knowledge (community answers) in a single experience.
  • Helps streamline the customer journey, enabling customers to quickly find answers, and driving efficiencies by reducing contact center requests.
  • Makes it easy for companies to launch and maintain a customer community as a native part of the web customer service solution.

Enhanced Social Service and Incident Routing

  • New workflow capabilities between Oracle Social Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud enable organizations to leverage the power of social insights and engagements.
  • Business users can now attach contextual attributes and notes from posts or incidents identified by Oracle Social Cloud directly to Oracle Service Cloud.
  • Helps improve service quality and efficiency by providing more customer information and context.
  • Enables business users to accurately route social posts to the best skilled agents by topic and improve resolution time as social posts are shared with the appropriate agents quickly.

Extended Social Listening and Analytics Capabilities to Private Data Sources

  • Enhanced connectivity between Oracle Social Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud has also extended social listening and analytics to enterprise private-data sources such as the new Community Self Service capability, survey data and chat and call logs.
  • Organizations can now listen and analyze unstructured data and gain insights with terms, themes, sentiment and customer metrics, and can view private and public data side by side in the Oracle Social Cloud Relationship Management dashboard.

Don’t just take our word regarding these exciting new social service developments.  According to Gartner, investment in Peer-to-Peer Communities drives support costs down and boosts profits. In fact, in a December 2014 Gartner research note, Nine CRM Projects to Do Right Now for Customer Service, “Gartner clients who are successful in this space are still seeing on average a 20% reduction in the creation of support tickets following the introduction of peer-to-peer communities,” wrote, Michael Maoz, Vice President, Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, “Clients are seeing other business benefits as well. By enabling community-based support, clients have been able to recognize new sales opportunities and increase existing customer satisfaction, resulting in increased revenue in several of these cases.”

For more information regarding Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud’s latest product announcement click here, check out this interesting VentureBeat article or visit us at CRM Evolution, August 17th-19th at the Marriott Marquis in New York City!

Thursday Aug 13, 2015

Leveraging field service management software to reclaim customer loyalty: Three tips for insurance providers

Insurance companies are increasing their technology spend to retain current customers and curb the cost of attracting new ones. Is staying with one insurance company for 30 years a thing of the past? Or is field service management software about to usher in a new golden age of customer loyalty?

Pay attention to online or television advertising long enough and you’ll likely see an ad for car insurance, urging you to switch providers to save hundreds of dollars. Regardless of the veracity of these claims (and what you may be giving up in coverage to attain the savings advertised), it’s clear that switching insurance companies is meant to be quick, relatively painless and…just something people do these days.

Insurance providers, however, would rather hold on to the customers they have than spend money to win new ones. And spend they do – it can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 to acquire a new customer, and there’s no guarantee how long that customer will stick around.

Insurance companies can go a long way toward building customer loyalty by providing fast, attentive and convenient service. The challenge is that insurance services are usually rendered when customers are already unhappy or even traumatized. Waiting on field adjusters, having to explain the situation multiple times and delayed settlement checks are all prime motivations for moving on to a new insurance provider. Therefore, focusing on the last mile of the customer experience – that all-important face-to-face meeting – is most likely to yield the biggest rewards to both the insured and the insurance provider.

Here are three ways field service management technology can impact the customer experience while alleviating some of insurance companies’ common challenges:

Strive for customer satisfaction – even when customers are unhappy
It’s an unavoidable fact: no one actually wants to actually use insurance. By the time a call is placed to file a claim, the insured has already suffered property damage or worse; now is not the time to fumble the ball. With field service management technology, you can offer shorter customer service windows and deliver on them consistently. Give your customers options during the claims process – for instance, whether they’d prefer a field adjuster visit them at home or work, or if they’d rather schedule an appointment at an approved repair shop – and focus on building lasting, loyal customer relationships through personalized engagements.

Realized efficiency and reduce time in process (TIP)
One of the primary concerns for insurance providers is the ability to reduce the time between the first notice of loss and claim resolution. Offering turnaround times of 24 hours or fewer is not unheard of, and some companies even strive to settle minor claims right at the scene of the loss. Maximizing field productivity is key to achieving these ambitious goals. By maintaining visibility over the field, insurance providers can make sure their adjusters are more responsive. In a slightly different scenario, providers could use field service management software to offer customers appointments at approved shops and repair depots – eliminating wait windows entirely and putting control directly in the hands of the end user.

Use technology to transform the claims process and provide a seamless experience for customers and employees
Imagine folding field service into the modern claims management process and bridging the gap between these critical systems to provide a seamless, end-to-end experience. Oracle Field Service Cloud gives both customers and insurance providers the modern technology to make this happen, from integration of disparate systems and protocols to self-service tools for the insured. A modern field service management solution can also set the stage for the next wave of new technology that will continue to transform the industry.

Friday Aug 07, 2015

Field Service Tech Talk: Integrating Field Operations Into Your Big Data Strategy

 

Oracle Service Cloud’s field service management solution, Oracle Field Service Cloud, works by collecting lots of data points to make accurate predictions. So naturally, we get a lot of questions that sound like “If I can collect all this data from the field to run my field operations, should I be thinking about a big data strategy, too?”

To help answer this question, I’m bringing in Jeffrey Wartgow – he’s a director of product management for Oracle Service Cloud, and an expert on the field service management market and how the shifting technology landscape is affecting it – including big data.

Christine Friscic (CF): Big data is getting a lot of attention these days. It feels very similar to when cloud became a hot topic – lots of people are talking about it, but there isn’t much practical advice or direction! What do people in the mobile workforce management world need to know?

Jeffrey Wartgow (JW): Field service is an important part of operations, and you should absolutely include field service data in your big data strategy. But that doesn’t mean you should have a “field service big data system.” In principle, big data is holistic, and so you need to have as much data coming into the system as possible, in real-time and from all areas of your business. So, think of the tenants of big data as the three Vs – volume, velocity and variety.

A true big data solution is a company-wide effort: it should blend field service data with sales data, asset data, customer data and any other data you are collecting, and then analyze that data as a whole to determine what the larger trends are that may be hiding in that data. The result: the trends you identify by looking at all collected data holistically will ultimately help you make more informed decisions that will benefit both the entire organization and individual functions.

CF: That clears up some misnomers about big data in general. As a next step, how should people who work with a field service team be thinking about their own big data contribution?

JW: Look at the logistics of how you are managing your field employees. Are you using a field service management solution to manage your field work? If so, that solution is likely collecting information about the way your employees perform work in the field – from how long it takes individual employees to complete certain types of jobs to their personal break habits.

Here’s one potential outcome from blending this data with data from other parts of the business, such as customer support: field service employees can act as field sales reps. When a field technician knows the customer’s past buying habits, and even buying habits in that customer’s geographical location, he can make a more accurate targeted upsell pitch and even schedule a delivery appointment on the spot.

CF: Okay, we know what kind of data to collect. But how should we collect this data?

JW: In today’s world, we are living with our smartphones as constant companions. If you’re out and take a quick look around, chances are that you will see more than one person with their smartphone in hand – checking email or Facebook, watching a video on YouTube, messaging with friends or playing a game. So, because big data is all about collecting a large amount of data, from various areas of the business, and collecting it in real-time, what better place to turn for data than the mobile device that essentially has become of you?!

Much in the same way we behave in our consumer lives, it’s safe to say that your employees have their devices attached at the hip. So, to ensure that you’re getting a good mix of data, and that you’re collecting it constantly, start using the mobile devices and solutions your employees are already using to collect data.

CF: All great practical advice! To close, what’s one thing that you wish you knew when you started dealing with the big data world?

JW: Big data is messy – you are not necessarily going to know all of the ways it should be used right off the bat, and you might not have a single idea for an application at all! It is a learning process. Just remember: collecting data across all areas of the business, including data from the field, and analyzing it as a whole is the only way you will be able to spot the macro trends that will have a real impact on your business – the relationships that you never thought of before.

 


Wednesday Aug 05, 2015

Join the Oracle Customer Experience Team at CRM Evolution 2015 by Chaundera Wolfe

It's that exciting time of year again, where we get to connect with like-minded customer experience enthusiasts at one of the industry’s leading events: CRM Evolution. With the New York City Theater District in the background, this event is a great opportunity to talk about the latest trends in customer experience, service, social, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and more. Innovative brands such as iRobot, The Golden State Warriors and thought leaders like Michael Krigsman, @mkrigsman (CXO Talk) and @Brian Vellmure (Value Creator) are able to come together and chat about the future customer experience landscape in a live and engaging format.

Please come by and visit the Oracle Customer Experience team at the New York Marriott Marquis August 17-19 during the CRM Evolution 2015 or Customer Service Experience conferences. We always appreciate the opportunity to talk about current customer engagement challenges as well as innovative solutions. And join our discussion Tuesday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. ET on how to “Accelerate Success with Modern Service” with Stephen Fioretti of Oracle Service Cloud.

If you are not going to be attending this year’s event, or you happen to miss a keynote speaker, don’t worry. The Oracle Social Cloud team is going to be sharing all the latest and greatest insights and speaker nuggets during the event from their Social Intelligence Center, and also across social channels like @OracleSocial, @OracleServCloud. Please do reach out with your favorite CRM Evolution moments, pressing questions, and just plain fun photos of yourself enjoying the conference. Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday Jul 29, 2015

The Connected Field Service Workforce: Past, Present and Future

Face-to-face customer interaction is the best opportunity to build loyalty, immediately address concerns, collect customer feedback and even upsell new services or products. And often, the only employee to ever engage with customers face-to-face at their homes or businesses is the resource sent to provide field services. Whether that person is performing equipment maintenance, delivering a product, or connecting a customer to a new service, it’s vital that field resources arrive at customer appointments with all the tools and information needed to complete jobs correctly the first time, every time. Only field resources that are truly “connected” have the tools to drive an exceptional level of customer engagement. So how can you achieve this level of connectivity within your field service operations? [Read More]

Wednesday Jul 22, 2015

5 Steps to Providing Exceptional Multilingual Customer Support

By Kaarina Kvaavik and Heather Shoemaker, founders, Language I/O

In today’s ever-expanding global world, it’s bad business for companies to not have some sort of multilingual customer support. Even those without a global presence will have interactions with non-native speakers. The inability to support these customers isn’t from a lack of trying, but from a lack of proper resources designated for multilingual customer support efforts.

Having the right tools can be a boon for a company’s global expansion strategy and for retaining current international customers. The importance of retention is reflected in a recent Adobe report that estimates, “for each 1% of shoppers who return for a subsequent visit, overall revenue will increase by approximately 10%.”[i]  Proof that as a global business it’s imperative to invest in ways of attracting and retaining customers.

Just how do you achieve your goals in multilingual customer support? In a recent blog post, Language I/O co-founder Heather Shoemaker detailed the five steps toward multilingual customer support. What are these critical items?

  1. Review your current CRM or Customer Experience (CX) platform, such as the Oracle Service Cloud, and make sure it can support your multilingual support needs.

  2. The Customer Support team should not let other departments dictate the company’s CRM or CX content translation solution. What works for one department in product translations may not work well in support translation.

  3. Hire an objective, third party linguistic reviewer for each supported language. It’s critical to have a human as part of your multilingual support as machine translation is not enough.

  4. Share a translated glossary of key terms across the company so that as new languages are added key terms can be instantly translated.

  5. Share translation memory across the company. This will allow for consistency and translation work only taking place on content that has been updated or changed.

The key in following these steps is to ensure that customer expectations are properly met and that continuity exists throughout the company in all supported languages. Of course, adjustments will need to be made for any lingual nuances that are difficult to translate, the reason why it’s important to have a third party linguistic reviewer on hand.

It’s important to keep in mind the end strategy here: exceptional multilingual customer support that exceeds customer expectations. 

To learn the importance of multilingual customer support and the impact it can have on your global efforts, join Oracle for an informative webinar on Wednesday, July 29th at 11AM ET (8AM PT, 1600 GMT). Hosted by Language I/O co-founder Kaarina Kvaavik, the webinar will feature a discussion with LinkedIn’s Josh Larson and iRobot’s Matt Cooper on how they utilize Language I/O’s LinguistNow product inside the Oracle Service Cloud environment to simplify processes, reduce costs, and support more markets. For more information and to register, click here.

Wednesday Jul 15, 2015

Field service, the Hollywood Way

On June 1, 1975, Hollywood broke with tradition when it released Jaws to audiences across the country. Traditionally, summer had been the dumping ground for perceived flops – buzz-worthy movies were reserved for cold-weather release on the grounds that people had better things to do on sunny days than go to the movies.

Now, “blockbuster season” is as ingrained in popular culture (and advertising cycles) as holiday shopping or back-to-school. Whether you’re partial to natural disasters, dinosaurs or a little animated magic, the film industry works hard to pack your summer end-to-end with movies you want to catch on the big screen.

Movie making is big business, but what can Hollywood teach us about the way business gets done? Earlier this year, financial reporter Adam Davidson wrote in The New York Times Magazine about the “Hollywood model” approach to business, in which a project is identified and a team assembled to work together for no longer than it takes to complete the project.  Our economy is shifting more and more toward this model, with Davidson adding that more of us can expect to “see our working lives structured around short-term, project-based teams rather than long-term, open-ended jobs.”

Certainly, the Hollywood model is more nimble than what we think of as the traditional model: capital is raised and workers are hired to fill jobs with no specific duration or endpoint. The former is more adaptable to market forces, both in terms of cost and for the workers themselves, because it’s more responsive. In the movie business, as Davidson points out, weekly box-office results provide new information about which skills are the most valuable. If last week’s hit movie relied heavily on computer animation, animators will find themselves in a stronger negotiating position than if a live-action romantic comedy topped the box office.

This all sounds a lot like modern field service management, which is also experiencing a shift from an old, reactive model to the current model of proactive and preventative service. A field force might consist of full-time employees as well as contractors who can respond when demand spikes. As with the Hollywood model, workers arrive at the assigned location, perform tasks and then move on to the next job. Feedback, in the form of customer satisfaction, dictates whether or not the provider will be called upon to provide the service again. And companies that provide the very best service will find themselves in the best position to cement their reputation as industry leaders.

For service organizations, taking advantage of this shift calls for a field service management strategy and the right tools to carry it out. Managing a field force with paper, pencil and phone simply isn’t powerful enough to meet the daily demands of the business and provide good service. This is where field service management technology steps in. Because the Hollywood model is subject to so much change, the technology has to adapt as quickly as the work evolves. 

Oracle Field Service Cloud meets the demands of the Hollywood model because it is self-learning, acquiring knowledge as more work is performed. The solution can make more intelligent assignments as it learns about the work habits of individual performers. Over time, the technology learns which combinations of activities and personnel yields the most success – and the best service.

In the Times article, the author’s assertion that “it is all but impossible to make a healthy profit in the United States by simply competing as the low-cost provider” of a product or service rings true. “Profits,” Davidson writes, “need to come from that extra something that only your company can give, something for which customers are willing to pay a premium.” Increasingly, this extra something is service, delivered reliably and efficiently.

As technology evolves, the way we request service will continue to collapse the time from ticket creation to incident resolution. If a remote cellular phone tower can signal that it needs service without human intervention, or an Amazon customer can press a button indicating they need more laundry detergent, it won’t be long before a cable box can flag itself for replacement or a thermostat can trigger an energy audit. The companies that emerge as leaders will be those that not only understand how this technology will impact their business, but are prepared to respond to requests instantaneously with the help of a sophisticated field service strategy.

Wednesday Jul 08, 2015

Transform Modern Customer Service Trends and Challenges into Opportunities by Stephen Fioretti

The Oracle Service Cloud team has been thinking a lot about what’s most relevant to the people we are serving. What are the day-to-day challenges folks on the front line helping customers solve their service issues are facing?  What are the trends that continue to impact how organizations deliver customer service? Below are a few shifts in the customer service landscape that are disrupting business as usual. These trends can’t be ignored by any global, modern customer service organization:

  • The usage of mobile devices continues to disrupt and drive changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors. Organizations should respond (if they haven’t already) and be ready for all things mobile.
  • Knowledge needs to be the foundation of all service channels and engagements. Modern customer service teams simply cannot be successful without a single knowledge base that underpins both self-service and assisted service channels. As customer preferences tilt toward web-based self-service (both Gartner and Forrester now state the web has surpassed voice as the most common customer support channel), easy access to knowledge and findability is becoming a key responsibility of customer service leaders.
  • Customer Service will increasingly include machines talking to machines (as opposed to humans talking to humans). Soon there will be 20 billion devices connected to the internet. A few years back the concept of leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) for Customer Service was still in its infancy. Today those initial barriers are gone and Service with IOT is ready for mainstream.
  • Customer Service will continue to extend from engagement centers to other functions in the enterprise. Organizations are increasingly accepting that service is a key component during the entire customer journey and part of this realization move is connecting the service function with functions (and systems, platforms, tools) in other parts of the organization. This way the journey from that first brand touch point all the way to the technician standing in your living room is supported by one consistent service platform.

These changing customer service dynamics offer a great starting point for organizations to begin discussions to better understand the current challenges. Also look at how to turn these modern service challenges into opportunities to deliver better service!

Stay tuned as we continue to explore these areas and for more insight, please check out the new Oracle Service Cloud video. It highlights relevant customer stories on the importance of delivering Service Anywhere, providing Knowledge Everywhere, and the importance of Intelligent Service.

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