Friday Nov 30, 2012

Bargain Hunter Round Up – Kicking Off The E-Commerce Holiday Season

Everyone has a different way to tackle holiday shopping – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, some have it done months in advance, and others wait until the very last minute.   For me, I’m not big into massive crowds so online shopping to the rescue.   Others thrive on the energy of being in the stores on the busiest shopping day of the year.  With last weekend marking the official kick-off to the holiday season, I thought I’d provide a round up of what’s trending:  

Online numbers are looking up:
Thanksgiving Day – Why wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday:
  • Online shopping on Thanksgiving Day also increased, totaling $633 million in receipts, a 32 percent increase over Thanksgiving 2011
[Read More]

Wednesday Nov 28, 2012

Digital Darwinism: How Brands Can Survive The Rapid Evolution Of Society And Technology

Do you want to learn how to thrive in an era of connected consumerism and digital disruptions? Come attend this free webinar on December 13th at 10:00 am PST / 1:00 pm EST as Brian Solis, Altimeter Group analyst, shares his thoughts on how our changing society and technology shifts are impacting brands today.

Click here to register for this webcast, part of Oracle’s Social Business Thought Leaders Series.

Tuesday Nov 27, 2012

The Talent Behind Customer Experience

Earlier, I wrote about Powerful Data Lessons from the Presidential Election. A key component of the Obama team’s data analysis deserves its own discussion—the people.

Recruiters are probably scrambling to find out who those Obama data crunchers are and lure them into corporations. For the Obama team, these data scientists became a secret ingredient that the competition didn’t have. 

[Read More]

Monday Nov 26, 2012

11/28 Webinar: How Marketers Are Crafting Customer Experiences

According to recent studies by Sirius Decisions and the CEB, 70% of the consumer buying journey is complete before a salesperson becomes involved. Business customers complete 57% of their buying journey without a salesperson. So, what are savvy marketers doing to stay involved in the customer journey?

 Marketers are at the epicenter of turning "big data" into insights that are acted upon by the company and customers. Drawing upon social, transactional, and online behavioral insights, marketers are making customer interactions easier and more rewarding. Marketers are personalizing and innovating customer connections across new channels and devices, especially for interactions that span channels. Learn more about three key innovation strategies in an informative webcast sponsored by the Internet Marketing Association, University of California Irvine Extension, and Oracle on Wednesday, November 28, 11 am to 12 pm Pacific. Register today to learn from these thought leaders.

Wednesday Nov 21, 2012

Constituent Experience Counts In Public Sector

Businesses and government organizations are operating in an era of the empowered customer where service  and communication channels are challenged every day.  Consumers in the private sector have high expectations from purchasing gifts online, reading reviews on social sites, and expecting the companies they do business with to know and reward them.   In the Public Sector, constituents also expect government organizations to provide consistent and timely service across agencies and touch points.  Examples include requesting critical city services, applying for social assistance or reviewing insurance plans for a health insurance exchange. If an individual does not receive the services they need at the right time and place, it can create a dire situation – involving housing, food or healthcare assistance. Government organizations need to deliver a fast, reliable and personalized experience to constituents. Look at a few recent statistics from a Government focused survey:

  • How do you define good customer service? 70 % improved services, 48% shortest time to provide information, 44% shortest time to resolve complaints
  • What are ways/opportunities to improve customer service? 69% increased collaboration across agencies and 41% increased customer service channels
  • Are you using data collected to make informed decisions to improve customer service efforts? 39% data collection is limited, not used to improve decision making

Click here to see more survey highlights.  Source: Re-Imagining Customer Service in Government, 2012

Would you like to get started – read Eight Steps to great constituent experiences for government.

Tuesday Nov 20, 2012

11/28 Thought Leaders Webinar: Marketing Strategies for Great Customer Experiences

With the growing use of mobile and social, it's tempting to bolt on these new channels to existing processes. However, that piecemeal approach may not lead to satisfying customer experiences or solid returns on investments. Furthermore, the volume of information businesses have access to is growing exponentially. Is this leading to better business insight and customer experiences?

Join the Internet Marketing Association, The University of California at Irvine, and Oracle as we discuss marketing strategies that will help your customers have better experiences with your brand. You'll learn effective strategies for harnessing the power of "big data" to know more and understand your customers better, empowering customers and employees to make every interaction easy and rewarding, and adapting the customer experience to connect and engage effectively with each customer.

Our speakers are Melissa Boxer, Vice President of Product Strategy, Oracle Cloud and CX Applications, who is a conference keynote speaker on integrated social marketing and loyalty analytics, and Dean Abbott, CEO of Abbott Analytics, who is a thought leader in commercial predictive analytics.

This learning opportunity takes place on Wednesday, November 28, 11 am to 12 pm Pacific. Register today to learn from these thought leaders.

Friday Nov 16, 2012

Announcing Oracle Knowledge 8.5: Even Superheroes Need Upgrades

It’s no secret that we like Iron Man here at Oracle. We've certainly got stuff in common: one of the world’s largest technology companies and one of the world’s strongest technology-driven superheroes. If you've seen the recent Iron Man movies, you might have even noticed some of our servers sitting in Tony Stark’s lab. Heck, our CEO made a cameo appearance in one of the movies.

Yeah, we’re fans. Especially as Iron Man is a regular guy with some amazing technology – like us. But Like all great things even Superheroes need upgrades, whether it’s their suit, their car or their spacestation.

Oracle certainly has its share of advanced technology.  For example, Oracle acquired InQuira in 2011 after years of watching the company advance the science of Knowledge Management.  And it was some extremely super technology.  At that time, Forrester’s Kate Leggett wrote about it in ‘Standalone Knowledge Management Is Dead With Oracle's Announcement To Acquire InQuira’ saying ‘Knowledge, accessible via web self-service or agent UIs, is a critical customer service component for industries fielding repetitive questions about policies, procedures, products, and solutions.’  One short sentence that amounts to a very tall order. 

Since the acquisition our KM scientists have been hard at work in their labs. Today Oracle announced its first major knowledge management release since its acquisition of InQuira: Oracle Knowledge 8.5. We’ve put a massively-upgraded supersuit on our KM solution because we still have bad guys to fight. And we are very proud to say that we went way beyond our original plans.

So what, exactly, did we do in Oracle Knowledge 8.5? We did what any high-tech super-scientist would do. We made Oracle Knowledge smarter, stronger and faster.  This is a KM superhero worth cheering for.

[Read More]

Thursday Nov 15, 2012

Improved Customer Experience, but at what Cost?

We can all probably agree that improving your customers' experience is a good thing. But a key question many people are asking is will it help your organization and, in particular, what are the financial benefits?

That's a good question, especially when companies ARE experiencing phenomenal return on investment (ROI). Of course, there are many factors that impact ROI or other measures of success, but we'd like to share some success stories as examples of customer experience in action and delivering positive results. If you would like to learn more about the economics of customer experience, see Brian Curran's presentation at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit last month.

In this series of blog posts, we'll share actual customer stories. Today's example is Dell, which uses Oracle Real-Time Decisions (RTD) and Siebel CRM as part of their customer experience portfolio to better understand their customers' needs and wants and provide consistent interactions. Regular readers of this blog are probably familiar with Siebel, but RTD may be new to many of you. RTD is a complete decision management solution that delivers real-time decisions and recommendations and automatically renders decisions within a business process to create tailored messaging for every customer interaction.

What does that mean? In the video below, Dell describes how customer experience is important not just for one interaction channel, but across all "vehicles." RTD is helping Dell understand customer behavior and communicate with the customer in a more relevant manner, across all communication  or interaction channels including sales and service call centers, email marketing and online.

Dell continues to expand use of RTD because the benefits are showing up in sales, service and marketing results including 19% increase in close rates,
faster issue resolution and 40% improvement in revenue per click in email marketing. Video link

Click here, to learn more about Oracle Customer Experience and stay tuned for more customer spotlights.

Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

Create a Loyalty Program That Sticks - Thursday 30 Minute Webcast

Loyalty programs don't necessarily translate into loyal or profitable customers. What are market leaders doing to retain customers?

Webcast Alert: Live complimentary webcast, Creating a Holistic Loyalty Program That Sticks, on Thursday, 11/15 at 1:00-1:30 pm EST.

Southwest Airlines joins 1to1 Media to share insights on developing loyalty programs that are focused on customer needs and preferences. Hope to see you there! 

Monday Nov 12, 2012

P-Commerce – What The Heck Is That?

We’ve heard of e-commerce, m-commerce (Mobile Commerce), and f-commerce (Facebook Commerce) but what is p-commerce?  It’s not truly a customer touchpoint or channel but the emphasis on personalization of the buying experience.

Ask yourself how well do you know your customer?  Are you able to take what you know about them and apply it to their commerce activity with you and personalize the shopping experience?

Much of this is dictated by have a complete 360 degree view of your customer, collecting data from your website, sales interactions, historical commerce purchases, call center activity, how they got to your website, etc. and applying it to their current commerce interaction.  Customers expect to have a similar interaction on your website as they would in your brick-and-mortar store, displaying the products and services that they might be interested in purchasing.

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