Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Best Practices for Incorporating Live Chat into your Contact Center by Carol Volk and Tuula Fai

If you’re in Customer Service, chances are you’re heard the buzz about chat. Chat is the most popular service channel, chat usage has doubled in the past few years, and chat makes agents more productive because they can handle multiple chats at once versus one phone call. Sounds great but you think, If I start offering chat, won’t I be inundated with requests? My agents can barely keep up with our support inquiries as it is!

Put aside those fears by adopting chat best practices. Carol Volk, Oracle Senior Principal Product Manager, shows you how with four easy steps in her Next Generation Chat Webcast, which she co-presented with International Customer Management Institute.

The four steps are:

  • Choose Your Metrics—Choose metrics that align with your business goals for Operational Efficiency, Customer Retention, and Customer Acquisition. Keep your goals balanced as an Efficiency goal like reducing Average Handle Time (AHT) may work against a Retention goal like Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).
  • Plan Placement—Place Proactive Chat and Click-to-Chat on pages that align with your business goals. For example, you can place chat on your support homepage for Operational Efficiency, on your page headers and footers for Customer Retention, and on your product pages for Customer Acquisition.
  • Customize the Solution—Create a Chat interface that appeals to the customer, reinforces trust in your brand, and feels like a natural extension of your website. Within your contact center, integrate customer history onto a simplified agent desktop so your support team has just the information it needs to resolve issues through chat. 
  • Control Volume—Manage your chat volume by controlling the number of Proactive Chats you offer based on pre-defined business rules, and the number of Click-to-Chat links you provide on your website. You also can manage volume by building in throttles based on agent availability and queue wait time thresholds. Some companies simply start by offering chat for only a few hours a day and then slowly ramp up as their agents become more comfortable.

For more Chat best practices, please listen to the full Webcast or visit Oracle’s Chat Cloud Service Webpage. 

For further information, you can contact us at 1.866.630.7669, or come to an Oracle CloudWorld event near you. Registration is free.

Social, Customer Experience, and the Cloud

Oracle held its second CloudWorld event in Los Angeles yesterday. Social permeated throughout sessions the entire day touching on customer experience (CX), sales performance, and service and support optimization.[Read More]

Executive Q&A with John Andrews: Part II – A Deeper Dive Into the Data that Powers Personalization 

Part II of our interview on personalization and commerce with John Andrews VP of Product Management, Oracle Commerce.     

Q.  In Part I of your post you talked about having to have a good handle on your product and customer data to achieve personalization.  What if you are dealing with a new customer or have little profile data?  How do you personalize the experience? 

If yours is like most commerce organizations, you don’t have complete (or any) data of the vast majority of shoppers. New customers are the lifeblood of online storefronts, but building out profiles for every one can prove to be a near impossible task. The good news is that in addition to commerce platforms that can automatically collect this data, there are new ways to round out your customer information beyond how they interact with your site. Social data is a great way to take personalization to the next level and Facebook is the easiest – but certainly not the only place - to start. Facebook has loads of free, accessible information on their users like their demographics, even brands they like and their comments on products. Enrich product information and merchandising efforts by capturing Likes and user comments from the Social Graph. If appropriate for your business, get customers to log in with their Facebook account to leverage information to round-out user profiles and segments housed in your commerce platform.

While segments and personas help simplify the definition and delivery of tailored experiences, the reality is that no two members of the same segment have identical needs. This is why having scalable technology in place to deliver dynamic experiences that adapt to every visitor  - anonymous or loyalist – is critical.  With a solid base of customer profile information, segment information, and rich, well-attributed product information, the next step is having the right technology in place to put this data and content in to action.
[Read More]

Monday Jan 28, 2013

The B2B Commerce Summit Is Back

It’s back, our 3rd Annual B2B Commerce Summit is taking place in Chicago, IL on Tuesday, February 12th.   This summit is the only event focused specifically on the challenges faced by B2B commerce professionals and will explore how industry leaders are dealing with the complexities of distribution and manufacturing businesses, while also delivering leading cross-channel customer experiences.

We have a great line-up of speakers that will discuss the latest trends and share views about how to maximize the effectiveness of commerce channels, including how to incorporate the latest B2C tactics to drive enhanced online B2B customer experiences.

Confirmed speakers include:

•    Carolina Biological Supply Company: David Lyle, CIO and Chad Petersen, Director eCommerce
•    Grainger: Sophia Drivalas, Senior Director, Online Merchandising
•    Viking Range Corporation: Tim Tyler, Manager, Viking Digital  

Find out more about the summit
Register for the summit 

Friday Jan 18, 2013

New Year, New You

By Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

 It’s inevitable-every January 1st, we make our New Year’s Resolutions. We look back on the previous year and evaluate what we could have done better. The improvements we resolve to make include “get in better shape”, “spend more time with family”, and “save more money.” We use apps to constantly track our progress on those resolutions. Good data and relevant analytics help us understand what we've been doing well and what we need to improve. The gyms are packed, our grocery carts are full of vegetables, and friends and family are our number one priority.

 But what about professional resolutions? This year challenge yourself to make over your business with a few resolutions and still have time and energy to commit to your personal goals. After all, the New Year is the time for a New You!

Resolution 1: Run Faster and Further Unsuccessful people are busy being busy while successful people are busy being productive. It’s your decision; your success depends on how you spend your time. Everyone has twenty-four hours in a day, so why does your neighbor have the opportunity to fit in a five-mile run after work and you’re lucky if you make it home for dinner? Chances are your neighbor is using his time and resources in a more effective way.

Today sales reps have the opportunity to be more productive and successful than ever before. With mobile access to business information anywhere, anytime, reps can be productive on the go. Adding mobile access to CRM applications boosts sales productivity by 14.6 percent1. Sales reps that leverage the mobility aspects of their CRM system have more time to focus on selling, and spend less time computing and preparing data.

Resolution 2: Eat Right to Fuel Your Body Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does breakfast give you energy, but it is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance2. You cannot eat a Pop-Tart® and chocolate milk and expect the same health benefits as if you were to have made a healthier choice. Similarly, not all leads provide the same positive results. It’s important to have accurate historical data and qualified leads in order to effectively fuel your sales pipeline. This will result in opportunities that have a better chance closing, which means not only more revenue for your company, but also a bigger paycheck for you!

Robert Griffin III, quarterback for the Washington Redskins said in a Gatorade commercial, “When the weak and the distracted are resting on their reputations, take what is yours.” Companies understand that leads are necessary for sales-focused organizations to succeed, but not everyone understands that it’s the quality of the leads, not the quantity that matters. This resolution is your chance to take what is yours. In order for CRM applications to develop valuable leads, you need to start with accurate information. This includes recording information from all customers, such as what is being purchased and when. Although this may seem like common sense, the majority of your competitors are lazy in this area and you can leverage their laziness by getting ahead and taking what is yours.

Resolution 3: Shed Some Email MBs When was the last time you collaborated with your team and had ALL of the information you needed at your fingertips? If you’re struggling to remember, encourage your business to take the next step and go social in 2013 with a CRM solution.Companies with social collaboration tools are 12% more productive than those without any way to collaborate as a team3. With a social CRM tool, users can access information easily, reducing the excess emails that clutter inboxes.

While you’re using those apps to track your personal resolutions, add in the right CRM tools to make your business resolutions a reality. Your sales people will be more productive, your sales information more accurate, and your email inboxes will thank you. This year, resolve to improve your business and help yourself along the way.

Want to find out more? Join our webcast on January 25 from 10-10:30 am PST / 1-1:30 pm EST


1 Gartner


3Nucleus Research Report


Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

J&P Cycles Customers are on the Road to Enjoy their Experience

J&P Cycles, founded over 30 years ago, is the world's largest retailer of aftermarket parts and accessories for motorcycles. J&P serves not only a large customer base, but one that has a diverse range of knowledge, from novice to expert on the wide variety of products offered. Rich Brecht, Director of Contact Center and Retail Operations at J&P Cycles, told me I could build a working motorcycle from scratch, using the parts available at J&P. Of course, Rich has never seen me turn a wrench or do anything handy, so he might retract that statement! 

J&P Cycles has always been focused on providing a great customer experience to grow customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, as they grew and started serving customers beyond the traditional call center, e.g., email, Facebook, chat, etc., J&P Cycles was challenged to provide a consistent experience and distribute knowledge regardless of the interaction's origin.

This video tells some of their story with Oracle's RightNow Service Cloud and how Brecht highlights: "We've been able to establish consistency in message. Whether they're getting an answer through our Facebook page, whether they're sending us an email directly or chatting with one of our representatives or if they're in the retail space and talking to someone, we've been able to drive consistency in process throughout the organization."

For more information on Customer Experience, visit

Comcast and Oracle Share Best Practices On Knowledge Management

Exceptional customer service has become a key differentiator that can help organizations improve customer satisfaction and loyalty and drive financial success. To excel, organizations must provide customers relevant and accurate answers quickly across any channel of interaction. Hear firsthand how Comcast is driving innovation through Oracle Knowledge Management solutions resulting in:

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: Provide consistent and relevant answers and support across multiple agents and channels
  • Increased Self-Service: Empower "tomorrow's customer" with more options to self-service by extending agent capabilities to customers
  • Reduced Repeats & Avoidable Truck Rolls: Enable best-practice troubleshooting
  • Increased Visibility to the Agent & Customer Experience: Expose real-time and historical analytics to "shine a light on" the agent and customer experience

Register here to attend this webcast on January 23, 2013 at 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern. Speakers:
- Jeri Shelton, Director, Customer Experience Engineering, Comcast
- Ashish Joshi, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle
- Nina Patel, Director, Knowledge Solutions Strategy, Oracle

Friday Jan 11, 2013

Executive Q&A with John Andrews: Part I - What “Personalization” Really Means to Commerce

We sat down with John Andrews, VP of Product Management, Oracle Commerce to discuss his views on one of the most talked about topics in the world of commerce, personalization.  

Q.  The term personalization is used a lot in commerce but what does “personalization” really mean?

Personalization is one of the most overused terms in commerce, and has been for a decade and a half. Yet, for all of the personalization talk, the promise of personalization has not been fully realized by many. That’s because personalization is rarely done well at scale.
Why? First, it helps to understand what “personalization” really means – through the years of missed definitions and interpretations. In the simplest terms, personalization means delivering the most targeted content (like products, videos, reviews, or promotions) to the right customer at every point in their journey, based on their unique needs and preferences. To achieve this, it means knowing as much as possible about every customer and having the right technology under the covers to deliver. Personalization is not just about a single system delivering a piece of content to a user, it’s about capturing the right data, analyzing it, and having the algorithms and delivery engine in place to power dynamic experiences to all, across their paths. That’s why it’s tough to pull off.[Read More]

Thursday Jan 10, 2013

Avoid the “Social Silo” - Learn Why and How

Your customers, prospects, constituents, and future employees are on social networks today. Businesses need to be where they are and engage and communicate in new ways. The opportunity isn't limited to marketing. It's just the first step.

Social Selling, Service, Commerce, and Recruiting are external-facing opportunities that leading organizations are moving on right now. You have the opportunity to learn what this can mean to your business at an upcoming Oracle CloudWorld event near you. Read on to learn more.[Read More]

Wednesday Jan 09, 2013

Dallas Event: Social Innovations with Southwest Airlines

Beyond promoting brands through social channels, how do marketing executives gain insights to make real time decisions? In Dallas on Thursday, January 31, learn from experts at Southwest Airlines and Oracle about how innovative thinking and technology will continue to change the way businesses develop and launch social initiatives across the enterprise, to both national and local markets. You will also learn:

  • What factors impact the social media evolution of large enterprise companies
  • How innovative social programs deliver an exceptional customer experience
  • How enterprise businesses scale using social platforms to engage with national and local communities and encourage customers to share

Who should attend? Marketing executives with responsibility for social media strategies. Registration is required to attend this exclusive event at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. Register today by calling 1.800.820.5592 ext. 11194.


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