Friday Mar 29, 2013

Have Something to Say? OpenWorld Call for Proposals

The stage is set, the microphone has been tested, the audience is settled, the first slide is displayed... What are you going to say? Now is the time to figure it out, so you are ready for Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in September. 

If you want to be a speaker and propose your own session for this year's event in San Francisco on September 22nd - 26th, starting thinking now! OpenWorld Call for Proposals is open now until April 12th.

All of the details to submit a proposal are available here.

Of course we are interested in sessions around any of the Oracle CX and CRM products, but the Call for Proposals is open to all Oracle topics. When submitting your topic, be sure to describe what you plan to discuss and the value of the presentation to other attendees. Sell your session, because there will be a lot of competition to be selected. But we know you can do it!

Bonus News: Speakers for selected sessions receive a complimentary full conference pass! Get your proposals in because we can't wait to hear what you are going to say!

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Tuesday Mar 26, 2013

#SocialResponsibility

Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, Jennifer Rossbach

The first Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, 1970, focused on the emerging consciousness, channeled the energy of the anti-war protest movement and brought forth environmental concerns.1 The idea was initiated by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and a staff of 85 who worked to protest environmental destruction and support progress and change. Since then, the Earth Day Network and community activists have created a worldwide effort to build a clean, healthy, and diverse world.1

Earth Day 2013 is focused on The Face of Climate Change and the effects of our behavior on the climate, humans, and wildlife throughout the world. This year we can use Instagram and Twitter to share our photos depicting The Face of Climate Change to spread the word via social media using #faceofclimate. Like the Earth Day Network, your company can make its own social initiative using Social Relationship Management (SRM). While we are all working to take control of our planet, make it your #socialresponsibility to take control of your company’s social footprint and CX efforts. With Oracle Social Relationship Management you can capture, market, monitor, and engage with your customers to understand what is important for your business.

Social Marketing
In the growing age of digital and social media, marketing tools such as infomercials, fliers and billboards are less effective. Ten years ago
, these expensive tools might have been the majority of a company’s marketing budget. In this day and age, your fans can support your online marketing efforts, often for free. Through their social media influence level, your top fans can bring you new customers: 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, versus only 14% trust advertisements.2 By promoting a new product or sale through social media channels, the word can spread more quickly than if you had advertised it in a commercial, and you won’t bust your budget in the process!

Social Monitoring
One million people view customer service tweets every week, 80% of which are critical or negative towards a company or brand. Are you aware of problems your customers are experiencing with your product or service? Once you’ve marketed an event online, can you tell if the post was effective? How do you know who is seeing your post, and if there could have been a better time for you to post it to gain a broader audience? With SRM, you can see how many people view your marketing efforts and whether your messaging is effective. Additionally, you can measure your customers’ reaction to your promotions, products, and company.

Social Engagement
38 million people in the US say their purchasing decisions are influenced by social media, but only 10% of marketers actively monitor their social media ROI.2 Customers will be more loyal to your brand if you show them that you care about what they have to say. You can do so by interacting with them to make social media channels operate two ways, instead of just one. If your focus isn’t on improving your customer satisfaction through social media, then you could be missing a large portion of potential revenue. SRM will allow you to become a transparent company that engages with your customers. By doing so, you will better understand your customers’ wants and needs and ensure they are satisfied with your products or services.

The Social Revolution is only just beginning; Instagram has gained over 50 million users in the past two years; Twitter has over 140 million active users; and Facebook has 222 million users in North America alone. A Social Relationship Management strategy is necessary in order to effectively and efficiently monitor these 412 million accounts and create meaningful relationships with your customers.

The mission of Earth Day 2013 is to “highlight the solutions and showcase the collective power of individuals taking action across the world.”3 The collective power of individuals is stronger than ever, and with Social Relationship Management, your company can make the effort to improve your carbon and social footprints.

Don’t forget to share your #faceofclimate photo and join us for our #socialresponsibility webcast on April 5th at 10am PST, 1pm EST. Register here today!

Check out Oracle’s sustainability mission at http://tinyurl.com/oraclemission

1.

1.     1  http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement

2.     2  http://www.viralblog.com/social-media/2013-and-beyond-the-social-media-revolution/

3.     3  http://www.earthday.org/2013/about.html

Monday Mar 25, 2013

What Are Your Sales People Doing On The Road?

When your sales team is in and around the office you’re working to make sure that your people are tracking to goal, focused on the right opportunities, and closing deals. It’s your job. It’s their job. It’s sales.

For sales reps—especially sales reps who are on the road and in front of customers—every minute counts. But a mobility gap in some Sales Force Automation (SFA) systems may create behaviors that diminish the impact of your investments at the most critical point of a sales process.

[Read More]

Latin America Just Getting Started with Customer Experience

By Jorge Toledo, Business Development Senior Director, Oracle Latin America

As a relevant emerging market, Latin American countries are still improving their infrastructure and services to keep growing and motivate domestic consumption as well as meet the demands related to mega events—mainly in Brazil due to the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. “Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era” brought a discussion to the table: the big picture of Latin American countries and how companies in the region from several segments and verticals are dealing with Customer Experience (CX) initiatives.

The numbers prove that Latin American businesses should do more to provide a positive, consistent, and relevant experience to their customers. Take a glance at the huge opportunities:

  • 91% of Latin American organizations claim to provide a positive, consistent, and relevant experience to their customers, but
    • 29% of the respondents have one or more active implementations or formalized CX program
    • 19% consider their CX initiatives advanced

Latin America does plan to increase spending on CX technology in the next two years by 25%. This planned increase is above the global average increase of 18%. And, one of the most important findings details companies’ investments in CX in the next two years:

  • 27% in integrated customer view across all channels
  • 27% in loyalty management systems
  • 27% in self service capability on website

It's time to improve and leverage opportunities across the entire customer lifecycle in Latin America. With the World Cup and the Olympics coming soon, global expectations for our region will soon be at their highest. While increased spending indicates acknowledgement of the current state of CX, Latin America needs to execute quickly in a short time period. To get more details about Latin American insights into CX, visit the survey website.

Friday Mar 22, 2013

Enterprise Knowledge Management = Information + Context

I was in London recently and strolled past a man in Hyde Park exclaiming, “You’ve got to have faith!” to a crowd of onlookers. A cheeky lad yelled back, “Faith? I already got that one. George Michael. Tower Records.” Even the preacher cracked a smile at the sarcastic quip.

I came away with something more profound: that the same word can have radically different meanings depending on the context.

I have spoken to several customer service companies and they all claim to have Knowledge Management (KM). But when I look more closely, what I discover are fragmented knowledge repositories siloed by channel—one for web FAQs, another for phone support, and so on. So customers get a different answer depending on which channel they engage.

If this describes your company, then beware. Customers expect you to know who they are and what they want so you can provide the right answer the first time. In fact, First Contact Resolution (FCR) is the most significant driver of customer satisfaction and knowledge management has the greatest ability to improve FCR. A recent CFI Group study found that 68% of customers who don’t have their issues resolved on first contact are at risk of defection.

On the upside, companies that resolve customers’ issues on first contact benefit from a greater share of wallet, with 94% of customers saying they will buy again from the company and 88% saying they will increase their spending (Harvard Business Review).

How do you get in the group that earns a greater share of the customer’s wallet? Simple: invest in an Enterprise Knowledge Management solution.

Only an Enterprise Knowledge Management solution gives you one consolidated source of knowledge for both agents and customers—and the context of customers' support requests so you can provide personalized, relevant and consistent answers across channels.

A good Enterprise Knowledge Management solution would be able to discern the different meanings of the word “Faith,” just as those onlookers did in Hyde Park. So it could determine whether you were searching for something religious or spiritual versus a British pop album.

That’s something no document or content management system can do because they have only information, not context.

Do your customers and yourself a favor. Invest in an Enterprise Knowledge Management solution like Oracle’s KM solutions to decrease Mean Time to Resolution and increase First Contact Resolution. Then watch your customer satisfaction and loyalty soar!

Please visit our website for more information on Oracle’s Knowledge Management solutions, or register for a CloudWorld near you.

Thursday Mar 21, 2013

Oracle's Aaron Shidler on the Latest Innovations for Siebel CRM

Oracle’s Siebel CRM continues to deliver innovative new solutions to customers—including six major releases and a newly published product roadmap highlighting planned annual innovation packs through 2015. We asked Oracle's Aaron Shidler, vice president of CRM product strategy and management, to provide insight into Oracle's ongoing innovations and commitment to Oracle's Siebel CRM.

Q. Please give us a big-picture look into Oracle's commitment to its Siebel solutions.
A. Since the acquisition, Oracle's Siebel team has delivered six major releases, containing 39 new products and more than 525 enhancements across 21 industry-specific solutions. Such a commitment makes sense when you have thousands of customers and millions of users—including many very large companies relying on Oracle’s Siebel products for their CRM needs.

Q. What does Oracle's Siebel team have planned for 2013 and beyond?
A. We've made a clear commitment to Oracle's Siebel customers via our product roadmap and statement of direction to deliver new and innovative solutions on a regular basis. We are currently planning to introduce these solutions in our annual innovation packs and fix packs.

Q. Everyone is talking about customer experience (CX) these days. How is Oracle's Siebel team addressing the CX imperative?
A. Oracle's Siebel is innovating in several areas to drive excellent customer experiences: usability, cross-channel enablement, and mobile. The main driver for creating a great customer experience is usability—enabling simplicity and productivity for all types of users—on any browser or device, leveraging the latest, greatest UI controls. With our latest release, Siebel delivers on all this with a user interface that is:

  • Contemporary. Siebel runs in all browsers and all browser-capable devices using the latest Web technology standards, such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML 5, while providing a native application user experience.
  • Productive. Siebel is designed for a user experience that reduces clutter and user keystrokes.
  • User-sensitive. The user experience enables Siebel to adapt to the needs of users—their preferences, their devices, and their desire to complete processes efficiently and effectively.

For cross-channel enablement, Siebel supports a complete set of buy-and-own processes that span multiple channels and leverage multiple Oracle assets. Siebel has lowered the total cost of ownership for customers by providing more than a dozen integrations, including:

For mobile platforms, Siebel’s open UI supports a full range of browsers and devices, including support for device integration, location services, and phone, URL, and contact integration. The same solution customers enjoy in a variety of channels today can be delivered on mobile devices by leveraging out-of-the-box templates or creating your own look and feel. We plan to add disconnected mobile operations in 2013. Read more here.

Tuesday Mar 19, 2013

Differentiating Your Brand with Customer Service By JP Saunders

Can you imagine what the conversation with the venture capitalists must have sounded like when Tony Hsieh, co-founder of Zappos, told them that his business plan was to sell shoes over the Internet? We all know that you have to try on shoes before you buy them, and as good as the virtual experience can be, it can’t tell you if your toes will be cramped. But that didn’t stop Mr. Hsieh. As he says in an interview with his Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences alumni newsletter, “The goal is to ‘Deliver WOW Through Service’, so we don't have scripts, call times, or upselling the way most call centers do.”

Zappos teaches us something fundamental—to treat customers the way they want to be treated and apply great customer service practices to meet their expectations while achieving your business goals.

Bottom Line: Customer service matters. JD Powers published a study called, "Beyond Satisfaction: J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions—Brands That Deliver Service Excellence to Maximize Business Results.” In it they analyzed the feedback from hundreds of thousands of US consumers doing business with more than 800 companies. They found that remarkable companies use service excellence to drive superior business results. Included among the 50 companies recognized as all-stars, were Oracle RightNow customers: Bass Pro Shops, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Kohl’s, ING Direct and others that we aren’t at liberty to mention.

But how can we be sure that great customer service matters to the bottom line? 1to1 Media and Peppers & Rogers Group put it to the test in a fund created based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). According to the study, “the cumulative return of a $100 investment in the ACSI fund from April 2000 to April 2012 was $490, a gain of 390 percent. By comparison, the S&P 500 returned only $93, a 7-percent loss.”

So, what can your company do to differentiate its brand with customer service? Maybe it’s as easy as following the advice of Kate Leggett of Forrester. Leggett identifies the top 15 trends in customer service in her blog entry, and her categories are just what you’d expect: Personalize Customer Service, Empower Agents for Quality Service and Take Advantage of Maturing Customer Service Solutions.

What happens when you go onto your brand website?  

  • Do you have access to service where you need it, not just on the service page?
  • Does a live chat agent appear just when you’re about to give up on your search?
  • And, when that agent is chatting with you, do they know where you’ve been on the site in that session and what you’ve done historically with the brand? 
  •  Are you able to connect with a community of experts and hear from your peers?
  •  When you’re on the brand Facebook page, are you able to connect to customer service? And, if you are posting on social channels, does your customer service organization know just when to proactively reach out to help?
  • Have you ever ended a call with a customer service agent, just to call back to get connected to a different, more knowledgeable agent? I hope not, but if you have, what are you doing to ensure that everyone who contacts your brand from their preferred channel is getting a consistent and reliable service?

It’s not just about one of the bullets above. It’s a consistent and reliable focus on these points and others. What does your customer journey look like and what do you want the customer to take away from each experience? What happens when your customer Tweets they are looking for a way to refinance their mortgage and searches your brand site for an answer at the same time? Live Chat triggers a session and the chat agent sees where that customer has been on your website, as well as the customer’s Tweet. A quick cobrowse session allows your agent to guide the customer through the steps of filling out a re-financing form. And, a confirmation email is sent with relevant auto-generated links. This customer experience is a meaningful and successful customer journey where the next interaction continues to build the customer relationship.

How you serve your customers and what you do to elevate their experience is up to you. The next time you think your service experience can be better, rise to that challenge and demand an answer.

Learn more about Differentiating your Customer Service and Reducing your Costs on our website.

Thursday Mar 14, 2013

Engage Customers and Get Customer Insight with New SRM Product

Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) is a product that helps you manage and scale your relationship with customers on social media channels. We have recently integrated four best-in-class social relationship management components - social listening, social analytics, social engagement and social publishing - into one unified interface to give you the most complete social relationship management solution on the market.

You can listen to what people are saying about your brand, engage with fans and followers, create content and apps, publish to multiple social channels, manage workflows, and analyze results and get social campaign metrics.

Only Oracle can connect every interaction your customer has with your brand. Our goal is to help you deliver the best customer experience wherever your customer touches your brand – whether it’s on the web, mobile, in-store, contact center, direct sales, and nowadays, this includes social.

See a demo of the new Oracle Social Relationship Management product here.

Read about the new Oracle Social Relationship Management product here:

• ZDNet – Oracle Pools Acquisitions for Cloud-based Social Management Suite

• MediaPost - Oracle, Adobe Separately Build Out Collaborative Social Suites

• Destination CRM - Oracle Launches Social Relationship Manager

• CIO Australia – Oracle goes after Salesforce.com with Social Relationship Management

• CMS Wire – Oracle Announces Unified Social Relationship Management Product for Cloud

 For more information or to get a personalized demo of Oracle SRM, please visit oracle.com/social.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

Right Answer, Right Time, Right Channel = Right Customer Strategy By Lynn Barnhart

How do you provide your customers with the right answers at the right time when they have a service issue?  When should you guide them to find the answers themselves and when should you step in and lead them to a call center agent for answers?  Why is any of this important?

Let’s answer the last question first.  Great customer service can be the true differentiator between you and your competitors. It is a differentiator for getting and keeping more customers.  In today’s 24/7/365 multi-channel, digital world, you have to have an integrated approach and be armed with tools and resources to resolve customer service issues quickly and efficiently.

And, you can’t just resolve the issue, you need to personalize the service and provide it through the customer’s channel of choice.  If the resolution is through an agent, that agent must have knowledge of the customer’s current issue and their relationship history with your company. That’s the only way to proactively offer the right answer to that customer. 

What are best practices for delivering the right answer at the right time?  Why not start with a guidebook from Nucleus Research with insights into enabling agents to deliver the right answer at the right time with 5 best practices for empowering your call center with a multi-channel approach . 

What results should I expect and what are other companies experiencing? Take a look at the business results from Aberdeen’s multi-channel contact center report, or how Compassion UK is increasing income 30%, or how Big Fish Games improved ROI by 1404% in 18 months.

Get free access to different tools and resources for delivering the right answer at the right time by leveraging your contact center or web self- service. 

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