Wednesday Nov 27, 2013

Oracle Policy Automation Webcast, Wed, Dec 4th, 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET

If you missed us at OpenWorld, don’t miss this Webcast. Find out how the latest innovations in Oracle Policy Automation Agent Cloud Service and Oracle Policy Automation Web Cloud Service will help you deliver personalized, policy-driven entitlement decisions to your customers while simplifying compliance.

Join our live Webcast on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, and discover how the latest updates and roadmap in Oracle Policy Automation can help you:

  • Maximize your benefits with a strategic policy automation approach
  • Simplify compliance with the latest updates
  • Enable cross-channel consistency through full integration with Oracle RightNow Cloud Service

Don’t miss your chance to learn how you can streamline policy administration to deliver consistent and accurate decisions to your customers while lowering compliance costs at the same time.

Register Now

Tuesday Nov 26, 2013

What's The (Commerce) World Coming To? Think Global!

Is Commerce growth just a U.S. phenomenon?  Not by a long shot. Online commerce is growing in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

According to eMarketer, European online sales in key markets—Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK—will grow an average of 12% annually between 2012 and 2017, to reach €170 billion ($217B) by 2017. In the United Kingdom, e-commerce will increase approximately 11.5% in 2013, to 87B pounds ($138.0B) from 78B pounds ($123.7B), from a study by Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group.

Over in Latin America, B2C ecommerce is still in its infancy, with sales reaching only $36.8B this year. However, online shopping is showing signs of accelerating growth. More than half of Latin America’s e-commerce sales come from online buyers in Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, and it is expected that Brazil will continue to record double-digit increases through 2014, according to eMarketer.

B2C ecommerce sales in Asia-Pacific will grow more than 30% in 2013 vs 12.2% in North America, from eMarketer. Analysys International estimates that e-commerce sales in China are due to more than triple during the coming three years. As well, India’s B2C e-commerce market is likely to double in size to more than $3B within three years, and could grow to reach $15B by 2017, based on Matrix Partners India research.

So, what are you to do? First, ensure that your e-commerce platform allows you to maintain and manage multiple sites. Consider using multisite capabilities to support your different geographies and various brand sites, all while sharing assets between them. Create one product catalog but enable people in certain geographies or countries to only see their appropriate product catalog content.

Secondly, make sure your commerce platform can handle multiple currencies and languages. And that includes site promotions and navigation. Look for a commerce solution that places that control with the business user so that can quickly respond to geo-specific shifts and local competitors.

Hopefully that post gives you food for thought that commerce is bigger than your local market and even continent. And gives you pause to think that you have to think global in all of your commerce activities.

Monday Nov 25, 2013

Leveraging Customer Facing Communities

Alongside Facebook and Twitter, communities are becoming a valuable alternative for customers to find answers to their support queries. Businesses need to ensure that posts on these sites are accurate and consistent with information available through other contact center channels. [Read More]

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

Five Tips for Maximizing This Holiday Season

It's somewhat fitting that my first post for the Oracle Commerce blog should be about the holiday e-commerce season. I've planned fifteen of them (egads!). This is the first time in many years that I haven't been involved in figuring out what to promote to whom, when, where, how, and why. But you know, I just couldn't stay away, so I wanted to share with you a few tips for maximizing Holiday 2013. 

For many retailers, this is make or break time. The last two months of the year can make up over 40% of a company's revenue. Maybe you're behind budget and you're hoping to make up for lost ground during these next several weeks. Or maybe you're on track, but you want to exceed budget so you can max your bonus. Whatever the reason, it pays to prepare.

With this year's holiday season starting earlier than ever, some would say if you don't know what you're planning for holiday promotions by now, you're already in a spot of trouble. The reality is, though, even if you've got everything planned, you're probably adjusting and readjusting until the very last minute. Here are five recommendations to check against, whether or not you've got everything in tip-top shape.[Read More]

Wednesday Nov 20, 2013

Oracle RightNow Cloud Service November 2013 Release – A Radically Different Level of Service by JP Saunders

The November 2013 release of Oracle RightNow Cloud Service enables you to deliver a radically different level of service with the new Virtual Assistant, chat page peek, and a variety of enhancements to Agent Mobile App.    

Personalize Your Service Interactions (VA)

The virtual assistant provides everything you need to give your customers the best personalized service during their online experience. It has:

  • The foresight to know when to engage proactively and when to be on standby ready to assist on request.
  • Robust human-like conversational and language capabilities to ask and truly understand HUMAN speak. Intelligence to remember (with session memory) and predict HUMAN intent (with deep NLP)
  • Deep insights, access and learning though its connectivity to data, channels and knowledge, which can be used to personalize the interaction
  • The ability to make related recommendations and offers during the transactions to boost sales

…and it does all of this while stepping customers through questions and answers, chats and forms to ensure they get to resolution or completion, as opposed to just pointing to answers.

Provide Agent with Context of Customer Journey

When a customer is shopping on your online store, we can leverage the context of the webpage they are on, the history for how they got there, the specific customer’s information, and an service agent’s availability, to intelligently prompt the customer to join a chat session or offer a call back to provide assistance.  Now with new page peek functionality, service agents are provided with a rendering of the page a visitor was on when they engaged in a live agent interaction.  Page peek can be configured to hide or mask sensitive data such as account numbers or credit card numbers so they are not displayed to the agent.  This visual representation eliminates the need for the visitor to go into detail about what they are trying to accomplish, what problem they may be experiencing, or what product or service they may be interested in.  This gives the agent instant insight and a head start in anticipating next steps necessary to resolve the visitor’s issue.

Untether from the Contact Center

An agent’s ability to adapt to the needs of customers can require them to have access to customer data and interactions when then are away from their desk, giving them more flexibility and freedom to increase their performance in delivering timely and accurate resolutions.  In support of this, the November 2013 release of the Agent Mobile App includes:  the ability to create and edit contacts; access to survey result history; ability to forward incidents, tasks, and answers; and the ability customize lists and other Mobile Workspaces. And all these capabilities and more are now supported on Apple’s iPhone, as well as on the IPad.

For more information on these high-value features, please watch the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service – November 2013 Release Overview or read the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service – November 2013 Capabilities and Benefits.

Match.com's Michele Watson Discusses Modern Customer Service

We had the opportunity to sit down with Michele Watson, senior vice president of customer care at online dating leader Match.com, where she and her team aid millions of customers across phone, web, chat, and social network channels. Michele shares her vision for customer experience (CX)—and how the Oracle Service Cloud solutions are helping her realize that vision.[Read More]

Tuesday Nov 19, 2013

Welcome to the Era of Customer Experience

Many years back, Oracle started on a journey to provide the best Customer Experience (CX) solutions in the industry. While this vision was extraordinary, the reality amongst our customer base was even more complex. [Read More]

Monday Nov 18, 2013

Wed, Nov. 20, 9 AM PST Educast: Oracle's Knowledge Management Roadmap

Did you know that 80% of the time and cost associated with resolving service inquiries involves knowledge management? With better knowledge at your agents' and customers' fingertips, you can dramactically reduce your service costs and increase first contact resolution rates, just like these Oracle customers:

  • Blue Coat - 25% Web Self-Service deflections saving $240K per month
  • Intuit - 85% first search accuracy for customers
  • Vertafore - 23% increase in First Contact Resolution (FCR)

Join Nav Chakravarti, Vice President, Product Management for our live Webcast to learn how you can empower your customers and agents to get the right answers at the right time – all the time!

Agenda Topics

  • The role of knowledge in self-service and the contact center
  • The latest enhancements to Oracle Knowledge Management
  • Oracle’s roadmap for future Oracle Knowledge Management updates

Register here

Friday Nov 08, 2013

Oracle RightNow Cloud Service Roadmap Webinar Wednesday, November 13, 9 am PST

Come hear Christopher Patterson present on the Vision and Roadmap for Oracle RightNow Cloud Service, Wednesday, November 13, 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST

To register: http://bit.ly/HNO3bt

Tuesday Nov 05, 2013

7 Reasons for Abandonment in eCommerce and the need for Contextual Support by David Fulton

Shopper confidence, or more accurately the lack thereof, is the bane of the online retailer. There are a number of questions that influence whether a shopper completes a transaction, and all of those attributes revolve around knowledge. What products are available? What products are on offer? What would be the cost of the transaction? What are my options for delivery? In general, most online businesses do a good job of answering basic questions around the products as the shopper engages in the online journey, navigating the product catalog and working through the checkout process. The needs that are harder to address for the shopper are those that are less concerned with product specifics and more concerned with deciding whether the transaction met their needs and delivered value.

A recent study by the Baymard Institute [1] finds that more than 60% of ecommerce site visitors will abandon their shopping cart. The study also identifies seven reasons for abandonment out of the commerce process [2]. Most of those reasons come down to poor usability within the commerce experience.

  1. Distractions. External distractions within the shopper’s external environment (TV, Children, Pets, etc.) or distractions on the eCommerce page can drive shopper abandonment. Ideally, the selection and check-out process should be straightforward. One common distraction is to drive the shopper away from the task at hand through pop-ups or re-directs. The shopper engaging with support information in the checkout process should not be directed away from the page to consume support. Though confidence may improve, the distraction also means abandonment may increase.
  2. Poor Usability. When the experience gets more complicated, buyer’s remorse can set in. While knowledge drives confidence, a lack of understanding erodes it. Therefore it is important that the commerce process is streamlined. In some cases, the number of clicks to complete a purchase is lengthy and unavoidable. In these situations, it is vital to ensure that the complexity of your experience can be explained with contextual support to avoid abandonment. If you can illustrate the solution to a complex action while the user is engaged in that action and address customer frustrations with your checkout process before they arise, you can decrease abandonment.
  3. Fraud. The perception of potential fraud can be enough to deter a buyer. Does your site look credible? Can shoppers trust your brand? Providing answers on the security of your experience and the levels of protection applied to profile information may play as big a role in ensuring the sale, as does the support you provide on the product offerings and purchasing process.
  4. Does it fit? If it is a clothing item or oversized furniture item, another common form of abandonment is for the shopper to question whether the item can be worn by the intended user. Providing information on the sizing applied to clothing, physical dimensions, and limitations on delivery/returns of oversized items will also assist the sale. A photo alone of the item will help, as it answers some of those questions, but won’t assuage all customer concerns about sizing and fit.
  5. Sometimes the customer doesn’t want to buy. Prospective buyers might be browsing through your catalog to kill time, or just might not have the money to purchase the item! You are unlikely to provide any information in contextual support to increase the likelihood to buy if the shopper already has no intentions of doing so. The customer will still likely abandon. Ensuring that any questions are proactively answered as they browse through your site can only increase their likelihood to return and buy at a future date.
  6. Can’t Buy. Errors or complexity at checkout can be another major cause of abandonment. Good contextual support is unlikely to help with severe errors caused by technical issues on your site, but it will have a big impact on customers struggling with complexity in the checkout process and needing a question answered prior to completing the sale. Embedded support within the checkout process to patiently explain how to complete a task will help increase conversion rates.
  7. Additional Costs. Tax, shipping and other costs or duties can dramatically increase the cost of the purchase and when unexpected, can increase abandonment, particularly if they can’t be adequately explained. Again, a lack of knowledge erodes confidence in the purchase, and cost concerns in particular, erode the perception of your brand’s trustworthiness. Again, providing information on what costs are additive and why they are being levied can decrease the likelihood that the customer will abandon out of the experience.

Knowledge drives confidence and confidence drives conversion. If you’d like to understand best practices in providing contextual customer support in eCommerce to provide your shoppers with confidence, download the Oracle Cloud Service and Oracle Commerce - Contextual Support in Commerce White Paper. This white paper discusses the process of adding customer support, including a suggested process for finding where knowledge has the most influence on your shoppers and practical step-by-step illustrations on how contextual self-service can be added to your online commerce experience.

Resources:

[1] http://baymard.com/checkout-usability

[2] http://baymard.com/blog/cart-abandonment

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