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My Story of Customer Service Misery and How Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform Would Cure It

Abbas Makhdum
Director Product Marketing

After relocating my family to a new state, I wanted to upgrade the furniture in our new house. After browsing a large global furniture retailer's website, it displayed some relevant products. Nice job! I added a couple of items to my cart but got distracted and left the site.

The next day, I received an email reminding me about the items left in the cart. Instead of ordering online, I decided to place an in-store order by going to a physical store location. All the items I wanted were in stock. Since some of the items were large, I decided to get everything delivered to my house. The store's delivery department took the payment, processed my order, and gave me a receipt with delivery confirmation within three days. Everything was going great — until I didn't receive my delivery.

I called the service number and gave the automated system my name, phone number, order number, etc. When the customer service representative picked up my call, he had no idea who I was or why I was calling! I repeated all my information so he could access my account. After holding for a few minutes, he told me the items weren't delivered because my order was canceled!

What? Who canceled it? When was it canceled? He told me he couldn't see this information because it resides in a different system he doesn't have access to. Then, he asked me to call back the next morning when there would be employees available with access to this particular system.

I thought about this all night, getting angry. The next morning, I called back and went through the same rigmarole of answering the same questions to verify my info before finally getting a live agent. She made me repeat all my info yet again before she asked which store I placed my order from since her system couldn't access the stores' point of sale data. After holding for forty-five minutes, she told me that my order wasn't canceled, but it wasn't scheduled for delivery either. Finally, it took another fifteen minutes to schedule the delivery for the next week.

In the meantime, I kept getting emails from the same retailer about items left in my cart, promotions, and some random new arrivals. How incredibly frustrating!

Why did this happen?

The marketing system did its job and personalized my digital experience. But, since it wasn't integrated with the sales system, it didn't know that I'd already made a purchase in a physical store. Nonetheless, it kept sending me emails. The sales and commerce systems weren't communicating with the delivery system. Therefore, after the sale, the delivery system didn't know to deliver the goods. All the systems were optimized, but they operated in their own silos, creating more siloed data.

Imagine if that retailer accessed all of my information across departments in one place? What if…

  • When I called, my phone number automatically identified me, and the customer service rep who took my call knew about my recent purchase?
  • The delivery system was automatically notified when a purchase was made and started to schedule a delivery?
  • Marketing, sales, and customer service all had access to the same data?

What is a unified customer view?

It's customers who drive business. They want to be understood and valued. That starts with the business having a unified view of the customer – a single, holistic view of that person, rather than a mismanaged abstract that lives in disparate systems across the organization. Having data integrated and centralized in one place enables a company to provide an accurate, timely, and complete view of their customers. Different departments within the same organization, partners, and channels would have access to all the information they need to support more meaningful and successful customer interactions.

Benefits of a unified customer view

When customer information is maintained accurately and holistically in one place, all facts and relationship facets can be common knowledge in the organization. While different views can exist, they would at least be aligned. The customer becomes a personalized and interactive multidimensional aggregate of characteristics that leads to common understandings and away from siloed views. This allows the business to shift their thinking from "What data do I have?" to "What can I do with it?"

Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform delivers better CX with a unified customer view

This is a real-life example of what Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform solves. It enables CX professionals to deliver contextually aware and highly-personalized experiences that delight customers whenever and however they engage with the brand. The result is improved customer satisfaction and greater customer lifetime value.

For more information, see Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform In Action

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