Monday Apr 27, 2015

Modern Customer Experience Metrics by David Lanning

As organizations evolve on their roadmap to a modern customer experience, they are adopting new business processes and technologies that allow them to support the needs of the connected customer. As a result of adopting new communication channels, companies now have an additional set of metrics that can be used to measure and improve the effectiveness of their multi-channel customer experience.

The traditional, internally- focused operational metrics like Average Handle Time (AHT) or Occupancy are insufficient to assess the customer’s perspective of the end-to-end experience. To measure the customer experience in a multi-channel world, companies must adopt and leverage a new set of metrics that provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of their multi-channel customer experience initiatives.

Modern Customer Experience Metrics

First Phase of Modern Customer Experience
In the first phase of a modern customer experience, companies address their ability to manage customer interactions on multiple channels. The new communication channels like chat, community and social provide a new set of metrics that provide valuable insight into customer behaviors and expectations.

Chat and Co-browse
Each of the new channels in a multi-channel environment contains metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s ability to handle interactions on these channels. For instance, as companies add online support in the form of chat or co-browse, they have the ability to provide support ‘in-the-moment’ that leads to higher online retention and reduced site abandons. By measuring and analyzing online support requests on chat or co-browse, companies can identify issues that are directly impacting the connected customer experience. Chat and co-browse metrics provide insight into why customers left the online experience to get the information or assistance they needed to complete their online transaction.

Online Communities
Companies that provide online communities also have a new set of metrics they can use to measure and improve the community experience and effectiveness. Companies can measure how many of their customers are engaged in the community (Community Participation Rate) and how often they post information (Community Post Rate). These new metrics provide direct insight into customer participation rates and provide metrics that measure the effectiveness of their initiatives to promote community involvement and customer loyalty. Community metrics like the number of active members in an online community can be used to measure the number of loyal customers who are contributing to the community.

Social
Similarly, there are a number of new metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s social strategy and initiatives. Leading companies have developed strategies and operational practices to actively engage in the conversation on social networks. These social networks provide metrics like Fan Growth Rate, Like / Dislike Ratio and other social metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of their social networks. The beauty of these metrics are that customers on social networks are posting continuously and allow the company to gain real-time information on the experience without requiring a formal feedback survey or other means of gathering customer perceptions. Social metrics can be accessed in real-time and used to adjust the company’s social strategy without the lengthy delay associated with outbound customer satisfaction surveys.

Second Phase of Modern Customer Experience
As companies advance on their journey to a modern customer experience they employ strategies, businesses processes and complementary technology designed to assist customers who cross multiple channels to obtain information, or to connect with support resources to complete a transaction. This cross-channel environment provides an additional set of metrics that can be used to measure and improve cross-channel business processes.

Online experience metrics that measure the customer’s ability to connect to online knowledge or to support resources can be used to measure the effectiveness of a company’s online support effectiveness. Web site tracking metrics that show the number of clicks (customer effort) required to find relevant knowledge, or to find an online support resource, can be used to measure the effectiveness of the site design. By adding web tracking tags to knowledge articles companies can now measure the end-to-end online journey and optimize the use of knowledge to reduce customer effort during online transactions.

Website tracking metrics can also be used to determine where customers opt-out of the online channel to obtain additional support. These metrics provide web experience designers with the information they need to measure the impact of site design changes to increase online conversions or reduce site abandons. The overall impact of the cross-channel experience initiatives can be assessed by adding customer effort score that provides a broad view of the cross-channel experience.

Third Phase of Modern Customer Experience
As companies advance to providing a personalized, omni-channel experience, additional metrics are available to measure the company’s ability to make offers and recommendations that recognize the value and preferences of the customer. The omni-channel experience leverages the customer’s profile information and cross-channel interaction history to make appropriate offers, product recommendations and create customized business processes for each customer. The omni-channel experience model provides companies a new set of metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of their personalization strategy. New metrics like conversion rate on personalized offers, percentage of offers made in the customer’s native language and percentage of customers who receive support in their native language are examples of new metrics available to measure the organization’s ability to personalize the experience.

Many of the new customer experience metrics like community participation rates, or ‘likes’ on a social network are measured from actual customer behavior. Although sentiment metrics like customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS) are a reasonable indicator of intent, the new experience metrics provide an actual measure of action taken by customers to recommend a product or service. These new experience metrics are an important element in a balanced score card of experience metrics. By capturing metrics on actions taken, as well as traditional experience metrics like CSAT and NPS, companies can create a balanced score card that provides immediate insight into the effectiveness of their customer experience programs.  

Conclusion
The Roadmap to ModernTM customer service allows organizations to evolve from an internally-focused to an externally-focused organization that maximizes customer value throughout acquisition, retention and support processes. By leveraging new business processes centered on the customer experience, complementary technology and the metrics available in a multi-channel world, companies can create a competitive advantage by providing a compelling customer experience that significantly increases customer acquisition and customer loyalty.

You can learn more Multi-Channel (first phase), Cross-Channel (second phase) and Omni-Channel (third phase) engagement strategies to become a more Modern Customer Service organization on our website.

Wednesday Apr 15, 2015

"Are we there yet?" The Oracle Roadmap To Modern by JP Saunders, Senior Director Business and Solution Strategy

"Are we there yet?" If you have kids, you may have heard this repeated many times during a long journey. If you don't, then maybe you recall being that kid in your parents' car? While it is intended to be an annoying taunt, its essence comes from a focus on the destination, versus making the journey a part of the destination. This is important as what happens along that journey can sometimes delay, frustrate, or worse prevent you from reaching your desired end state.

Many businesses today are at some stage of their journey to delivering an optimal and differentiated "Customer Experience" – with the vision of building sustainable growth and profits through stronger relationships with their customers, and reliable data about their business. Some define this destination as "delivering the wow experience," others call it "providing a modern experience," and many call it "differentiating with the omni-channel experience." Whatever you call it, and however you paint the vision of the destination, it has rapidly become the focus for the future of business.

Getting a defined and agreed-upon vision around the "What" you want to deliver is not easy task. The next question though is even bigger and tougher to get agreement on: the "How" to build, deliver, and grow to reach your visionary state. As every good Boy Scout knows, "you should always be prepared." Defining the "How" and then mapping the sequential approaches for each piece gives you the insights needed to properly plan ahead. A plan needs to encompass the considerations for everything that is on the journey with you. Your challenge is there are so many different approaches to the "How" – which are the right ones for you to take? And in what order…?

Question: What do cars and shoes have in common? Answer: Outstanding Customer Service. A "Customer Experience" strategy, by definition must focus on ensuring that "Customer Service" is at the forefront of its efforts. Why? Because for most businesses this is where 75% of the total interactions your brand has with a customer resides. As CX leader and CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh said, "Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes." Well Henry Ford has been saying this since the 1920s, "A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large." And if you look at any of the brands that are leading the way with CX, you will find this to be true. They have transformed their customer service business from an aging, reactive cost center, into a proactive, predictive profit center at the heart of their efforts. "Marketing may fill the sales funnel, and the sales department can close a deal, yet it is the overall impression of the enterprise generated by the quality of customer service that differentiates one enterprise from another," Michael Maoz, Vice President and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

BUT you can't transform your dusty old cost-focused call center overnight to suddenly become a modern digital hugging machine! Most businesses first achieve some level of "efficiency" (aka cost reduction) in order to reinvest those savings into establishing trust with customers, which then allows them to be more effective at monetizing these engagements. Many long-standing businesses also cannot afford to put the experience transformation on hold while they rethink and simplify their back-end business processes to support a better experience. Do you really think Apple’s business is less complex today than it was 10 years ago? Yet, as a consumer, you are protected from all that complexity so you can lead a simple life.

Over-eagerness to get to the vision/destination too soon often disconnects the approach for how to get there, and leads to the misalignment between strategy, investments, measurements, and experience. Begging the question, "Are we there yet?" from the pockets of siloed efforts that have raced ahead of the pack. If you don't define, agree, and plan for the sequenced approaches necessary for your journey, you won't have the right foundation in place to deliver the returns on your efforts, and will rapidly exhaust any funding and resources you acquired to be successful. In fact, what we have seen is it frequently leads to a worse experience for your customer, a negative impact on your growth/profit, and a refocus back on "efficiency."

Scenarios like these within customer service stem from "silo-channel thinking"— the evaluation of single channels, each independent of one other. As our own David Lanning and Jeff Griebeler recently covered in their Multi-channel white paper, customers today are crossing many channels and devices to resolve issues. And, as Gartner predicts by 2017, only one-third of all customer service interactions will require the support of a human, compared to 60% today.

So if consumer behavior today spans multiple channels—and consumer preferences are moving to digital channels where channel shifting is as easy as a click away—then why are so many business still focused on evaluating single-channel point solutions (chat, email, social, virtual assistant, FAQs, co-browse, etc.) independently? Why create competing overlap of functionality, configuration, customization, cost, maintenance and measurement? Answer: As a quick way to fill a gap and get ahead, but it comes at a cost:

  • A siloed "online chat initiative" to augment a poorly executed digital channel experience will ultimately result in it becoming a saturated channel of frustrated, overloaded agents, long wait times, limited hours of availability/credibility, and lower CSAT scores.
  • A siloed "virtual assistant initiative" to augment a poorly executed digital channel experience, results in a dumb ass-istant frustrating online customers, and making them more expensive to serve on higher cost channels, leading to higher support costs and increased customer churn.
  • A siloed "knowledge initiative" to augment a poorly executed phone/IVR channel experience can become a high-cost maintenance effort of managing stale, duplicated content on the web, hurting relations from inconsistent answers.

At this point, if you are thinking "some of that sounds like us!" then take comfort in knowing that 1) you are not alone, AND 2) it’s not too late to fix it.

You can avoid these types of "ow" experiences and negative results from a silo-channel approach, by making the right "multi-channel" decisions while you are getting going that will guide you on where to incrementally invest and get better. And ultimately empower you to get ahead of the pack with personalized service!

In this blog series, our resident strategy experts will guide you through the Oracle Roadmap To ModernTM Customer Service. A maturity blueprint designed and distilled from many years of real world insights across many industries, geographies and technologies. The Oracle Roadmap To ModernTM Customer Service empowers you to define and get agreement on the "HOW" in order to reach your destination of "Modern WOW" with the business returns for sustainable growth and profit.

The Roadmap To ModernTM maturity framework is unique to Oracle and is used throughout Oracle's business discovery practices, and with select partnerships, to benchmark you against where you are in your industry, what problems you need to solve, in what order to tackle them, what to incrementally measure along the way, what technologies (both foundational and leading) are the best fit for your goals, and when to invest in them.

Learn more today about the Oracle Roadmap To ModernTM, and stay tuned to this blog to get the deep insights which prepare you for your journey to modern customer service.

Wednesday Nov 20, 2013

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]

Thursday Apr 04, 2013

I Want to Do It Myself by Lynn Barnhart

I like to do things myself. Maybe that’s my inner 2-year-old trying to get out.  When I can’t do things myself, then I’m usually interested in getting just a little help so I can still finish on my own.  This is probably why I like chat and I also don’t wonder why chat adoption has doubled in 2 years or that 51% of people prefer chat so they can multi-task.

Customer service can be a true competitive differentiator.  How do I know? Because a recent Forrester study found that Customer Experience leading companies had a 22.5% stock market return over the last five years versus a 46.3% loss for Customer Experience laggards.

So why wouldn’t  you want to invest in self-service options, or minimal agent intervention options, for customers to answer their own questions? And why wouldn't you provide the right opportunities for customers with complex issues to be channeled to an agent for one-on-one service?  This provides your customers’ with the right answer at the right time through the right channel.

Is this making you think you want to know more--like what are best practices for delivering the right answer at the right time with help just a click away?  Click this link to find out 3 best practices for providing ‘a little extra service’ using chat and email management.  Or listen to this 15-minute webcast to learn 5 exciting new features for Next Generation Chat, which increase customer satisfaction and lower customer support costs simultaneously.

If you want to know what business results companies who have implemented chat and email management are experiencing, learn what Xactware has done. Xactware gets 75% of their inquiries through the chat channel and their agents are able to effectively handle these high volumes while also helping Xactware gain substantial efficiencies.

To learn more, you have free access to different tools and resources for delivering the right answer at the right time with ‘a little extra service’.  Leverage one or more cloud solutions to differentiate your customer service and keep your customers returning time and again while your company effectively leverages technology to lower costs.

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.

Monday Dec 31, 2012

Cloud Chat Solutions Enhance Service and Cut Support Costs

Customers demand personalized service. With margins thinner than ever, how can you provide it in a cost-effective way? The answer is ‘Chat.’

Not chat as in people milling about the water cooler. But Live Chat, the newest customer service channel, whose use has doubled in the past few years and whose customer satisfaction score is the highest of all online channels.

Chat sessions enable customer service agents to provide real-time, personalized answers to several customers at once, increasing contact center responsiveness and efficiency while decreasing costs. Here are some results from Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service customers:

  • Financial Services Leader Jackson Hewitt—Chat enables Jackson Hewitt to provide real-time support to both tax preparers and end customers, increasing their satisfaction while improving support efficiency with agents handling multiple chat sessions simultaneously. Chat, along with the knowledge base, has reduced calls by 40%, lowering Jackson Hewitt’s support costs.
  • High Technology Innovator XactwareChat enables Xactware to handle higher support volume without added headcount, despite rapid customer growth. With 75% of inquiries coming through chat, including mobile chat, Xactware has generated significant savings while beating its service level KPIs by as much as 80%.

Using Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service, these companies have improved customer service and operational efficiency at the same time, paving the way for sustainable growth and profits.

Join us at an Oracle CloudWorld event near you to learn how Chat, and our other Cloud Customer Service and Support solutions, can help you deliver exceptional customer service experiences. To sign up, please visit our registration page.

To learn more about Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service, please visit our website or contact us at (866) 630-7669. You can also see an overview of Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service on YouTube.

Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

The Boston Globe Delivers Higher Satisfaction and Efficiency with Omni-Channel Support

The Boston GlobeUnify customer interactions. Improve customer satisfaction. Increase agent efficiency. Better informed business decisions.

These sound like a good set of goals for any business. Actually implementing processes to affect all of these is not necessarily easy for every business. On top of the normal challenges, throw in a rapidly changing industry and the challenge sounds daunting.

But that's exactly what The Boston Globe took on, and customers are benefiting from a much improved experience.

“We feel like we hit the bull’s eye with finding the right solution to support the growing digital environment,” said Robert Saurer, The Boston Globe's director of customer care and marketing.

Oracle's RightNow CX solutions helped The Boston Globe to manage approximately 60,000 calls each month and respond to 5,000 monthly e-mails. More importantly, Web self-service rates are exploding and the online subscriber's most preferred support channel is chat. And what about social? The Boston Globe customer support team offers the same great level of support on their Facebook page and is monitoring Twitter and YouTube too!

Read the full Customer Experience success story on The Boston Globe here.

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Engage Customers At The Point Of Need

Where do people often turn to when they need immediate help on a web site?  As consumers spend more time online shopping and managing banking, bills and more, they want easy access to service and support. When they need to ask a question or solve a problem, consumers worldwide said they prefer to get help online, ranking Live Help options like Live Chat and “Click-to-Call” second only to toll-free 800 numbers.

A recent Oracle study found that consumers prefer Live Help for specific reasons such as convenience and the ability to multitask rather than waiting on the phone. Survey results suggest that the more consumers are online, the more comfortable they are communicating with companies there.

In addition, by next year, three-quarters of the online shopping population will have engaged in a live chat with a retailer, researchers predict.  A survey of U.S. and U.K. consumers conducted online by eMarketer researchers in partnership with the retail consultants at the e-tailing group found that 1 in 5 shoppers said they preferred live chat as their communication method of choice for contacting a retailer regardless of the circumstances.

Click to learn more about the study and Oracle's Live Help solutions.

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