Thursday Dec 13, 2012

Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Solutions Make Retailers Merry

Tis the season to be jolly. If you’re a retailer, your level of jolliness depends on sales. So you watch trends like U.S. store traffic increasing 3.5% to 308 million on Black Friday but sales actually falling 1.8% to $11.2 billion.

Fortunately, by the end of November, retail sales were up 3.7% over the previous year, thanks to life recovering after Hurricane Sandy. And online sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever!

Who are the companies improving their sales online? They are big names like Walgreen’s Drugstore.com, Nordstrom’s HauteLook, and Intuit. More importantly, how are they doing it? They use cutting-edge business practices enabled by Oracle’s CX Cloud Service & Support solutions to:

  1. Increase conversions rates and order sizes (Customer Acquisition)
  2. Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty (Customer Retention)
  3. Reduce contact center costs and improve agent productivity (Operational Efficiency).

Acquisition + Retention + Operational Efficiency = Sustainable Growth and Profits. That’s the magic formula for retail customer service success. Don’t take our word for it. Look at the results of these Oracle customers:

  • Walgreen’s Drugstore—30% sales conversion rate on chat sessions with 20% increase in shopping cart size
  • Nordstrom’s HauteLook—40,000+ interactions per month—20% growth over last year— efficiently managed by 40 agents, with no increase in IT costs
  • Intuit—50% increase in customer satisfaction and 70% decrease in cost per interaction

Using Oracle’s CX Cloud & Service solutions, these retailers deliver consistent, relevant, and personalized experiences across all touchpoints, including social, mobile, and web. Their ability to connect with customers anytime, anywhere—providing the right answer at the right time—helps them create a defensible advantage in the marketplace.

Want to learn more? Please visit http://www.oracle.com/goto/cloudlaunchpad for free resources on delivering exceptional customer service in the Cloud. Also, watch our YouTube channel to learn more about seamless multichannel retail and Winston Furnishings’ exceptional customer experience.

Thursday Dec 06, 2012

BYOD-The Tablet Difference

By Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, and Jennifer Rossbach, Sales Consultants

Less than three years ago, Apple introduced a new concept to the world: The Tablet. It’s hard to believe that in only 32 months, the iPad induced an entire new way to do business. Because of their mobility and ease-of-use, tablets have grown in popularity to keep up with the increasing “on the go” lifestyle, and their popularity isn’t expected to decrease any time soon. In fact, global tablet sales are expected to increase drastically within the next five years, from 56 million tablets to 375 million by 2016.

Tablets have been utilized for every function imaginable in today’s world. With over 730,000 active applications available for the iPad, these tablets are educational devices, portable book collections, gateways into social media, entertainment for children when Mom and Dad need a minute on their own, and so much more. It’s no wonder that 74% of those who own a tablet use it daily, 60% use it several times a day, and an average of 13.9 hours per week are spent tapping away.

Tablets have become a critical part of a user’s personal life; but why stop there? Businesses today are taking major strides in implementing these devices, with the hopes of benefiting from efficiency and productivity gains. Limo and taxi drivers use tablets as payment devices instead of traditional cash transactions. Retail outlets use tablets to find the exact merchandise customers are looking for. Professors use tablets to teach their classes, and business professionals demonstrate solutions and review reports from tablets.

Since an overwhelming majority of tablet users have started to use their personal iPads, PlayBooks, Galaxys, etc. in the workforce, organizations have had to make a change. In many cases, companies are willing to make that change. In fact, 79% of companies are making new investments in mobility this year. Gartner reported that 90% of organizations are expected to support corporate applications on personal devices by 2014.

It’s not just companies that are changing. Business professionals have become accustomed to tablets making their personal lives easier, and want that same effect in the workplace. Professionals no longer want to waste time manually entering data in their computer, or worse yet in a notebook, especially when the data has to be later transcribed to an online system.

The response: the Bring Your Own Device phenomenon. According to Gartner, BYOD is “an alternative strategy allowing employees, business partners and other users to utilize a personally selected and purchased client device to execute enterprise applications and access data.” Employees whose companies embrace this trend are more efficient because they get to use devices they are already accustomed to.

Tablets change the game when it comes to how sales professionals perform their jobs. Sales reps can easily store and access customer information and analytics using tablet applications, such as Oracle Fusion Tap. This method is much more enticing for sales reps than spending time logging interactions on their (what seem to be outdated) computers. Forrester & IDC reported that on average sales reps spend 65% of their time on activities other than selling, so having a tablet application to use on the go is extremely powerful. In February, Information Week released a list of “9 Powerful Business Uses for Tablet Computers,” ranging from “enhancing the customer experience” to “improving data accuracy” to “eco-friendly motivations”. Tablets compliment the lifestyle of professionals who strive to be effective and efficient, both in the office and on the road.

Three Things Businesses Need to do to Embrace BYOD

  • Make customer-facing websites tablet-friendly for consistent user experiences
  • Develop tablet applications to continue to enhance the customer experience
  • Embrace and use the technology that comes with tablets

Almost 55 million people in the U.S. own tablets because they are convenient, easy, and powerful. These are qualities that companies strive to achieve with any piece of technology. The inherent power of the devices coupled with the growing number of business applications ensures that tablets will transform the way that companies and employees perform.

Wednesday Dec 05, 2012

Learn How to Integrate Social Media into Your Customer Service - December 12 Webcast

Charlie Knapp 

Are you interested in learning more about social media customer service strategies? Then register for CRM Magazine's Roundtable Webcast, Four Social Media Support Strategies, being held Wednesday, December 12 from 11 AM - 12 PM PT (2 - 3 PM ET).

The webcast features Oracle's Charlie Knapp, Director of CRM/CX Applications, Product Marketing who will speak on best practices for social enabling your contact center and customer support.

Here is a brief overview of the webinar:

Today's customers reveal an incredible amount of valuable information through social media on a daily basis. How well is your organization able to listen and repond? Join Parature, Verint Systems, KANA, and Oracle in this free webinar and learn how to:

  • Enable collaboration across the enterprise to provide service and support in social media.
  • Enhance loyalty, drive voice of the customer listening, and reduce costs.
  • Intelligently identify, route, and engage directly with your customers through social media.
  • Integrate social media into contact center workflows to solve customer issues, protect your brand, and improve satisfaction.

Register now to join us for this free web event.

 

Friday Oct 05, 2012

Mapping Your Customer Experience Journey

For those who attended today’s Oracle Customer Experience Summit keynote you heard from Brian Curran talk about the strategies and best practices to implement customer experience (CX) in your organization.  He spoke about how this evolving journey begins by understanding six steps to transform your business and put your customers front and center.  Here are those key six steps:

  1. What are the strategic business objectives in your company?
  2. What are your operational objectives and KPIs necessary to measure a CX project? Build an income statement and create “what if” scenarios and see how changes impact your business’ bottom line.  Explore what keeps you from getting to your own goals for your business.
  3. Define the business objectives and opportunities you want to meet?
  4. Understand the trends and accelerators in the market?  What factors are going on in the market affect that impact your business?  Social?  Mobile?  Cloud?  Just to name a few.  Many of these trends may signal a change in the way people think about your business.
  5. What approach will you take to solve these issues?  Understand who your customer is.  How do you need to adapt your business to build relevant, personalized customer experiences?
  6. What technologies can you implement to address CX?  Does technology help you solve your problem?

A great way to begin your customer experience journey is a concept called journey mapping, one of the most powerful and deceptively simple tools for unlocking CX innovation at your organization. Here is where you can learn more about how you can bring this concept into your business to drive great customer experiences.

Monday Oct 01, 2012

Mark Hurd on Oracle's Strategy to Be the Best

Mark Hurd, President of Oracle, energized a packed audience this Monday morning at OpenWorld with his keynote outlining Oracle’s four-pillar strategy:

  • Be the leader at every level of the technology stack—applications, middleware, database, operating system, virtual machine, servers, and storage
  • Vertically integrate these levels into differentiated solutions
  • Offer Fusion, the next generation of applications, which are modular and can run in the cloud, on-premise, or both (hybrid)
  • Deliver this technology portfolio through industry lenses to help Oracle customers solve their problems while innovating and becoming more efficient.

Hurd’s message resonated throughout Monday’s Customer Experience (CX) sessions as we learned about Oracle’s investment in integrating its best-of-breed CX solutions to deliver an end-to-end suite that addresses every part of the customer lifecycle. For example, in the area of customer service, Oracle is developing enhancements to help contact center agents:

  • Better understand customer needs through social listening tools that are integrated with knowledge management
  • Empower themselves with internal collaboration and mobility tools
  • Adapt to customer needs by engaging them through chat during a service or commerce interaction so they can deliver a great customer experience while transforming from a cost- into a profit center.

Tuesday Jul 10, 2012

Communications: Customer Experience

Imagine, what would a totally new customer experience look like in Communications?

Could a customer research comments from social networks, buy online and be geo directed to a nearby store to pick up the device?  Could the customer be contacted proactively that he is approaching a data threshold for a smart phone and be offered value added options to manage usage? Could the customer upgrade video features interactively and leverage loyalty points for payment? Watch this short Communications Customer Experience story to see how these these challenges are met and exceeded.  

Learn about the Oracle Customer Experience and Oracle Communications.

Thursday Jun 21, 2012

Experience the Revolution

Bold shifts in consumer power and influence have created an Experience Revolution! Is your business ready? Join Oracle President Mark Hurd in New York City on 6/25 to find out! 

Monday Jun 18, 2012

The “Customer” Experience Revolution is Here

A guest post by Anthony Lye, SVP, CRM, Oracle

The Experience Revolution is here, and we are going to explore and celebrate our new customer experience (CX) ventures and strategy in an extraordinary way. In true Oracle fashion, we are hosting an exceptional event, bringing together customer experience advocates, visionaries and practitioners to discover and define Oracle’s Customer Experience vision.

At The Experience Revolution, Oracle President Mark Hurd will detail the vision of where customer experience is going and how Oracle will help you get there. He will introduce for the first time Oracle Customer Experience, a cross stack suite of customer experience products that enable organizations to:

  • Engage customers with a consistent, connected and personalized brand experience across all channels and devices
  • Deliver exceptional cross-channel order fulfillment and customer service through web, call centers and social networks
  • Connect and analyze data from all interactions to better personalize experiences and identify hidden opportunities

The Experience Revolution will also include an interactive gallery of customer experience interactions, featuring videos, touch screens and near field communication technology that will guide each attendee through an individualized event experience.

We hope you will join us for an incredible evening on June 25, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Gotham Hall in New York City.  You can register for The Experience Revolution here.

And if you haven’t already joined the conversation on Twitter, please do:  #OracleCX, #ExperienceRevolution

Thursday May 31, 2012

“Big Data” Is A Small Concept Unless You Can Apply It To The Customer Experience

There’s been a lot of recent talk in the industry about “big data”.  Much can be said about the importance of big data and the results from it, but you need to always consider the customer experience when analyzing and applying customer data.

Personalization and merchandising drive the user experience.  Big data should enable you to gain valuable insight into each of your customers and apply that insight at the moment they are on your Web site, talking to one of your call center agents, or any other touchpoint.  While past customer experience is important, you need to combine that with what your customer is doing on your Web site now as well what they are doing and saying on social networking sites.  It’s key to have a 360 degree view of your customer across all of your touchpoints in order to provide that relevant and consistent experience that they come to expect when interacting with your brand.

Big data can enable you to effectively market, merchandize, and recommend the right products to the right customers and the right time.  By taking customer data and applying it to product recommendations, you have an opportunity to gain a greater share of wallet through the cross-selling and up-selling of additional products and services.  You can also build sustaining loyalty programs to continue to engage with your customers throughout their long-term relationship with your brand.

Sunday Apr 22, 2012

Make the Most of Your CRM Implementation with the Customer Concepts TV Show

Eliminate the guesswork in your sales organisation by joining Customer Concepts TV, 24 April,  11am CET / 10am BST. Strategies will be examined to help you make the most out of your CRM implementation. Watch this video for more information:http://bit.ly/HzejFT

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