Saturday Apr 04, 2015

"The Connected Customer" Oracle Roadmap To Modern by Dave Lanning, Senior Strategy Consultant

"Omni-channel?" "Cross-Channel?" "Multi-Channel?" What does it all mean? Isn’t it just about the customer’s engagement with the brand, and the experience that they will have along the way? There has been a fundamental shift in behavior driven by the velocity of technology adoption. Like you, your customer is now more connected than ever. These "Connected Customers" are more informed, more demanding and have higher service expectations. They say:

  • "Help Me" - Assist me with navigating on my channel-of-choice and make recommendations that are relevant to my journey
  • "Know Me" - Know my preferences, anticipate my needs and focus on how to help me achieve my journey
  • "Value Me" - Recognize and reward my tenure, treat me like a valued customer, value my time with easy-to-use support, value my relationship with relevant offers and promotions and communicate in clear, simple terms.

But who is the customer? Demographics have some interesting nuances to this shift in behavior and expectations. Your customers of tomorrow are the tech-savvy ‘millennials’ who prefer digital channels to engage with you first. During these demanding and transactional interactions, they expect to find information not only within your brand but on social and on every device they connect with – or they will quickly find someone else. On the other end of the spectrum, the more traditional late adopter, bread and butter ‘Baby Boomers’ are used to the human touch, and will only try out some of the digital paths to engage for low risk issues. They need you to make it simple, and take the time to provide them with personal guidance at their convenience.

In between these two demographics are a wide range of personalities and expectations. Service levels and demographics alone aren't going to be enough to meet the expectations of customers today. Modern marketers know this and are leveraging every channel to reach out to consumers – setting the bar for where customer service needs to continue the engagement. To make it even more complex, research has shown that 44% of customers now expect to not only have a choice of multiple channels, but also to be able to switch channels according to their preference and convenience. By 2018, Gartner predicts that digital channels will for the first time be the preferred channel for the majority of your customers. Traversing channels is rapidly becoming the norm.

Net, Net. "Connected Customers" are here and you need a modern customer service strategy to meet their needs.

Look at any business that is a stand-out for delivering exceptional experiences and you will find that customer service is at the forefront of their CX initiatives. It's not an afterthought – that doesn't happen by accident. These modern businesses adopted a maturity strategy that enabled them to best serve the continuously rising expectations of these "Connected Customers," while achieving continued growth and differentiation from their competitors. They are going through an evolution/transformation around customer engagement with a strategy that:

  • Embraces the customer’s choice of channel, with online digital channels leading the way, available 24x7 regardless of device/location; engaging customers on self-service, chat, SMS, social media, communities, etc.
  • Delivers consistent levels of service quality and knowledge accuracy on every channel, with seamless cross-channel experiences  and empowers service agents with a unified platform for all interactions and access.
  • Captures relevant data at every touch point that can be easily leveraged for current and future engagements to personalize the experience, and deepen the relationship in a measurable way  with actionable proactive and predictive intelligence that is shared across the business.

To help organizations get going on this transformational journey, Oracle has developed a Roadmap to ModernTM customer engagement strategy that helps business identify where they are today and each phase towards their goals.

  1. "Multi-Channel" - The first transformation phase in the customer engagement strategy is to move away from siloed thinking. One or two options aren't enough choice to serve customers today, but adding more channels to your customer service operations can be risky to your support and maintenance costs. You must unify knowledge and some administrative overhead in the process.
  2. "Cross-Channel" - The second phase of maturity in the customer engagement strategy must focus on the service quality and channel mix. Customers must be able to have a consistent experience within each channel and across channels. For that to happen, agents must be guided on how to engage with customers according to their channels of choice. This requires agents to use a unified platform for engagements.
  3. "Omni-Channel" - The third phase of a customer engagement strategy is the ability to personalize experiences. Many businesses jump to this phase too early and miss the unified, "accurate" data that comes from phase 2. If the data isn't right, you can hurt your relationship with your customer due to inconsistent service quality and inaccurate knowledge. Once you have good data, you can make it actionable and automate processes, curating a truly personalized and even proactive service experience across every touch point of your brand.

The Customer Engagement strategy is only one part of the three-legged stool. Without the right way to measure value and performance along the way  with benchmarks and cultural incentives (a modern value strategy), the right timing for technology platform adoption and integrations and innovations (a modern technology strategy) – your engagement strategy will be a vision of frustration. You will be unable to reach your destination of 'WOW.'

That is why the Oracle Roadmap to ModernTM has been developed as a unified customer engagement methodology, which gets delivered as part of the Oracle Service Cloud solution, along with the business maturity partner ecosystem to help guide each step of your success. Learn more today about the Oracle Roadmap To ModernTM , and stay tuned to this blog to get in-depth insights that prepare you for your journey to modern customer service.



Monday Mar 02, 2015

Four Key Qualities of a Customer Experience Leader by P. Cory Hogan

In the last three years as a Customer Experience Strategist for Oracle, I've had the unique privilege of personally discussing Customer Experience (CX) strategies with over 100 different brands. These companies have ranged from global conglomerates to niche startups, in Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare, Entertainment, Consumer Goods (CG) and High Tech.

Fortunately, many of the executives I've met with truly appreciate customer experience as a point of strategic differentiation as a company-wide goal. The CEO of one international CG manufacturer told me, “eventually anyone can sell similar products – it’s how we sell those products that will keep us ahead.” The founder of a start-up fashion line in New York City made nearly the same comment when she explained customers, “purchase our experience – and get a nice product, too.”

However, while most savvy executives drive and define the customer experience strategy, they are too encumbered with traditional responsibilities to take the lead in developing and executing that strategy. To overcome this hurdle, industry leading companies invest in Customer Experience Leaders. They also make certain that the individual reports very near to the CEO, to break down internal barriers.

As more companies recognize the critical role of the Customer Experience Leader, they will discover that the ideal CX candidate possesses four key attributes: 

  • First, the Customer Experience Leader has high Emotional Intelligence (EI). With high self-awareness, EI allows the appointed individual to work delicately among tenured employees across multiple internal organizations, and with deep empathy. EI also keeps customer experience leaders concentrated on the real emotions of customers. 
  • Second, the Customer Experience Leader is Creative, as ingenuity and resourcefulness allow customer experience endeavors to be both unique and transformative. 
  • Third, the Customer Experience Leader is AnalyticalDesign thinking is critical in this capacity, but it must also be balanced with the ability to mine data, assess feasibility, evaluate ROI, and architect processes. Though not necessarily abundant, such right brain (creative) + left brain (analytical) leaders do exist, and selective companies will benefit from the unique combination. 
  • Finally, the Customer Experience Leader is EclecticThe broader the experience, the greater is the innovation potential. Industry experts are often prisoners of their own perspectives, and many companies will find the best Customer Experience Leaders come from outside their own company, frequently working in diverse disciplines.

I challenge every company to align a commitment to CX with a dedicated Customer Experience Leader, one who possesses the traits and authority required for success. Our research indicates that 86% of customers are happy to pay 25% more for a better customer experience. A lucrative business benefit will follow–and justify–a proper investment in a qualified Customer Experience Leader.

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

Monday Oct 01, 2012

OpenWorld: Our (Road) Maps are Looking Good!

Oracle OpenWorldWow, only one (or two) days down at Oracle OpenWorld! Are you on overload yet? I'm still trying to figure out how to be in 3 sessions at the same time... I guess everyone needs to prioritize!

There was a lot to see in Monday's sessions, especially some great forward-looking roadmap sessions. In case you aren't here or you decided to go to other sessions, this is my quick summary of what I could capture from a couple of the roadmaps:

  • Fusion Roadmap SessionIn the Fusion CRM Strategy and Roadmap session, Anthony Lye provided an overview of the Fusion CRM strategy including the key design principles of 3 E's: Easy, Effective and Efficient. After an overview of how Oracle has deployed Fusion CRM internally to 25,000 users worldwide, Anthony discussed the features coming in the next release, the releases in the next 12 months and beyond. I can't detail too much since you haven't read Oracle's Safe Harbor statement, but check out Fusion Tap and look for new features and added functionality for sales prediction, marketing, social and integration with a number of the key Customer Experience products. 
  • In the Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service Vision and Roadmap session, Chris Hamilton presented the focus areas for the RightNow product. As a result of the large increase in development resources after the acquisition, the RightNow CX team is planning a lot of enhancements to the functionality, infrastructure and integrations. As a key piece of the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) strategy, RightNow will be integrated with Oracle Social Network, Oracle Commerce (ATG and Endeca), Oracle Knowledge, Oracle Policy Automation and, of course, further integration with Fusion Sales and Marketing. Look forward to seeing more on the Virtual Assistant, Smart Interaction Hub and Mobility.

In addition to the roadmaps, I was looking forward to hearing from Oracle CRM customers. So, I sat in on two great Siebel customer panels:

  • The Maximizing User Adoption Rates for Siebel Sales and Siebel Partner Relationship Management panel consisted of speakers from CSL Behring, McKesson and Intuit. It was great to get an overview of implementations for both B2B and B2C companies. It was great hearing that all of these companies have more than 1,000 sales users (Intuit has 4,000) and how the 360 degree view of the customer in Siebel is helping these customers improve their customers' experience (CX). They are all great examples of centralized implementations which have standardized processes across the globe and across business units. 
  • Waste Management, Farmers Insurance and the US Citizenship & Immigration Services presented in the Driving Great Customer Experiences with Siebel Service Applications session. Talk about serving large customer bases! Is it possible that Farmers with only 10 million households is the smallest of these 3? All of them provided great examples of how they are improving the customer experience (CX) including 60-70% improvements in efficiency or reducing the number of applications the customer service reps (CSRs) need to use from 10 to 1 (Waste Management) and context aware call transfers to avoid the caller explaining their issue 3 times (USCIS).

DEMOgroundsSo that's my wrap up of only 4 sessions from Monday. In between sessions, I stopped by the Oracle DEMOgrounds and CRM Pavilion to visit with a group of great partners and see the products and partner integrations in action.

Don't miss a recap of Mark Hurd's Keynote. I can't believe there were another 40+ sessions covering CRM, Fusion, Cloud, etc. that I missed today! Anyone else see any great sessions?

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