Friday Apr 18, 2014

Part 4 of 6: The Art of Easy: Moving at the Speed of Easy by Chris Omland

The speed of change IS the speed of Easy. To meet the demands of what it takes to exceed your customers' expectations, you have to be like Superman -- "Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!" The velocity of easy isn't stopping or slowing down; catching up isn't going to be good enough.

The real question is, “How do you move ahead of the speed of easy?” You can’t see into the future, but you can be ready for constant, fast moving change.  Agility starts from the ground up, as the foundation will ultimately dictate your ability to change—the degrees of what can change and the speed that change can be applied.

So under your shirt, do you have an “S”? Do you have a platform that has the tools to enable agile innovation of customer and agent experiences, the extensibility and integration options to meet the unique needs of every business and customer, and the proven reliability and security demanded by today’s modern customers? To get ahead, you need to stick an “S” on it.

Here are 5 Platform Super Powers that you need to consider to move at the speed of easy:

  1. Be Agile
  2. Be Unique
  3. Have ONE Master
  4. Own Your Schedule
  5. Prove Reliability

#1 Be “Agile”: Meaning “create, deliver, and fix stuff… fast, right?” It does if that is what the business demands of you to meet the expectations of your customers. Don't deliver to scope, to scale, and on time, and you fail at serving the business and customer needs.  No pressure, right? And certainly not easy, especially with a spaghetti foundation, whose complexity has been matured over time.  The answer for most businesses is not “rip it out and rebuild”, even if the new CIO says that's what is needed.

Modern Customer Service requires you to develop, test, deploy, maintain, measure, and refine processes that help differentiate customer service experiences when they are needed most.  So “agile innovation” is really about your ability to establish a foundational layer that allows you to effectively deliver at the speed of change. To do that, you need a platform that is purpose built with the tools, designers, analytics and operations that overlay all that complexity to make it easy again.

#2 Your Footprint Is Unique – Respect it!: Lets face it, your business is unique, which means you must interact with your customers in a unique way, too. You have unique systems, which are an essential part of your business processes—and your environment is constantly changing.

This means you need solutions that can work with your unique footprint. Solutions that can integrate seamlessly into your environment and processes—and are not just bolted on. These solutions need to work with, not replace, your existing systems. They need to work on your schedule, giving you flexibility in your upgrades. They need to provide you with the ability to tailor the solution through configuration, not code. And for those times when you need to go beyond the configuration options, you need open and standards-based APIs that your developers, existing solutions, and tooling can work with on day one without learning proprietary languages and protocols.

#3 Have ONE Master: Your business already has customer data, product data, processes, and systems that you use every day. The trick is not to duplicate and reconcile later. Not to create another silo.  

Working with existing systems can mean synchronizing data, loading data in real-time, integrating functionality to create a unified business process, or bringing together user interfaces. The requirements and implementation will be different for every business, but what is common is the need to bring systems together to meet customer needs and the support processes you have to deliver on those needs.

#4 Own Your Schedule: You set your plans according to your business needs, because only you know when you business is ready to make changes in your solutions. You know when your support request volumes will be at a low point, when you can retrain agents, and when you can deploy new functionality. Why should any vendor tell you when you should upgrade your solution? And if you have more than one Cloud Vendor, how do you juggle all of the timing conflicts and disruptive schedules?

Consolidate, standardize and have the freedom to set your own schedule. You did it with your on-premise solutions, so why shouldn't you expect the same from your Cloud solutions? Especially with solutions that support your most critical asset—your customers!

#5 Don't TRUST It - Prove It: In the end, Modern Customer Service is about an experience and a relationship you develop with your customers. All great relationships are built upon one fundamental concept—trust. Trust means reliability, performance, and availability. Trust is not established and left alone. It’s earned, it’s proven, and it’s continually put to the test. Your customers are trusting you to protect the relationship they have with your brand. That means you have to be always available, responsive, and secure.

To build, prove, and protect this trust with your customer, you need a solution that offers you the same level of trust. It’s easy to say a solution is proven, secure, and can deliver on your customer expectations.  But, it’s another to have proven it through reference customer examples, reference implementations, the highest level of security and compliance accreditations, and a global enterprise network with 24x7.

Put an ‘S’ under your shirt and transform to Modern Customer Service. Start with a platform that enables agile innovation, respects your unique needs, and has proven reliability to help you protect your customer relationships.  Learn why not all Clouds are equal.  The Oracle Service Cloud platform is built from the ground up to help your business move at the speed of easy.

Wednesday Apr 02, 2014

CX @ OpenWorld Call for Customer Success Stories is Now Open - by Scott Ewart

Oracle OpenWorld is Oracle’s flagship customer conference, and CX @ OpenWorld is our CX focused conference within a conference designed for all Oracle’s CX customers: (Sales, Service, Marketing, Social, Commerce, Siebel, CPQ, Knowledge). This is where we highlight all of our products, our product roadmaps, the technical side of our software, integration among the entire Oracle suite of CX products, as well as celebrate and learn from our customers’ stories and successes. Our main theme this year is “Modern Customer Experience Transforming Your Business”, and we are looking for sessions that align with the theme of transforming the customer experience, how you have accomplished providing your customers with a great exposure to your business from start to finish, and integration of the entire customer experience lifecycle (marketing, sales, social, commerce, CPQ, service, Knowledge)

This year, customers and partners are invited to submit sessions that describe your experience in a case study format. We want to hear the details around what questions you asked yourselves before embarking on a project, what goals you wanted to achieve, and why that was important to your business.

Of particular interest to our audience at this conference is how you have achieved your goals, including the implementation process, and the business value gained as a result. We want you to describe different aspects of your implementations. We want you to tell us the evaluations you did when you compared products and decided on your path to move forward. We want you to share your successes with us and other Oracle customers that can learn from your experience.

We are interested in the HOW you got things accomplished. We do not want to hear a commercial for a particular implementation methodology with a particular partner; we DO want to hear about how your partnership enabled success in the project, and win-win situations.

This year, especially, we want to hear about the decisions you made to integrate your solutions. Are you using your existing solutions and adding Cloud solutions on top of them? Have you shifted your entire business to the Cloud? How are you integrating the solutions you are using? We want to hear about the other solutions in your environment – are you integrated with more than one cloud inside CX (Marketing, Sales, Service)? Please share these stories with us.

At CX @ OpenWorld, it is our hope that we create a community of all CX professionals and technicians where people want to hear from each other, connect with each other, and build relationships by sharing stories and solutions. By sharing your story, you also get the additional benefit of bringing recognition to your company and to you as a professional in the industry.

Session submissions are due by April 15, 2014. Please submit your abstract here.

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014

Part 1 of 6: The Art of Easy: Make It Easy To Deliver Great Customer Service Experiences by JP Saunders

Modern Customer Service is helping businesses to differentiate and grow in today’s competitive market. Why? Because your success gets accelerated when you take care of the people that make you successful. Modern Customer Service is about just that, taking care of your customers, and your people that support them.  To do that, you need to make it EASY to deliver great experiences, time and time again.

Businesses that make it “look” easy, stand out, because they consistently deliver experiences so memorable that their customers feel compelled to share them. But ask any of them how they do it, and you will quickly learn that the ART of EASY really isn’t EASY at all - or we would all be doing it! The most common business challenge stems from underestimating the complexity of simplicity, which can be devastating to the customer’s experience.

EASY is an ART. And it requires a deep understanding to get the right results - understanding of your business and of your customer, which can be applied in your cultural skills. Your canvas is the combination of every engagement channel you have where the picture of your brand gets painted. Your pallet of colors is the collection of your people, knowledge and data. Your brushes are the technologies that blend all together. In order to make “EASY”, beautiful and repeatable, you need solutions that provide a paint by numbers approach.

In this six part blog series, we will help guide you in managing the complexity of your customer service business challenges, while avoiding the common pitfalls, and deliver the type of great experiences that your customers will want to share with others. Experiences that are easily repeatable by you, and hard for your competitors to replicate.  We will show you how Oracle Service Cloud empowers your business to care, take action and succeed in your Web, Contact Center, Knowledge, Policy, and Cloud customer service initiatives, to become a Modern Customer Service organization.

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]

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]

Thursday Oct 17, 2013

Driving Growth through Smarter Selling

With the proliferation of social media and mobile technologies, the world of selling and buying has drastically changed, as buyers now have access to more information than they did in the past. In fact, studies have shown that buyers complete 60 percent of the buying process before they even engage with a salesperson. The old models of selling no longer work effectively; and the new way of selling is driven by customer insights. To succeed, sales need to be proactive, not reactive. They need to engage with the customer early, sometimes even before the customer’s needs are fully understood. In fact, the best sales reps prescribe a solution that the customer doesn't even know they need, often by leveraging social media to listen, engage and collaborate with peers. And they fully tap into the power of analytics and data to drive results.

 Let’s look at some stats regarding challenges facing sales today. According to recent studies, sales reps spend 78 percent of their time doing administrative things -- such as planning, searching for information, data entry -- and only 22 percent of the time actually selling. Furthermore, 40 percent of B2B sales reps miss their quota, and only 3 percent of companies can say with confidence that their forecasts are “always accurate.”

How do you drive growth in this modern day and age? It's not just getting your sales teams to work harder; it's helping them work smarter and providing them with a solution they want to use, on the device(s) they already know, giving them critical insights and tools to be more productive, increase win rates, and close deals faster.

Oracle Sales Cloud was designed to do exactly that. It enables smarter selling that allows reps to sell more, managers to know more, and companies to grow more.  Let’s face it—if all CRM solutions worked well, sales executives wouldn’t be having the same headaches as they had in the past.

Join Oracle’s Thomas Kurian and Doug Clemmans on Tuesday, October 22 as they explain:

• How today’s sales processes have rendered many CRM systems obsolete

• The secrets to smarter selling, leveraging mobile, social, and big data

• How Oracle Sales Cloud enables smarter selling—as proven by Oracle and its customers

Take the first step down the path toward smarter selling. With Oracle Sales Cloud, reps sell more, managers know more, and companies grow more.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

The Evolution of an Era: Customer Experience in Retail

Two New Studies Point to the Direction Retailers are Taking in their CX Initiatives. Is it the Right Direction?

The sheer velocity of change in retailing and customer behavior is forcing retailers to reinvigorate, expand and sharpen their vital Customer Experience (CX) strategies. Customers are becoming increasingly dynamic as they race to embrace the newest digital channels; shop in new ways on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, on the Web and in the store; share experiences socially; and interact with their preferred brands in new ways. Retailers are stepping up to their customers as they and their competitors create new modes of customer interaction. Underpinning these changes are vast quantities of customer data as customers flood digital channels and the social sphere.

The informed retailer must now understand what their priorities are and what they should be for the future. To better understand this, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Oracle independently launched CX-focused surveys to uncover what retailing leadership found important today. By comparing the results of these two studies together, we can further discover new insights about the industry. Click here to download this informative white paper.

Friday Oct 04, 2013

10/17 Webcast: Get Mobile with Siebel for Field Service and Sales

No office? No network signal? It's not a problem with Siebel.

Watch our live Webcast on Thursday, October 17 and see how Oracle’s Siebel Mobile solutions transform mobile devices into powerful service and sales tools, using native capabilities within the devices to get information to field teams when and where they need it. Discover how you can:

  • Drive revenue with an always-on sales force
  • Simplify sales and service processes with easy-to-use mobile apps
  • Enhance the customer experience by delivering knowledge-infused services including installations, preventive maintenance, and repairs
  • Improve productivity with offline access to critical information

Register now!

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

9/12 Webcast: Delight Customers with Siebel Service Applications

As mobile and social technology has evolved, the number of channels that customers use to engage with organizations has grown exponentially. With such a diverse range of service channels and touchpoints to manage, how can you ensure you’re able to help customers, such as delivering the right information to the right customer at the right time?

Watch our live Webcast on Thursday, September 12, 8:30 AM Pacific / 4:30 PM BST, to discover how you can deliver consistent, personalized customer service experiences across all modern channels, and:

  • Increase brand loyalty by delighting customers with relevant information and offers
  • Boost agent productivity with complete access to customer information
  • Deliver field service excellence 
  • Identify emerging service issues with social media monitoring tools

Don't miss your opportunity to learn how you can enhance customer experiences and resolve service issues faster with Oracle Siebel service applications. Register Now

Friday Aug 23, 2013

How Do You Make Profits From Your Contact Center?

Transform Contact Centers into Profit Centers

Customer service is now viewed as a strategic profit center at nearly 70% of surveyed organizations, according to Aberdeen. Service organizations that focus on providing easy, consistent, and relevant interactions across the customer lifecycle, including service and support delivery, are experiencing higher levels of customer acquisition and retention and are achieving better revenue and margin growth rates. 

What might it look like if you equipped your agents to not only deliver great service, but also recommend and sell product and service offers that are personalized in real time? In this new video, "Turn Your Contact Center into a Profit Center," see how Oracle Service products empower service agents to delight customers and sell more.

How do you transform your contact center? In this Aberdeen research report, “Service Excellence and the Path to Business Transformation,” learn strategies and action steps that, along with enabling technology, will help you to make profits from your contact center.

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