Wednesday May 20, 2015

Modern Service Experience Conference Highlights! by Stephen Fioretti

Over 500 customer service professionals joined the Oracle Service Cloud team in Las Vegas recently to kick off the Modern Service Experience Conference! The event featured nearly 40 customer speakers including Kohl’s, LinkedIn, and Nintendo outlining the latest trends in engaging customers, empowering employees and adapting quickly to constantly changing business and customer needs. 

The conference also featured industry thought leaders from Forrester, Constellation Research, Beagle Research, and The 56 Group talking about the future of customer service and trends that are impacting a company's ability to deliver great service. 

Amidst the three days of sessions, Oracle Service Cloud hosted industry roundtables and a 100 “Ask the Experts” meetings between customers and product experts—and in-depth executive, contact center, web customer service, insightful answers, and technical tracks with customers like Virgin America, Panera, Kaiser Permanente, Beachbody, Nikon, T-Mobile and others. These discussions provided a unique opportunity to connect more closely on detailed product topics and the Oracle Service Cloud product roadmap. 

The Oracle Service Cloud team also took time to recognize leading individuals and organizations who continually champion customer service innovation, value, and collaboration to solve the next business problem. Their commitment and passion was contagious! Congratulations again to the 2015 customer award winners, including:

Oracle Service Cloud Customer Champions

  • Louis Ross, Vice President, Coach Relations, Beachbody
  • Nicholas Armstrong, Director, Global Customer, Experience Products, Orbitz
  • Stuart Concannon, Head of Customer Care, Knowledge and Optimisation, ASOS
  • Jim Ferron, Customer Experience Strategist, Nintendo
  • Tetsu Kimura, Director of Customer Service, Gogo
  • Michele Watson, Vice President, Customer Care and Payments & Risk, Walmart.com
  • Troy Carrothers, Senior Vice President, Retail Payment Solutions & Multi-Channel Sales & Service and Becky Ploeger, Vice President, Digital Commerce Customer Care, Kohl’s

Oracle Service Cloud User Group Host of the Year

  • Kyle Snay, Customer Relationship Manager, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Oracle Service Cloud Game Changer Award

  • Redcoon.com

Oracle Service Cloud Innovator Award

  • Ingersoll Rand

Oracle Service Cloud Community All-Stars

  • Kyle Snay, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Anuj Behl, Speridian Technologies
  • Mark Kehoe, LaTrobe University              
  • Bishnu Paudel , Charles Darwin University
  • Andy Rowse, 45 North Solutions
  • Ryan Schofield, CGI Federal
  • Mohana Gopal Selvam, Kenya Airways
  • Suresh Kumar Thirukoti, Network Rail Infrastructure Lmtd.
  • Bastiaan van der Kooij, Bastiaan van der Kooji Consultancy

Oracle Service Cloud Modern Service Experience Award

  • LinkedIn
Again we’d like to thank customers and attendees for joining us in Las Vegas and applaud them for the work they’re doing to get going, get better, and get ahead with modern customer service!

Tuesday May 19, 2015

Oracle Takeaways from Forrester Webcast: Customer Service Trends for 2015 by Christine Randle

It is hard to believe that it has been a decade since social disrupted standard operating procedures for companies. Brands had enjoyed a healthy measure of control before social media-enabled customers around the globe were able to connect and share information. Before, companies controlled not only the information that customers and prospects received, but how and when they received it—effectively spoon-feeding corporate messages to the world.

The advent of social changed this dynamic forever and ushered in The Age of the Customer.

Today, customers control the conversations they have with businesses, and brands have scrambled to adapt. Companies must become customer-obsessed and deliver experiences that meet customer expectations to succeed.

Why? Because loyal customers are less likely to churn, and they are also more likely to recommend your brand and spend more money with your company. When customers spend more money, it directly impacts and increases revenue. For this reason, it is essential to keep your customers satisfied and loyal to your brand. Besides, customer service should be a core element of your CX strategy.

Still, this is hard stuff. So it helps to get some perspective. A May 2015 webinar hosted by Forrester and featuring Forrester Research’s Kate Leggett, Trends 2015: The Future Of Customer Service, helps to make sense of customer service in 2015. Take a look at the below takeaways that we pulled from the webcast, and let us know what trends you see in your organization.

Customers increasingly rely on self-service. According to the April 2015 Forrester Research report, “Contact Centers Must Go Digital Or Die,” more customers (76%) used web self-service than the phone (73%) for customer service. Why? Because it is an easy way to get answers. Today, the phone is increasingly used for escalation, or when a customer cannot find the answer to a question. Generally, these are the most difficult inquiries and have longer handle times. But, this offers a great opportunity for companies to use the phone channel to support and deepen customer relationships. It is important to note that channel usage changes year-over-year. As such, you should survey your customers to find out what channels they prefer for customer service interactions and deploy those channels accordingly.

Adopt a mobile-first mindset.
Think about your own mobile device usage and you’ll see why customers increasingly look to contact brands via this channel. But, more than that, customers want to be able to start a conversation on mobile and then switch over to a laptop or desktop seamlessly—without needing to rehash the issue with an agent. In 2015, customers will continue to demand effortless interactions of this type over both web and mobile channels.

Explore proactive engagement.
We are all customers, right? And, as customers, we know what we want, when, where, and how we want it. To effectively leverage this fact, businesses will begin to experiment with proactive engagement. This refers to proactive chat, promotions, or content served up to customers at the appropriate time to help answer questions, easing the transition from the research phase to purchase.

Leverage connected devices for preemptive service.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken off in a big way, and with it comes the prospect of preemptive service. From Wi-Fi connected self-learning thermostats to smart, self-propelled vacuum cleaners IoT has the potential to reshape customer service. IoT offers businesses the opportunity to deliver preemptive service that our parents could never have imagined: Proactive communication of product information back to the company to diagnose preemptively and fix issues without customer intervention!

Analytics will power offers, decisions, and connections.
There is no “one size fits all” service. Instead, use analytics to deliver deeply personalized customer service by understanding and leveraging data from past interactions, services, and purchases. Additionally, interactions must be tailored to the channel of choice. For example, the tone of an email interaction will likely vary from that of a social or chat interaction. These nuances are important in order to optimize service quality, predict next steps, ensure satisfaction, and produce loyalty, which correlates to increased revenue.

Journey analytics will improve end-to-end service.
What does your typical customer journey look like? It is likely to cross multiple communication channels: social, web, email, and phone. Often, these touch points are managed by different functional organizations within a company. It is tricky, but ultimately customers do not care about your internal org structure. What they care about is the ability to cross channels seamlessly to get support without needing to repeat themselves at each point in the journey (we all know how frustrating that can be). But, organizational silos make it difficult to deliver consistent service experiences. Not only that, but few companies have a measure in place that encompasses all channels. Forrester expects that organizations will move to broader, more comprehensive customer service measurement programs, which span all communication channels, to help businesses understand the costs and pain points in the customer journey.

Focus on improving the agent experience.
It is staggering the amount of applications that contact center agents use on a daily basis to answer customer questions. Organizations will look to push proactive information to agents, to minimize effort, and to help streamline service delivery. If companies can improve the agent experience, by helping to guide them through resolution paths, then agents will have more confidence to help customers and to deliver truly personalized experiences.

Adopt SaaS for agility.
A March 2015 Forrester Research report, Trends 2015: The Future Of Customer Service, found that 32% of companies have already replaced or plan to replace, most or all on-premise solutions with SaaS alternatives within 2 years. Why? Because moving applications to the Cloud pushes the burden of software and hardware maintenance back onto the vendor. This allows companies to be agile and focus on innovating with new features, ultimately creating differentiated, rewarding customer experiences.

Read how Sony uses its online digital experience to proactively engage customers.

Friday Feb 27, 2015

This Time What Happens in Vegas Won't Just Stay in Vegas: Join Us at the Modern Service Experience Mar 31–Apr 2 By Stephen Fioretti

With fast moving technologies in mobile and social, ever changing, blending and new interaction channels and rapidly change customer expectations, it’s more difficult than ever to deliver great customer service. It’s cliché to say that “service is the new marketing” but any interaction with a service organization through any channel creates an impression of your company. Great service often leads to customers recommending you to their peers.

To win new customers and retain your existing ones, you have to deliver a modern service experience. We are hosting an event on March 31 - April 2 at the Venetian in Las Vegas to help you learn how Oracle Service Cloud can help your company become a modern service organization. You’ll learn best practices from your peers, industry visionaries and Oracle experts. You’ll hear from industry analysts and influencers like Kate Leggett and Ian Jacobs from Forrester, Aphrodite Brinsmead from Ovum and more.  Customers from ASOS, BassPro, Comcast, Kohl’s, LinkedIn, Nintendo, Pella, Virgin America, Rockwell Automation and more will share where they are on their road to delivering Modern Customer Service.

You’ll hear about recent developments within the Oracle Service Cloud portfolio as well as new capabilities from two of our recent acquisitions: Oracle Co-browse (LiveLOOK) and Oracle Field Service Cloud (TOA Technologies). At our Ask the Experts sessions, you’ll have an opportunity to get one-on-one time with Oracle Service Cloud product experts in web self-service, contact center and knowledge management. We have put together a diverse agenda full of information and perspectives that will help you take your customer service strategy to the next level.

In addition to the great keynotes, roundtables and breakout sessions we've planned, we will also have plenty of opportunities for networking and fun! At an awards event on Wednesday morning, the Oracle Service Cloud team will present awards to some of our leading and innovative customers. And we hope you will join us that evening for the Service Cloud customer appreciation event at Tao Nightclub where we’ll dance, mingle and enjoy some great food and drinks. Later on that night, all of the Modern CX event attendees are invited to see One Republic perform.

It’s sure to be a productive trip, with opportunities to explore new technologies, trends and strategies, and to let loose a little with your peers and colleagues. As the saying goes; what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Well, except for all the great things you’ll learn and the connections you’ll make while you are there.  See you at the event!

To get more information and register for the Modern Service Experience event, click here.  

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

3 Secrets to Innovation...and why we believe we were were recognized by an independent analyst firm By David Vap

Innovation starts with seeing things differently than others. It starts with looking at a problem, and finding a way to dramatically change for the better.

Benjamin Franklin knew that. Ben wasn’t just a great visionary, he was a practical experimenter. He focused on needs—such as saving lives—when he invented the lightning rod. He understood the complex nature of electricity, and transformed that knowledge into a real, practical solution that helped everyone. He said it best, “well done is better than well said.”

That’s why Benjamin Franklin inspires us. While our innovation focus is a little different, we value connecting the dots between seeing a possibility and doing something about it. Customer Service is mission critical, and it’s hard to do really well. Real people are impacted every day when they can’t get their needs met – from the serious to the whimsical. From the need to know when your medication shipment arrives at your house to returning that shirt that was a size too small.

Our 3 secrets of innovation? 1) Focus on making what’s hard simple. 2) Solve real problems for real people. 3) Don’t just spin a good vision. Do something about it.

[Read More]

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

What You Can Learn from the NFL Referee Lockout

American football is a lot like religion. The fans are devoted followers that take brand loyalty to a whole new level. These fans that worship their teams each week showed that they are powerful customers whose voice has an impact. Yesterday, these fans proved that their opinion could force the hand of a large and powerful institution.

With a three-month NFL referee lockout that seemed like it was nowhere close to resolution, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks competed last Monday night. For those of you that might have been out of the news cycle the past few days, Green Bay lost the game due to a controversial call that many experts and analysts agree should have resulted in Green Bay winning the game. Outrage ensued.

The NFL had pulled replacement referees from the high school ranks, and these replacements did not have the knowledge and experience to handle high intensity NFL games. Fans protested about their customer experience. Their anger-filled rants were heard in social media, in the headlines of newspapers, on radio, and on national TV. Suddenly, the NFL was moved to reach an agreement with the referees. That agreement was reached late in the night on Wednesday with many believing that the referees had the upper hand forcing the owners into submission. Some might argue that the referees benefited, not the fans. Since the fans wanted qualified and competent referees, I would say the fans did benefit. The referees are scheduled to return to the field this Sunday, so the fans got what they wanted.

What can you learn from this negative customer experience?

  • Customers are in control. NFL owners thought they were controlling this situation with the upper hand over referees. The owners figured out they weren’t in control when their fans reacted negatively. Customers can make or break you more now than ever before, which is why it is more important to connect with them, engage them in a personal manner, and create rewarding relationships.
  • Protect your brand. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the NFL put their brand and each team’s brand at risk with replacement referees. Think about each business decision you make, and how it may impact your brand at different points in time. A decision that results in a gain today could result in a larger loss down the road.
  • Customer experience matters. The NFL likely foresaw declining revenues in ticket sales, merchandising, advertising, and other areas if the lockout continued. While fans primarily spoke with their minds in the days following the Green Bay debacle, their wallets would be the next things to speak. Customer experience directly affects your success and is one of the few areas where you can differentiate your business.

What would you do if your brand got such negative attention? Would you be prepared to navigate such stormy waters? Would you be able to prevent such a fiasco? If you don’t have a good answer to these questions, consider joining us October 3-5, 2012 at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit in San Francisco.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn even more about customer experience from industry experts such as best-selling author Seth Godin, Paul Hagen and Kerry Bodine from Forrester Research, Inc., George Kembel from the Stanford d.School, Bruce Temkin of The Temkin Group, and Gene Alvarez from Gartner Inc.. There will also be plenty of your peers and customer experience experts available for networking and discussions.

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

Customer Experience Metrics That Matter Most

When customers contact your company, they don't ask to be deflected or handled or converted. They want to be satisfied.

To improve the customer experience, you need more than traditional measures such as deflection rates, handling times, and conversion rates. In this new Oracle AppCast podcast, tune in to this conversation with me about customer experience metrics that you can use to grow your business.

Would you like to learn more? Please join us at the one of a kind Customer Experience Summit at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference, October 3-5 in San Francisco.

Monday Sep 17, 2012

How Are Businesses Advancing with the Experience Revolution?

Businesses worldwide are operating in a new era. Customers are taking charge of their relationships with brands, and the customer experience has become the most important differentiator and driver of business value. Where is the experience heading? And how can businesses take advantage of the customer experience revolution? Find out from the experts at a one-of-a-kind event: the Oracle Customer Experience Summit at Oracle OpenWorld, San Francisco, October 3-5.

Our featured speakers are global visionaries including Seth Godin, George Kembel from the Stanford d:School, Bruce Temkin, Kerry Bodine and Paul Hagen from Forrester, and Gene Alvarez from Gartner. Featured industry leaders will include speakers from Athene Group, Bazaarvoice, Comcast, Consortium of Service Innovation, Haworth, Intuit, KPN, Marriott, Nikon, Quicksilver, Royal Caribbean, SapientNitro, Southwest, Stryker, Stuart Concannon, and Twilio. Featured speakers from Oracle will include Oracle President Mark Hurd, Anthony Lye, David Vap, Brian Curran, John Kembel, and Matthew Banks. So, please join us at the Customer Experience Summit at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference.

Thursday Sep 06, 2012

Want to be part of the most meaningful Customer Experience conversation today?

Today's entry is written by Chris Warner, Director, Product Strategy at Oracle.

By now you’ve undoubtedly seen the blogs and announcements about Oracle OpenWorld. And perhaps you’ve also seen the news about OpenWorld’s newest sister event: Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Summit @ OpenWorld. Oracle CX Summit was created to be the most meaningful CX event, to be truly unique, to serve as the place to discover what it takes and what it really means to put the customer at the center of your business success. One long-time Oracle customer, when told about the Oracle CX Summit, put it this way: ‘This makes me rethink how I think about Oracle and Customer Experience’. Listen to what she heard and you be the judge.

We believe Customer Experience (‘CX’) is a movement, not just the latest ‘IT’ tech trend. CX isn’t something you can simply ‘install’. CX is one of the most strategic initiatives an organization can undertake. Customer Experience is about connecting with an organization’s most important asset, the customer, and the critical role that connection has to an organization’s success. And there’s never been a bigger gathering of the smartest CX minds, most successful CX companies, and innovative CX examples than Oracle CX Summit.

Take Subaru, for example. The company fully embraced the CX opportunity and their CX leadership will be on stage at the Oracle CX Summit to share their CX journey. They radically changed the way they interact with their customers, empower their employees, and differentiate their brand. And this is a story with a phenomenal happy ending: in a stagnant market and shrinking economy, they GREW their business and outpaced their competition.

At Oracle CX Summit, you will be surrounded by dozens of CX leaders, visionaries and innovators like Subaru. This three-day event brings together the largest collection of thought leaders and practitioners in Customer Experience ever. Notable presenters include:

  • Seth Godin - World-renowned blogger and one ‘the World’s Top 21 Speakers’, author of 14 best-selling books like “Permission Marketing”, and founder of dozens of startups such as Squidoo.com (ranked one of the top 125 sites in the US).
  • Kerry Bodine - VP Principal Analyst at Forrester for Customer Experience, author of the just-published book “Outside In - The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business”, and renowned author of “The Customer Experience Ecosystem”.
  • Bruce Temkin - Co-founder and Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, revered blogger of “Customer Experience Matters”, former VP Principal Analyst at Forrester for Customer Experience, Founder and Managing Partner of The Temkin Group, a leading Customer Experience research and consulting firm.
  • George Kembel - Executive Director and Co-founder of the Stanford Design School, an established, recognized thought leader in design thinking and innovation, and a Silicon Valley based-CEO, venture capitalist and educator.
  • Gene Alvarez - VP Research Analyst at Gartner and a recognized authority in the Retail and Consumer Goods industry. Gene has been published, featured and referenced in a variety of trade publications for Customer Experience insights.
  • Senior Executives from innovative Customer Experience brands and agencies like AT&T, Intuit, Southwest Airlines, Marriott, Quiksilver, and Sapient.

But the CX Summit includes much, much more. There are over 30+ role-driven sessions and rountables as well as one-of-a-kind events including:

  • OpenWorld Customer AppreciationThe Customer Experience Innovation Tent featuring hands-on demonstrations of bleeding-edge customer experiences like the Share Happy Ice Cream Machine
  • A hands-on Customer Journey Mapping Workshop that lets you learn design thinking techniques for innovating differentiated experiences that drive cross-functional alignment
  • Access to the Oracle OpenWorld Exhibition Halls and DEMOgrounds as well as a week-long Live Music Festival and the Oracle Appreciation Event featuring Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon

At Oracle, we are quite proud of our award-winning suite of CX products, a suite of solutions that can help an organization greatly accelerate their CX journey. But Oracle CX Summit isn’t about products. It’s about how an organization can succeed in its CX initiative. There’s never been a bigger gathering of the smartest CX minds, most successful CX companies, and innovative CX examples than Oracle CX Summit.

Come join the Customer Experience Revolution. Register for Oracle CX Summit @ OpenWorld here.

Thursday Aug 23, 2012

What is the ROI of Customer Experience?

By delivering exceptional customer experiences, companies can acquire new customers, retain more customers, and improve efficiency.

What would that be worth to your company? How we you evaluate the return on your investment?

This new report and webinar by the Temkin Group, based on a survey of top companies and 13,000 consumers across the US and the UK, explains how.

Want to learn more from global leaders of the Experience Revolution such as Anthony Lye, Seth Godin, and Bruce Temkin? Join us at the Customer Experience Summit at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco, October 3-5. Early Bird registration discounts end September 5.

Tuesday Aug 07, 2012

Forrester on How to Navigate the Future of Customer Service

How do you use customer service as a competitive advantage today? Are you struggling to balance cost management and customer satisfaction? The facts:

  • Eighty-six percent of customer service decision-makers say that a good customer experience is one of their top strategic priorities
  • Sixty-three percent say that they want their customer experience to be the best in their industry
  • Thirteen percent say that they want to be a leader in customer experience across all industries

Tune in to this informative, on-demand webcast with Forrester Research. Our speakers are Kate Leggett, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research, and John Perez, Customer Experience Strategist, Oracle RightNow. Kate Leggett is a leading expert on customer service strategies, as well as a published author on customer service trends and best practices. Her research focuses on helping organizations establish customer service strategies and deliver successful customer service projects. John Perez has extensive experience of working on customer experience programs with organizations across a range of industries. He works with Oracle RightNow clients to build customer experience strategies that improve efficiency and productivity, increase sales, and drive customer loyalty.

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