Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

Impatient Customers Make Flawless Service Mission Critical for Midsize Companies


by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize Programs

At times, I can be an impatient customer. But I’m not alone. Research by The Social Habit shows that among customers who contact a brand, product, or company through social media for support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes! 70% of respondents to another study expected their complaints to be addressed within 24 hours, irrespective of how they contacted the company.

I was intrigued when I read a recent blog post by David Vap, Group Vice President of Product Development for Oracle Service Cloud. It’s about “Three Secrets to Innovation” in customer service. In David’s words:

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 

I believe midsize companies have a leg up in delivering on these three points, mainly because they have no other choice. How can you grow a business without listening to your customers and providing flawless service? Big companies are often weighed down by customer service practices that have been churning in bureaucracy for years or even decades.

When the all-in-one printer/fax/scanner I bought my wife for Christmas (call me a romantic) failed after sixty days, I wasted hours of my time navigating the big brand manufacturer’s complex support and contact policies only to be offered a refurbished replacement after I shipped mine back to them. There was not a happy ending. Let's just say my wife still doesn't have a printer. 

Young midsize companies need to innovate to grow. Established midsize company brands need to innovate to survive and reach the next level.

Midsize Customer Case Study: The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe, established in 1872 and the winner of 22 Pulitzer Prizes, is fighting the prevailing decline in the newspaper industry. Businessman John Henry invested in the Globe in 2013 because he, “…believes deeply in the future of this great community, and the Globe should play a vital role in determining that future”. How well the paper executes on its bold new strategy is truly mission critical—a matter of life or death for an industry icon.

This customer case study tells how Oracle’s Service Cloud is helping The Boston Globe “do something about” and not just “spin” it’s strategy and vision via improved customer service. For example, Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service is now the preferred support channel for its online environments. The average e-mail or phone call can take three to four minutes to complete while the average chat is only 30 to 40 seconds.

It’s a great example of one company leveraging technology to make things simpler to solve real problems for real people.

Related:

Oracle Cloud Service a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Service Solutions For Small And Midsize Teams, Q2 2014


Jim Lein evangelizes Oracle Accelerate, Oracle's Applications Strategy for growing midsize companies. He recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle, having joined JD Edwards in 1999. He is based in Evergreen, Colorado and loves relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be about software, live music, or the mountains. 

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