At Oracle, our customers (and their business processes) are the focal point of our business. Their success is our success. When you brush away all the jargon and technical-speak, we feel that we are responsible for the success of our high-growth company customer base. And the key to facilitating success is helping our small-to-medium business (SMB) customers achieve measurable business outcomes.
In recent blogs, we have highlighted the work we did with our Oracle Service Cloud customers to gather tangible, quantifiable data points around customer service excellence in four key areas. The improvements were impressive.
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you no doubt were impressed (we were). But you may have been left thinking, “That is all great and good, but how can my SMB achieve that same level of success?” We wondered the same thing, so we kept asking questions.
Based on feedback from the companies that participated in our Value Realization Program, we have pinpointed seven best practices that drove these companies to transform their customer service processes and deliver modern, “wow-like” experiences. These best practices are:
1. Formally align business objectives and service strategy. Successful companies have a customer service strategic plan in place—one that supports the strategic objectives of the company. Alignment of customer service with organizational goals allows companies to understand where they stand and fix any gaps.
2. Take the time to fully understand different customer journeys and how customers experience those journeys (e.g., what pain points exist). Seeing things from a customer’s perspective is essential to understanding their experience with your brand. Journey mapping, which leverages analyses of quantitative data plus anecdotes from both customers and employees, helps growing companies prioritize investments to influence those customer behaviors that deliver results.
3. Define a series of aspirational journeys. Imagine solutions that take your customers to where they want (or “aspire”) to be, while providing value to your organization. Along with these solutions, create the vision, calls to action, ownership, and accountability to quantify the value you are providing.
4. Recreate the critical customer journeys from the customer’s perspective. Once companies understand experiences from a customer point-of-view, the time has come to invest strategically to maximize business potential.
5. Redesign customer journeys leveraging digital and cloud technologies (e.g., CX Service Cloud and enabling technologies). Technology has improved many aspects of the customer experience, expanding customer choice and making it possible for companies to understand better, proactively address customer issues, and build brand loyalty.
6. Make customer experience every employees’ job. Ensure organizational roles are aligned and empowered to act on these newly redesigned journeys.
7. Track, measure and promote a clear performance measurement system that aligns with the new journeys. Successful companies use data and analytics to ensure that they are on the right path and that every touchpoint adds value. They constantly measure their actions to refine their strategies to increase customer loyalty and increase their competitive advantage.
Modern, superior customer service organizations are built around the empowered customer—a customer that is starting to understand their new place in the buyer/seller dynamic. Modern customer service organizations are designed to help their companies focus on easily supporting customers and the service strategy on the areas that provide the greatest impact. Modernization allows growing companies to simplify and optimize processes and services to reduce effort, proactively anticipate, personalize all engagements, leverage brand relationships to maximize operating profitability, and monetize all opportunities.