Tagged: Oracle

My Experience at Oracle OpenWorld 2016

By Walt Rossi, VP Business Development

I had the great opportunity to attend Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle’s annual user conference in San Francisco covering all products and solutions. Oracle’s product line now spans everything from databases, enterprise applications, middleware, hardware, cloud infrastructure, SaaS applications, enterprise services, and more. I spent my time focused on the cloud applications and in particular the Customer Experience (CX) portfolio. Oracle’s CX solutions cover the Sales, Marketing, Service, Commerce, Social, configure, price and quote (CPQ) business processes. As any customer sure knows, to have a truly positive experience with a business, it requires seamless interactions across these business processes. Customers want to feel as if they are talking to one company, as opposed to five or six different people across different departments of a company.

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It’s The Season of Harvest at Oracle OpenWorld

By Scott Black, Director of Business Development

Fall is my favorite season and typically signifies autumnal changes that you expect to see, such as: changes in color, changes in temperature, and an anticipation for the fall harvest. In a similar fashion, I’m excited about the transformations we’re experiencing with one of our key strategic partners, Oracle, and the synergies we expect to have during Oracle OpenWorld (OOW) this week in San Francisco.

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The Most Valuable Thing I Learned at the Oracle Modern CX Conference

By Walt Rossi, Vice President Business Development

Last week I attended the Oracle Modern Customer Experience (CX) Conference, in the headquarters of a true representation of customer experience, Las Vegas. This annual event gathers thought leaders for customer experience management focusing on Oracle’s CX solutions: Marketing, Sales, and Service Cloud. It was great to see everything there is to offer in Oracle CX all under one roof, because that is how it works in the real world. The several thousand attendees gathered to learn about trends in CX, hear product vision and roadmap details from Oracle product leadership, and most importantly learn from the many company’s approaches to engaging customers.

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Looking at Customer Moments that Matter to Improve the Customer Experience

The following post was originally posted on CRM Advocate, and was written by Liz Osborn, VP Product and Solution Marketing. You can follow Liz on Twitter@Lizobiker.

imagesThis year’s Oracle OpenWorld, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, was humming with conversations from more than 50,000 attendees, including an expo hall full of customer service, contact center, and cloud professionals.  How could Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison miss his keynote?  Can you believe that Oracle Team USA came from behind to beat New Zealand and be the 34th America’s Cup champion!  But amidst this chatter, there was another topic that was generating buzz at the event.  It was the importance of customer experience and how it is mission critical for businesses to stay competitive and even innovate products.

Sessions included how companies successfully map the customer experience journey.  How companies can build brand equity with experiences.  What is the return on experience and how do you make the numbers work for a more engaged consumer.  These were all discussions focusing on one of this year’s keynote mantras, “Look for customer moments that matter.  Then ask, how can technology support them?”

This made me think about where companies, particularly contact centers, can begin to focus on “moments that matter.”  Because the truth is, the moments that matter in a contact center can go a few ways: really great, pretty good or very bad.  It’s always easier to start looking at the customer experience journey from the standpoint of successful, positive interactions.  It’s exciting to share with the executive team moments that improve call efficiencies or keep the customer satisfaction scores rising.

It’s a lot more difficult for customer support and contact centers to focus on the interactions between a customer service agent and a customer that goes horribly wrong.  For instance, Gawker.com recently posted audio entitled, “You’ve Never Heard a Customer Service Call Meltdown Quite Like This One.”  It’s difficult to listen to the phone conversation between a security systems customer service agent and the customer whose appointment they forgot.  It gets even more painful to hear the customer have a complete meltdown when the customer service agent, and the customer care team for that matter, make several key mistakes.  The customer service agent doesn’t know the customers interaction history or account information even though the customer has been on the phone with support for hours.  Nor can the agent transfer the customer to the more knowledgeable customer service representative “Michele” who had been originally handling his service issue.  The agent only had scripted and standard responses to the customer’s questions, which only further infuriated an already enraged customer.

So as you look at the moments that matter in your customer care organization, I challenge you to start by looking at whether your contact center team is prepared for the negative experiences and agile enough to change for the better.  Key questions to ask in your evaluation

  • Do you have the best contact center agents and talent available within your support organization?  
  • Can your contact center route calls to a live agent as well as the most skilled agent available?  
  • Can customers schedule a call back if they are on hold for too long? 
  • Does your contact center agent know whose calling and their interaction history?  

These are a few questions to begin with.  After an organization fully assesses its customer experience weaknesses, then it is time to look at how technology such as cloud contact center software can help improve customer loyalty or agent productivity.  This will truly help close the gap between customer’s expectations.

Positively Influencing Customers’ Emotional Interactions with Contact Centers

The following post was originally posted on Smart Customer Service, and was written by Liz Osborn, VP Product and Solution Marketing. You can follow Liz on Twitter@Lizobiker.

emotions

Anyone who has attended Oracle OpenWorld will attest that it can be extremely daunting. The event, held at the MosconeCenter in San Francisco, was swarming with more than 50,000 people, including customer service, cloud, and contact center professionals. Amidst the sea of people, screens, and sponsor exhibits, it is hard to decide where to focus your time…. Luckily, a really interesting session, “Leverage Empathy for Insights,” caught my eye. In the session, Dan Hill, author of Leveraging Emotions for Business Success, talked about something we as contact center and customer service professionals deal with every day—emotions. Customer service interactions, particularly phone calls between agents and customers, are heavily influenced by emotions. 

After people purchase a product, they want to know a company is going to support them and stand behind its product. They also want to be in control of their interactions with the company.  And if their needs aren’t met, Hill says, it only takes two minutes for customers to become frustrated. This results in a horrible experience for the customer as well as the front-line customer service agents talking to them on the phone. These emotional responses also heavily impact a business’s bottom line. According to a recent RightNow Technologies Customer Experience Impact report, “Eighty-nine percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience” and “eighty-six percent will pay more for a better customer experience.”

So how can companies, specifically contact centers, better prepare for this future of “emotionomics”? First, start by assessing your contact center with a focus on the customer service agents taking the call. It is crucial to avoid what Hill calls “emotional leakage.” Emotional leakage is when a customer service agent talking to a frustrated or angry customer on the phone responds negatively. Emotional leakage makes a bad customer experience even worse.

Leaving the session, I thought of a few other things that would help contact centers, agents, and companies in general positively influence how customers interact with them to avoid this phenomenon:

  • Hire the most experienced and skilled customer service agents, no matter where they are located. With the latest cloud contact center technology, highly qualified agents only need a browser and headset to provide exceptional service to customers. Business process outsourcers (BPOs), such as American Support and NexRep have hundreds of topnotch agents across the U.S. who are delivering superior customer experiences.
  • Use technology to support “moments that matter.”  Once you have the best talent in place, use the best call capabilities to ensure valued customers get routed to the most qualified, skilled agent available to address their needs. This helps quell customer frustration and get them the answers they need immediately.
  • Give agents the knowledge they need to succeed. When agents know as much information as possible, for instance, who is calling, why they may be calling, where they are, etc., it helps prevent the customer from being overwhelmed with such negative emotions as anger, fear, or sadness.  When customers feel valued, heard, and supported, agents can respond positively with assistance.
  • Lastly, continually learn from customer interactions. The customer service landscape is always rapidly evolving. Recording and reviewing customer calls with agents on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis helps agents see areas of improvement or where they need more tools to make customer calls even better.

Five9 Goes to Oracle OpenWorld

oracle-openworld

It was a brisk, beautiful autumn day in San Francisco and I had the chance to attend Oracle OpenWorld. I spent most of my time in Moscone West, where Oracle “welcomed the age of the customer” with a program full of sessions focused on customer experience and CRM technology.

Today’s objective was to attend as many CX sessions as possible and absorb all the information I could about trends and technology. In particular, I wanted to better understand the latest developments in contact center and CRM. After a full day up-and-down the Moscone escalators and in-and-out of convention rooms, I picked up a few tid-bits:

  • Customer Retention – Retaining customers is reaching a tipping point; it is rapidly becoming more important than customer acquisition. In fact, it is customer retention that drives loyalty and advocacy, which helps keep costs down and revenue up.
  • Proactive Customer Engagement – It sounds like a buzzword, but it’s not. Proactive customer service is on the rise as customer expectations go up. In on instance, Oracle client KLM shared how they used social media to deliver positive, proactive customer experiences. Check out this great video. It’s the concept of proactive customer engagement taken to the next level.
  • CRM + Contact Center – The demand for tightly integrated CRM, contact center and telephony is significant. Closely linking CRM to contact center and telephony, offers the greatest potential for delivering the most personal, helpful and engaging customer service experiences.
  •  Cloud – I was expecting a full set of sessions specifically dedicated to the cloud. I asked an Oracle exec about this and he said, “the cloud is everywhere, in every session.” That turned out to be true. At Open World the lines between cloud and on premise are exceptionally blurred. Cloud was prevalent; it was part of every conversation and every presentation.

Oracle OpenWorld is a vast event that covers more blocks of San Francisco and includes more technologies than I can count. I was fortunate; I carved out a space for myself in Moscone West and picked up a lot of great information about customer experience technologies.