Enable the Enhanced Service Console

The May 2014 release of Oracle Service Cloud introduced the Enhanced Service Console (an enhanced UI for the Dynamic Agent Desktop). This enhanced console is faster and more user-friendly, allowing users to undock tabs and move tools windows. It also introduced a new navigation pane on the right-hand side of the content pane, as well as a new concept of sub-tabs.

Despite it has been around for almost 12 months, the Enhanced Service Console has not been adopted by many companies/users yet. I don’t think this is because it is not that good, because it actually is. My guess is that this is due to: a) many companies haven’t upgraded their Oracle Service Cloud platforms to the latest releases; b) those who did, are afraid of the change and customer adoption.

I was also sceptical when it came into play. But now I’m fully convinced of its advantages and benefits. Mainly the undock and sub-tab features. Truth is the new Enhanced Service Console is much more flexible and easy-to-use. And I recommend all admins to try, and roll it out to their users.

If you have a release of Oracle Service Cloud that is previous to Nov 2014 – when the Enhanced Service Console started being provisioned by default – I’m sure some of you will have the same difficulty I had, when trying to enable it. Therefore I will leave you the hint.

The setting to enable the Enhanced Service Console is in the Profile, and needs to be set for all profiles that will use the new console.

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1. Go to Configurations > Staff Management > Profiles

2. Select and open the Profile

3. Make sure you are in the “Interfaces” area

4. Click the “Other” tab

5. Set the “Enhanced Console” check box

6. Click “Save and Close”, in the ribbon

7. Logout and log back in again to see the new UI

Browser UI in the Nov 2014 release

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It’s been a long time since a part of the Oracle ecosystem (customers, partners, employees, advisers) started being vocal about a browser based user interface (UI) for the Oracle Service Cloud Agent Desktop.

There were many reasons for this. Among those were…

  • The Agent Desktop thick client had to be installed in every machine
  • The Agent Desktop was based on Microsoft .NET technology
  • The Agent Desktop look & feel was very similar to Microsoft Outlook
  • The stronger competitors all have browser based user interfaces

In my opinion some are pertinent, others not so much. The click-once deployment makes it easy to install the Agent Desktop. The .NET client is much faster, efficient and flexible than a browser based UI – how do you access Facebook, Gmail or online banking in your smartphone or tablet? via the browser or via an app? App… obviously! Get it?.

Also, what the competition does (even if all of them do) is not necessarily the right or best thing. Did the most successful companies and man follow others or believed in their own idea? And if the technology and framework is good (.NET) why change it? – ok, I accept if the reason is standardisation. On top of that, if the look & feel is familiar, the adoption rate is naturally high.

Anyways, the browser based UI for the Oracle Service Cloud Agent Desktop has been on the roadmap for a while, and it is going to become available in the Nov 2014 release, despite it is on its first steps.

The browser UI will come with some basic but important functionality. This first iteration will bring some Service functionality for Customer Service staff, giving them the ability to view, manage and fill their inbox. Users can work on incidents as well as create, read, update Contacts, etc.

Custom Fields can be displayed in the workspaces but workspace rules or workflows will not be supported for the time being. Add-ins like CTI or Chat media bars, or Sales and Marketing functionality are also not supported, but are obviously on the browser UI roadmap.

The browser UI is not intended to replace the Dynamic Agent Desktop console. At least not for the time being or the coming releases. In my point of view, it will only serve to address those mobility and accessibility challenges for a few customers and customer service staff.

Oracle acquired co-browse provider to enhance CX

Oracle RightNow Co-Browse Cloud Service enables a customer to share his/her desktop (browser or any other application) while engaging in a live chat conversation with an agent, helping to facilitate the transition from self-service to assisted-service seamlessly by establishing a virtual connection between agents and customers.

Using the co-browse functionality agents can guide customers through pages/processes using the mouse to point or demonstrate actions. If needed, agents can also take control of the desktop/browser in order to help the customer complete actions (e.g. filling out a form, completing a sale, sort out technical issue).

Last Friday Oracle announced the acquisition of LiveLOOK a company that specializes in collaboration and screen-sharing technologies. Market leader in this area, providing co-browse solutions to 500 companies around the world – including 20% of Fortune 100 companies, that use it to improve online customer service and sales.

Oracle already had c. 100 customers using LiveLOOK since it was integrated into the Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service (aka Oracle Service Cloud). The difference is that now LiveLOOK’s technology will be OEM and integrated directly into Oracle Cloud.

Improve CX with Dynamic and Intelligent Desktop

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The Challenge

Organisations know that to provide a fast and efficient customer experience they need to empower their staff with a single, consistent and 360° view of the customer.

This need is a consequence of the fact that customers are engaging organisations through a large number of channels (in-store, web, email, chat, phone, mobile, etc.).

But also consequence of this increasingly connected, competitive and digital world, where customers expect to have their issues/inquiries resolved as quickly as possible.

The Problem

The truth is the majority of organisations (mainly in their contact centres) still require their staff to use tens of different applications/systems while serving the customer.

My experience has showed me that, when serving the customers, staff spends bucket loads of time taking and putting data/info from and to other applications/systems.

The most common operations are Alt+Tab and Copy-Paste! Frequently staff is lost amid so many open windows in their desktop. And the customer experience suffers with that.

The issue is that organisations have a huge amount of legacy and siloed systems. Those were put in place to address a specific need (new channel, new requirement, etc.).

Hence, organisations are failing to deliver a truly joined up, personalised and omni-channel customer experience due to the lack of integration between their systems and channels.

The Solution

RightNow CX has the answer. It is a strategic solution, rather than a patch for a specific need. It is a complete platform that offers single, consistent and 360° view of the customer.

On top of that, staff members are able to deal with any interaction (coming from any channel), from one place using the same application. Accessing records, information and knowledge.

The RightNow CX Dynamic Agent Desktop is a high performance console. Fast, interactive, user friendly, easy to use, with a very familiar look and feel (MS Outlook).

It is configurable, customisable and comprises a set of features, each representing a different and powerful way of interacting with records (e.g. Workspaces, Scripts, Business Rules, Workflows).

There is also a desktop add-in framework that allows the build of custom .NET components, controls, and applications (what we call add-ins) for the Dynamic Agent Desktop.

Legacy systems that cannot be discontinued can be integrated in the Dynamic Agent Desktop using different types of integration (e.g. surfacing, presenting, real-time, batch, other).

The Result

RightNow CX Dynamic Agent Desktop centralizes disparate information, improves response rates and agent productivity, decreases training and average handling times, increases efficiency and ultimately Helps deliver a better customer experience.

Contact Centre challenges for 2014 fit RightNow

In the article “Multichannel viewed as the biggest contact centre challenge of 2014” we could read that…

… A new report from Magnetic North questioned 100 call centre managers to find out what they consider to be the biggest tests heading their way in the coming 12 months. The top issues managers are preparing to square up to are:

1. Managing the customer experience across multiple channels (44%)
2. Ensuring technology keeps pace with changing customer behaviour (40%)
3. Driving operational efficiency and cost savings (34%)
4. Developing agent skills-sets (31%)
5. Making the transition to a Cloud-based contact solution (28%)

Contact Centre Managers priorities for 2014 are very curious, and it is very interesting to see how they fit into the solution that is better positioned to help them achieve their goals: Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service.

1. RightNow delivers seamless Customer Experience across every channel. It has out-of-the-box capabilities that help organisations deal with customers that interact through the Web, Email, Phone, Chat or Social Media. And desktop add-ins can be built and used to accommodate any other way of communicating, such as Letters, SMS, etc.

2. It enables organisations to be where their customers are, and serve them where and when they need. Providing a rich online Customer Experience so customers can research or resolve issues, from any device. And managing social interactions as a fully integrated part of that Customer Experience – with special emphasis in the biggest social network (Facebook).

3. RightNow also provides a better User Experience. Its user-friendly and easy-to-use interface with a very familiar look and feel, makes the agent training quick and painless, increasing adoption. It delivers an end-to-end management of the customer journey through unified records, interfaces, and knowledge, reducing the effort and improving efficiency.

4. It comprises a set of out-of-the-box tools (such as SmartAssistant or Standard Text) and procedural automation (such as Guided Assistance, Agent Scripts or Workflows), common to every support process, that empower agents. Helping them to service and resolve customer’s issues, regardless of the channel of interaction.

5. RightNow is an industry leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, hosted in the Oracle cloud. Decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO) and providing monthly subscription-based type license. It is very fast and easy to deploy and maintain. Also, as a cloud solution, it is easily scalable and effortless to expand.

Child Objects: “Add Existing” option

When dealing with the majority of child objects – either Standard or Custom – through the parent workspace, two options are displayed to the user for adding a new record: “Add New” and “Add Existing“.

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The truth is sometimes the child object is not actually the child object. Example: If we want to create a Many-to-Many relationship we need to create an object in between the two objects that we want to link. Thus, the child object in the workspace is actual the “inter-table”.

Therefore, the “Add Existing” option no longer makes sense and it might actually confuse the user, as he might think he is adding an existing child record when in fact he is trying to add an existing “inter-table” record.

The solution to avoid this is to disable the “Add Existing” option for the user. But how can we do this? Well there are two ways.

a) Remove “Update” permissions for that object

Removing the “Update” permission from the Profiles will make the “Add Existing” option, on the top of the report, to be greyed out.

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After removing the “Update” permission for the Profiles, the “Add Existing” option will be greyed out as follows.

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b) Change the control that presents that object

This option is the best when the object between the two that we need to link with a Many-to-Many relationship needs to be updated.

Usually the control used on the Workspace to display a child object is the “Relationship Item”. This control will display the chosen report with the two options shown above: “Add New” and “Add Existing“.

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But, if instead we replace the “Relationship Item” control by a “Report” control (and choose the same report to be displayed)…

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… now the report will only show the “Add New” button, and the “Add Existing” option won’t be even shown.

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Offer Advisor: Set up and use

Offer Advisor provides offers that agents can present to the customer while dealing with a Service Request.

In a Sales perspective, organisations can use Offer Advisor to enable their agents in the call centre to cross-sell (by offering products compatible with those the customer has already purchased) or up-sell (by offering a premium version of a product the customer currently owns).

In a Service perspective, organisations can use Offer Advisor to enable their agents in the call centre to offer new SLAs and renewals, remind customers about warranties, add customers to a newsletter mailing list or provide information about product recalls.

If a customer shows interest in one of the offers presented by the agent, Offer Advisor automatically creates an Opportunity against his contact.

Offer Advisor delivers two types of offers:

  • Promotion: A program defined by the organisation that specifies the effective dates, the product (if applicable), the promotion’s priority, and the target eligible for the promotion.
  • Suggestion: An automated product recommendation that predicts customer interest based on purchase history (purchase history has to be integrated into RightNow).

Setting up Offer Advisor

Configuration settings are used to enable Offer Advisor and configure its functionality. Then agents are able to use it while dealing with customers (make sure that the Offer Advisor button appears on the incidents workspace ribbon).

  1. Integrating purchase history data: If you want Offer Advisor to use purchase history, you must integrate that data.
  2. Creating targets: Every promotion needs an intended audience, which is its target. You can create unique targets for specific promotions as well as general targets you can use for multiple promotions.
  3. Adding promotions: Once you have enabled Offer Advisor, integrated purchase history day, and created targets, you can create promotions that include dates, products, information for the agent, and targets.

Creating Targets

Every promotion has to be at least associated to one target (i.e. customers to whom your organisations want to present the promotion). Targets can be specifically created for one promotion or they can be generic for multiple promotions.

In the Business Rule of type Offer Advisor only one state (named “Targets”) is allowed. You cannot add states or functions in target rules. Also, regardless of the conditions you select (the “If”), the default action (the “Then”) is always “Contact will match this target”. It is not possible to add another action (the “Else”).

To define the conditions of a target fields from Incident, Contact, and Organization tables can be used. It is also possible to select a unique Purchased Products condition for target rules. This condition is a combination of three conditions – Product, Price, and Date Purchased – all of which must be met.

1. Click the Configuration button on the navigation pane.
2. Double-click Rules under Site Configuration.
3. Click the Offer Advisor button on the ribbon.
4. Click the Edit button on the ribbon.
5. Right-click Targets in the tree and select New Rule.
6. Type the name of the target rule in the Name field.
7. To add notes to the rule, type them in the Notes field.
8. Click the Add IF Condition Based On button
9. Select the fields/operators/values to build the target
10. Click the Save button to save the target rule.
12. Click the Activate button to compile and activate the target rule base.

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Creating promotions

Promotions include the product or message you want agents to present to customers who belong to a specific target group. Promotions also define the active dates, the promotion’s priority, URLs to open when customers express interest in or accept a promotion, and scripts and tips for agents.

Because every promotion requires at least one target, you must define the promotion’s target before you can complete the promotion. If your promotion applies to a sales product, you must also be sure the product is in the product catalog.

1. Click the Configuration button on the navigation pane.
2. Double-click Promotions under Sales.
3. To add a promotion, click the New button on the ribbon.
4. Type the name of the promotion in the Name field.
5. Enter promotions details.
6. Click the Description button on the ribbon.
7. Enter promotion information: summary, guide, and keywords.
8. Click the Targets button on the ribbon.
9. Specify the targets.
10. Click the Save and Close button on the ribbon to save the promotion.

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Using Offer Advisor

When an agent is dealing with a customer’s issue (on the Incident workspace) Offer Advisor uses the customer’s information to search for promotions that he might be eligible for and product suggestions that he might be interested in. If Offer Advisor finds any promotions or product suggestions the Offer Advisor button is enabled on the ribbon.

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Clicking on the Offer Advisor button, The Offer Advisor window displays and contains promotions and suggestions that the customer is eligible for, as well as the Guide and Product details set on the promotion.

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After offering to the customer, his response can be logged by clicking the Set Response link on the Action column. This will activate the picklist on the Response column and allow the agent to register the customer’s response.

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In case the response is positive, an Opportunity is automatically created and opened for the agent.

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Mobile Agent app: How to get started

Following the previous post about the Mobile Agent app for RightNow CX – Oracle Tap Service and Support – here are the steps on how to get started.

Step 1: Enable and configure the mobile agent app in the Configuration Settings.

Navigate to Configuration > Site Configuration > Configuration Settings > RightNow Common > Mobility.

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Step 2: Give your staff members permission to access the mobile agent app.

Navigate to Configuration > Staff Management > Profiles > (Open Profile) > PermissionsAdministration > (check the Account Authentication check box in the Mobile Agent App section)

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Step 3: Go to the Apple App Store, search for Oracle Tap app and install it.

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Step 4: Configure the Customer Service and Support cloud option on your iPad

Enter the URL to your Oracle RightNow CX application:
https:// <your virtual host> /cgi-bin/ <your interface> .cfg/php/tap/v1

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Editing settings

Taping the Settings button on the main menu, a user can specify if login credentials are saved, how long the app will wait for a server response, if the data cache is cleared when the application is closed or restarted, and which server is used. Additionally, user can view the version and the license agreements.

Admins can specify the time periods used to initiate an automatic logout and to maintain offline authentication.

  • By default, the number of seconds the agent can leave the application idle before being logged out is 300 (5 minutes). To change this go to the MOBILITY_IDLE_TIMEOUT configuration setting.
  • By default, the number of seconds the application will store the agent’s credentials for offline authentication is 28800 (8 hours). To change this go to the MOBILITY_SESSION_TIMEOUT configuration setting.

LinguistNow for Incident/Answer translation

As a consultant I have the privilege of visiting a lot of companies, the pleasure of seeing how they work, and the challenge of trying to align their business needs with technology. Every company has its business-specific or industry-specific requirements but some of them are common.

Lately I came across an important requirement. Some companies have their support centres based in one country, but they serve many other countries all over the world. Therefore, their customer service teams need to have language skills/capabilities in order to better serve their customers.

RightNow CX is available in 30+ languages. If a company needs to provide support in different languages it can buy another RightNow Internal Interface and also another RightNow External Interface. But if many languages are needed it can be painful (or expensive) to manage so many interfaces.

A few months ago I came across Language I/O, an Oracle Gold Partner specialized in providing products for translation automation. Language I/O has two products that plug into RightNow CX and automate the translation of Incidents or Answers into 100+ languages.

  • LinguistNow Help: Automates high-quality, human translation of help and FAQ content (Answers), and also localizes links embedded within the content. This feature saves content editors days of manual link editing within the translated content.

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  • LinguistNow Response: Enables English speaking customer service agents to respond to Incidents in any language. It is embedded in the RightNow Agent Desktop and leverages both rapid-turn-around human translation as well as machine translation.

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The product seemed very good so I asked for a demo. Kaarina Kvaavik (Managing Partner) and Lucia Kash (Business Development Director) were kind enough to show it to me and I was really impressed with what I saw. LinguistNow seems to be a very mature product that can really bring added value.

It translates RightNow Answers and Incidents in two ways:

  • Translate (automatic translation)
  • Re-translate (professional human translation). [average of 35 min to have the translation]

For companies with this kind of needs, it is really worth to have a look at this product.