Sam Walton (Walmart founder): Believe me… the client will never come back

Maybe some of you have already come across this, but for those who haven’t, here goes…

A few years ago Sam Walton, founder of the biggest retailer in the world, opened a new training programme for Walmart employees, and made sure he took the first slot in every training session.

Most people expected Sam to make a speech about the history and the values of the company, about sales or customer service. But instead Sam shared a short, simple and personal history.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a restaurant, sits at the table and patiently waits, whilst the waiter does everything but taking my order.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a shop and waits in silence, whilst the employee behind the counter finishes the private conversation with the colleague, before taking my payment.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a gas station and never buzzes, but waits patiently whilst the employee finishes his newspaper read.

I’m the kind of person who explains to a supplier his urgency on getting a specific product, and does not complain after receiving it 3 weeks later.

I’m really the kind of person who enters any commercial establishment and seems to be begging for attention, for a smile, for the employee to do me a favour.

And now you must be thinking that I’m just a nice, calm, relaxed, quiet, patient kind of person. But you are wrong!

You know who I am? I’m the customer who will never come back.

And then I have fun. Watching these companies spend millions of dollars, in marketing and advertisement, in order to make me come back to them. When actually I was there already, and all they had to do was a simple, cheap and easy thing: treat me with a little courtesy.

There is only one boss: THE CLIENT. And he can fire everyone in the company. From the employee to the Chief Executive, simply by taking his money somewhere else

Customer Experience. This is what it is all about. And a good one has lots of components, from employee empowerment to personalised service. But the truth is that everything should start from the basics. And the foundation for a good CX is something as simple as a bit of courtesy. And that doesn’t require any investment in time or money, just the right attitude.

November 2015 release review

Browser UI Enhancements

Oracle continues to improve the OSrvC Browser UI and the Nov 2015 release comes many new capabilities for the web-based agent desktop. Apart from the new features, the other good news is that the Browser UI is compatible with any OSrvC, since Nov 2014 release, meaning that there is no need to upgrade to the latest releases to use the Browser UI.

  • Workspace Rules are now supported, allowing the trigger of certain actions based on specific conditions.
  • The Survey by Proxy control is also available in Incidents, Contacts and Custom Objects workspaces, allowing agents to complete surveys on behalf of customers.
  • A new API was created to allow the extensibility of the Browser UI. The Browser UI Extensibility Framework allows the writing of JavaScript code to read and write data (Contacts, Incidents and Organisations) as well as create UI mashups.
  • Cc, Bcc, attachments and responses to social  media (Twitter, Facebook) messages are now supported.


  • Live Chat is now available, even though it is limited to 10 agents per site (Oracle wants to make sure it works well before rolling out fully)


  • Alongside Live Chat, the Co-Browse is also available on the Browser UI, but only on a limited level as well (view or point).


  • The Knowledgebase (Advanced) is also available for agents working from the Browser UI.


  • And super-users can also use the Browser UI now to manage knowledgebase content, editing questions and answers.


  • OSN (Oracle Social Network) or Collaboration was also included in this release and can now be used from the Browser UI.


Dynamic Agent Desktop

The Dynamic Agent Desktop (DAD) also continues to be improved, giving the normal contact centre or back-office agent more options and flexibility. In this release, the improvements are all related to the look & feel of the DAD. There is an option to enable a web theme that follows web UI patterns. New elements like toolbars, icons, navigation menus and tabs will make the DAD consistent with other Oracle Cloud products and closet to the Browser UI.


Single Sign On

The ability to log in to Oracle Service Cloud using external identity providers (IdP) was introduced in the May 2015 release. In this new Nov 2015 release OSrvC supports authentication via multiple IdPs, and it is also possible to configure SAML tokens to supports different subject types for different IdPs.


The REST API was also introduced in the May 2015 release of OSrvC. At the time it was limited to CRUD operations. Later in the Aug 2015 release it was improved to support ROQL for object queries. And now in the new Nov 2015 release it has even more capabilities for non-CRUD operations. It allows the:

  • Upload and download of attachments.
  • Execution of reports.
  • Pagination and sorting of large amounts of data.


The co-browse functionality has been part of OSrvC for a long time. Recently it was enhanced to support not only co-browsing on web and mobile browsers but also in native iOS apps.

The Nov 2015 release extends even more this capability, allowing the addition of co-browse to native Android apps.


Oracle keeps on enhancing the Accelerators that help with the integration of OSrvC and other Oracle products. One of the accelerators out there is for the integrations with Sales Cloud, but it was very limited. This new version comes with:

  • Full contact and organisation synchronization.
  • Ability to create and update opportunities in OSrvC, and save to Sales Cloud.
  • Ability to create and update incidents in Sales Cloud, and save to OSrvC.

The other great feature that comes with the Nov 2015 release is the Read/Write Report Add-in. This can be used, for example, in the integration with Siebel or eBusiness Suite, and allows the surfacing and editing of data in those system’s database from within the OSrvC agent desktop.


These reports can be easily built from within OSrvC Analytics module. In the data dictionary of the Reports Explorer, admins will be able to see virtual 3rd party tables (created by the add-in) and just drag-drop fields into the report.


Advanced Knowledge

The new OSrvC Advanced Knowledge capability (recap: this is the Oracle Knowledge product but converted into a cloud product) continues to be improved and the Nov 2015 release introduces:

  • Search in multiple sources
  • Sophisticated authoring and workflow
  • Ability to support many languages and geographies
  • REST API to support integration and extension
  • Ability to subscribe to content articles
  • Wizard to manage intent based responses
  • Updated Industry dictionaries
  • Ability to search within MS Office 2013 documents (e.g. Word and Excel)

Customer Journey Mapping workshop x 4


These past 2 weeks have been great fun. There is nothing like being in the “field”, helping companies being more customer-centric. And that is what a Capventis customer in the Construction industry wanted to do, in order to improve the Customer Experience they deliver.

Customer Journey Mapping is a very good technique that helps organisations identify the customer’s steps and emotions across all stages and touch points. From initial contact, through purchase, to support, and hopefully onto renewal or repeated purchase.

This type of exercise reveals opportunities for improvement and innovation in the customer’s experience. Either it is fixing a bad moment where things went wrong, or capitalising on a good moment where things went really well or as expected.

Teaming up with my colleague Kelvin Brain (@kelvinbrain), we facilitated a series of 4 Customer Journey Mapping workshops, where more than 40 staff came out with great innovations and ideas to improve the way the company treats and services customers.

For the workshops we chose a persona – David, the builder –  and used a business-specific customer journey. In order to achieve better results, we mixed the best of the Stanford University customer journey mapping with our experience and knowledge as consultants.

The day started with everyone in the room sharing some good and bad experiences. Then, we talked about how the world is changing – mainly due to advances in technology and the social media explosion – and how that impacts the way people expect to deal with companies.

With some very good insights on what is Customer Experience, why it is so important these days, and how to deliver/enable it, the audience was ready to dive into the Customer Journey Mapping exercise.

From that moment on it was all fun. Music, colours, loads of post-it notes, red/green dots, strings, great discussions, amazing ideas, outstanding innovations, excellent outcomes. The feedback was great and we look forward to the next steps.

Kodak faced 3 challenges and chose Oracle Service Cloud

Kodak is one of the most well know companies in the world, when it comes to imaging solutions. Over the years, Kodak has acquired a number of other companies. This was a big challenges with regards to the way they serviced their customers. Mainly because all these businesses they acquired used different systems and ways of servicing their customers. Kodak needed standardisation and consolidation, alongside capability and scalability.

Challenge #1 – To have a 360-degree view of the customer
Kodak “did not have an enterprise-wide view of its customers“. Kodak needed “to standardize its customer relationship management (CRM) environment across its business-to-business (B2B) operations

Challenge #2 – Consolidate knowledge across the business
Each business that Kodak acquired had “its own service system and knowledge base“. Kodak “wanted to globally consolidate knowledge that resided in more than 40 distinct knowledge bases“.

Challenge #3 – Choose an omni-channel and future proof system
Kodak was looking for a system that would allow the company “to understand how to best serve its customers, manage interactions consistently across all channels, seamlessly transitioning from self service to assisted service when necessary“.

Kodak chose an Oracle solution to address these challenges. Oracle Service Cloud is now the main customer service and customer-facing solution for “Incident Management, Knowledge and Web Deployment“, integrated with the back-office system, SAP, that manages service contracts and entitlements.

See Kodak’s Web Self-Service Portal, deployed by Oracle Service Cloud
See Kodak’s success story on Oracle’s website

You don’t buy customer loyalty… You earn it

Even though sometimes they do things we don’t like, we are always loyal to our family and friends. This is what companies should aim for… to get loyal customers, that will not leave just because once something went wrong (Let’s not be utopian, even with the best products, processes or people, things will go wrong at some point).

The majority of companies will probably say that they have started looking at customer loyalty a long time ago. But allow me to strongly disagree. Loyalty cannot be bought. You cannot expect to have a loyal customer just because you were able to make him or her sign up for a loyalty card, and you offer £5 off the next buy after they spend £1,000.

Loyalty is a sentiment. It is an emotional attachment that cannot be bought with offers, discounts or promotions. It is more than that. It is an emotion that normally is consequence of a positive and pleasant feeling… i.e. satisfaction! And actually many studies and researches show exactly that. In business loyalty is directly proportional to Customer Satisfaction.

Loyalty = k x CSAT

Customer Satisfaction is collected through surveys, where companies ask customers whether the product or service has failed, met or exceeded expectations. When customers have high expectations and the reality falls short, they will be disappointed and less satisfied. On the other hand, if expectations are low, customers could be extremely satisfied with no more than ordinary service.

Customer satisfaction is therefore the difference between the customer’s expectation and what was actually delivered by the company.

CSAT = Delivery – Expectation

Companies normally use one of two ways to set customer’s expectations: by intent or by accuracy. John Lewis (well-known UK giant that tops every CX ranking in the retail industry) uses the first: “Never Knowingly Undersold”. Others prefer to use the latter: “Delivery in 48 hours”. Regardless of the tactic companies need to make sure expectations are exceeded or, at least, met.

A good delivery is dependent on a couple of factors. First and foremost, designing a good model. Companies cannot expect every employee to perform heroically, all day, every day, and forever. They cannot expect everyone to be outstanding, available and willing to make a huge effort and always go the extra mile. Companies need to design a model that allows everyone to deliver good service.

That design can have two main dimensions: A blueprint of the company (its organisation structure, processes and procedures, information/data model, main KPI’s, technology), and a mapping of the customer journey (his steps, attitudes, emotions, needs, goals). A good model will leave employees no choice but to deliver a good service as an everyday routine.

The other factor is the culture. And that culture must be aligned with the model. Culture will not tell employees what to do. It will rather tell them how to think.

Delivery Excellence = Good Design + Great Culture

Setting up the company with a model and a culture that enables an outstanding delivery, will definitely make customer expectations be met or even exceeded. This guarantees a positive and high customer satisfaction that in turn will make customers loyal to the company. Loyalty ensures that customer’s lifecycle is the desired CX infinite loop.

20140725 CX Infinite Loop

RightNow November 2013 Release

The November 2013 release of Oracle RightNow CX (or Oracle Service Cloud) provides significant new features and capabilities.

Virtual Assistant

Oracle RightNow Virtual Assistant: One of the coolest new features of this release. With the virtual assistant organisations can decrease the volume of Live Chat sessions that require an actual human agent.


Live Chat

Virtual Assistant Escalation: Whilst servicing the customer, the Virtual Assistant checks for agent availability and seamlessly transfers the customer to a Live Chat session, providing the agent all the information collected up front.

Page Peek: Agents can now see a snapshot of the actual website page the customer was navigating when he engaged in the Live Chat session. (note: sensitive data such as account or credit cards numbers can be hidden so they are not displayed to the agent).


Customer Portal

Widget Migration Assistant: This is something particularly useful for developers, saving time and making them more efficient. A widget wizard guides the developers through the custom code migration process. On top of that, it provides code validation and enhancement suggestions. (note: Framework Version 3 has to be enabled).

Connect Object Explorer (COE): Another cool feature for developers. COE makes it easier for developers to inspect the objects that Connect exposes, providing an object and field explorer to view metadata information and a have a stronger understanding of Connect objects. It also has an easy-to-use ROQL query interface which allows the export of custom queries.


New widgets: The November 2013 version of the CP includes several new widgets:

  • ClickjackPrevention widget
  • TopAnswers widget
  • VirtualAssistantAvatar
  • VirtualAssistantBanner
  • VirtualAssistantSimilarMatches
  • VirtualAssistantFeedback

Access to customer profile data with JavaScript: Developers are now able to access customer profile information using JavaScript (avoiding the need to gather that information in a widget controller.php file and manually pass it to JavaScript.

Interface-specific cookies: To prevent malicious reuse of the cookie across interfaces.

File attachment thumbnail display: The FileListDisplay widget now includes a display_thumbnail attribute that displays thumbnails of image file attachments on the question details page of all three page sets.

Hiding empty columns on reports: The new hide_empty_columns attribute prevents the display of output columns for custom fields or custom attributes that do not contain data.

Link to Customer Portal API documentation: The Help button on the dashboard of the Customer Portal Administration site now includes a link to the PHP API and JavaScript API documentation.

Removed widgets: The following deprecated widgets have been removed from this version of the CP:

  • MobileEmailAnswerLink
  • ContactNameDisplay

Agent Desktop

Single Sign-On Identity Provider: The new release enables the administration of SSO integrations with external applications that reside outside RightNow CX. SSO integrations allow RightNow to be used as an identity provider to store and authenticate customer credentials.

Message Templates: Enhanced features to customise and personalise admin notifications and emails, as well as contact emails.

  • Conditional content in Incident threads (insert adverts/coupons in response threads).
  • Customisable subject lines (add up to 5 merge fields on the subject line)
  • Customisable print templates
  • Case Sections
  • Merge report properties


Agent Mobile App: It was enhanced and is now supported not only in Apple’s iPads but in iPhones, providing also the ability to:

  • Create and edit Contacts;
  • Access Survey result history;
  • Forward Incidents, Tasks, and Answers;
  • Upload Incident attachments;
  • View a customised Incidents report;
  • View knowledge base answers;
  • Customise lists and other Mobile Workspaces.


Standard Reports: Two new reports were added to help admins identify other reports that are not running as efficiently as required.

  • Report failure details (lists reports that failed to run, the reasons for that, and how often they failed)
  • Summary of Report failures (lists the types of report failures along with the number of times the failure was encountered during a specified date range)

Enhanced report analyser: The report analyser now contains additional information that help admins work on the efficiency of the reports.


Ignore results control and monitoring: Admins now have the ability to control which agent profiles have the permission to ignore social media posts. On top of that, new reports are now available to help admins monitor the number of posts being ignored by agents on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis.

Twitter filters: New filters were added to help reduce clutter when performing Twitter searches. Also, it is now available the ability to filter Twitter posts by the number of followers and exclude retweets from search results.

Facebook locale search: Already available on Twitter searches in previous releases, filter by locale when performing a Facebook search on public feed is now available, to narrow down to the results to more relevant data.


Infrastructure – Incident Thread Masking: This new functionality will enables organisations to better comply with internal governance and data privacy issues. Sensitive data (credit card numbers, etc.) can be automatically masked with the use of patterns/regular expressions matching. These masks are applied to thread data, either entered by the customer or the agent. The data is modified in the database and the UI.


Expanded Data Center Footprint: Three new data centres were recently opened in Kitakyushu (Japan), Sydney (Australia), and Amsterdam (The Netherlands), making the number of data centres rise to 8 – others are Canada, Santa Clara (USA), Oklahoma (USA), Chicago (USA), London (UK), Singapure.

Google Maps on RightNow CX

RightNow CX gives us the ability to put Web Browser controls in workspaces so that agents using the Dyanamic Agent Desktop can navigate on the Internet without having to leave the Console.

Using that we can easily embed Google Maps on RightNow CX, and quickly see the customer’s address using the information in the RightNow knowledge base.

  • Step 1: Open the workspace and add a new workspace tab
  • Step 2: Go to the Insert Control tab and drag/drop a browser control into the workspace tab


  • Step 3: Select the control in the workspace tab, go to the Design tab > Options section, click URL and insert the following link$contact.addr.street+$$contact.addr.postal_code


Now, whenever you open a contact, and navigate to the “Map” tab, you will automatically see the customer’s address on the map.