How to catch foreign SPAM

Recently a client was being flooded by incidents that looked like coming from a Chinese account, which was impacting the performance of their contact centre. They asked how could Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) help them deal with this situation.

The resolution for something like this cannot be easier. You can create an incident business rule that looks into the email header, assesses the character set, and either prevents incident creation, or routes incidents created to a specific queue.

If “Incident.Email Header” matches regular expression “character set name”
Then “Do Not Create Incident” or “assign incident to specific queue”

The “Email Header” field contains a lot of information, including the character set of the email charset=[character set name]. A list of all character sets can be found in the web (for example, here).

It is important to note that for the “Email Header” option to display on the business rule field drop-down, configuration setting EGW_SAVE_EMAIL_HEADERS (found in folder RightNow Common > Service Modules > RightNow Email) must be enabled.

 

Aug 17 Release now available (Part II)

The August 2017 (17.8) release of Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) is now generally available and it brings so many exciting new features and enhancements that, this time, I am braking my thoughts down in various posts. You can read the first one here.

Browser UI – Report Inline Editing

With the latest release this feature is now supported in the Browser UI (BUI) allowing you to edit data in reports without having to open the object/record. If this capability is enabled in the report, you can edit the data in a field on the report cell, including fields of type drop-down menu.

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Browser UI – Report Cross Tab and Forward

For those who are not familiar with it, Cross Tab is a feature of OSvC reports that allows you to compile, into a few lines, data that could span through various pages. This functionality is now supported at runtime within the BUI, with the 17.8 release.

Additionally it is now also possible, from the BUI, to forward reports and dashboards to other users (via email) using HTML format.

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Browser UI – Guided Assistance and OPA Integration

One other thing that was still missing on the BUI was the ability to use Guides and OPA interviews, within a workspace – capability that has been available in the console. The new 17.8 release supports this functionality, allowing you to provide these very useful aids to your agents, which sometimes are key when supporting customers on the phone or over a live web chat session.

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Business Rules 2.0

Finally the best for last! As an OSvC expert and implementation specialist, this is probably one of my favourite enhancements for the last few releases. Oracle called it Business Rules 2.0 as it is a complete re-vamp of the Business Rules editor and capability.

But caveats first… this is not yet available for standard objects, only for custom objects. It will come for Organisations, Contacts, Incidents, Tasks, and Opportunities further down the line. And it is available in the BUI.

The new Business Rules editor not only has a much more modern and intuitive look and feel, but it supports business rules for custom objects. Which means that you will no longer need to write as much code as you used to (in custom scripts/processes) if you need to create automation in custom objects.

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As an administrator or implementor you can view and manage all rules within a rule set (or object) at a glance.

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And create new rules in a much more intuitive and easy to use interface.

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Additionally, you can search for rules and values used within your rules.

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Keep your eye on the next post – Aug 2017 release now available (Part III) – in which I will tell you a bit more about some of the most exciting enhancements in this Aug 2017 release.

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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Business Rules: Elements of rules and rule bases

Before you create a rule base, you should be familiar with the elements of rules and rule bases and how these elements are related. The left side of the content pane displays the rules in each of the rule base’s states and functions as well as a list of the rule base’s variables. The right side of the content pane is the editor, which lets you add and edit states, functions, and variables for a rule base. This is also where you add and edit conditions and actions for individual rules.

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States and Functions

States and Functions provide a way for you to organize business rules and define the sequence for processing rules. Each rule base must have at least one state (the initial state) before rules processing can begin.

The states and functions are listed alphabetically in the Rules tree, and the rules within each state and function are listed in the order in which you want them to execute. You can add as many states as you need for each stage of your business. You can set up rules in the initial state. Then, depending on the conditions of rules in the initial state, you can transition the object into another state to continue processing the rules in that state.

Like states, functions are also containers for rules. Functions are useful for grouping sets of rules that you want to use in several places. You can set up many separate rules that call the same function, or set of rules, thereby reducing the number of individual rules you need. When a rule in one state calls a function, all the rules within that function process. After all the rules in the function process, the rules engine resumes processing in the original state with the next rule in that state.

The primary difference between states and functions is what happens when the rules engine processes the last rule. When the last rule in a state is processed, the rules engine stops processing (unless it encounters a stop processing rule before the last rule or it transitions to a function or another state). When the last rule in a function is processed, the rules engine returns to the next rule in the state from which the function was called.

While functions are powerful tools for grouping rules, avoiding duplication, and making maintenance easier, you are not required to use them in a rule base. You can still take advantage of the powerful features of business rules by adding as many states as you need based on the processes you want to automate and then creating rules within each state.

Variables

A variable is a piece of data with a value that can change during rules processing. You define what its default, or starting, value should be. Then, based on conditions you specify, the variable can be modified by rule actions. You can also use the value of a variable as a condition of a rule. The value of the variable is temporary, existing only during the particular rules processing session. When rules processing is started the next time, the variable’s value is reset to the default value.

Conditions

Remember that a rule is basically an “if-then” statement. If something meets this condition, then take this action. The “if” statement is the rule’s condition. Each rule base has a unique set of conditions that the rules engine can use to evaluate the object.

Logical expressions

When you add two or more conditions, rules processing uses a logical expression to define the relationship of the conditions. Logical expressions join conditions using an AND (&) or an OR (|) relationship between them.

Actions

Actions comprise the “then” part of an “if-then” rule or the “then” and “else” parts of an “if-then-else” rule. If the conditions you specified in a rule are met, then the rules engine implements the rule’s actions. The list of available actions depends on the rule’s object type. An action can be as simple as stopping the rules processing or more complex, such as assigning an incident to an agent, sending that agent a notification, and defining an escalation process if the incident is not resolved within a certain time frame.

Note: When you open a rule base and edit it, RightNow CX maintains the active rule base while you edit a copy in the Rules editor. Your changes are not saved until you activate them.

Business Rules: An overview

Business rules are powerful tools for simplifying and automating common business tasks. They link data from all RightNow CX products in the knowledge base, resulting in a responsive, consistent customer experience.

Business rules help you provide a consistent, accurate, and timely experience for customers while streamlining the efficiency of staff members. When the rules engine updates information automatically and immediately, your entire organization has access to a knowledge base that is accurate and current in every customer interaction.

When you create rules to answer routine customer questions, customers enjoy an immediate response. At the same time, staff members work more productively without the distraction of repetitive tasks. As a result, they can deliver more responsive customer service and follow-up

What is a business rule? A business rule is simply an “if-then” statement: If these conditions apply, then take this action. Business rules can also include an Else clause. If the conditions of the rule are not met, the Else clause specifies the action that should be taken.

How are rules organized? RightNow CX products have 8 rule types:

  • Contact
  • Organization
  • Task
  • Incident
  • Answer
  • Chat
  • Offer Advisor
  • Opportunity

Each of these sets of rules is a rule base. The entity to which a rule base applies (answer, incident, contact, chat, opportunity, organization, target, task) is known as the object type.

Every object type has its own rule base, and every rule base is separate from other rule bases. The contacts rule base processes only contacts, the organizations rule base processes only organizations, and so on.

How are rules processed? The rules engine is the software that processes the rules in a rule base. The rules engine begins processing when:

  • Staff members add or edit answers, contacts, incidents, opportunities, organizations, or tasks
  • Customers submit questions on the Ask a Question page
  • Customers update their contact records or incidents
  • Customers request chat sessions

The rules engine looks at every new or updated object and checks to see if the conditions of any rules are met. If a rule’s conditions are met, the action associated with that rule occurs.

Important: The rules engine is triggered when the contact (or other object) is updated, not when the rule base is updated. If you create or edit a rule, objects are not evaluated to see if they meet the conditions of the new or updated rule. Rules processing happens only when objects are added or updated.

Planning business rules: Before you begin creating rules for your organization, it is important to examine your business processes. Once you have a clear idea of the processes your organization uses, you can develop an effective method for applying business rules to automate these processes. Here are some essential steps to help you get started.

  • Identify and outline business processes
  • Develop a rules flowchart
  • Review functionality of rules
  • Create rules
  • Prioritize processes for applying rules
  • Verify and fine-tune rules