A future proof Customer Service solution that delivers outstanding CX

A recent Gartner report talks about “Customer Service Predictions” and gives 4 strategic planning assumptions that Gartner thinks must be followed by those companies that want to succeed by delivering an outstanding Customer Experience (CX).

Gartner’s summary is very clear: “Customer service is (…) the core business strategy to create a winning CX. Great service needs to be consistent across all mobile devices, as well as social and digital media channels. It also needs to be personalized (…)“.

The report outlines that in 2 years’ time…

  • Facebook and Twitter will have their own social media engagement applications for enterprise customer service.
  • At least 60% of the Internet users will opt for mobile customer service applications as their first option.
  • 50% of peer-to-peer community offerings will be packaged and sold alongside Web self-service offerings.

Among the key recommendations from Gartner is the need to have C-level buy-in, design a strategy and build the necessary skills/competencies. But obviously this has to be enabled by technology, and Gartner says: “expect best-of-breed software providers to be a key part of this journey

Oracle owns one of the best – if not The Best – technologies in the area of Customer Service. It is called Oracle Service Cloud (formerly RightNow CX), often recognised as a leader in Customer Service solutions for Small, Midsize and Enterprise organisations.

This technology combines web, social and contact centre experiences for a unified, omni-channel solution in the cloud. And it already addresses most of the things that Gartner is now saying that companies should focus on, probably making it the wisest technology choice.

Oracle Service Cloud social features enable organisations to manage social interactions as a fully integrated part of the CX. Companies can use the “Social Cloud” functionality to monitor and engage their customers via social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Blogs.

From a customer service perspective, Oracle Service Cloud allows a contact centre agent to create an incident (or Service Request) directly from a tweet, a post or a comment, and deal with that customer in his preferred social channel – or take it off-line as and when necessary.

Oracle Service Cloud also has a special Facebook application called “Self-Service for Facebook” that delivers the same exceptional support from other channels right from a Facebook page. And this works both in standard and mobile interfaces.

“Mobile” is another of Gartner’s predictions that Oracle Service Cloud is already prepared to address. The Oracle Service Cloud Customer Portal – that customers use to self-serve, manage accounts or engage with the company – not only provides a superior CX on full-featured browsers, but also includes an out-of-the-box set of pages designed specifically for mobile devices.

The third Gartner prediction is related to peer-to-peer communities. Once more Oracle Service Cloud is a step ahead. It offers community features integrated with its Customer Portal. Actually, it goes even further. It offers two different types of community: Support and Innovation.

The Support Community allows customers to ask questions and find answers in an peer-to-peer-type community, helping themselves and making them feel valued, without adding a single call or email to the company contact centre’s workload (perhaps even lighten it).

The Innovation Community is designed to give customers a voice in the company’s product/service innovation process, so they can help the company identify the new opportunities and bug fixes, or even guide the roadmap, prioritize/refine ideas and develop the next breakthrough.

There is also a very interesting finding in this report. Gartner states that “Many small or midsize businesses (SMBs) and enterprises have still not invested in multichannel customer service strategies and, instead, opt for a conglomeration of point solutions“.

My experience tells me that this is one of the main reasons why many companies strive to deliver a CX that differentiates them from the competition, and allows them to take the leap that will transform the business and make them a solid player in the market.

Oracle Service Cloud is that unified and omni-channel customer service platform that not only addresses today’s challenges and requirements, but is also future proof, offering the features and functionalities that customers are starting to require/expect and will demand in a near future.

Cloud Monitor: Responding through social channels

Using the cloud monitor, you can add social media posts from Facebook, Twitter, and RightNow Community to new or existing incidents so they can be processed on the agent desktop.

You cannot respond to RSS feeds or YouTube posts through RightNow CX. However, you can create incidents from them, which can be helpful for other business purposes.

When you create an incident from a social channel, the content of the post is added as a customer thread entry. By default, the incident’s subject field will contain the name of the channel and the leading text of the post. Together exceeding no more than 240 characters. However, you can customize the subject field contents by editing the CLOUD_INC_SUBJECT_TEXT setting.

The method used to associate incoming social incidents with contacts varies by channel. Incidents created from a post in RightNow Community are associated with contacts based on contact email address. Incidents created from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube posts are associated with a contact based on social media user name. If no matching contact is found, a new contact record is created and associated with the incident. Incidents created from RSS Feed or YouTube will be associated with a common generic contact.

The way you respond to social incidents also varies by channel. RightNow CX tracks each incident’s originating channel in the incidents.channel_id field and selects the same channel by default when you send a response. Each response is posted back to the contact using the unique messaging conventions of the originating media service.

Responding to Facebook posts
In Facebook, social conversations take the form of posts and comments on pages. While the cloud monitor allows you to monitor (but not respond to) posts from the public Facebook feed, you can respond to incidents created from customer posts on your organization’s Facebook fan page.

When you respond to a post on your organization’s Facebook page, the response appears as a comment beneath the post. The post is attributed to the name of the Facebook page designated by the channel account, rather than the agent’s name.

To respond to a Facebook post:
1. Perform a cloud search on a custom Facebook channel and view your search results
2. From the open cloud search report, select the post you want to create an incident from in the search results list.
3. Click the Respond button on the ribbon. A new incident opens on the content pane containing the details of the post
4. Select the Send On Save check box. The incident thread expands to reveal Facebook channel response options. The thread displays the name of the post’s originating channel and automatically selects the same channel for the response. The default channel account associated with the responding agent is also displayed
5. If your site has more than one Facebook channel account, click the Respond As dropdown menu in the header of the response thread.
6. Fill in any remaining details for the incident.
7. Click the Save and Close button on the ribbon.

Responding to Twitter posts
RightNow CX can create incidents automatically from private Twitter messages when you select the Automatically Create Incident option in the Twitter channel accounts editor.

To respond to a Twitter post:
1. Perform a cloud search on a Twitter channel and view your search results.
2. From the open cloud search report, select the post you want to create an incident from in the search results list.
3. Click the Respond button on the ribbon. A new incident opens on the content pane containing the details of the post
4. Select the Send on Save check box. The response thread header expands to reveal Twitter channel response options.
5. If your site has more than one Twitter channel account, click the Respond As drop-down menu and select the account you want to respond from.

Important: The channel account you respond from must include Private Message Response permissions. If the customer’s Twitter account is following your organization’s Twitter account, the Send Private check box will be visible and selected by default. You can clear this check box to post the message to the public feed. If the customer’s account is not following your organization’s account, the Send Private check box will not be shown and all sent messages will be public.

6. If your organization’s Twitter account is not yet following your customer’s Twitter account, click the Follow button.
7. Type your response in the response thread. Remember to limit each response to 140 characters, the maximum number allowed by Twitter.
8. Fill in any remaining details for the incident.
9. Click the Save and Close button on the ribbon to send the response through Twitter.