To bring the concept of multi-channel CEO to life, consider for one moment that you’ve been with a mobile provider for the past five years. You’ve just tried adding extra services to your account through the company’s self-service website. The payment is being processed, but just before it confirms your order the website crashes. Has the sale gone through or not? To find out, you go through the hassle of taking time out your day to call the contact centre (or the nearest store) to get to the bottom of it. But because there’s no evidence of a transaction being initiated, you start the process all over again. That alone is quite annoying, but imagine if in your next bill you find out that your original online purchase had in fact gone through – so now you’ve bought the service twice! How would that make you feel? Not happy, that’s for sure. So you go online, join discussions and forums about the brand and before long your experience has been aired to thousands.
Now let’s imagine how very different the entire experience and corresponding feedback would have been if a contact centre agent was able to confirm that the order went through when you first called. Or even better, how much better about the company would you feel if the agent called you directly after the website crashed to apologise for the inconvenience, and to also confirm that your purchase has gone through?
Regardless of a customer’s channel of choice, the business must always be one step ahead. But how can you achieve this? The trick is to gain visibility into, and intelligence from, each customer interaction. Offering customers an optimised experience includes, for instance, only ever flagging a product you know they want to buy, at precisely the time they need it, and then never failing to exceed on their service expectations. And this level of optimisation needs to be driven throughout every possible customer interaction with the businesses.
A recent claim by Gartner got me thinking. The analyst group states that Social CRM application spending will grow at a faster rate than traditional CRM. But as businesses become increasingly enamoured with Social CRM, how does this affect the need to deliver a true multi-channel experience? Rather than viewing it in isolation, it is now essential that organisations consider the role of Social CRM in their broader mix of existing customer facing channels.
This is especially true when we consider that Social CRM specifically focuses on capturing and using data that lives on social sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. As a component of CRM, it must be fully integrated within a customer experience optimisation (CEO) strategy that incorporates both online and offline interactions (for example, contact centre, in-store or postal interactions).
Whether it’s online (directly or indirectly through social media), face-to-face or on the phone, CEO encourages loyalty by allowing organisations to actively listen to consumers through their channel of choice. An interaction through one channel with an organisation must be reflected and considered in the organisation’s response across all of its channels.
We all know that it’s an extremely tough environment out there. But the explosion of social media means that consumers now have a global audience to share their views and concerns about a company, brand or product. In response, organisations need to get it right each and every time they deal with consumers, regardless of which channel they choose. Only with a comprehensive CEO strategy can companies can be much smarter about the way they engage with consumers and capitalise on those loyal and profitable relationships.
Oracle’s customer experience strategy is designed to help companies and organizations across many industries create the consistent, connected, personalized, efficient, and rewarding experiences their customers and constituents want while generating real top-line and bottom-line business results.
Oracle’s customer experience solutions help companies and organizations transform their existing operational systems and infrastructure into a differentiated customer experience across the customer lifecycle. Built around Oracle’s best-in-class solutions, Oracle delivers the most complete customer experience solution in the industry, enabling companies to differentiate themselves across all channels, touchpoints, and interactions. From marketing to sales, from delivery to support, from initial engagement to rewarding relationship, Oracle’s customer experience strategy helps companies and organizations acquire new customers, retain more customers, and improve efficiency, creating the great customer experiences you want.
In summary, your customers expect a consistent, relevant, and personalized buying experience. Your internal applications and systems need to support a disciplined approach to customer experience. We have now entered the age of the customer. Customers are making decisions that often bypass your employees and interact directly with their peers and social networks. Creating great customer experiences starts with knowing exactly who your customers are and their needs, and providing the best recommendations based on their history with your company, as well as what you have learned through their social presence. You need to connect and personalize their experiences as they travel across touchpoints and engage with your brand.
With a comprehensive suite of solutions and technologies for commerce, service and support, sales, insight, loyalty and marketing, and social media, Oracle can address the entire customer lifecycle. You will be able to simultaneously connect and engage customers, learn more about them, and make it easy and rewarding to do business with you. Oracle’s customer experience solution enables you to deliver great customer experiences and profitable customer journeys.
Layo Ajayi is the country manager for Oracle Nigeria