Last release of 2014: Oracle Service Cloud November 2014

It has been a few months since the November version came out and eVerge Group’s Service Cloud practice has kept me so busy that I almost decided to skip the review being that it is now January 2015 but then something inspired me. I have been travelling without much time to even take a breath the last few weeks and had the opportunity to oversee a very talented team as they started implementing an instance of the November release for a client.

If you know me then you know I am a hands on person. I do not sit idly by while others get to play with the shiny new toys, I want to join in and help teach others who are newer to the product, the ENFJ in me won’t allow me not to teach. While working collaboratively with this team and rolling up my sleeves to share a few hard learned tricks on workflow I discovered some features that I somehow missed previously. I still haven’t determined when the two I found came into production but it created an incessant thrumming in my head to go back and review the new features so I could continue to share.

There is a new tutorial that goes over the release highlights you may want to review it as I will not go over every new feature: November Overview Video

Service Console Enhancements

We know from previous versions that tool windows can be shifted around to the right or left sides of the console as well as being collapsed or closed. In the November release an agent can now have even more room on the console by docking the tool windows to the status bar. Just don’t be like me and forget that you did it because when you login the next day you might panic and wonder why you have a blank screen.

nv15toolwd

 

Drop down menus now have type ahead and track items recently used. With the type ahead feature an agent no longer needs to scroll or navigate through menus that in some cases could be six levels deep. Now as they begin to type the menu will highlight potential matches if there is more than one. Ten recent items can be listed by default.

N15-menuEnhancements to Message templates

The editor now has sub tabs so you can edit multiple templates at the same time to nov15msgallow different versions or language templates to be easily compared. This also allows an administrator to work in other areas of the console without having to close out message template like you had to in previous releases.

 

Within message templates you can also now create up to 10 conditional subject lines and can write conditions based on the number of message threads as well.

New configuration Assistant

I have used this new tool for the project mentioned above and it is great being able to create and manage new interfaces, mailboxes and test sites. However, by far the best part of this feature in my opinion as a system integrator is the ability to reset the System Administrator password without having to contact Oracle customer service.

Chat

If your company uses chat you can now let agents view a customer or site visitor’s browsing history from the customer portal. Agents can get crucial information about what pages the customer already viewed before requesting the chat session allowing them to more easily address the customers issues and concerns.

Agent Browser UI

Yes it is available for “infrequent users” but it is not really much more than a taste of what is to come in next few releases at this point. It certainly is not functional in a way that brand new clients could expect to be solely dependant on and abandon the trusty .Net thick client. For now my recommendation on this one is, if you upgrade to November 14 take a peak and check it out. If you wait just a little longer I think  you will be greatly rewarded, I witnessed the same sort of progress with the Mobile App for Service and the functionality that it has now is light years from when it was introduced.

Before I let you all go off, running and playing with the new version eVerge Group will be at the Modern Customer Experience event in Las Vegas this March. I have heard that it will be more akin to the RightNow Customer Summit that was held at the Broadmoor in the days before being purchased by Oracle. If this is the case I can assure you it will be full of great sessions, good conversation and fun evening events. If you are attending please let me know so we can talk about all things CX. If you are thinking of attending register quickly and take advantage of the early bird rate.

http://eventreg.oracle.com/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x1824286fd9f

nov15 bee

The Golden Bee – RightNow Customer Summit

 

For more information on the November 2014 version including release notes, manuals, webcasts, tutorials and community posts. Please review at the official RightNow documentation overview page.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle Service Cloud and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

 Rhianna_smallAbout the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) Director of CX Solutions @ eVerge Group has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating Oracle Service Cloud solutions for eight years.

 

 

Key Tools to Navigate in the Social Stratosphere

Some of you may know that I travel quite frequently to attend events, meet with clients and more but did you know I recently was in an emergency landing on a nationally known airline? I am not going to go into the specifics of what I felt or how others around me were dealing with the announcement of a possible water landing but it got me thinking about social and the importance of being connected. Why on earth have I been thinking about this? I have two answers to this, first the wi-fi service was not working on the entire flight so I could not alert my family that we were being diverted to another airport with a longer runway or yes potentially send them one last I love you.

My photo used on the Today show. They contacted me after seeing my tweets. We know they are using social tools.

Second, when we did land and we were stuck in the grass while FDNY in hazmat suits approached and someone took pictures of us and tweeted them out I was assured by the @nationallyknownairline on twitter that they were doing everything they could to get us off the plane immediately.

Don’t they tell us that in case of emergency evacuate as soon as possible?

Let’s get back to the point, staying connected in an era where social and the customers that use it are shaping how companies engage. I have since done some experimenting with companies that I know respond at least some of the time to tweets. On average if it is a company I know does some type of social monitoring and I ask a direct question I will get a response 25% of the time. This is generous estimate. If I merely mention the company or the twitter account that is being monitored I get a response less than 5% of the time.  There are a lot of statistics out there that tell companies they need to be doing more but are they listening? I think slowly they are beginning to. Social channels are maturing and new ones are constantly popping up. This time last year most people probably had never heard of pinterest, snapchat or even Instagram. Now they are regularly on the news and even mentioned in nightly television programs and sitcoms.

Two weeks ago I attended the Oracle CX Summit for partners at Oracle Headquarters in Redwood Shores, California and I had the chance to listen to information about updates to Oracle’s CX suite of products including RightNow, SRM (Social Relationship Management) and Eloqua. There were other products featured as well but these three stand out because they have a social footprint to varying degrees.

#CXSummit Twitter feed

 

I asked @nationallyknownairline  what product they use to monitor twitter and keeping with the typical pattern I have been seeing they did not respond. However after some internet research I came across a video of their social lab where the agents who used to be reservations agents were taught to monitor twitter. The lab had a wall of monitors displaying facebook, twitter, live tv, tweetdeck and hootesuite. When asked why they use so many different tools they responded that they want to take advantage of different benefits and nuances of each tool. While I commend them for even having a social lab to begin with they have a long way to go.

 

Being that I am the most familiar with RightNow (Service Cloud) I will begin there. Social monitoring was introduced in the product a few years ago and has been continually enhanced with each quarterly release.  Being that RightNow is primarily a call center application many times the departments using this feature are part of the customer support organization and use it purely in a service capacity. Many companies using it are still at an early stage where they have some searches set up, may respond occasionally but that is all.

Ideally they should be using it as a legitimate channel and reach out to customers that are having a problem and generate an incident. They could also use it to proactively communicate information such as upcoming product releases, service advisories or even to identify potential problems before it is too late. If you have been in the customer service industry you have heard that 89% of customers will switch brands after one negative experience but what if that one person tweeted about it and all their friends in turn retweeted it. 

A company could be quickly facing some very unwanted sentiment from the social ether.  The February 2014 release of RightNow had some nice updates to this feature.  If you want to read more about it peruse one of my previous posts, email me or find me on twitter @just_rhianna  and request a demonstration.

For general information on Social monitoring in Oracle’s Service Cloud read this and make sure to read some of the whitepapers and case studies: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/social-experience/social-monitor/overview/index.html

 

SRM is a purely browser based application where you can set up listeners, social pages, workflows and even integrations to RightNow and Eloqua. It is classified as part of the Oracle Social Cloud. The audience for this application is primarily the marketing arm of a business but can be used by support as well. In fact I know at least one electronics manufacturer where customer support falls under marketing. Yes it makes for some interesting internal conversations but how powerful would that be if your marketers were listening to social chatter, identified some potential fires and were able to seamlessly pass them on to the call center agents that were using RightNow? Everyone one wants a 360 degree view of the customer, don’t they? The answer is they should!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on Oracle Social Cloud: http://www.oracle.com/us/solutions/social/overview/index.html

The anchor of Oracle’s Marketing cloud is Eloqua, it is geared towards marketing and deals mainly with the more traditional channel of email.  There are still large demographics of people that are not adopting newer social channels therefore I do not see email going the way of the CD just yet.

 With Social Sign-on Apps from Eloqua, businesses can prompt visitors to sign on with their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter login to access their marketing asset. Eloqua Social landing page apps are accessible directly within the landing page editor. Each tool, such as the social sharing tools for Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter can be dragged onto the landing page canvas with a single click and quickly configured.  Allow users to share content with their network within Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter!

Integrate with Oracle SRM to better target your campaigns to address what is being discussed by your targets.

In fact, each of the solutions I spoke about have integrations that allow them to seamlessly interact and provide better insight into customer activity whether it be purely social, marketing or service. More information can be found in this data sheet: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/social-relationship-mgmt-brief-1915605.pdf?ssSourceSiteId=opn

At eVerge Group we have a vast amount of experience across CX, Marketing and Social and can provide assistance with assessments, best practices, implementations, integrations and more. I would like to thank Jim Sibley for his contribution to this article and for continuing to share his knowledge of Eloqua with me.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for six years.

 

Spotlight on Oracle RightNow CX: February 2014 Part 2

Oracle RightNow CX: February 2014 Part 2

As I stated in part one of my spotlight on the February 2014 release of Oracle Service Cloud aka RightNow, this release includes many new major features, enhancement of existing features spanning all areas of the product and new tutorials. I am happy to report that I have just received my new February 2014 demo site and will be taking full advantage of the new bells and whistles. This part will focus on the second half of the new features and will wrap up the two part series. Read Part One if you missed it last week.

Cross-Channel Contact Center

Feedback which is the RightNow module that contains transactional, broadcast and polling surveys has finally been enhanced to allow all users to respond to surveys that have been sent to them even people that require compatibility with accessibility tools. It is worth noting that web accessibility optimization for feedback surveys is listed in the release notes as one of the Major New Features and that adding a question to a new or existing survey will trigger the accessibility enhancements to be automatically applied. In the User Guide for February 2014 reading about new accessibility enhancement will refer you to Oracle’s Accessibility Program for more information. I did a quick review of the page and it included detailed policy information, news, how-to articles as well as quotes about the initiatives like the one below:

“Oracle is committed to creating accessible technologies and products that enhance the overall workplace environment and contribute to the productivity of our employees, our customers, and our customers’ customers.”
—Safra Catz, President, Oracle

 

Analytics Report Delivery Options have been enhanced to include a compressed csv format that will allow an increased amount of data to be sent up to one million rows. This is good if you are trying to run large reports with data that goes back a few years. Prior to this Major Feature you were limited to running reports with a max row count of 10,000. The row count was increased in Excel in 2010 to allow one million rows so if you worked for a company that had adopted office 2010 then you would have to limit the date range on reports generated in RightNow, export many multiples and merge them back together in excel. With the new feature you will save time, decrease the risk of errors and report failures. Although this is a little overdue at this point it is still a welcome enhancement that improves usability, decreases defects and increases capacity. There are some restrictions that I have included below from the user guide:

 

Outlook Integration has been around for quite some time from an Administrative and Agent perspective I think this feature will not make your job easier if you are used to the robustness available in the .Net client. However if you have Executives, Sales representatives or other staff who are on the go a lot or do not need the full .Net client this is an option that is extremely convenient and requires little training once implemented. The difference in February is that RightNow has added support for both Outlook 2010 and 2013 64-bit so now you can have outlook integration on a wider set of versions. The integration allows the user to sync contacts, tasks and email from a button that appears at the top of the Outlook window in the Ribbon bar.

 

Policy Automation (OPA) was released in February 2013 and is used for businesses that have a lot of policies examples of use cases are eligibility for social programs like food stands or finding out if you qualify for a student loan. I previously reviewed OPA when it was introduced if you want to know more you can read about it in my February 2013 review. In order to update a policy business users update a word document and then upload to the Service cloud with a click of a button.

OPA Interview Enhancements include:

  1. New pop-up date control option for calendars
  2. Ability to collect rows of data in a tabular entity collection which is column based

 

 

OPA Agent Desktop Enhancements include:

  1. Ability to run multiple agent interviews at the same time
  2. Allow sub-interviews to allow a natural customer interaction flow
  3. Keep an accurate record of customer experience interaction by automatically saving incident thread.

 

OPA Enhanced Rules Navigation improves productivity for staff modeling and testing policies.

  1. Use word to navigate rule structure
  2. Highlight a section of the document in word or excel to launch the debugger tool and debug the current rule or test case

 

 

 

 

OPA New Sample Project Templates include options for financial services, higher education, media and entertainment. You can enhance existing interviews by features from the new samples and use as a framework for new interviews.

Oracle Service Cloud Integration enhancements will be covered as a separate post.

There is a wealth of information on the different releases available including release notes, manuals, webcasts, tutorials and community posts. Please review at the official RightNow documentation overview page.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for six years.

Spotlight on Oracle RightNow CX: February 2014 Part 1

Oracle RightNow CX: February 2014 Part 1

Oracle has started the New Year off with a bang with the February 2014 release of RightNow (Now Oracle Service Cloud). This release includes many new major features, additional features spanning all areas of the product and new training areas as well. As it was just generally released this week I am still waiting in line to get my hands on demo site. Part one will focus on the half of the new features with a second part to follow next week.

 Web Customer Service

Virtual Assistant is an online concierge with human-like conversational capabilities that will lead customers through natural dialogue. This feature was released last quarter as part of the November 2013 release of RightNow. It can link to RightNow’s knowledge base and chat offering a truly personalized experience. This release brings enhanced functionality extending the visibility of customer profile and incident history, analytics that will track interaction based KPIs with visibility to customer feedback and a connector to external APIs that will leverage web services to pull contextual data as well as push actions like creating an RMA.

Dynamic Forms API has been developed to aid in easier creation and customization of forms like the Ask a question page. In previous versions of Customer Portal in order to do any dynamic page rendering you would have to leverage the javascript API and put your coding skills to the test. This new API provides sample widgets and a dynamic Ask a question page with a full set of comments to aid in understanding how to utilize it. The dynamic forms are not part of the reference implementation but the standard pages have been modified for the feature. Using the Fields.js module input widgets can now subscribe to an OnChange handler that will track when the value is changed there is also a hide_on_load attribute that can be used to control the display of widgets on page load. This is one of the new features that I am really excited to dig into as it will allow for less custom code which  means faster development time and easier upgrades.

 

Community Search Experience allows results to be returned that come from both the RightNow Knowledge base answers and community posts. Ithas been enhanced to include interactive filters and sorts which refresh the page when applied. This creates a more dynamic and improved search experience that will allow customers quickly find relevant information as well as decreasing duplication of posts and incidents in the contact center.

Cross-Channel Contact Center

Mobile Agent App has been continually enhanced with each new release. This time the ability to see custom objects within the mobile app has been exposed which greatly extends what can be done with the app. This brings us much closer to having the ability for a purely mobile agent. You can now use analytics reports to customize what is displayed for search results and lists of incidents, contacts and custom objects. Options available in the mobile workspace designer have been expanded to include the ability to have hyperlinks and reports on the workspace. Finally you can also attach photos from your mobile device.

Product Registration and Asset based SLAs in the past assets or product registration was created by RightNow customers as a customization. When custom objects were introduced it became even more popular as extending the database was much simpler. Finally Oracle has decided to add this as an out of the box feature with a standard database table to store asset information. Products can be registered by a customer on customer portal or by an agent via the desktop but most importantly you can now associate an SLA with the asset.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a wealth of information on the different releases available including release notes, manuals, webcasts, tutorials and community posts. If you want access to this information much of it is in the announcements section of the CX customer community http://communities.rightnow.com/posts/ca448b0b07

If manuals are not something you are dying to read then at the very least take a few minutes to watch the webcast by Chris Patterson.

https://oracleweb.webex.com/oracleweb/ldr.php?AT=pb&SP=MC&rID=80618707&rKey=37996be86b4a6217

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for six years.

CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Experience

Last week we explored the concept of Commitment and the reciprocal relationship that must exist between an organization and its customers if an organization wants to truly maximize the benefits by adopting this concept as a resolution in 2014. If you have not read the previous post or others in the series on business resolutions you can find them here:

What do you think is the most important #CX resolution that companies should keep in 2014? pic.twitter.com/xJK2bOUC9O— Oracle CX (@OracleCX) January 16, 2014

Customer Experience is another must in the list of concepts presented by @OracleCX in the above image. On their website Oracle describes Customer experience as: the set of perceptions a customer has with a company throughout the buying and owning interactions. Positive customer experiences enable businesses to attract more, retain more, sell more, sell for more, and do more”. (Oracle.com)

 

The first time I really heard Customer Experience used as a phrase meant to define a movement was in 2008 when a solutions consultant working for the then RightNow Technologies handed me a book called Eight to Great written by Greg Gianforte the CEO and founder of the company. Before this time you heard about customer satisfaction and customer relationship management (CRM) but customer experience was still almost an afterthought at many organizations. In my almost two decades of experience working in or with customer service departments it was very clear at least for the first half that service was treated like the dirty secret that you needed to keep in the closet. The view from us soldiers in the trenches was that the big business didn’t care about us because we weren’t revenue generating, however what started to happen is that smart people outside the trenches began to realize what we knew all along. Supporting existing revenue had an impact on the way new revenue was generated, in other words happy customers equals more purchases for your brand.

 

In 2011 RightNow renamed the releases of its product to include CX in the name bringing even more attention to Customer Experience. If we jump ahead to later in 2011 the morning of the RightNow summit in Colorado I was sitting in Starbucks with a colleague and my phone starts going crazy with text messages, emails, google alerts all about one thing. RightNow has been bought by software giant Oracle. I remember very clearly there was a lot of anxiety at the summit that year as people waited with baited breath to hear what Greg Gianforte would tell them at the Keynote.

 

There was a very interesting video on the future of CX played that day and while yes it turns the typical daily interactions that most people dread into a sort of utopia I try to share it with people whenever I can. This video gives a glimpse of the future and how one might leverage a best of breed suite like RightNow in their business.

 

Jump ahead to 2014 and CX has been an almost colloquial phrase within customer oriented organizations. There is so much activity on #CX on twitter that I can’t keep up anymore. Even with all of these strides there is still plenty of room for growth and improvement. Organizations should still keep a careful watch on customer experience and strongly consider adopting it not just as a resolution for 2014 but as part of their core values.

 

In an Oracle Blog post from David Vap Group VP (another veteran of customer experience) he summarizes 8 predictions for customer service in 2014 and mentions how customer experience is transforming and will continue to do so into 2015 and beyond. At Open World 2013 in San Francisco I saw an amusing and thoughts provoking demonstration on how a coffee maker’s internal systems are being integrated with RightNow CX. David played the upset customer in good fun but the message behind it was this, not only are customers continuing to expect contact points across all channels but now they want their devices to do their own service or at the very least they want YOU the Organization to know who they are when they are calling and what they own 360 degree view.

Is it a coincidence that Greg’s book, David’s blog and the customer lifecycle are all based on infinity loops? I think not.

 

 

 

News FLASH: The February release has become generally available as I write this. Be sure to watch this space as I take a short break from the resolution series to review what’s new. If you missed the release you can find documentation ad a webcast about the new version here: http://communities.rightnow.com/posts/ca448b0b07

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

CX Resolutions for 2014: Commitment

The previous post in this series explored Customer Satisfaction and the role it plays as a strategic KPI particularly for business where improving customer experience is a mission critical driver. If you have not read the previous post or others in the series on business resolutions you can find them here:

CX Resolutions for 2014: Overview
CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Loyalty
CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Satisfaction

 

There has been a lot of research on the different components of commitment with respect to how an individual working for a company relates to it. In 2007 a research duo by the name Meyer and Allen published a book based on their research and the research of their predecessors. In the Human resource Management Review, Meyer and Allen take concepts that were already familiar and created a three component model that could be applied to the level of commitment between employee-organization. I would argue that those components could indeed be applied with respect to the customer-organization relationship as well.

Three Mindsets (adapted from Meyer and Allen and applied to the customer-organization relationship)
1. Normative commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization due to a feeling of obligation.
In my opinion normative is never where you want to be in any kind of relationship. Who wants to be the “old stand by”? Any organization who is seriously trying to improve customer commitment should try to change the mindset of these customers. Engage them whether through a loyalty program, focus groups, surveys or something more cutting edge like gamifcation (I would recommend reading Gamification by design published by O’Reilly. Their books have never failed me and I recommend them always to friends and colleagues interested in technology). People want to be important so tell them that they are.

2. Continuance commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization because of an awareness of the costs associated with leaving.
Well this is another one that organizations should try to change. Do not continue with continuance because once the costs associated with leaving are no longer a factor you will see attrition rates increase. A good example that illustrates this comes from a conversation I had just yesterday with my parents. They are in a contract with a certain cell phone provider who has become more expensive and seemingly more difficult to deal with than other providers. Yet my parents do not switch because of the perceived high cost associated with cancelling the contract early. However if we do some quick arithmetic it becomes apparent that the savings obtained over the next year far exceed the cost of cancelling today.
3. Affective commitment is the desire to remain a customer of an organization due to an emotional attachment to, and involvement with, that organization.
YES! This is the sweet spot, where you want your customers to be. They should be in love with your brand, your products, your services and even your customer support infrastructure. If your customers have an emotional attachment they will become your biggest champions and evangelists. To be effective you must be affective.

Customer Commitment is the desire of a consumer to remain a customer of an organization. While this is definitely true it is not the whole picture. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship be it personal or business or has strived to achieve a goal knows that commitment is a two way street. If an organization wants to feel the love from their customers they need to give the love.
I have three boys and bought Fisher Price Geo Trax train sets for all of them because I have an affective commitment with them and I feel they have one with their customer base. The toys are made well, durable enough to withstand being thrown in the mud, slammed against trees and taken in the tub. On two occasions when I had a customer service issue they assisted me quickly and replaced my item no questions asked. They sent me a coupon for another item of my choice and followed up with an email a few days after I received the replacement.

Where does RightNow come in?

That is an easy one to answer. It is a best of breed customer management solution that enables organizations who implement it to have a 360 degree view of their relationship with their customers.

 

With RightNow Web Experience organizations can provide chat, mobile, web self-service, an email management to customers.

With RightNow Social Experience organizations give customers an opportunity to reach out through facebook and twitter. Customers can partake in ongoing support conversations with like-minded individuals or propose innovative new ideas that can be voted on by their peers. Organizations can even gamify their social channels and online communities by offering recognition or even prizes to build commitment.

With RightNow Engage customers can receive email blasts about new promotions, safety advisories, surveys and much more.

Other offerings in the RightNow suite can be equally as useful but I wanted to highlight just a few.

I recently watched a video that I thought was a nice example of the fruits of commitment and figured it would be a good way to close our discussion on commitment. When I was at Open World this past September the America’s cup was going on at the same time so every day there were updates about how Team USA (sponsored by Oracle) was doing. Early on there were some pretty big setbacks and the team faced what appeared to be certain defeat but with a lot of commitment on the part of the team they pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the race. I hope you enjoy.

February release is just a week or so away from being generally available. Be sure to read up on all the latest RightNow specific information at: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/overview/index.html

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com
eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php
About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

CX Resolutions for 2014: Customer Loyalty

In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to fully explore the impact of the below tweet from @OracleCX. If you did not read the previous post you can find the contents here: http://blog.evergegroup.com/?p=1138

 

 

 

The first concept in the image above is Customer Loyalty but just what is loyalty in this instance, how can it impact a business and why should it be declared so important that it is chosen above all others as the choice resolution of 2014. Let us consider a simple definition from BusinessDictionary.com:

“The likelihood of previous customers to continue to buy from a specific organization. Great attention is given to marketing and customer service to retain current customers by increasing their customer loyalty.”

This of course is a gross simplification. There are strategic business models and methodologies that are supposed to teach us how to keep customers coming back. Many businesses employ groups of people to develop loyalty programs that award customers with discounts and other perks. The resounding theme here is keeping the customer happy and trusting of your brand whether it is through special programs, quality of product, strength of brand or customer service. Recently there has been a lot in the news about trust, without it there can be no loyalty.

 

 

 

Target is proof of this as they grapple with customer loyalty as the result of the data breach that exposed in the order of 40 million credit cards. Many people I know have been affected and they are struggling with making the choice to remain loyal or find a new place to patronize.

 

An article in Businessweek from December 2013 was aptly titled, “Target Seen Losing Customer Loyalty After Credit Card Breach”. From this article and others it is obvious that Target is trying to make it right. They have taken actions like increasing staff at call centers to decrease wait times while customers call in to inquire about the impact this breach has on them and in my home state of New York they have penned an agreement with the state attorney general to provide free credit monitoring for a year. I suspect that the fallout from this is not over yet but in time through proper initiatives they should be able to recover.

A great infographic I found on Oracles website explains what drives loyalty. I have included a snippet of it below but if you enjoy infographs like me, you can read the entire thing on Oracle’s RightNow product page: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/customer-service/infographic-customer-experience-1897068.html?iframe=true&width=650&height=600

 

Loyalty is certainly important and key to keeping a business from dying but should it be adopted as a resolution? The answer really depends on the particular business. If it is selected a best of breed application like RightNow CX could most definitely help maintain and increase loyalty through marketing campaigns, web self-service, knowledge and social monitoring.

 

February release is only weeks away from being available. Be sure to read up on all the latest RightNow specific information at: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/rightnow/overview/index.html

 

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for seven years.

Oracle RightNow CX: November 2013

This is it folks the last major RightNow release of 2013. So let’s see what it has to offer us. There are a few new and enhanced items I have been waiting to play with.  I must admit this is solely based on what I have seen on the announcement webinar, read in the release documents and spoken to friends inside the Oracle machine about.  As it was just generally released on November 19th I am patiently waiting in line to get a fresh demo site. That being said if after playing with the new toys I have anything substantial to add I will certainly let you all know.

This release touted almost a dozen new major features and as many additional features spanning all areas or the product. Of the major features I am most interested in the enhancements to Single-Sign On, the introduction of the Code Assistant Tool (you have got to love wizards when they are done right) and Chat Virtual Assistant.

From the Release Notes:

New single sign-on configuration options: You can now administer single sign-on (SSO) integrations with external applications that reside outside the Oracle RightNow CX cloud. Single sign-on integrations let you use Oracle RightNow CX as an identity provider to store and authenticate customer credentials. After configuring an SSO service provider and application, you can add the application to a workspace where staff members can then access the external application without being asked for sign-in credentials.

My Thoughts: SSO has been through many iterations and will continue to evolve over the life of not only this product but all products as the need for identity management becomes more prominent. SSO in RightNow is still using SAML 2.0 but now allows external identity providers and the ability for agents to use single sign on as well.

SSO is profile based for agents using the RightNow console so in theory you can have one group using traditional login and another using an identity provider. Perhaps two different call centers one located in the U.S. and another off-shore. There are several configuration settings that must be edited by a user with Administrator level access in order to use this. If you find that there settings are missing you may need to contact your Oracle Account representative in order to make sure you have the proper license.

Agent Login Process

Agent Login Process

From the Release Notes:

Code Assistant tool: Migrating your customer portal to Framework Version 3.1 offers significant benefits and features. However, the process of migrating your customized code can be challenging, especially if you have extensive customizations. The Code Assistant simplifies the migration process between framework versions and provides specific guidance for updating your custom code.

The tool offers the following help.

• Assistance for migrating Framework Version 2 widgets to Framework Version 3

• Help for converting from YUI 2 to YUI 3

• Removal of Intent Guide pages

• Backup of your customer portal files before any modification

The widget migration wizard walks you through the custom code migration process, and the code suggestion feature offers suggestions for improving or migrating custom code that includes YUI 2. As a result, your framework migrations will be simpler and faster, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the newest Customer Portal features sooner.

My Thoughts: If you read some of my previous blogs then you know I was very happy when they introduced the Customer Portal Widget designer or what I call the Widget Wizard. These types of wizards further allow administrators with novice to intermediate level skills with programming languages like PHP, Javascript, HTML and CSS extend the product further. The code assistant tool helps you understand the differences between legacy widgets and how to migrate them to the newer CP framework. For a GEEK like me being able to make use out of newer features faster is icing on the proverbial cake. You can migrate to different framework versions if you aren’t ready to go all the way to the latest, get suggestions for converting YUI2 to YUI3 and cleanup any obsolete intent guides. Overall a tool I will definitely keep in my box.

code assist

Code Assistant Tool (aka Code Wizard)

From the Release Notes:

Chat virtual assistant: If your site is integrated with Oracle RightNow Intent Guide Cloud Service (Intent Guide), you can now route incoming chats to a virtual assistant. Using virtual assistant chats, you can ease the volume of chats requiring an agent. Many customer questions can quickly be answered with existing information in the knowledge base. Agent chats and virtual assistant chats can be initiated, routed, and tracked through the CX Console.

Your Oracle account manager must enable virtual assistant in both Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service and Intent Guide. Once enabled, you can set up a virtual assistant profile, account, and chat queue, and add chat rules to handle virtual assistant chats. You can also use rules to escalate the virtual assistant chat to an agent when necessary. Upon escalation, you can view a complete transcript of the virtual assistant chat leading to a smooth transition from virtual assistant to agent.

My Thoughts: In order to really get the most use out of Virtual Assistant it is imperative that you have an up to date knowledge base that has not been neglected. There are regular tuning tasks and other general maintenance items that any good knowledge base administrator will add to his or her routine. That being said I have been waiting to see this come to fruition for many years and am happy to see it moving past infancy. I had the privilege to see very early prototypes of this in years past. This is a nice blend between traditional self-service, chat and natural language search.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant

You can find much more information on the different releases by reading the release notes for each version, looking through the manuals and listening to tutorials. If you want the complete picture there is a customer community post with the release information as always and it includes a recording of the release announcement. http://communities.rightnow.com/posts/11f213d8d1

Useful Links:

November 2013 release notes: http://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/november2013/pdfs/november2013_release_notes.pdf

November 2013 documentation: https://cx.rightnow.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6213

If you are interested in learning more or have questions feel free to reach out to me at cx@evergegroup.com

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

 

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for six years.

 

 

 

Oracle RightNow CX Feature Focus: Customer Portal Framework Version 3

The ninth and tenth installment in our series will take a comprehensive look into the new Customer Portal Framework. So much has been changed in version 3 that it earned two spots in the top ten features of 2012. This blog will focus on two of version 3’s major features. If you missed any of the previous installments in this series you can find them under the CX category at http://blog.evergegroup.com/?cat=56

Customer Portal Framework Version 3

From the release notes:

Although your customers may not notice significant changes, the November 2012 release of Oracle RightNow CX includes major changes to the framework of Oracle RightNow Customer Portal Cloud Service (Customer Portal). This new framework is called Framework Version 3.0 and was designed to support dynamic upgrades of your customer support site. The previous framework, referred to in earlier documentation as the November 09 framework, will now be identified as Framework Version 2, and the original Customer Portal released in August 2008 will be referred to as Framework Version 1.

Customer Portal Framework Version 3.0 sets the stage for simplified future migration and reduced impact on the customizations you make to your customer portal. It offers control and flexibility to let you decide what features you want to adopt and when you want to adopt them. The ability to extend standard widgets means that you need to write less custom code, and an updated Customer Portal Administration site clearly identifies the version of your framework and each widget and spells out what has changed from previous versions. Major new features include the following.

New file structure—Framework Version 3.0 offers an intuitive, easy-to-navigate file structure that lets you clearly identify the files you can edit. The main directory of Framework Version 3.0 is called “cp”, and it includes four main folders: core, customer, generated, and logs. Your development work will be done in the customer folder.

Connect PHP API—Framework Version 3.0 is built on Oracle RightNow Connect PHP API Cloud Service (Connect PHP API) and uses data objects from the Connect PHP API rather than internal APIs. Instead of accessing the database directly as in previous Customer Portal frameworks, Framework Version 3.0 provides a managed equivalent to meet your needs. You’ll still be able to access and leverage the Oracle RightNow CX platform to develop custom applications and integrations, including the ability to create, read, update, and delete data through Customer Portal functionality.

PHP namespacing—Framework Version 2 included JavaScript namespacing to prevent naming conflicts between Customer Portal reference implementation files and your custom files. This functionality has been added for PHP in Customer Portal Framework Version 3.0. The two core namespaces are Rightnow and Custom, and they are designated using a backslash (\) notation.

Framework versioning—The new versioning system of the Customer Portal framework lets you upgrade to newer versions of Oracle RightNow CX while leaving your customer portal site untouched because the Customer Portal is versioned independently of the product application. This gives you control to migrate to a new Customer Portal framework when it’s convenient for your schedule rather than being forced to migrate because of your organization’s upgrade to Oracle RightNow CX.

Widget changes—Changes to widgets in Framework Version 3.0 of the Customer Portal include the following.

  YAML information file—A new YAML information file provides information about a widget’s dependencies, requirements, attributes, and URL parameters
  Widget version management—Widgets also use a versioning system in Framework Version 3.0 to let you adopt the widget features you want at your convenience without requiring you to replace all widgets on your customer portal

 

  Widget information page—The Customer Portal Administration site provides comprehensive information about each standard and custom widget. Each widget page includes a preview of the widget, including the available version, recent changes, and the pages and templates that use the widget. A documentation page for the widget includes default code, a list of its attributes and their values, the controller class that is used, path information, and URL parameters.

Widget builder—The new widget builder in Framework Version 3.0 helps you create a new widget by extending an existing widget. Then, when functionality or bug fixes are added to the standard widget used to extend the custom widget, the custom widget is also modified to incorporate the enhancement or fix. The widget builder generates custom widget code when you answer a series of questions about the widget you want to create, thereby reducing the amount of custom code you must write yourself.

Dreamweaver support—The Dreamweaver extension that was included in previous Customer Portal frameworks is not included in Framework Version 3.0, although it will continue to be supported if you are migrating from Framework Version 2 to Framework Version 3.0.

 New File Structure

In reviewing the new file structure I decided that in order to both wrap my own head around it and speak intelligently to other about it, I would develop a matrix to serve as a proverbial cheat sheet until I was comfortable with navigating the new file structure. Now that I have retrained my brain, I find the new structure much more intuitive and cleaner from a usability perspective. It was a much needed revamp of the file structure. I have been using Customer Portal since it was first introduced and used both the old file manager (Classic) as well as the November 07 page set, so I can say with confidence that the evolution has been exponential.

  

Tip: Oracle recommends using Cyberduck for WebDAV access to Customer Portal files. Cyberduck is donationware, and Customer Portal developers appreciate its speed and robust performance on Mac and PC platforms. (I have tried to use Windows built in networking drive mapping to use WebDAV and it is painfully slow, therefore, I would have to agree with this recommendation.

 Framework versioning

This is probably a huge relief to existing install base clients because you can upgrade to the latest and greatest version of CX without having to migrate customer portal as well and worry about whether or not your custom widgets or other customizations will be compatible. Another great thing about this is versioning within the framework itself. What do I mean by this? Selective adoption of changes. Once you do decide you are ready to migrate you can review within the customer portal administrator pages what versions of widgets you are using and decide if you want to upgrade all or only specific ones.

Before you migrate I strongly suggest you read the migration guide supplied compliments of the Customer Portal development team: http://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/november2012/cp_resources/migration/migration_guide.pdf

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about RightNow CX please contact me at cx@evergegroup.com

Useful Links:

You can read more about this feature in the November 2012 documentation. https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/november2012/olh/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.

Oracle RightNow CX Feature Focus: Message Templates for Notifications and Emails

The eighth installment in our series is the first look at November 2012. If you missed any of the previous installments in this series you can find them under the CX category at http://blog.evergegroup.com/?cat=56

Message Templates for Notifications and Emails

From the release notes:

In the November 2012 release, you can use message templates to customize your administrator notifications and emails and your contact emails. The messages are designed to support a broad range of business cases across a variety of implementations to communicate to your staff as well as to your contacts. Message templates let you quickly apply your organization’s brand across all of your messages and personalize message content to your target audience.

No more editing PHP!

Previously in order to make changes you would have had to go in to File Manager and edit the ma_details.php file or any number of other php files. Probably one of the worst things about it was in order to effectively make changes you had to cut and paste into an editor then make changes and paste it back in to file manager. It certainly was not ideal.

 

 If you upgraded from an older version of RightNow you will most likely need to edit the Navigation set associated with the Administrator profile first and add the Message template component. As illustrated  below I have added the component to the Site Configuration folder but you can add it wherever it makes the most sense to you. You access the messages by clicking on edit and once you are happy with the changes, you Deploy.

Editing emails uses the same type of Rich Text tool used for editing documents and mailings in other areas of RightNow CX. Therefore, if you have been using the system prior to November 12, it will be very familiar. If you haven’t, it is similar to Word.

 

The next installment will be taking a look at version 3 of the Customer Portal framework. If you are interested in learning more or have questions about RightNow CX please contact me at cx@evergegroup.com

Useful Links:

You can read more about this feature in the November 2012 documentation. https://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/docs/november2012/olh/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive experience. For more information about Oracle RightNow CX and our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Rhianna Albert (Just Rhianna) has an extensive background in customer support systems and processes, is an active member of the CX community and has been implementing and integrating RightNow solutions for over five years.