28 February 2013

Africa: Building Customer-Centric Enterprises

Companies will differentiate themselves from their competitors by the way they handle their customer experience.

Mobile becomes the interface of choice to most people. They want to access these applications from their devices, they also want to access huge amount of data that needs to be managed and most of the time they want to analyze and see what valuable activities can be established from the data.

The nexus of mobile and social proliferation is that people have more data than ever. Pictures, Videos, Addresses, You name it, are sent and saved at unimaginable rates compared to a few years ago.

Therefore companies today need a new way of working other than the traditional marketing way. They need to be able to track what is happening in social networks, capture such data and relate to the company and what they are doing. This data needs then to be analyzed under segment levels and plans put in place to respond to the customers, as they desire to be responded to.

The segment levels involve different customer generations with different needs, for instance the millennia, Y - generation, X - generation and baby boomers, they all have different needs different approaches ways of interfacing and so on. But a company has to be able to develop a loyalty to retain these customers to their services and products, through creating a good customer experience platform.

The complexity around different segments of these customers, different phases of the lifecycle combined with an array of channels and devices, company brands use to engage matter a lot. Oracle therefore believes it is necessary to reduce this complexity, bust the silos and deliver a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the segment or channel.

Oracle statistics shows that 29 percent of customers will share their bad experience on tweeter, 86 percent of such customers will leave and source services from another supplier. If the company is not aware of such bad experiences through tracking customer complains on social media then they are more likely to lose.

Oracle has been in the past few years acquiring companies who have tools that enable data analysis on social networks to be able to input that data into the company processes, and export it to the customers on a managed basis. "For example if there is a bad press post about a company on Facebook, we are able to recognize and respond to it", says Graham Mansfield, Senior Director, CRM Sales ECEMEA, Oracle.

Within the last two years, Oracle acquired Vitrue, which analyzes social networks, RightNow, a service company and Eloqua, which is a best breed of marketing systems. Oracle brings the functionality of these companies alongside their existing ones to build a number of competences or solutions that offer the best customer experience in sales, marketing, service and commerce.

They then offer these services as a complete technology stack to companies who implement them and effectively manage their customers.

Mansfield simplifies Oracle's strategy, he says organizations must first understand their customers by unifying and capturing insights to better learn who to serve, how to serve, and when to serve. Organizations can use customer data management tools, which are critical to consolidate customers social and native data into a single record.

Secondly, they must empower their customers and employees to cultivate relationships, which align to the organization's brand strategy and scale its engagements. This can be through setting up Multi-Channel Self Service Transaction and Support tools, which let people self-serve and self-solve across all devices.

Thirdly, business organizations must continuously adapt to this ever changing market: Develop and leverage agile experiences that dynamically adapt to evolving customer and business needs. Organizations can invest in cross channel capabilities that centralize and streamline workflow and scripting.

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