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Effective Data Management for Service Isn’t Easy, But it’s Worth It

This article is adapted from the Oracle CX Cloud Virtual Summit interview with Chris McGugan, Senior VP, Oracle CX Service and Jeff Wartgow, VP, Oracle Product Management.

My “why” for working at Oracle is simple: data. The world runs on it, especially for the future of service and customer experience design.

Every day, we’re exposed to thousands of targeted ads based on mountains of behavioral, demographic, and geolocation data companies own. Yet when we reach out to a contact center, we’re transported to the Stone Age. We have to repeat the same basic information every time we initiate a new conversation. Even when we’re transferred, we usually have to go back to the beginning. Businesses have led customers to believe this is just “how it works” when the truth is they don’t have the right level of data management to leverage the kind of customer intelligence needed to deliver incredible service experiences.

Nothing’s impossible when you have that elusive golden record of customer data. Enterprises can better anticipate market shifts, reconcile high value customers, predict churn, and create more authentic service experiences all while improving business performance. This is the future of service, and successful organizations understand it’s “do or die.”

What should today’s service experience look like?

When Ashley calls her pet products supplier’s customer support number, the agent should already know who she is, her address, her purchasing history, and that she’s most likely calling about a delay with her automatic shipment of cat food – all before the first “hello” is spoken. AI-based screen pops have appeared on the agent’s desktop offering relevant information such as why the delay is happening and a 20% off discount code for Ashley’s next autoship. With this information readily available, Ashley can have a real conversation with the service rep. A more authentic connection can be created. We know this is what customers want. They’re looking for brand relationships that feel less robotic and more real regardless of what they’re purchasing or how they’re engaging. This is just the tip of the iceberg of how companies can leverage customer intelligence with effective data management.

Imagine you’re the CIO of a large grocery chain that has an active recall of baby food. With hundreds of stores across the country, it doesn’t take long until your contact centers start getting flooded with calls. What if you could proactively engage with affected customers based on a massive pool – one consolidated source of actionable data – at your fingertips? Your agents could immediately identify if an incoming caller is a recall-affected customer to anticipate their needs (i.e. “I see you bought Healthy First Baby food. Yes, we can confirm there’s been a recall and it’d be best to throw it out. Here’s a credit of $10 towards a new purchase”).

But what if you could take this even further?

Consumers have been calling your contact center about this recall, and it’s up to you to alert every customer who’s still unaware. Research shows that most major U.S. grocery chains need to do a better job of notifying customers about recalls. You can be the one who steps up to deliver a better service experience. Imagine being able to use that sample of people who contacted you about the recall to generate key insights. You could look at demographics. You might learn that most of those customers are females aged 25 to 32. You might see that they also live in specific neighborhoods. You could use this data to look into other customers who are a close match and proactively notify them using their preferred communication method – text, email, or phone – that if they recently bought that brand of baby food to check into it (including a link to learn more on your website).

With the right data strategy, you can start piecing together an accurate profile of who individual customers are based on their interests and attributes – and you can use that information to your advantage. Consider the telco industry. Imagine knowing off the bat that an incoming caller is a young mother who lives in a Texas suburb and being able to route her to another young mother who lives in a nearby city. Imagine a screen pop appearing on that agent’s desktop informing her there’s a 75% chance of that customer cancelling her service within the next 30 days and that she can offer one free month of Disney+ to keep her satisfied. Would that make for a better service experience? This is the power of data- and AI-driven customer intelligence for the future of service.

I know what you’re going to say.

If it was so easy, everyone would do it. The more monolithic the technology gets and the more that’s needed to understand it, the more difficult it becomes. It feels like scheduling yourself for open heart surgery. But that’s what digital disruption is.

In today’s digital economy, data is the most important kind of capital. This new role for data has significant implications for competitive strategy and the future of service, and that’s why I chose Oracle as my next professional endeavor. Data is the heritage of this company. It’s what we do best. No one has a bigger database nor a more effective management system for the level of integration and analysis needed to leverage customer intelligence and enable the future of service. And what a bright future it is.

During the Oracle Cloud CX Virtual Summit, Chris McGugan, Senior VP, Oracle CX Service and Jeff Wartgow, VP, Oracle Product Management talk more about the importance of real-time intelligence, their favorite streaming TV binges (Cobra Kai vs. Outlander), and what it all means for service leaders and practitioners in the Experience Economy. Watch the full interview from the summit here.

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