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Oracle Beefs Up Service and Social Clouds

Tech giant Oracle just rolled out new functions to its Service Cloud and Social Cloud. The new bells and whistles aim to help organizations serve up better customer experiences and make data-based business decisions.

Specifically, the new social features promise to help brands increase social engagement and mine business insights through a new community self-service solution, as well as beefed up social service and incident routing. Oracle also added new social listening and analytics capabilities to the mix.

“In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, understanding the voice of the customer is essential to providing exceptional experiences, whether on public social networks, across communities, or within high-touch contact centers,” said David Vap, group vice president of product development at Oracle.

What Customers Want

Vap explained that the updates help enterprises, listen, identify and track conversations so they can respond more rapidly to customers who need answers. The intended result: driving stronger customer loyalty and cultivating brand ambassadors.

That’s important, considering Nielsen research that revealed more than one in three customers would rather contact brands through social channels than phone or e-mail. Enterprises need to offer strong, unified experiences when and where customers demand it, according to Oracle. That means spanning popular social networks. Beyond what customers want is the financial factor. Investment in peer-to-peer communities drives support costs down and boosts profits, according to market research firm Gartner Inc.

“Gartner clients who are successful in this space are still seeing on average a 20 percent reduction in the creation of support tickets following the introduction of peer-to-peer communities,” said Michael Maoz, a Gartner analyst. “Clients are seeing other business benefits as well. By enabling community-based support, clients have been able to recognize new sales opportunities and increase existing customer satisfaction, resulting in increased revenue in several of these cases.”

Twitter-Enriched

Oracle’s Community Self-Service now brings community functionality to the multi-channel Web tools. Updates to Oracle Service Cloud tap customer knowledge to improve customer service. Oracle also introduced what it calls Twitter-enriched social customer service and new workflow and automation tools that glean social insights.

The Twitter factor is an important addition because of the speed and convenience at which customers can get answers. Companies that improve their customer service can see a 30 percent to 50 percent improvement in key measurements including “likelihood to recommend” and “make repeat purchases,” according to a recent McKinsey & Co. survey. Social service is more than just resolving issues.

“In today’s digital landscape, modern customer care is social and mobile, and increasingly the platform of choice for consumers is Twitter,” said Meg Bear, group vice president for the Oracle Social Cloud. “Working with Twitter data allows customers to better integrate enriched social data more deeply within their customer service process to capture, learn, and act on insights to match consumer expectations.”

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