Customer experience is one of the most important aspects of getting repeat business and loyal customers. We all know that customers' perception of a brand, a product or a company is built over time and based on their direct interactions, social media interactions, and brand positioning and messaging.
These are all important because they correlate with customer satisfaction, advocacy and loyalty -- which lead to increased sales. The Oracle customer experience covers the entire customer transaction cycle of buying and owning a product and service. About a dozen different software products such as Eloqua, RightNow and Endeca all contribute to an integrated application platform that makes up the Oracle customer experience.
Customer experience is not just about a company interacting with customers in various ways, or pushing information to certain groups of customers. It also is about the company being able to fulfill orders and having the supply chain operations in place that can deliver on the promises made by its sales, marketing, call center and field service teams.
A common customer experience problem
Let's look at a typical issue faced in overall customer experience. Marketing and sales teams run multiple campaigns across product lines and geographies that require the bundling of different products. One key area where existing customer experience solutions fall short is the bundling and packaging of products and services. Enterprises are scrambling to add value-added offerings to their traditional products, but fall short on delivery. Profitability has lagged. In addition, customers have often suffered poor experiences in getting these products delivered and billed properly. Time to market and customer services have been low, and order-error and fall-out rates have been high. Overall, the impact on customers has been negative.
This is due to the fact that customer experience fulfillment today is largely driven by manual activities, lack of system integration and process standardization, and multiple customized, rigid IT systems and databases. IT development schedules and costs are high for these systems, as they are custom-built and have silo-type architectures with minimal integration capabilities.
In a typical manufacturing business, customer experience fulfillment is one of the most important aspects of delivering a desired experience. It encompasses supply chain, IT operations and other activities designed to deliver the right experience. IT covers various aspects pertaining to supply management, demand management, quality management, schedule management, cost management and IT infrastructure management.
But the most important question is, how does fulfillment help? What are the key things a company should expect from its fulfillment engine in delivering a great Oracle customer experience?
There is a major gap in what we promise and how we deliver. The reason for that gap is that there's no software that extends across multiple demand and supply channels and can integrate the customer experience across the enterprise's entire value chain, particularly in the areas of sourcing and demand fulfillment. This leads to an adverse impact on such key business performance indicators as on-time delivery, cost per transaction and repeat customers.
So, it is important to define your Oracle customer experience fulfillment strategy so as to deliver a great overall experience to your customers. Key factors defining a successful customer experience fulfillment include:
- Cultivating a "customer first" culture in the enterprise.
- Process integration and orchestration: Leveraging best-of-breed industry practices, automation and agile IT systems to execute processes seamlessly and speedily across channels, partners and enterprise.
- Data integration and availability: Making data available across channels, partners and the enterprise from various sources, while keeping it accurate and consistent.
- Agile IT infrastructure: Scalable, flexible, cutting-edge IT applications and infrastructure to support consumer experience initiatives and enablers.
The need of the hour is to implement products that integrate the customer experience with the fulfillment process, taking care of both the customer experience and business efficiency. A strong and agile fulfillment engine leads to a great Oracle customer experience and keeps the financial dial rotating. Oracle has taken a holistic view of customer experience fulfillment processes, covering areas such as forecasting, sales and operations planning, sales and order processing, product life-cycle management, and after-market services delivery. These are orchestrated on such Oracle applications as Distributed Order Orchestration, Global Order Promising, Oracle Transportation Management, Configurator, Product Data Hub, ASCP, Demantra, Rapid Planning and Siebel CRM. Oracle then integrates these applications with its service-oriented architecture software and integration adapters.
About the authors:
Abhishek Goyal is an associate vice president and industry principal at Infosys. Amandeep Singh Syali is a principal marketing manager at Infosys.
This was first published in September 2013