Hi Ofer, tell us about yourself and your background. How did you get into the CX space?
My background in B&B customer experience goes back 20 years, when I began working after graduating from the University of Westminster in London with an MBA degree. I still recall how, at my first job, I was chasing my clients via fax and “cold calling, so I am very excited to see how things have evolved in this space over the last two decades and the amount of automation and granularity that marketers have access to, nowadays.
What do you think is the ultimate checklist for a good customer experience strategy?
Well, there are the obvious answers to this question, like “breaking data silos,” increasing the collaborative mindset between different organizational units, and so on…. However, I can tell you that, to me (and this is one of the things I like most about Oracle’s CX line of business), the answer is clear: Our clients are obsessed with data (as are we). Now, the more you are focused on data (no matter if it’s first-, second- or third-tier data), and the deeper your research goes into understanding your clients’ digital body language, the more likely you are to “wow” your clients and thus increase their brand loyalty. Seeing that in action on a daily basis while liaising with my clients is an absolute pleasure.
How much has the role of customer experience changed in the social distancing era – what role does the digital transformation have in this crisis?
So, we are seeing a shift through two major vectors:
- Fragmentation of customer touchpoints (especially B&C ones), where usage of social platforms, chatbots and text messaging as major means of communication has been soaring during lockdowns. These channels were used less during the pre-pandemic era. Today, organizations have to quickly adapt to these changes and invest more to resonate with those shifts.
- Shift to Remote work –Employees have to address higher volumes of inbound customer calls while at home, and organizations have to maintain a certain standard of service (using the benefits of the cloud). As a result, things like a shared knowledge base and online internal collaboration are the leading means to close those gaps.
What are some of your favorite new technologies designed for customer relations and customer experience?
Well, AI is certainly the most exciting part of the CX / sales automation parts out there. Starting from the marketing side of things, platforms could improve campaign efficiencies by using advanced prediction models, which are (to me) a real science fiction😊. On the sales front, things like lead prioritization and better accuracy of sales forecasts using data-driven lead probability scores are going to be the hottest things in the enterprise B&B space for the coming years.
What are some of the ways companies can strive to become more customer-centric?
Well, recent changes around privacy and cookie matching are “showing the way” for enterprises to invest in consolidating their first-party data. This is where Oracle’s data-centric solutions come in. We are seeing a convergence of all things data, from warehousing, access security, data-driven marketing decisions – all of these are scaling up lately to equip marketers with real-time views of complicated user journeys, and at scale. Everybody is talking about data lately. The key differentiator will be how to enable users to deal with almost unlimited amounts of data that enhance simple and real-time decision-making, which, in turn, allows the Experience Economy to keep growing.
What tips do you have for companies that want to improve their personalization strategies?
Remain relentlessly focused on broken client journeys and make sure you avoid as many friction points as possible throughout the process. Build up easy but efficient journeys (that users love) and treat any dissatisfied client as an opportunity to grow and improve your team(s). Happy clients talk to way more potential clients and those new ones are the cheapest to recruit if you do it right.
Ofer’s predictions for the future of CX
What are your predictions for trends in customer experience in the coming year?
Martech stack has become more affordable lately, and ROI metrics are making more sense to smaller businesses today compared to a couple of years ago. So, my two cents on the near future of CX is that smaller teams will enjoy access to tools (including machine learning and AI capacities) that were previously only affordable for enterprise users. I am really excited about the spectrum of opportunities ahead of us (at Oracle) in that sense.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
One of my favorite CX metrics is something we (at Oracle) call Fatigue Analysis. This is a score that our marketing automation tools give to audiences that are relatively low on replies through omni-channel messaging (e.g., email, SMS, push notifications, WhatsApp messaging, etc.). Marketers want to make sure that their messages are not creating a negative effect on the client side, so both the content as well as the volume of messaging can be adjusted on the fly to avoid unintended frustration. This is CX at its best, inmho😊.