The world of print media is changing. News is rapidly becoming digital, and The Boston Globe, a subsidiary of The New York Times Company, is no different. This new environment makes it crucial that the company provide a superior customer experience. To add complexity, the publisher, which has won 21 Pulitzer Prizes, must support two distinctly different businesses: its traditional print media business with a subscriber base of approximately 500,000, and its growing digital publishing enterprise that includes bostonglobe.com and boston.com with 1.5 million registered users.
Before implementing Oracle RightNow solutions, The Boston Globe used an in-house circulation system of current customers and Lotus Notes to log complaints. Without a cohesive contact management solution, it was impossible to tell which customers were contacting the company, how they were making contact, and why. The system also lacked reporting capabilities to help the publication understand what was happening through e-mail and phone channels, and how effectively it was resolving issues. To support the media business and grow the digital marketplace, The Boston Globe wanted a solution to unify customer interactions, improve customer satisfaction, increase agent efficiency, and capture important information to drive business decisions.
The partnership between Teleperformance and Oracle RightNow solutions helps The Boston Globe across its traditional and digital print businesses with multichannel support to provide superior care. The Oracle RightNow agent desktop supports 50 teleperformance agents in Manila as well as 25 domestic agents. With Oracle RightNow solutions on their desktops, agents seamlessly capture, track, assign, and manage customer requests from initial contact through resolution. This increases agent productivity and helps drive customer satisfaction.
The Oracle RightNow customer experience suite has helped The Boston Globe to reduce incoming contact volume by 20%, while supporting more than a million subscribers via phone, e-mail, chat, and Web channels. “We feel like we hit the bull’s eye with finding the right solution to support the growing digital environment,” said Robert Saurer, director of customer care and marketing, The Boston Globe.
Oracle RightNow solutions help The Boston Globe to manage approximately 60,000 calls each month and respond to 5,000 monthly e-mails. Since implementing e-mail management, the company now tracks e-mail response times, and agents receive notification when an issue is outstanding longer than the 24-hours specified in the service level agreement.
The Boston Globe used the Oracle RightNow knowledge foundation to create a repository of answers that agents and customers can access 24/7. The company has approximately 50 answers live and plans to have several hundred within a month. In just four months of using Oracle’s RightNow solutions, The Boston Globe achieved Web self-service rates of nearly 20%, enabling agents to focus on complex service inquiries to drive additional customer satisfaction.
With Oracle RightNow Mobile Cloud Service, The Boston Globe ensures that customers can easily use their mobile devices to search for help, view answers, rate answers, and see related questions.
Always innovating, The Boston Globe took advantage of Oracle RightNow Chat Cloud Service. Almost immediately, the company was receiving nearly 900 chats per day, and it quickly expanded from four chat seats to 20 seats. Chat is now, without question, the preferred support channel for its online environments.
The Boston Globe’s e-mail agents now handle chat along with e-mail, and the savings with chat is impressive. While the average e-mail or phone call can take three to four minutes to complete, the average chat is only 30 to 40 seconds, creating substantial agent efficiency and cost savings. “It’s also a real differentiator,” Saurer said. “I don’t know of any other newspaper media company that offers chat as a channel for customer contact.” The chat function saw such an impressive response that The Boston Globe expanded its weekend chat hours to match the weekday schedule.
The Oracle RightNow survey tool enables The Boston Globe to measure how effectively it is resolving customer issues and to survey customers on ways to improve service and offerings. Robust reporting capabilities help The Boston Globe gauge the volume of customer inquiries, calculate contact center resolution rates and efficiency, and provide insight into call and e-mail deflection from the knowledge base. It can easily translate data for the company’s daily war-room dashboard that reports key metrics to upper management. “The wealth of information available in the solution is staggering,” Saurer said. “And it’s actionable information that will enable us to change our business.”
The Boston Globe also sees the new solution as a way to provide greater customer satisfaction around the support of their products, which is especially important in the competitive digital environment. “With the new tools we have in Oracle RightNow solutions, we fully expect that our net promoter score and customer satisfaction scores will increase.”
The Boston Globe received many accolades from customers about the new offerings, and customers are not the only ones enjoying the new solution. Agents at The Boston Globe are also very excited about the new technology, which enables them to handle multiple types of interactions and cut down on training time. “We now have more tools to satisfy customers. Anyone who has taken a customer support call knows that the more resources at your disposal, the better,” Saurer said.
The Boston Globe extended its social customer experience strategy to Facebook with its Oracle RightNow solution. Customers find answers directly from a customer support tab on the company’s Facebook page or pose questions privately to an agent via Facebook. In addition, the system captures Facebook inquiries within the overall customer record for a single view of customer interactions, enabling consistent, thorough responses no matter how a customer chooses to engage.
The Boston Globe also implemented Oracle RightNow solutions for social media monitoring to allow the company to listen and join conversations customers are having about their products and services, whether on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, via RSS feeds from the blogosphere.
“There is so much activity on Twitter—literally millions of tweet impressions a day about Globe articles,” Saurer said. “Before Oracle RightNow solutions, we didn’t have any way to track the interactions with readers. The ability to capture and leverage that information within the organization completely opens up that side of the business for us.”
Although The Boston Globe was confident that Oracle RightNow solutions were the right choice, the company used Oracle’s RightNow pilot program to test-drive the system before making the full investment.
“It gave us time to offer proof to take to the executive team before making the final purchase. Once we had some time using it, proving its worth was easy,” Saurer said.
The Oracle RightNow cloud platform enabled The Boston Globe to rapidly adopt the new solution without the expense of additional IT overhead, software development, and ownership.