Midsize Edition
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Q&A: Oracle Customer Experience and the Midsize Enterprise

In today's hyper-competitive landscape, companies of all sizes are either adopting customer experience (CX) solutions or actively considering them. We asked Christina McKeon, director of product marketing at Oracle, for the lowdown on CX and what it can mean to midsize organizations.

Q. Please define CX and briefly explain why the concept has gained such traction recently.
A. The definition of customer experience is pretty simple: it's the sum of all of a customer’s or prospect's interaction with your brand across all channels. This concept is increasingly vital as we enter what analysts have called the age of the customer. Customers have more power than ever before, thanks to social and mobile technologies. So that means customer experience is one of the last areas where companies can differentiate themselves—and achieve higher margins when they do so successfully.

Q. How can growing companies differentiate themselves in terms of how they deliver CX?
A. Great customer experiences happen when you meet expectations consistently and make it as easy as possible to do business. To achieve those things, you have to think holistically.

For example, a company might want to drive more referral business, but that company first has to understand which customers are going to provide the greatest referral value before launching a marketing campaign. That includes knowing how customer service engagements have gone after the sale and knowing what those customers are saying about the brand socially. It’s extremely difficult to do that consistently and effectively when information and processes are in silos.

Q. What are the benefits of a successful CX implementation?
A. Studies show that 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience. So CX can drive not only more revenue, but also more profitable revenue. And once you break down the customer experience across the full customer lifecycle—marketing, sales, support, service—you really see the kinds of results you can achieve, especially when you have a true 360-degree view of your customers and can predict what content and offers are going to yield the most profitable results.

Q. What about B2B organizations? Do they have to worry about CX?
A. Absolutely. We've found that on average companies have already completed 50 percent of the selection process before they ever contact your business—so exactly the same forces are at work in B2B as in B2C.

Q. Are there any special challenges midsize companies face in implementing CX?
A. Basically it comes down to this: they have smaller budgets and fewer IT resources than their larger competitors. Fortunately, Oracle's CX solutions are designed to dramatically reduce dependence on IT. We do this by empowering business users to manage, administer, and maintain CX solutions themselves. This is especially true for Oracle Fusion Applications, which deliver an extremely intuitive user experience.

Many of Oracle's CX solutions are also cloud-based, so midsize businesses can get up and running faster, at lower risk, and with minimal upfront capital investment—all big pluses for midsize organizations.

Oracle and its partners recently brought to market Oracle Accelerate CX solutions that provide simple-to-deploy solutions with reduced project risks and fast time to benefit. These Oracle Accelerate solutions provide a foundation for innovation and growth for fast-growing companies.

Q. Is a phased approach to CX possible? If so, where is the best place to begin?
A. Virtually no one implements an all-encompassing CX solution all at once. Instead, midsize companies should determine their own biggest pain points, and then figure how this impacts the customer experience up and down the customer lifecycle. That way you stay very clear about the steps you want to take going forward.

Q. What differentiates Oracle's CX offerings from its competitors?
A. There are a multitude of advantages that differentiate Oracle, but above all it comes down to the sheer breadth and depth of our offerings. Oracle is truly unique in being able to address the entire customer lifecycle and across all channels, touch points, and devices.

Learn more about Oracle's CX solutions.

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