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Oracle offers vision of customer service

The company's new customer service release focuses on cross-sell and up-sell, reducing costs through self-service and improving effectiveness.

Oracle Corp. today at its user conference in San Francisco unveiled the latest release of its customer service software. Oracle Service 11i.10 features the integration of marketing and service, functionality to reduce the cost of service and service effectiveness improvements.

"We've been very focused on how successful CRM needs to be not just automating business process, but making it enterprise wide," said Robb Eklund, vice president of CRM product marketing.

Marketing and service integration allows organizations to leverage customer contacts with the service side of the business, and present them with appropriate offerings. These cross-sell and up-sell opportunities are important revenue opportunities when legislation like "do not call" and antispam measures are limiting marketing's reach, Eklund said. Oracle customers have been asking for selling through service, he added.

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Yet cross-sell and up-sell functionality in customer service has been discussed since the passage of "do not call," and other vendors have issued releases that addressed it months ago.

"Everyone talks about cross-sell and up-sell," Eklund admitted. "What's unique here is actually enabling that in a service interaction, doing that in a real way with the business process integrations and on a personalized basis."

For example, integration with the Oracle iStore, allows customers to quickly move from a self-service Web page to a relevant product offering to a checkout page.

Reducing the cost of service is directed at pushing customers to self-service applications. With intelligent routing, businesses can send customers the least expensive and most effective channel or service personnel, Eklund said. A spare parts tool enables field service technicians to schedule visits based on the availability of required parts and links into the supply chain, Eklund said.

Oracle Daily Business Intelligence, a component of Oracle Service, allows managers to examine key performance indicators and metrics, such as service request backlogs, reopened service requests and contact center activity.

"These are all examples that have positioned made the service business more cost effective and efficient," Eklund said. "It's enabling us to drive incremental revenue from service operations."

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