CXDev Toolbox, by CXDeveloper

Some of you may have already noticed that one of the websites I have in the list of links is the CXDeveloper. This is a website where a couple of Oracle Service Cloud specialists (namely Andy Rowse and Ben Johns) share their extensive knowledge and experience on how to customise and extend Oracle Service Cloud.

They not only give some excellent advice and tips, but also provide to the Oracle Service Cloud community the CXDev Toolbox, an “extensible platform for tools and utilities that support the management, maintenance and development of an Oracle RightNow CX site”.

This toolbox connects to the Oracle Service Cloud environment and allows…

  • Single and multiple Account Import
  • Single and multiple Account Unlock
  • ROQL Testing
  • PHP Stub Generation

Andy and Ben are kind and generous enough to allow everyone to use these for free, and in the future they promise to offer more functionality, like…

  • PTA Testing
  • Object Cleaning
  • Contact Merging
  • CBO Copying
  • Meta Comparison

I would recommend all Oracle Service Cloud admins, developers and consultants to download the CXDev Toolbox as it may be very useful.

Report on Bounced Marketing Emails (Mailings)

Oracle Service Cloud comes with several reports that allow the analysis of the emails sent to customers by the use of the Outreach facilities of the platform. Those out-of-the-box reports track the accuracy of email delivery and show activity and performance for both broadcast and transactional mailings.

They display the number of marketing emails that have been sent and delivered. The number of emails open, links clicked and unsubscriptions requested. The number and percentage of emails that could not be delivered. As well as the types of email bounces that prevented them from being delivered.

This information is grouped by Mailing. i.e. the user can select a particular Mailing and the report shows the above information for that specific Mailing.

This was not enough on one of the projects my team was working on. The requirement was not only to see the number of bounces, but actually be able to identify the name and email address of the person to whom the Mailing was not delivered.

By using a simple join between the Marketing Activities (ma_trans) and the Contacts (contacts) tables, we were able to deliver the report that showed the intended information. See report and definition below.

20150502 Oracle Service Cloud - Bounced Emails by Mailing

Report Definition: Oracle Service Cloud – Bounced Emails by Mailing

Enable the Enhanced Service Console

The May 2014 release of Oracle Service Cloud introduced the Enhanced Service Console (an enhanced UI for the Dynamic Agent Desktop). This enhanced console is faster and more user-friendly, allowing users to undock tabs and move tools windows. It also introduced a new navigation pane on the right-hand side of the content pane, as well as a new concept of sub-tabs.

Despite it has been around for almost 12 months, the Enhanced Service Console has not been adopted by many companies/users yet. I don’t think this is because it is not that good, because it actually is. My guess is that this is due to: a) many companies haven’t upgraded their Oracle Service Cloud platforms to the latest releases; b) those who did, are afraid of the change and customer adoption.

I was also sceptical when it came into play. But now I’m fully convinced of its advantages and benefits. Mainly the undock and sub-tab features. Truth is the new Enhanced Service Console is much more flexible and easy-to-use. And I recommend all admins to try, and roll it out to their users.

If you have a release of Oracle Service Cloud that is previous to Nov 2014 – when the Enhanced Service Console started being provisioned by default – I’m sure some of you will have the same difficulty I had, when trying to enable it. Therefore I will leave you the hint.

The setting to enable the Enhanced Service Console is in the Profile, and needs to be set for all profiles that will use the new console.

Oracle_Service_Cloud_enhanced_console_setting

1. Go to Configurations > Staff Management > Profiles

2. Select and open the Profile

3. Make sure you are in the “Interfaces” area

4. Click the “Other” tab

5. Set the “Enhanced Console” check box

6. Click “Save and Close”, in the ribbon

7. Logout and log back in again to see the new UI

February 2015 release is now available

Private Messaging for Facebook

The Oracle Service Cloud Social Monitor is a very powerful feature to provide Customer Service over social media. It allows companies to listen, monitor and engage its customers, as well as people that are with the competition and may be unhappy and willing or open to change.

Companies can use the Social Monitor on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and any blog or website with a RSS feed. But so far, private messaging could only be done via Twitter. Facebook was limited to the public feed and the company’s pages or profiles.

Best practice for Customer Service over social media is clear when it comes to a particular type of conversations (e.g. complaints). Companies should acknowledge publicly but take them off-line as soon as possible. For this, private messaging is crucial.

The February 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud adds this functionality to the Facebook channel. It is now possible to monitor and respond to Facebook private messages, as well as transition between Facebook private and public messages in the same incident.

This also means that companies can now provide end-to-end interactions in all types of enquiries (not necessarily in a complaint scenario), as sometimes people need to share personal information with the Customer Service agent, and don’t want to do it publicly.

Mobile Compatibility for Co-Browse

The Oracle Service Cloud Co-Browse functionality is great for Customer Service over the web, as it enables agents to see what customers are seeing and guide them through web pages or forms, helping them to complete actions. By pointing or taking control.

The November 2014 release of Oracle Service Cloud already brought an enhanced Co-Browse capability, supporting more browsers, more complex browser technology, more platforms, one-click co-browse launching, and custom security.

The February 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud brings even more enhancements, adding mobile compatibility, enabling customers and agents to co-browse from mobile browsers on any device during a live chat session or phone interaction.

Note: To use the newest version of Co-Browse, Customer Portal Framework Version 3.2 needs to be in place.

More Functionality for Browser UI

The Agent Browser UI was introduced in the previous release. It is still in “beta” mode but Oracle keeps working on it, adding more and more functionality for – what they call – infrequent users. Again, it is not intended to replace the Dynamic Agent desktop.

With the February 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud users will now be able to access the Knowledge Base when working in an incident, share information with other users (by forwarding or bookmarking incidents), and also display dashboards.

Incident Archiving Improvements

Large companies with millions of customers may get to a point where they have too many incidents in the database, experiencing performance issues. Oracle Service Cloud Incident Archiving allows the archiving of old or outdated incidents.

Basically what this functionality does is it removes incidents from the database and stores them in searchable files. Archived incidents information is made read-only and cannot be updated. This can happen automatically after a certain period of time.

Setting the ARCHIVE_INCIDENTS configuration setting determines when solved incidents are archived. But they can now also be permanently deleted by the use of the new configuration setting: PURGE_ARCHIVED_INCIDENTS.

Draft Incident Responses

Sometimes a user may be working on an incident (e.g. an email response) and need to jump into another task (e.g. a more urgent incident). To avoid having multiple tabs or windows open, the February 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud allows saving draft incident responses.

A user can craft the response, select cc or bcc addresses, add attachments, etc. and then save the incident with that draft response to complete and send later. The draft response is copied to the message thread panel and can still be edited before sending.

Session Hard Timeout

For obvious security reasons companies require that user’s inactive sessions are automatically logged out. Currently it is possible to do this by configuring a profile setting (Session Timeout field) and a configuration setting (CLIENT_SESSION_EXP).

Once the time of inactivity exceeds the time set in these settings the client sends a soft logout request to the server. When attempting to access the Agent Desktop again, users will receive a Console Locked message asking for re-authentication.

The February 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud brings a new level of security. The session hard timeout forces users to re-authenticate after a pre-defined period of time, offering extra security for companies that required thorough compliance (e.g. PCI, DISA).

This functionality can be set using the new SESSION_HARD_TIMEOUT configuration setting. Users will be alerted 5 minutes before their session is set to expire. After re-entering login credentials, users will be authenticated, a new session will be created, and the session ID will be updated throughout the platform (including Add-ins, APIs or Co-Browse).

Bounced Incident Response Handling

It is not surprising to anyone that sometimes email messages bounce. It also happens with incident responses sent from Oracle Service Cloud, and sometimes it is difficult, if not impossible to handle those bounces.

The February 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud brings new functionality to handle those incident responses that are returned. There is a new source in the Transactions table that will allow Techmail utility to flag those bounces: “Techmail – Incoming Auto-Reply Message”.

This will obviously be very useful for the creation of reports – e.g. listing bounced incident responses – or business rules – e.g. set incident status to “bounced” or back to “unresolved” if source is Techmail–Incoming Auto-Reply Message – enabling Customer Service teams to re-contact the customer using the same or other contact channels.

Words that characterise Live Chat, for Consumers and Companies

Most consumers surf the web (vendor websites, fan pages, forums, etc.) trying to resolve their issues before picking up the phone or start writing an email. Once they are online, Live Chat offers them a quick and low-effort way of interacting with a brand or company. Either it is for sales, customer service or technical support.

The millennials (or generation Y) like Live Chat because of its immediate and text-enabled nature (we know how youngsters are into SMS, WhatsApp, and other text messaging apps). The older generations like it because of its simplicity and easiness to use, as well as for the fact that you can do other stuff while chatting.

The 4 words that characterise Live Chat from a consumers’ point of view are therefore:

  • Easy
  • Multi-task
  • Immediate
  • Text-based

But there are also a few words (and advantages) that characterise Live Chat from a brand or company standpoint:

Feedback – There is no doubt in executives and board-members minds, that voice-of-the-customer should be captured and used to improve products and services. It is much easier to capture that feedback immediately after a Live Chat conversation (trigger exit surveys) when a customer is still engaged and things are fresh in his/her mind, than after a phone or email interaction.

Training – One of the ways of training or coaching agents in a contact centre is to go through past interactions, point out what went wrong and teach how and what could be done better. It is much easier and quick to go through a Live Chat transcript than a 15-minute phone conversation. It will take much longer to hear the recording than to read a few transcripts.

Efficiency – There is no better way of reducing costs than increasing efficiency. Live Chat helps companies reduce operational costs by allowing agents to handle more than one interaction at the same time (typically 3 to 4, tops). The possibility of concurrency lets Live Chat agents handle much more interactions than an agent dealing with phone calls or emails, and changes companies perspective when it comes to capacity.

Effectiveness – One of the most important KPIs in a contact centre is FCCR (First Contact Resolution Rate). For obvious reasons, FCCR is much higher in Live Chat than in email, for example. It is true that email is a key channel, but it takes several exchanges (back and forth messages) to resolve an issue that can be easily handled in one Live Chat session.

Web Self-Service: Another great way of reducing costs is to give consumers the possibility to help themselves. Whilst many companies have websites full of content, not many are able to say they are being used as expected. In a Live Chat session agents can provide hyperlinks to consumers, guiding them to the right content for resolution, in the website, making consumers engaged with the website and teaching them where to find answers in the future, driving web self-service.

The only perceived “downside” for the company that is going to roll out Live Chat as a channel is the technology licensing and implementation cost. From that point of view, it is a case of companies choosing cloud solutions, and preferring a strategic multi-channel platform that supports all channels (phone, email, chat, web, social media…). Rather than going for siloed and on-premise solutions or trying to integrate multiple point solutions, ultimately impacting Customer Experience (seamless interactions as consumers jump from a channel to the other).

OPA Cloud Service: How to set up

Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) is a powerful software solution that enables companies to capture, manage and deploy complex legislation or policies. It comes from the acquisition of Haley (previously RuleBurst) by Oracle, back in 2008.

As many of you already know Oracle recently launched a cloud version of OPA, called OPA Cloud Service, and made it part of Oracle Service Cloud. Nonetheless, it is not mandatory to use both, as it is possible to run OPA Cloud Service standalone.

OPA Cloud Service has two main interfaces:

  • Oracle Policy Modeling (OPM): A desktop application to create policy models based on legislation or policies.
  • Oracle Policy Automation Hub (OPA Hub): A browser-based console to manage and deploy policy models.

Policy models can be made available in two ways:

  • Interviews: Web-based applications that collect information and data from an end-user through a Customer Portal.
  • Web Services: Each policy model created has an associated web service that will allow the integration with other processes or applications.

When used alongside Oracle Service Cloud, OPA allows:

  • Oracle Service Cloud fields to be used in rules (i.e. map data items in OPA onto Service Cloud data model).
  • Publish interviews in the Oracle Service Cloud Customer Portal
  • Publish interviews in the Oracle Service Cloud Agent Desktop
  • Create incidents and update other records based on interview answers

This post is a quick intro to this matter and shows how to set up OPA Cloud Service to be used with Oracle Service Cloud.

First you will need Oracle to provision both environments (or OPA only, if you already have a Service Cloud environment), and then set up the data service to communicate between the OPA Hub and Service Cloud.

The first step is to create a user in Service Cloud named OPA_Client, with permissions in the Public SOAP API area.

  1. Create an OPA profile

OPA1

  1. Create an OPA user

OPA2

Note: The password you enter here is going to be used in OPA HUB.

The next step is to login to OPA Hub (as an admin) and configure the data service.

  1. Go to “Administration” > “Data Service” and enter the password

OPA3

Now you should have both applications connected and are now ready to start creating interviews in OPM and publishing them in Service Cloud (CP or DAD).

Oracle Cloud adapter for Service Cloud integrations

Oracle has announced recently the Oracle Cloud adapter for Oracle Service Cloud. It is one of the Oracle Integration Adapters in the Oracle SOA Suite 12c, part of Oracle Fusion Middleware platform.

It will allow developers to seamlessly connect Oracle Service Cloud with other applications (on-premise or cloud) using a wizard-based tool that helps to configure the connectivity and build the integration.

The adapter supports integration with Oracle Service Cloud via the “Connect Web Services for SOAP” API, enabling developers to perform the following operations:

  1. CRUD – Create, Read (Get), Update, Delete (destroy)
  2. Query – ROQL
  3. Batch – CRUD/Query Operations

With the Oracle Cloud adapter developers will have the ability to:

a) Browse and select objects and operations.

image1

b) Model ROQL queries

image2

c) Create bulk interactions to create contacts, incidents and accounts in a single request

image3

It is possible to chain CRUD operations to process objects in a single request. e.g. create a new Contact, and a new Incident, associated with that Contact.

image4

With the Oracle Cloud adapter, integrations between Oracle Service Cloud and other applications (e.g. Oracle e-Business, Oracle Siebel, SAP, Oracle Sales Cloud, SFDC, etc.) can be built easier and will be faster to deploy.

Related documentation: Oracle Fusion Middleware – Oracle Cloud Adapter for Oracle RightNow Cloud Service User’s Guide

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