How “Pret a Manger” turned a bad CX into a great CX

I have a morning routine… Leave home > take the bus to the tube station > take the tube to the City > buy a croissant at Pret > go to the office > make a tea > eat the croissant while running through the email inbox.

The morning of Aug 5 wasn’t different… until, on the second to last bite, I found a big hair in my croissant. Wooow! Disgusting! It ruined my breakfast and my morning. I had to tweet and complain about it. So that’s exactly what I did.

@Pret Not sure this is the best way to start the day. A big hair inside my croissant! :(

I must say that the reaction and response to my complain tweet surprised me.


Pret reacted in a few hours, apologised straight away in public, and tried to take the follow up conversation offline – which is exactly what the social customer service best practices advises. So I sent the DM with my email address and the Pret’s shop location. Within a few minutes the response was there, thanking and advising me that the Customer Service team was informed and would take over.

They surely did, another few minutes and I received an email (with attached incident reference #) apologising again, thanking me for giving them the opportunity to put things right, making me aware of the steps and procedures of the investigation, and advising they would be in touch soon. A few days later they got in touch again, via email. Funnily enough the same customer service rep from the initial conversation. Joanna apologised again, told me that the investigations were complete, and the shop’s manager and team were contacted guaranteeing that it would not happen again – once more, exactly what best practices advises: quick, positive, honest, transparent and diligent customer service.

To make it even better, Pret took a gesture of goodwill… ”I realise that these actions do not detract from the distress and disappointment you have experienced and so I would like to send you a £15.00 Pret Card by way of an apology for this unpleasant incident (…) thank you again for taking the time to contact us and for giving us the opportunity to try and put things right. Considering the circumstances, I really appreciate your calm and constructive feedback”.

Two weeks ago, if anyone had ask me what I thought of Pret, I would have said that they are ok and have nice sandwiches. Today, and after finding a hair in my croissant, I’m writing an email praising them! Proving that a good customer service can have a huge impact in the overall perception and customer experience. And has the power of turning a good customer or a loyal customer into an advocate, even when things go wrong.

LinkedIn use Oracle Service Cloud for “Member First” initiative

Known as its ‘Members First’ initiative, LinkedIn shifted its primary focus from products to members by developing an infrastructure that brings people, processes, and technologies together in an effort to transform operations and enhance engagement.

LinkedIn powered this transformation by partnering with Oracle Service Cloud, which facilitated the capture and analysis of member data. Originally, LinkedIn’s support team was part of the product team, meaning employees often focused on resolving technical issues above all else.

But, because employees were conditioned to work reactively using manual methods, such as spreadsheets and documents, it became difficult for LinkedIn to track cases and maintain knowledge across channels. Ultimately, information remained in silos, hindering the company’s ability to gather, analyze, and react to support issues and member feedback.


LinkedIn also created its Global Customer Operations (GCO) team, which listens to what LinkedIn members are saying, both directly and indirectly, to support its member-centric vision and mission, while also identifying behavioral trends and service gaps that need special attention.

Read full article in 1to1media.


We, customers, demand this from you, companies

The world we live in today is a hyper-competitive, hyper-connected and global world, where the advances in technology gave us more options, more access, and made our expectations higher. People changed their behaviours. We are now always connected, always aware, and always sharing.

The key factors for the changing in our behaviours are the speed at which we adopt new technology, the rise of mobile devices, and the emergence of new channels, in particular the explosion in social media and text-enabled apps. This had a huge impact on the way we interact with our friends and family.

And now we are demanding companies, from which we buy products and services, to do the same. To communicate and interact with us the same way we communicate and interact with our friends and family. And to be available when and where we need them and how is more convenient to us.

Many years ago we would go to the brick and mortar store to buy something or look for help. Then we started to buy in store and ask for support via phone or email. Today we use various channels and touch-points during our journey. Researching in store, buying online, asking for support via live chat.

Companies realised this and started to enable multiple channels in order to deliver a cross-channel experience. But most of the times that experience is not good, because all channels are disjointed. Truth is, as new channels came up companies added them over time, typically using different systems and processes.

Furthermore, companies were putting in place different teams to handle interactions and requests coming from the different channels. The ones that didn’t, and tried to cross train all agents and reps, were giving them a herculean task of flicking through loads of different systems when talking to us, increasing the time we waited.

As customers, what we are demanding is an omni-channel experience, where all channels are natively joined up, where it is easy for us to switch between channels, seamlessly transitioning from one channel to the other during a single interaction, quickly and without having to repeat ourselves over and over again.

We want to receive a seamless and consistent experience across all channels. Be able to web self-serve from a mobile app, live chat with an agent if we cannot find an answer, transition to a telephone conversation with the same agent if needs be, and then receive an email confirmation afterwards.

In order to deliver this experience, companies can only do one thing… adopt a true omni-channel platform where all channels (phone, email, web, chat, SMS, white mail, social) are natively joined up. And that encompasses our entire customer journey, from need (Marketing), to purchase (Sales), to support (Customer Service), as well as our voice (Feedback).

There are only a couple of true omni-channel platforms in the market. As most of you know, I’m a big advocate of the Service Cloud platform from Oracle.

Customer Journey Mapping workshop x 4


These past 2 weeks have been great fun. There is nothing like being in the “field”, helping companies being more customer-centric. And that is what a Capventis customer in the Construction industry wanted to do, in order to improve the Customer Experience they deliver.

Customer Journey Mapping is a very good technique that helps organisations identify the customer’s steps and emotions across all stages and touch points. From initial contact, through purchase, to support, and hopefully onto renewal or repeated purchase.

This type of exercise reveals opportunities for improvement and innovation in the customer’s experience. Either it is fixing a bad moment where things went wrong, or capitalising on a good moment where things went really well or as expected.

Teaming up with my colleague Kelvin Brain (@kelvinbrain), we facilitated a series of 4 Customer Journey Mapping workshops, where more than 40 staff came out with great innovations and ideas to improve the way the company treats and services customers.

For the workshops we chose a persona – David, the builder –  and used a business-specific customer journey. In order to achieve better results, we mixed the best of the Stanford University customer journey mapping with our experience and knowledge as consultants.

The day started with everyone in the room sharing some good and bad experiences. Then, we talked about how the world is changing – mainly due to advances in technology and the social media explosion – and how that impacts the way people expect to deal with companies.

With some very good insights on what is Customer Experience, why it is so important these days, and how to deliver/enable it, the audience was ready to dive into the Customer Journey Mapping exercise.

From that moment on it was all fun. Music, colours, loads of post-it notes, red/green dots, strings, great discussions, amazing ideas, outstanding innovations, excellent outcomes. The feedback was great and we look forward to the next steps.

May 2015 release is now available

Customer Content on the Login Screen

So far, the only thing we could do on the login screen was perhaps change the “welcome” message or replace the Oracle Service Cloud logo on the right-hand side by the logo of the company. The May 2015 release give us the ability to include links so we can enrich this entry point with some actionable messages (see image below).


Enhanced Incident Thread Masking

This functionality was introduced in the Nov 2013 release enabling organisations to better comply with internal governance and data privacy issues. Sensitive data, like credit card numbers is automatically masked with the use of patterns/regular expressions matching. These masks are applied to thread data, either entered by the customer or the agent. The data is modified in the database and the UI.

May 2015 release brings additional checks for 13-digit (Visa) and 14-digit (Diners Club) masking logic for credit card number patterns. This way the possibility of false matches is even more reduced.

New Social Monitor Results Report Column

A new column – named “Appended Incidents” – is now available in several Social Monitor reports. This column will have a “Click to View” link to allow the agent to drill down and see the incident(s) to which that particular tweet/post has been manually or automatically appended to. Then, the agent will also have the ability to double-click and open the incident straight away. This will make the navigation and association between social results and incidents much easier.

New Social Monitor Configuration Setting

The May 2015 brings the SOCIAL_MONITOR_CONVERSATION_TRACKING_DEADLINE configuration setting, that specifies the number of days that Oracle Service Cloud will track a conversation after an agent responds to a Social Monitor incident. Once the time period is exceeded, the incident will be removed from the conversation tracking, and any subsequent posts in the conversation will not be auto-appended as threads in the incident.

Service Collaboration

The May 2015 release brings a new collaboration functionality that, as far as I understand it, is somewhat replacing “Forward & Track”. The new service collaboration capability will allow agents to get help and support from third parties or external people that are not users of Oracle Service Cloud.


Those people can be set as users in Oracle Service Cloud, and associated with a Profile that has “External User” setting checked (see image above). Then, those users can collaborate in conversations with agents without being charged for licenses. They won’t be able to use the Dynamic Agent Desktop, but they can access the incident’s detail and message thread, by logging in to the collaboration service directly via a web browser or mobile device.

Advanced Knowledge

Limited to a number of Oracle Service Cloud customers, and still in a “trial” mode, the Oracle Service Cloud Knowledge Advanced capability was made available from this release, integrating in Oracle Service Cloud, some of the capabilities of the Oracle Knowledge product (aka InQuira). Some of those capabilities are related to authoring and intelligent search features like flexible templates, versioning, relationships between articles in multiple languages, search results from documents and other content sources. It also offers highly specialised NLP with pre-packaged industry specific terminology.

Single Sign-On (SSO) Support for External Identity Providers (IdP)

With May 2015 release, external identity providers (IdP) can now be used to log in to Oracle Service Cloud and other service provider (SP) applications, allowing agents to log in once and be authenticated across several SP applications. Similarly, single logout is also supported, for agents to log out of any SP application.


If organisations are using an external IdP, the IdP login page can be embedded in Oracle Service Cloud Login window (see image above). This way, agents can log in without having to do it via a separate login page. After successfully logging in to the IdP, it will generate a SAML token and pass it to Oracle Service Cloud, increasing security, since usernames and passwords are not sent between applications.

Connect REST API

The May 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud introduces the new Connect REST API, enhancing even more the capability of integration of Oracle Service Cloud with other applications and systems. Representational State Transfer (REST) API is complementary to the other set of APIs already in place, like Connect SOAP API.

For those who are not familiar with it REST is – somewhat like SOAP – an architecture for creating web services. It is, in some cases, an alternative to SOAP and WSDL-based web services. RESTful systems typically communicate over the HTTP, and may be simpler to create and maintain (if you want to know the difference between REST and SOAP, here is a good and short post).

Oracle Service Cloud Connect REST API is a public API that leverages the CCOM version 1.3. It follows the Oracle REST standard and supports CRUD operations.

Connect Common Object Model v1.3

May 2015 release of Oracle Service Cloud introduces version 1.3 of the Connect Common Object Model (CCOM). You can take advantage of this new CCOM version using Connect Web Services for SOAP (Connect Web Services), Connect PHP API, ROQL, and Connect REST API.

The new version of CCOM provides synchronized metadata among Connect PHP API, ROQL, and Connect Web Services, and provides operation-specific metadata in Connect Web Services. Also in CCOM version 1.3, ROQL blacklisting behaviour has been changed so that candidate blacklist queries are allowed to run by default and are subject to further analysis. Fifteen new operations and properties have also been added to CCOM.

Widget Changes on the Customer Portal (CP)

As always, various changes were done to a few widgets in the CP. To review those in more detail access the Framework change log in your CP by navigating to Framework > Framework versions or https://<your_site>/ci/admin/versions/manage/#tab=1&framework=3.2

Some of the changes were applied to the following widgets:

  • utils/CobrowsePremium
  • input/BasicProductCategoryInput
  • knowledgebase/GuidedAssistant
  • notifications/ProdCatNotificationManager
  • output/FileListDisplay
  • input/ProductCategoryInput
  • input/SmartAssistantDialog
  • search/ProductCategorySearchFilter

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


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