Let’s celebrate “CX Day”


Tuesday, 3rd October 2017, is CX Day, a global celebration of everyone (companies and professionals) that strive to create and deliver great experiences for their customers. It is organised by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), and you can see all about it in cxday.org.

CX Day will be celebrated all around the world, with various online events (see here), and c. 30 local events (I will be in London, see others here), which will have different topics of discussion (in London we will have “What is in the Heart of a Successful CX Strategy“).

But the fun will also be at our companies, with usual company celebrations (see here a few examples and ideas – adhere and share your pictures). As well as at the 2017 Impact Awards (see here the judges, the finalists and past winners). It is also very worth to check the fantastic blog posts at the Blog Carnival.

I look forward to celebrate the CX Day, with me fellow CX-zealots in London, in particular as it will be the first one celebration, as a member of CXPA and qualified CCXP.



Forrester Wave Q2’17: Oracle and SFDC leading

20170926 Forrester Wave - Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Organisations Q2 17

Forrester has recently published their “Wave” for Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Organisations, and it is not surprising to see Oracle and Salesforce leading the pack, followed by Verint, Pegasystems, SAP and Microsoft as strong performers. When it comes to the leaders, here are some interesting things that Forrester points out…


The report says that “Salesforce leads with a broad – but not always deep – feature set and vision“. As expected and well known, the product has very strong capabilities. According to Forrester it has “fair incident management capabilities” and allows for “agent utilisation and workload” reporting, even though there is “no native telephony” as well as “full workforce management and quality monitoring” capabilities.

According to Forrester, Salesforce also “offers a breadth – but not depth – of omni-channel capabilities“. It has “basic omni-channel routing” which can only be extended via partnerships. The knowledge management capabilities are “solid and extended via forums provided via Community Cloud“. And reporting capabilities are “augmented by analytics, data discovery, and prescriptive advice scenarios provided via the Analytics Cloud and Einstein Data Discovery“.

Finally, Forrester says that Salesforce offers “industry-specific clouds for financial services, healthcare, and government” and implementations are done by their consulting services and “certified system integrator network“, which Salesforce seems to treat as “an extension of company resources“, developing also a “developer network“.

From a customer perspective, Salesforce’s “references were positive about their ability to execute, yet complaints about the product’s expense continue“. According to Forrester, Salesforce has c. 5,000 customers using this solution.


Forrester states that Oracle “excels at knowledge-infused omni-channel service“, as it is aiming to deliver “knowledge-driven service experiences across channels, touch-points, and devices“, following the company’s vision to “enable organisations to deploy any combination of channels dynamically, regardless of what new channel combinations may arise in the future“.

The reports states that Oracle “offers voice natively and via partners” and it also provides reporting capability around “forecast agent workloads and monitor agent performance“. It delivers “knowledge-infused omni-channel interactions across a broad and deep mix of channels” offering “excellent email, chat, visual engagement, feedback, and outbound communications capabilities” as well as “fair social management” that could be extended via Oracle Social Cloud platform.

Unlike its competition, Oracle “is a horizontal product” and it’s most seen in “industries such as retail, consumer packaged goods, high tech, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, the public sector, and higher education“. Offering “deep consulting services” and “a growing developer ecosystem“.

From a customer perspective, Oracle’s “customer references are happy with the channel capabilities and solid performance of the product” but there has been some concerns “over account management and customer service practices“. According to Forrester, Oracle has c. 3,000 customers using this solution.

Oracle changing version terminology

As I’m sure most of you know, Oracle releases new versions of Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) every quarter. And does it always in the months of February, May, August and November. That is why when we talk about versions we either say “May 16” or “16.5“… “Nov 15” or “15.11“.

But Oracle announced recently that it is going to change the naming and terminology of versions. And the reason they are going to do that is for “clarity and consistency“. This change will take effect from October 2017.

Oracle is going to use the last two digits of the calendar year (e.g. “17” for 2017 or “18” for 2018), and then the letters “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” for the four calendar quarters – as releases will continue being delivered in February, May, August and November.

So, here is how it is going to wor…

  • In November 2017, the OSvC release will be “17D
  • In February 2018, the OSvC release will be “18A
  • In May 2018, the OSvC release will be “18B”
  • In August 2018, the OSvC release will be “18C”
  • In November 2018, the OSvC release will be “18D”
  • and so on and so forth…

When it comes to the “Maintenance Packs”, they will be applied on a monthly basis, and “patches” applied as needed. When it comes to terminology, Oracle will name them “Oracle Service Cloud <version> <month> Maintenance Pack”.

So, here is how it is going to work…

  • In December 2017, the OSvC maintenance pack will be called “Oracle Service Cloud 17D December Maintenance Pack
  • In March 2018, the OSvC maintenance pack will be called “Oracle Service Cloud 18A March Maintenance Pack
  • and so on and so forth…

As a side note, updates to Browser User Interface (BUI), the Auto-Upgrade Program, and the Legacy Upgrade Process will not change.

How to check where Chat is coming from?

This is one of the requirements that many companies using Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC), and indeed other platforms, have.

There are many live chat touch-points across the website, in different pages, and it would be valuable to know where are customers coming from.

Simon Kilgarriff, ex-RightNow and Oracle employee, now working for Capgemini, shares in this video one of the ways to achieve it.

This solution requires that companies license and implement the Engagement Engine (EE), a legacy ATG solution that Oracle integrated into OSvC a while ago.

It is a great tip for those who have similar setups. However, if you don’t have or need EE (sometimes it is a sledge-hammer to crack a nut), there are always alternatives.


How to understand your customer

One of the key disciplines of Customer Experience (CX) is Customer Understanding. In order to design, implement and provide an outstanding CX, companies need to know and understand their customers, and their customers’ needs.

In order to do that, companies need customer insight, that can be collected from various sources, one of them being the customers themselves. For that a Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) programme needs to be put in place.

VoC helps you understand customer requirements, and determine what they perceive as being most valuable to them. At this point, it is important to also be aware of the Kano Model, and the fact that there are different types of requirements:

  • Must-bes: those that customers expect by default. If met, they have no positive impact. If not met, they have huge negative impact.
  • One-dimensional: those that are stated by the company. If met, they result in additional satisfaction.  If not met, they result in dissatisfaction.
  • Attractive: those that will surprise and delight customers. If met, they will “wow” the customer. If not met, they will have no impact.

(Notice that it is normal to see, over time, a one-dimensional requirement become a must-be. And an attractive become a one-dimensional).

There are various ways to collect VoC.

  • Qualitative methods, like mining unsolicited customer feedback (e.g. phone calls, emails, social media), or conducting ethnographic research.
  • Quantitative methods, like analysing data from CRM and finance systems, or gathering information through surveys.

Qualitative research is extremely important and effective. Due to its nature, it is done on a small number of customers. However, results may be completely skewed if the customer sample is not quite right.

On the other hand, Quantitative research is done on a much larger number of customers. And this will allow companies to feel more confident on a more accurate picture of customers and their needs.

Research on a significantly large sample of customers can only be done when enabled by technology. There are various platforms available. In my opinion Qualtrics is probably the best, and one of the most trusted, platforms in the world.

(I first came across Qualtrics in the Summer of 2016, and the company I work for, Capventis, quickly decided to adopt it as one of the preferred technologies. Since then we built a team of certified Qualtrics experts, and have supported 30+ clients. It can be used for CX initiatives, as well as Employee, Brand or Product Experience).

With a complete understanding of the customer, his requirements, and what he values the most (or perceives as being of value) companies – those working under CX strategies (and with VoC programmes), or those undertaking CX initiatives (in particular at the research stage) – will be able to deliver outstanding experiences, differentiate in the marketplace and ultimately succeed and grow.

Forrester Wave – CRM Suites Q4’16

The Forrester report is out, for CRM suites for enterpriseorganisations. Not a surprise to see Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft and Pegasystems as leaders.

CCXP Certified!

ccxp logo.png

Today I became a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP).

For those of you who don’t know, the CCXP is a certification provided by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) – worldwide recognised CX authority.

The CCXP exam is definitely not a piece of cake. It assesses your competency in 6 core disciplines:

  • Customer-Centric Culture
  • Voice of the Customer, Customer Insight, and Understanding
  • Organisational Adoption and Accountability
  • Customer Experience Strategy
  • Experience Design, Improvement, and Innovation
  • Metrics, Measurement, and ROI

I’m extremely happy to finally have accomplished this goal – which I’ve set for 2017 and for which I invested considerable amount of time and study.

And I’m proud to become one of less than 500 people in the world, 70 in Europe and 50 in UK, with CCXP certification.

Speaking about study, I would like to share with those interested the way I prepared:

  • Attended a 1-day CX Masterclass with Ian Golding
  • Read the following books
    • Outside In
    • Chief Customer Officer
    • Chief Customer Officer 2.0
    • Effortless Experience
    • Uncommon Service
    • I love you more than my dog
    • The basics of process improvement
    • Lean Six Sigma for Dummies
    • CCXP Exam Preparation (which also provides exam sample questions)
  • Took the sample exams provided by CX University

I hope this will help and encourage some of you.