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Oracle Enhances Service Cloud

In conjunction with its annual Modern Customer Experience conference, which took place in Chicago last week, Oracle debuted a host of CX Cloud Suite enhancements aimed at helping marketing, sales, commerce, and customer service professionals "do their jobs better," as Des Cahill, VP and head CX evangelist at Oracle, relayed.

Two years ago, and even last year, Cahill said in a No Jitter briefing, CX discussions tended to center on changing buyer behaviors and answering the question "When are we going to digitally transform the business?" Today those transformations are well underway, and so now Oracle is focused on ways to help its customers become more digitally connected enterprises, he said.

Relative to the Service Cloud, Oracle has introduced a virtual assistant and video chat capabilities.

The virtual assistant, also available for Sales Cloud, is intended to augment a company's knowledge management strategy by facilitating FAQ interactions and allowing for escalation to live agent as needed. The virtual assistant automatically surfaces relevant content to the problem at hand, and agents would immediately be able to see what products the customer has, along with information on related service calls, as well as common problems and fixes associated with the products. Virtual assistant also would be able to provide analytics around time to resolution, as well as insight into other problems that might soon require attention given historical product trends, Cahill described.

Oracle's attention to artificial intelligence (AI), as demonstrated through this new virtual assistant, is all about letting business professionals focus on what they do best, Cahill said. For customer service agents, AI should provide a way to help them maintain customer relationships and solve problems.

Video chat adds another channel option into the Service Cloud and Engagement Cloud platforms, following on Oracle's goal of allowing businesses the ability to interface with their customers in as many different ways as possible, Cahill said. As an example, he described how window manufacturer Pella uses video chat to enable customers to show agents the problem window rather than just describing the issue. Via video, agents are able to identify whether the window or door in question is truly a Pella product and, if so, which model it is. And, by being able to see the problem, they're able to more quickly diagnose what's wrong and how to fix it.

While video chat doesn't involve AI at the moment, it does show another way Oracle is working to enhance the customer experience and make employees more productive in those customer engagements, Cahill added.

During the Modern CX Service Cloud general session, Oracle showcased diverse customers advancing their digital transformations. In one example, John Jordan, CCO/SVP of new business development with wine retailer Total Wine & More shared how the company intends to use AI – specifically natural language processing (NLP) -- in the contact center to deliver online shoppers the same level of customer experience they know from visiting its physical stores.

The NLP engine will seek out keywords, whether in a chat or voice call, to pull contextual information from the knowledge base for delivery to the customer directly or via the agent. The agent can have a cordial conversation rather than being only half focused while frantically searching the knowledge base.

And, in another customer example, Oracle demonstrated how field technicians working on Elgin street sweepers from Federal Signal could more quickly diagnose problems using IoT alerts and a communications-enabled virtual reality app.

As Jeff Wartgow, senior director of product management at Oracle, shared, digital transformation is here now, and AI use cases are coming fast. "We'll see entirely different ways of supporting customers than we ever imagined."

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