Oracle made a smart decision a few years ago to get out of the verbal food fight of CRM. So far they’re the only software company to do so and while they’ve sidestepped the food fight, they’ve doubled down on the essence of the competition—focusing on the customer experience or CX as they have branded things. This week at its Modern Customer Experience event in Chicago, the company unveiled its latest efforts at improving customer experience with a stream of new software and improvements.
Perhaps a better interpretation of CX would be Customer Expectation, which Oracle seems to explicitly understand based on the pronouncements of Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Evangelist, Des Cahill who said in a statement:
We are focused on helping our customers remove barriers that prevent their employees from focusing on the customer and creating epic experiences. The latest innovations within Oracle CX Cloud Suite will empower marketing, sales, commerce, and customer service professionals to lead the changes and advance their careers.
That said, there was still an imperfect note in Oracle’s implying that a customer experience should be “epic” when so much other research shows that a vendor can get very far in customers’ eyes by simply delivering on the run of the mill blocking and tackling implied in the vendor-customer relationship.
But this can be easily overlooked as too much hustle. Moreover, we live in interesting times in which many things are being made over thanks to analytics, machine learning, and omnichannel functionality. So why not aim high?
To Infinity and beyond keeping customers loyal
Among the innovations Oracle presented to customers, press, and analysts in its inimitable information avalanche style are Oracle Infinity and Oracle CX Audience designed to help marketers collate data from numerous sources to derive insights into customer characteristics such as behavior. Understanding behavior throughout the customer lifecycle gives vendors an edge in building lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.
Ironically, this announcement was made on the day Mark Zuckerberg began testimony in Congress over his company’s handling of user data that was abused by Cambridge Analytica. It’s logical to assume that future iterations of Infinity and products like it will need some amount of re-thinking in light of that news. But Infinity and Audience could be important as examples of customer data handling done right or at least better.