I’ve written before on my dislike for conferences, but sometimes – just sometimes – the jargon abates for long enough to allow a meaningful message to emerge.
Often the terms CRM, data, customer experience and automated marketing software solutions are only ever life-changing if you operate a job title that contains more words than a four-year-old can muster into a sentence. Now, there’s a lot of people around with those kind of job titles doing terribly important and impressive things, so I don’t mean to be dismissive, but it can be hard to find a genuinely interesting angle in among the rhetoric.
That was until I sat through a recent customer experience roundtable hosted by Oracle at its Modern Business Experience conference.
One of the expert panellists was the executive director for donor services at Red Cross Blood Services Australia, Janine Wilson. Janine and her team are responsible for the not insignificant task of ensuring supply meets demand. However, in their instance, doing so is literally a life or death matter.
Wilson drew parallels to manufacturing, saying that Red Cross Blood Services manufactures a biological product. But, unlike manufacturing, the machines that make that product are, at times, unreliable. The blood can be unusable due to illness, people fail to turn up to appointments or they can get discouraged from going back and giving blood because the customer experience was unpleasant.
Using data and CRM, ultimately wrapped up in the Oracle Service Cloud, is what has helped Wilson and her team succeed in their quest to keep Australia’s blood supply topped up.
“Speed of data is so important,” Wilson said.
“We had three unrelated events that together compounded the supply to a really awful place. We had a cyclone in Queensland, we had floods in NSW and a shooting in the CBD of Melbourne. One of those patients was O negative and that single patient needed so much blood that they drained the national supply. That’s where speed to data is so important.”
Due to blood’s short shelf life of just 42 days, the donor service was left with a situation of acute demand and a supply problem.
The solution was thankfully in place though, due to Oracle’s Service Cloud allowing the donor service to specifically target donors that were not only the right blood type, but also the right profile in terms of reliability, accessibility, in the right location and in the right kind of health. Wilson explained that 10 years ago such an outcome would not have been possible.
Data, CRM, clouds and the like are bloody lifesavers, and that’s probably the only time it’s literally true in every sense.