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Cisco Customer Collaboration at Cisco Live: The Next Step in Customer Care

Over the last several years, I’ve watched with interest and excitement as the customer care industry has evolved from traditional, voice-only call centers to multichannel contact centers that utilize phone, e-mail, chat, the web, speech recognition, and video to communicate with callers. Speaking as a consumer, I like that I now have a rich variety of ways to obtain information and resolve issues. At the same time, however, I remain frustrated by the fundamental limitation that customer care is still predominantly provided by the contact center, which is typically only a small part of a business or organization. Cisco has led the way in expanding the scope of customer care with the introduction of ground-breaking products like Cisco Unified Expert Advisor, which allows presence-enabled experts anywhere in the organization to assist callers. Now, we’re taking another leap forward by applying a wealth of collaboration technologies that will enable businesses and organizations to forge real relationships with their customers and elevate customer care to the next level.We call it Customer Collaboration, and it’s the next logical--and necessary--step in the evolution of customer care. Customer Collaboration recognizes that a vast number of customer interactions don’t happen in the contact center, but rather take place in social media such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Customer Collaboration reaches customers in those networks, delivering proactive services where the customer is already comfortable. Customer Collaboration leverages state-of the-art video capabilities such as Telepresence to facilitate intercompany communications (such as between a manufacturer and their supply chain) and to enable meaningful, person-to-person interactions between consumers and on-demand experts. Customer Collaboration leverages modern network smart-tagging methods to enable the formation of teams of experts on the fly that can proactively address customer needs. Customer collaboration enables care to be handled not only by the entire business or organization, but expands it to the customer community itself. It is boundary-less, real-time, multi-party, adaptive, and personal. Cisco shares a joint vision for collaboration with salesforce.com and Teletech and we’re excited to offer solutions for the commercial market. We share a joint vision of combining Cisco’s industry-leading contact center, video, and collaboration capabilities with Teletech’s world-class hosting services. This SaaS-based contact center could then integrate with salesforce.com’s innovative Service Cloud offering, enabling businesses and organizations to transform their customer care into true Customer Collaboration. As a consumer, Customer Collaboration is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, and if I’m the CEO of a business or organization, Customer Collaboration lets me truly connect with my customers efficiently and effectively. By John Hernandez, General Manager, Customer Contact Center BU

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