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Customer Collaboration and the Internet of Everything

Those who read this blog regularly know that Customer Collaboration combines traditional contact center technology and processes with important innovations in social media, Web 2.0 agent workspaces, network-based recording and analytics, and video to empower businesses to forge deeper, proactive, more consistent relationships with their customers.  Three years ago, Cisco identified Customer Collaboration as a major market disruption, and our customers have benefitted from our leadership through this disruptive time.

More recently, Cisco identified another market disruption--the Internet of Everything (IoE)--which Cisco defines as the networked connection of people, processes, data, and things.  The true benefit of the IoE is derived from the compound impact of connecting all these elements--with a majority of the value derived by extending the connections of the IoE to people.

So what’s the relationship between Customer Collaboration and the IoE?  Simply put, Customer Collaboration connects the Internet of Everything to consumers.  Many of the touchpoints to the IoE run through businesses, and Customer Collaboration is what brings businesses and organizations closer to their customers--to us.  Let me provide some examples of how Customer Collaboration can connect consumers to the IoE:

Consider Amy, who opts in to a remote car monitoring service.  One day while at the office, Amy’s car--unbeknownst to her--is dented in the parking lot outside the building.  Sensors in the car detect the collision and wirelessly notify the car monitoring service, which in turn sends a message to Amy’s insurance company’s proactive customer care gateway.  No local agents are available, so the event is routed to an insurance specialist at a centralized call center, complete with information on Amy’s insurance coverage and the location and condition of Amy’s car.  An outbound call is placed to Amy, enabling her and the agent to confirm the incident, initiate the insurance claim, arrange for Amy’s car to be towed to a repair center, and provide a temporary rental car replacement.

Or think about the smart refrigerator in Mike’s kitchen.  The refrigerator’s compressor malfunctions, creating an automated notification to the manufacturer.  The correct replacement part is identified and the manufacturer sends Mike an e-mail notification with a link to order the part and schedule a local technician to install it.  The e-mail also contains a link to initiate a live chat with a customer support specialist, should Mike have any questions, which could escalate to a live discussion if needed.

These examples illustrate how Customer Collaboration really is one of the most critical aspects of the IoE; it’s what enables you and me to fully benefit from the IoE.  Businesses that embrace Customer Collaboration will be well-positioned to thrive in the age of the Internet of Everything.

What scenarios can you envision for the Internet of Everything to improve customer care?

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