At Cisco, we are focused upon internally and externally sharing social media best practices and lessons learned from individuals who have successfully integrated social media into their day job. We recently sat down with one such social practitioner, Jennifer Halim, a subject matter expert (SME) on the Customer Support Team, to learn more about how she incorporates social media into her job at Cisco.
Jennifer joined the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in 2007 and focuses on security products in Australia. In 2010, she became a Technical Account Manager with ScanSafe, Cisco’s cloud-based web security service. Even after the move, she managed to keep up to date with the technology that she used in her previous role by actively participating on the Cisco Support Community. With over 322,000 registered users and 11 years of history, the Cisco Support Community is a platform on which technical experts and Cisco customers can interact with each other by asking and answering questions in the discussion forums, commenting on blogs, rating videos, and more. While spending an average of one to three hours per day contributing to the discussion forums regarding Cisco Security products, she participates completely out of her own will during after business hours. Through her engagements on this website, Jennifer states that she is constantly learning from other contributors to the community, and she enjoys the satisfaction of being able to help customers by answering their questions and resolving their issues.
Community participants like Jennifer who have responded to customers have contributed to Cisco’s $80 million in annual cost savings that is attributed to the Cisco Support Community and is a conservative estimate based on TAC case deflection. Based on the number of customer cases resolved, Jennifer has been one of the top contributors since she joined the community in 2010.
How does she manage to integrate her Support Community activities into her day job?
How did you first get involved with the Cisco Support Community?
“I first stumbled upon the site in March 2010 when I was searching for some technical answers on documentations. I began exploring the website and realized the discussions were very helpful. I subscribed to the security forums, including Firewall, VPN, and IPS, so I receive email notifications whenever new comments or questions are posted. I found that it was interesting to look over the discussions during after business hours and reply to people with the knowledge that I had. Since then, it’s become more of a hobby for me.”
Why do you participate on the community discussion forums?
“Customers seek assistance from the Support Community because they couldn’t find the answer anywhere else. It’s a good feeling to be able to help customers because it doesn’t require much effort on my part, but for the person who asks, the issue could be much more difficult. Helping them out gives me a feeling of satisfaction.
A second reason is that I myself learn by interacting with customers. When I see a question that I don’t know the answer to, it forces me to do some research for the question that I don’t know the answer to and learn in the process.”
How else has your engagement on the community helped your work?
“The Cisco Support Community allows me to keep track of each of the various technologies related to my areas of expertise without actually having to ‘study’ for it. In particular, security is a wide topic area with several sub-topics within it. By finding solutions and responding to questions on the forum, I’m able to better understand each of the components within security which helps me have a deeper, high-level picture of the matter.”
How do you find time to integrate your participation with the community into your day job?
“Since social media has become a hobby, and because I enjoy problem solving and helping others, it is easy to find time to do it. I don’t especially allocate time to incorporate social media into my work, but I normally just do it during my free time. Helping and learning from fellow forum participants are my two biggest motivations to use the community, and it feels great to be able to lend a helping hand. Most of the time, it doesn’t only help the person who has asked the question, but it also helps many others who may have similar questions since the answer is searchable within the forum. Using this social platform keeps me refreshed with technology that I don’t get to be in touch with on a daily basis, hence keeping my skills up-to-date. At the same time, I also learn from others who are more familiar and have more of a chance to work with the technology.”
Do you have any final social words of wisdom to share with others?
“Try to participate with the social platform of your choice, and you never know—it might become your new hobby. Using social media has broadened my knowledge on how others deploy various technologies in the field in different ways, and I often incorporate those cases into my work.”
To learn more about Jennifer and her work: