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Make Some New Friends: Jimi Hendrix and Customer Experience Part 2

Do the names Linda Keith and Chas Chandler ring a bell? Well, without their influence, we may have never heard of Jim Hendrix.

In May 1966, Keith ran into the then-obscure Hendrix playing at the Cheetah club in New York.  “He was astonishing – the moods he could bring to music, his charisma, his skill and stage presence,” she recalls. “Yet nobody was leaping about with excitement. I couldn’t believe it.”

HENDRIXKeith convinced Chas Chandler to come see Hendrix on August 2, 1966 in Manhattan. Chandler was the bass player for the hit group “The Animals” at that time. “He was the best guitar player I had ever heard.,”  Chandler would later comment of the performance. Chandler became intent on making Hendrix a star – but to do that, Hendrix had to go to a new place to start fresh – the U.K.

Successful customer experience for contact center directors also means going to new places – organizationally. The contact center is a critical cog in the “Big 3” of customer engagement, where the propensity of customer interactions (vs. transactions) occurs between the web, the mobile device, and the contact center.  In contrast, many businesses are not organized holistically across these three critical elements. And on occasion, each domain architects conflicting business outcomes.

Leading companies view the customer journey as a singularity from a mobile, web, and contact center perspective. Managers of these domains are beginning to exist under common organizational designs. Many are beginning to report into chief experience of digital officers.

Much like Jimi Hendrix needed to make some new friends to achieve success, so it is in business. If you’re operating in isolation, expand your organizational boundaries if you haven’t yet. Make some new friends in your mobile and web application teams. Customer experience stardom may be right around the corner for you also!

Discover more about how Cisco’s customer experience offerings can help make music for your customers here: http://www.cisco.com/assets/sol/coll/use_case_tool/outcome.htm#~customersatisfaction

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Mortgage Lenders Imperative – Engage Millennials

I am a millennial and my entire financial life fits in my front pocket.

Whether I am setting up automatic credit card payments, paying a friend back for a dinner he paid for, making my monthly rent payment, or buying the latest Wall Street darling stock; it can all be accomplished with four or five taps on my smartphone.

Since the advent of the iPhone in 2007, the app economy has flourished, and now there seems to be an app for everything. This is particularly true for the financial services industry. There are apps for banking, investing, measuring net worth, tracking expenses, processing payments, and for things that probably neither you nor I have even thought of yet.

This trend has spilled over from the world of simple financial transactions to the complex financial world. Exemplifying this perfectly is the astounding success of Quicken Loans, which has grown to become the third largest United States mortgage lender (by volume) after adjusting its strategy in the late 90’s to become a direct digital lender. And as you may have guessed, they have an app for that. Read More »

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5 Predictions for Customer Care in 2016, and Beyond

Who likes Tomorrowland?

Some people go to the futuristic part of Disney’s theme parks for the rides. The rides are certainly fun, but I go because it makes me think of the future. Perhaps that’s why people post so many predictions blogs every December: We like to dream about possibilities.

tomorrowland blog image

Photo courtesy of Disney Wiki

In my role, I have the privilege of helping our team shape the future of Cisco’s Customer Care solutions. We always start by listening. We talk to customers and partners to hear what they want. We try to understand what is driving and shaping their thoughts. And we think a lot about how we can help businesses better serve their own customers.

Here’s what our team sees for Customer Care in 2016.

5 Predictions: Read More »

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The Internet of Things: Hype or Reality?

Having spent several days last week at the Internet of Things World Forum in Dubai, I am more convinced than ever that the Internet of Things (IoT) is not some hyped-up futuristic vision of what could be, but a present-day reality that is transforming businesses and industries here and now.

In this blog series over the past six months, I have touched on many of the technology and business factors to consider while planning an Internet of Things (IoT) deployment—from access technologies to emerging standards and the convergence of IT and organizational technology (OT) . I spent three blogs discussing fog computing, analytics, and applications, and was happy to be part of the announcement of the OpenFog Consortium last month. All of this focus on IoT culminated last week, when the IoT World Forum highlighted both well-established IoT solutions and numerous IoT startups that are gearing up to change the future.

Successful IoT deployments integrate operational control systems with enterprise information systems for greater visibility, efficiency, and security.

Successful IoT deployments integrate operational control systems with enterprise information systems for greater visibility, efficiency, and security.

Read More »

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Devops Means “No, you cannot operate my cloud”

One of the things I really believe strongly is that modern SaaS software development – both the practices and code it produces – are significantly different from traditional enterprise premises-based software development. Yet, I find that for people who have never built and operated a modern SaaS platform, these differences are difficult to grasp. Let me replay for you a conversation I’ve had many times.

Jonathan: “We’ve built this awesome new Cisco Spark cloud platform, which powers the Cisco Spark app. We do continuous delivery, pushing new updates every day. Our engineers operate the platform – a.k.a. devops – and they track a bunch of metrics on quality and engagement that they use every day to make improvements in the code.”

Customer/Partner: “That sounds great! I’ve got a question though – do you have a packaged version that I can operate on premises?”

The answer is – of course not.

When I tell customers/partners this, they are surprised. The reason for this is NOT that we don’t want their money (trust me that’s not it), or that we have some kind of policy or strategic reason that we don’t want to do it. The reason is that it’s technically infeasible. And doing so would mean we’d have to destroy many of the benefits that we’ve built for our customers in the first place.

The reason ultimately comes down to Read More »

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