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Cisco in the Contact Center Business: Reflecting Back and Looking Ahead

With Cisco recently closing our fiscal year, I naturally started to reflect on the past year in our contact center business, and on our history in this market.  Since Cisco entered the contact center market in 1999, the industry has changed in countless ways.  We’ve seen technologies come and go.  We’ve seen an explosion in the number of channels customers use to connect with companies.  We’ve seen the mobile device become the primary entry point to many contact centers—regardless of channel.  And we’ve seen start-ups, new business models, consolidations, and divestitures.

With all of these changes and inflection points over the last decade or so, Cisco has been able to make its mark in the contact center industry.  We’ve grown steadily over the last several years.  In fact, Cisco became one of the top three Contact Center vendors after only five years in the market. As we’ve continued to grow and lead in this industry, we have shipped nearly 3 million Contact Center agent seats, providing the front line personnel with the resources needed to maintain relationships with customers. Cisco shipped 900,000 seats in just the past two years – and the impact that Cisco contact center solutions are making on the level of customer care offered by businesses of all sizes shows no signs of slowing down!

Today, universities fielding more than 25,000 student calls daily, financial institutions using 10,000 customer service agents to answer customer calls and inquiries, and countless other businesses rely on Cisco’s leading Contact Center technology to provide outstanding service and easily manage customer relationships to improve business.

On average, more than 2,600 businesses Read More »

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The Benefits of Listening and Delivering in Customer Care

One of the things I enjoy most in my role leading Product Management for Cisco’s Customer Collaboration business is listening to our customers and partners to ensure we deliver products that meet their needs.  Our focus on delivery and execution sets Cisco apart in the industry.

So I’m very pleased to see that, for the second year in a row, Cisco was recognized as highest in “Ability to Execute” in Gartner’s Contact Center Infrastructure (CCI) Magic Quadrant.  Gartner bases Ability to Execute on a number of criteria–including the quality, maturity, and overall breadth of a vendor’s applications; their customer support capabilities; and their ability to deliver solutions in formal contact centers within companies, outsourcers, and service providers.  In addition, we improved our positioning in “Completeness of Vision”, with noticeable movement to the right in the June 2013 CCI Leaders Quadrant.

Cisco’s achievement in this year’s CCI Magic Quadrant is the latest recognition that our contact center business is truly firing on all cylinders.  The product development aspects Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Increasing Efficiency in the Technical Assistance Center

In this installment of the “We’re Listening” blog, Steve Young discusses how Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) teams are using collaboration processes to solve customer problems faster. Steve is Director of the TAC’s Service Delivery Transformation efforts.

Steve Young, Director, TAC Service Delivery TransformationBy Guest Contributor Steve Young

In my last blog posting, I discussed what we’re doing to get you, TAC customers, to the right expert, right away, when you need support. This time I’d like to focus on what we’re doing to improve your experience once connected with that engineer. Read More »

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Finding the Right Collaboration Tools for the Right Roles

I collaborate, you collaborate, we all collaborate. An organizational chart may show hierarchy, but it doesn’t represent how people actually interact within – and beyond– an organization. Our roles don’t affect whether we collaborate, but do influence our needs, priorities, and the devices we use.

There’s a clear advantage to technology that empowers people to engage and creates a consistent user experience so that the interaction essentially the same – anywhere, on any device. Just as our roles differ, so do our collaboration priorities and device needs. But we don’t work only with others in our own role. We need to collaborate with people across the spectrum within an organization.

I use three or more devices to collaborate in a single workday. Frankly, you shouldn’t care. Before you and I talk, we shouldn’t need to take a mutual device inventory to figure out how to connect. If I don’t have to focus on what I’m doing to interact with you, I can focus on the conversation and the whole reason we’re connecting.

We’ve outlined five user personas to illustrate how collaboration technology can best serve the needs of people in different roles. Click through on a persona to get more information and to see the use cases that support their needs. Read More »

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Better Customer Service through Collaboration

Good news: Customers are becoming people in 2013. It’s prediction season. The blog world is ripe with posts of premonitions and predictions for every horizontal, vertical, and diagonal cross-section of business, science, and life in general.

The year’s predictions for customer service have a strong focus on people and experience. Look back just two years and you’ll see a greater emphasis on the process and operational pieces of the puzzle. Then, customers were essentially the sum of their activities and accounts. Today, they’re people and need to be treated as such, especially with the power that social media affords them to share opinions, feedback, and feelings about their interactions as your customer. (Feelings? Not those! Can I even mention those in a corporate post?!)

Some common phrases pop up in this year’s predictions: experience, multichannel, social media, differentiation, personalization, collaboration.

Contact centers are moving beyond transactions to relationships. Service is becoming a competitive differentiator. Creating more interactive and collaborative customer relationships is making a difference. Customer satisfaction is about more than making sure the customer gets the product and that the product works. It’s about creating loyalty so that customer comes back and becomes your advocate.

How can collaboration technology help along the way? The following use cases provide several options and benefits: Read More »

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