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Not All Contact Centers are Created Equal

Contact centers have been around for decades, and since it is a mature technology, potential buyers sometimes believe there is little difference between the offerings from the various vendors.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

While it’s certainly true that the major contact center vendors can provide traditional functionality such as interactive voice response (IVR), skills-based routing to agents, and associated reporting, the question then becomes “And what else?” Although traditional contact center functionality is still vital to customer care, the industry is evolving as businesses of all sizes strive to provide customer care in the manner in which today’s customers wish to be served.  This transition to what Cisco first defined as Customer Collaboration combines traditional contact center technology and processes with key innovations in social media, Web 2.0 agent workspaces, video, and network-based recording and analytics to empower businesses to forge deeper, proactive relationships with their customers.

When you think about implementing or upgrading a contact center, have you considered how your business or organization will keep pace with today’s consumers?

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Cisco Customer Collaboration Driving Aggressively to #1

Cisco’s contact center business is growing more than twice as quickly as the market, and we are driving aggressively to become the #1 vendor worldwide.  As I talk to customers, press, analysts, consultants, and partners, I continue to see momentum on our side.  Market trends, changes in the competitive landscape, and customer desires are all responsible for this momentum.  Of course, I think that we are creating some of this momentum for ourselves as well.  Let me share some insights.

Contact center has become mainstream within Cisco, a real change from the niche market view of customer care that the company had in the past.  The talented Cisco sales force has embraced our industry-shaping innovations in Customer Collaboration, which combines traditional contact center technology and processes with key innovations in social media, Web 2.0 agent workspaces, video, and network-based recording and analytics to empower businesses to forge deeper, proactive relationships with their customers. Customer collaboration empowers our own customers to succeed, and there is clear focus on this market, starting with key Cisco sales executives, who exhorted the Cisco sales team at the global sales kickoff in August that, “The time is now for Cisco to stand up and claim leadership in Contact Center.”  Needless to say, hearing that from one of the top sales leaders in the company put an extra spring in my step.

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Cisco Helps Zone Labs Transform Their Use of Social Media for Customer Care

Zone Labs is using Cisco SocialMiner to track social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, increase customer engagement across the social media landscape and increase revenue. In the video below, Zone Labs CEO Petter Etholm describes Zone’s new social media strategy with Cisco SocialMiner. Cisco and Zone will be hosting a multi-city TelePresence fireside chat with press and analysts tomorrow to talk further about the changing nature of customer service and the customer-led revolution in customer relations.

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How to Listen

The ability for a business to effectively communicate with their customers in a manner that is supportive of HOW the customer communicates is changing rapidly these days.  Many people are happy communicating via phone while others have made a full on switch to social media platforms – areas that may allow them to express themselves more fully to an audience that they have defined.   Many of us…may just like to hear ourselves talk.

The challenge for a business today  is how to listen.  If I complain or want to rant about a negative experience with your company, should I expect a response?

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It’s Time for Change!

Jess Wells, our long time Community Manager and expert content provider has decided it’s time for her career to take her in new directions.  She’s done such an amazing job here and we thank her for all her hard work. Read More »

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