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Customer Collaboration Offers Something for Everyone

Cisco’s contact center business is on a roll, as companies of all types and sizes embrace Customer Collaboration at an ever-increasing rate to forge deeper, more proactive relationships with their clients.

Today’s press release showcases three such companies-- CareCore National, Skowhegan Savings Bank, and AAA of Western and Central New York--who, although very different, are all transforming and growing their business with Customer Collaboration.

These companies highlight the widespread applicability and benefits of Customer Collaboration, which combines proven, traditional contact center technology with the power of social media, video, web 2.0 agent workspaces, and network-based recording to allow businesses to closely interact with customers in ways that were never before possible.

Each of these companies is different, with its own unique requirements for interacting with customers.  But Customer Collaboration from Cisco offers something for all of them—a way for Skowhegan Savings Bank to connect with existing and prospective clients via Cisco SocialMiner and Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, a platform including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Cisco MediaSense for CareCore National to deliver a better support experience for its physician clients, and an integration of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise with workforce and quality management solutions for AAA of Western and Central New York to connect more efficiently with its growing customer base.

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“What If” Could Be Now: A New Retail Experience

March 7, 2012 at 7:04 am PST

Consider me a weekend warrior of the DIY home-improvement world. My projects are likely laughable (in scope and outcome) in the eyes of the professionals, but if that’s the case, they’re not invited to my next barbeque. So there.

Granted, I sometimes experience delusions of grandeur as I envision transforming my fixer-upper into a quaint Sunset magazine-worthy before/after feature. Norm Abram will never worry about me usurping his reputation, but I like fixing things when they break and looking at something I’ve improved and knowing I did it.

I can swing a hammer and even use a tile saw, but most projects involve a lot of learning and asking questions along the way. Sometimes that’s a bit of a process – finding the answers I need or the people who have them. Read More »

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What Does the New Collaboration Experience Mean to You?

For me, collaboration in business is about people working together across functions and disciplines from the C-Level suite all the way down to the mail room. It’s about the experience. When people get intellectually and emotionally involved with others through collaboration, it’s that set of experiences, thoughts, and feelings that bond them together in a common cause.

More businesses are recognizing that critical relationships with both their internal constituents and external stakeholders—employees, partners, investors, media, and customers—are about the collection of experiences and touch points those audience members and key collaborators have with their organization. So, if collaborative relationships are a continuum of experiences, then it follows that businesses should optimize those experiences for maximum impact. To learn more about how the customer care industry evolved to focus on “the complete experience,” click here.

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The UK Press Perspective on Customer Collaboration

As I’ve blogged recently, we are in the midst of a significant push in the UK contact center market.  Customers, partners, and key influencers have validated that we have the right strategy, vision, and ability to execute to make a real change in the market.  Coming out of my visit to the UK, are two articles published this week that do a great job of explaining how we are competing in the market.

First, Neil Davey in mycustomer.com, details a conversation that he and I had along with Andy Chew, one of our senior collaboration sales leaders in Europe.  The full article/interview is here: http://www.mycustomer.com/topic/social-crm/ciscos-plots-aggressive-customer-collaboration-expansion-uk/133446#

Additionally, Alex Blyth in the lead story of “Fifty Reasons to Love Call Centres” a special supplement in Saturday’s London Times, outlined a number of changes in the customer service market, including our perspective that self-service should be used appropriately, but is not a catch-all for all customer requests.  The supplement can be found Read More »

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A Partner’s View on the Changing UK Contact Center Market

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog “Customer Collaboration Takes the UK by Storm”, a big part of my week in the UK was spent meeting with key channel partners.  One of those partners, Touchbase, made it clear that they see the same changes that we’re seeing in the market. Formerly Avaya’s largest partner in the UK, Touchbase began seeing changes in the market a few years ago—so much so that they transitioned their business entirely from Avaya to Cisco.

Mike Danson, Managing Director of Touchbase UK, shared some thoughts with me in a short video here: http://communities.cisco.com/videos/8619.

Beyond the video, Mike shared with me the investments that Touchbase is making in being able to demonstrate Cisco Customer Collaboration to customers at its new Executive Briefing Center and also shared a quote from one of their clients, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, a 2200-person law firm with more than 300 contact center agents on Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise.  The firm’s Group Operations Director, Gary Jackson, said, “Our communication infrastructure lies at the heart of our business. It’s therefore crucial that we have the support of companies like Touchbase who can offer their expertise and knowledge to help ensure we can continue to grow.”

I also love to hear about customers and partners that are seeing success with Cisco solutions.  That’s certainly the case with Touchbase, and I look forward to seeing more of that success as we continue to focus on the UK market.

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