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Declutter For Your Customers

We’re moving.

After twenty-five years in the same house, my wife and I will soon be living in a new place.

Moving isn’t fun. It’s not just leaving the home where we raised our two boys, but getting rid of all our unneeded items. We’re not hoarders or packrats, but it’s downright astonishing how much stuff (I won’t use the word junk) we gathered over the years.

beverly hillbillies

Businesses can be like that, too, can’t they? Read More »

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No More Bankers’ Hours: Join the Live Chat

“Bankers’ hours” started disappearing with the advent of ATMs in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, online and mobile access has made the transactional side of banking a 24/7, anytime, any place proposition. And that’s just the beginning. Innovative financial institutions and startups are also bringing disruptive new business models to deliver higher value banking interactions, such as financial advice and wealth management. The drive to the branch has been replaced by the drive to digital.

How can financial institutions stay ahead of this wave of disruption? I hope you’ll join me @pdjameson on the upcoming #CiscoChat to tackle that question next Tuesday, November 3rd at 1:00 PM EST / 10:00 AM PST. Together, we’ll consider such questions as:

  • In an age of commoditized transactions, how can banks differentiate themselves?
  • Where should banks focus as they seek to evolve their current business models?
  • What kinds of on-demand services do customers want?
  • What’s the key to winning wallet share of the digital customer?

Read More »

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Are You (Customer) Experienced? Jimi Hendrix and CX

Like most “overnight” sensations, Jimi Hendrix was not an immediate success. He burst onto the American music scene at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, after a fascinating series of events first turned him into a superstar in the U.K.

So much of what happened to Hendrix parallels the global rise of customer experience as a sustainable business differentiator.

An interesting attributes that connects Hendrix and customer experience has to do with naming conventions.  Although born with the first name “Johnny”, his father renamed him “Jimmy” at age three.  Additionally, early in his career, Hendrix was known by several stage names – one being “Jimmy James.”

In this regard, is customer experience really just warmed-over or renamed customer relationship management?  The answer is an emphatic “No.”

Much like the music Hendrix made when he hit international stardom was far different than what he played early in his career, customer experience is categorically a much different concept than CRM.  You can find a clue in the words “management” vs. “experience”. The desired business outcomes may be significantly different – and customer experience implies that it is both the means to an end and the end itself. Read More »

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The Branch: A Retail Bank’s Secret Sauce to Success

So This Guy Walks into a Branch…

I like to think of myself as a tech-savvy consumer, and that includes my banking habits. That means that I rarely step across the threshold of my bank’s branch, since most of what I need can be accessed online, or via my bank’s mobile app.

However, when it comes to complex interactions and larger spending decisions, I still prefer my local branch. What’s more, I have repeatedly gone back to the same bank as we have added new investments, even when they didn’t offer the best rate. Why? Because I value their expert advice, their understanding of my history, and, most importantly, their ability to see the whole picture — rather than just an isolated transaction.

Bank Customers Want It All

In this sense, I am not alone. The digitalization of banking has transformed customer expectations and behavior. Advances in technology have allowed customers like me to manage our own accounts remotely, from any place at any time. Yet for the more complex transactions, we still prefer personal interactions at our local branches.

Ian's blogAn annual survey of 1,000 U.S. adults for American Bankers Association (ABA) by Ipsos Public Affairs, in August, 2014 found that consumers are embracing mobile banking in ever-increasing numbers. However, in-person branch visits are still popular with many customers. Preference for branch banking had increased year over year from 2013, from 18 percent to 21 percent, and 89 percent of customers who come to the branch required advice for complex financial products.

Today’s customers expect the best of both worlds: the convenience and easy access to online banking, along with the expert advice and personal guidance from their local branch. In short, they expect a blending of the physical and virtual, a value proposition that online-only banks cannot match. Read More »

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The Best Service Humanly Possible

Sitting in traffic the other day, I tuned off my Peter Frampton Spotify channel and started to listen to New York area local AM radio. The president of a mortgage business came on in an advertisement. He ended his pitch with the tag line “I promise you the best service humanly possible”.

This caught my attention. At one time I would have viewed this as a very positive statement. But is this still the case?

Consumers consistently cite the “indifference of one person” as a key reason they leave a supplier relationship. (Source: TARP).

The contact center industry has long counted on non-human software applications to attempt to emulate human interaction. This could be as simple as “if-then” routing schemes to sophisticated avatars which emulate human engagement (just “Ask Jenn” at Alaska Airlines – http://www.alaskaair.com/content/about-us/site-info/ask-jenn.aspx) Read More »

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