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Delivering More Personalized Customer Service

At Cisco Live, Hans Hwang, VP of Cisco Advanced Services spoke with Todd Walthall, Vice President, Digital Servicing Integration from American Express about how they are taking their customer service to the next level. By partnering with Cisco, American Express is piloting video chat capabilities in their American Express iPad application. With a push of a video icon button on an iPad, a video window appears, and a customer connects directly to a customer service representative to receive concierge service.

AmEx at Cisco Live 3c

Seeing this demo reminded me of a recent session I had the opportunity to attend where Rob Honts from Accenture presented on customer retention and loyalty, which is part of their annual Global Consumer Pulse Research survey. One of the key findings that Rob highlighted from the survey is that the number one reason customers stay with and switch their service provider is due to customer service. Not convenience. Not product.  Dare, I say it? Not brand. But customer service. Read More »

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Driving Serious Digital Disruption, with a Spirit of Fun

Not all workdays begin with a convoy of cyclists hailing from India, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and America. And fewer still wind up with creations made of LEGOs, spaghetti, string, and marshmallows.

Yet every workday — no matter how challenging — should have the same spirit of diversity, adventure, and assumption-busting repartee that I experienced at THNK — The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership.

Once our Cisco Consulting Services colleagues finished winding through the streets of central Amsterdam each morning, we got down to the serious business of “hacking” some key global issues, together with our friends at THNK.

THNK-NVilla

One of those issues has evolved into a Cisco/THNK partnership challenge, inwhich we will share Cisco’s expertise on the Internet of Everything (IoE) to solve some global problems around food safety and food distribution. I will speak more about the Internet of Food initiative in a subsequent blog.

Another key challenge was to foster digital disruption in the Internet of Everything (IoE) age — a time when our enterprise customers, and especially their end users, are demanding rapid transformation.

That level of change stems from the kind of open innovation and inclusive creative processes promoted by THNK in Amsterdam. Those processes are also being embraced by Cisco at our innovation hubs in such places as Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Songdo, South Korea. At these centers, IoE cornerstones such as cloud, mobility, Big Data analytics, and social media are already enabling digital disruption — and will continue to accelerate it.

Read More »

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Understanding Your Customers – Cisco FSI’s Key Takeaways From Retail Banking 2014

We recently attended Retail Banking 2014 in Orlando, FL, where a wealth of information and best practices were shared, with much of the focus on how the banking industry is moving forward with the evolution of the customer experience. This year’s conference focused on the issues that bankers must deal with now and in the future:  revenue growth, branch optimization, digital banking, analytics, the evolution of social media, and of course, Omnichannel.

I have highlighted below a few of the key concepts and quotes from the speakers at the conference that you might find interesting. Read More »

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What the Internet of Everything Means for Insurance

©Michael Tompert  2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

©Michael Tompert 2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

Moving to one-to-one relationships: It’s incredible to think about the impact and influence. Cisco predicts $14.4 trillion of value will be “at stake” over the next decade, driven by “connecting the unconnected” through the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE triggers a 19 trillion dollar global opportunity based upon the growth statistics of more than a 7.2 billion population, with an average of 3.47 devices per person, yielding more than 25 billion IP connected devices all by 2015, growing to 50 billion by 2020. TED Talks keynote speaker, Rick Smolan, author of The Human Face of Big Data, comments, “It’s like the earth is growing a nervous system.”

How does this impact the insurance industry? On a one-to-one level, customer’s cars, houses and human anatomy (e.g. Fit Bit) can all be connected; providing critical information about risk and rewards in real-time. In the distribution channels, it can change the way carriers, agents and brokers conduct business, both virtually and face to face. Read More »

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Open 24 Hours: Bringing the Full Capabilities of the Branch to Digital Channels

In my previous blog I introduced the series with the idea that financial services firms are now being expected to operate and be “Open 24 Hours.” Underlying this is the transition from the physical business model to the digital business model. This principle can be built upon by exploring the factors that are driving this change and some of the challenges that need to be addressed.

The explosion of digital devices, mobile apps, Wi-Fi everywhere, cloud computing and broadband internet together, provides consumers with increasing ways to explore and shop online. With increased use, shopping and buying online is quickly becoming the normal approach, especially with younger consumers. In fact, a recent study found that 64 percent of generation Y pays half or more of their bills electronically.

Increasingly, consumers start their purchasing journey in the digital space – primarily on the internet. This initial step is usually preceded by a referral from a friend, colleague or family member based on a superior experience. Regardless, the trend for consumers especially in the retail industry is to shop online and purchase offline.

How is this manifesting for retail banks? Just look at the forecasts of usage patterns and changing transaction mix across banking channels. Recent industry surveys all confirm that the volume and mix of transactions is forecasted to change over the next five years. Specifically, the internet, through mobile channels, is increasing in usage. The branch channel is expected to flatten and in developed markets, expected to decrease. In addition, the nature and type of transactions traditionally conducted in the branch is shifting to digital channels, as more technology-enabled solutions are deployed. Read More »

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