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Mr. Spock Meets The Contact Center

One of the most enduring characters introduced in 1960’ television vas the venerable “Mr. Spock” of Star Trek fame. Leonard Nimoy played Spock after having only modest acting success before being cast as the half-human, half-Vulcan in 1964.

Among the many attributes Spock had, two relate to the modern contact center and customer experience paradigm.

Spock Logic 

First, Spock’s primary attribute was an extreme affinity for logic. No matter how far off the handle Captain Kirk had gone, he could always be counted on for a logical response to any situation  His almost robotic responses were cold, even if they were effective.

The tides are shifting in the contact center world in this regard.  Companies are revisiting the notion of scripted and tightly controlled customer conversations with contact center agents.  Since most of the calls, chats, and texts come into contact centers as exceptions after customers have attempted other business processes, it is imperative agents use positive language and more conversational approaches.  This is critical with customers who may be as “off the handle” as Captain Kirk could become!

The Human Focus

Second, Spock had an affinity for calling humans “carbon based units” Read More »

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Can Your Customers Name Your Brand in Three Notes?

Drummer Bernard Purdie has played on over four thousand recordings in his fifty-year career. The self-proclaimed “Hitmaker”, he has recorded with Steely Dan, B.B. King, Hall and Oates, Miles Davis, and Louis Armstrong among many others. Included in his many contributions to music is his famous half-time “Purdie Shuffle”. You’ll hear it featured in such songs as Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” and Toto’s “Rosanna”.

Check out Purdie explaining how he created his unique shuffle:

Read More »

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Mobile Growth is Key Focus at 2015 ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference

The explosive growth of mobile offers the greatest opportunity for contact centers. If the consensus among those at ICMI’s Contact Center Expo and Conference is any sign, mobile is the place to focus.

But while there’s consensus about mobile, there isn’t consensus on a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center. However, participants and speakers at ICMI did not have a standard definition of mobile customer care. Many consider mobile to be just another device to support or another channel into the contact center.

I talked to Nemertes Research Analyst Lisa Durant to get her perspective. She agrees there is a dramatic evolution in the industry as mobile interaction continues its explosive growth as a contact method. Durant takes a broader view of mobile customer care to include “any interaction using a mobile device.” Whether a customer makes a voice call to a contact center, completes a transaction online, or engages via social media, she points out that the user is most likely on a mobile device.

As a silver sponsor at ICMI, the Cisco team experienced that strong interest in mobile. Attendees kept the booth staff busy demonstrating Remote Expert Mobile. Armed with iPads and Cisco DX80 endpoints, Cisco engineers Brian Cole and Doug King demonstrated products in the Cisco Customer Collaboration portfolio, including Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, Remote Expert Mobile, and Context Service.

The Evolving Mobile Customer Experience

Despite continued growth in mobile, Read More »

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“Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza” Customer Experience and Cisco Context Service

Due to a middle school crush, I became a fan of Elton John during the most prolific point in his career, releasing a series of records I still enjoy today.

Always looking to impress, I’d listen to the albums again and again looking to memorize the lyrics if the chance for a sing-along ever presented itself.  If a verse was hard to understand, I’d take my best shot, which occasionally produced comic results.

Little did I realize there’s a cottage industry of misheard song lyrics, with one of the most common being, “Hold me closer Tony Danza” from Elton’s song “Tiny Dancer”. Wow, talk about ruining the context of a song!

Context is an increasingly critical element of customer experience. The historical process of identifying and qualifying a customer during a real-time experience can backfire without context. Take my friend who called to report an outage on his cable service and was repeatedly upsold for an “enhanced” package during his queue time and agent interaction. We call this “doing the wrong thing right.”

Context provides the foundation for more personal, relevant and differentiated service – the battleground in the Experience Era.  Read More »

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What to Know: Virtual Face-to-Face Engagements for Midsize Business

Have you ever imaged what your company would look like if you only employed the best and the brightest employees? Midsize business leaders, just like enterprise companies, need to recruit and retain the most capable employees. They recognize that because today’s talent is on the move, the best employees may not be local.

There is a new understanding for midsize organizations: To remain competitive, they need new ways to support engaging face-to-face virtual interactions. Midmarket organizations also recognize that as employees juggle their time to have fulfilling careers, simplifying their ability to maintain a work-life balance is also important. Let’s face it: Connecting people on a very personal level is good for business.

KO12012So how will this help my business be more successful? Collaboration technology can amplify the value of each participant’s talents and contributions. It is this thinking that has led many midsize organizations with which I’ve spoken to use collaboration technologies to engage more personally with their customers, stakeholders, partners, and others (suppliers, consultants, or specialists) regardless of their location.

To put the cherry on top, it is now easier than ever to enable your dynamic workforce wherever they are. I’ve seen midmarket companies use Cisco collaboration technologies such as Sub-Zero and Vital Images to help improve their customer and employee engagements to drive revenue and success. Read More »

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