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Cisco Support Community Wins Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service

a2The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are part of an international competition designed to recognize excellence in disciplines that are crucial for business success. Organizations of all sizes from all over the world altogether entered over 1,100 entries for this year’s competition. Recently, winners of the 7th Annual Stevie Awards were unveiled at a gala ceremony held in Las Vegas, NV.

Among the lucky champions was the Cisco Support Community (CSC), which was awarded within the “Innovation in Customer Service – Computer Services & Software” category for its innovative web platforms and customer service offerings. Known for its creativity and high business impact, the community strives to leverage its software-enabled community capabilities, social media, mobile technology and open APIs to redefine the future of services. Their efforts have not only resulted in over $200 million a year in cost savings for Cisco through case deflection but also accelerated design and architecture with key partners.

Congratulations to the team and all 2013 Stevie Award winners for their commendable achievements!

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Better Customer Service through Collaboration

Good news: Customers are becoming people in 2013. It’s prediction season. The blog world is ripe with posts of premonitions and predictions for every horizontal, vertical, and diagonal cross-section of business, science, and life in general.

The year’s predictions for customer service have a strong focus on people and experience. Look back just two years and you’ll see a greater emphasis on the process and operational pieces of the puzzle. Then, customers were essentially the sum of their activities and accounts. Today, they’re people and need to be treated as such, especially with the power that social media affords them to share opinions, feedback, and feelings about their interactions as your customer. (Feelings? Not those! Can I even mention those in a corporate post?!)

Some common phrases pop up in this year’s predictions: experience, multichannel, social media, differentiation, personalization, collaboration.

Contact centers are moving beyond transactions to relationships. Service is becoming a competitive differentiator. Creating more interactive and collaborative customer relationships is making a difference. Customer satisfaction is about more than making sure the customer gets the product and that the product works. It’s about creating loyalty so that customer comes back and becomes your advocate.

How can collaboration technology help along the way? The following use cases provide several options and benefits: Read More »

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Predictions for Customer Care in 2013 and Beyond

In the past year, we’ve seen how social, mobile and video have presented new opportunities to deepen the way companies and customers interact for more efficient and intelligent customer care. As we begin 2013, I wanted to offer up a few predictions on how technology innovations will continue to help organizations build strong relationships and better consumer experiences in 2013 and beyond.

This year, mobile and video will come together to simplify customer service interactions– As video is becoming commonplace, we’re seeing companies look for ways to bring in the right customer service expert instantly. Cisco is currently trialing technology to connect consumers with video experts via mobile devices both in-store or on the road. By pulling intuitive information based on location and what detail the customer has recently looked at on the web or mobile device, this technology will route customers to the right expert to help them get the additional detail they need in a simpler and more efficient manner. Imagine, accessing a paint or decorating expert with just one click in the paint aisle at your neighborhood hardware store or even while you’re outside painting your house.

In the next few years, marketing and customer service responsibilities will merge – Consumers are talking about brands all over the web in places like Twitter and Facebook, sites which have over 500 million and one billion active users respectively. Traditionally, social media has been owned by marketing but with people asking service questions in new social channels, companies will need to merge some of these responsibilities between the call center and marketing. Read More »

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

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 Retailers should look for in 2012 – Happy Holidays

2011 is drawing to a close as I am writing this blog and Cisco is going on company holiday until after January3rd 2012. 

I will be taking time off myself to recharge after Christmas before heading off to National Retail Federation 2012 in New York. 

I thought I’d wrap up the year with what I think retailers will need to be looking at in 2012.

The Five Areas I think retailers need to pay attention to going forward are:

Read More »

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