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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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Championing the Case for Contact Center Analytics!

Contact centers have always been awash in data and data crunchers. But based on progress in data science, there is a renewed focus on analytics and how you can use it to differentiate your customer engagement strategy. When competitors offer similar products and use comparable technologies, your customer service strategy can offer meaningful advantage to your brand.

Using analytics appropriately, forward-looking companies can wring every last drop of value from their contact center processes.

Traditionally contact centers have used metrics like Average Hold Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), Abandon Rate, Occupancy, Adherence to manage the operation.

However, now they want to leverage additional data; what are the upsell opportunity, how much customers will pay; how many items each will buy in a lifetime; and what triggers will make people buy more.

Many contact centers now want to use additional data to answer more strategic questions, such as:  Read More »

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The Steely Dan Contact Center: When “Do It Again” Isn’t a Hit

In 1973, the group Steely Dan burst onto the music scene with two hits from their first album “Can’t Buy A Thrill.” Setting the standard for obscure lyrical references, a loyal following for the band endures even in 2015.

One of the hits, Do It Again raced up the charts as a pop-music rarity – a hit song in a minor key. Most Steely Dan fans have concluded that it’s about a gambler that must return to the tables. For a vintage rendition of the song, check out this link:

I had a recent experience that highlights just how much Do It Again resides in today’s contact centers. After being unable to locate the answer to my question on their web site, I engaged a long-time financial-service provider supplier for live help. Read More »

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Cisco CMX @ CES 2014

internationalces14This week CES was once again held in Las Vegas with in excess of 100,000 people in attendance.

Cisco demonstrated a number of CMX and IoT related things this week.

Firstly “The Internet of Everything:  On The Go”

In the Cisco booth some future thinking was applied with a concept that imagines the shopping experience with a simulated retail environment:  “BigBox.” While shopping at BigBox, visitors can walk through a combination of experiences involving location-based data, video, predictive analytics, security cameras, and sensors – designed to help retailers enrich the shopping trip for their customers, and more efficiently manage their stores.

Somewhat scary for some and exciting for others, while all the time enabling retailer increase their bottom line and deliver improved and personalized shopping experience to the consumers.

The next demo “Starlight Resort” was a combination of CMX, and Small Cell capabilities in the hotel resort environment. Read More »

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