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Delivering a Next-Generation Customer Experience

Hi, readers! You haven’t heard from me recently, as I’ve been travelling and talking to Cisco customers. My colleague Jason Bettinger and I recently had a wonderful time at CDM’s Customer Experience Summit in Chicago, IL. CDM Media Summits bring together leading C-level executives, analysts, and solution providers to network and attend interactive agenda sessions on the latest business topics and trends.

At the event, we gave the opening keynote presentation to address how enterprises can strive to meet the ever increasing demands of the customer.  The summit brought together some of the leading executives from a variety of industries to explore ways of confronting and overcoming current industry issues. This year’s conference focused on topics that enterprises must deal with now, not in the future:

  • Leveraging Big Data
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Digital Interactive Marketing
  • Monetization of the Customer Experience
  • Customer Engagement Management Platforms

Increasingly, institutions are focusing on customer experience as their primary competitive advantage. Those with the highest customer experience ratings typically enjoy some of the best financial performances when compared to their competitors and research has demonstrated a high correlation between experience to loyalty and loyalty to profitability. Companies are asking themselves: How do we design and deliver differentiated customer experiences that truly matter? What expectations do today’s consumers have for customer care?

In our keynote, we showcased how new technologies that generate more positive outcomes in the customer experience era align with future business models across industries.  We discussed how consistency and personalization are critical to achieving new levels of customer experience and the factors that need to be considered when trying to achieve both.

Delivering a Next Generation Customer Experience Keynote

“Consistency may be one of the least inspirational topics for most managers. But it’s exceptionally powerful, especially at a time when retail channels are proliferating and consumer choice and empowerment are increasing.” -- McKinsey & Company

Today, institutions are being challenged to meet the ever-increasing demands of the customer, something that is becoming more complex. Many have found that addressing those demands requires more coordination than ever – it’s about moving to true customer collaboration throughout the customer journey and proactively engaging the customer by combining traditional tools with the power of the future.

Customers are driving how and when they interact and demanding an engaging experience. Therefore, organizations across all industries must evolve their customer care to align with new business models -- addressing customer experience imperatives with new capabilities. The keynote can be viewed here.

We received some great feedback from those who attended our keynote. Below are a few key themes we heard from attendees:

  • The importance of the customer is at the center of the ecosystem
  • Consistency and personalization are not mutually exclusive
  • Examples show that every industry is being impacted by the trends in the market today

As you can see, we had a great time at the Customer Experience Summit and we are already looking forward to next year’s conference. Did you attend? Let us know your feedback from the event in the comments section below.

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Delivering a Next Generation Customer Experience – Cisco at CDM’s Customer Experience Summit

We had a wonderful time at CDM’s Customer Experience Summit in Chicago, IL last week. CDM Media Summits bring together leading C-level executives, analysts and solution providers to network and attend interactive agenda sessions on the latest business topics and trends.

Customer Experience Summit Group

At the event, we gave the opening keynote presentation to address how enterprises can strive to meet the ever increasing demands of the customer.  The summit brought together some of the leading executives from a variety of industries to explore ways of confronting and overcoming current industry issues. This year’s conference focused on topics that enterprises must deal with now, not in the future:

  • Leveraging Big Data
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Digital Interactive Marketing
  • Monetization of the Customer Experience
  • Customer Engagement Management Platforms

Read More »

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Don’t Miss our Financial Services Sessions at Cisco Live Milan

Now more than ever financial services companies are wrestling with reducing costs, increasing revenue, and mitigating risk. Cisco Live Milan is a chance for Cisco customers and partners to learn more about innovations that can help address these challenges while meeting business goals.

This year at Cisco Live Milan, we have the following financial services industry sessions:

BRKIND-2111: Enabling Omnichannel Interaction to Capture Greater Wallet-Share in the Retail Banking and Retail Industries

Wednesday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m.

Today’s evolving financial consumer wants tedious transactions automated while valuing interactions that enhance their financial situation. Did you know 2/3 of banking customer segments want anytime-anywhere full-service banking … and will not do business without it? Learn how Cisco can make you a hero at your bank … by enabling omnichannel banking to increase your wallet-share!

BRKIND-2333: Capturing Trading Alpha with Performance and Intelligence in Financial Markets

Wednesday, January 29 at 4:30 p.m.

As ultra-low latency architectures become the foundation of trading fabrics, embedded analytics and instrumentation capabilities are critical to capturing key opportunities in a fast-paced market. Due to these growing data analytic requirements within the architecture, scalable fabrics—without compromised latency—are becoming more important. Learn how Cisco’s High-Performance Trading Fabric is unique in the marketplace in its ability to enable competitive advantage in the form of capturing sustained trading Alpha.

If you are attending Cisco Live Milan, we invite you to visit us in the Cisco Collaboration exhibit area in the World of Solutions where we will show you how you can transform your customer interaction business model to:

    • Improve sales, cross-sales, and upselling
    • Acquire customers faster
    • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
    • Control costs and boost efficiency
    • Enhance regulatory compliance

We will be demonstrating the newest release of Remote Expert, a solution that is gaining adoption around the globe. Why? Here is what one financial institution is saying:

“The Cisco solution has helped us improve customer satisfaction and staff efficiency while at the same time increasing mortgage sales. The business case in favor of the Cisco solution stacked up quickly.”

Andrew Nation, Senior Manager,
Future Customer Outcomes at Nationwide Building Society

If you are already registered to attend Cisco Live Milan, you can register to attend these sessions on your Cisco Live Schedule Builder today. For more general information on Cisco Live, please visit the main event website here.

See you in Milan!

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Omnichannel Is Changing How You Do Business – Sort Of

This is the final installment of a series on how retailers can address the challenges of becoming an omnichannel business. I’d like to wrap up by talking about a deceptively simple stumbling block – accepting that being an omnichannel seller changes how people work.  I spend much of my time talking to retailers, and this really is a big issue.

For example, I have seen stores install – and then turn off – Wi-Fi deployments because they worry that associates will waste time surfing the web. And, yes, some might. But consider the cost compared to customers knowing more than your salesforce because they’ve been doing online research. It makes your team look uninformed, lowers the quality of service, and impacts sales. Obviously, you don’t want workers to play games all day. Instead, train them to find and use online product information, social media, and reviews that will help improve response to customers – and deal appropriately with the exceptions.

Related to this are issues around Wi-Fi access for customers. If you provide it for employees, please just go ahead and extend this to shoppers. Universal store access allows you to optimize your brand with both employees and customers (and enables far more effective analytics). I guarantee that you will lose relevance over time as consumers learn your store is one of the few without mobile service.

As well, I’ve met retailers who won’t add Wi-Fi because they are convinced that the only outcome will be showrooming and ultimate desertion. It’s time to shed the fear of this increasingly common customer practice. Instead, leverage it as a new marketing tool. You can drive sales by being part of the customer’s social media experience, delivering your own identity, branding, and incentives. A recent Accenture study shows that younger consumers still want the in-store experience, but they also expect retailers to integrate personalized shopping across all channels.

Let’s talk more about this at the NRF Big Idea Sessions in New York, where I and Jon Stine, Lisa Fretwell, and Kathryn Howe will be speaking on Jan. 13 and 14.  Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more about these popular seminars, and stop by Cisco Booth #1954 to say hello.

The idea of omnichannel selling can be daunting, and getting the benefit may entail learning to manage a certain amount of risk. But you know – it’s just retail. The environment is becoming more device-driven and the way stores look is changing. But giving consumers what they want; interacting with, understanding, and nurturing them: It’s still the business of retail. And you know how to do that.

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Pick the Low-Hanging Omnichannel Fruit

This blog is the third of a series on how retailers are addressing the challenges of becoming an omnichannel business. We’ve talked about how omnichannel selling is not really about rushing to invest in some whiz-bang technology – in fact, I think stores often try to do too much at one time.

Instead, a smart approach to your implementation is to find the low-hanging fruit – projects that have the highest probability of effectiveness and can be measured against business targets as a whole. Remember that every store has its niche, and one size does not fit all. By achieving rapid successes up front, you gain funding for the next piece of your strategy, building from success to success to achieve omnichannel entry.

For example, some retailers look at how to make it easier for shoppers to buy and return where they want. Stores don’t carry the same selections from region to region, and they need processes and systems to make such an approach successful. The key is inventory management: figuring out how to sell, reorder, and exchange products in stores that also serve as fulfillment centers.

Other retailers focus on building a strong relationship with shoppers through excellent customer service. For example, instead of picking up the red bat phone or having “Customer assistance on Aisle 3” called over the loudspeaker, consumers can contact remote experts on their own mobile device or through a kiosk. Still other stores may put resources into user interfaces, branding, and site useability. These personalized approaches also pay off in better information about the customer, allowing retailers to use video analytics and sensors to get help to the shopper faster.

To help stores define their best path forward, they often make use of “innovation platforms,” systems designed to allow you to quickly set up and try out new merchandising, practices, or seasonal locations.  Innovation platforms let you experiment with capabilities that leverage organizational strengths, hitting on the cylinders you want to address. Each success helps build the business justification for the next stage, supported by your cost/benefit analyses, baselines, and measurements.

Let’s talk more about this at the NRF Big Idea Sessions, where I’ll be speaking on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2:00-3:00 ET, in Room 4. My topic is “Detect, Connect, Engage: Enhance your Customer Experience with Mobility,” and I’ll discuss how to personalize the mobility journey and new strategies for delivering a meaningful customer experience. Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more about these very popular seminars. As well, please take time to attend some of the demos in Cisco booth #1954. These include several technologies that fulfill the requirements discussed above.

I’ll see you at NRF!

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