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Connecting the Customer Experience Through Social #CiscoListens

January 28, 2013 at 6:50 am PST

Integrating Social Media Channels into Existing CRM Systems and Processes

The year is 2024, and you just walked into a department store to return a pair of jeans. As you enter the store, the near field communication (NFC) chip in your smartphone tells the store who you are because you have enabled the privacy settings to do so. The store knows you’re an active fan on Facebook. You’re even classified as one of their ambassadors. You’ve been identified as a frustrated customer after posting a comment on the company’s Wall about your brand new jeans being defective. One of the sales representatives receives an alert message that you’ve arrived, and she’s waiting for you in the jean section, holding a new pair of the same jeans, in your size, ready to make an exchange. The NFC chip in your phone has already confirmed your identity, reducing the need to show a receipt, credit card, or drivers license. You’re out the door with a new pair of jeans faster than you’re able to post a raving review on their Facebook wall, reclassifying you as an advocate in their CRM system.

“They replaced my busted jeans without even asking a question!”

OK, the year is not 2024, Cisco doesn’t sell jeans, and I’ve only been able to use NFC once in the year I’ve had it on my smartphone. But haven’t you wished that the company you just called already knew the past phone, email, even Facebook conversations you’ve had with them so that you didn’t need to explain yourself to them again and again? Isn’t your time valuable, shouldn’t all of their systems talk to each other to create a better, not worse experience for you? Read More »

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A Social Opportunity is Knocking #CiscoListens

December 19, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

A social opportunity was knocking but it was hard to hear, buried under thick layers of social noise and harder to reach by the right people with the right message. Cisco knew customers wanted to engage and were using social media tools to ask questions and share about products and services. But  knowing what people were saying about Cisco and their purpose for saying it, required a strategy that met both needs.

Cisco assembled a team that would listen for and support  a customer from their first social media post through the entire engagement. Members of Social Listening, Global Contact Center and Virtual Sales teams all met to discuss what it meant to develop and nurture a social channel.

The team’s initial instincts were right. Customers do use social media to research products and just as critically they use it to purchase.  Research from the IBM Institute for Business Value analysis – CRM Study 2011 illustrates the potential and possibility of meeting customer expectations.

Perception Gap Read More »

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Are Your Customers (and Prospects) Talking About You? (Part 2)

September 21, 2012 at 10:23 am PST

Yesterday, I shared information on how to get started with social media listening, what to listen for, and the types of information you can gain from listening. Now that you have an idea of what your customers and prospects are saying, what are you going to do with all of that information?

Well, that’s when the good stuff happens! The insights you’ll get from social listening will help you:

  • Build your social media marketing strategy – you’ll have more insights about your audience, who exactly is participating in social media, in which social channels the conversations are happening, how frequently and actively are they posting, and what they are talking about.
  • Have a dialogue with customers and prospects –  you want to do this carefully, thoughtfully, person-to-person, and with a customer-service mentality, but participating in social media conversations gives you the chance to thank fans, find prospects, help those with problems or questions, discover problem areas you might otherwise have missed, and build better relationships with your community.
  • Share what you learn with the rest of your organization – product feedback will be useful to your support and development teams, lead opportunities will get sales excited, your executives will want to hear about emerging trends and what kinds of business problems customers are looking for technology to solve, and marketing can see the traction that offers and marketing campaigns are getting.

As an example, here’s a situation where we were getting feedback via social listening from customers about challenges with firmware downloads. We responded to this disgruntled person (who clearly was appreciative of our efforts), but it also led us to put a temporary fix in place to make the experience easier while we worked on the longer-term solution.

Here at Cisco, we have a central Social Media Listening Center where we are continually tracking mentions of the company, key technology areas and events. It functions as a command center to route questions, issues or even potential leads to various teams across Cisco (many of whom are also doing their own ‘deep-live’ listening work for their specific area of expertise). We also can launch listening centers for special events, including our recent listening center in London for the 2012 Olympics.

We’re also eager to share some of our social listening highlights with you, our partners! Read More »

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Are Your Customers (and Prospects) Talking About You?

September 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm PST

I’m sure you know what your customers want – you talk to them all the time, right? But what do they say about you – or your products, employees, website – when you aren’t involved in the conversation?

Hopefully, what they say when they don’t know you are listening isn’t much different than what they’d say to your face. Well, the truth is, people are talking about you, whether you are listening or not. So if you COULD listen, wouldn’t you want to?

Forget the things you’d rather not hear – “What did she do to her hair? Does he really think that joke is funny?” – when it comes to your business, hearing more can only be a good thing.

Enter social media listening – a fancy phrase for reading relevant things that people post on social sites – and voila, your long-distance hearing just improved! And by hearing better, you can make significant improvements to how your business runs, deciding what to market and sell, focusing your resources, and strengthening your relationships with customers, prospects, and your entire business community.

How do I get started?
You can use sophisticated monitoring applications like Salesforce Radian6, Cymphony/Visible, and Cisco Social Miner, but you can also get started with free tools like Google Alerts, Technorati, TweetDeck or SocialMention. Before you invest in a paid application, it’s a good idea to play around with putting keywords into one of the free tools to get a sense of the type and volume of results you’ll get back.

What do I listen for?  Read More »

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Are You Ready to Become a Social Enterprise?

That was the theme of the Salesforce Cloudverse event last week in San Francisco. There were over 20,000 in attendance and Salesforce did an amazing job integrating customers throughout their event including Cisco. I was asked to participate in a pre-keynote interview on stage with Peter Coffee where he asked some questions around our use of Radian6.

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