In my previous blog, I walked you through the Cisco Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail demo that I presented at NRF. This solution helps retailers catch, keep, and entice customers to buy and buy more.
This solution was explored in greater depth at NRF during our Big Ideas Session: Deliver Compelling Shopping and GREAT Customer Service with Interactive Technologies. This session focused on how delivering a compelling shopping experience and exceptional customer service with interactive technologies can help drive sales. Attendees heard how interactive touch screens, digital signage, and video collaboration can help retailers delight and engage consumers, cost-effectively address shopper questions by using local and remote experts, and quickly convert in-store browsers into buyers.
Watch the video below to hear our session speakers provide a summary of this compelling Cisco Big Ideas Session:
We do a lot of shows about video of course. It’s always a challenge I think when it comes to defining what the unique value of a given story needs to be. In this case, we were not featuring newly announced technology, which greatly simplifies the direction for us -- but we were considering what we thought were some unmet needs.
Our goal for this episode: To make Cisco video for collaboration more approachable for every customer.
Cisco does a lot of things in the broad category of ‘video.’ With more than 8,000 engineers working on video innovation, Cisco is a video powerhouse. Our teams have filed 1,700 video-related patents in the last five years. Innovations include TelePresence, Videoscape, Show and Share, Media Experience Engine, and Pulse Analytics. Internal innovation has been augmented with acquisitions including NDS, TANDBERG, BNI Video, Inlet, and ExtendMedia.
As we talked to customers and experts within Cisco, we kept coming back to a structure best defined as ‘where are you now’. In other words, video itself is not new as a concept…but as we narrow down to say this is about interactive video…it became helpful to consider where most Cisco customers might be starting from:
Cisco Voice -- you are familiar with call manager but have not explored the video capabilities inherent to the platform.
Telepresence - you have some high quality video deployed but its special…only for high end events or people.
Tandberg -- you are good with video but its a distinct system from your other communications -- Cisco or otherwise
Third Party and Cave Dwellers -- Anything from non-Cisco mixed environments to the luddites among us.
The assumption is that video is valuable and that the more pervasive and simple it can become in your organization, the more competitive and nimble you can be. So, with value established, the question becomes about execution.
Our executive guest has a very diverse business and video background who joined us from Tandberg. Jacob Nordan is Senior Director of Product Management for the Collaboration Business Unit. Powers had the honor of hosting his interview. Jacob set the tone for us by highlighting not just our success with various customers, but specifics around how these leaders were using video to pioneer change in their business.
Nathan Shaw joined us for our segment on ‘Understanding Video Endpoints.’ Nathan has been a guest on our show dating back to the very first Telepresence show we did where we helped him load up a Toyota 4-Runner with a CTS 500 so we could get it in the studio. Nathan is an awesome guy with a great background -- AND…he is a gushing, proud new father. Could not be happier for him…and very impressed with his photography skills.
From endpoints, we pursued ‘Understanding Video Infrastructure’ with Cynthia Lee. She was a bundle of energy grabbing the pen from Jimmy Ray to help us understand where things like MCU’s and Border Controllers become important to achieve certain video communication objectives.
Jimmy Ray did a Master Class on the intersection of video and security. Its was pure fun with Network Address Translation (NAT), Application Level Gateways (ALG)…avoiding risk and things that will go bump in the night.
We stole a segment from our upcoming new BizTech show that covered some advancements in using ‘Remote Expert’.
We wrapped up with Phil Marachel. We wanted Phil on to talk strategy as he is with our Cisco Services team. His street creed for video is fantastic however as he was doing video way before it was mainstream. As an engineer Phil worked on the biggest systems from PictureTel, the first MultiPoint bridges from Accord…all giants in the earlier years of video.
Hope you enjoyed the show. This is officially episode number 126 of TechWiseTV and we are loving the support you all continue to show us.
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 »
I led the demonstration of the Cisco Remote Expert Smart Solution for Retail in our booth. This solution transforms how you connect and interact with your customers. It offers a superior video and collaboration experience between shoppers and remote experts from any location within your store. It can help you entice shoppers to buy and more easily up-sell additional products and services while improving customer service.
Our retail customers were engaged and excited by this demo. Every time a live video call was placed to our Remote Expert in the booth, they immediately began discussing how this solution could be applied in their store environments to enhance the customer experience and train employees. Multiple customers returned to the demo several times, each time bringing different colleagues to re-experience the demo and discuss options for deploying it in their stores.
Increasingly over the past several months, I have been working with more and more retail banking clients. A common theme has emerged during these discussions that centers on video and collaboration in the branch. The top of mind question is, “how are banks using video in the branch to grow top line revenue in a very tightly regulated environment and with ever increasing downward pressure on fee revenues?”
As retail banks have slowly emerged from the global financial crisis of 2008, they are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate themselves with their products and services. Studies show that the branch is still relevant in the eyes of the retail bank consumer, but the role the branch will play in the future is beginning to change.
Cisco’s IBSG team published a white paper on this topic, which covers the transformation that banks are currently going through. Retail banks are wrestling with moving from a multichannel environment to an omnichannel environment. The difference is, instead of offering a different experience and set of products and services across various delivery channels, they offer a more integrated and consistent experience across delivery channels. These traditional delivery channels include: branch, Internet and contact center to name a few. Currently, the mobile channel is growing in popularity and use, especially with new applications like remote deposit capture right from a mobile phone or tablet. Read More »