After years of consideration, a friend of mine finally caved and bought a Tesla. He described an interaction with them recently that really got my attention. He got a notification stating that he was overdue on his payments, but he had already set up autopay. He called their customer service department, was connected directly to an agent who knew exactly who he was and that he had just purchased his car. Before he could even finish stating his question, she told him that he was all set, and the problem was solved. The interaction was over almost before it started. The reason that caught my attention is that his interaction had many of the attributes I expect in a great customer interaction: no need to wait, no need to work hard to prove who he was, no need to repeat himself, and with full context into his past relevant interactions with the company.
From Customer Service to Customer Experience
Customer expectations are rising, and it’s because consumer brands like Disney, T-Mobile, Airbnb, and Tesla are setting a new standard for what a great customer experience means. Customers want to engage when it matters, for example, in the middle of a shopping experience or when an item is about to be delivered. They want support on their own terms on any mode of communication. They want options for self-service or to connect with a person who is empowered with the right tools to meet their needs. And they really appreciate it when you can anticipate issues and proactively reach out to them. This is the future of customer experience.
Businesses now compete not only on products and services, but also on the quality of the interactive experience they can offer to their customers. But today’s customer experience technology creates fragmented and often frustrating customer experiences that cause customer churn. Businesses can no longer tolerate silos, because customer interactions aren’t limited to a single department within an organization, they occur across many touchpoints, including contact center, customer experience organizations, marketing, or in the products themselves.
A Single, Connected Customer Journey Requires a Single Technology Platform
To provide a single, connected customer journey, businesses must have visibility into all customers interactions across the business whether they be from mobile app, messaging on Facebook, responding to a marketing email or talking to a contact center agent. Cisco’s answer is the Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS) offering that brings together artificial intelligence, experience management, collaboration tools, omnichannel capabilities, and programmability. This comprehensive platform gives organizations the ability to provide high quality experiences that customers expect.
Today, with our completion of the acquisition of IMImobile, we have taken another step on our path towards delivering this future of customer experience. IMImobile’s suite of products and solutions contributes to our CXaaS vision with:
- Omnichannel interaction enablement from IMImobile includes popular messaging and social channels like WhatsApp, RCS, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter and WeChat. It also supports standard channels like voice, chat, SMS, email and in-app notifications.
- A suite of purpose-built applications that provide out-of-the-box SaaS functionality for function-specific interactions, including a full cloud contact center solution, management and automation of marketing campaigns, service and operational notifications for customers and video assistance for teams and customers.
- Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) infrastructure to enable customization of communications via APIs. This provides a programmatic way to consume interaction channels so that a business can create its own applications or embed communications in existing experiences.
- In addition to API access, the platform allows for the automation and orchestration of customer interaction workflows. For example, a workflow can direct an incoming call to a voice bot that automates the interaction and, if necessary, escalates to a pool of service representatives that are skilled in a particular type of problem resolution.
- The workflow orchestration enables any business user who doesn’t know how to code to use a visual designer that can orchestrate customer interactions.
- In addition to designing the communications flow, the flow builder can also design workflows that touch internal business systems like CRM or shipping or scheduling. This enables businesses to rapidly integrate and change workflows on demand, saving time and reducing costs.
By combining IMImobile’s solution with Webex Contact Center and building on our previous investments in the space, Voicea (AI) and Cloudcherry (Experience Management and Analytics), Cisco will be able to provide the most comprehensive CXaaS offer on the market, giving businesses the technology they need to provide delightful customer experiences across the entire customer lifecycle.
Cisco + IMImobile = Better Together
As we were getting to know the IMImobile business, what immediately struck us were the synergies in our enterprise go-to-market motion. IMImobile boasts an incredible list of global, blue chip clients such as Barclays, Hermes, Best Buy, and Walgreens. They’re recognized by Gartner, Forrester, and IDC for their work in helping their enterprise client base transform their CX and manage customer interactions at scale. We’re excited to scale IMImobile’s products through Cisco’s massive distribution, introducing them to our Webex portfolio of products alongside over 600 million meetings users per months, over 100 million UCaaS endpoints, 1.7 million video endpoints, and 3.6 million contact center agents.
I’m excited to welcome the IMImobile team to our organization. After close, we’ll keep the two teams functioning separately within my organization in the spirit of supporting IMImobile’s existing strategic ambitions. Over time, we’ll work together thoughtfully and diligently to integrate IMImobile’s products into Cisco’s products to deliver the greatest value to our customers – and yours.
Visit our website for more information about this acquisition and Cisco Contact Center solutions
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