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. 

Cisco understands the context challenge and has just introduced Context Service – a cloud based solution that stores customer journey data in the Cisco Intercloud. Your service resources can take advantage of this uncommon knowledge can be leveraged at key moments of truth in customer interaction processes. (For those immediately thinking about security, the data is encrypted/decrypted on-premises, and stored as encrypted blob in Cisco data centers. It uses an open metadata framework known as a POD, or “Piece of Data.”) Based on this elegant model, you can utilize many long-wished-for contextual elements during a customer interaction. To name just a few examples:

  • Access a customer’s previous interactions
  • Automatically map callers to open support cases
  • Provide “last agent” routing
  • Route interactions based on customer sentiment
  • Tag outbound contacts with important attributes
  • Follow customer choices through an IVR process

The good news? If you’re a Cisco customer, with Cisco Contact Center Enterprise, Contact Center Express, or Hosted Contact Center solutions, Context Service is a no-charge option.  It’s an opportunity to add a significant layer of insight to how well you can deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Otherwise Cisco Collaboration Solutions are a great starting point to improve your customer experience and introduce context into your customer engagement strategy.

And if Tony Danza is one of your customers, all the better!

By the way, if you’re interested in seeing other misunderstood lyrics, check out this great list.


Zack Taylor


Cisco Global Collaboration