Photo by Alan Light

Remember when moustaches were cool? For those who weren’t paying attention, it was back in the 1980s when Tom Selleck–sporting that signature facial hair–ruled the T.V. airwaves as private investigator Magnum, P.I. Most guys old enough to shave (or who thought they were) tried to proclaim their manliness with a Magnum-style moustache. We thought 128 kB of RAM and the 5 1/4″ floppy drives on our IBM XT personal computers were pretty neat, too.

The early 80s were also the last time many consumers thought that contact centers–or call centers, as they were known then–were cool. People appreciated being able to call businesses if they had a question about their bill or needed product information (remember, those were the Dark Ages before the internet). But as related in a noted white paper, contact centers soon became more about minimizing costs than providing exceptional customer care. And of course we started getting annoying telemarketing calls in the middle of dinner.

In the last couple of years, however, customer care has begun to swing back in favor of the customer.

Even though businesses continue striving to cut expenses and operating costs, today’s customer collaboration solutions let them do so while still providing outstanding customer service. What does this look like?  Top businesses differentiate themselves by ensuring a consistent, high-quality experience regardless of how, when, where, and why consumers choose to engage with them.

Key characteristics of this new customer experience include:

  • Reduced customer effort as they interact with businesses and organizations.
  • Persistent context and data as the customer traverses multiple care channels such as the web, IM, social media, and video.
  • Personalized customer journeys that reflect who they are, what specific assistance they need, and how they’ve engaged with the business previously.

After some thirty years, contact centers are cool again. If only moustaches were!  (Disclaimer: The author has rocked a moustache since 1982)

Learn more about how your business can offer the new customer experience here.


Jeff Campbell

No Longer with Cisco