blog image ZT call center 1_2015In 1982, the Australian group Men at Work reached the #1 spot on the Billboard music charts with a song titled “Who Can it Be Now?” The accompanying early MTV-era video proved to be extremely popular, portraying a visitor to an apartment peering through a keyhole. And it didn’t hurt that lead singer Colin Hay had a very interesting set of eyes to feature in the short. In case you haven’t seen this classic, check it out here:

Unfortunately, the very same paradigm hinders today’s customer-experience strategies. We invite customers to our businesses, and when they arrive we often ask the equivalent question: “Who are you?” This is still true in today’s contact centers, where customers are asked to self-identify through any number of authentication processes.

What’s difficult to grasp is that many of these customers are current accounts, which means you have information about them. And there are numerous in-process ways to use that information to recognize, acknowledge, and greet them – without asking “Who’s there?” 

Most customer-experience strategies vie to provide highly personalized interactions, yet the constraints of legacy identification and qualification processes limit their success.

The good news: Companies are attacking this challenge. Leading companies are breaking through the customer-identification barrier with new techniques, including voice biometrics, facial recognition, or simply mapping customers’ mobile numbers to provide personalized greetings in self-service.

Check out this example of customer experience leader USAA’s answer to this problem, combining facial recognition and voice biometrics in a new category called “multifactor authentication.”

Look for more solutions like these to emerge this year and beyond.

With most consumers citing cumbersome authentication as a top source of frustration in contacting a company, it’s a winning combination.

Check out Cisco’s Customer Collaboration Solutions as a great starting point.

In 2015, there’s no longer a reason to ask “Who Can it Be Now?”


Zack Taylor


Cisco Global Collaboration