At Cisco Live, Hans Hwang, VP of Cisco Advanced Services spoke with Todd Walthall, Vice President, Digital Servicing Integration from American Express about how they are taking their customer service to the next level. By partnering with Cisco, American Express is piloting video chat capabilities in their American Express iPad application. With a push of a video icon button on an iPad, a video window appears, and a customer connects directly to a customer service representative to receive concierge service.

AmEx at Cisco Live 3c

Seeing this demo reminded me of a recent session I had the opportunity to attend where Rob Honts from Accenture presented on customer retention and loyalty, which is part of their annual Global Consumer Pulse Research survey. One of the key findings that Rob highlighted from the survey is that the number one reason customers stay with and switch their service provider is due to customer service. Not convenience. Not product.  Dare, I say it? Not brand. But customer service.

In working with businesses across the globe we have found that connecting via video collaboration delivers a more personalized experience over voice alone. You see the body language. You not only hear the voice inflection, but also see facial expressions of the person you are talking with. With the new video collaboration capability, American Express is taking their Relationship Care brand of service to the next level of personalization. It is more personalized. It takes the personality of American Express to a new, more engaging level for their customers.

AmEx at Cisco Live 4c3 v1Simplicity and ease of use for the customer is key. But embedding video chat into a mobile application requires being able to, in the background, route the chat to the “right” customer service representative who can properly advise/help your customer. Working with Cisco, American Express was able to harness the power of video and routing of the customer request within their iPad mobile application. American Express’s solution uses Cisco Mobile Advisor, which is part of the Remote Expert family of solutions that financial institutions are applying to deliver an omnichannel experience to their customers.

If you are considering embedding video chat in your mobile app, you should consider three things:

  • The experience must be simple to use
  • Put the customer in touch with the specific expertise requested
  • Customer service should be well trained for video

With Mobile Advisor a single button starts a video collaboration session with the expert, who has been specifically trained and suited for being on camera to answer any question the customers throw at them.

This new level of customer service is optimizing people-to-people interaction in the age of the Internet of Everything, by connecting the customer with the right expertise, at the right time…..as determined by the customer. The Cisco Mobile Advisor solution can also include application sharing, so the customer and expert can jointly fill out a form, as well as do onscreen annotation where the expert can draw on the screen to direct the customer’s attention to particular content.

American Express’s new iPad app is advancing customer service to a new level, where a human-to-human interaction builds trust, and that service professionals can use that trust to be consultative with customers.

For more information about how to improve your customer service, please visit www.cisco.com/go/financialservices.


Leni Selvaggio

Global Senior Manager

Financial Services Industry