What one company is doing to help businesses build socially-savvy relationships with their customers
We all want to be taken care of: pampered and respected. It is a proportional benefit with a brand conversation with the company and customer. In today’s world of social network connections and viral ranking atmosphere, customer care can be a loud voice. How many times have we tweeted our displeasure in a coffee line, pre-order our meal on the go, or managed our banking on the move with mobile devices. We think it is a one-way conversation but in reality it is not.
I spoke with John Hernandez, Vice President and General Manager, Customer Collaboration of Cisco Systems. We discussed in length the efforts and trends we can expect in 2013. He gave me two touch points: mobile and video will come together to simplify customer service interactions, and marketing and customer service responsibilities will merge which will lead to customer service that will come to you.
In a work-smart corporate lifestyle, some small business may be dragging their feet, but as Britt Michaelian cites more advice that a company can easily undertake a new operational feature with employees. This “new normal” practice of a media and device-savvy deployment builds the brand experience and solidifies customer participation in real-time conversations while deflecting problems ahead of time. Creating a virtual desktop for customer care representatives is the foundation of Cisco’s success within certain industry verticals, such as healthcare, finance and retail.
Mr. Hernandez at Cisco refers to this “new normal” as True Customer Collaboration. To put it into perspective, this lower-cost, more efficient call center platform can bring a one-click operation to a small business’ command center. He commented that “Companies who ignore the online chatter that they are opening up opportunities for their competitors and allow a dialogue about their brand. To have that conversation happen without them, it does not allow them to defend their brand. As an active user of social media, Cisco realizes the value of social media interactions to our business. Our employees were some of the earliest adopters of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social sites. Our own Consumer Products Group is already using Cisco SocialMiner to collaborate with their customers.”
Software algorithms can monitor social network conversations and provide suggested responses from customer care professionals to the customer, thereby helping to retain their loyalty and quell potentially negative publicity on. If desired, systems can capture media across an audio, video, and social landscape to supply solid business intelligence. The collaboration expert at Cisco also cites that internal stakeholders gain a better understanding for each other in their respective departments. The business becomes whole instead of fragmented.
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John Hernandez is a Vice President and General Manager in Cisco’s Collaboration and Communication Group. Mr. Hernandez, published author and creator of Cisco’s Customer Collaboration strategy, manages the research and development of Cisco solutions for the customer care marketplace. His vision combines traditional contact center technology with key additions in social media, network-based multimedia recording, web 2.0 agent workspaces, and video to enable businesses and organizations to forge deeper, proactive relationships with their customers. Additionally, Mr. Hernandez is closely involved in the go-to-market activities with the Cisco sales force and partners. Follow @CiscoJohn.
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About Cisco Collaboration
From award-winning IP communications to mobility, customer care, Web conferencing, messaging, enterprise social software, and interoperable telepresence experiences, Cisco brings together integrated network-based collaboration solutions based on open standards. These solutions, as well as services from Cisco and our partners, are designed to help promote business growth, innovation, and productivity. They are also designed to help accelerate team performance, protect investments, and simplify the process of finding the right people and information.