Cisco’s Customer Experience Strategy For Field Service
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Research from Gartner shows that customer experience (CX) is set to outperform both product and price as the key brand differentiator.
In an era of unprecedented access to information, brands have nowhere to hide. With customer feedback and reviews being more prevalent than ever, there is so much more to purchase decisions than simple cost and quality considerations. Think about the last time you made a purchase on Amazon or eBay. Did you just grab the cheapest version of the item that came up, or did you read down the listing and see what other customers had to say about their experiences?
The field service industry is no exception to CX pressures, with clients demanding the same kind of customer experience from service providers as they've come to expect as consumers.
As one of the biggest providers of networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products, Cisco understands the importance of customer experience across all parts of its business - including field service.
This knowledge has driven the California-based technology conglomerate to completely overhaul its customer experience policy and put the infrastructure in place to meet the expectations its clients have.
"I've worked with channels in many different ways. I know when we get it right and when we don't," said Cisco's Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer, Maria Martinez. "My commitment is to get it right. That's why we're talking for the first time about a customer experience strategy and plan. We're going to continue doing the support services. Our goal is to drive and expand; we're going to focus on the business-critical services, and we have some life-cycle programs, that are getting good feedback - and we'll continue those."
Cisco's customer experience for field service goes far beyond basic customer service and communications. They're putting the tools and solutions in place to adequately meet the challenges and issues faced by its clients each day. Not only does this mean being able to respond quickly and effectively when customers report a problem, but also having the ability to anticipate and predict issues before they arise.
This includes the further implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Connected sensors installed in the machines Cisco is responsible for servicing and maintaining can report back in real time to the field service provider's servers. Problems can be detected early, and a Cisco field service engineer can be automatically booked to attend on-site. Parts which are faulty can be fixed or replaced before they break down completely, and prolonged periods of downtime - and the resultant damage to revenue - can be avoided.
The sort of clients who employ Cisco are incredibly busy people and anything which can reduce the amount of time they have to attend to field service issues is going to make for a stronger customer experience. IoT technology removes the need for clients to attend to faults or even book engineer appointments themselves - helping them keep on with the business of running their companies.
To help facilitate this new focus on customer experience, Cisco has expanded its support capabilities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) and opened a new dedicated CX Center in Portugal.
"Portugal is a key market for Cisco, demonstrated by its inclusion in the Country Digital Acceleration program," said Vice President, Southern Europe at Cisco, Santiago Solanas. "We are very excited to further strengthen our commitment to accelerate the national digital agenda. This highly strategic CX Center in Portugal will bring investment and employment opportunities for engineering and business professionals."
The main role of the new CX Center will be to help facilitate the kind of digital transformation described above across the entire Cisco organization.
Everything from big data and augmented reality technology to IoT and AI will be considered from the perspective of customer experience, and how these devices and concepts can be deployed to further cement Cisco as a global leader in its field.
Technology is helping field service providers develop better solutions for their clients and improve customer experience across the board. With CX becoming an ever more keenly felt differentiator, brands who dedicate themselves to this cause are likely to have the best chances of success in the future.
"Customer experience is a key growth area for Cisco," said Vice President of Customer Experience Centers for Cisco EMEAR, Phil Wolfenden. "We are delighted to bring this new center to Portugal, which will play a key role in Cisco's global strategy to serve customers, partners and internal stakeholders in EMEAR and beyond."
You can hear Cisco's Senior Director of Customer Experience, Laura McCarty, speak at Field Service Amelia Island 2019, taking place this August at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, FL.
Download the agenda today for more information and insights.