You have the unenviable task of assembling the bookcase that you bought and have left in the middle of your living room since it was delivered more than a month ago. You quickly realize that the instructions which say that the entire bookcase can be assembled with a single screwdriver is way beyond your mechanical prowess. You go online and start a chat conversation with the customer services department, and when the agent asks which bookcase you are asking about and what your order number is, your mind goes blank, and the only thing you can type is “The #$%$^ one that I cannot assemble.”
Frustrated you go back to assembling this monster bookcase only to be stymied several minutes later by another problem. This time you call the customer services department directly. This conversation follows the same flow as the chat with the agent asking you which bookcase and what is your order number. This type of scenario is not uncommon, and for agents as well as customers, the result is a lot of frustration and a huge waste of time.
Now imagine the same scenario, except this time even before the caller says a word, the agent understands the caller and the context of the call: “Good day Mr. Jones, it seems that you purchased bookcase model XYZ. Great choice! I see that you chatted earlier with my coworker who helped you with step 5 in the assembly. Do you require further help assembling the bookcase?”
In this scenario, the context services have enabled the agent to seamlessly follow the client's customer journey across multiple channels right where they left off. The call has gone from one of frustration to one that is personalized, efficient and beneficial for both the client and agent.
In this article, we will discuss Cisco Context Services and how it is designed to help contact center agents follow a customer’s journey enabling them to provide a connected omnichannel customer experience.
Take Me On The Customer’s Journey with Context Services
So how does this work?
The Cisco Context Service is a cloud-based service that interoperates with Cisco Contact Center Express and Contact Center Enterprise solutions. The Service enables the contact center to gather the associated contextual data of a client from multiple applications. These contextual data breadcrumbs, called PODs (Pieces of Data) trace the customer's journey allowing the agent to provide the appropriate assistance right away.
In other words, Cisco Context Services follows the customer journey by tagging and indexing data from the methods that customers use to interact with the associated Contact Centers business – such as voice, chat, social media, email, and web. Knowing the customer journey enables agents to adapt to the expectations of their customers, making the experience more appealing to all parties.
According to the 2017 State of Global Customer Service report by Microsoft:
- 72% of respondents expect agents to know who they are, what they've purchased and have insight into their previous engagements.
Where Can I Get Context Services?
Cisco's Context Service is an out-of-the-box cloud-based solution with the following Contact Center solutions:
- Unified Contact Center Enterprise
- Packaged Contact Center Enterprise
- Unified Contact Center Express
- Hosted Collaboration Solution - Contact Center
The Context Service API integrates the front end, back end, retail, and Internet of Things applications to capture the complete customer journey.
Interaction data can be indexed from multiple channels including:
- Voice (including IVR)
- Chat and email
- Internet of Things
This being said, in order to generate or read interaction PODs from Context Service, one has to add code to IVR scripts (UCCX, ICM, and CVP all have native functions built-in to their editors to do this), chat & email solutions, e-commerce websites and other customer interaction channels. Similarly, an out-of-the-box Finesse gadget is provided for displaying PODs to agents – however, as is often the case in contact center environments, additional development may be required to customize the agents’ interface with Context Service PODs for a fully optimized and efficient workflow.
Cisco's Context Service shifts the service experience from one where the customer is always frustrated to one where they are pleasantly surprised at the level of service and insight that the agent has when they answer the phone.
The Professional and Managed Services teams at Stack8 are experts in Cisco UCCX and UCCE; they can help you with all of your Contact Center requirements, including the integration of Context Services to your environment.