Cisco unveils social network monitoring tool

Cisco this week unveiled software designed to let companies track customers and prospects on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other public forums and sites.

Cisco SocialMiner allows users to monitor status updates, forum posts and blogs of customers so they can be alerted of conversations related to their brand. The software is designed to not only enable enterprises to monitor the conversations of their customers but to engage those that require service, Cisco says.

Citing data from Nielsen, Cisco says 34% of online Americans have used Facebook, Twitter or other social media to “rant or rave” about a product, company or brand.

“With more and more Web-based conversations taking place over these social platforms, it’s now more critical than ever that businesses are aware of what their customers are saying about them and are able to respond to general inquiries or rectify customer service issues so as to enhance and protect brand reputation,” Cisco states in its SocialMiner press release.

Cisco says it’s been using SocialMiner internally since the spring to manage customer engagements involving its consumer products, including the Flip videocam. The software would pick up conversations that mentions Cisco Flip and then a Cisco agent would proactively join the discussion, says John Hernandez, vice president and general manager, Customer Collaboration Business Unit.

If discussions included information of a sensitive matter they would then be taken offline, Hernandez says.

SocialMiner is a component of Cisco’s Contact Center customer service system. It can also be purchased for use with a non-Cisco contact center system, Cisco officials say. In each case, SocialMiner costs $1,000 for the server and $1,500 per agent license.

In addition to SocialMiner, Cisco also rolled out Cisco Finesse, a Web 2.0 application that it says combines traditional contact center functions with its Quad enterprise social networking software. Quad was introduced earlier this year.

Cisco Finesse is designed to compile customer data into a single “cockpit” so customer service representatives can improve interactions and responses. Finesse costs $1,500 per agent.

Cisco also unveiled a media capture and storage device that records, plays, streams and stores audio and video media for preserving and mining through customer interactions. The media capture platform 8.5 allows companies to review previous caller issues to rectify current situations.

Media capture platform 8.5 costs $250 per voice recording session and $300 per video session.

All of the products will be available by the end of the year.

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