In this installment of the “We’re Listening” blog, Steve Young discusses how Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) teams are using collaboration processes to solve customer problems faster. Steve is Director of the TAC’s Service Delivery Transformation efforts.

Steve Young, Director, TAC Service Delivery TransformationBy Guest Contributor Steve Young

In my last blog posting, I discussed what we’re doing to get you, TAC customers, to the right expert, right away, when you need support. This time I’d like to focus on what we’re doing to improve your experience once connected with that engineer.

In the past when you contacted the TAC with an issue, our approach to resolution was based on a traditional escalation model. If the first engineer you reached couldn’t resolve the case, he or she would transfer or escalate your case to another engineer, with the result that you would have to re-explain your issue. You made it clear that this simply didn’t work for you or your business. We listened. Now you’re no longer faced with a traditional approach – our new collaborative model changes all that.

The vast majority of cases that the TAC handles are solved by the first engineer, but some complex cases, particularly those that touch multiple technology areas, may require additional expertise. In the collaborative model, the first TAC engineer you reach becomes the case owner, or “anchor” engineer, for the duration of the case, and is responsible for pulling in other engineers to work on your problem as needed. In this way, the power of the team solves much more complex issues, much faster, saving time both for the TAC and for you, our customer.

Customers are expressing enthusiasm for the new collaborative model, which has been implemented across all global TAC sites and regions. In particular, customers are currently experiencing:

  • Faster, more efficient case resolution
  • Less frustration due to fewer escalations (we’ve reduced escalations by half over the past seven months, based on the percentage of total cases)

Customer feedback like the following lets us know that we’re on the right track:

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration resources we now have at our disposal.… Thanks to you and everyone who has made this ’solutions’ process possible.”

Customer comment on our TAC Transactional Survey


“Thank you both for your partnership and commitment to our success…. This is TAC support and cross technology collaboration at its best.”

Customer letter

Look for more changes as we transform our business processes and tools to bring you a better support experience.  Please reach out with feedback or questions by e-mailing ciscolistens@cisco.com.


Curt Hill

Senior Vice President

Customer Assurance