Partnerships are about trust, plain and simple. They are about knowing that the person looking you in the eye from across the desk, dinner table, conference room, or stage considers their success linked with yours.
Trust is the foundation of the Cisco + Partner relationship, and it extends to the way we do business with our customers. Our race track metaphor, an infinity symbol of engagement and commitment, speaks to this on every level.
Total trust in each other
Imagine the kind of trust that exists among race car driver and pit crew. The success of that driver literally rides on the way each person does his or her job. Every member of the crew and driver must work seamlessly together. No shortcuts. No hand-wringing. Just decisions based on each side’s expertise. Confidence comes from knowing you’re invested in each other’s success. And that you trust each other completely.
Success in the Cisco + Partner Customer Experience Lifecycle works the same way.
Every time we partner to serve the needs of our customers – starting at the beginning of the race track when the customer establishes a need, to the time of purchase and onboarding, from implementation to use, from engagement to adoption, and from optimization to renewal – it’s a reminder that Cisco and our Partners are there for every step of the journey. Today and tomorrow, ten or twenty years from now, regardless of how the technology and products change.
Sending this message increases customer loyalty, which can lead to increased renewals, upsell opportunities, revenue streams and referrals. Beyond that, every successful interaction reinforces to customers that Cisco and our Partners are committed to using our collective expertise to build those bridges – not just to our own customers, but to our customer’s customers too.
Change and engage
This is why you’ll hear us talking about changing how we sell, and how together we will engage all around the Lifecycle. In conversations with Cisco AMs, we hear time and again about the importance of engaging our Partners so they have everything they need to better deliver at every stop.
Defining customer success as our success is how we do it.
If all this sounds familiar, it is. As part of the evolution toward Customer Experience Specialization, we’ve talked about the importance of Partners taking full advantage of the incredible tools available today. This includes using Lifecycle Advisor to scale customer success practices and customer engagements. We’ve also recommended accessing the resources and tools available via SuccessHub and Lifecycle Advantage.
All the tools you can use
Along with these resources, we’re continuing to invest in best-practice, sustainable models for the Customer Experience. We’re developing new roles, training, certifications, tools, telemetry and insights – all geared to better aligning the Cisco + Partner relationship. Helping you and your Cisco counterparts move forward in this transformation, and establishing the right operational, business and organizational models, better equips all of us to serve our customers.
Where exactly are we investing?
- New Certifications to help our Partners hire new talent that can deliver the experiences our customers demand.
- Customer Experience Specialization. This is our first business specialization and builds on the success of Lifecycle Advisor.
- Telemetry, Insights and Tools to better arm and align our customer success teams so that we, together, can accelerate success with our customers.
- New Lifecycle Capabilities in our new CX Offers that Partners can resell and/or jointly deliver. Capabilities, such as Ask the Expert Webinars and Accelerator Workshops, designedto help our Partners engage throughout the customers’ Lifecycle. This increases value for customers and creates new opportunities for them to sell more of their own services and products – all while increasing their renewal rates.
Keeping the conversation going
From Cisco Live Melbourne the first week of March 2019, to a Services Partner event in Florida also in March, and now off to other Partner events in Rome and Budapest, we are on a mission to engage Partners in the Customer Experience conversation. We’ve also spent time following up with Partners in every region since our Summit in November. Your feedback and ideas continue to guide our transformation to a Lifecycle-first approach – one that’s relevant for you and our mutual customers.
By keeping an unwavering focus on the road ahead – meaning new ways to serve and sell to customers across the Lifecycle – our customers receive the benefits of the business impact they sought from us in the first place. If we don’t, we all risk losing them at the renewal stage and beyond.
While you’re visiting the resources linked above, don’t forget to take advantage of the Live Learning series and best practices resources available in the Success Hub. It’s just another tool designed to help build the Cisco + Partner Customer Experience practice.
And, when it comes to measuring success, remember: Our success depends on the success of our customers. When they win, we all win.