Boats are a passion of mine. As any boating enthusiast will attest, boat owners are constantly looking for enhancements – a tweak here and there to improve their vessel and their experience on the water. However, you reach a point when there’s nothing left to fine tune and if bigger and faster is the goal, you have to buy a bigger boat.

Customer service follows the same premise. There are areas where small, incremental changes are an effective way to improve customer experience. But, as customer demands and expectations increase, a “bigger boat” approach may be required where you implement transformational changes to processes and systems that aren’t meeting customer needs.

Listening to customers is the best way to determine the extent of change necessary. Cisco has various customer input methods, but face to face interaction is one of the most valuable and effective. Customer events like Cisco Live are a great place to connect and gather feedback through interactive listen and learn activities in our Cisco Experience (CX) Lab.

We have a great team who takes this show on the road to Cisco Live venues around the world. Lauren Wright from Cisco Marketing recently set a course for Cisco Live Melbourne where the CX Lab engaged customers on experiments in three focus areas: digital transformation, post-purchase experience, and their online experience with Cisco.

I asked Lauren to explain the CX Lab activities in more detail, what they’ve learned so far, and how we’ll use the feedback to determine any major or minor adjustments needed.

Guest Author: Lauren Wright, Cisco Marketing

We’re navigating the globe, getting to know and understand our customers better so we can improve interactions with Cisco. The CX Lab is our workshop where we apply principles like human-centered design and qualitative research methodologies. This powerful combination helps us understand customer care-abouts on a deeper level.

But wait! Don’t let these research terms give you the wrong impression. We’ve designed the CX Lab to be interactive and fun – a must-see booth at our Cisco Live events. As Curt mentioned, we focused on three topics this year, gathering feedback to shape and improve these areas. Here’s an overview of what we did:

1. Digital Transformation – What does it mean for you?

Ahoy, mateys! If you’ve set sail on a digital transformation journey, we want to understand what you need from Cisco. Based on a sailboat analogy (just for you and the boaters, Curt!), this CX Lab experiment prompts your thinking about what’s driving your organization towards digital transformation or what’s holding you back. We also navigate into more treacherous waters using a pirate ship metaphor to get your input on the role of security as it relates to digital transformation. Insights from this exercise help Cisco articulate our vision for digital transformation and how we can help our customers get on board.

2. Post-Purchase Experience – You purchased a Cisco product, now what?

In this exercise, we walked in your shoes to learn what you experience when receiving, installing, using, and renewing Cisco products and services. Using an emoji scale ranging from big smiles to angry frowns (and every emotion in between), customers expressed a sentiment about each phase. With this feedback, we can streamline renewal experiences and make them more effortless. Results so far have given us improvement ideas such as enhancing post-sales care with onboarding materials for new products and doing a better job of incorporating training.

3. Online Personalization – You be the cisco.com designer

Using a whiteboard and magnets representing various tools and resources, customers and partners built the cisco.com of their dreams, customized with videos, white papers, product overviews, statistics, self-help channels, and other modules exactly where they want them. This exercise showed us how  our site is used, what’s working, and where the experience breaks down. Feedback has helped us de-clutter and clean up cisco.com pages by prioritizing content, eliminating or updating outdated content, and adding new information such as data sheets and installation guides.

Our next port of call is Cisco Live Las Vegas June 25 – 29. If you’re attending the conference, please stop by and explore the CX Lab and experiment with us. You can also reach out to us directly at cxlab@cisco.com and we’ll set up some time to talk. Hope to see you in Vegas!


Curt Hill

Senior Vice President

Customer Assurance