Happy CX Day! October 5th is officially recognized globally as the day in 2021 we get to celebrate customer experience (CX). Because we at Cisco CX feel experience matters, we’re declaring October #CXMonth!
To kick-off CX Month, Thimaya Subaiya, SVP of Customer Experience and one of its chief architects, spent some time explaining what CX means at Cisco, its future, and why it is essential to accelerate value for our customers throughout their technology lifecycle in order to deliver the best experience.
Why would Cisco dedicate a whole month to CX?
Subaiya: For me, every day is CX Day. Just celebrating CX on October 5th doesn’t seem enough considering how critical it is to our customers today. We’re extending this celebration throughout October to expand awareness around what we consider our customers’ primary needs: outcomes and experiences. Our customers don’t want to hear about what we can sell them. They want to know how we can help them achieve their goals to sustain and grow their business. That is what is top of mind for us, every single day.
What challenges are customers facing today and how are we helping to solve them?
Subaiya: Implementation is critical. For customers to realize full value of their purchases – especially in a multi-cloud world with multiple suppliers and software with numerous features – integration also becomes key.
This is where CX comes in. We don’t just support what customers buy from us; we also help architect and drive implementation, ensuring software interacts effectively with third-party vendors in a customer’s tech stack, so they can derive the most value quickly.
CX is about seamlessly helping customers or partners move from implementation to integration to innovation, augmenting their teams with the right expertise at the right time.
What is Cisco’s strategy for CX?
Subaiya: Our CX Strategy is built around our customers’ or partners’ individual situations. Broadly speaking, when we create unique solutions for our customers, they have business goals that fall under one of three categories:
- Optimization: organizations looking to improve upon their current investment.
- Expansion: customers or partners who want to expand into a new market
- Innovation: those looking to leap forward by co-innovating to build new customer-facing products and services.
What is your vision for CX, and how has Cisco evolved its CX portfolio to achieve this vision?
Subaiya: “Customers seek a strategic partner to accelerate outcomes throughout the evolution of their business. Our vision is for Cisco to be the consistent customer choice -- to be that strategic partner.
We address this from two perspectives:
- Ensure product adoption, so customers can maximize the value of what they already have, with speed and agility.
- Deliver strategic expertise and predictive insights to achieve their evolving business outcomes and drive transformation.
Our Cisco Success Portfolio is built to achieve this vision. We have two primary CX offerings:
Business Critical Services (BCS) provide advisory services that helps optimize and mitigate risk, increase agility and ignite innovation from design to implementation to optimization.
Support Services for hardware and software; this includes risk reporting with the ability to proactively prevent faults and implement necessary upgrades and updates.
Success Tracks brings these two services together as a value-added package with built-in adoption services. CX Cloud is the unified digital platform through which we collaboratively connect Cisco, customers and partners access to the entire Cisco Success Portfolio and deep insights and predictive analytics powered by AI. This is an underlying platform that can add new technology innovations such as SASE and full-stack observability.
What is the Customer Success Model and why is this important for CX?
Subaiya: Our Customer Success Model maps touchpoints and assigns Customer Success experts throughout a customer’s lifecycle – which many fondly refer to as the “Racetrack.” These Customer Success experts are on hand at every stage, at the right time with the right adoption offerings to help customers advance along their lifecycle journey.
This model starts with speaking to customers at the time of purchase to ensure we are delivering ‘time to value’. It means enabling our customers to quickly gain value from what is purchased. To facilitate this, we’ve created an interface for customers or partners to manage their whole ecosystem, with real-time insights, expert engagements and workflow creation, all built-in.
Our customers continue to ask for simple and seamless experiences, and this achieves that goal. In fact, our Customer Success model has been so effective, that we are extending this to our partners so we can scale these benefits to more customers.
What role does our partner ecosystem play with CX?
Subaiya: We’re not doing this alone. We can’t do this alone. In fact, our partners are absolutely essential to scaling the delivery of the best experiences to our customers. Our approach to CX has been and continues to be about opening up the capabilities of CX Cloud and making them available across the partner ecosystem.
We offer our partner community niche experts and tailor-made products to deliver consistent and seamless experiences. We want to empower our partners to extend our CX capabilities combined with their own services, to a broader set of customers, while helping them build and grow their CX practice.
Partner Summit 2021 is just a month away. Is there anything we can expect from a CX perspective?
Subaiya: There’s a lot more coming at #CiscoPS21, including an enhanced suite of Partner offers. This new Partner suite will completely change the way we collaborate with our partners, giving them ultimate flexibility and more choices to differentiate their CX practice and grow their profitability. Stay tuned for more details in November.