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Creating A Customer-Centric Organization White Paper

White Paper

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Updated:January 27, 2020

Available Languages

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  • PDF
    (641.5 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:January 27, 2020

Table of Contents



In most organizations, frontline employees such as call center agents, often labor in the dark. They know their work has a direct bearing on how customers feel about the brand. But the only feedback they typically hear is the occasional suggestion or acknowledgement from a supervisor during reviews, or presentations backed by complex statistics and averages from customer surveys.

This scenario applies to many other employees who have an impact on customers. Product engineers or pricing analysts may toil deep inside the organization, seemingly far removed from the people the company serves. But the decisions made by these back office experts affect customers’ experiences as much as any direct interaction in the front line. Such employees are often even more in the dark than front-line employees. Their line of sight to what customers think and feel is, at best, obscure, and at worst, non-existent.

They rarely, if ever, see the human outcomes of their actions—the delight or the discontent of the real people they serve.

With customer experience becoming the key differentiator for brands, most organizations are attempting to make the customer the nucleus around which all organizational divisions are aligned.

To this end, there are organization-wide attempts to empower all employees to put consumers first.

The first step to achieve this is to ensure that the knowledge of consumers’ experiences with the brand reaches the roots of the organization.

While this, in a traditional sense, involves complex logistics, making information easily collectable, accessible, and interpretable is one of the greatest computing opportunities of this century. And, a comprehensive Customer Experience Management (CEM) platform can provide the solution seamlessly, across the entire organization.

The aspects of defining democratization of consumer feedback

1.     Connect with consumers when the experience assessment is most relevant.

2.     Collect feedback in a manner most convenient for the consumer.

3.     Make relevant feedback available immediately and accessible at any time to all stakeholders.

4.     Trigger required action, based on feedback to close the gap.

However, access to feedback is only the start of the journey.

The system should allow for action, escalation, collaboration, and strategic decision-making to create a complete system that becomes the go-to dashboard for all consumer understanding.

This truly helps to bring the customer to the forefront of the organization, directly from the store to the boardroom.

According to management and consultancy firm Bain and Company, the Net Promoter System provides a strong theoretical grounding for this perspective.

It creates an inner loop, which drives immediate response to individual customer feedback (feedback, action, escalation, and collaboration), as well as an outer loop, which supports patterns from analysis of aggregated data (strategic analysis).

Title: The inner loop of a Net Promoter System

Figure 1.               

The inner loop of a Net Promoter System gives employees real-time feedback from customers, which promotes learning and a connection with customers

This philosophy can be adapted by an organization to run a robust Customer Experience Program (CEM) within the following framework:

Title: Customer Experience Program

While the above framework provides a broad approach to implementing a CX program, it also supplies flexibility for an organization to evolve within the program in a step-by-step manner. Learnings from the early phases are incorporated to make the program robust as it becomes more comprehensive and complex. Programs typically evolve as follows:

Title: CX program

Step 1: Design

The detailed process to setup a CX program using the Cisco framework:

Title: Step 1: Design

The Design phase involves mapping the customer’s journey with the brand to ensure that the program truly follows how customers experience the brand, and to provide a comprehensive view of the same.

Title: customer journey mapping

The best perspective to use while journey mapping for a CX program is to approach it using a dual lens, so that both the business and customer views are incorporated in the program design.

The outcomes from a customer journey map should now enable you to:

Title: outcomes from a customer journey

Step 2: Measure

Title: Step 2: Measure

What should I measure?

What is the difference between a transactional and a relationship survey?

     Transactional surveys aim to assess the experience provided by the brand over a single touchpoint/interaction.

     Relationship surveys aim to assess the overall impact of all experiences that the customer has had with the brand.

When should brands do a transactional survey?

     When you want to monitor and enhance the experience provided by each individual touchpoint

     When each touch point is an independent interaction

     When the experience is spread out over time across each of these touchpoints

When should brands do a relationship survey?

     When you want to understand the overall affinity of the customer for the brand, based on his or her total experience

     When the touchpoints cohesively form a single experience and cannot be separated

     When the touchpoints occur too close to each other in frequency

How do I create my questionnaire?

     Identify the right metrics to assess customer experience

     Make the anchor metric your first question to ensure purity of rating

     Provide space in your questionnaire for qualitative inputs from the customer

     Complement the consumer verbatim with ratings to identify and monitor drivers of experience

     Keep the questionnaire contextual and to the point

How do we choose the right metrics?


Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Net Promoter Score (NPS®)*


How would you rate your experience with your ... (e.g., recent support requirement)?

The organization made it easy for me to handle my issue.

On a scale of 0-10 how likely, would it be for you to recommend [company, name] to a friend or colleague?


5-point scale (where 1 = very unsatisfied to 5 = very satisfied).

5-point scale (where 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree).

0 -10 (11-point scale).

Principal behind the metric

Overall satisfaction with the brand/ business determines how strongly the consumer is bonded to the brand.

Service organizations create loyal customers primarily by reducing customer effort - i.e., helping them solve their problems quickly and easily.

Each interaction with the brand creates a situation for the consumer to advocate or criticize the brand.

Measurement technique

The CSAT score is the sum of respondents that answered somewhat or very satisfied. Obviously, the higher the number, the higher your customer satisfaction will be.

After aggregating the replies, a high average indicates that your company is making things easy for your customers. A very low number means that customers are putting in too much effort to interact with your company.

The Net Promoter Score equals the percentage of promoters (respondents that gave a 9-10) minus the percentage of detractors (respondents that gave a 0-6 score).

Use cases

CSAT is versatile because it allows you to ask customers a variety of questions. It is therefore more diagnostic in nature and aids in understanding the overall tonality of the customer’s relationship with the brand.

The CES assesses how efficient the service aspects of the business are - and helps in reducing dissatisfaction in service interactions.

The NPS helps measure customer experience across each interaction between the customer and the brand.


Can be conducted only across a sample; difficult to implement tactical course corrections and is more strategic in nature (post mortem of events); granularity of issues can be clouded due to lack or recency with experience.

Applicable only in service resolution situations.

Gives an in-depth view of each experience but may not be as insightful to understand the big picture of the overall brand relationship.

What should we ask ourselves when creating our instrument for measurement?

     For each key metric, ask, “Is there an owner and an action?” (I.e., do we know what we will do with this data?)

    If there isn’t an owner, if you don’t know what you will do with the data, or if you don’t intend to do anything with the data, the question shouldn’t be included.

     Are we measuring what’s important to our customers?

    If the customer corridor exercise has been done from the customer’s viewpoint, then the answer should be “Yes!”

     Are we measuring things that reflect our values, goals, and ambitions as a company and brand?

     Does the language used reflect what customers will know, understand, and will have experienced?

     Do these questions apply to all customers, or to just a targeted group? (for customer-centric measures)

     Are we asking customers questions for which we already have the answers?

     Finally, can our metric lead to a strong or improved business outcome?

How do we amplify the responses?

     The closer the feedback request is to actual consumer experience with the brand, the greater the probability of response.

     Create support media (of emails and SMS requests) to collect consumer feedback apart from just one main channel. Use an omni channel approach.

     Personalize the feedback request.

     Communicate the impact of this Feedback.

     Acknowledge and thank customers for their feedback.

     Indicate the exact interview length to communicate the time investment required of the consumer.

     Where possible, inform consumers of the feedback collection initiative, or create marketing around it.

     Contextual incentives also encourage response: (reward points, discount coupons, loyalty benefits, donations to charity, etc.)

Step 3: Align

Title: Step 3: Align

How do we democratize the information across the organization?

Title: Democratize the information

Principles to ensure successful stakeholder alignment:

     Don’t make the Program an extra responsibility.

    If it becomes part of the way you do business, it is in everyone’s job description.

     If processes are already in place, use them.

    Closed loop/issue management.

    Communications/updates to customers.

     Show the benefits - how will this affect each stakeholder.

    Share case studies/examples of customer successes.

    Link to financial outcomes as soon as the data supports it.

     Communicate, communicate, communicate.

    Keep people informed about what is happening, and what they need to do.

    Reward employees who create promoters.

     Get input during design and assessment stages.

    Design surveys with the people who are involved in the processes.

Step 4: Respond

Title: Step 4: Respond

Setting up a loop-closure system is the basic functionality in providing organizations with an ability to respond to their customers.

What is a closed-loop process?

     A coordinated and consistent approach to listening and acting on customer feedback

     A discipline used by organizations running best-in-class loyalty programs

     A process that leverages feedback for immediate operational improvement and longer-term strategic action

Title: Closed-loop process

How do we ensure our company is ready for a closed-loop system?

Title: Closed-loop system

Step 5 and 6: Improve and Evolve

Title: Step 5 and 6: Improve and Evolve

Gain insights that will help improve customer experiences

     How do our key experience attributes stack up? What are our brand’s strongest attributes, and where are we weak?

     How do the various attributes influence our brand’s experience, and what are the inter-linkages between them?

     How do we prioritize our actions?

     How efficient are individual entities in driving the desired experience?

Conduct Experiments to test Hypothesis before full scale Deployments:

     Test Decisions based on Data Hypothesis among consumers at a conceptual level.

     Assess Impact of Decisions among consumers in a controlled environment.

     Track impact of improvements I changes made to the business process in Real Time.

Cisco is a global leader in cloud contact centers, delivering the most complete contact center portfolio, combined with world-class cloud calling, meetings, team collaboration, and customer experience management solutions with the most advanced audio/video devices and headsets.

Cisco is the market-share leader for contact centers. We’re number one in North America and number two worldwide. We have more than 30,000 loyal customers and more than 3 million agents installed globally.

Webex Experience Management (formerly CloudCherry) is a next generation CEM solution that improves customer experiences by giving contact centers greater insight across the entire customer journey, by mapping their experiences across all touchpoints in the organization before, during and after the contact center interaction, consolidating the data that was once siloed, and using predictive analytics to make informed decisions on how to improve customer and employee experiences that will create positive business outcomes.

To learn more about Cisco Webex Experience Management (formerly CloudCherry), visit us at: https://www.cisco.com/go/cc.

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