Cisco Systems

CLIENT: Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. According to Cisco president and CEO John Chambers, “Customer satisfaction is the heart and soul of our company.” The Cisco Technical Assistance Centre (TAC) in Brussels provides award-winning post-sales support for thousands of calls from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, (EMEA) as well as worldwide time-zone support. The 250 TAC engineers who handle the most complex cases are among Cisco’s best and brightest.

CHALLENGE: Cisco sales, customer standards, and expectations continued to rise after the collapse of the bubble. “When markets are down, you need to focus attention on people,” says Frank Van Steenwinkel, director of technical support. “Training is key. So while other companies cut down on staff, we believe training is a strategic component to raising the bar to differentiate us from our competitors.” Most of the complex issues handled by TAC have never been observed before and many must be handled with urgency since each minute of network downtime is expensive. He sought a program that could meet these challenges and provide a significant performance boost.

RESPONSE: KT Resolve, with its proven record of success provided the solution. Initially 14 TAC engineers became certified KT Resolve Program Leaders (PLs). The PL team delivered practical analysis and communications skills to 200 TAC engineers, provided work-related coaching, and helped the management team adjust the work environment to support the new approach. Since most customer interactions are via e-mail and interactive chat, online communication is a key skill set. KT advised Cisco on timelines, assertiveness, and customer-oriented behavior in electronic communication.

RESULTS: KT Resolve’s critical thinking-based approach helped TAC engineers rapidly resolve unique, complex problems. Customer service backlogs fell from 80 to 20 per month, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction. Average solution time plummeted 58% helping EMEA TAC to record the highest increase in post-sales support satisfaction among Cisco TACs worldwide.

“Using the KT Resolve process, I am able to resolve customer issues quicker. Because of this,my backlog has been reduced over 65%.”

— Rik Boven, Cisco Customer Support Engineer