Cisco Systems (2001): Building and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture

1711 WordsMay 27, 20127 Pages
Cisco Systems (2001): Building and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture Introduction/General Problem Statement: Doug Allred was Vice President of Customer Advocacy organization of the Cisco’s corporation. This organization was erected to consolidated all functions that directly touched the customer but sales to provide high-quality customer service. Since August 2001, the IT market turned down and brought severe challenges to Cisco as the company had to lay off 18% of its employees and reorganized its structure, transforming from decentralized organizational structure with three business units to centralized organization. However, these changes stabilized the volatile situation of the economy but threatened Cisco’s customer focus, a…show more content…
Even though Cisco created the Customer Focus Initiative to try to serve leader customers better, as the SVP of Customer Advocacy, Allred still felt anxious that this reorganization would reduce the customers’ loyalty. He was also afraid that since the products were high priced, customers would ignore the longtime relationship and turn to Cisco’s competitors. Therefore, adjusting the existing culture to adapt to the new structure became the fundamental issue of Allred. Alternative Solutions: In such a situation, since the bad economic environment, it is not possible to keep the original structure to fit its culture. One possible method to solve this problem is to collect continuous customers’ feedback and to subdivide the feedback by different departments. The culture of Cisco is to keep paying attention to the customers, no matter the amount of resource. But the new structure made the whole resources of the company useless to satisfy customers. Thus, a good way to know what customers need is to collect the feedback from them. In the article How to Change a Culture: Lessons from NUMMI, the author told us that “those of us trying to change our organizations’ culture need to define the things we want to do, the ways we want to behave”.iv By collecting the feedback of customers, each Cisco’s employee could be clarified of what they need to do to satisfy the customers. To make the feedback effective, Cisco should pay

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