Webinar: Improving Cisco Support Website Using Task Performance Indicator

Posted on February 2, 2014 by ssmith

(This webinar occurred March 5, 2014)


DOWNLOAD VIDEO [2] (WMV: 129 MB: 1 hour)

The Cisco Support website has millions of pages and millions of visitors every month. It is a large and complex environment. How to make it simpler, faster and easier to use is a key objective. It’s part of an overall initiative by Cisco called Ease of Doing Business, which has been championed by CEO, John Chambers.

The Task Performance Indicator (TPI) helps. It starts off by identifying customer top tasks and then continuously improving them. The top task for Cisco support customers, for example, is downloading software. In 2010, when the TPI started, a typical time for downloading software was 280 seconds. There were 15 steps involved. By 2013, for a great deal of software downloads, the steps had been reduced to 4 and the typical times were in the region of 50 seconds. That made support customers much happier.

How does TPI work? By constructing sample tasks based on top tasks research data. For example, for software download a sample task question is: “Download the latest version of the RV042 router firmware.” These tasks are then given to a representative sample of customers and they are carefully observed as they try and complete them.

Cisco has dramatically improved the experience of its Support Web Site by focusing first on the tasks that customers and partners are trying to complete. Success is measured based on how successful the user is at completing the ‘top tasks’.

Hear from Bill Skeet, Senior Manager of Customer Experience for Cisco Digital Support, about how Cisco uses TPI to help better serve customers. Bill will be chatting with Gerry McGovern from Customer Carewords, who developed the TPI method.


  1. How a particular TPI study is set up. How the task questions are designed and the test participants identified.
  2. What the key metrics of TPI are:
    • Success rate:
      How many people are actually able to complete top tasks on your website?
    • Disaster rate:
      A particularly important metric. How many people think they have completed the task correctly but have in fact left with the wrong answer?
    • Completion time:
      How long does it take people to complete top tasks on your website?
  3. How the results of the tests are analysed and acted on. How video highlights of the top tasks performance have been one of the key drivers in getting buy-in and engagement from senior management.

Neo Insight, in partnership with Gerry McGovern and Customer Carewords, has been responsible for conducting the TPI test sessions every 3 or 4 months over the last couple of years for the Support group and over the last year for another group more focused on the pre-sales type of top tasks.

Watch the webinar recording [2] to hear how Cisco has made the TPI an integral part of their Customer Experience strategy and how you can achieve similar benefits.

Feel free to contact us at info@neoinsight.com [3] or 613-271-3001 if you’d like to know more about the Top Task methodology.


Bill Skeet [4]

Bill Skeet is a web strategy and UX leader with diverse experience at Fortune 500 companies and start-ups across media and high-tech industries. Since joining Cisco in 2010, Bill has guided numerous design improvements that have increased efficiency in navigation to content for product support, reduced steps for software downloads, and surfaced personalization capabilities that accelerate repetitive tasks.

URLs in this post:

[1] DOWNLOAD SLIDES: http://www.customercarewords.com/webinars/cisco-support-top-tasks.pdf

[2] DOWNLOAD VIDEO: http://www.customercarewords.com/webinars/cisco-support-top-tasks-webinar.wmv

[3] info@neoinsight.com: mailto:info@neoinsight.com

[4] Image: http://neoinsight.com/components/com_wordpress/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/billskeet.jpg

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