The Voice of Experience: How Language Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Jan 24, 2019

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Cisco Uncovers the Impact of Language on Customer Experience

Everyone’s talking about customer experience. And yet, in all the conversations about customer journeys and touch points, most people overlook the most tangible expression of their brand: the language they use when communicating with customers.

Cisco’s brand experience team saw an opportunity to use language to change the game in an industry where products are complex and jargon is widespread.

Find out how the award-winning Cisco Language Program is changing the way people experience their brand and playing a positive role in engaging web visitors and helping them win new business.

Cisco had a language problem. During this webcast, you’ll hear about the steps they took to understand and address this issue, along with some helpful advice you can apply in your organization:

  • How research showed Cisco that its language was hurting its customer experience
  • How the Cisco brand experience design team is tackling the big, hairy goal of changing the way 70,000 people write
  • How to get your senior stakeholders to buy into the idea of changing your language
  • Where to start with your own brand language program, and how to keep up the momentum
  • How to measure success once you’ve done it



Anelia Varela is US Director of The Writer. Anelia came to New York from London to continue The Writer’s mission in life: to change organizations through the language they use. Heading up The Writer's US office, Anelia is helping brands like Unilever, Cisco, Google, and Electronic Arts realize the power of words to change how people see them, stand out from the crowd, make their customers happier, shape their culture, and even make and save money in the process. Anelia’s thoughts and words have appeared in books, newspapers, design annuals, magazines, blogs, and up the sides of Guinness bottles. She was foreman of the Writing for Design jury at the 2014 D&AD Awards and chaired the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Employee Engagement conference in New York in 2015.


Mark Buchanan is the program lead for brand language at Cisco. He’s helping the company use language that is simpler and more distinctive. And he’s helping bring empathy back to a technology company that has always cared about people, but has found those values challenged by rapid growth and increasingly complex technology. He’s worked with Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Services and Corporate Communications and has seen impressive results across every function. Together, Mark and the people at Cisco are changing the culture of language and communications around the world for 75,000 employees, 50,000 contractors and vendors, across a $130 billion business.