Customer Success Leader
Customer Success Leader

Episode · 1 year ago

Customer Care in Cybersecurity w/ Stacie Ward

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This probably isn’t a newsflash to most of us but… the customer isn’t always right.

 

They are, however, always the hero. This is a super relevant concept, especially when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting your customers from breaches.

 

To give us the lowdown on customer care in cybersecurity, I sat down with Stacie Ward, VP of Customer Care at Red Canary. We talked about: 

 

- How customer success and all other departments create a cohesive wheel around the customer

 

- Why it’s helpful for customer success teams to have a senior leadership ally

 

- How to forge trusting customer relationships in cybersecurity

 

- Expert advice for professionals new to customer success

 

For more info, check out customersuccessleader.com or send a message to hello@flatfile.io.

When they grow, when they become moresophisticated in their security program, we're able to continue to grow withthem and help them raise the bar on themselves want to create delightfulcustomer experiences. You are in the right place, welcome to customersuccess leader where you'll learn about the successes and struggles of leaderswho are passionate about their craft. Trust me. You want to stick aroundhere's your host, Eric Cran Heyo. This is Eric Crane, the SEOANDcofounder here at flat file, and today I got stacy ward, the vice president ofcustomer care from Red Canary, Hey sacy. How are you hi Eric? How are you I'mdoing great? I'M DOALL RIGHT! Thank you. You said you're calling in fromColorado any of those crazy Colorado thunderstorms. Lately yesterday we did.It hasn't shown up yet today, but I am optimistic, so I don't have to go outand Wanto the yard yeah. We have the same type of thing here in Georgia,though Yuess we probably get more frequent, but not quite as intensethunderstorms for sure. Thank you for joining me today, Gute Esetially D. I'mreally excited to hear from you, especially given your dee backgroundand working with customers, and I love to just start out by learning a littlebit more about what you do at recanary. So tell me more about your role and howyou got into it. In the first place. My role at right canary is to essentiallybe the warrior for customers internally to be the fierce owner of Netratention,so my team touches virtually every other part of the organization toensure that we are delivering on our promise to be the security ally for ourcustomers. How I got into this was, I was actually the DP of customer successand another organization and a former coworker of mine called me and said:Hey. We could use your customer success expertise over here at Red Canary. Hetalked to me about the job and the more I learned about it. The more I thought.Oh, that sounds really interesting and was very excited about the opportunityto work in CIBER security. So I made...

...the leap- and it's been a greatexperience, tit's great to hear, and I love the way you describe the fierceowner of net retention here. That's a good leadinto. My next question: How doyou define Customer Success Bhy? That is a really broad when I have to saycustomer success, I think, is the organization that touches customersthroughout their entire lifecycle. It's the one part of the organization thatis definitely not transactional, that especially in Sass organizations. TheCustomer Success Team is, I think, about it as the center of a wheel. Sothe very target in the wheel is the customer and then the circle outsidethe customer is customer success and then the spokes of the wheel are allthe other departments within the organization. Often we forget thatcustomer success has to interact with finance and accounting or productmarketing support every part of the organization, so customer success issort of the group that ties all the rest together to make sure that we'redelivering on the promise to our customers. So how do you manage anobligation to so many different groups, both externally and internally? bazinglots of diplomacy, I would say, because we do have to have touched somany other parts of the organization. It's helpful to have an ally in seniorleadership organization. So sometimes it's the chief operating officer. Itmight be the chief revenue officer, but it's important, that that person isvery bougd into the value of customer success and how customer successcontributes to the overall success of the organization. With sat at somepoint, you may hopefully get to the point where your existing customer baseis larger than any one single year of new business sales that you might bringin. So the customer success team really starts to overtake the revenueresponsibility of the sales...

...organization. That makes sense sobasically I mean that's probably the goal of every sess business or ist tohave that strong, existing set of customers that are, as you put it, youknow, net retention that retaining over time. So how do you forge a type ofrelationship with a customer that you can depend on an existing in perpetuityfor yhoir business? Obviously it starts with the product that does what isexpected that it do. The other part is ensuring that, on an ongoing basis, youare eliciting from the customer what they're trying to accomplish. Well, howare they defining success, not how we define it as our company, but whatlooks like success to them and then ensuring along each every step that weare tying back to them, also ensuring that we know their success criteria asit evolves when you first start working with an organization you might have, orthe customer might have a particular view of what success looks like to themand as they grow mature with your product or service that may evolve andchange, and they have higher expectations, they want more. They wantmore from the customer success team, so it's being willing to adapt it andevolve with them, so not remaining stagnand. I think that's that's. What akey thing that has is why our team has been successful with our customers whenthey grow, when they become more sophisticated in their security program,were able to continue to grow with them and help them raise the bar onthemselves. We also it's the typical you do the sink calls with the customera you ensure that you are also than doing business reviews and settingthose business reviews up so that you have executive by in front the customerlevel, and if you don't don't go ahead with h the business review yeah. I hearthat a lot how important it is to get by and from executive leadership, aswell as individual decision makers, withan organization. But how do youactually get to the point where you can...

...have a deep understanding of thecustomer and what their business goals are? I'd? Imagine especially in yourspace, tecibry security. That might be something that's tell a little close tothe chest. It is indeed some customers. It even takes a while for them to turnon their camera and let us see their faces, they're in the dark or they'rewearing a hoodie. It's very very secure, very secretive, but I think what we'verealized is that, by doing what we say we're going to do following throughoffering them value all along the way, whether it's an article or access toone of our siber security experts that they can have a QNA building that trustover a period of time. You realize that it's the key to that long term success.The other thing about cyber security is most people in that wor in that are inCyposecurity feel, like everybody else is so smart. So it's really importantfor us to make it okay for them to ask questions and admit that, maybe theydon't know we try to make it a safe place for them to have that type ofcommunication, and when we do they respond by saying Oh gosh, I'm so gladyou brought that up, because I was really wondering about that. Justmaking sure that we have expertise, not that the Tsm knows everything, but thatwe can get the expertise from organization to them. Yeah so you'recreating heroes of the customer, so they can inturn advance themselves and,at the same time, do dou you- and I regard to absolutely absolutely part ofour reporting- helps them feel more comfortable talking about security anddemonstrating to their senior leadership, what Red Canaryis actuallydoing for them and making them. As you said they just they look more like thehero. So, besides your own product, what are some pieces of technology ortools that you use to ensure that you're keeping track of and maintainingate customer relationship? Of course,...

...we use sales force like most companies.We also use a tool called churn zero to manage the customer relationships. Wefind that turn zero is for our size organization is really easy to adapt.They've been great to work with. We are able to pull in data from our productinto turns Ero, so the customer success managers can stay within that tool. Weuse Zendas for our support tickets. That data also gets pulled into turnzero, so we are able to allow the customer success managers for the mostpart to work within one tool. Instead of bouncing around to four or fivedifferent tools, or attempting to run their business out of Google docks andSaleshorse, what do you feel like you're still doing manually, that thereshould be some sort of technological solution for analysis in reporting, notso much at the individual customer level or what the CSMS are doing butreporting on things like lifetime customer value? What ar our customeracquisition costs? Things like that are challenging to do, and I wish we couldhave them more automated. It would be a lot easier. We work with partners whowe sell our product. I would like to be able to pars out partner transactionsfrom our direct customer transactions and why we can do that. It is it's sad.It's a heavy lift from a manual perspective. Se. It makes a lot ofsense. It's really important to understand where your customers arecoming from. So let's just say that you were trying to adopt a new tool or anew process. What is the process like their internally right canary, like howdo you make sure that you're constantly able to evolve your business, toolingand processes to meet the current demands of the business? The way wewould probably go about that is identifying what is the problem that weare actually trying to solve? How that...

...benefits the customer and then seeingwhat technology might be available to assist us in solving that problem? Oncewe do identify either a specific product or a group of products, wewould then go back and identify what are we again? What's the problem we'retrying to solve and in creating a business case that I would typicallydeliver to either the chief revenue officer, ther or the chief productofficer if it involved any technology changes on the back end with ourproduct? That's how we've done it so far. We're still a relatively smallcompany and the process is not overly formal, but the biggest piece iscreating that business case, for why is this important? What will be thebenefit? Either it's going to help us deliver more value to our customer, orit will save time for a customer. Success manager got it. That makessense. So thank you and I'm going to diverge a little bit from my set ofquestions around tech. I just have to ask as a maker of technology here, so Ilove to learn a little bit more about your perspective on qualities of agreat customer success individual. So what are some of the key qualities thatyou look for when you're bringing someone on to your team? We're actuallyhiring right now, so I have some direct experience with this. The one thing ispassion about the customer. Sometimes they might have customer successbackground. Sometimes they have sales background, but even in theirr salesbackground if they are in a highly transactional sale that might not be agood fit. Those people who have been in sales where it is a land and expandmodel. They have to continually essentially go back to the well and setresell to the same customers. Those tend to be a better fit for us, as wellas people who are just generally really really curious. We like to have peoplewho aren't afraid to ask difficult questions of customers as an example.Sometimes we have customers who are...

...doing things around their securityprogram that to us just doesn't make sense. Often if a CSM doesdn't havethat ability to ask the difficult questions they won't say Wel, can youexplain to me ABC cusomer? Why you're doing that particular thing in that way?What was your thought process behind that and then maybe challenging them alittle bit and saying well? Have you ever thought about this? Is thissomething you considered and if not, why not? Is that something you mightconsider not in a an aggressive way, but just really being curious? Why thatparticular customer chose that direction? That general curiosity, thata willingness to ask difficult questions, ore, key things that makesuccessful csms as well as the basics that you have to be able to build reporvery quickly, be comfortable with learning new technology. So if someonewere just starting to think about getting into customer success, what aresome things that you' recommend they either do or read or try in theircarrole. I would say one is definitely listen to podcast the customer successleader. PODCAST would be a good place to star to just learn a little bitabout how different companies approach customer success. The other thing is tolearn about that. If there's a particular organization, you want tojoin, make sure you learn all you can about that organization before youinterview with them, so that you can ask very relevant and insightfulquestions. The other thing is, if you are looking to pivot from some othertype of role into customer success, there are a lot of transferable skills,but we call them different things in customer success. I've had a number ofpeople who wanted a pivot from sales into customer successo retell to me andask how to do that. I recommend that they look at other people in customersexcept, loocats, t they're linked in profile and learn about how did theydescribe account management in a...

...customer success way versus the way youmight do that in sales and sales that gets very percentage of quota drivenrather than retaining customers so talking about similar things, but usingdifferent language got it. So, speaking of learning, I would love to hear yourfavorite customer successtory, where you feel like you learn somethingimpactful or new about a customer. I would say the one that we have. We have a situation right now, where acustomer, this one was a challenging lesson. A customer did not have RedCanary on their entire environment, the environment that they did not use RedCanary, had a bridch and there wasn't anything Red Canary could do about it,because we were not on that part of their environment and that's for me.That was a really good lesson and making sure that we are alwayschallenging our customers and asking them. Why are theyare not putting RedCanary in these other areas and being in a way bold enough to say why aren'tyou this is the risk not to get overly scary about it, but this is the riskthat you are assuming by not doing it. That way. Are you sure that that's arisk that you want to undertake? We just took the customer at their wordand said: okay, you only want to cover this party environment, but we didn'ttake it to the next level and we should have maybe we could have prevented themfrom getting a breach had we just pushed that little bit further and evenaskd the question about why they chose not to cover their entire environmentand that's Eka, the parts of something you mentioned earlier right aboutestablishing this relationship with the customer, so that you can becomfortable asking those questions and not be worried that a customeris goingto raise a red flag because you care so much about their business process andwhat they're doing to get value out of your product if we truly care abouttheir security posture. Those are...

...questions that you feel justified inasking because you you're coming from a place of really carring about thecustomer and men wanting to make sure that their environment is safe, giventhe current climate with cyber crime out there. If you truly care about thatand the dollar bills ar secondary customers will know totally agree. So Ilike to wrap all these conversations with the same question, which is whatis the best piece of advice related to customer success that you've everreceived Ouv from someone else? The best piece of advice is that in a SASbusiness, at some point you will reach that point where the fly Wel, which isyour existing business, is bigger than what the sales team cansomis singleyear. So when that happens, it's time for customer success to sort of demand, a bigger seat at thetable in prior to that it's sales is generally king, whereas when it flipsover, it's now dor customer success to be perhaps a bit more bold than we'vebeen and ensured that the rest of the organization is on board with makingour customer successful, Goti da make sense. So, thank you so much heur timetoday, stacy again that Stacy Ward, the vice president of customer care at RedCanary and I hear they're hiring, so you should go check it out an you'reinterested and I mayrac crane F blant file. Thank you for listenining. Thisepisode, O Customer Success. Later you depend on the fastest time to value foryour customers. So why let data onboard and sell you down? Stop emailingspreadsheets, creating CSB templates, forsetting up ftk transfers, createcollaborative secure workspaces with your customers and their data savingyou time, while providing a memorable, onboarding experience. Oh and there'sno code required, you can go to flat file, OT IO slashcs leader to learnmore and get started for free. Thank you so much for joining us forthis episode. Customer Success leader is brought to you by flat file ifyou're a fan of the show and want to...

...help to share these conversations withothers. Leave us a rating on Apple Podcast, just TAPD, a number of stars.You think the show deserves. That's it for today catch you in the next one.

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