Nobody rises to the top alone.
Every executive in the security business knows that just as “It takes a village to raise a child,” it also takes a community of supportive, dedicated people to create and sustain one’s success.
Helping build on the success of our clients at TrackTik is a whole community of passionate experts, led by Simon Ferragne, our Founder and CEO. So I took some time to speak with Simon about how the firm walks the talk when it comes to contributing to the efficiency and profitability of our clients.
There is lot of buzz these days around “customer-centric companies”, is this just another phrase TrackTik frames and hangs on its walls?
SIMON: We don’t need to frame it because we live it. Client feedback created this company and drives its growth. You know the story. In 2011, I met a security business owner in Florida who was pulling his hair out because he couldn’t find tools to make his day-to-day business life easier.
As a software guy, I was surprised — I was shocked, actually — at the gap in tools. That was the seed of the idea that drove the development of our whole platform and still drives it to this day.
Clients tell us what pains they have running their security companies. We help them reduce or eliminate these pains which enables them to be more efficient and profitable. That success leads to more success for our clients, and in turn, helps us succeed. Our whole organization has been set up to keep this customer success loop going.
What do you mean by customer success loop?Is it another name for customer service?
SIMON: Great question; it’s a good idea to spell out what we mean by customer service and customer success. Think of these concepts as the trees and the forest, respectively.
Customer service — the tree — takes care of issues that might pop up. A service ticket is opened, the customer service team responds in an effective and timely way, and some time afterward, it’s case closed and everybody’s happy.
But customer success — that’s the forest — is a whole-company concept, a proactive way of on-boarding a client, communicating with them regularly, collaborating with them in a partnership to make both their experience and our product the best they can be. The leadership, account managers, and all our people work together to keep improving the client relationship and the benefits of the platform. With customer success, there’s no off-switch, no end date.
Day to day, how does a client benefit from our customer success approach?
SIMON: It starts day one, when the relationship with our company starts. Julie’s customer success team (Julie Lacasse, VP Operations, spearheads training and implementation) gather all the information we have about the client’s needs and expectations that Kyell’s team has gathered (Kyell Vyncke, VP Sales and Marketing).
Kyell’s information is quite extensive because his team works the way good consultants do. They ask probing questions so they can understand the business and separate the symptoms of the pain from the root of the pain.
When we call the client to start the implementation process, we already have a head start on building a win-win relationship. With the client, we define the goals we are going to achieve, like X% reduction in factor Y, etc. Through our approach, the client understands that, in order for this relationship to work, we need to become partners.
Then we’re off to the races. We constantly monitor the client’s satisfaction to make sure they get the value they expect out of our platform. Often our services will reveal new needs along the way that the client didn’t expect at first, so we’re there to guide them through the changes.
Meanwhile, all the members of the customer success team on that account work together to collect, qualify, and categorize client information. With this info, we can proactively reach out to clients and make sure they get the value they expect from our platform. Their success is our goal and it’s a journey, not a destination.
What is the biggest challenge clients face?
SIMON: Every client has their individual challenges, so it’s hard to generalize. But all of them have to deal with an industry that is evolving every day. Fortunately, we have a team of over 60 people that keep us on top of all of these changes, so our clients are getting the latest tools to help them be more efficient and profitable.
For example, there’s Graham Hussey, Product Manager, who monitors the IT world to ensure that our platform stays cutting edge and evolves in line with what the industry needs. Pierre Vanacker, CTO, and his team are wizards at keeping our whole infrastructure secure, stable, and running smooth as silk.
When our clients want to use our platform as a selling tool in approaching prospects, they can count on Nicole Brand, Marketing Manager, for support and insight. Of course, nothing around here would happen if we didn’t have the talent to execute it. Michelle Robertson, Senior Director, Talent, and her team help us find great people who will continue to help our clients succeed.
I’m told you are also gainfully employed here as a VP, Security Industry [laughing]. How did you land that cushy job?
Lots of sweet talk, and many of our readers know that I have more than 20 years experience in the security industry as a senior manager, consultant, and all-round nice guy (with CPP and MSyl certifications). What can clients expect from you, Simon?
SIMON: One of my absolute favorite things is sitting with clients, listening to what’s on their minds, and solving their problems. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re all about.