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Lifesize’s Malloy: ‘Customer Obsession’ for Customer Success

Customer meeting

James Anderson**Editor’s Note: Register now for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, the gathering place for the technology services community, April 10-13, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.**

Happy customers lead to more customers — as obvious as that may sound.

Lifesize's Craig MalloyCraig Malloy, CEO and founder of video collaboration provider Lifesize, has a philosophy surrounding the science of customer satisfaction. He will share his tips at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo in a concurrent education session dubbed, “Get Obsessed: 3 Ways to Grow Your Customer Base.”

Malloy launched Lifesize in 2004, and it was acquired by Logitech in 2009. We asked him four questions about his upcoming presentation.

The transcript has been edited for clarity.

Channel Partners: I know you don’t want to give away all of your secrets, but can you offer up one of the three ways to grow a customer base?

Craig Malloy: Growing your customer base requires buy-in from the entire company. From executives on down, your people have to be driven by customer satisfaction above all else. At Lifesize, we call this perspective “Customer Obsession,” and it’s more than just customer service. Customer service is a business function, while Customer Obsession is a new way of approaching your relationships with customers. Our customers’ success is our ultimate goal, and to achieve it, we need everyone involved from every department — from product development to marketing, from sales to the customer success and support team, and everyone in between. Even your channel partners have to execute their duties with the customer in mind. This is the only way to provide a truly extraordinary customer experience.{ad}

CP: Tell us a little bit about your company’s experiences with growing its customer base.

CM: In 2014, Lifesize started upon an exciting but challenging journey of moving to a cloud-based solution. After a product shift, internal reorganization and spinout from Logitech, we pushed ahead to ensure that we were delivering not just the best technology, but also the best customer experience. Fueled by “Customer Obsession,” we transformed our approach to customer service and support, implementing a new customer-success program that helped our entire organization and our channel partners better receive, understand and act upon the voice of the customer. Two-and-a-half years after the launch of the cloud-based Lifesize app, we now have more than 4,000 unique paying customer accounts and surpassed industry medians for annual recurring-revenue growth rates.

CP: What’s a common mistake businesses make in this area?

CM: Growing your customer base requires …

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… a good customer experience before, during and long after the point of sale, and this is something businesses often fail to consider. The language on your website, the sales conversation with partners, the deployment process and every support ticket and product update thereafter play a role in how the customer experiences your relationship. Taking a comprehensive and collaborative approach to the customer experience allows you to have insight into their objectives, pain points and future needs. This, in turn, allows you to craft messaging and develop your product accordingly — attracting new customers regularly and keeping the ones you’ve already won.

CP: What do you hope your audience will take away from your talk?

CM: The key ingredient to our success has been our attitude toward our customers. At the end of the session, I hope attendees will understand that customer service doesn’t have to be – or rather shouldn’t be – a reactive business function. When you see your customers as partners in success, suddenly your needs become inherently intertwined. What’s good for my customer’s business is good for mine. This mentality will be evident to the customer at every point of interaction and can ultimately be the determining factor in whether or not you are chosen over a competitor. We’re in this for our customers, and we aim to show it in every one of our actions.

Malloy shared more insights in a guest column for Channel Partners last year.


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