The 3 E’s of Customer Success: Empathy, Equality & Excellence

I wrote previously on the “what” and “why” behind the meaning of customer success at Zenoss. I’d like to follow that up with a bit of the “how.” Simply put, we follow the rule of the three E’s: empathy, equality and excellence.


Empathy. I know that true customer success (and a great customer success employee) must have true empathy for you, our customers. When I interview staff for the team, I test every time for empathy: Do they really care about customers? Are they passionate about helping clients achieve outcomes? Do they have the stamina for the journey that real empathy can take you down?

What we have seen is that, with this focus, we end up with an extraordinarily strong base to build a team and company on. When staff are passionate about customers realizing their outcomes, they go the extra mile, they put in the extra hours, and they celebrate the right results. And following that, Zenoss wins.

When I sit with our sales engineers in the field, I hear the empathy that they bring in explaining how we can help solve a client’s business challenge. When a services team leader brings me an update that a schedule is being delayed, I see the genuine concern in their faces — not that I or some other Zenoss leader will be disappointed, but that the client might be delayed as an outcome. When a support staff member shares the postmortem on a tough problem, I see the intensity that individual will be driving to ensure that problem won’t happen again for any client.


Equality. When I talk about equality, I am talking about fairness. I am also talking about working together, side by side, to achieve an outcome. Are we treating our customers like we would want to be treated? Flipping that around, I trust that our clients will go to bat for us when we need a hand. We see this directly when we ask for you, our customers, to speak at GalaxZ or with members of the press on behalf of the company. You are willing to do this because you know that it will help the company succeed, which, in turn, allows us to invest more in the technology and people you need to succeed.


Excellence. It is easy to talk about excellence, but in practice, it is brutal to maintain every day. Think of any sports analogy, and you know you have to back off the intensity at some point to recover. At Zenoss, however, we can’t afford fits and starts to delivering excellence, so we lean on technology and process to fill the gaps. Leveraging tools like Slack, Zoom, Salesforce, Zendesk, Jira and Google Drive allows us to shift work to the right people at the right time to get your outcomes delivered. Running the occasional Kaizen process to ensure we are as efficient as possible is crucial. Taking advantage of staff in seven countries across three continents allows us to be in a lot of places at once. And leveraging our growing partner ecosystem gives us a force multiplier in the excellence equation as they bring skills and capabilities we cannot otherwise deliver.

These three E’s — empathy, equality and excellence — are at the core of what drives me, personally. It forces me to be intellectually curious and to ask questions when a customer has a business goal that I don’t fully understand. Because once I understand, I can get behind that goal and do what it takes to deliver. And those E’s are the backbone of how we at Zenoss deliver value to our customers every minute, every day and every year.



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