Post Sales Success at Cloudflare
While Cloudflare does not offer professional/managed services, learn how we provide our customers with continued support post sales through our customer success managers, solutions engineers and 24*7 support team. Hear from our teams about customer stories and how they have been set up for success.
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining this segment. Today we are going to be talking about post-sale success at Cloudflare.
We started this segment last week and today is our second segment.
We hope to do these more every Wednesday in the future. And I am Arwa Ginwala.
I am a solutions engineer in the field team here. I work with some of our big strategic accounts, help them through their pre-sales, POCs, integrations with Cloudflare and then I am their technical point of contact throughout their post-sales as well.
With me today I have Dina who's our customer success manager and I'll let Dina introduce herself.
Hi everyone. My name is Dina Aluzri and as Arwa said I am a customer success manager here at Cloudflare.
As the customer success manager you are the main point of contact for the customer at Cloudflare.
So you handle any renewal questions, escalations, questions about new product updates, all that stuff.
So along with Arwa and the account manager we make up the designated account team.
I've been at Cloudflare for about three years now.
I was actually on the marketing team before I joined customer success and now I manage, well I used to manage mid-market customers and now I manage enterprise customers.
So it's been great seeing a lot of growth that the customers have been going through, growth that the Cloudflare has been going through in the past three years and I'm excited to be here and excited to participate in Cloudflare TV and all the initiatives that Cloudflare has been doing for this entire time.
Yeah. Awesome. Thanks for joining us Dina. So a quick overview on what this segment is going to look like.
As most of you might know that Cloudflare doesn't offer professional services or managed services.
However, there is a lot that goes into keeping a healthy and good relationship with our clients post-sales as well.
Happy clients is our motto. So there are people like Dina who's on the customer success side, myself from solutions engineering team, as well as our technical support who are constantly involved in helping customers, providing different resources to make sure that they are set up for success post-sales.
And today's show is going to be focused on helping answer some questions.
So I'm going to be asking some questions to Dina, which we think are commonly asked questions, which our customers would like to know.
In what ways Cloudflare can support customers post-sales?
Also what resources are available for their various needs?
If you'll have any questions during the show, feel free to email at livestudio at Cloudflare.tv.
It will be at the bottom of the screen as well. And we'll make sure that we leave some time at the end to answer your questions.
Awesome. So Dina, are you ready?
Should we get started? Let's do it. Awesome. So my first question is what does the ideal customer lifecycle or engagement look like post-sales at Cloudflare?
Totally. So when a customer signs onto the enterprise plan, they are now given a designated account team, which is what I mentioned earlier, the customer success manager, the solutions engineer, and the enterprise account manager.
And then also a super vital part of being an enterprise customer is now having access to enterprise support.
So premium support. And there's three different levels or there's three different types of ways you can get in contact with the support team.
And I can get into that later.
But I guess the first part starts with the onboarding call.
So the minute you get signed up with Cloudflare, you now want to get onboarded, get the site going.
So we, as your account team, get you set up through onboarding. And that takes as many sessions as needed.
We take you through a dashboard training, dashboard walkthrough, take you through product trainings, and I guess information on new product updates, anything that you have signed up, we will talk, walk you through that.
And then from there, as I said, it takes as many sessions as needed. So that's what your solutions engineer is there for you.
You walk through with the solutions engineer to get your site set up, get your firewall rules set up, Argo set up, for example, anything that you have questions on, that's what we're here for.
I've seen customers take about like two to three sessions, typically. The first starting with like the whole dashboard overview and training, and then the walkthrough of, I guess, the customer lifestyle goal and partnership that you have with Cloudflare, which is what us as customer success managers outline for the customers.
But I've seen customers take as many as needed to make sure they're fully optimized.
We want to make sure customers are in a steady state, especially when they go off and they start experimenting and working on the dashboard.
We want to make sure you're fully optimized and good to go.
The greatest thing about the Cloudflare dashboard as well is that it's relatively easy to use.
So even if you need us to help you set it up, it is pretty straightforward and informative.
So you can just do it on your own even after then.
I think that's one of the best things about being a Cloudflare customer and the Cloudflare dashboard as well.
And then from there, the customer goes on with their partnership, and we have tons of tuning sessions that comes after onboarding.
So once we test the domain and see the traffic going through, we want to tune that and make sure that everything, like I said, is optimized and good to go.
So we have as many of those needed. I've seen customers of mine who first start out with us in onboarding, and then new members join the team.
So we include them in more trainings, more tuning sessions, just so they're aware of how to use the dashboard.
And then from there, we also have quarterly business reviews with you and your team.
So every quarter, or as many times as needed, we go through a full -on account review.
And that we talk about, I guess, introductions again.
We always like to emphasize who is on the account team and who is here for you at Cloudflare.
We go through Cloudflare updates, talk about our network and how much it's growing, and then we take you through account insights.
We talk about goals and priorities and what things we can help you out with here at Cloudflare and how we can best support you in whatever way we can.
And then that just goes with check-ins and product updates as well.
And we have those, again, as many times as needed. And then other ways to be involved, just like in the post-sales cycles through events and webinars.
And especially now in the time that we're in, everything is virtual.
So any way we can engage our customers, we will do online and virtually.
And we've done that, again, through webinars, through Cloudflare TV, all that stuff.
Some customers even have weekly cadences dependent on their use case.
Typically, the bigger customers we have have those weekly cadences just because their configurations are way more specific and more fine-tuned.
I mean, otherwise, there's a lot of hands-on work from the designated account team.
So we always have those and as many as needed, again, as I mentioned.
And then it's just continuous conversations with the account team and product managers, which is great.
So the greatest thing about Cloudflare is that our engineers and our product managers want to hear from you guys, from the customers.
They want to know how you're using it and what's going on, what isn't.
We do that by also filing feature requests as the account team, but it's also so great for product managers just to talk one-on-one with the customers.
So we allow for that all the time.
And again, it's just an inclusion of all those different types of conversations just to make sure you're set up for success with us.
Right. Yeah. Thank you so much, Dina. And a couple of points that Dina mentioned, I know customers who have monthly cadences, who have weekly cadences, it sort of just depends on the account team, the level of effort that goes into just keeping them up-to-date, the new projects that keep going at the customer's end.
So it's more about building a partnership. I would say that's the focus that Cloudflare always has.
But yeah, thank you for that insight, Dina. So I think with that, I'll move on to my next question, which is how do customers stay up-to-date with new features and products at Cloudflare?
And before you answer, I would just like to tell all our viewers that Cloudflare has a lot of product releases very often throughout the year, a lot of new features.
So it's difficult to stay up-to-date on top, even for internal members.
So this question is really important.
I know, I was just going to say, as the account team, like Arwa mentioned, there's so many different product updates and releases that as the account team, I need to stay up-to-date just as much as the customers do, just to make sure if the customer has ever asked me a question or the SE a question, we all know what's going on.
But sometimes I even go onto the dashboard and I'm trying to take a customer through and I'm like, oh, well, this just changed to a different part of that, or this looks different.
So it's super funny. We're always doing something new and innovation is a huge priority at Cloudflare.
So I guess now onto the answer to this question, just as the account team, we definitely are here to help you keep up-to-date with the new features and products.
And we do that again, through QBRs, through tuning sessions, through account reviews, the weekly cadences, anything like that.
But there's a lot more that we have just internally that we, or there's a lot more external links that we have that the customers can definitely take advantage of.
And so again, we connect customers with our product management team and they can give insights into like roadmap and what's going on and what's on the horizon.
Again, events and webinars. I actually just gave a webinar last week on what's new at Cloudflare and walked through the new feature updates with Cloudflare for Teams and bot management.
Also new updates on just Cloudflare's network in general, like I said.
So events and webinars, Cloudflare for Cloudflare TV, great resources.
One of my favorites, which I get a lot of my information on is the blog.
The Cloudflare blog is just an incredible place to look at Cloudflare updates, both with new product releases, just industry news, anything new with Cloudflare that's big.
The blog is just the best place.
It's updated constantly. Blog posts are written by any employee who wants to at Cloudflare, which I think is amazing.
It's not just run by one single or written by one single person or one single team.
Everyone writes. I've seen people write from the product management team, the engineering team, the people team, the marketing team, anyone.
It's really detailed. A big thing that I pride or I just love about working at Cloudflare is how honest and transparent we are about things.
The blog just gives you everything that you would need to know about anything.
As an enterprise customer, you also have access to the enterprise newsletter.
We send out updates through an email. That gives you, again, product updates, invitations for events and webinars, all that stuff.
Then also just our more technical links like the developer docs, the support pages, all those links also have updates to all of our products.
There's so many different links and so many different resources.
Our website as well, just our general Cloudflare website.
It's kind of like when you're studying for an exam, there's so many different links to help you out.
That's the best part about it. At least for me, who's always learning about new things so that I can communicate that to my customers, these are all different links and resources that I would use.
Kudos to the customer success team on that. I have been on a lot of emails where in spite of having all these different resources, a lot of times we have personal emails going out to the customers just because we know as a team that these might be beneficial to our customers, or this is a new feature that the customer was looking for for a while, and so on.
I think that's really great. Cloudflare does have one of the greatest developer docs.
They've got very detailed...
I'm sure everyone who joins Cloudflare also learns from them initially.
Absolutely. Also to your point about product managers getting involved, like I've seen that a lot.
Our product managers are really interested in wanting to talk to customers, wanting to learn more from them firsthand so that they can tweak the product or design the product well-suited for customer needs.
We did talk about a lot of feature requests and processes around that in our last segment, so our viewers are aware of how that process works internally as well.
Thank you for sharing all of that, Dina.
One other thing that we spoke about a lot during our last segment was around support.
We have 24 by 7 support. We have support teams around the globe in our different offices.
I think what would be helpful today for our viewers to know is what are some of the SLAs around getting help from support?
As you mentioned, we have a support team all over the world. Typically, the SLA is within 15 minutes, day or night, 365 days a year, 24-7.
We have support engineers here in the West Coast, Central, to London, to Singapore, everywhere around the world, so you're always covered.
The Internet never sleeps, so we all need to be online for you, God forbid, if anything goes down.
Included in that, like I mentioned earlier, there's different types of ways to get in in touch with the support team if you don't have a designated account team.
That's through dashboard chat, email support, and then phone call for any emergencies.
Hopefully, that never is the case, but we have that for you, especially for enterprise customers.
I should clarify that the dashboard chat and the phone line are for enterprise customers only, but all of our customers have access to email support 24 -7, 365 days a year.
I definitely recommend that customers get in touch with the support team if it's immediate and relatively urgent.
I, myself, am very responsive, and I'm always checking my emails just because that's the nature of my role here at Klavler, but you never know where you are.
It could be a weekend and something goes on, and it's not during normal business hours, so definitely reach out to support.
That's what they're there for, and that's what they're here to help you with.
Is there any SLAs around? How soon should a customer expect to hear back from support once they get in touch with them?
The first response is within 15 minutes for enterprise customers, which is amazing, and from there, it's best to include when you're first writing an email in as much information as possible to prevent the back and forth and to prevent any delays in getting an answer to your question, including what zone is being affected, any rareities, screenshots, any tests that you've made.
All this information is super helpful to the support team so that they can go back and do their investigation.
I've seen support engineers just respond within an hour after they do any sort of investigation on what's going on internally, but it honestly depends, and the best thing that I can always recommend and always say to my customers is just include as much information as possible because not only will it help them, it'll help you in the end.
Is there a way that our customers, say in case of a real emergency and cannot even wait for that 15 minutes, is there a way they can call in?
They definitely can. Enterprise customers have a designated support phone line, and that's not only for the US, but that's also in India.
There's a line for people in India or in Germany or anywhere around the world toll -free, and they can call the line and get in touch with the support engineer right away and then troubleshoot with the support engineer on the line.
If more investigation is needed all on the call, we'll most likely end up creating a new ticket and doing the further investigation on the call, but if your site's under attack, for example, or whatever it is, if it's urgent, please call the line.
That's what, again, like I said, the support engineers are here for, and there are engineers on call to help you troubleshoot when you do.
In addition to that, just for our viewers, your designated account team, that is the CSM and the solution engineers, will always be added to those support tickets as well so that they are in loop.
If there is anything, they can do it from there and provide some additional information about your account, escalate things, or get in touch with you.
We will do all of that based on the urgency of your ticket.
Totally. Thanks for adding that one in. Yeah, absolutely. My next question is piggybacking on my first one.
If you are troubleshooting, the support engineers figure out that there is some issue which needs to go to Cloudflare engineering team, which needs to be fixed on Cloudflare platform, or there is a new feature that might need to be enabled.
I know they can talk to product managers, like we've spoken multiple times, but in a situation like this where they have an ongoing issue and they know that they're waiting for engineering response on our end, are they able to talk to engineers directly and talk about their current issues and what the potential solution is going to be like?
Totally. I've had customers get on calls with engineers before, especially when some things haven't been working out or something seems a little bit fishy.
Engineers will get on calls if technological recommendation or expertise is required further.
Again, the short answer is yes. The only thing we ask is just to get some notice just because our engineers are always so busy and we obviously have to book some time on their calendar to do so.
That's why I said if anything is immediate or urgent, that's what our support engineering team is there for, but we can always investigate further.
I said, everyone at Koffler wants to help and wants to hear from our customers.
As long as we get any further notice beforehand, me as the customer success manager, I can definitely put a call on the books for us.
One time I had a customer that, or I guess for bot management, for example, our support team can definitely help with writing rules if there's a credential stuffing attack going on and a certain rule that we have isn't working.
Our SEs obviously are there to help provide more knowledge and expertise, more than what the support engineers can do, or even more than what the support engineers can do.
Both are incredibly knowledgeable, but the solutions engineer are more aware of the customer's use case.
The SE can definitely help out with that. If there's something wrong with the firewall rule or the bot score is not being logged correctly, or something's wrong in general just with the product, we can definitely get our bots teams engineers involved with that.
Again, you can always email your dedicated want to talk to someone just anywhere internally at Koffler, and we as the account team are your internal advocate and we'll get that scheduled immediately for you.
We are the internal voice and we can help wherever we can for you guys. Yep.
Yep. Thank you. Thank you. I think that is a really good information for our customers to know that in case if they need, they will be connected to the right resources within Koffler.
Awesome. I think that brings me to my last question, which is, if a customer is under attack, unfortunately, for whatever reason, something goes wrong, and what would be the steps that the customer should follow, as well as Cloudflare will be following, you know, alongside by side with customer to make sure that we help them during this difficult time?
Totally. The first thing I always say and recommend is to definitely file a support ticket with the support engineers.
And then also to CC us as your account team, we will obviously get notified, but I always like to be included just so that I can see the first initial questions and inquiry go in.
But if it's extremely urgent, like I said, if you're under attack, your site's just completely down, use the support line.
If you're an enterprise customer, use it.
That's what it's there for. And again, like I said, the best thing to do is to CC the CSM and the SC on the ticket just so that we're aware of what's going on.
And then again, most likely we'll be notified. And then from there, the support engineers will troubleshoot with you via phone or if you submitted an email.
And again, like I said, best include as much information as possible.
Zone name, RayID, screenshots, tests, everything. It, like I said, not only will help you, it'll help us.
It will just get the situation resolved as soon as possible to prevent any sort of back and forth.
And then hopefully, whether it be over a phone call or email, the situation would be relatively mitigated.
Usually it is with the support team, which is amazing, which I feel so comfortable with if customer writes in.
That's why I always push them to do it first because at least they have more knowledge.
Their support team can do it as soon as possible. But once the situation hopefully is mitigated from there, we as the designated account team can set up like a postmortem meeting with the SC or any other relevant engineer or team member involved with the case so we can talk about what exactly happened.
We can walk through the ticket and see what recommendations were made, what internally we saw so that we can communicate that and discuss that with the customer.
Maybe it's some firewall rule that wasn't triggered or maybe we should have put it in challenge rather than simulate, something like that.
The support engineers will be able to identify that, but I think as a designated account team, we'll be able to walk through the rationale behind why so that the customer is well-informed so that going forward, we know what to do with the customer and the customer knows what to do themselves.
The solutions engineer, like I said, can provide any recommendations and any way to prevent it.
The solutions engineer is very well aware of the use case and can definitely help out.
They've most likely seen situations like this in the past too, so it's all like learn behavior and what we can do to help out with that and make sure it's never going to come up again.
And if, for example, like a certain product could have been used in this situation that the customer doesn't have, we as the account team will talk about potentially adding that product in whatever way we can.
So I've seen customers who don't have like rate limiting or bot management, for example, who ended up experiencing an attack and most likely rate limiting would have mitigated it.
So from there, we talk about how can we add that into the contract. I had a customer who was experiencing a credential stuffing attack consistently over the weekends.
It was just happening on weekends and I believe they had rate limiting, but they didn't have bot management and our rate limiting bot management work really well together.
I mean, obviously our WAF is great, but those are two other products just to further enhance the security on your site.
So we informed support team ahead of time, just in general that, because our customer wrote in and let me know that, hey, this has been happening every weekend.
So I was like, you know what, I'm just gonna tell the support team just in case so that at least the support team is aware if that customer's name comes into their queue, they know what's actually going on.
So that's, I guess, is a great resource in itself that I'm there to help out, just inform the support team, an internal voice for them.
But due to this issue occurring relatively frequently, we as the account team talked about it with the customer and found out that bot management was actually potentially a great solution to mitigate this issue.
Even though rate limiting was helping out, it wasn't doing as much of the job it should have done.
Bot management was there to just fill in that last piece. And then from there, we worked around with the customer to implement bot management through a POC, get the rules set up with rate limiting, with the WAF, make sure that come every week and the support engineers were informed, even after bot management was involved, just so that we all can mitigate this issue.
And it's been three weeks now and nothing has come up, which is great.
So obviously, from starting out with credential stuffing attacks every weekend to now where it's been three weeks where they haven't heard anything, it's definitely a significant improvement.
And it just takes all the work involved internally to make sure that that doesn't happen.
So that's from support, from our team, from the engineering team, everything.
Yeah. And for our viewers to know, since Dina is involved in this account, that means that these customers are a steady state post -sales customers have been on Cloudflare for a while now.
Their onboarding was done a long time back.
So this is just one of the examples how Cloudflare keeps continuing support for our customers, not just through our technical support lines or emails, but even as an account team.
Also, I have seen in my experience that if there is any big issue with the customer, we always make sure to provide a postmortem report at the end about the entire issue, who are the different people who touched the issue?
How was it overcome? What was the analysis that went into it?
What is the future steps? And what are the measures that have been taken to avoid that in the future?
Yep. So thank you for that, Dina. So with that, I don't have any more questions, but we do have last three minutes left.
So do you have any other customer stories that you would like to share?
Just a post-sales story that our customers and viewers would benefit from knowing?
Yeah. So, I mean, I have another example of just like how getting support involved is super important.
Just, I guess also the benefit of being an enterprise customer and how important the designated account team is just to be your internal advocate.
So I had another customer last year go through a, was under attack for a little bit and rate limiting was the product that was definitely going to help them out just with mitigating that issue.
But the first thing that they did was file a support ticket, which was great.
The support ticket, there was still some issues going on because the site continuously went down.
And obviously if your site's down, like who's not going to get frustrated with that.
So just to mitigate that issue, I stayed on my phone watching.
I think it was like in the evening around like six, 7 PM.
So thankfully I was still awake and watching the ticket. And I realized that things were still not getting resolved as quickly as it should have.
So I worked with the support engineer on call.
So I found out who it was, and it was actually an engineer in Singapore, just cause it's their morning time.
And our support engineers here in the U S transitioned on to the Singapore team.
And I worked with the Singapore engineer just directly and got them on the phone with this support engineer, not only just, but different from when they call the line, it was like a separated phone call.
Like I said, that I just put on support engineer was gracious enough just to get on the call immediately.
And for the next two hours, the support engineer just troubleshooted the customer on the line.
And it just shows again, how much support is involved and the benefits of having an account team just to get that going.
And thankfully, just within those two hours, the attack was mitigated.
Rate limiting was the best solution for it. And the best thing about it is that in those two hours, we worked on implementing rate limiting and creating those rules just to make sure that everything was set up and good to go.
And from there, the customer has been so happy with our support team because every single time that anything happens, God forbid, they can always rely on us just because it was, even though it was a difficult situation, getting them on the line and having them sit down for the next two hours, troubleshooting with like a premium support engineer, it was super helpful.
And I also got all the comfort I needed just moving forward with that.
Yeah. Thank you so much, Dina. Thanks for all the efforts that you put in to make sure that our customers are set up for success.
You as well. Yes. I think it's a team effort. So that's what I want to all the viewers to know that Cloudflare as a team is always present for you, pre-sales as well as post-sales.
And thanks for joining us today. We are going to do more of these in the coming weeks.
The next one is going to be on next Wednesday at 1.30 p .m.
PT. We'll have a new customer success manager, Michael Minov, join us. So hope to see you guys there.
But thank you today, Dina. This was very helpful for all our viewers and some of it was a new information for me as well.
So thank you so much.
Thank you so much, Arwa.