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 Cloudflare TV. We are going to talk about the post-sale success at Cloudflare today.
I'm Arwa Ginwala. I'm the solutions engineer here at Cloudflare in the field team.
I joined Cloudflare more than a year ago and I closely work with the enterprise customers both pre-sales and post-sales.
I help them through their technical integrations, help them guide through best practices and also just help them through any new products or services that Cloudflare might have launched.
With me today I also have Jill who is a customer success manager at Cloudflare and I'll let her introduce herself in a minute.
Before we get started, thank you for joining Cloudflare TV.
Today's segment is going to be focused on post-sales and how Cloudflare account teams provide different support resources to our enterprise customer.
On paper, Cloudflare does not have any professional or managed services.
However, a bunch of our teams like 24 by 7 support team, our customer success management team as well as the solutions engineering team are all present to help our enterprise customers post-sales to ensure that they are set up for success.
With that Jill, I'll let you introduce yourself.
Great, thanks Arwa. So my name is Jill Lewandoski and I am a customer success manager at Cloudflare.
I focus on our strategic accounts. Those will be some of our larger accounts that have worked with a wide variety of our customers.
I joined Cloudflare almost a year ago, so July 2019.
So I've seen quite a bit over the last year on the customer success side and really my goal is to be a quarterback for the customer to make sure that they are successful, utilizing Cloudflare, understanding what their options are and how to implement it on their side and then anything going forward.
I like to maintain that relationship. So I think we'll get into some of the things that we cover on the customer success side in our conversation, but definitely I am the point of contact after the sales side.
Awesome, thank you Jill.
So the way today's segment is going to be is I'll be introducing Jill with a few commonly asked customer questions on the post-sales side and we learn from her how Cloudflare provides different resources to cater to different needs.
And then I'll leave some time for Jill to share any customer story that she might have, a success story, and how she sets up different cadences, how we have different resources for strategic customer of Cloudflare.
So with that, I want to get started, but I would like to tell all our audience here that if you all have any questions, feel free to email us at livestudio at Cloudflare.tv.
You can also see the same information underneath the screen that you are currently watching on and we'll take some time at the end to answer these questions.
With that, let's get started.
So Jill, my first question is what if customers have new team members who need to be trained on Cloudflare products and services?
I think that's a great question.
Ideally, customer teams, everyone stays the same, but that is not a reality.
People leave, new people come, and so I recognize that as the customer success manager.
So understanding that and what it might take to get new people up to speed is important on my side.
I have a little bit of context from the configuration of the customer and how we've worked with them, but many times, you know, we do have new folks join and so it makes sense to empower them to be able to go into the dashboard and make changes and updates as they need, understand the analytics, and everything that's available to them.
Ideally, I'm in touch with the team, so I, at the customer side, so I know when there's a new team member.
Maybe they mention it, maybe they mention we have a whole new team that's going to be focused on the Cloudflare side.
That's great. You know, in our regular cadence of calls and meetings, we can set that up.
Other times, I'll notice that we might have new folks at a customer who reach out to our support team, and it's a new name that I am not as familiar with.
So every now and then, I'll also proactively reach out and say, hey, do you need training?
I noticed there was, you know, new folks on the team, and that's something up that way.
Yeah, really depend on, you know, the different situations.
But I think the ultimate goal is to have people comfortable using the dashboard and Cloudflare.
And whatever we can do to help that is, you know, something that I'm focused on.
Awesome. Yeah, I think it's important to know that Cloudflare is available to provide training to customers as and when they need it.
Do you involve other team members, other teams throughout Cloudflare to, you know, achieve this?
I would say definitely. You know, on your side, Arwa, the solutions engineers are a great resource for walking through dashboards and, you know, recommending best practices or things to look at or configure.
So sometimes these dashboard reviews and walkthroughs with a solutions engineer and the customer are good because it gives us a chance to also maybe tweak some things that can be relooked at, you know, a few months in or a few years into coming on to Cloudflare.
But you guys are a great resource for this as well. And I think it gives the customer a lot of confidence that they can do this on their own.
Got it. Yeah. Do you have any recent examples that you can speak of? Actually, I was monitoring some of our support tickets.
And that's one of the things I do just to see the questions that are coming in from my customers.
And I did notice a few folks who were asking questions that, you know, weren't overly complex, but maybe it was just a trying to understand Cloudflare.
So I did reach out to the team that we typically work with and noted, hey, I noticed a few new folks writing with questions.
Does it make sense to set up a dashboard review sometime in the next month?
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. That was informative, I'm sure, for our viewers as well.
So I'll take on to the next question. A lot of our customers want to know that what will Cloudflare do if they see something unusual at 1 a.m.
in the night?
What are the different resources available to the customer if something comes up in the middle of the night?
I think we all know that the Internet is 24 -7, and many of our customers run global businesses.
So it's not as if Internet traffic stops at 5 o'clock when everyone is going to dinner or working on things at home.
So we definitely want to be able to support our customers 24-7. And, you know, Arwa and I, I think you would agree, we're not up 24-7 either.
As much as we might want to be there to troubleshoot, we're not there either.
So that's where I help our customer understand the options available to them if something happens in the middle of the night.
So one, we do have a great support team. Our support engineers are very technical, they're very knowledgeable, and they see just a wide spectrum of questions coming in from customers.
So it's possible they've seen similar situations before.
They are a great resource. So we encourage all of our enterprise customers to write into enterprise support.
That is available 24-7 because we have team members across the globe.
That is very helpful to our customers to help them have support in the middle of the night, for example.
Also, you know, what's important is that handover between regions.
They'll also make sure that any customer questions that come in are, you know, handled across the support team.
So the sort of messaging and the research is consistent. Then you might wake up in the middle of the night and there's an emergency, your site is down, there's no traffic, you're wondering what's happening.
We do have a 24-7 emergency number as well.
And we have numbers local to different countries across the globe as well for customers where that makes sense.
But we definitely have the resources to support our overnight.
Yep. And for all our viewers, to Jill's point, we have offices in the United States of America.
We have offices in London and Europe.
We have offices in Singapore and other and Beijing as well. So we do have like around the clock 24-7 support present in all these major offices.
So that actually reminds me of a situation we worked together on, when the customer had some issues.
Do you want to share that with our viewers? Sure. We were helping a customer get on boarded with one of our more complex products.
And we had a go live at around four or five o'clock.
And I think we started, it was great. And I think we know just a few issues that they were seeing in APAC around that time.
And this is probably around six o'clock PM.
And so I think that was what we also suggested.
Let's leverage our support team and get them on board. They have the resources to help troubleshoot here so that we can help you keep this moving overnight as well so that we can solve this problem faster for you.
And so I think the customer also can't interact, might not be able to interact with support overnight, but at least they could provide information that support that could then continue to research and see what the underlying issue was to get them up and running.
Yep, absolutely. And I remember how happy the customer was at the end with our support responses.
So thanks for sharing that. With that, let's hop on to our third question here.
What if a customer traffic goes above the contracted limit of the month?
So I'm talking more so on from the billing point of view. So how is the customer billed?
Do they see any surprised billings? Or how does Cloudflare as a team handle any sort of overages in customers billing on a month-to-month basis?
Sure. Our enterprise customers do have a contract with us. So there is an anticipated monthly fee that we will send invoices for.
And I think that's one of the things is we don't want surprise billing either.
So in UC, some of the pre -sales efforts, that's where understanding the customer's use case and what they need and building that into a contract that makes sense for them.
Yeah. And then when I work on the customer success side, I am in contact with the customer about how they're using the product, how much they're using the product, I can keep an eye on that.
The reality is sometimes things change. The customer didn't anticipate there might be a huge surge in traffic based on the time of year, or they made an acquisition and that meant more traffic.
They can't anticipate everything. So we are there though to help them through those times.
And it is not our goal as soon as you're over slightly on the data transfer that you're doing, you're going to get a bill.
I think for our enterprise customers, that's why I maintain contact with you.
So we're in touch about how it's going on your side, things to anticipate.
Are we seeing an increase in data transfer? And then having a conversation about that and just making sure that we're on the same page.
We have the right limits in place with the contract and can have that discussion for going forward as how it may be adjusted.
Right. Yeah. And I think it's important to have that trust factor and then to make our customers feel comfortable and help them through all their growth.
Right. So I think, thanks for sharing that. Just on that, we want it to be a dialogue because this is a long-term relationship too.
And we want to work long-term.
So we want everyone to be in the right spot of where they anticipate their usage being.
No, definitely. Yes. That makes sense. And I'm sure that will help our customers and our viewers be a lot more confident with Cloudflare's billing program.
With that, I'll hop on to my next question. Are there any reports that are available for the customers provided by Cloudflare on our regular cadence?
So we do have a wealth of information available on our dashboard, providing insight into traffic and usage and our abilities and our analytics are continuing to improve there as well.
We continue to build out new analytics for ways for customers to filter data and get access to data.
Some of our customers also use third-party systems to import that data in there to help them do more analytics as well.
But we will work with the customer during our QBRs, for example, or account reviews.
We will look at additional data sets that we have to help them understand how they're using their product and where to make improvements as well.
But there is a wealth of information that is available that can come from the dashboard.
Yeah. And Jill, can you elaborate a little bit on the QBRs? The QBRs, or quarterly business review or account review, is a way for the customer success team to be in touch with the customer, kind of taking a step back and understanding how is the business changing, any new initiatives for the next quarter, things that we need to think about proactively for the second half of the year or even looking into 2021, really just take a step back out of a higher level and just understand needs and pain points for how we might have something that might help the customer there.
Or we are working on something that would be applicable to that customer.
So it keeps, that allows me to think, okay, in six months, this is something I can reach out on again, an update.
Yeah. I've seen that during these QBRs are a great time to introduce customers to new products as well.
And I've also seen that even though they are quarterly business reviews, you can adjust the cadence based on what the customer wants.
If they want it more frequently, we definitely do that as well.
Exactly. I want to work with the customer to have it on a cadence that makes sense for them.
So sometimes we proactively set them up on a quarterly basis or adjust as needed as the teams change, or maybe there's changes on the customer side so we can work around that or build that into the cadence.
Right. And again, like to our first question, QBRs also can be a good place to train customers, right?
And we have regular webinars and such anyway, but this gives us more time with the customers to answer to their specific questions and training related stuff as well.
Right. And before QBR, I'll also check in and see if there are any technical questions that we want to cover while we have that call.
And then that's where I can bring you into a call to address those specific questions that might've been there that they didn't get answered and a great chance to take a step back and make some recommendations.
Yeah. Absolutely. Yes. And I've seen that generally from these QBRs, a lot of times we might have some feature requests that might pop in, right?
There might be times when customers might ask us for certain things that might help them in a niche sort of use case.
So what is the process there to bring this information to our product team or to sort of relay this requirement to our engineering?
I love hearing for customers and I love it when they give me information that is a feature request.
I think it's such a wealth of information knowing how customers want to use our product, things that they want to do that aren't available yet.
So sometimes those QBR and account reviews, that's a great chance to kind of uncover those.
And the customer might say something that prompts say, hey, that would be something that we can bring to our product team.
I also have customers who are very tuned into feature requests.
So proactively say, hey, I think this is a feature request for you.
Any way that we can get this information from the customers and get that to the product team is great.
One of my things that I do as a customer success manager is taking that customer feedback and figuring out the right avenue and making sure we get it to our product team.
So we have a process internally to make sure that we are reviewing those feature requests, making sure it gets to the right product team, and then tracking those on our side as well.
Right. And I think I've seen this, just to add to your point, I've seen that many times our product team would love to speak to the customer directly to understand what they're actually looking for and get as much detail and feedback around their need so that they can tailor the product or the new feature accordingly.
That's a great opportunity also for me on the customer success side to introduce product managers to some of our customers so that they, yes, can understand the exact use case or ask follow-up questions that will help them develop the product.
Yep, absolutely. And I think with that, I'm sure our viewers learned a lot about the different services Cloudflare offers post-sales.
So I think at this point, I want to leave it open to you, Jill.
I was just wondering if you would like to share a customer story with our viewers to see how different account teams might have come together during a post-sales issue and help our customers overcome a major hurdle.
Sure. I have a variety of customers. I have a cadence of weekly meetings with them, and sometimes it's quarterly.
It just depends on needs and what's going on with the customer at that time.
So I have one customer where they expressed a need for a particular product or solution for them around data and where it might go.
And we had a conversation early December. Nothing that was in the pipeline yet, but it had involved the product manager on that side.
And so it's one of the things as a customer success manager, one of the things I need to do on my side is make sure that I just know what's going on, update some products so that when I think, okay, we had this conversation in December, I wonder if there is an update here.
And it was, this was a case where in the spring there was progress made on that.
And so it was a great chance for me to reach back out to the customer and let them know we've made progress on this.
It's probably worth revisiting to see if your use case has changed, if your needs have changed, or if this is still interesting.
And it was a chance to regroup on it, get a few more questions answered.
They also understood their needs better and then liaise with the product team and the account executive as well.
So who are the account executives here? Jill, what is their role in helping our customers, especially post sales?
In our way, you probably work with them very closely on the presale side as well.
And then when I joined the team, at that point, it's, you know, getting them onboarded and working with the account executive who still maintains that relationship with the customer and, you know, the commercial discussions and understanding new products.
And I work with them to also help uncover these, you know, needs and how that might translate into a product that we have that could be a solution for them.
So a lot of the times we work very closely together to just understand customer needs, solutions that they're looking for, and then how that translates into something that we have as a product at Cloudflare.
Right. So it seems like even though we don't offer professional services, the customer does throughout the life cycle, get a bunch of resources always available to them.
So the account executives who actually work with the customer presales continue most often than not to work with them post sales as well if they need any new products or any commercial discussions that they might want to have.
There is the customer success team, people like yourself, Jill, who are constantly helping customers, you know, navigate to the right resources within Cloudflare.
And then the solutions engineering team, people like myself, who sort of work with the customer both presales as well as post sales to sort of manage or maintain the continuity between, you know, the relationship throughout the relationship we have with the customer to have all the context that you would need from presales to post sales as well.
And then we have our 24 by 7 support that is always available for our enterprise customers.
So that I think all of this information I think will definitely help our viewers who have a lot of questions around different post sales resources they have available at Cloudflare.
I will add, we do have a best in class knowledge base as well where you can go and search for other questions that have been asked before.
We have a lot of documentation online that we reference that customers can use.
And again, I think we mentioned this earlier, we do have webinars quite frequently.
A variety of languages, so they are global.
And those are a great chance to hear about new products from our product manager as well.
And, you know, the enterprise, our enterprise customers also get an enterprise email, letting them know what it might be new.
So there are lots of ways that we like to make sure our customers can stay in touch with us and get the answers they need.
Absolutely, yes. And then there are just a couple of more things that I would like to add before we take questions from the viewers here, is that even after the onboarding during these QBRs, from a technical point of view, we are constantly doing tuning sessions.
We want to optimize your configurations as much as we can.
So we are always advising you, guiding you to the best practices, having, you know, optimize your percentage of cache, you know, cache hit ratio or optimize your fine tuning, your security settings, making sure there are least false positives as possible.
So a lot goes in from the technical point of view as well.
So, yeah, I wanted to put that out there. But is there anything else, Jill, that you would like to add here before I move on to audience questions?
You know, I just like my customers to know that I am a quarterback for really whatever questions they have, even if it's, you know, invoice related or it could be, you know, something else.
My goal is to help find the answer, whether it's technical, whether it's just finding the right person within Cloudflare.
I want to make the customer experience as great as it can be. Awesome, yeah.
Thank you, Jill, for everything that you do. And with that, let's take one of the customer questions here, viewers questions here.
So it says, what are the different modes of communicating with the customers that Cloudflare has to offer?
I think companies use different types of communication tools.
You know, I see a wide variety across my customer base. You know, we want to find the best way to communicate.
So, you know, typical email, you know, messaging apps as well.
I think, you know, whatever we can do to make sure, I want to make sure the account team always knows what the questions are, too.
So sometimes email is a very good form to do that, just because then I can move in as well, and we have everyone with eyes on it.
You know, sometimes people are in meetings, so we can't always get a response within a few minutes if it's to the core account team.
That's why support is also great for questions.
But I, you know, I want to understand how my customer likes to be communicated to, and try and work with that to make sure that we are, you know, getting information back and forth.
Yeah, and I think you already mentioned this, but we do have a knock line for any emergency contact that they would need, right, in addition to email or any other chat channel that they might like to use, right?
Yep, and I recommend that they save that in their contacts.
You never know when you might need that phone number. Yes, absolutely.
Awesome. So thank you, Jill, for sharing with the audience. I really appreciate your time.
Thank you to all the viewers for plugging in. Hope we have provided a very informative and helpful session.
We will have these more often, so we might have these every Wednesday with more customer questions with different CSMs, customer success managers from CloudPlay, and maybe some members from our support team in the future as well.
So hope to see you again next Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Pacific time. So thank you all for watching, and have a good week ahead.
Thanks, Narwa. Thank you, Jill. Thank you.
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