Francis Cordón recently joined the Rigor team as the Chief Customer Officer. In this newly created executive role, Cordón leads Rigor’s customer strategy and execution. He will ensure all departments contribute to delivering world-class service and a unified experience across the entire customer journey.
I sat down with Francis to learn more about his background in the performance space, customer success trends he sees in the industry, and how he plans to build a customer-focused culture as Rigor’s new CCO.
Prior to Rigor, Francis held roles at Performance Management Software vendors, helping Fortune 500 organizations achieve their performance and efficiency goals.
During his years working for these organizations, Francis became an expert on the vendor side of the sales cycle working as a Sales Engineer, Technical Product Manager, and eventually the Senior Director of Customer Success and Professional Services.
Francis also brings experience gained as a customer in the SaaS industry while working as the VP Chief Performance Architect at the Bank Of New York Mellon where he ran Performance Architecture and the Application Performance Management practice across the application lifecycle. This a role required him to shift to the customer side of the SaaS industry by managing several SaaS platforms for his organization.
Francis credits this experience as the customer for greatly impacting him and completely changing the course of his career.
Improving the Customer Success Process
So, what issues did Francis encounter during his years as a SaaS customer?
In general, he did not see enough customer-focused mentality in the industry.
Far too often, vendors would disappear after implementation concluded and resurface about 2-3 months before renewal. At that time, it would be up to the customer success team to resurrect the relationship with the customer after months with little to no contact.
Sure, enablement is the first step. But, expecting customers to be product experts after a few days of training is unrealistic.
Another observation was that vendors were not putting enough focus on results.
In one instance, Francis needed a way to prove to his CIO that investments in monitoring platforms were producing value. It was a wake-up call that no vendors were able to summarize the ROI value their product was adding. Francis ended up having to make ‘performance scorecards’ on his own. But, he kept thinking that his vendors should be doing this for him.
Francis explains, “When you’re a customer and you have a relationship with a vendor. Your vendors may be the nicest people on earth. When your boss’s boss comes to you and asks how things are going with this vendor, you say that things are going great because you have a subjective experience. When he asks what does great mean? What is our ROI from this investment? Sadly most customers would struggle to answer that question because their vendors are not there enabling them to answer those questions objectively.”
Taking Customer First Approach
So, how do you build a customer-focused culture?
According to Francis, an organization must have a transformation of both practices and mindset across all departments.
“There is no ‘I am just support’ or ‘I am just presales,’ but more ‘how can I show, document, and celebrate something my product does that helps the customer’”
It won’t happen overnight, but Francis plans to build a customer experience that spans from discovery to documentation.
He explains, “If you go to the majority of customers in the space and ask them to name the exact date they reached their ROI on a tool, they don’t know. This means that the vendors are not even trying to provide this data. We need to help our customers all through this path, including the documentation which is as important.”
In the short time since Francis started this role, significant changes have already been made, but Rigor is far from finished perfecting this customer-focused approach.
Francis’ goal is to enable every Rigor user to pull a clear report documenting the ROI from Rigor. “This will help organizations evolve and achieve clearly documented levels of ROI by eliminating outages and improving application performance,” Francis commented.
Want to learn more about Francis Cordón? Connect with him on LinkedIn.