Techstrong TV: The Importance of a Business-Consumer Relationship

Christina is the newly appointed CEO of LogicMonitor with a laser focus on customer-centricity. Charlene and Christina discuss the importance of the customer experience and customer success in fostering a symbiotic relationship between business and consumer. The video and a transcript of the conversation are below.

Charlene O’Hanlon:                Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Techstrong TV. I’m Charlene O’Hanlon and I am here now with Christina Kosmowski, who is the CEO of LogicMonitor. Christina, thank you so much for taking some time and getting on the Zoom with me today. I do appreciate it.


Christina Kosmowski:                Oh, thank you. I’m thrilled to be here.


O’Hanlon:                I do want to first of all congratulate you on your new position as CEO. That is such a great thing. I think it’s awesome that you’ve taken the reins over at Logic Monitor, especially since you have a super hard focus on customer centricity, which is something that a lot of organizations are understanding the importance of these days. So congratulations on that.


Kosmowski:                Thank you. I am thrilled. I’m really excited to be in this role and I’m excited for what we’re going to achieve here at Logic Monitor. Like you said, customer centricity has been a huge passion of mine, and so I’m thrilled that I can bring that to the table here in my new role but also that other companies are realizing how important it is.


O’Hanlon:                Obviously, with the onset of the pandemic and everybody got sent home, everything shifted online or at least the majority of things shifted online. Customer centricity became such an important aspect of the success or failure of an organization and its relationship with its customer base and its ability to move forward.


To me, any company that isn’t focused on the customer experience these days, I think is not going to be around in a few years. What have you kind of seen in that space when it comes to just understanding the customer journey and creating a customer centric organization?


Kosmowski:                I couldn’t agree more. I do think it’s critical. I grew up really putting the customer at the center of everything we do and bringing that to organizations. So now as CEO, I’m really ensuring that we’re putting the customer at the center of everything we do.


We’re looking at, all right, how do we build product and how do we do that in an iterative way so that we’re actually building it with our customers and thinking of this more as a partnership? How are we bringing the voice of the customer not just to product but to every part of the organization? Even if you’re in back-office finance, understanding what you do and how that impacts the customer, so how we set up our contracts and how we bill. All of those things also contribute to the overall customer experience.


We’re doing all of that, really bringing that customer to life and really looking at what does value mean to them, not what is technology for technology’s sake. What’s truly the business value they’re trying to drive?


If we look at – you mentioned the pandemic threw all sorts of companies into chaos with workforce immediately going remote. That’s creating a whole digital complexity right there. With everyone going remote, it’s also turning every company into a digital company, so the importance and resiliency on digital becomes more critical.


If I look at even the product we’re providing at Logic Monitor, we are kind of a data collaboration tool that’s collecting all this data from the various technology sources and we’re putting intelligence on top of that and helping companies predict and resolve problems before they become problems so that they ultimately have this uptime and then they can go focus on innovating for their customers.


That’s even the mantra we’re trying to solve for other companies is helping them focus on this customer experience by freeing them up from worrying about problems or downtime and really having them be able to focus on that innovation.


O’Hanlon:                That’s great. I feel like when we’re talking about kind of the evolution of the customer experience within an organization it really is not completely external facing. A lot of that has to change within the organization to focus on both the internal and the external customer. Have you seen that as kind of a change in mindset, if you will, or a change in culture within the organization to become more customer centric?


Kosmowski:                Yeah. Completely. If your employees aren’t happy, inspired by your vision, and productive and empowered to do this, you’re not going to deliver good customer experiences. I think you’ve got to focus on that employee experience first and then the customer experience. That feels really backwards sometimes but I think it’s important.


As we look at our priorities here, we start with the employee and say, ”All right, do they understand what value our tool is providing to the customer? What are our customers trying to achieve?” and making sure everyone understands that and kind of bringing those stories to life, so they understand, “Here’s how my role fits in with what we’re trying to do as a company to serve our customers,” and really giving them the tools and the processes to be successful. That’s really important as well is that you’re looking at, “Okay, what tools do these employees need so that they can deliver more effectively?”


If you even think back, that’s sort of what we’re trying to do with our product as well is say, “Let’s give these IT operations folks and developers these tools so that they can resolve problems quickly or it automatically resolves because of our intelligent system.” Then they’re freed up to focus on these experiences. I think that’s critical.


O’Hanlon:                I would agree. Certainly, the technology plays a critical role in ensuring that – not only that your employees have what they need, and their customers have what they need to be able to do their jobs, but also do it in a way that they don’t really feel like they’re bogged down with things. Having that level of automation obviously does free them up in that respect.


There’s a whole mindset that comes along with that, I think. If you are just completely bogged down with all these manual processes and you’re doing the same thing over, and over, and over again, it can be brain numbing after a while. There is nothing worse than an employee who is just not very motivated, just doesn’t really understand why they’re doing what they’re doing.


I think the technology actually can create an entirely new mindset among employees because they’re not just, like I said, doing that mind numbingly rote tasks and things like that. It just raises, I think, the collective enjoyment of working in an environment. As I said, we’ve got a lot of people who are enjoying their job because they’re not doing those repetitive things and they’re not kind of rolling their eyes every single day.


It’s amazing what a metamorphosis a company can go through when they have the right technologies to support their employees. There’s also a top-down component, so it’s got to come from leadership in creating a customer centric environment as well.


Kosmowski:                I love that concept of joy. We talk about that too. This is fun and you’ve got to have joy in what you do. I think it is important to bring that to the table. When you think through this top down, I think it is important. I always say processes aren’t the antithesis of innovation. They actually help enable innovation.


An example for me can even be around putting a customer risk process in place and elevating where are there any areas that risk can occur and actually putting accountability – putting a name of a person who owns that and making that not just be myself as the CEO or the customer success team or the sales team, but putting accountability on other parts of the org that don’t normally touch the customer is really important.


Putting it on the finance team and helping them feel accountable to it. Putting ownership in certain areas on the product team so they feel accountable to how this is getting delivered to the customer. I think that’s really important, number one.


Then number two, bringing that data as well. Data is critical into really seeing how are things performing. Also going back, I believe our tool provides that scorecard for CIOs, which is really beneficial, so they’ve got this ability to say, “Here’s exactly how we’re doing on our tech stack.”


Then they can ultimately bring that to the customer. I think it’s looking at, what are those processes? How can you get data? How can you spread accountability across the organization so you really bring that customer centricity to the table is important.


The third is just telling the stories, bringing your customers in, hearing their stories, seeing people – understanding who are the people behind this. That’s really important. You’ve got to feel empathy for an individual and what they’re trying to achieve and what are their career goals and you helping enable that as well.


O’Hanlon:                That’s great. What are you guys doing internally to help kind of promote this customer centric environment? Do you have any special programs in place or are you doing any sort of – I don’t know – just regular sessions on customer centricity? How are you guys kind of promoting it internally?


Kosmowski:                To kind of bring back into that framework where I was talking about the process – at every one of my executive leadership team meetings, we have a customer risk process, and we go through all the customers that are at risk and where that is. I assign one of my executive leadership team members to go own that.


Like I said, I spread it out. It’s not just the customer success leader. It’s not just me. It’s not just the sales leader. It’s got to be everyone feeling accountable for it. We put that process in place. We then also look at the data so we’re looking at, “All right. Let’s understand, what is the value that we’re driving with customers? How are we seeing that move?” and kind of figuring out, what are things we can do to put that in place?


Then three, it’s that qualitative story. We bring in – once every other all hands, we actually will bring in a customer to talk and talk about how they’re using it. We bring them to our executive team meetings once a month as well so we can hear directly from them and ask questions. I think it’s really important to not just have the data. You also have to bring accountability to the whole org but then bring the stories to life. Bring the people to life that are part of it.


We, in addition, have a slack channel that’s customer stories. The customer success teams will post and say, “Here’s how this customer is using us. Here’s what they’re doing,” so that everyone can see all of that real time as well.


O’Hanlon:                That’s great. That kind of brings to life – brings home what kind of an impact your technology is having. That makes it personal, and I think a lot of people really get a lot out of that. Christina, you guys are doing some great things at Logic Monitor, and I think it’s amazing that you guys are putting such a focus on customer centricity. I do appreciate your taking a couple of minutes and talking with me today. I wish you the greatest success and I hope we can talk again real soon in the future.


Kosmowski:                Thank you.


O’Hanlon:                All right everybody. Please stick around. We’ve got lots more Tech Strong TV coming up so stay tuned.


[End of Audio]