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CriticalArc’s Customer Success Program

CriticalArc is honored to win the prestigious Security & Fire Excellence ‘Customer Care Initiative of the Year’ for 2020. Given this award, it’s the perfect time to share how customers will benefit from our Customer Success Program.

CriticalArc’s SafeZone® Customer Success Program ensures that every new organization coming onboard with us receives the best possible value from their investment, as quickly as possible, with the least disruption.

The program is a unique example in our industry of how new technology can be implemented and its value maximized. And it doesn’t end once the service is up and running. The goal is to counsel customers to help them derive maximum value from SafeZone by expanding the different ways SafeZone is used and increasing the range of stakeholders who benefit from the technology. Our Customer Success Team continues to work closely with each client long term, to help them explore new advantages and ways they use the service, to leverage additional benefits, and increase the number of stakeholders engaged with it.

The fact that SafeZone has close to a 100% customer retention and contract renewal rate is evidence of how well this works. That’s the conviction underpinning CriticalArc’s SafeZone Customer Success Program, which is unique in the security industry for its breadth and depth.

The Customer Success Program not only guides SafeZone customers through initial deployment for a successful launch of their service, it enables continual performance monitoring and benchmarking against comparable peers to help the teams using SafeZone constantly refine and optimize their operations, communications and processes.

In addition, the program provides every customer with a gateway into a network of high value users: heads of security, IT, safety, and senior management teams who collectively are at the forefront of their industries.

The value of this network is reinforced during the SafeZone annual user conference, where industry leaders gather to share lessons learned, discuss upcoming challenges, and shape the SafeZone product roadmap in a way that is that is exceptional in the industry.

Additionally, customers derive a great deal of value from interacting and collaborating with industry thought leaders throughout the year, between institutions with shared interests – whether they be neighbors in the same city or operating halfway around the world from one another. These collaborations are at the heart of what SafeZone is about: enabling situational awareness and seamless coordination between response teams, stakeholders, and the communities of people they protect.

TERRY BRANCH, Head of Security Services, Imperial College London

How the Program Works

The Customer Success Program is continually evolving and has been refined through successful rollouts at scores of major organizations over the several years, including at universities, public sector agencies, corporate campuses, utilities, and critical infrastructure sites.

As soon as a new customer executes their agreement to use SafeZone, our implementation team schedules a series of meetings with them to formulate a detailed project plan. Usually it’s within days – and during the 2020 pandemic, with new customers asking for rapid implementation, we’ve been able to fine-tune a fast tracked deployment time down to under four weeks, from contract signing to the service being launched and going live on site. The objective is always to proceed at the pace at which each customer feels comfortable.

Protect Staff

Project Plan

The project plan is the roadmap that guides a successful initial deployment and leads into the subsequent evolution and ramp-up of the service for each customer. The project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity to consider issues that have been causing challenges and to drill down into specifics of primary concern for each customer. Frequently, we find we can point to approaches other SafeZone customers have successfully implemented to tackle similar problems and offer practical steps to replicate those strategies.

As part of these introductory meetings, we make sure that all key customer contacts – their senior teams, stakeholders, and staff immediately responsible for the implementation – are aware of the full range of SafeZone’s capabilities. While initial deployments are typically focused on one or more specific objectives the organization wants to focus on, such as targeting specific, high-risk user groups e.g. lone workers, it’s important everyone has a solid understanding of the depth and breadth of the SafeZone solution, so they can gradually increase the value they derive from its deployment across the organization.

Throughout the customer journey, we help guide our customers toward a deployment that best fits their needs by sharing best practices, templates and assets to meet a diverse range of use cases.

Additional capabilities may not be taken advantage of for a few months, or even a year, from the initial order, but invariably customers look to extend and develop the ways they use SafeZone and the Customer Success Program is designed to support our customers every step of the way. This extension of service scope is often the result of feedback and ideas generated from frontline customer teams using SafeZone, at the request of stakeholders they are working with, or from discussions with peers who are also using the service.

Deployment

After the project plan is agreed on, we quickly transition customers to the deployment phase. Our goal is to help the customer stay on track and ensure the roll-out is smooth and hassle-free. In this phase we’re typically working with multiple stakeholders, for example coordinating between IT, marketing, security, and senior executives. All these departments typically have different ideas and agendas which need to be addressed, aligned, and scheduled.

For example, in this stage we would typically assist the IT organization with things like supporting the use of SSO (Single Sign-On) which allows their users to log into SafeZone with their organization’s credentials and ensure we’re in full compliance with their data security standards.

A core component of the deployment is the extensive array of training offered to customers, both in-person and remote. The Customer Success Team is focused on ensuring each one of our customers is equipped with the knowledge and training so that they can ensure the necessary stakeholders receive the training required. Training times are scheduled to accommodate shift changes and to minimize disruption to operations.

A critical aspect of deployment is ensuring high levels of community engagement, and we’ve developed a launch toolkit which consists of communications strategies, best practices and a number of branded assets. Examples include over 150 assets such as digital signs, posters, and several social media campaigns which organizations can use to drive up awareness and interest in SafeZone among those the service protects: members of staff, students, remote workers, first response teams, support personnel and contractors.

We even include examples of other clients’ work so our newest customers can see the tools in action and get inspired with creative ideas. These high levels of community engagement really set SafeZone apart, and because they are so important, they are shared regularly with our customers.

Gary Stephen, Head of Security & Operational Support, University of Glasgow

Full-scale Operational Use

At this stage we’ll confirm everything that’s been discussed and delivered so far, and look ahead to future plans. We encourage customers not to tackle everything at once, but to become expert with their priority functions before expanding capabilities and use cases.

We also review the high-level support available to the customer.

This includes proactive technical support, whereby we notify all customers of new product releases that enhance current capabilities, as well as patches to resolve any performance issues. Typically, solutions are in place before most customers are even aware there is an issue. And we provide a premium 24/7 technical response service too, with dedicated teams in Australia, the UK and the US enabling a truly around the clock service.

With SafeZone now up and running, the new customer will quickly realize the benefit of continual performance monitoring.

Making the Most of Your Investment in SafeZone

Once the SafeZone service is fully operational, the Customer Success Program focuses on helping customers get the maximum return on investment by mapping out additional applications and capabilities the customer wants to support, as well as rolling out SafeZone to additional stakeholders.

This starts with a quarterly report which is customized for each customer. The report provides a quarterly read-out that enables customers to work with their Customer Success team to drill down into KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) including the number of active users, the number and type of alerts triggered, average first response times and average incident resolution times.

Crucially, this quarterly review mechanism also includes comparative data which enables the customer to measure their performance against others. This comparison between peers provides an ongoing barometer of how well teams are doing. These valuable insights show customers where there are opportunities to further improve performance and use SafeZone more fully.

The Customer Success Program also encompasses training and e-learning for system users. It’s notable that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve worked with many of our customer teams to enhance their proficiency with SafeZone through targeted online courses, explainer videos and best practice webinars.

Finally, every year our SafeZone User Conferences are stand-out events. It’s at this coming together of SafeZone customers, operators and industry thought leaders from around the world that we see the results of our customer success work most clearly. Senior practitioners share details of incidents, challenges, and examples of operational innovation, and together we look ahead at our product development plans for both the short term and long term. Every customer present gets to vote on specific product enhancements they want to see next, and every customer has an equal say. We value customer input and use this information to formulate our product roadmap for the year ahead.  And when we develop a new feature or capability, the majority of these enhancements are released to our entire customer base at no additional cost.

We believe that due to the significant investment in the onboarding, training and performance optimization of our customers, it will ensure they get maximum value from SafeZone, leading them to share their positive experiences with their peers. Feedback on the Customer Success Program has been quite positive and it’s rewarding to see all the ways our customers use SafeZone to help better protect those they have duty of care for. Overall, the award-winning SafeZone Customer Success Program is one of the most dynamic in our sector and will continue to evolve and improve in the future.

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