Chief Customer Success Officer Rick Laner has a map and mission for customer success
Before Rick Laner joined Elastic as our new Chief Customer Success Officer, he wanted to confirm if the company was committed to scaling, focusing on the customer experience, and whether the culture is really as advertised.
“Firstly, I really dug into the culture and tried to understand, ‘is it really how people operate? Are all the good things I heard true?’ After talking to more than 80 people in my first 8 weeks and observing how teams function, I realized it is absolutely the case,” said Rick. “People take pride in their innovation, uniqueness, making complex tasks simple, taking calculated risks, being humble and respectful. It is truly the way people operate, and the leadership do the same and reward it. It is all true.”
Rick has made a career out of customer success, services, pre-sales, and support over the past 30 years, with more recent leadership roles at Mulesoft/Salesforce, Splunk and BMC Software.
“At Elastic, everyone’s on this core mission,” he says, “and that’s a very unique thing, because it can be an incredible catalyst or X-Factor when building the foundations for scale in a fast growing organization. It basically means with strong alignment on a common vision we grow even faster.”
For Rick, being
Chief Customer Success Officer at Elastic is first and foremost about satisfaction, service, and value for our customers. Therefore, the customer journey is at the center of how he plans to structure his team, recruit talent, communicate and determine insights into how our customers are using Elastic solutions. From there, he will provide the right activities and knowledge to customers to ensure they are successful.
“If we look through the eyes of our customers it will ensure we provide a better experience. That is why the Customer Journey is at the core of how we will operate.” he says. “Providing a service to our customers in the Cloud makes the table stakes even higher. We need to be able to guide a customer to maximize their experience and multiply the value from our platform for their business. As an increasing number of our customers move to the Elastic Cloud, we will be able to proactively support customers before they even reach out to us. Our platform enables Elastic to derive insights on how our customers are using our solutions–and how we can help them drive even greater value.”
Advancing your career at Elastic
“Elastic already has incredible talent and we have the starting foundations for knowledge sharing, and we will strive to continuously improve and create the ability for millions of people to build careers and skills in Elastic.”
To advance on his plan, Rick wants to ensure Elastic is fostering career progression, inclusion, and collaboration in our recruitment, retention, and team-building approach. That will include a robust onboarding program, early-in-career support, and expert-level development for seasoned professionals. Roles will range from architects, consultants, delivery managers, CSMs, instructors, content creators, to support engineers and beyond. He says there will be plenty of opportunities for advancement and promotion as Elastic continues to grow.
In addition to this, Rick and the team will dramatically expand our partner ecosystem next year and beyond, so that we have more skills in the market for our customers to leverage.
And, we’ll continue to collaborate with our Elastic community to create new career paths and support professional development networks. Elastic will be working on a digital platform that will include self service, knowledge articles, videos, access to training and more.
“We’re accountable for our customers’ success by accelerating business value,” said Rick.
Outside of work, the Australia native has turned from triathlons to mountain biking to keep active, partly to steer clear of the busy roads around Houston, which he now calls home. Rick also racks up the frequent flyer miles, as his three children chose colleges in California, Tennessee, and North Carolina. “So, you know, the house is pretty quiet right now.”
All the better for his mission: a relentless focus on serving the Elastic customer.