PART TWO… (part one here for those that haven’t read it).

I probably don’t need to go into too much depth here on why communication is important to customer retention and relationships (I hope). In many ways it’s similar to why communication wins sales in the first place, as above. Ultimately a business wants to work with vendors who show that they understand their requirements and challenges, and meet those needs effectively. It’s also important in my experience that vendors communicate what they can’t do honestly and effectively as requirements at the customer change and evolve over time, as prevaricating, or claiming that you can solve a problem when you can only partially do so, potentially wastes the customers time that they could have spent evaluating a solution that works (which might well be complimentary rather than competitive to yours) and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the customer that makes them less likely to ask for help in the future. Also, (and again, hopefully not needing too much elaboration), good communication with your customers leads to a positive experience for them, leading to them being more likely to recommend or provide positive references for you to potential new customers.


Finally (and most controversially), good communication in all of the above makes you more likely to acquire, and keep, new customers, because it makes your product more effective. I actually don’t think that some parts of that claim are particularly surprising, it’s not a leap of faith to suggest that good communication with customers and prospects leads to a better understanding of what those customers are looking for from a solution, and that feeds back into development of solutions to fix those problems. The other element that I think is often missed though is the link between good communication with a customer, through to good engagement from that customer with a vendor’s account management teams, product updates, new features, and up to date best practice implementation and configuration.


I’ve lost track of the times I’ve heard of customers saying to a vendor or partner that they need a solution for X, only to find that they already have a solution included within a product that they already have, but that they were unaware of. Rarer (but sadly, not rarely enough) are the times I’ve heard of a customer suffering negative consequences because of a similar scenario where there a misconfiguration, or non-utilisation of a feature within a product, allowed something to happen that caused a problem. As mentioned above, the world of cybersecurity is ever changing and evolving. Vendors are constantly updating and expanding their capabilities to deal with the latest emerging threats, but that only makes a difference if those changes can be communicated effectively to the customers who need to be protected by them are aware. Ultimately it’s not as particularly comforting to a customer to know that they could have been protected from a threat if they’d updated their config, as opposed to being told in advance how to prevent that happening.


One thing that’s underrated in that chain of communications though, is that if you communicate badly in the rest of your conversations with your customers, they are less likely to pay attention to your updates. This is particularly true for businesses with smaller, leaner IT teams, because the people with the oversight of what needs to be updated are also the people the vendor’s Account Management and Customer Success Teams speak to, and so if those teams aren’t engaging well with the customer, the customer is less likely to take the time to read all of the correspondence from that vendor. (I should point out that this is in no way a criticism of those teams at customers. I’m well aware that they are often swamped with emails from vendors, and potential vendors, which makes it even more critical that communication with them is done well and they have a reason to pick it out of the influx of mail landing in their inbox!)

In short, good communication with your customers leads to a positive experience for them, better understanding of their cyber security products and as a result effective tech that does the job it should.