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Customer Success Profile – John Kingdon

Case Study

headshot john kingdon

John Kingdon doesn’t take his job in customer success sitting down. “We’re taking the reins of customer success as soon as the install is completed,” he says. “It’s a very proactive approach.”

Kingdon comes to Zayo with 15 years of telecom sales and support experience. In the past, he’s worked for AT&T and Charter Spectrum. In his previous role at Zayo, he was a Partner Success Manager. The post-sales support issues he addressed ran the gamut: resolving billing disputes, providing service inventory reports to customers, dealing with service delivery issues and so on. Kingdon recalls the dynamics: “A lot of these customers don’t know you from Adam, right? You’re just some guy in a call center who might be able to help them, but probably not they think. You can reassure them that you’re there for them, but actions speak volumes. The first time you actually do something you say you’re gonna do for a customer, then they can trust you. Then they know you’re advocating for them.”

He remembers one time he had to go to great lengths to preserve goodwill after a delivery. Zayo had just installed for an organization in South Africa. “They went to hook up, but it wasn’t delivered properly. We didn’t own the complete fiber network at that location, so it wasn’t really in our purview to coordinate everyone. However, I became that point person for the customer, the fiber partner, for service delivery. I knew everything about that order and I could update anyone who needed it. Meanwhile, there were riots and political unrest in South Africa. I was following the news trying to figure out where the riots were in relation to our sites and why their telecom was taking so long. In the end it finally got delivered, and they were impressed that we kept up with the case for so long.”

“I firmly believe in what’s right for the customer.”

Kingdon says that the biggest struggles in customer success and service delivery are living up to commitments, setting proper expectations, and taking ownership. Accordingly, he focuses on these as his measurements of effective customer success and fights to be the single point of contact for a customer’s issue. “If I get a case on my desk,” he says, “I don’t want to pass the buck. I work that case from beginning to end. I’m your middle person to handle all things Zayo. I’m your contact and I can do whatever you need done.”

Amid the complexities of executing infrastructure projects, transparency and advocacy are key, according to Kingdon. He explains, “I firmly believe in what’s right for the customer. The beauty of working with this team is that once they learned that John fights for the customer, when he believes it’s the right thing to do, they learned to trust me and to take my word.”