Leading by Listening: An Interview with Alon Rozenberg

Keren Halperin

Keren Halperin

November 5, 2020

Alon Rozenberg is Namogoo’s Senior Vice President of Customer Success & Solutions. In this interview, he talks about the importance of listening in Customer Success, what drew him to Namogoo five years ago, and how candidates can stand out by blending an analytical approach with expert storytelling.

Thank you for speaking with us today, Alon. You’ve had a fascinating career. Before Namogoo, you worked for Trusteer, a cybersecurity startup that was acquired by IBM, and prior to that, you worked for Cyota, an anti-fraud startup acquired by RSA. You’ve been a part of multiple startups that grew exponentially, and Namogoo is no exception. Tell us about how you ended up at Namogoo and why you wanted to work here.

I joined Namogoo in 2015 when we were a very small team. I had been looking for an opportunity to grow with a startup and build a team from scratch — and that’s exactly what happened here. I was able to roll up my sleeves and get to know our customers very well from the beginning. I’ve been able to build our Customer Success processes and bring on an excellent team.

When I first met Chemi and Ohad, we talked for three or four hours. We had great discussions, and it was clear from the beginning that it was a good match. They were both experienced in the startup world, and I trusted their vision.

What drew you to work in Customer Success in the first place, and what do you find fulfilling about it?

One of the keys to good Customer Success is the ability to listen well — to not just hear the words someone is saying, but to interpret their nonverbal communication, to pick up on their intentions, and to understand the motivations behind their words. This type of listening is something I’ve always been drawn to. At the end of the day, Customer Success is about delivering value. If you bring the best value to the customer, they’ll trust you, they’ll share with you, and they’ll want to stay with your company. The whole process of delivering value begins with listening. You have to listen closely to your customers, respect their ideas and what they have to say, and grow the relationship from there. I also love Customer Success because I’m a people person. I’m just not capable of sitting in front of a computer all day without talking to people.

Any anecdotes you can share about what it’s like to work with Namogoo’s customers?

One of my favorite customer details is that we’ve worked with one individual who has started contracts with Namogoo at three different companies. As this person moved jobs, he brought us with him, so to speak. I think that’s a great example of Namogoo becoming absolutely essential to our customers, increasing their ROI and providing great value.

How would you describe the type of person you’re looking to hire as your team grows?

Well, first of all, you’ve got to be a people person. You have to know how to communicate your vision and build relationships. Even if you can make amazing charts or Excel files, it doesn’t matter if you can’t create a personal connection with the customer and clearly demonstrate value to them. We are a very high-touch company. We work with some very large brands, and we want them to know that they can always come to us and talk. You’ve got to be able to invest in those relationships.

At the same time, we do look for people who are highly analytical and skilled with data. We want someone who can look at a ton of customer data and decipher the story it’s telling and communicate that clearly. To thrive at Namogoo, you’ve got to have that amazing combination of being both analytical and an expert communicator. You’ve got to be a storyteller who backs up their stories with data.

What has the transition to remote work been like for your team? You’ve spoken about the importance of relationship-building in Customer Success: what is like to build connections with your customers and your team, in a time when working in-person is not always possible?

It was a big adjustment to start building trust and relationships over Zoom, and it was a challenge at first, to say the least. But after the shock of the first month, we got used to it. There is definitely a lot more personal exposure with Zoom: you’re basically “invited” into someone’s home and sometimes even see their families. The main benefit of this difficult situation was that it allowed us to go back to basics and focus on empathy and human connection — both within our team and between us and our customers.

Ultimately, the same lessons apply in difficult times. Listening, empathy, and focusing on bringing value are more important than ever.

Any final words about what it’s like to work at Namogoo?

It’s an incredibly enriching environment. On the Customer Success team, we have people who speak multiple languages and come from different backgrounds. It makes things interesting, and we’re always able to learn from each other. It’s also an incredibly customer-centric environment. From the founders to Sales to the engineering team to, of course, Customer Success—we are all focused on how to drive results for our customer.