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Obsessed with Stellar Service: An Interview with Benefitfocus Chief Customer Officer Sue Leary

Leading with customer success and the mindset of working in partnership with our customers is the ethos on which Benefitfocus was founded. That’s why we’re excited to welcome Sue Leary as our Chief Customer Officer to continue cultivating this philosophy. Sue will be focused on helping ensure our teams are delivering excellence throughout the customer journey – from implementation to open enrollment and everything in between.

We recently sat down with Sue to learn how she became a self-proclaimed “customer success fanatic” and what excites her most about joining the Benefitfocus community.

Q: You have a deep background in the health plan space with an 18-year career at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and most recently serving as SVP of global operations at Teladoc Health. What attracted you to Benefitfocus?

“Anytime a leading industry company calls you to come work for them, it's always exciting; it's an opportunity in itself. And for me, I have the health plan background, I have the virtual health care space background, and this was an opportunity to go help people in a different way. We're already the leader here at Benefitfocus, so how do you take it another step forward and how do you further progress it? We talk about service excellence and service models and really focusing on the customer and bringing them into the heart of all that we do. And that, for me, is something that I'm very passionate about. It was just an opportunity I couldn't resist.”

Q: If you could instill one thing in customers’ mindsets about what to expect from the customer success organization in the future, what would it be?

“If I could instill one thing in our customers’ minds about what to expect in the future, I would say a passionate group of people really working to show their commitment toward creating positive, memorable experiences that you want to repeat with us. And that comes with their commitment, their dedication and the ultimate execution.”

Q: What do you find is the most exciting part of leading a customer success organization?

“It's so exciting to be here. And one of the most rewarding things when you lead an organization of people in a customer success role is really watching them grow and being able to groom talent in a way that it can then spread through the organization. When people are excited about what they do for their customers, it sets the stage in the foundation for the company to continue to further progress and really transform the service model and ultimately make our customers happy.”

Q: What core value(s) do you expect each associate to embody when serving our customers?

“The ability to make an emotional connection to people is as important as your technical ability to do the job. I expect our associates to be really engaged in what they're doing and driving the passion for how they feel about making sure customers get what they need and meeting and exceeding expectations. And then finally, I would say you need to have an aspiration – Why are you here? Why are you doing this? What makes you want to do more for every customer?

We have a unique opportunity here. Benefits administration is a complex business. I think it's important that everybody knows who their customer is; everybody owns the customer. And when you move forward with that type of initiative, people learn very quickly how to focus on the customer needs, the customer expectations, how to prevent future problem, and how to anticipate the needs of the customers. It’s essential for our associates to really focus on making sure that every experience is a positive, memorable one that customers want to come back and repeat with us every year.”

Hear what our customers are saying about working with Sue and her team at Benefitfocus.