Being an InfoSec Professional

Customer service, distilled

Even security folks serve customers.  Perhaps they’re other people that work in the company or they’re the company’s clients.  But there is a simple reality to serving customers that is often lost on people because they focus too much on their role within the organization.  This chart, a bit exaggeration and a bit parody, is an attempt to show the weakness of that focus from different points of view in the organization.  The purist view of customer service, found on the last row in this table, always works, and it does not preclude doing your job.  So it does not always mean the customer will be satisfied (though we do our best), but it points out the one characteristic that is the same for all customer service events: the only thing you really control in a customer service interaction is what answer you provide.  The customer is not always right and will not always be satisfied.  But the customer will always ask for something and will always get an answer.  And that answer is where the focus should be.

The customer

and therefore will

and as a result will 


is always right be right be right (did you want fries with that?)

Account reps

needs something get it if I can provide it be happy

Operations folks

is always best when not heard from probably call in the middle of the night turn it off, turn it back on and try it now

Security folks

always wants to access the data put the data at risk require I protect the data

Senior Management

is always worth listening to need to understand our firm remain a customer, I hope


is not really a customer need to be regulated if that’s appropriate need to provide me with the requested information

Purist view of customer service

is always asking for something always get an answer have an opinion

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