Industry Spotlight: Zayo’s Sandi Mays on the Customer Experience

December 10th, 2018 by · 58 Comments

From the time when Zayo burst forth on the scene some 10 years ago, the company aimed to be more than a simple asset roll-up. They effectively rewrote the book on how to operate fiber assets, especially when it comes to sales and customer management. With us today to talk about just how Zayo goes about shaping the customer experience when it comes to the infrastructure business is Sandi Mays, Chief Customer Experience and Information Officer. Sandi is a co-founder and has been a part of Zayo’s team since the beginning.

TR: How did you get involved in shaping the customer experience at Zayo?

SM: I began managing IT and the customer experience about four years ago. Prior to that I managed operational finance, human resources, and was Dan Caruso’s Chief of Staff. Customer experience at Zayo includes Tranzact (our online customer platform), Customer Care, Billing, Accounts Receivable and Marketing. By combining customer experience and IT, we are able to provide customers with the best experience.

TR: In what ways did you change Zayo’s approach?

SM: Traditional customer experience metrics measure the time to answer the phone or close a case. I viewed that as using metrics to describe the customer experience versus asking the customer how they felt about their Zayo experience. Reflecting on my personal experience as a customer, getting off the phone quickly is great, but only the process to resolve the problem was easy.

We needed a way to motivate our employees to provide customers with the best experience in every situation. We decided to change our metrics. We send two surveys. The first, is what we call an “Effortless” survey sent after every case is closed. We ask one question: “How much effort did you have to put in to resolve your issue?” The customer then ranks their experience on a scale of one to five stars, where five stars is the best. The second is a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey sent to our key contacts, that asks one question: “Would you recommend Zayo?” The customer ranks their willingness to recommend Zayo on a scale of one to ten, where ten is the best. Both surveys provide space for customers to add additional feedback about their experience.

I remember the pushback that I received from my team when we first rolled out the Effortless survey. Employees were concerned that customers would never give them five stars because they were already frustrated and had put in effort to call Zayo or open a ticket. I am happy to report that over the past four years our Effortless survey scores on average have been greater than four stars. We have one employee who have achieved perfect scores with all of her surveys. What we found is that by asking our team to make the customer’s experience effortless, it really changed our employees’ point of view. Rather than rushing through a case, they make sure the customer knows that their issue is important and then we take care of them.

TR: Zayo has of course been active in M&A, how hard is it to change the approach of acquired employee bases?

SM: Every company that Zayo acquired was passionate about customer service and had their own processes. I think the passion from the existing employee base around the Effortless survey helps new employees understand that the customer’s perspective on the experience is the only thing that matters. Employees see customer feedback like, “Wow, Kathy saved the day! I didn’t know what to do and I just reached out to her. She took care of everything.” Direct customer feedback — positive or constructive — is typically all it takes to convince employees that this is the most important measurement. Zayo posts these messages through Chatter, our internal communications application, where all employees get to see how customers feel about our individual customer care, and, ultimately, about Zayo.

TR: How important is Tranzact and its self-service capabilities to the customer experience at Zayo?

SM: We use Tranzact both internally and externally, so our customers look at the same system that our employees look at, which is pretty powerful. When a customer calls in, what our care team ideally does is say, “Hey, let’s walk you through how you can find that information in Tranzact.” A customer can not only go in and get a quote really quickly, they can see all of their orders and exactly where each order is in the delivery process. They see their account manager’s name and phone number, their customer care person’s name and phone number, and the service delivery person who’s working on their order. They have all the touchpoints right there and can get answers. They can see a list of all the tickets that they’ve ever had. They can communicate with the trouble ticketing team, or with our network team on repairs. They can escalate. They can open tickets and troubleshoot their own tickets. We have learned that seven in ten trouble tickets are not due to our network, but they’re actually due to a failure on the customer’s side. We can identify that right in our system, and they don’t even have to pick up the phone and talk. Another thing that is unique to Zayo is that they can get their service inventory, even export all their services and invoices through a CSV file, and just view them instantly. It’s all in there, and it’s a really intuitive platform. We also allow them to see all the network maps, so they can see where Zayo’s fiber is connected to their building at any time. You don’t have to place a phone call, it’s just all right there. We’ve designed the system to interact much more like a consumer-based product. What are the things that you need to have there at any given moment? What are the questions you would have at midnight? How will you get the answers you need at your fingertips? Frankly, the world is going that way.

TR: There are always some customers who prefer to talk to a person whenever they can, how do you keep them happy too?

SM: While we believe that self-service is the future, we also know that there are times where the answers aren’t just there, or they aren’t apparent. So, we have a team of service experts that are available with all of the information who can get back to you instantly. For those who don’t want to pick up the phone, we use a live-chat feature. If you want to pick up the phone though, all those service expert numbers are right in the platform. You dial one number and you get to a person who’s going to help you on anything, even if it’s not related to what they’re working on, they’re going to make sure you get an answer. Then as a customer, you provide them with feedback via an Effortless survey.

TR: Where do you think other fiber infrastructure players come up short on the customer experience?

SM: It’s hard for me to know why different companies do what they do, and I think everyone strives to serve the customer in the best way possible. I think we have some very strategic advantages because we grew up in the cloud. We were able to think about things in a very entrepreneurial way from the start, whereas some of our competitors are dealing with legacy systems, legacy data challenges, things that are really tough hurdles for humans to get over. When we acquire a company, we look at the data that we have available and how the employees are interacting with that data, and we migrate that data as quickly after close as we can to our system. Our employees have the ability to just have information at their fingertips.

TR: Zayo has been in the cloud since the beginning. But being in the cloud doesn’t mean it’s not possible for a system stop evolving and become legacy. How do you continue to keep your systems fresh?

SM: There’s always such an urgency around making quick fixes, versus maintaining a system that is robust. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we strive to have a foundation and architecture that allows us to be nimble. As long as you’ve got those building blocks in place in the cloud, you can change out and build new products pretty rapidly. We try to keep it simple. Often people want to make things overly complex. Complexity is not your friend when you’re trying to serve a customer. You want to have simple answers, simple feedback, and stay true to those roots. And we’ve been very focused on that. Dan Caruso has always been a big fan of having one source of record and keeping things simple. It’s great to have an advocate in your CEO. We have weekly meeting with each product group and our most senior Tranzact developer, and we listen to the challenges they’re having. We provide them feedback, work together on a solution and just continue to iterate as a group. We do one release a week. No one even notices it, things just get better.

TR: Do you do the programming of those systems in-house or do you it?

SM: The super majority is in house. We have a lot more agility by having employees who are very proud of and invested in the system that they represent. We feel pretty strongly that having solid employees who can build their careers here and build a platform that they’re proud of is the right way to go.

TR: What’s the biggest challenge in maintaining a good customer effortless score?

SM: Employee motivation is important. We have to make sure that the projects that we’re working on are the ones that serve our customers and accelerate our ability to amplify our customers’ businesses. We give them the ability to innovate, so as we hear their challenges and we can have our product groups prioritize those. I believe it is important that this is where our focus is.

TR: What other metrics do you find important to focus on?

SM: About a year ago we rolled out a Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS question is, “Would you recommend Zayo?” Even if we are doing everything right on a transaction basis, if the answer is “No” that would be a red flag. It’s important that our most strategic customers tell us whether Zayo is a vendor that they’re loyal to. The feedback we’ve received has been really telling. Everyone that you’re delivering products to may say they love you. But there might be someone in the customer’s organization who we haven’t worked with in years who may have a negative opinion of Zayo. The NPS score alerts sales, marketing and our executive team to those opinions and gives us the opportunity to rebuild trust. Implementing the NPS score has been among the most transformational things that has happened in our business over the past few years.

TR: What trends do you expect will shape this industry in the near future?

SM: We are in an industry where many of our competitors are also customers since by and large carriers buy and sell from each other. It’s an environment where we are not trying to take the competitor down. It’s an environment where you are all trying to partner together to really change the world through connectivity, moving and storing data in ways that empower all these new applications that our customers are putting out there. Sometimes we provide that service and sometimes our competitors do, depending on who is in the best position to provide that service. We must embrace that community. I think that’s going to come next in our industry, a real embracing of each other instead of working apart from each other.

TR: Are you also embracing that community from an automation standpoint?

SM: It’s important that we have great buy/sell relationships, and we have teams that are in place that manage those relationships. For us it’s great because we own so much fiber and therefore we tend to be the foundational carrier in most of our agreements. We have very little that we rely on third parties for. Where we do have to partner it’s about having really good systems and processes to communicate with each other. So, we have rolled out an API group at Zayo which is about connecting to carriers in their backend systems, so when they’re working with Zayo, they’re working in their normal processes. They don’t even have to log in to Tranzact, they can order from us just though their day to day jobs. And we are working on doing the same thing so that we can work with carriers in our systems by tying directly into theirs. So far, our API program has been very successful and has generated a lot of interest.

TR: How far along are you in that process?

SM: This is really new; we launched it about three months ago. We’re not advertising it, and we’re working with alpha customers at this point. The volumes that they’re generating are in the multiple thousands of interactions with us already, and the feedback is great. We’re very pleased with the progress, but we still have a long way to go before we have APIs out there that anyone can connect to.

TR: Thank you for talking with Telecom Ramblings!


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Categories: Industry Spotlight · Software

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58 Comments So Far

  • Meh says:

    I’ve never had a manager meaner than Sandi Mays.

    • Anonymous says:

      She has a well-known reputation on that front, yes. I interviewed with her once and was pretty unimpressed.

      To the topic at hand, though. I think customer experience is a lot more than automation I am sure they would agree but CX and CIO are tied together in the org, so..?. If you are in a good place with their customers, the tools help immensely. If you are not in a good place, they are impediments and crutches that customers quickly get pissed about. I have liked what I saw of Tranzact but it always feels like glorified order entry and that’s it. they even say it that way most of the time internally, a facade over SF is not intended to be an actual SDN platform, which I think they are very far from given their inability to execute.

      One need only look at their reviews, reputation, and lack of success forcing constant deck chair sorting/layoffs/reorgs/splits/REIT status/whatever bag of tricks to understand they are hurting with customer experience and trying to stay afloat. And a complete lack of employee loyalty easily translates to awful CX, as most of their customers will attest.

  • Zayo Customer says:

    This is pure farce. I have been a customer of Zayo’s for several years. When you use their services their employees basically BEG you to give them perfect ratings and tell you they will be fired if you don’t. Its worse than any car dealership I have ever been to. I filled this out Anonymously because I’m afraid my negative comments will fall back on my rep and she’s pretty good compared to what I’ve had in the past. Zayo’s only “focus” on the customer is to threaten, twist and blackmail you into more business. God help you if you ever have anything month to month with them as they look at it as “leverage”. For us they are the vendor of last resort. I wouldn’t use them at all if I could but they bought every one of our old vendors but when options appear I RUSH toward them.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, [snipped by editor – let’s keep this professional please guys]? Sandy is only there to fill a female leadership spot, nobody has any respect or positive outlook of her. This article is a joke full of lies and misrepresentation.

    “Would you recommend Zayo?” Even if we are doing everything right on a transaction basis, if the answer is “No” that would be a red flag. —– well then there are red flags flying high throughout the entire Zayo customer, and employee base… All of the customers can’t stand Zayo, those who stay are only because the good company they were with had been acquired by Zayo and it is difficult to move.

    Zayo is in a downward spiral and it is extremely obvious the leadership is not equipped to deal with it and they are too arrogant to do anything, they will continue to destroy this company. Their stock lost a quarter of its value in one day after the dimwitt CEO announced his latest plans to try and hide all of the dysfunction and fool investors yet again. Zayo is the most toxic company in existance and turns companies it acquires with very good culture into dysfunctional poorly ran facilities mirroring itself. I guarantee there is not one company Zayo acquires where the employees are happier under the new leadership.

    My advise: investors run, employees run, customers run!

  • Anonymous says:

    LOL, she actually touts Transact in an interview??? Transact is the most annoying and unusable software yet Zayo leadership keeps thinking it’s the best. The customers hate it, the employees hate it, it doesn’t do half of what it needs to or what management claims it does. Customers call all the time saying can you please just help me, Transact doesn’t make any sense…

  • Anonymous says:

    It seems very odd that Sandy seems to claim Zayo is so customer focused. It is plainly obvious that the leadership has zero care for their customers other than a few big ones. You should hear how they speak about their customers! Then as an employee if you bring up the massive problem and lack of customer service, you are bullied and told “you’re not onboard”. Wow, what a corporate cluster f.

  • Anonymous says:

    The only success Zayo has is by acquiring other successful companies and then claiming that new revenue. The problem is Zayo has worked themselves into a corner because that only lasts for a short time as there is always a customer exodus from the moment Zayo acquires them. So revenue from the newly acquired company continues to decline until they need to buy up some other company to show new revenue. There is virtually no organic growth and the sales organization is a joke.

  • Anonymous says:

    As a former employee of Zayo, I have to second every single anonymous comment above. Zayo has many issues and they are catching up to Zayo.
    – Ethical issue: the effective dates of the disconnects were moved/pushed when the churn was high. They called it “churn scrubbing”. Installation could be delivered sooner so they could meet the installation revenue, and they often refused to credit the customers when customers found out.

    – Employee issue: many experienced people were forced to leave because they cannot “simply” move to Colorado per Zayo’s demand. It’s great for Zayo since they gained many of the unvested stocks back.

    – Sales issue: many great sales people left because Zayo consistently under value their commission. The funnel is full of “placeholders”, which explained why Zayo missed the sales targets.

    – Customer service issue: despite what Sandi said, the customer service experience was bad during my time. The reason is simple: high employee turnover rate and everybody was number driven vs customer service driven.

    There are A LOT more issues and Glassdoor has them all.

  • Anonymous says:

    That picture says it all. She is such a joke internally. [snipped by the editor] The fact she’s a finalist for the CTA woman of tech award is Zayo paying someone off. Rob, the fact you even included this interview is a disservice to your site. Interview someone who actually is worth the read. All of us current employees are just praying for a PE buyout so Dan, Jack, Sandi etc are thrown to the curb. Save us all!

  • Rob Powell says:

    I had no idea this level of animosity was out there right now. Seriously though folks, please try to keep it clean…

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. I would not call it a “disservice to your site” – for better or worse she represents a leader in the industry and critique is easy to keep professional even when its passionate. That may not be a good commentary on the industry but you have nothing to apologize for.

      A lot of it is disgruntled employees (or former), and you would know better than most, given you’ve probably reported more layoff news than they’ve ever hired. Fortunately for me I’ve only ever been an ex-customer. But when you have such a demoralized workforce I can attest to it translating to bad service.

    • Mr. Salesguy says:

      Rob – love the site, keep up the good work!

    • Anonymous Zayoite says:

      Thanks for cleaning up the sexist drivel that equates a women’s value to her looks… however she chooses to present herself.

      There is certainly a lot of distrust, concern, and frustration from current and former employees, but there are also a lot of us who still believe in the original vision and hold Sandi as the sole remaining pillar of what Zayo was meant to be. She has high expectations and maybe doesn’t execute them as delicately as some would like, but I’d be curious if Jack would receive similar press if this were an interview with him. Or is this just another biased expectation of women in the workplace?

      If Sandi is reading: keep killing it. For every naysayer, there are a dozen cheerleaders. We’re just not prone to comments sections I expect.

      • Anonymous Zayoite for many years says:

        Sandi deserves her awful reputation. She’s needlessly mean, enjoys the fact that people fear her, and will stop at nothing to get her way.

        Why don’t people complain about Dan and Jack? They do—check Glassdoor. Why didn’t people complain about Stephanie or Rachel or Pam? Because they were admired, not feared.

        Zayo didn’t fall due a failure to stick with its original vision—it fell because once the IPO removed the 24K golden handcuffs that had forced employees to tolerate toxic leadership like Sandi’s, they left.

        But Sandi’s still there, unchanged by the experience, still acting like a hammer, treating everyone like nails.

  • Randy says:

    She is widely known as “The Black Widow” at Zayo.

  • John M. says:

    As a former customer of Zayo, and having hired a couple of their former employees, it is clear that Zayo’s problems are real. When I first signed on with the company, they were called Abovenet and their service was outstanding. If I needed something it was delivered in a matter of days, not weeks. If my service was down the NOC contacted me right away. Almost as soon as Zayo took over my service, my life became hell. Service would be down for days and we were given no answers. Then when I wanted to disconnect I was threatened with ETL charges and the salesperson told me she was sorry to have to do it but if she did not meet her numbers her job was gone. The people I have hired from Zayo say Sandi Mays is smart, but should NEVER be put in a customer facing position considering she is just not a people person at all. One of my people tells a story about Sandi being overheard saying “I love firing people” when she was at the office of a company they acquired. She was there to fire people and seemed to enjoy herself. That is not a person who should be dealing with people at all.

    • Yep says:

      Sandi is smart and she works hard but she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know, she takes her insecurities out on other people, and no one trusts her.

      Regarding the “I love firing people comment,” it wouldn’t surprise me—the former CFO once said to me, with a sly smile on his face, that post-acquisition “synergies” were simply a profitable series of summary executions.

      No idea if it’s true or not, but lore has it that after an acquisition several years ago, Sandi mistakenly told a group of retained employees that they were being let go, only to have to backpedal moments later.

  • William C. says:

    Sandi talks a big game about customer service, but internal actions at Zayo say otherwise. The fact she’s also the only remaining member of the original team tells you something about her, and that’s not good. Dan has driven all good management away, and he can’t attract or retain top talent as nobody wants to be micro-managed. Andrew Crouch left on his 366th day (with a huge check) as he couldn’t deal with the Dan and Jack show. It’s so obvious to everyone at the company, but it will take the board to finally wake up and realize that Dan & Jack need to go or they will never succeed. Gets old telling people you work at Zayo, and their response is “Oh the company with THAT CEO”.

  • Past Employee says:

    Wow. Sounds like things at Zayo aren’t so good. Dan’s ego is finally catching up to him. Great assets but incompetent leadership. You can only treat employees like that for so long. Acquiring distressed assets is entirely different than managing them for growth. Bringing Jack in didn’t help I’ve heard getting anything approved through him is taking forever as he just doesn’t understand the business. Good luck Zayoites! Hope there’s a Christmas gift coming in the way of a buyout.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a lot of jealousy and name calling from people who are likely don’t think women should be leaders. Sandi has supported and promoted more successful people at Zayo than anyone else and put her reputation on the line to ensure that hard work and dedication pay off. She also works more than anyone I know to ensure customers are taken care of. Her team’s employee satisfaction scores are the highest in the company and as far as I know, the industry, proof that those commenting have not been close to her.

    For those who don’t know her and say nasty things, I think you are the mean ones. Shame on you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree there are some “mean ones” here.

      But its amazing to me how tone deaf your company has become. After the call went out in a staff meeting this AM, the next 3 posters manage to cover all the bases except the obvious one in quick succession: sexism (I was wondering how long it would take that tired slogan to come out as if Dan or Jack “walmart method” Waters are nice guys because of whats under their garments), competitors (perhaps jealous of that metric of success splitting the company in two?), and “just a few” disgruntled employees (a rare occurence as Glassdoor will tell you).

      Blame everything except the obvious thread connecting it all. That seems like a stellar method for getting some goodwill back from the community.

      • Beg to differ says:

        Sandi periodically hosts a lunch for young women in the company and that’s commendable. But she’s also said to have driven out other female leaders who were growing closer to her in the senior ranks.

        Sandi operates primarily through fear. She can have you fired, she knows you know that, and she might remind you anyway.

        • Unbelievable says:

          Sandi is a predator, through and through. Very low self esteem and is out to get any young woman working at Zayo today who possesses any type of skill. She needs to be top dog and will do anything in her power (without restraint) to make that happen.

        • Oh, and let's not forget says:

          about the sexual overtones. That has been missed here. I think she asked someone if they wax down below. so unprofressional.

        • Past Zayo Employee says:

          I quit because of SANDI MAYS. I’m horrified that she even is respected in business by other women at Zayo and in Denver. I believe in karma though and her just rewards are awaiting her and I don’t have to justify my anger/disappointment to her or anyone else. What for it. It will come. I won’t rejoice but I will have some gratification knowing she got it in the end.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sandi was a bully to me and to many other men and women at Zayo.

      To those of you here who say she’s been good to you, I’m glad to hear that and I hope it doesn’t change.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sandi was by far the most horrible, abusive leader I have ever experienced and she has a long track record of bullying strong female leaders… it’s unfortunate. Her facade of women empowerment could not be further from the truth. The board, HR and zayo’s Leadership need to stop the madness at some point but then again they’ve let it go on this long so I’m not holding my breath.

    • NopeNotMe says:

      Sandi, you shouldn’t post on here pretending under different usernames. Quit asking your team to post on here with supportive comments. THE TRUTH IS FINALLY MAKING IT’S WAY OUT.

      Dan, I hope you’re reading all of this.

    • Telecommie says:

      Sandi’s insider group is Girls Only. But only the sycophant girls. Have any difference in opinion with her and your name is doo doo.

      Sexism can well work 2 ways. But I have no problem acknowledging the excellent women in management at Zayo.

  • The Fiber Advisor says:

    I think there must be some competitors posting here that have have lost out to Zayo in the past. Sandy is a solid, competent leader that has taken Zayo to the next level and lead the building of systems that are second to none in the industry. She is one of the few leaders I have seen that values employee and customer engagement and takes it seriously. The feedback I have seen in my interviews with their customers is that Zayo is usually a welcome alternative to the stranglehold that has been put on them by the Telecom/Cable/CLEC companies who price gouge when they can. Service and network transparency are A+, they need to improve their install timelines if there is 1 big knock.
    Go ask CenturyLink or Cox for a fiber map and watch as they laugh at you. Zayo has theirs on its web site!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a Zayo employee and have worked in Sandi’s org for about 3 years. Every conversation we have is about building an effortless experience for the customer. She personally has taken the time to mentor me and her team is solid. I can only think of a few employees who haven’t worked out, but that was on them. Everyone has an opportunity to do their best on her team. I am in Hannah Wanderer’s organization and am extremely proud of Tranzact. We train the entire organization and have never received anything but positive feedback.

    • Anonymous says:

      Current Zayo employee – Tranzact doesn’t function for a huge chunk of the organization. Conveniently the same chunk that’s getting separated out. To say your team has never received anything but positive feedback is the same kind of lie Sandi tells us internally during every all hands. It’s clear based on these threads who in Zayo are “favorites” and anyone near Sandi-org is included.

    • Full of S**t says:

      This post is so full of s**t. I’ve never seen someone more ruthless than this woman. She should go down in flames. And go see a therapist.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ha! The Black Widow comment is hilarious. Sales moves poor performers into Sandi’s org and when her team starts managing them, they quit and she gets blamed. She has smart people who think outside the box and pro-actively solve customer concerns. We ask, how can we help you? We listen and are empowered to do whatever it takes to make our customers love us.

    I wouldn’t hire someone who calls people names to take care of customers, would you? Trolls don’t make good employees and the person who commented above was clearly a bad fit for a Customer Service focused team.

  • Previous Zayo says:

    As a former manager under Sandi. I can say a lot of these responses ring true. I was a previous employee for over 5 years. Worked under Sandi many times. She doesn’t belong where she is. A lot of the awards and things that Sandi has acquired over the years were bought and paid for FACT. She drives a lot of people into the ground with her antics. When she took over IT for the very first time with ZERO knowledge she admitted to basing her decisions on the TV show 24. I was assisting a board meeting once and she chimed in and couldn’t talk coherently about anything that IT was doing. In the end Dan cut her off and told her to get more details.

    With all that said. I don’t think she’s a stupid person. She knows how to work the system and the things she can get away with. If it wasn’t for Dan she would be a nobody plain and simple. What a lucky girl….

  • Anonymous says:

    I work at Zayo and can tell you that the article is true. They post NPS score surveys every day on chatter for all employees to see. Occasionally there is a detractor score, but most scores are positive and customer comments are complimentary. When there is a detractor score, Executives call the customer to find out how we can improve their experience. The feedback is also shared internally.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to see so many disgruntled former employees and customers commenting here. That’s really unfortunate. For my part, after working in several organizations within Zayo, I have to say that Sandi’s has been the best. I don’t deal with her personally but the leadership team she’s built seems to be excellent. The focus really is on an effortless experience and improving customer interactions.

  • Best assets....worst management says:

    The few positive rebuttal comments are staged and a joke, and obviously written by all the young 1st jobbers or paid by Sandi like her CTA award. You have a CEO that bashes sales folks but wonders why sales are so bad, a rejected CTO that also masquerades as a product lead in charge of their most strategic product (but is despised by customers and internally and obviously doesn’t understand the business ), and then Sandi who handles “customer experience” and is probably the worst customer facing exec you’ll meet. Dan has only, and will only ever care about $$’s. That’s not how to build a brand or company for the long term. Ask him about the IPO he’ll talk for hours, ask about his success after, and the conversation is short.

  • Discouraged Applicant says:

    Man I like Zayo’s prospects, but not the culture I’m reading as an interested applicant in sales. Couple questions for current sales folks as this seems to be an active sounding board :

    1.) I hear the comp plan is a mystery with no clear formula for closed vs paid? And nothing to motivate you to actually close as you’re not paid accordingly? (Sounds like they have this stupid “Fast Start” program where they pay sales comps early (before their quarterly payout) but seems everyone asks why don’t you just pay me what I’m owed and on time? (I’ve heard from my buddy he’s never been paid on time in 3 yrs)
    2.) Execs (Dan and Jack) are totally out of touch. They schedule “in market” meetings where the sales execs are expected to setup customer meetings where they have to bribe or call in favors to have their clients accommodate. These guys can’t even write their own “EO’s” as my buddy describes which are “executive outreach’s”. Very personal when you can’t write yourself. Is the culture that arrogant?
    3.) Dan internally bashes sales team and touts product team to sell? Does he really believe this, and does the company need a true sales/marketing exec to lead like other successful companies?

    Comments welcome please.

    • Former insider says:

      Dear Discouraged Applicant,

      I used to be with the company for more than 4 years so I believe I can address your questions above. First of all, all of your points are correct. Let me go to each one.

      1/. Comp plan is truly a mystery. They will push for stocks vs cash. However, keep in mind that your stocks won’t be vested until next year and you can be fired at any given time. Thus, the longer you stay, the more you will lose. Regarding the timeliness, it’s correct that they will find all kinds of excuses to justify for the delay. When the company has a bad quarter, you might not get paid at all. A friend of mine just left the company because he got paid $0 in commission for Q3 2018.

      2/. Everything is true. They usually push for the customer meetings to show they “care” about the customers. It is time consuming for the sales people to prepare for all kinds of materials. Keep in mind that they will shuffle your account deck regularly so good luck with building a meaningful business relationship with your customers. Dan, for some reasons, is afraid that you can take the entire business relationship somewhere else if you leave the company.

      3/. It’s correct that the company prefers the inside sales people or products to sell since the company does not have to pay much for commission. The culture is simple: if the quotas (unrealistically high by the way) are not met, it’s YOUR FAULT and it’s not the managers’ fault.

      Hope the above is helpful to make your next career choice.

  • ICanSeeYou says:

    Sandy hates women and is sure to bully you if you are at all good looking and then fawns over Dan like a puppy — she’ll do anything for him. She’s a disgusting version of women in tech

  • NopeNotMe says:

    I currently work at Zayo and agree wholeheartedly with this. Dan knows exactly what type of person he has in Sandi and has kept her (“Employee #6”) because she’s his bulldog. She can silently ruin someone’s career. Male or female. That alone is enough for a Netflix series but to add insult to injury she puts effort into her own personal PR to create a facade stronger than Claire Underwood in House of Cards. Someone should make a reality show of our company for real.

    Nobody is saying Sandi isn’t a smart person. Quite the opposite. She’s incredibly smart to have lasted at Zayo that long, made multiple millions of dollars and all for starting out as DAN’S ADMIN AT LEVEL 3!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    As a former employee I know of Dan’s previous obsession with GlassDoor and one-time pre-preoccupation to respond to the bad PR posts there from employee current and former reviews. He would address those posts, counter the statements as invalid, say why then of course encourage those unsatisfied employees to address issues internally. Of course the many legitimate grievances posted publicly there was because management was either tone-deaf to them or did not want to change them any way. i.e. the terrible deferred comp plan. I put this here to confirm that many of the statements about the subject are correct. As name calling is unprofessional, it does not change the truth of how the person behaves in the work place. It’s obvious there are Zayo responses here to try to defend the defenseless. Like Elon Musk who needs to be removed from Tesla, I’m sure Dan owns enough shares to prevent that from happening. Zayo leadership needs a change. I agree with predictions the company will either be acquired or go private again in 2019. The sad news is that many of the best real visionaries and most competent former employees took their stock and ran or were run off.

  • Yikes says:

    All this hatred sounds like a lot of jealousy. Everyone who posted here would love to be where Sandi is. But remember.. you’re not

  • User says:

    she needs to invest in her employees and not facelifts. She needs to be removed ASAP.

    • C'mon says:

      Keep comments like this to yourself. I think that Sandi is a malign influence on Zayo but this isn’t about her personal life.

  • kiss my ass sandi says:

    Sandi is one of the worst leaders at Zayo.

    • I agree says:

      She’s definitely on the short list. Years back, I also wouldn’t have wanted to work for Matt Erickson or Ken D., but at least they were effective. Sandi emulates their worst qualities while failing to deliver their results. It’s been that way for a long time.

  • Anonymous says:

    She’s been canned, but is now suing Zayo for discrimination. Can’t make this stuff up.

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