What role are you looking for?
I’m seeking out a role where I can shape the strategy and run a customer happiness or customer success department. Or, if you’re old school, we’re talking about account management, customer support, client services, or customer service.
My ideal role would be the first person to be hired (or managing) the customer happiness or success team for a growing, up and coming company.
Why customer happiness?
Because customer success and happiness is the intersection between service, marketing, and sales. The right person isn’t just about answering questions, but about seeking opportunities to better market for your company, and naturally, to sell for it. I speak to this pretty heavily in Real Time Email, my personal venture (or secondary resume, whatever you’d call it) to sell this whole concept of customer happiness. It’s still taking awhile to catch on!
What’s your experience to date on customer happiness, and why should I hire you?
We can either date back to when customer service took a foothold in social media, or back to the early 90s when I saw online interaction as a necessity for our future. I fell in love with online communities before anyone considered them a thing, and majored in computer science and minored in psychology because I saw the potential for these online interactions to materialize into something greater. Of course, back then, there was nothing remotely close to what I was looking for, but computer science and psychology together seemed to encapsulate what I wanted to do: work with people…and work with computers. In essence, it was the next best thing!
As a student, I found myself in helping people in face to face tech support environments both at Columbia University and Barnard College. Ultimately, post college, I landed myself a nice gig at a search engine marketing firm as their system administrator, managing websites for 400 clients. It was then that this “online interaction” fantasy I’ve been having was materializing into something big: the growth of social media marketing. Our firm was one of the first to see social media as a marketing tool, and I ended up making the gradual shift from tech support to social media marketer. I left that firm, went off to do my own thing, and ended up starting a blog which landed me a book deal with prestigious tech publisher O’Reilly (it was published in 5 languages!). In my book, I profiled a company that would later hire me to be their face of social media.
Through social, and through a keen eye for detail, especially in the competitive space, I grew this company from nothing to a serious force to be reckoned with. It is, by far, the strongest social media brand in its industry. Interestingly enough, there’s only one of me and a lot of questions to field in a nearly real time basis, yet it’s still a great challenge, and one that I want to take to other companies.
- run my own social media marketing consultancy – and learned quite honestly that running a company (by myself) is fun, but not for me!
- built out marketing programs for small business companies to Fortune 100
- established Mashable’s sales operations, sustaining the sales team as its first hire to over 20 upon my departure, and exceeding expectations year after year
- trained a staff (remotely) in multiple disciplines, but especially customer support!
…and still, I realized that with all these successes under my belt, I am most keen on making people happy, because that is how companies truly grow.
Where do you want to work?
This is the most interesting question of all. Real time support + customer happiness means being responsive on a regular basis. That means losing an hour or two to commuting is not an option. My mindset is to solve customer problems during waking hours. Devoted remote employees will make customer success a priority. That’s why I’m here. I have done remote employment amazingly well while being a mom of young kids, but I’ve shown dedication that makes it clear to all working with me that while I do love my family (they’re awesome), I am deeply committed and invested in growing companies.