Everything Happens for a Reason – Dana’s Year End Review
As we say goodbye to 2019 and start a new year and a new decade, I wanted to take some time to reflect on some amazing experiences I have had.
Some of you may or may not know I am relatively new in my current role at SlapFive. I started full time just this past summer in July. But my path to how I got to where I am today is an interesting one and one I would like to share.
My passion for Customer success and ensuring I have returning happy customers started early in my career at Enterprise rent a car. I was trained to make sure every customer that rented a car was COMPLETELY SATISFIED, no matter what. Our promotions and bonus structure was tied to it that’s how important it was weighted. One branch I managed had a large Mandarin Chinese population so I worked with one of my employees to translate our offerings and other signage to help my customers experience while in my office and renting with me and my team be a more pleasant one. A completely satisfied experience specifically. When the car rental burn out struck, my path like many other ERAC alums led me to sales.
Fast forward through a couple sales jobs later I loved the chase and the excitement of closing the deals, but I wanted the follow through. I wanted to bring my customers vision to light and help ensure their success. I did not just want to hand them off to another person in a different department who had not been there the whole time uncovering their pains and mapping out a success plan. That’s when I knew I needed to be on the other side of the deals. Growing the customer relationship and ensuring their long term success. Having my history within retails sales, inside sales, outside sales, sales training, and sales management has led me to be the strong customer experience leader I am today. I love solving problems and building processes that help make me and my customers lives easier.
Last January 2019 I had the unfortunate news of a department lay off that included myself as the Customer Success Education and Advocacy Manager. I was heartbroken to say the least as I really enjoyed what I did and know that my programs I created brought value to the customers and throughout the organization. In my end of year planning I had some big goals I was going to be focusing on in 2019 prior to the lay off. One of the tools I was evaluating was SlapFive a Customer Voice platform to help with customer references and capturing customer feedback.
Shortly after my layoff I did my professional courtesy of reaching out to the CEO who I had been working with at SlapFive to let him know the contract would not be signed and shared I wanted to network with him for my next role. We continued to stay in touch and about a month later he mentioned a role at SlapFive he was forming which was right up my alley.
A handful of phone calls and a life changing lunch in Davis Square over pizza (with cape cod potato chips on it!) I learned my values and my passions aligned perfectly with two of the Co Founders of SlapFive, Jeff Ernst and Tim Leonard. As I was a sales prospect first I had a fresh perspective with a forward thinking mindset and I talked about my ideas on how to bring customer voice to the forefront and use it for SlapFives very own customers with various programs. Which before then had not been done yet. Getting the opportunity to absorb some of Jeff’s knowledge and experiences over the years with his buyers and buyer persona research was also a big selling point for me. This is a big differentiator with SlapFive, they only partner with forward thinkers and game changers and I know I was and am one as well! Customer voice is a new way of marketing and breaks the mold of traditional forms of marketing and I was ready to break down those molds!
Today I am the Director of Customer Experience and I manage all the customer programs, conduct weekly and daily interactions with our customer base, created a customer program the SlapFive RockStars, run customer Minute Booths at our customers user conferences, and I LOVE every second of it. Everything happens for a reason.
Being a prospect prior to an employee has helped me succeed greatly. I empathize with my customer base, I have been in their shoes, and I am in their shoes as well. It’s a dynamic and cool situation. I have many plans for 2020 – and I believe it is going to be a HUGE year for us. We are coming off of our first big product release – SlapFive 2.0 which not only includes enhancements to better our customers, but it also will help me do my job more efficiently. Not too many people can say a product release at their company directly relates and impacts their day to day. We are also planning our first customer user conference, CustomerX Con 2020 this Spring where I will run a Customer User Group and get to hear my customers tell their amazing stories of how customers voice has positively impacted their role and their company.
I will leave you with a quote Jeff has put in the end of webinar slides that has stuck with me. “You can do it” I had full support from the SlapFive team and my family to take this chance and take this dive into this role and I am so glad I did. I will continue to say “You can do it!” as I forge forward in 2020 with some amazing new processes, programs, and knowledge to be consumed.