Introduce yourself. How long have you been working at Prepared? What team are you currently part of?
I started working at prepared on January 10, 2022, and I am the Head of Customer Success. We are responsible for center adoption and reporting on customer trends and insights across the customer base.
Prior to working with Prepared, I implemented and assessed Customer Success processes at large and small companies using the Predictive Customer Behavior Index™. The PCBI is a tool I developed with over 150 standards compiled from some of the best companies in the business. I have an extensive background in Six Sigma process development/Improvement and lead multiple contact centers globally for larger organizations.
How distributed is your team?
Right now we are primarily in the midwest and East coast, but I anticipate that changing. Eventually we will have Customer Success teams across the country.
As a lead at Prepared, what are the challenges of leading a team remotely?
The biggest challenge in leading a national team is engagement. Having worked in multiple remote and hybrid environments, there are different elements that present challenges if the entire team is remote versus a hybrid.
When the entire team is remote, employees can lose their work identity. Companies need to engage differently and use some of the resources saved from in-office use on remote engagement strategies.
With a hybrid team there can be challenges with remote etiquette, which is something in-office employees might not always consider. The proliferation of video has made conference calls and background noise better, but there needs to be a different standard on responsiveness. Slack, for example, is nice to have when in the office because you can always just pop in and talk. With remote workers, it's an essential lifeline!
Responsiveness is important and something that can be improved over time as people become more aware. Inclusiveness is much harder. In order to make team-building activities work long term, it can be helpful to build an in-person foundation first. Once you’ve met people in person, the conversation changes. It's like character development in a movie. If you don’t know the important parts about a character in a movie, it's hard to be engaged for long. We need predictability and trust in our movies as well as our real world relationships; that comes from knowing people.
Tell us how being part of a distributed team plays an important role in your life outside of work.
I have two teenage sons and an 86 year old mother who are local. It's critical for now that I live where I live, which is where they live. Kids are a lot of things, but the thing I'm most aware of is how limited of a resource they are. As a parent, you have a finite amount of time and once it’s gone, it’s gone. So I'm the dad that will drive 100 miles to watch 3 triple jumps (it turned out to be a record jump!) or 3 hours to watch a basketball game.
Kids are sort of the thing we’re here to do - raise better humans. With boys, you just have to keep them alive until they are 18 (19 in Nebraska)!
How do you see Prepared changing the landscape of public safety in what you do?
Driving adoption for any SaaS product must be more than just leaning on user intuition or identifying the potential benefits - especially when the product promises an “improved future state” rather than solving a current, critical customer problem.
That improved future state, in our case, promises a greater ability to save lives through the data that Prepared Live provides. In order for our software to save the lives of citizens and first responders, and change the landscape of public safety, it has to be used.
The CS team must understand our customers well enough to teach them how to best use the tool in order to reap those benefits (saving lives). For me, this means understanding that dispatchers are typically juggling multiple things at once in a high-stress environment. Operating under that first assumption, we can begin to implement strategies that drive usage.
Ultimately, customer adoption will determine if our software saves lives or not. The team responsible for driving customer adoption is Customer Success - and I wouldn’t have it any other way!