my Name is James

I’m Making The Career Switch

I have decided To make the move from Marketing to Customer Experience and Success

Cross Over Strengths And Skills. 

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Creativity

Seeing the wold differently, through a different lens, and out of the status quo, is how generated ideas, strategies and methods for successful marketing.

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Problem Solving

What can I do to make this better? That question is permanently making the rounds inside my head. I’m always looking for ways to make everything better, create something new, or add value to an existing program.

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Leadership

I’ve lead teams in size from 2-15. But more importantly than that. I’ve led myself. In addition to being able to lead teams to greatness, I have led myself to greatness through personal self discipline and proactively taking on the most important tasks. 

Business Acumen

Early on in my career I made it my business to understand the rules of business. This strong foundation has empowered me to make important decision during times of change and innovation.

Empathy

I naturally know how to understand what people need to see,hear, know, feel and experience to take the next best step. Reflecting this into marketing has been paramount to my success in marketing, and will be in customer success and experience roles as well.

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Analytic Minded

Great data leads to great insights. Insights that otherwise would be absent regardless of extensive experiences, amazing processes, or following a set of best practices. I rely on these insights to complement what I already know, help me innovate, and provide better solutions.

My Customer Experience, Experience

My Why For Making The Switch

Five words on a homeless man’s sign changed my life in 1997. I was in college and waiting tables. On my way to work there was always the same homeless man on the same street corner, but holding up a different sign every day. The sign was a message. One particular day his message hit me like a ton of bricks, and 22 years later, I still remember these five words, “You Can’t Even Fool Yourself!”

His message to me was loud and clear. Be true to who you are. I have honestly done my best to do that.

Since graduating from college a few years later, I have spent my entire career in marketing. I have focused these years on knowing what people need to see, hear, feel, know and experience to take the next best step. I have gotten really good and that. Empathy is one of my greatest strengths. Being able to reflect how people feel at different stages of the buyers journey has been paramount to my many successes as a marketer.

In 2014 and 2015 I was responsible for some pretty significant projects. Everyone had there eye on me from the very bottom of the organization, all the way through to the Board of Directors. I was creating the first ever digital marketing department for a $1B Bank. It was stressful, fun, challenging, rewarding and near the end of my time there, very eye opening.

I was a great customer for some, and a horrible customer for others.
During this process I signed contracts and implemented 5 major SaaS products, and hired 7 service oriented vendors. About 6-months into the plan, I realized I was the worst possible customer for some, and the ideal customer for others. How was that even possible? My processes were the same for each. How I interacted never changed. Our systems for payment, reporting, accountability, were all the same. So why then was I great for some, and a burden for others.

This was the beginning of my obsession with customer success and experience.
I wanted to know why I was great for some and bad for others. So I began a personal project documenting every touch point and interaction of every relationship I had with both the service ans SaaS providers.

What I learned is that being a great customer or being a bad customer, had very little to do with me. It had everything to do with them. This insight actually baffled me, until I saw all the comparisons. After concluding my little research project I started becoming painfully aware of what companies were doing to create great customers, or what they could be doing different.

Following the bank I went to work for a start-up. This business hit the Inc. 5,000 three times in a row, and then filed bankruptcy. What happened? I had delivered 10x the number of leads prior to my arrival. Sales was closing on those leads. So why did I get laid off and why did the company eventually go under? Poor customer on-boarding, success, and experience is the answer.

Personally – I was subscribing to different online applications, courses, and personal development services and products. My eyes were opened. If sales and marketing are the lifeblood to a company. Then customer success and experience is the lungs. It does not matter how many leads come in. How many sales are closed. How well finance does its job. It does not matter how brilliant the CEO is. If customers fail to succeed and have excellent experiences – the company will suffocate into bankruptcy.

I’ve Tried Fooling Myself For Four Years – But I Can’t
I’m no longer a marketer. I’ve been one, and I’ve been a great one. But as of today, I am a customer experience and success advocate. This is emotionally very hard. Being a marketer has been core to my identity for so long, and I have not wanted to give it up. I felt like if I gave it up, I would be a failure.

Recently, I took an MITx course on, Navigating Change. I thought I would be learning about navigating organizational and societal change, which I did. But the professors also walked us through navigating personal change. They asked very thought provoking questions. One question in particular, “What inside you is ready to die, and what inside you is waiting to be born?”

I can no longer fool myself. A customer experience and success expert is inside of me and is waiting to be born. It’s as part of me as being a marketer. But its a new part of me.

As I explore my marketing past, it amazes me that everything I have ever done, all my ups and downs, my failure and successes – everything, has prepared me to become amazing at customer experience and success.

My Top Marketing Attributes Will Be My Top CX and Success Attributes As Well.

I Want To Be Your Next Customer Succes and Experience Colleague.