I work at Wonolo and I am a Customer Success Team Lead.
I support my team from beginning to end through onboarding & mentoring new hires, tracking the team’s progress against KPIs, and serving as the escalation POC for our complex & high profile customers and customer issues.
I also drive customer satisfaction and retention by providing regular coaching for the team on soft skills & solution delivery and monitoring and surfacing customer feedback.
How big is it?
I have 6 kickass direct reports: Alexis, Chelsea, Chris, CJ, Eric, and Matthew - all are Customer Success Associates.
Where are your teammates located?
Texas, Missouri, Arizona, and California.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
Our customer success team is responsible for supporting Wonolo customers in achieving their desired outcome. We match customer needs with Wonolo’s service offering by facilitating requestor adoption, implementing operational solutions, and proactively influencing retention drivers for the entire customer lifecycle.
Accountability, authenticity, and simply being present are key components to building and maintaining a strong remote culture.
I often feel like I work even more each day now that I am remote. It is easy to flow from one task to the next and leave one meeting to join another when you are removed from the social distractions that accompany working in an office environment.
As a leader, the most important part of my job is the people that I get to serve each day. I believe the best way to help them is for me to be present and intentional with how I interact with each of them. This means that I have to take a breath, look up from my tasks and think about my team as individual human beings.
Taking a moment to randomly check in on them via slack or holding standing office hours sends the message that above all, I am here for them and with them.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections.
Strong connections are built with Hailey.
I believe it starts with establishing strong relationships and making sure my team feels seen, heard, and supported. Our jobs are not easy and can be stressful at times, so my goal is to be their constant cheerleader, mentor, and biggest advocate every opportunity that I get.
I encourage my team to increase their self-awareness and their ability to assess themselves by periodically asking them to share how they are feeling about their role, the team, and the work they are producing as an individual. Occasionally, I will ask them to listen back on one of their recent calls and tell me what they liked vs what they would like to improve.
Last but not least, creating a space that fosters creativity is another way to keep my team engaged. I am here to provide guidance and coaching, but I never want to miss an opportunity for my team to think out of the box in order to solve a problem. I want them to have the freedom to present their preconceived ideas and experiment. That’s when you have the most fun with your job and can see the impact you are making.
Our jobs are not easy and can be stressful at times, so my goal is to be their constant cheerleader, mentor, and biggest advocate every opportunity that I get.
Right now, my biggest challenge as a remote leader is building relationships with my team members outside of work. Prior to our transition to working remotely, our company had an active social culture which included regular in-person happy hours, grabbing lunch together, and sharing our bad dates from over the weekend.
That energy is very much still alive, but the opportunities to ask how people are really doing are not so readily available. Now, it takes intentionality to connect with my team on a level that goes beyond their customer emails, meetings and launch strategies. Now, I have to create the opportunities for real connection that we all took for granted before.
Shortly after we went fully remote, I instituted weekly social activities. They started out with going on Zoom walks together, learning how to make a cocktail, guided meditation, and random virtual games. Since the team has grown, we now do an activity every other week.
I also created a shared Spotify playlist and shared it with everyone on the team so that they can add different types of songs like “What is a song that you listen to at the beach?” and “What song is most meaningful to you?” I have to admit, our team has some great taste in music.
Our org within the company also does an off-site each year. This year, we are going to be in-person and I am ecstatic to meet my team in person for the first time! Our VP is fond of interpersonal connections so the sessions will revolve around learning each other’s personality types and having some level 5 conversations.
Charades! I believe the most interesting words to act out have been “olive oil” and “childbirth”.
I use a lot of icebreakers during onboarding. The team really gets into “what is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” Back to our shared playlist, I typically have each team member share the background behind their song choice and I love Rose, Bud & Thorn.
As a company, we use the Donut Slack bot which randomly matches you with another person in the company. The goal is to have a meeting that does not have to be work-related where you get to know one another.
I follow the Dare to Lead with Brene Brown podcast and although it may not be directly related to my current career, I do take continuing education courses to maintain my music therapy certification.
I can never learn enough when it comes to facilitating effective communication, guiding individuals towards their goals, and leading mindfulness and meditation sessions which I actually get to do at Wonolo from time to time.
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