Within ReadyTalk’s Customer Care department are the specialists that work with our marketing and CRM automations. Clayton Hagen answers every phone call with his technical sensibilities, along with a touch of Michigander. Learn how Clay keeps our customers’ attendance data in check, plus stories on the best Halloween costumes this side of Spencer’s Gifts.
When working with CRM and marketing automation, what’s the most common integrations obstacle?
First we need to drill down the customer’s initial concerns. If there’s an issue that’s preventing our software from communicating with their marketing program — like Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot, and Salesforce — it’s important that we address the snag immediately. One obstacle that comes up involves their event communication. The invitation and reminder emails used to promote the webinar or webcast are integrated with their marketing program. If there’s some block that’s not properly tracking or delivering data it’s our job to isolate the problem. This can happen days before an event or even while one is taking place. We realize the urgency and importance of everything running smoothly, so we’re under the gun to help our customers fast.
Realizing you may be slightly biased, why do you think ReadyTalk’s customer care outperforms our competitors’?
I think our team genuinely cares about our customers. We put in a lot of effort to streamline the process for them. At times we’ve been known to go out of our way to make sure they have what they need. That means communicating with other members of my department — or even reaching out to other departments if I’m not an expert in a particular area. A lot of people in customer care know what it’s like hosting a webinar. It can be scary, high pressure, with lots of time invested. We put ourselves in their shoes because it’s what we’re here for.
In five seconds, tell me how integrations work.
No. Here’s a Marketo chart.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen at ReadyTalk?
Always Halloween. When each department dresses up for the costume contest. It’s hilarious because each department has a theme. A baby giraffe costume stands out. It was a traumatic sight for the entire company.
Patrick Wiley has made his rounds at ReadyTalk for nearly a decade. Starting with the company as an account executive, he’s worked every stage of the buying cycle and continues building partnerships across the U.S. Now Director of Carrier Sales and Business Development, Patrick refers to himself as a “humble expert” in the SaaS and Unified Communications marketplace. Between training for ultramarathons and Ironman races, he loves improving his industry knowledge and building value in the ReadyTalk brand every day in order to win.
Q: Would you say there’s a high degree of problem solving with your job?
A: We work in an incredibly competitive business landscape and every situation is different. Saying that, I must keep my knowledge sharpened to provide the best solutions for our customers and partners. That means that I need to know about other companies’ products and services and figure out the best ways to position our solutions. I’m constantly researching and asking questions. Having a consultative sales approach not only provides a deeper level of trust, but also concludes with the customer buying the right solution to fit their company’s needs.
Q: Who are your primary business partners?
A: I work with over 40 account directors and account managers at the enterprise level. They’re responsible for selling our suite of solutions including a multitude of our competitors’ products. But that’s the great part about my job — I have to know when our product(s) are going to be the best fit for their needs. That’s when it’s very important for me to know every granular detail about our functionality and our competitors. We have four major lines of business, each with their own set of base features. But with every one of our products, there are unlimited combinations of à la carte options suited for each individual buyer. That’s the beauty of our products, they can accommodate so many different users and situations.
Q: Why do you refer to yourself as a “humble expert?”
A: First off it means I am self aware enough that I don’t know everything. But, I am smart enough to tap into the many incredibly intelligent forward-thinking people I’m surrounded by at ReadyTalk. When I’m brought into a sales discussion I’m there representing more than one company. I speak for the carrier and the representative first, however I do my best to deliver the message with the ReadyTalk ethos which is the “wow” factor. That creates an interesting dynamic because I need to be thoughtful about what all parties can deliver, and even what they can’t. I’m the voice for the carrier team, so giving a measured account of our services is critical to everyone involved. The good news there — ReadyTalk has ALWAYS been customer centric. We tend to act this way naturally.
No two accounts are exactly alike — that’s why our customer success team thrives on supporting a variety of cases. Margaret Thomas is ReadyTalk’s Senior Customer Success Manager, and she has a knack for accommodating every buyer type on the cloud. Check out her thoughts on quality service and delivering creative solutions across all of our product lines.
Q: How many years have you worked at ReadyTalk?
A: I’ve been here for seven years but originally started as a strategic account manager. But this isn’t my first rodeo in the web conferencing industry — I also worked for a larger corporation for 10 years prior to ReadyTalk.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Every day is different. Every budget is different. Every person is different. I enjoy hearing about a customer’s needs, and then brainstorming with my team to develop the best ways to accomplish their goals. In other words, I offer consultation, training, and onboarding for our accounts so that they’re ready to host a meeting or event. There’s a bit of flexibility in my role because each company has a unique use for our platform. It happens a lot that a customer will say, “Hey Margaret, I want to do x,y,z,” and it’s up to me to figure out the best plan for them.
Q: What types of customer interactions motivate you?
A: Whenever I legitimately help a customer and make an impact on their experience. Sometimes a ‘thank you’ email from an account is one of the best feelings. An honest, genuine, appreciation of our work together really goes a long way. Obviously, that’s what I’m here for — but the acknowledgement means that we made a positive difference in their day. It means I didn’t let them down or leave them hanging, and that’s what they want. More importantly, for their sake, they were able to execute effectively based on our guidance.
Q: OK, where do you really love to spend your time?
A: The summer is consumed by baseball. Otherwise, I’m with my fam up in the mountains! My husband and our two sons love to get out of dodge on the weekends. We all love the outdoors and it’s why we’re here in Colorado! In the winter, they’re skiing while I read or hit the spa. No complaints! Haha.
Want to take your cloud services to the next level? Give our customer success team a call today!
Time for a little Q&A with one of our ReadyTalkers! Meet Jeff Sheldon, Event Production Manager with four years under his belt in our lovely LoDo Denver office! For a little background, the events management team is responsible for any webcast or webinar customer that wants a little extra treatment before, during, or after their live presentation. The amount of involvement varies from customer to customer — from help with scheduling, to a dry run, to full event moderation.
Q: What types of businesses do you work with most often?
A: We spend a lot of time with marketing and sales teams. Often folks that are performing either a product launch or some type of sales webinar. Sometimes they prefer the “white gloves” if they aren’t in a position to conduct the event on their own. Planning and scheduling are big for us. Say the customer doesn’t have time to plan or schedule every detail of an upcoming event. That’s where we come in. We send out links, provision speakers, work with them up until the dry run, and stick around for post-event reporting.
Q: Not all days are perfect. Can you think of a time where you had major challenges walking a customer through an event?
A: It’s more about helping them establish a higher level of comfort. That applies to the software itself or just getting over the pre-event jitters so they’re ready to address the crowd. We try and put ourselves in their shoes and it’s surprising how much can change through the course of a call. Part of our job is to walk them through the components of our user interface, but it’s also about calming their nerves in case it’s their first time. Everyone is different, but they often sign up for managed events if webinars are brand new to them.
Q: What’s a great day for you?
A: Being able to work with a new customer that doesn’t know a ton about the controls or using our services. It’s rewarding to watch them go from totally blind and unfamiliar to ready to rock and host a great event. Just today we had someone that was like, “OK I have an event next week and I’m not sure what I’m doing.” Then by the end of our session they were super comfortable. That’s a good feeling because we try and be the “warm blanket.” Haha. I do enjoy getting to know their style of learning, and having them get to know my style of teaching. If the takeaway is a good experience overall — regarding the customer support AND their webinar presentation — it’s a win for everyone. Word of mouth goes a long way.
Want assistance with your next event? Say ‘hi’ to Jeff and our crew with concierge services!
No matter how large or small your company is, handling the pressures of modern marketing strategies can be stressful. From content marketing to running analytics, markers are more busy than ever before. To simplify your marketing techniques, here are four tools you shouldn’t live without:
Every company needs a high-quality customer relationship management (CRM) solution to track, organize and follow up on sales leads. However, some CRMs are not user-friendly or they’re too expensive for fledgling startups or small businesses to afford. Shop around until you find the right option for you.
2. Marketing automation tool
If you want your marketing team to maximize efficiency and increase revenue, you need a marketing automation tool, such as Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua or Pardot. Choose a solution that offers easy CRM integration, email marketing and lead generation. This way, every step of the marketing and sales processes will be covered.
3. Analytics solution
Every industry is increasingly relying on metrics to make evidence-based business decisions. So why should your company be any different? Use Google Analytics or Kissmetrics to track the success of your marketing efforts. With these tools, you can get a better understanding of how customers respond to everything from your homepage to your monthly newsletters.
If you want to reach a wide audience to perform product demos, introduce new features or answer company questions, webinars are the best choice for your business. Not only do they offer interactive polling and Q&A features for your audience, but they let you talk to people from all over the country from your laptop or tablet.