Sprious’ new Customer Success Lead introduces herself in her own words
Hello! My name is Michele Johannes and I am the Customer Success Lead at Sprious. I will be working closely with our Customer Success team to service our customers as well as work on a “proactive approach” to help nurture our existing customer base.
Why I Love Customer Success
I believe that if you do all of the right things from the very first encounter or touch-point with a customer you will have a customer for life! If you think about all of the products and services you use, many times there are multiple sources or providers that can provide these to you. Customers always have a choice. To differentiate yourself from others, you have to show value in something other than just the product you are offering. That value comes when you form tight relationships with your customers and put time and effort into building processes that will impact the customer’s experience in a positive and rewarding way.
Over the years I have learned that it is important to have a balance of technical aptitude and product knowledge along with just plain common sense and empathy for the customer. You can teach technical skills and processes to anyone, but it is more difficult to teach empathy. Good Customer Success teams are made of people who are naturally empathetic towards customers and will do everything in their power to provide a successful outcome.
I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and was surrounded by lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. I belonged to a close knit family. My father’s side of the family is full of engineers. I grew up watching my grandfather, father, and uncles create, repair, re-purpose everything! I never saw my father call a plumber, mechanic, carpenter, etc. I didn’t even know people actually had jobs like those because my father did it all. I grew up assisting him with repairing automobiles, televisions, etc. My first job was working for my uncle who was an electrical engineer. My sister and I assembled and soldered circuit boards for his company when we were in middle school.
When I was old enough to move out of the house and go to college, my father wouldn’t let me go until I could show him I could change the tire on my own car. For birthdays he would get me a new tool each year. Many of them I still have today in my own little workshop!
I always avoided discussions about math and engineering and drifted more towards the creative side of things. I loved to read and write and loved art. I thought because of these interests I did not inherit any of the engineering “genes” my dad’s side of the family had! I started out in college thinking I’d be a writer and a professor of literature one day. I majored in English and Anthropology, dreaming I’d write for one of the Smithsonians! All of that changed course when I had to work full time to put myself through school. Having to support yourself and pay tuition at a university is not easy, but it does lend itself to finding good stable jobs and getting a lot of good work experience behind you while you’re in school. I’d say that was the “hard way” to do it, but in the end things turned out okay.
While I was at the University of Nebraska I took a job at a local software company as a Quality Assurance person or Tester. I was good at finding bugs because I was not following typical use cases. I didn’t know any better! I worked my way into other roles and became a Support Representative, a Trainer, and also wrote documentation. The type of technical documentation that I wrote basically stripped me of any creative brain cells I had prior to joining and I felt myself drift away from my creative side. It was sad for me but what I was doing paid the bills and I was good at it!
I never looked back after that job experience and have worked at tech companies now for many years. I have almost always been in customer facing roles. I love customers and have made friends for life with so many customers over the years.
I look forward to building friendships and strong customer relationships at Sprious with the Customer Success team!