Published: Jun 7, 2022Time to read: 8mins Category: Insights
PeopleFluent’s Bright Lights: Lisa Austin, Client Success Manager
In this edition of Bright Lights, where we introduce you to key members of the PeopleFluent team, we’re chatting with Lisa Austin, Client Success Manager. When she’s not at work, Lisa loves to spend time with her two daughters. Let’s get to know her better!
Hi Lisa! Tell us about your role at PeopleFluent.
As a client success manager, I handle business for our large enterprise accounts. I work with clients who have varying needs. Some use just one of our products, like PeopleFluent Recruitment, while others have what we call a blended portfolio, where they’re using multiple products, like Compensation and OrgPublisher. I get to work directly with customers, and it’s really exciting to be able to kind of dig in to understand what they’re challenged with and what their teams are challenged with. I help them figure out which tools will help them overcome their challenges and make things more efficient for them or their business. It's really exciting to be able to look at our suites because we have so many product offerings that we can say might be a good fit. Client success managers are so deep in our products that, most of the time, we can bring a solution to our customers that will help them.
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One thing I like about this job is looking across our teams internally to figure out who's the right person to jump in and get on a call or maybe help give the guidance that a client needs to answer a question. We reach across so many different teams within this role, so I feel like we're a point of contact, the liaison between our client customers and PeopleFluent. I tell my customers that any time there's anything they need from us as a company, start with me. Then I pull in the right resources and team to bring to our customers so they don't have to try to figure it out themselves. It’s exciting because every day is different, and I learn something every day.
What were you doing before working at PeopleFluent?
I was working for another human resource software company. I was there for roughly eight years in various roles. I started out as a supervisor over their human capital management (HCM) team. We actually were a third-party vendor with PeopleFluent. Through that relationship, we were able to have PeopleFluent Recruitment as a product offering for our customers. We also had partnerships with other SaaS companies for compensation and performance products. I was looking after a team of about four people, and we supported our clients after they were implemented onto those suites. I was also the liaison with our vendors for those different products, dealing with things like upgrades, releases, change requests, or other customer needs.
From that role, I moved into implementation and helped to implement those third-party software products when clients wanted that as part of their offering. Eventually, I moved back onto the operation side where I was more of a subject matter expert (SME). I did all the system administration for customers who paid for those services, as well as project managing it, and maintaining the vendor relationships. You could say I wore multiple “hats” while I was with that team.
My former company eventually developed its own product offerings and didn’t continue its relationships with third-party vendors, including PeopleFluent. I was a remote employee, and when they began making their changes, a lot of the jobs were based in Tampa, FL and weren’t remote. I’m in North Carolina, so that wasn’t going to work very well for me! I already had a really strong relationship with PeopleFluent from having that previous partnership, and I learned about an opportunity to come over to PeopleFluent as a consultant. I joined as a consultant on PeopleFluent Recruitment and was in that role for a little over a year. And then I was approached about joining the client success team as a client success manager and that's where I am today.
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What skills are needed to be successful in your role?
Being flexible and able to juggle multiple balls at different times, as well as time management. Time management is huge! There can be a lot of different things to juggle at once, so it’s really important to manage our time well and also be flexible.
Another important skill to have—and this might sound silly—is to not take things personally. Sometimes we have clients who are frustrated with a situation, and it’s really important to remind ourselves of this and that they’re not necessarily frustrated with us. We need to just stop and listen to the client and try to figure out how to best meet their needs. So it's really about being a good communicator. Sometimes that means being willing to bring in a visual to show clients how a scenario might play out instead of just trying to explain something over the phone. Being able to switch gears and explain things in different ways for different clients is crucial.
How would you describe your team dynamic?
It's almost like a safe zone where anybody can ask any question. I think we've really created a team where we can feel comfortable and safe. You can just ask a question or vent if you need to vent because we’re all human, and we need that. With being remote, it’s important to have these strong relationships and have someone on the team that we can share things with who understands what we’re going through or talking about. We’re all over the United States. We've got some people in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. We also have a team in the UK and someone in Germany. Despite being located all over the world, we’ve created that safe team dynamic.
We’re assigned a new hire to mentor whenever someone new joins the team. So I have someone I currently meet with twice a week, one-on-one for an hour, and then we also meet every Monday as a larger team and spend time covering different things in the system. So we meet a lot.
We're also very flexible, and I think being part of this team is what helped me learn how to be flexible in my job. We’re all willing to pick something up and help one another. I think that's been a huge asset to our team.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I love to sit down and say, “Okay, what is it we're trying to do?” and then come back with an idea or some options or solutions. Then we build. It can be so much fun configuring and then showing the clients and seeing them get so excited over the product. That's a really fulfilling part of this role.
What are you doing when you’re not at your desk?
When I'm not actually working, I spend a lot of time with my girls. I'm a single mom. I have one daughter in high school and the other is in college, so they’re definitely at different points in their lives. Ashley, my youngest, is cheering at school, so I go to a lot of her school and sports activities. And I'm the team mom, so a lot of times I do activities with the cheer team. I coached my older daughter for a while. She's been in competitive cheer since she was four, and I used to cheer. It's kind of a passion I have, so that's a fun thing.
Also, my younger daughter is very much into art, and so she and I love to craft and do things like that, too. So crafting and painting are some hobbies that I love.
Are there any skills you want to develop in the future?
I really want to learn how to paint. I think from a crafting perspective, I'm not very good. My younger daughter is amazing at that. She has a natural talent. I enjoy sharing that with her and want to get better at it.
Do you have any advice for us that you’ve shared with clients?
I tell my clients to try to think of our projects in this way: minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. I encourage them to be in the moment as much as possible. When I think about it, it’s advice I try to take in my personal life, but it's also great advice for work. How we act and how we convey information to our clients is so important.
I'm very honest with them about what we can and cannot do. I give them realistic expectations, I’m transparent, and I put myself in their shoes as much as I can because I would want that for me if I was the customer.
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Lisa is one of the many “bright lights” here at PeopleFluent. We have a global team of professionals ready to assist you with all your talent and learning needs.