Published: May 22, 2024
Time to read: 9mins
Category: Insights

PeopleFluent’s Bright Lights: Meet Carrie Vick, Director of Customer Success

In the spotlight in this edition of Bright Lights—our regular series introducing PeopleFluent team members from around the business—is Director of Customer Success, Carrie Vick. In this article, she shares some thoughts on her 25-year journey in human resources and tech journey, and her busy and varied life outside of work!

PeopleFluent's Bright Lights: Carrie Vick, Director of Customer Success

So, Carrie, what’s your role at PeopleFluent? How long have you been working here?

I am the Director of Customer Success at PeopleFluent. I joined the organization in 2022 and provide strategic leadership to our Renewals and Customer Success Managers. As a team we’re responsible for the overall health of PeopleFluent’s customer partnerships and that includes driving customer value and mitigating risks to ensure the satisfaction and retention of those customers.

What did you do for work prior to joining PeopleFluent?

I’ve spent 25 years in Human Resources and HR tech. I started on this path as a Benefits Analyst, where I was responsible for the implementation of a benefits administration system. I fell in love with the efficiencies and process improvements that technology provided our company.

I worked in HRIS, Organizational Development and IT for the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport where I partnered directly with our HR tech vendors. This provided vast experience, mapping business requirements to technical specs and ultimately creating solutions. It was rewarding to see so many manual processes come to life within the technology.

I later moved into HR tech and worked for SAP SuccessFactors during an exciting high growth period, when the business went public and was later acquired by SAP. I held a variety of roles, from doing implementations, scoping projects, providing client support, and working with partners. I worked on the first iteration of what later became their Customer Success team. SaaS solutions were relatively new at the time and as a business we were learning how to ensure longevity and success in our customer partnerships. We were really striving to ensure satisfaction and value by driving ongoing engagement and product adoption to maintain the relationships beyond just the implementation and initial contract period. I’ve also held similar roles at Cornerstone OnDemand, HireVue and Reflektive.

All of those opportunities helped me understand the problems our customers were trying to solve, industry trends, and how we can support them to ensure achievement of their objectives. It shaped how my teams work collaboratively across our organization, advocating for our customers while working with Services, Support, Engineering and Hosting to ensure that, as a company, we meet our customers’ needs.

"I really strive to be the kind of leader that our customers and internal teams want to engage with and build a relationship with."

What skills are needed to be successful in your role?

It’s essential to have a good understanding of Human Resources and the problems that HR teams are working to solve. For example:

  • What is their performance strategy and what does the process look like throughout their organization?
  • What does goal setting look like?
  • How does the compensation strategy play a role in that?
  • How do they identify and plan for successors in key roles?
  • How does learning come into the fold in different parts of the organization?

I think having technical aptitude is also very helpful for understanding some of the challenges that our customers might face. This enables me to better assist them alongside our support team or to better plan for their product needs with our product management team.

Strong communication and negotiation skills are certainly important. The roles involves asking deeper questions, trying to better understand customers’ business objectives, working on contract negotiations, and having a profound understanding of customer engagement and risk management practices.

Another skill that’s important is the ability to leverage data to implement team strategies. That could include understanding and analyzing data, pulling insights, and implementing those data-driven strategies for the team.

Finally, understanding our customers’ needs requires empathy—having the ability to meet people where they are as humans. I really want to be the kind of leader that our customers and my team want to engage with and build a relationship with.

INSIGHTS FROM THE BLOG | ‘6 Considerations for Aligning Your Compensation Strategy With Your Organizational Goals

What skills do you want to develop further?

As part of my expanding leadership role, I’m continuing to learn more about the commercial aspects of the business. I want to better understand PeopleFluent’s revenue data and processes, to ensure we are tracking the data points necessary and are able to leverage that data to make business decisions at the executive level.

“My team impresses me every day. They have so much experience. They're all unique in their own ways.”

How would you describe your team dynamic?

We're a really positive team and are focused on collaboration. They're my work family. We have an ‘all hands on deck’ kind of philosophy in terms of supporting one another. We have weekly team calls and we have standing office hours twice a week where we collaborate in real time and help each other solve problems. This allows us to tap into each other's strengths and ideas and challenge some of our thought processes as we work together to deliver value to customers.

My team impresses me every day. There is so much diversity in their experience. They're all unique in their own ways.

What’s your favorite aspect of the job?

It’s the variety for sure; I experience something new every day. I'm constantly learning in my role, and so is my team. This continuous learning is what keeps me engaged in the work that we're doing. I have this phrase, that “everything’s figure-out-able”. There are new challenges every day and I like to be able to help my team figure things out and solve challenges.

Is there a project you’ve been particularly proud to work on?

We leverage a customer success platform to drive our customer engagements and draw insights from our partnerships. It helps us better understand the risk and opportunities for adoption within each account. It’s been an ongoing project to continue optimizing our usage of the platform to ensure that leadership and the customer success team is gaining the maximum value of the solution.

I've been in organizations that don't have a customer analysis platform like this, and it's very difficult to draw conclusions and find solutions without a tool to surface that data for you. For example, if a subset of our top 20 customers are all having the same challenge, we can identify this and find a solution for it.

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What skills have you developed since joining PeopleFluent?

I’ve gained a better understanding of commercial terms and commercial negotiations. I also have a better understanding of our contracts and the guiding philosophy behind those contracts and negotiations, whether that’s for renewal or upsell. That’s definitely a skill I’ve been growing at a rapid pace.

“I've been in organizations that don't have a customer analysis platform like this, and it's very difficult to draw conclusions and find solutions without a tool to surface that data for you.”

What’s your favorite work perk?

It's definitely the ability to work remotely with a global team. It ties into my desire to serve my team and meet them where they need me. A portion of my team is in the UK and there’s a large part of the team here in the US, so I’m grateful that I can ebb and flow in my day to make sure that I meet their needs.

Remote work plays a significant role in our company culture—It allows me to be successful professionally while still being able to ensure my personal needs and the needs of my family are met as well.

What are you doing when you’re not at your desk?

Most things are around my family—I have four kids, a son in love and have a new grandbaby. They’re really the center of my universe. We love to be active and outdoors—we do everything from hiking to paddleboarding to boating. I'm a runner and run long-distance races. I'm also a certified yoga instructor. Yoga is my passion and I love sharing it with others.

What’s something you wish you’d known at the start of your career?

That you need to make the most out of your relationships with other people. When you’re able to build and cultivate relationships with other people, you end up with a professional family around you able to support you in your career, as you support them in turn.

I’m an introvert at heart, and when I was starting my career, it was really intimidating working with others. It’s important to see that everyone brings different skills to the table. At the end of the day, we're all humans just trying to find work that we're passionate about, and when you have that supportive network of people around you, it fosters competence to take on any new opportunity. I have this beautiful network of people around me that I've had the pleasure of working alongside for  25 years. We collaborate and share challenges and ideas. We support each other when we're taking on new opportunities.

I’d also say, when a door opens, look through that door, and see what's on the other side. Leverage your network and talk to people about those opportunities. I've held different types of roles throughout the customer journey. When new opportunities come along, it can be intimidating because there are a lot of unknown variables. But as I said earlier, it’s about having a new challenge every day. “Everything's figure-out-able.”

Carrie Vick pictured with her family.

MORE FROM THIS SERIES | ‘PeopleFluent’s Bright Lights: Meet Hadji Pacamalan, Support Manager

Let Our Team Work for You

Carrie is one of the many “bright lights” working at PeopleFluent, a global team of professionals who are always prepared to solve all of your talent management and learning challenges. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our products and services!

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