It's all about the relationships!
“My favorite part of what I do is building relationships. When I was in marketing, I always looked for opportunities to interact with customers... I realized that working in customer advocacy let me do that every day.
-Carolina Moretti, Customer Success Manager
Digitalization has shrunk the planet, making us all neighbors of sorts. For customer advocacy professional, Carolina Moretti, that’s a perfect world.
Carolina has built her career building relationships. First in international marketing, leveraging her South American roots and Spanish language skills. And following her passion for people, it was not long before she put 100% of her focus on relationship building, working for an agency focused on customer reference development. Today, she’s parlayed that experience into a position as Customer Advocacy Manager at Box, the cloud-based content management platform.
the power of relationships
“My favorite part of what I do is building relationships,” Carolina says. “When I was in marketing, I always looked for opportunities to interact with customers to hear what they needed, what they liked, what their world was like, and how we could help them with challenges and priorities. I realized that working in customer advocacy let me do that every day. For me, it’s a much more powerful marketing approach to promote the customer voice—to let customers talk about what we do for them instead of us saying how great our products are.”
One of the things that Carolina says attracted her to her current role was that Customer Advocacy is part of the Customer Success organization rather than Marketing. To her, that showed the importance Box places on customer relationships. “The priority of my team is to develop advocates based on our relationship with the customers, not what we want to get out of them. It’s about supporting and highlighting the success of our customers. Everyone in our organization takes that to heart.” She adds, “This is the direction I happily see the customer reference industry moving toward: working with customers to understand how they want to promote their innovations, successful projects, or personal brand.”
Of course, as in any profession, life has its challenges. Carolina and her team are focused on putting the customer first. Yet the marketing and sales organizations have their own needs for customer references to help close sales. This requires a delicate balance between staying ahead of the needs of the business and developing relationships with customers. Given the speed at which Box and the entire industry moves, Carolina recognized she needed additional help. Rather than bring in an individual consultant who would likely need time to come up to speed, Carolina went straight to a seasoned, customer-focused agency.
hit the ground running
“Our team didn’t have the bandwidth to hand-hold anyone,” she notes. “We needed someone who could hit the ground running and work independently.” Specifically, Carolina needed customer reference work—an individual who could manage requests from the sales and marketing teams. It had to be someone experienced working with account teams, able to prioritize requests, and be responsive. That’s exactly what she found at Byrnes Communications. “My Byrnes project manger has been amazing,” she reports. “She works very independently fulfilling our customer reference requests, and reporting on those requests. She also is a great source of creative ideas to help us get more out of our customer advocacy program—someone I can come to with a challenge and get great advice and suggestions.”
She continues, “An important reason I wanted to go with an agency is that I get more than just one person; I get the entire team. So if there’s something my consultant can’t answer, she has the collective knowledge and experience of the entire Byrnes team to draw on, and that’s already proven valuable.” For example, Byrnes helped Carolina find a way to improve the way customer reference activity is fed into the company’s Salesforce environment, which maximized her reporting capability to demonstrate ROI of the customer advocacy program. Another idea will be to connect VIP Box advocates with customer prospects at the company’s annual conference, BoxWorks.
It's all about the people
What’s all this meant to Carolina and her ability to be successful in her role? “It’s been unbelievable,” she declares. “I could not have continued to do my job effectively without the help I get from Byrnes. I don’t have to worry about the sales reference requests because I know my Byrnes project manager is on it.”
For Carolina, having an agency with all its knowledge and resources at her disposal has been indispensable. So what does she recommend looking for in an agency? “Certainly do the basic research, such as how long they’ve been around, who their clients are, types of projects they’ve done for those clients. But to me, the most important thing is personality.” She explains: “If I’m going to work someone, I need to get along well with them as a person. Somebody can be smart and experienced and work hard, but if they’re not nice and easy going to work with, that doesn’t cut it for me. That’s one of the main reasons I work with Byrnes Communications. I truly like the people.”
Meet the author: Jim Gamble