An entertainment industry leader in e-commerce and intelligent ticketing, content management and more, Toronto-based AudienceView recently announced the hiring of Karen Hogg as Vice President of Customer Success. Her role, which is new to the company, is designed to help AudienceView continue to grow its investment in its customers in 15 countries, according to a release announcing her appointment.
“Karen has an incredible background in leveraging technology to create transformational experiences. She also brings more than two decades of expertise focusing on the customer to AudienceView’s executive team,” said Michael Bryce, Chief Operating Officer for AudienceView in the announcement. “Karen will apply her tremendous skillset to advance AudienceView’s positive, winning spirit and energy as we expand our customer success team. She has the ideal background to help us continue exceeding the expectations of our entertainment industry clients around the world.”
We caught up with Hogg, who has stints at PeopleSoft, SAP, Sierra Systems, NexJ Systems and Longview Solutions in her background, to discuss what she hopes to bring to the table for AudienceView and its customers.
Questions and Answers: AudienceView’s Karen Hogg
What is it that attracted you to this new opportunity at AudienceView?
For me, it was really exciting to be a part of a company and a team that is making and increasing its investment in the success of its customers. Organizations often pay lip service, but AudienceView is sincere. They have a best-in-class customer-centric solution, and a very exciting client base. I’m excited by the strength and the vision of the management team here.
“Ultimately, you have to understand what business success means to each customer, bring in partners as needed, and deliver on that value. When a customer grows their business and succeeds, we succeed.”
Your position is new to the company. How do you hope to put your stamp on what AudienceView does?
The team here is 35 people strong in customer success, and that’s a big piece of the overall company. My strategy is to support and enable them to work with our customers and help them get the most value out of our solutions to reach their business goals.
Customer success is more a philosophy than anything. In my role, I hope to reinforce that philosophy across the company. No matter what part of our organization a customer interacts with, that’s the culture we want to continue to grow and have resonate as a key strength that we bring in our business relationships.
What is “Customer Success” to you?
It’s almost easier to define it by what it isn’t. For a lot of organizations, it’s thought of as getting more customers to use more product, because that brings “stickiness”. But if a product doesn’t add value for customers, they’ll leave. You have to think of it as being part of a mutual relationship between a vendor providing solutions and a customer.
Ultimately, you have to understand what business success means to each customer, bring in partners as needed, and deliver on that value. When a customer grows their business and succeeds, we succeed.
AudienceView prides itself on innovation. How do you support that focus in your role?
I would say in two ways:
I get to help bring AudienceView’s innovation to our customers, but then I get to also bring the voice of innovative customers back into AudienceView and share that voice more broadly across our customer base.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Stretch yourself beyond what’s comfortable. That’s how I’ve always learned and grown. I encourage that with my teams, and it’s proven itself useful time and again throughout my career.
For example, I was a sales person for many years before my first management role, which was managing a customer support team. It wasn’t a logical path for a seller – I’d been exposed to customer support, but not as a main focus. So I went in inexperienced as a manager and inexperienced at customer support, but I was able to use the skills I had honed over the year and help inspire confidence in my team and in our customers, and that was really the launching point for being a leader.
Do you see that applying to your role at AudienceView?
Certainly, after 20 years of experience focused on customer success and operations, I feel less stretched about that part, but I’m certainly new to this business. So I’m curious, I ask a lot of questions, and I’m confident enough to ask those questions and learn more as I go.
I think I’ll be bringing a readiness to embrace innovation that I can pass on to my team and our customers, which is how you learn and grow in this fascinating industry. I’m anxious to continue to learn more about it.
Any final thoughts?
Just to reinforce my first point – what really attracted me to AudienceView is that it has a sincere commitment to not just starting customer success, but really expanding upon it and taking their business to the next level. And it’s by virtue of that willingness to go to that level that AudienceView will continue to grow and expand.
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