After 20+ years leading Customer Experience teams – most recently at Earnin as SVP of Customer Experience – I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing something different and perhaps a bit surprising. Before I get to that, I want to tell a quick story.
Over the last few decades, I’ve been fortunate to lead CX at fantastic brands like Netflix, Zynga, Verizon, and Earnin. I joined each of these companies as they were in the throes of hypergrowth, when customers (and problems) were multiplying faster than ever before. My goal each time was to put the right people, processes, and tools in place to deliver an industry-leading customer experience in the midst of chaos.
A little more than a year ago, Earnin was entering this exact same phase. In order to handle the massive influx of customer requests and issues, our CX team quickly grew from 30 agents to more than 1,000 across multiple countries. We were adding 50 agents a week and our hair was on fire. Everything was a challenge, from keeping our teams focused as goals and priorities changed, to creating consistency across sites, to delivering accurate and timely feedback, to ramping new agents and managers, and even to making sure essential communication reached the front lines in time.
Around that time, my colleague Amber Aslanian started to get excited about a new software platform she had discovered: Pathlight. Founded by repeat entrepreneurs, Pathlight was started with a simple but powerful realization: the most successful businesses are always the best managed, but while work has gone digital, management is still analog, inconsistent, complex, and just plain hard (mind you, this was before COVID-19 made management even harder!). Indeed, as we looked at all the challenges we were facing, we realized that these were all management challenges.
Pathlight had built the first end-to-end Management Platform; a single integrated operating system for the job that we all do (whether we manage hundreds or just ourselves) and that is so critical to the success of any business. It combined real-time data analysis, communication, coaching, and much more, in a product specifically designed to be adopted by the front lines.
Frankly, I was skeptical at first – nothing like Pathlight was in the existing playbook – but Amber saw the potential and convinced me to give the product a try. In just a few weeks, she was proven right many times over.
The moment we rolled out Pathlight, everything changed. You could almost hear the organization breathing a collective sigh of relief. Finally, all of these important yet chaotic tasks and workflows had a home. Our front lines went from reactively waiting for instructions to proactively self-managing. Our managers gained nearly a full day back each week and could spend more time with their team (or manage more people effectively). Coaching and recognition went from monthly to hourly as morale increased. We saw CSAT go up 6% within the first 6 weeks. Later on, when we had to abruptly move remote earlier this year, Pathlight became our core communication platform, too. I cannot overstate the impact it has had at Earnin. It has become one of the core pillars of our CX organization that we lean on every day to be successful.
Over the years, I’ve probably tried or bought every piece of software out there: CRMs, Help Desks, BI platforms, HR systems, and everything in between. I’ve often had to build things myself – like Netflix’s in-house CRM – when existing products didn’t match my requirements.
When it comes to technology, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. This was the first time I’ve seen “great”. And that doesn’t just apply to the product; Pathlight’s team and culture were equally impressive. As a CX leader, I have a pretty high bar for customer success, but even I was blown away by the Pathlight team’s customer obsession, responsiveness, and speed of execution. This seems to trickle down from their co-founders. Their CEO Alex Kvamme is what I call a “get-it-done leader” with a big vision, a rare combination even in my experience.
So, after four wonderful years at Earnin, I’m excited to announce that I’m crossing the aisle and joining Pathlight as its Chief Customer Officer. If you would have told me a year ago that my next play after Earnin would be joining one of our software providers, I wouldn’t have believed you, but for all the reasons I mentioned above, I had to be a part of this. Pathlight’s team, product, vision, timing, and recent customer wins all point to the beginnings of a category-defining company.
Modern businesses are facing a whole new set of challenges: more competition, higher customer expectations, new generations of employees, and much more. As we all now know, the very nature of work can change in an instant. In a world with so much change, Pathlight’s vision is incredibly important and timely.
As Chief Customer Officer, my goal is to help my peers and their teams meet the challenges of this very new world and prosper. What excites me most is that I have an opportunity to go from helping one company at a time to many. I'm looking forward to sharing my practitioner's perspective with our customers and helping them build the next household brands.
I believe in Pathlight’s mission, I’ve seen its impact first-hand, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our platform and how it can help you transform and prosper.