I sit and think about where I am at this point in my career.
I’m 25 years old and I lead an Operations team of 4 at Ubiqua. We install software, provide technical support and maintenance services to Ubiqua’s customers. In the last 2 years at Ubiqua, I’ve worked as a Project Manager, an Account Manager, a Support Manager and I’ve developed these 3 functional skills.
As a Project Manager, I understand that project success is achieved by translating the customer objectives into a project scope, breaking down the project scope into distributed milestones and sharing progress with your customer to ensure that the final product satisfies their initial and evolving requirements. It’s by defining “what needs to be done” and “keeping the team on track to get there” that a project is successfully managed from concept to delivery.
- Capturing your customer’s objectives into a Project Scope
- Breaking the project into a series of deliverables and milestones
- Keeping the team and customer “on track” along the way
As a Support Manager, I believe that customer satisfaction comes from guiding users from problem request to resolution in a timely and friendly manner; taking proactive steps to learn about your customer’s needs and problems and employing a pre-emptive mindset that eliminates sources of user dissatisfaction at the root cause. It’s by solving, searching and eliminating problems that get in our customer’s way of gaining value from our products and services that you ensure your customer’s satisfaction.
- Providing timely and effective resolution
- Proactively reaching out to customers that may be facing a problem
- Pre-emptively eliminating sources of customer frustration
As an Account Manager, I’ve learned that sustaining growth is a result of continuously building and investing in your relationship with your customers. You need to provide appropriate escalation protocols, i.e. how to escalate and resolve customer issues. You need to reaffirm your investment, i.e. communicating the value that your products and services are delivering to your customer. And finally, you need to invest large amounts of time and energy into learning and diving deep into your customer’s business. As your customer’s needs change, so should your offering expand to match the evolving needs of your customers.
- Helping resolve roadblocks/conflict experienced by your customers
- Communicating the value delivered to your customers by your products/services
- Continuously evolving your understanding of your customer’s needs
Finally, as an Operations Team Lead, I’ve learned that leading a team is a combination of doing a few things extremely well. The first is being able to communicate the company’s vision and translate this into a series of objectives that your team can aspire to achieve. The second is organizing the ‘work to be done’ in order to achieve those goals, delegating, and removing roadblocks that your team may face along the way. The third is guidance; providing a set of criteria that empowers your team to prioritize between conflicting objectives and gives them a long-term perspective that enables them to set a course onto which they can direct their personal and professional motivations. Simply put, as a Leader of others you must help guide their efforts and and empower them to achieve their objectives. It’s a mix of continuously helping your team to answer the following questions:
- “What needs to be done?”
- “Why must it be done?”
- “How are we going to do it?”
These are a few lessons I’ve learned so far that I’m happy to share. I hope that the lessons captured here leave you with some useful insight.
I look forward to next set of challenges to come!