Meet the Team: Vanessa Blake, UK Head of Customer Success
Written by: Kellie Heinze
Publish Date: Apr 22, 2021
Read time: 8 minutes
Today we publish our third ‘Meet the Team’ blog instalment and we’re very excited to be able to introduce you to our UK Head of Customer Success, Vanessa Blake. Vanessa joined EDM in April 2021 following the restructure of EDM’s UK Sales and Customer Services teams. Vanessa will take responsibility of the Customer Success Managers, Customer Success Representatives, Customer Services and Service Delivery teams. With a focus on the end to end customer journey and a passion for cementing lasting partnerships, Vanessa talks us through what her focus will be over the coming months. We also get an insight into what EDM’s customers can expect from the newly named Customer Success division.
Tell us about your career to date
Vanessa has worked in the Customer Success, Customer Experience and Customer Services space for the past 25 years. “I have worked for small, large and global businesses and actually started my career in sales which has had an influence in all of my subsequent roles”, says Vanessa. In recent years, Vanessa has enjoyed roles within large global businesses and most recently was the Vice President of Customer Experience for a company called Fleetcor and related brands All Star, Key Fuels and The Fuel Card Company. Vanessa explains her role there as being similar to other roles in her career. “I looked after every customer touch point, from on-boarding to off-boarding customers and customer retention. I managed several large change management projects around digital transformation of the end to end customer process, automating elements of that journey and making self-service available to customers 24/7 or in a way that suits them.”
"I managed several large change management projects around Digital Transformation of the end to end customer process, automating elements of that journey and making self-service available to customers 24/7 or in a way that suits them."
Why did you join EDM?
In addition to the role at EDM playing to Vanessa’s skill-set and expertise, Vanessa was very keen to make the move as she is confident that some very positive changes can be rolled out quickly. “EDM is a great business and a great size business. One of the challenges with global businesses is that it’s more challenging to make a difference and to do this quickly. EDM has the agility, ability and influence to change things for the better and roll this out at pace, and I can see our customers really benefitting from this over the coming months", says Vanessa. Vanessa hastens to add that EDM has a strong and recognisable customer base. “A lot of EDM’s customers are brands that are familiar to me, I knew of them before I joined and I’m looking forward to working with them – there’s lots of potential.”
“EDM has the agility, ability and influence to change things for the better and roll this out at pace, and I can see our customers really benefitting from this over the coming months."
How will you ensure Customer Success?
“As an individual I’m extremely customer centric. I want to bring an element of ‘voice of the customer’ into everything we do and every interaction we have with our customers. Rather than being inward focussed, I want us to be outward focussed and base our activities on what our customers are telling us.”
EDM has recently restructured its UK Sales and Account Management teams and introduced a new Customer Success team, why was this important?
Vanessa describes having a distinction between new business and existing business development as a significant step as it allows EDM to focus on that distinction and meet their customer’s needs, “400 more customers will now have a dedicated Customer Success point of contact and this will help us to get to know our customer’s better and provide an elevated level of great customer experience. New business is also now being targeted separately and in a more dynamic way.” Vanessa describes the ultimate goal as bringing real benefits to her customers, she adds “we have a renewed focus to get under the skin of our customers to enable us to really help them.”
“400 more customers will now have a dedicated Customer Success point of contact and this will help us to get to know our customers better and provide an elevated level of great customer experience."
What are your plans for the next three months?
Aside from establishing a new division, Vanessa explains that a lot of her team have new customers in their portfolios and so cementing those relationships will be key. “Over the coming months it’s all about building great relationships and understanding our customer’s wider plans for digital transformation and seeing how we can align with those. I will also be reviewing our end to end customer processes to look at ways we can be more responsive and help to make the digital transformation journey easier and more accessible for our customers.”
What will your team be focused on?
“I want us to be more proactive and have that focus from day one. Exploring the ways we go out and find information and be there at the right time, when customers make decisions or talk about their own plans. It’s about being a partner rather than a service provider.“
What can EDM’s customers expect?
“A lot more interaction. Us being more on the front foot and asking lots of questions. I think they can expect to see us a lot more than they have in the past. Ultimately, I think it’s really important that our customers can expect a great service from us.”
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