Ancient Greece, even without Amazon and UberEats, maintained a sophisticated merchandise and trade system that made it one of the earliest examples of a civilized society. Butchers and bakers and farmers all sold goods to a regular customer base founded on the merchant’s history of positive service.
In this way, although the terminology wouldn’t catch up for another 3,000 years or so, the Customer Success Manager model was born.
Here at Hologram, we’re glad to have something to call it — but even if the concept remained elusive, it would still be one of our most important values.
We know that landing a customer is only the beginning of a working relationship. Keeping the customer satisfied and informed about all aspects of a project is the glue holding the accord together. It’s so important that we have a whole department dedicated to making sure it happens.
“I’m the person who’s going to help you achieve the goals of this partnership,” says Alissa Veenstra, Hologram’s Senior Customer Success Manager. She’s the first person at Hologram to hold that title, and we couldn’t be more proud of this commitment to our clients.
Certainly the idea of customer service, as a formal business concept, has been around for decades. But not until more recently has the focus shifted to helping customers make the most of their investment. At Hologram, we realized early on that we didn’t just want customers to purchase our product — we wanted our product to help them reach their fullest potential. Engineers and tech experts play a large role in achieving those goals. But while they’re busy banging away at keys and tweaking software, someone needs to be communicating with the customers, listening to their concerns, fixing minor glitches, and understanding their priorities.
That’s what employees like Alissa do.
Alissa has been developing her work ethic since she was 15 years old, when she applied for a work permit so she could help support her family. She paid her own way through Illinois State University, and began her career immediately. “I graduated on a Friday, and started work at a Chicago startup on Monday,” she says.
She wasn’t — and isn’t — a tech person. “My degree is in English and Spanish,” she says. But what she does very well is help bridge the gap between business and customer.
For six years, she worked in client services at Cappex, an online company dedicated to helping college students find scholarships and financial solutions to help pay for college. She helped build the company from a startup to a leader in the world of higher education research with $10 million in annual revenue.
She also worked for PerkSpot, an employee management company, as Vice President of Customer Experience.
At Hologram, Alissa establishes relationships with customers that go beyond the usual, “How’s it going?” She learns the names of kids and spouses, vacation destinations, and even hears about birthdays and milestone celebrations.
“When you have a phone call that lasts a half-hour, you get to know them,” Alissa says.
“He knows and trusts me, and knows I’m here to support him. That’s my entire job.”
One of Hologram’s clients, Control Bright, has loved having Alissa as an advocate. Her presence reminds Control Bright Founder and CEO Chad Behling that he’s not alone as he grows his company, which provides smart lighting solutions.
“It seems like you guys really care about me, and you find ways to make this partnership great. You are johnny-on-the-spot,” he says.
Control Bright’s unique composition makes Alissa’s role even more vital. Hologram not only provides a product to Control Bright, but also to Control Bright’s customers. So when Chad receives service calls from his customers, he is confident reaching out to Hologram to get answers. “He knows and trusts me, and knows I’m here to support him. That’s my entire job,” Alissa says.
Hologram also helps some customers with their billing needs, and they can reach out to Alissa or a member of her team to get help interpreting numbers and statistics. By managing their billing needs, Hologram relieves Chad of some of his many tasks.
At Hologram, we’re super proud of this team we’ve assembled — hardworking, dedicated, and loyal. But the work we do means nothing if it’s not helping someone else accomplish goals. That’s what we call success.
And we love a good success story. Do you? If so, apply to join our team. We’re looking for people like you.