Chris Haggis is VP of Customer Success at NewVoiceMedia, an award-winning cloud customer contact platform that revolutionises the way organisations connect with their customers on a personalised level worldwide.
Before NewVoiceMedia I was selling and supplying all the engineering work on call centre technology for Barclays but when I needed a new challenge, I moved over to the customer side of Barclays. A year later, Michelle called and told me about the role at NewVoiceMedia and I thought it sounded interesting. At first, I was unsure how to help the business make money but once I was introduced to the team and heard about their plans to scale, I could really see where the business was going. So I left Barclays and went to a smaller company with a very cool proposition.
Taking opportunities when they’ve presented themselves to me has been key to me gaining lots of experience and disciplines in various areas. I also think I’ve helped teams carry out better work efficiently in a growing business by making sure everyone is trained on the product, whatever their role. Once you know the product inside out you have a lot more freedom to move about within a business.
I think a big lesson learned was that we could have built the customer success team faster.
We need to give our customers a lot of time when it comes to understanding the technology, and that’s where a lot of investment needs to go. I’ve also learnt the importance of vetting people during the interview process on their technical skills. Now we put people through tests when we interview; I guess it’s a technical bootcamp. This rigor gives us absolute assurance that we’ve got the people who will get our technology quickly.
Being able to adjust and change quickly. NewVoiceMedia is growing fast, we’ve gone from 50 to 400 people in five years and you have to facilitate that with process – it’s not like how it used to be when you could walk over to a colleague for a catchup. I also think having patience is important as things tend to slow down as you get bigger; things tend to need governance over them rather than making snap decisions. As the business grows and you influence matures, the decisions you make are critical to the culture and how people perceive you.
A good relationship with a recruitment company is vital. You need to find someone who not only understands you well, but who can work with you and your team. I’ve have some very positive relationships with recruiters and they have saved me a lot of time and energy on finding the right people.
I was placed through Michelle after she rang me out of the blue one evening. We met up a couple of times and she got a feel for what I wanted to do. That’s what I liked about Michelle, she wanted to know how I worked and what I wanted to do. I started the recruitment process at NewVoiceMedia and landed the job!