MarTech Interview with Christine Rimer, VP of Customer Experience and Advocacy at SurveyMonkey

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“Convenience is not separate from experience but rather a critical aspect of the customer experience.”

Tell us about your role as SurveyMonkey’s CX and advocacy leader? 

As the leader of customer experience and advocacy at SurveyMonkey, my work focuses on innovating CX for three specific areas: SurveyMonkey, our customers and the industry as a whole.

First, I’m responsible for improving the customer journey at SurveyMonkey through a holistic CX program. I work together with my team and across departments to ensure a world-class customer experience that is actively listening to customer feedback and taking action. In partnership with my cross-functional peers, we aim to address the key points of the customer journey with agility and meaningful impact.

Next, I’m able to leverage the relationships we have with dozens of world-class CX leaders to gather best practices and lessons learned to help CX leaders with practical program advice. SurveyMonkey has helped thousands of businesses gather and take action on customer feedback so we are well-positioned to help CX leaders run agile, practical and cross-functional customer experience programs. In addition to monthly CX roundtables, our CX Confessions Livestream series are insights from the best of the best CX leaders.

Finally, through our customer advocacy program, we build relationships with our customers to celebrate their customer experience wins by telling their stories.

Surveys have evolved with better content and methodology. Tell us how CX fits into SurveyMonkey’s solutions?

The GetFeedback Suite significantly reduces the time and effort to set up so CX leaders can deliver value to their organizations in weeks rather than months or years with more complex solutions.

SurveyMonkey is known for our easy-to-use tools and seamless integrations with Salesforce so customers can unify their relational, transactional and in-the-moment customer feedback across multiple channels with their operational and financial data to get a 360° view of the customer.

We are committed to helping customers take action on their feedback with features like Actions, which help customers take immediate steps to address customer feedback.

When customers are picking convenience over experience, how do you balance the two?

Convenience is not separate from experience but rather a critical aspect of the customer experience. Making it easier to connect with a business and its services is the key attribute a CX leader is trying to understand and improve. It is more important than ever to reduce the friction in the journey, particularly with the digital experience.

In 2020, customers are prioritizing those companies that listen and take action to make it easier to do business with them.

How has CX changed during the crisis in the last three months?

With everyone working from home because of coronavirus, feedback “in the now” is critical to understanding your customers’ needs in these ever-changing times. Companies need to be listening consistently to proactively help their customers.

We have seen businesses accelerate their investment in the digital experience as customers engage with businesses more than ever through the digital channel. In addition, since executives are more focused than ever on retaining their customers, CX professionals have more influence within the organization. This focus creates an opportunity to drive meaningful changes and improvements in the customer experience.

Finally, CX leaders know that front line employees can’t deliver for their customers if they don’t have the tools and policies to adjust and do right by customers in these extraordinary times. An authentic and human approach to ensure the wellbeing of your workers will translate into a more positive, authentic customer experience.

With COVID-19 making an unprecedented dent on every business and exposing IT gaps, how does SurveyMonkey stay prepared and enable customers?

COVID-19 has challenged the ability of every business to be agile. Companies that were actively listening were better prepared to adapt and adjust to their employees and customers quickly. There has never been a time when it mattered more to understand how your employees, customers and the market feel about your business.

To help our customers gather feedback from their employees, we launched a series of leadership check-in survey templates on our Coronavirus resources page, and a number of professional services offerings related to health monitoring and return to work programs. Customers, like the Rhode Island Department of Health, are currently using our solutions to help with contact tracing in their state. SurveyMonkey Apply, our tool for creating, submitting and tracking grant and scholarship applications, is being used by our customers for COVID-19 relief.

We also launched a collaboration with COVID Near You, a joint project of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, to accelerate critical coronavirus research efforts across the United States. SurveyMonkey has also joined the #OpenWeStand initiative to help small businesses through the crisis.

As a CX advocate in martech, what advice do you have for other marketing professionals when it comes to up-skilling and career focus?

Connections are key for everyone in marketing and CX who want to advance in their careers. I see three important areas where professionals need to better connect:

The first is a collaboration between teams at your organization—I call it the cross-functional connector. Success for any CX program relies on the ownership and collaboration of all departments. Aligning and inspiring cross-functional teams to take the action needed to improve the customer experience is a key skill.

Second, marketers also need to be comfortable measuring their programs and efforts. Through analyzing data, marketing teams can demonstrate the financial impact of their programs.

Finally, a good marketer needs to understand the business systems within the organization. Learning the processes and data that run your business puts you in a position to more effectively drive cross-functional initiatives that have a meaningful impact.

Thank you, Christine! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Christine Rimer is a seasoned executive with a unique blend of product marketing, customer success and enterprise systems experience leveraged to lead high-performing, cross-functional teams to deliver world-class customer experiences.

As the vice president of customer experience and advocacy, Christine leads SurveyMonkey’s customer experience program, community and thought leadership as well as customer advocacy efforts to drive self-service and sales-assisted growth and innovation.

Prior to joining SurveyMonkey in 2016, Christine held a variety of CX leadership roles including Intuit’s professional services team for digital banking and the customer success team for Intuit Health. Christine began her career in enterprise business systems and data management where she aligned cross-functional teams to deliver measurable business outcomes.

Christine leverages her customer-centric and bias to action approach to help organizations transform customer feedback into action to improve the customer experience to drive growth.

surveymonkey logo

SurveyMonkey is a leading global survey software company on a mission to power the curious. The company’s platform empowers over 17 million active users to measure and understand feedback from employees, customers, website and app users and the market. SurveyMonkey’s products, enterprise solutions and integrations enable more than 335,000 organizations to solve daily challenges, from delivering better customer experiences to increasing employee retention. With SurveyMonkey, organizations around the world can transform feedback into business intelligence that drives growth and innovation.

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