Liz Bell is a Senior Manager with Brightspot's Customer Success team. Now approaching five years at the company, Liz shares how her prior role on the sales side of the business has helped with the communication skills that are essential to foster strong working relationships with stakeholders and ensure that each customer is getting the most out of their platform experience.
How long have you worked for Brightspot? What brought you here?
I started working at Brightspot in April 2018, so I am coming up on five years. When I first started with the company I worked in sales. At the time, it was a growth opportunity for my career and a chance to help restart the sales team and work closely with both our business development reps and the marketing team.
What led you to transition into a new role with our Customer Success team? How have you enjoyed this new challenge?
There was an opportunity to switch teams at the point when I moved to Chicago and I felt like it was better suited for a remote employee at the time. Logistically, this customer success role made it a little bit easier to work remotely before COVID-19 became a factor. It was interesting to shift from the prospect side, where I was hearing about pain points and the need for Brightspot, to the customer side. On that side, I am hearing more about the impact and the feedback from the teams actually using Brightspot, so that’s been an interesting transition and appealed to me in making the switch. I've enjoyed being able to see the other side of the story post-sale and implementation.
What is a typical day like for someone who works in Customer Success?
A typical day involves meeting with customers to discuss the different needs that they have at the organization and get their general feedback on Brightspot to make sure that they’re happy using the platform. There are also a lot of internal conversations focusing on how we can support customers and specific issues that might be happening with some of our customers. We work with our operations team, our developers and others to really to make sure that any issues that have come from customers are resolved in a timely fashion. So it’s a lot of internal conversation and then communicating with customers as to where we are on an issue, resolving those issues and helping customers to continue growing their usage of Brightspot for other project initiatives that they have.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I think the most challenging aspect is not having a technical background. I work with a lot of developers who are at our customers' organizations and I don’t come from a development standpoint or background. Sometimes I do not understand the exact technology behind things. Fortunately, we have plenty of developers who understand completely and can help me through that, but I think that has probably been the biggest challenge for me—just not being a front-end or back-end developer to help through some of those issues.
How have you grown professionally since starting at Brightspot?
I think it goes back to the career shift and moving to the customer success side, which really takes on account management as well. That's always been an area that was of interest to me, either managing a sales team and helping with the sales tools or going into more relationship building with clients. Brightspot has given me the opportunity to see both sides of those my professional interests in my career. I enjoy working in a role that puts my communication skills to good use and allows me to interface externally with customers and internally with our stakeholders. I just think it’s really helped open the door to other career options now that I’ve worked on the customer side.
In 2019, you traveled to Abu Dhabi to volunteer with your co-workers at the Special Olympics Summer World Games. Can you tell me more about what that experience meant to you?
That was an amazing experience. It was incredibly eye-opening and really moving to see all of the athletes compete and to be able to go across the world and help with that massive event. It put things in perspective, really, seeing people overcome some major hurdles in their day-to-day lives. It was incredibly impactful for me to be able to see these strong individuals go out and compete and have so much fun doing it and being there to give someone a hug or a high five on the awesome job that they did. It was also fun to work with people at the company that I hadn’t worked with before, which was definitely an added bonus. It’s so nice able to get to know your co-workers that you don’t necessarily get to work with and there were a lot of awesome moments that came out of that trip. Overall though, I was blown away by the passion and dedication of the incredible athletes in the sports they were competing in.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Brightspot?
I really like the fact that we have this open-door policy across the board in working with the CEO, the CFO—there’s really no limits, and it’s not dependent on your level of seniority. You can be working with the executive team in your first year out of college, and that’s not the type of exposure that you typically get to have working at other companies. I think that’s been crucial in my professional career growth, as well, just being able to have that open line of communication with our executive team. And that's not just for me, but really across the board for anyone at the company. I think that’s been a valuable part of my experience working here.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of work?
I spend a lot of time with my dog, husband and friends. I enjoy working out, shopping, reading a good mystery book and watching junk reality TV shows. Chicago is known for its good food, so my husband and I have enjoyed trying out all the different spots here. I also love to travel. We’re always lining up a trip to go somewhere, either tropical or to go see a new part of the world. Traveling is probably my favorite thing to do.
In the last few years I know you moved from the Washington, D.C., area to Chicago. What do you like most about living in Chicago?
The winters. No. I’m kidding. The winters I could do without. My favorite part of Chicago is going to the lake in the summer. I take my dog there about every weekend and I loved our summer Fridays for that reason, in particular. As soon as I'm off work, we're headed to the lake for the remainder of the day! It makes me feel like I'm living at the beach.
You are approaching your five-year mark with the company this spring. How are you planning to spend your sabbatical?
We are planning to travel. Right now, I am discussing with my husband going somewhere in South America or if we want to explore somewhere in Asia. Those are the two options that we need to narrow in on soon. I’m definitely taking advantage of the time off and doing what I love to do. I’m really looking forward to the sabbatical. That’s a huge perk of working here.