Operations and Retention
Retention: Top 100 account management, protecting and growing revenue streams of multiple millions of dollars for an automotive lead marketing division of Internet Brands/CarsDirect.com
Here are some of the highlights of the project based skills sets I've used to achieve results:
Tech project requirement designer:
- Hertz: project was internet lead marketing project for rental car sales to the public.
- Contact Management Database customization and troubleshooting
- IT vendor migration projects
Quality Control Process Designer
For CarsDirect.com used automotive listings (exact same concept as Autotrader). Hundreds of data points within several catagories of data (car photos, specs, price range of market, etc. etc.) much of which was dependent on accurate
781 cars sold—80-150 phone calls per day , plus email and fax to potential customers and dealer partners. Sold every make and model of automobile. Consistently ranked in the top 5% of Vehicle Specialists(floor staff of 60- 105) in 3 categories: overall profit margin earned, margin earned per lead, and lead to sale conversion. Achieved team MVP award multiple times, achieved top ranking in customer service over a 6 month period.
Designed and taught an internet sales training program for new dealership customers
Retention and operations are roles that are distinct from one another yet very closely linked. Retention is customer facing, operations is process facing. Retention deals with customer feedback, feedback that is often about problems or challenges in using the product. Retention needs to understand operations in order to properly respond to customer feedback. Operations is focused on cost efficient methods to create and deliver a great product. Operations needs to stay open to feedback from the marketplace.
It does not help a business to concede to unrealistic demands from the customer in the name of retention. It also does not serve a business for operations to proclaim “that’s the way we do things” or “that’s not our responsibility! ” in the face of consistent negative feedback from the marketplace as communicated by retention.
Retention needs to anticipate common misconceptions or myths about the product that customers with beginner's minds might have and proactively communicate realistic expectations early. Operations needs to continually focus on improving the current processes to better match ideal expectations. Generally that means translating common pain points into an introspective process which result in prioritizing operational changes that have the biggest positive impact.
All of the different accomplishments I list at the top of this post can be understood as fitting into a sophisticated operations/retention frame. Tech project requirements designer emerged from understanding my customers and the methodology used to serve them. A big part of sales management and training is educating the sales staff on how to set expectations. It is natural for the two roles to challenge one another, and managing this natural tension is a key for any sector or product to thrive.