Rockstar of the month: “I spend a lot of time thinking about what motivates and challenges people”
ROCKSTAR OF THE MONTH – GHAZALEH MOBKIE, VP OF CUSTOMER SUCCESS, DIXA
Ghazaleh Mobkie, Vice President of Customer Success at Dixa, explains why customer service is transforming from a transactional to relational industry, what she looks for in a hire, and gives some advice for anyone looking to land that perfect next job.
Hi Ghazaleh – Your title is VP of Customer Success – how do you define it?
Customer success focusses on the long-term success of brands through building relationships with their customers. In doing so, brands help customers to realise the full potential of their product or service.
When I started out, classic customer support, was divided into different teams, starting with an onboarding team, followed by a support team, account management and so on.
The problem is that the rapport that is created during onboarding is lost when it’s transferred to a new team. But this is doesn’t happen if you have one team that is responsible for the entire relationships.
What we do differently at Dixa is that we help brands take responsibility for the customer’s full journey, from when the contract signed onward. By keeping the information under one roof you can ensure that the right information is handed over to the right people.
So what we design around is ensuring that our brands’ customers always have someone close to them that knows what they want.
Does Dixa’s service reflect a wider change in the customer service sector?
Customer service used to be very reactive, with a tendency to deflect customers, who had to fend for themselves. Companies saw customer service as expensive and high resource so many didn’t invest or weren’t able to invest properly.
But customer service has moved from being reactive to proactive as companies understand the importance of taking care of their customers. At Dixa we want to take it even further. We believe that there is a new movement that will see brands succeed only if they truly understand the importance of taking care of their customers. There is a growing realisation that if brands don’t build relationships with their customers they will just move on. Because there’s a lot of choice out there and it’s only growing with digitisation.
So the term ‘customer success’ reflects the realisation by many companies that they need to take care of their customers and that by developing stronger bonds with them, they are likely to stay loyal for longer. It’s the movement from transactional to relational services, in which it is vital to be available on the customer’s preferred channel. This is what Dixa enables.
You have an impressive CV, even finding time to get an MBA from Henley Business School. But why did you decide to study and work at the same time – that must have been exhausting!
Early in my management career I chose to work and study simultaneously so I could combine theory and practice in the working environment. My time at CBS was a tough period – four years where I didn’t really get to see my family. But I like to juggle a lot of balls, and dislike having to focus on one thing at a time.
I’m also highly motivated. I do have a supporting family and a successful sister, but they never pushed me to become anything. I have just been good at setting myself goals to work toward. And I always have the next goal ready.
You spent almost six years at Trustpilot building global support teams around the world. And at Dixa you’ve got a seat at the table during the hiring process. What do you look for in a new colleague?
Cultural fit is the most important. The baseline is their skills and achievements – if you don’t have these then of course you’re not considered. And there’s an abundancy of skilled people who have accomplished a lot. But finding the right cultural fit is trickier. It’s important that people fit into the team that already exists, so I focus on their motivation for wanting to join us. They have to buy in on the vision and its tricky to understand who you are sitting across from. I spend a lot of time thinking about what motivates and challenges people.
Diversity is also really important – companies don’t work properly without balance. At Dixa we have 25 different nationalities represented among the 55 employees.
Do you have any advice for people looking for the right job?
As an employee you have to do the research to see where you fit. When I was just out of school, I thought I would work for corporations, but my mentor challenged me and said I wouldn’t enjoy it – and he was right. You need to be honest with yourself and look deep inside and ask what makes you happy. After all, you spend more time at work than anywhere else. You have to be surrounded by people you want to be around. You have to be somewhere where you want to drink a beer on Friday afternoon.
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