A day in the life of... Chief Client Officer at Epsilon
Published: 25 Jul 2017 By Ben Davis
Lisa Henderson is Chief Client Officer at Epsilon and this week's Day in the Life interviewee.
Henderson gives us a clear and erudite account of what it takes to work in a big organisation helping clients with new tech and traditional marketing goals.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am Epsilon’s Client Officer with responsibility for insuring that we provide our clients with the marketing solutions and services they need to achieve their business goals.
Epsilon is organized into distinct practice areas focused on data, agency, automation/CRM and technology. I have oversight for clients turning to Epsilon for email, digital experience, loyalty and database solutions. My team manages our client relationships to ensure the marketing programs we’re delivering for them drive growth.
I also oversee our global client services teams in EMEA and APAC. As globalization continues it’s increasingly important that our teams are aligned this way to be able to effectively deliver for our clients on a global scale.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
I report to the President of Epsilon’s Technology Practice, Wayne Townsend, and I’m based outside of Boston, MA.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
As a leader, you need to ask a lot of questions and listen well.
You must be able to lead cross functional teams through earned or personal authority rather than positional authority. This is critical because most of the individuals on the team do not report to you – they are either in another internal department or most importantly they are clients.
It’s also crucial to motivate and communicate well – the art of taking something complicated and simplifying it is very important.
Lisa Henderson, Epsilon
Tell us about a typical working day…
One of the things I love about my job is that there is no typical working day. I just got back from a week in London, where we worked as a global team to talk about client needs and the evolution of our solutions. Clients are looking for solutions that are more digital and leverage vast amounts of real-time data to provide a more personalized interaction for the consumer. We’re laser focused on how we can bring together data and technology, allowing our clients to activate insights in real-time through loyalty programs, email and digital media execution.
Next week, I will be in the office where we are beginning the process of developing strategies for 2018. Most days include conversations about how to combine our services into solutions to meet a specific client need.
A large part of my job is helping our teams support our clients well, so I might be assisting with networking, resource assignment or issue resolution.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
I love working with clients and Epsilon teams to solve problems, create transformative customer experiences, and generate growth. The part of my job that sucks is the internal administration that goes with running a large organization.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
My goals are focused on client satisfaction, and we use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to help benchmark.
The most useful metrics are very black and white: Client growth, retention, and revenue retention.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
I love any tool that provides access to insights that can drive the formulation of a strategy. Having data that enables you to examine a result and understand the cause of the result is key to developing winning strategies. We have lots of tools depending on the situation – when we are evaluating email programs we have tools that enable us to diagnose deliverability, open rates, engagement, etc.
How did you get into CRM, and where might you go from here?
I got into CRM quite accidentally. As a child, I fantasized about teaching. After I graduated from Tufts University just outside of Boston, MA, I taught kindergarten for 2 years. Needless to say, I did not love the job. But what I did love was taking complicated ideas and simplifying them. I looked for jobs that included working with people, or were some form of teaching and communicating, and that would be intellectually stimulating. Fortunately, early in my career I got a job at Epsilon as an account executive with responsibility for a few different client relationships. I loved working with clients and the challenge of what was then called database marketing.
I’ve been in the data-driven marketing industry for more than twenty-years. The speed with which marketing, and for that matter business models, are changing is breath taking and I love being part of it.
Which brands do you think are doing CRM well?
If you are a frequent traveler and enrolled in a loyalty program, airlines and hotels are doing a good job connecting channels and simplifying the lives of their customers. American Airlines has integrated the experience on the plane with the digital experience. Starwood has a great program that starts with the process of planning a trip and extends to the hotel stay. US Bank is delivering personalized experiences to its customers that integrate well with the type of credit card the customer is using.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in CRM or data-led marketing more broadly?
Learn how to communicate and be a life-long learner. The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.
Embrace technology, spend some time doing data analysis so that you know what is possible, and start to look at the world from the customer’s perspective. How would you make the experience simpler, more relevant and real-time?