We thought you might be interested in meeting the person behind the voice on the phone…so this month, we are interviewing one of our employees who our clients interface with on a regular basis.
Name: Nicole Edwards
Position: Senior Client Project Manager
Tenure at FreshAddress: 4.5 years
Education: Bachelors in Communications from Framingham State University
Background: Prior to joining FreshAddress, Nicole worked as a Broadcast Traffic Manager responsible for ensuring that video and audio commercial reels for various Boston area ad agencies were delivered correctly and on time to over 600 radio and TV stations nationwide.
FreshPerspectives (FP): Tell me about your job at FreshAddress – what does the Senior Client Project Manager do?
Nicole: When a client signs an agreement with FreshAddress, the first place it lands is on my desk. I’m the liaison between our client and our list processing team. I guide our clients through every step of the process, from uploading a file to crafting the perfect permission messages to analyzing their results. I directly manage 50% of the projects and oversee processing of all jobs. Last year we processed over 800 projects, so every day is an adventure.
I also oversee the quality control processes for pre-and post-messaging. It is interesting to see the strength of our client’s customer relationships based on the responses to their permission messages. Sometimes people actually reply to our client’s permission message with a note saying; “Yes, please email me!” Another interesting part of my job is that I get to speak to all types of people on a daily basis – from interns to the VP of Marketing of a Fortune 500 company to a famous teen idol!
I also write all of the “Marketing Tips” we send to all of our clients, such as our Appending Usage Tips. And I developed our automated online message creation tool, otherwise known as MessageExpress. Another part of my job is handling any client issues, as they arise. While most people think of FreshAddress as being in the email database service business, we see ourselves as being in the customer service business in the email industry. There’s no client problem too small that we won’t work through until our clients are satisfied.
FreshPerspectives (FP): How have things changed in the time you’ve been at FreshAddress?
Nicole: FreshAddress has grown significantly along with our client base. I’ve seen a huge increase in our email hygiene and real time service offerings since I started. We make improvements to our services and processes every day as we continue to seek out ways to optimize our results for our clients.
Finally, while the company has grown, we have maintained a strong start-up team culture. Every employee earns a significant profit share each month, so we’re all in this together. It’s really exciting!
FreshPerspectives (FP): What are some of the most common questions you hear?
Nicole: “How many matches do I have so far?” Frequently clients ask this before their job is finished and it’s so difficult to answer at that point because the matches haven’t been messaged yet. Another is “What’s my timeframe to return bounces to you?” And the answer is 10 business days. And lastly, “What do the codes mean in the audit results?”
FreshPerspectives (FP): It sounds like you have your fingers in a lot of different pies. What’s your secret for staying organized?
Nicole: Outlook rules! I have everything categorized by job number in my Inbox so when the emails come in they are automatically directed to a specific job folder. I probably get 200 emails a day. I carry a notebook everywhere and take lots and lots of notes. And I’m lucky enough to be blessed with a good memory so a lot of random things stay with me, particularly after I’ve had my first cup of coffee!
FreshPerspectives (FP): What do you see clients doing that you find really innovative?
Nicole: Recently a retail client who uses our ECOA (Email Change of Address) service asked us to highlight the people who updated their email address during the messaging process so that when they got the results back, they could send a specific offer to those people because they took the extra effort to supply an updated email address.
FreshPerspectives (FP): Any advice for FreshAddress clients?
Nicole: When you start an Email Append project, make sure you first speak to your tech people. I have seen so many internal problems with marketing managers who are ready to go with a campaign and then they find out their tech folks can’t pull the file because they’re backed up.
Make sure you have a plan to use the results when you get them back. When you receive your results, you should absolutely craft a special welcome message; do not put the results in with your normal deployment. These are new names and they aren’t used to being treated like your usual recipients — you need to “warm them up” and get them comfortable hearing from you.
Lastly, make sure that your customer service team is aware that FreshAddress is deploying a permission message on your behalf. It doesn’t serve the customer well if they contact your company with a question about the email they received and the customer service rep has no idea what they’re talking about.
FreshPerspectives (FP): Nicole, thank you so much for your time and for sharing so much great information with our readers.