In our “Making Connexions” blog series, you’ll get to know the people who make up our team. This Q&A-style series will highlight some of our newest employees and help you understand more about their role, their expertise and what gets them excited for each day.
Heidi Erdman, Senior Vice President of Account Management, Connexions Loyalty
What’s your background?
I’m curious by nature – I love the process of identifying the essence of a problem and applying creative problem-solving techniques to find the right solution. Given that scientific mindset, I got my degree in chemistry and began working in a pharmaceutical lab following school. While I really enjoyed chemistry in the university setting – fully exploring a topic and using known principals to solve a problem – in practice, my work was less creative than I had imagined and at times formulaic. I needed something that I could be passionate about, something that would drive me creatively, which is how I landed at Connexions.
My first role here was as a bridge between the client and our account team during the on-boarding process. I was charged with understanding the client’s end-goals and translating those expectations into operational execution in a customer-centric way. It was during this time that I first became passionate about the end customer and being their advocate in the problem-solving process. From there, I moved into product management and product development, where I ran a product team and applied that same passion for meeting the needs of the end customer into product creation.
What’s your role at Connexions?
I recently transitioned back into account services, supporting the team that is responsible for cultivating client relationships, understanding their needs and the needs of their customers and advocating on their behalf to deliver the right solutions. As the SVP of Account Management, my day can run the gamut. That could mean stepping in on an escalated customer service issue, building out a new customer acquisition strategy, negotiating contracts or demonstrating for my team what account management can do for clients. No job is too menial and no request too strategic – it’s our responsibility to flex across the challenge at hand.
What’s your perspective on client success?
I view my team as an integral part of our client’s organization. We do our best work when we forget about which side we’re on – account team versus client-side – and collaborate on behalf of the end customer. That means spending the time to truly listen and solve beyond the challenge at hand, maintaining a laser focus on the customers’ needs.
How do you help increase customer lifetime value for your clients?
The most effective brands empower their employees to do what’s right for the customer. That’s not to diminish a business’ need to show ROI - we just realize that the benefits are exponential when we start and end with the customer in mind. My goal is for our account team to wake up each day and ask – how can I get my client’s customers to think about us first? When we develop creative solutions that drive stickiness, that’s how we get our clients’ customers to come back, engage more and ultimately advocate for a brand they love.
What gets you excited for the day?
It feels good when we offer a solution that others hadn’t considered. We’re not afraid to ask questions and stretch ourselves to understand what’s really going on. When our team – the client and their account services counterparts – can align on customer intent and open ourselves up to creative solutions, that’s when we’re at our best.