Leanplum is proud to have a global workforce of highly talented and dedicated people, all driving towards our collective goal of a customer-first approach. As part of an ongoing series, we are highlighting some of our exceptional employees that help drive Leanplum’s success.
Meet Lara Hochhalter, a Customer Success Manager based in Amsterdam.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Lara and I’m one of the Customer Success Managers at Leanplum. Originally from Germany, I’m based in Amsterdam and joined the team about a year ago. I support our customers from all over Europe to become Leanplum champions and to create relevant app engagement for their users.
What do you do on a daily basis at work?
My week normally starts with our weekly team kickoffs. Working from home, this is a great way to start the new week since we get to see everyone and share our upcoming highlights and tasks for the week.
I typically work with 1-3 new customers at a time, training them on how to use the Leanplum dashboard and brainstorming use cases to make sure they are up to speed on how to best leverage the platform. Next to that, I also have regular meetings with our existing customers providing them with best practices or recommendations, and helping them analyze their current activities to constantly improve their app engagement strategies.
What is great at Leanplum, is that I’m not only part of the CS organization, but together with my team, we’re always improving and extending our processes and resources to build the organization from within. It’s rewarding to see customers reach their goals, and at the same time, contribute to Leanplum’s development as well.
What are some of the issues you work on, questions you answer?
It’s great to work together with customer teams that have already developed a profound plan on how to connect with their user base. In those cases, I’m here to realize their ideas within the Leanplum dashboard and give them technical support on how to build their desired campaigns. However, I also enjoy brainstorming together with our customers on how to build an engaging and relevant communication flow. To do so, we analyze the status quo of user engagement to pinpoint those areas we need to improve, such as onboarding new users, retaining them, or simply informing users about new features, promotions or events.
What’s the nature of the customers you work with? Industries they are associated with?
One of the highlights of my job is that I can work with many different people from various companies, industries, and countries. I work with startups as well as enterprise teams in the gaming, eCommerce, health, and food delivery industries, and many others. It’s always exciting to learn about and support the newest apps on the market. Especially now that we’re all working from home and traveling isn’t that easy anymore, this is a great opportunity to meet new people from all over Europe.
What is the most common question(s) you get?
A lot of my customers are looking for best practices or want to know more about use cases that customers from similar industries are running in order to enrich their own program. There are so many possibilities to connect with end-users.I help find the perfect solution for each app. Through our gaming advisory board, we’re also bringing customers together to exchange ideas and discuss their experiences.
How do you handle questions that you might not know the answer to?
Even though I’m learning something new every day, there are of course questions that I might not know the answer to. In those cases, I can always rely on our great team: the technical support team helps to answer tickets but also jumps on calls together with my customers to give hands-on support especially on technical issues. Additionally, we have a great finance team that pulls ROI reports to better understand Leanplum’s impact on customers’ businesses. For all other questions, I can always rely on our CSM team, whom I meet with regularly to discuss questions and new ideas or to just chat about successful customer stories.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
One of my favorite moments is when new customers build their first campaigns and see the results of those. For most of them, these are insights their organization didn’t have before and are often quite eye-opening! Also realizing the effectiveness of a certain campaign compared to a holdback group that didn’t receive any messaging, can be rewarding as you directly see the impact your work is having on the organization’s success.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Of course, we’re trying to provide the best support possible to all our customers, but there are a limited number of hours in a week and managing all customer-facing as well internal tasks on time can sometimes be challenging as our customer base is growing from month to month.
How do you handle stress? What are some tips you could share?
I love working on a team and one way for me to handle stress is to discuss upcoming tasks or issues with my team members. Sometimes just talking about a certain problem you’re trying to solve, can give you more clarity and some new ideas. Besides, I always try to block some ‘focus time’ on my calendar which I use to intensively prepare for strategic business review, work on customer case stories, and creating new resources for our knowledge base.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love traveling and discovering new countries and cities, as well as spending time with friends and family while enjoying one of Amsterdam’s various festivals, markets, or shopping areas. During Covid times, when activities with groups aren’t that feasible anymore, I have started enjoying walks throughout the city or the countryside, which can also be super insightful as there are lots to discover. I start every day with a yoga routine which helps me to prepare for the new day and I also regularly practice horseback riding, which is a great way to switch off from work. Other than that, I enjoy trying out new recipes and have some relaxed dinner nights with my husband and my cat in our new apartment in Amsterdam.
What are the three words that best describe you or your work style?
Honest – I believe it’s always best to be honest and authentic. That’s t also how I work together with my customers — by putting all the cards on the table and openly communicating any issues, questions, or wishes.
Fun – when you’re having fun doing the things you do, they automatically become easier and time flies by. That’s why I love to have open and personal communication with my customers.
Ambitious – I love reaching goals. Who doesn’t? I believe reaching and celebrating goals is the most rewarding thing.I enjoy taking new challenges to conquer them step by step, never giving up until the task is done.
Advice to anyone who wants to start a career in customer service?
During my career as a technical consultant, account executive, and now CSM, I have learned that it’s very crucial to explain things in a way your audience not only understands but also knows how to make them actionable. Every customer is different, so it’s important to adapt and understand their way of working. Specifically, when it comes to complex topics, I always try to break things down into simple steps and provide a plan of action on how to best work together to realize our customers’ goals. to make it easily understandable and work together on the next steps.
Interested in a career with Leanplum – check out our current openings here.