I’m extremely excited to announce that I’m leaving my position as Head of Community at UserVoice to join ZOZI as Director of Community and Customer Loyalty! There are a lot of reasons I made this hard decision, but here are the top 3.
1) Customer obsession.
ZOZI is obsessed with their customers. They’ve realized what I’ve been preaching all these years: keeping your customers happy is the most effective way to make money. Retention is easier and cheaper than acquisition, generates it’s own word-of-mouth acquisition, and lets you sleep better at night.
ZOZI is showing their commitment to this concept by doing something else I’ve been pitching for years: building a whole department dedicated to Community and customer service with it’s own director (that’s me).
The ZOZI team has a ton of ideas (as do I) and I can’t wait to start trying things out. It’s a great opportunity for me to put my money where my mouth is and implement a lot of the concepts I’ve been blogging about for years, both here and on UserCentered. Taking on this role is not going to be easy, but that’s exactly why I think it’s a good move for me. Risk is good, and I need some risk right now.
2) Beyond technology, into the real world.
Very few modern startups pique my interest. There’s far too many startups making tools for other startups, unnecessary flashy tech, and more ways to avoid interacting with real people in the real world. I love technology and the web will always be a home to me but I also love to get outside, have adventures, and talk about subjects other than tech. ZOZI is all about that. They help people – especially those who wouldn’t necessarily call themselves “adventurers” – try new things and discover the amazing world around them. That’s something I can get behind.
3) Amazing Culture.
ZOZI has a fantastic culture, and their staff truly seem to live it. They’re all about exploring the world, creating positivity, and making people’s lives more fun & adventurous. A few examples? The company buys happy hour drinks for the staff jogging club. People self-organize to go rock climbing. Someone from Finance might send out a video of an Engineering coworker’s trip around the world.
This is true of their user-centricity as well. During my interviews I spoke with a lead engineer, who told me that he wanders the hallways sometimes so that he can be accessible for the rest of the team. People will come up and tell him about frustrating parts of the product…and then he’ll fix them. While I may look to put a more formal process in place, it was conversations like this that convinced me that ZOZI is going to be a truly amazing culture to be part of.
That said, it’s with great sadness that I leave UserVoice. I spent three years & change at the company and was able to accomplish an immense amount, which I’m extremely proud of. I still fully believe in UserVoice’s mission and product, and will continue to follow them closely.
I’ve also gotten to meet a lot of amazing people during my time at UserVoice. In addition to the fantastic UserVoice staff, I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to tremendously talented community managers, product managers, and customer support folks as part of my job. That’s an incredible treat, and I fully intend to stay in contact with all of you. I’m leaving UserVoice the company, but I’m really looking forward to continuing to be an active member of the community we’ve built. I won’t be running it (whew!) but I sure as hell will be at UserConf!
Thank you to everyone who has helped me succeed these last three years. I hope I was able to bring at least half as much greatness to your world as you did to mine. Please keep in touch with me on Twitter and subscribe to this blog to get regular updates, thoughts, and stories. Onward and upwards!