Prior to joining Adthena over eight years ago, Stephanie Richardson worked for a B2C, now B2B company, that helped people move seamlessly around the world. This involved connecting clients with movers and immigration lawyers for end-to-end relocation planning. and content creation for informative travel blogs about new cities.
Jonell: Tell us about your role as Senior Manager, Customer Success at Adthena?
Steph: As a Senior Manager, Customer Success (CS), my role involves supporting the team in managing their own Book of Business (BoB), whilst simultaneously managing my own.
I support the team in strategy, problem solving, negotiating, removing blockers, and actioning escalations. From a softer lens, I’m responsible for aiding and inspiring the team to be the best they can be in their roles and to help guide them on their career paths.
Jonell: In your opinion, what qualities or skills are essential for someone aspiring to become a successful customer success manager?
The most successful Customer Success Managers (CSM) are good listeners, with the ability to connect and empathize. If they haven’t experienced the same situations themselves, the best approach is to avoid making assumptions, ask probing questions, and genuinely strive to understand how we can provide optimal support on a case-by-case basis.
Discovery plays an essential role not only during the sales cycle, Business as Usual, and renewal stages.
Jonell: Can you share a memorable success story where your expertise and leadership made a significant impact on a client’s journey with Adthena?
Steph: The client wanted to understand what their share was versus their competitors for their equivalent nameplates. The task was no doubt challenging as you require knowledge of all competitor equivalents and then expand this out to scale.
We collaborated with the agency and our internal Business Intelligence team to build a bespoke dashboard that went beyond a use case for the digital team. Adthena was then positioned as a tool for senior stakeholders’ commercial and merchandising decisions.
The dashboard helped them better understand where they were sitting in various territories of auto. From a paid perspective, it helped them navigate where to put the budget for future campaigns. This all empowered them to identify areas for improvement, resulting in optimized campaign performance and enhanced market presence.
Jonell: As an Adthenian we live by four values, which one resonates with you the most and why?
- Get stuff done
- Freedom with responsibility
- Deliver remarkable quality
- Smart and always improving
Steph: My answer to this has probably changed as I’ve matured with the company. “Get Stuff Done” has remained close to my heart since I started when Adthena was a small start-up, with only a handful of people working out of the back of a kebab shop.
It was an exciting time because we all worked across multiple departments. I played the roles of the client’s Customer Experience, CSM, Account Manager, and even wrote blog content and how-to guides. There was no “that’s not my responsibility” – everyone pitched in and got the job done. This comes naturally to me because I’ve always been a hard worker, and it’s a quality I seek when interviewing CSMs.
More recently, I’ve come to realize the value of “Smart & Always Improving.” Working smarter, continually learning, and pushing oneself to sharpen their skills repeatedly.
Jonell: What’s your go-to productivity hack?
1. Set Boundaries: Within your calendar, with your colleagues, and with your clients. This was a challenge post-COVID in a remote world where our day-to-day often consists of back-to-back Zoom meetings.
I’ve found it not only useful but necessary to block out time in my calendar dedicated to productivity. This approach protects my time and allows me to focus, enabling me to be more effective as a manager and a CSM.
- Create a Routine: It may sound obvious, but planning ahead and creating a routine is essential. Of course, unexpected events may disrupt your schedule (or at least mine!) but being organized and planning my week in advance provides me with focus, structure, and ensures that I meet deadlines and achieve targets.
Jonell: What are your passions/hobbies outside of work?
I’m really into nutrition and fitness. I love being active and have a fascination with how different foods and herbs can have differing effects and impact on our bodies. It’s a subject that I could happily talk about at length.