In the first of a series of interviews with in-house industry experts here at Contigo, we talk to our Chief Customer Officer, Karen Sanders, about her role and responsibilities.
Tell us about your role
I have been part of the Contigo team for 13 years, having grown my career from Business Analyst to Head of Professional Services to the position of Chief Customer Officer today.
I head-up the teams responsible for customer-related activities. A large part of this involves analysing clients’ requirements and then supplying and implementing relevant Contigo products to help them manage their businesses more effectively and easily.
As part of my day-to-day role, I also oversee Contigo’s consultancy, sales, marketing and account management functions.
I always have one eye on the future of our products, by working with colleagues to manage the development of core and bespoke capabilities of our energy trading software suite, as well as ensuring implementations run smoothly.
Wow, that sounds like a big job. You must need a lot of coffee! You are very passionate about your role; what do you enjoy most about it?
For me, it’s all about helping people. The most rewarding aspect of my work is being able to build great relationships with clients. These come from understanding their business needs and then being able to turn this information into a solution that makes a real difference to the way they manage their business.
I like to focus on finding the right solutions for our clients and ensuring that they are well supported throughout their journey with Contigo. Through working closely with my colleagues in account management, I get to know our clients very well, and that means a great deal to me. I pride myself on ensuring they are well looked-after and happy.
I also love to get involved in the creative side of my role. Recently, I’ve had a great time helping the marketing team develop our brand-new website, and I enjoy all the planning involved in the trade events we attend.
Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to over the next 6-12 months?
Yes! Hosting a Virtual User Forum for our clients in November and meeting up with the energy trading community at E-world in February next year.
Our free online forum will be a great opportunity to showcase new products, functionality and features to users of our software suite, as well as giving our clients the opportunity to tell us what they want and need, to help their businesses now and in the future. It will be a great learning opportunity for both us and our clients.
I have certainly missed attending events in person over the last 18 months and am really looking forward to heading to E-world (the biggest energy trade fair in Europe) to catch up with the trading community and showcase our software suite. It’s going to be a very exciting time at E-world for Contigo…!
What do you think are the biggest challenges you’re facing at the moment?
BREXIT changes have impacted customers using our enTrader ETRM platform, but we have worked hard to develop implementations in short timeframes.
Additionally, the pandemic has prevented us from visiting our customers and prospects on-site and meeting with them face-to-face, which I really miss. However, we adapted our ways of working immediately at the start of the pandemic to ensure we are in regular contact with our clients virtually, enabling the continuation of quality, meaningful conversations.
We perfected the art of entirely-virtual implementations, which was a brilliant accomplishment in the face of home-working and restricted contact, and I’m really proud of how we are operating in these times. We shall keep on adapting and finding ways to bring the very best service to our software users.
And finally…To be or not to be? (THAT is the question)
That’s a pretty deep question! If it’s in relation to being on a beach, in the sun, enjoying the sea lapping at my feet…then definitely ‘To be’. If you’re talking about sitting in a traffic jam on the way to the beach…then I’m going with ‘Not to be’!