Leadership Lessons with Change Makers at Nium: Jill Docherty, VP of Customer Success for Europe

5 Minute read
1 year ago

With the Men’s T20 World Cup officially going home to new champions, we’re pleased to share our last blog of the change-makers series. Allowing us to open the doors to sharing the lessons behind the scenes from our selected leaders at Nium; we hope that you enjoyed being a part of these enlightening conversations as much as we did.

Our change-maker today is Jill Docherty, a powerhouse committed to customer success, driving workplace gender equality, and being a true advocate for improving women’s representation. Always inspiring, positive, and up for a challenge, let’s dive into our chat with the true epitome of impactful leadership.

What does being a change-maker mean to you as VP of Customer Success for Europe?

For me, I think about our customers, their priorities, and their pain points critical to our business here at Nium. As a customer success team, our role is nestled at the core of how we drive customer centricity as an organization. We need to ensure that our customer perspectives are amplified across the wider business to all our internal cross-functional colleagues – for e.g., product, marketing, implementation, and customer support.

We also need to drive thought leadership with our customers to help them with strategic considerations that are critical to their organizations from a business-to-business payments perspective. There needs to be a shift from being a vendor to a partner – that’s what my role really means to me. In a partnership, there’s a mutual value between entities. However, a vendor is a transactional relationship with little differentiation, it is the purchase of any goods or service. I will not allow us to have those types of relationships with our top customers…not on my watch!

My aspiration for the customer success team is to be curious about our customers’ businesses and feel a sense of ownership of their challenges and opportunities. Our customers need to be at the heart of everything we do at Nium – we are on a journey here, and I’m super excited.

How do you think you play a key role in driving customer centricity and female advocacy?

For Nium to serve our customers, and onward to their customers–who represent several different businesses globally–we need to embrace the diversity of thought. What does the diversity of thought mean? It means there is more than one way to think about something and one way to solve an issue. So, by ensuring we have a workplace that has a variety of team members from different cultures, genders, and racial groups, we can think about opportunities and challenges differently and avoid the pitfalls of consensus and ‘group think’, which limits growth.

We need strong gender diversity across Nium to truly serve our customers because half the population is male, and the other half is female. Therefore, I remain a true advocate for female leaders at Nium. With this diversity, it allows us to tackle challenges with different perspectives, drawing from varied past experiences. This gets us to a better place with better outcomes.

How does change-making and innovation tie in together?

Innovation and technology help drive change; think about the innovative tools, assets, and systems that help us manage our day-to-day customer engagements, capture the plans, and keep those updated.

For example, we have recently introduced Slack, a great shared asset that enables deeper customer engagement and collaboration with Nium, and directly with our customers.

What are three skills critical to driving change at Nium?

As a leader, over the years, as I have chatted to candidates and other leaders, the three skills I value are:

  • High impact. Crisp communication of complex issues, defining the problem statement, considerations, and possible solutions. Be curious, accountable and think about how you’d solve it – if it were your business and your money
  • No ego. Serving customers needs to be about humility and empathy, and I use the word ‘serving’ purposefully because not everyone has this disposition. As such, customer success is not for everyone!
  • No drama. Things go wrong. However, the way in which a customer success manager goes about managing issues and challenges is critical. Clear communications on expectations, outcomes, and actions are critical – along with a cool and calm head!

What is the top leadership lesson you can share with future transformation champions?

The top few ones to stay focused on are:

  • Pure grit, tenacity, and resilience are key – stay the course; no one said it would be easy!
  • Find your tribe – culture is so important. As a leader, create a team that everyone wants to be in and make your team feel valued for their contribution. As a team member, don’t be an island! Ask for support, communicate what you need by when, and collaborate with your peers.
  • Be brave and have courage. Try new things and fail often. I have taken massive risks, having lived, and worked across three continents, and left a corporate career earlier this year. Some of my past roles weren’t great, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. But try something new and decide it’s not for you, than to never try. Even if something doesn’t work out as planned, you’ll grow and develop in the process!
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