Meet the Kalibrate team: Beth Thompson, Global VP Customer Success

In any personality test I always come out as a “fixer” — and that’s absolutely accurate. I love to find ways to resolve different issues, it’s what I’m good at. It’s not just the customers that I love to support, it’s my team as well. We all help each other, and we all succeed because of that.  

At Kalibrate, we believe our success is driven as much by our people as our technology. 

Our meet the team series showcases some of the talent and expertise within the Kalibrate family and this installment features Beth Thompson, Global VP Customer Success  

What’s your role at Kalibrate? 

I’m Kalibrate’s VP of Global Customer Success. My role is to make sure our customers derive as much value as possible from Kalibrate, from our people as well as our products.  

As a team we’re hugely invested in our customers — and their success — and it’s my job to make sure we demonstrate that through good service, open communication, and developing partnerships.  

I’ve worked at Kalibrate since 2000, and in that time I’ve engaged with a huge range of customers to be able to see the different ways they benefit from the products, how the markets change over time, and how the partnerships clients have developed with Kalibrate can help to shape and strengthen their own teams. 

Customer Success is built on relationships. I’m responsible for making sure those relationships are working, that we’re successfully engaging with customers, and that we’re reducing the time to value for all our clients.  

What does a typical day look like? 

Having a global team ― and a global customer base ― means there’s a lot to keep on top of. I make sure that I read industry news in every region we operate in, so I have an understanding of current market challenges for each of our customers.  

I meet regularly with every member of my team. Although we all work remotely and are in different countries and time zones, we are very much a team. I’ll find out if any team members need help or support and ensure they have the resources they need to provide the best service to our customers. We’ll do a “temperature check” for every client so that we’re all aware of current issues, or any upcoming risks that we may need to resolve.  

I’m heavily involved with our customers, and regularly have conversations with different individuals directly. Conversations are not just about the product, there’s a lot more to it than that. I talk to clients about the engagement we have with them, the subject matter expertise they benefit from, the service they receive from us, and the processes we use — it’s about how we make them feel, not just what we enable them to do.  

I also act as the “voice of the customer” in internal meetings. I take this very seriously and make sure we put the customer’s needs and experiences at the heart of all our plans here at Kalibrate, so we continue to adapt to changes in the market and improve on our offerings across the board. 

What do you love about your role?  

In any personality test I always come out as a “fixer” — and that’s absolutely accurate. I love to find ways to resolve different issues, it’s what I’m good at. It’s not just the customers that I love to support, it’s my team as well. We’ve built brilliant, supportive relationships across the team and that has created a successful environment for everyone to thrive in. We all help each other, and we all succeed because of that.   

I’ve been truly delighted that our NPS results demonstrated that our customers are feeling the benefit of the changes we’ve been putting in place over the last 18 months ― we’re seeing improvements in the NPS scores each time the survey takes place. We continue to develop our people and our processes to reflect the feedback our customers give us, it’ll be a never-ending cycle, which is absolutely the way it should be. 

The fuel, convenience, and retail industries Kalibrate works with genuinely fascinate me, which makes it easy for me to be engaged. I have a real passion for my work, I love seeing the different ways our customers operate, and I’m always interested in searching out new ways we could be doing things.  

What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities in the fuel and retail sectors? 

Both the fuel and retail sectors are undergoing big changes. With the decrease in physical shopping in the retail space, and the rise of alternative fuels in the fuel space, businesses are having to adapt and become more flexible.  

This has led to a much more variable market and had reignited the entrepreneurial spirit in many businesses. For those that can be flexible, this presents big opportunities. But for some businesses, particularly those with more rigid business models, it presents a real challenge. The competitive environment is changing, and businesses are competing on a regional or even individual site level, rather than as an overall competitive threat. With so many more variables to consider, businesses need accurate data and robust systems now more than ever, to help them navigate the changing landscape.  

There’s also a shift in consumer behavior, particularly with the younger generation, that’s presenting both challenges and opportunities across all industries. As new generations come through, people are making decisions differently. 

Emotion is a bigger element of decision making now than it has been in previous generations. This generation has grown up with a bigger sense of environmental responsibility. We talk a lot about the rise of alternative fuels and electric vehicles (EVs) and this change has already begun, but although the younger generation can’t afford an EV just yet, they’re still taking steps towards a greener environment. They care less about capitalism, and more about the ethics of a brand, or the feeling that a brand gives them. Those businesses that are able to adapt and present an ethical brand that resonates with the younger generation will position themselves for future success.  

Changes like this have a domino effect. Social media means that, across the globe, we’re all connected. The days of countries developing in isolation are behind us. There will always be local and regional variances, but by its very nature, social media connects and influences us — in real time — and this has sped up progression across the globe. 

There are huge opportunities to be had for those businesses that can successfully assess and adapt to macro and micro changes. 

Where do you see these markets heading?  

The shift towards EVs, and alternative fuels like hydrogen, has started. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles won’t completely disappear but there is obviously a huge sway towards a change in the vehicle industry — driven by political mandates and changing consumer priorities. Right now, EVs aren’t accessible for everyone, but as we continue to develop there will be more and more ICE alternatives that allow consumers to keep the independence and convenience of owning a car, without causing excessive damage.  

This reinforces the notion that right now, fuel retailers need to be flexible. They need to assess the data, build for today, and plan for the future.  

For convenience and retail, the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in big opportunities. We saw more progression in three months than we had in the two years previous, with retailers quickly implementing new operational elements like contactless transactions and curb side deliveries — as well as harnessing technology to provide better omni-channel experiences. It has propelled the industry forward.  

The fuel industry has massively evolved over the past decades as new challenges and requirements have emerged. Retail businesses which adapted during the pandemic have demonstrated that they can influence consumer behavior by making big changes to accommodate new customer needs, and I think we’ll continue to see the effect of this in the future. I’m excited to see how this industry will harness what it’s learnt in the past year and a half and use that to its advantage — and I’m looking forward to supporting Kalibrate’s clients in that journey. 

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