At MetroQuest, we take customer success very seriously. We’re simply passionate about great public engagement and love helping government agencies and their consulting firms build the best online experiences to engage citizens. In this post, we introduce you to one of our MetroQuest All Stars! Tara Crothers heads up the world-class Customer Success and Support team.
Tara, can you give us the 10,000-foot view of your role at MetroQuest?
I run the Customer Success and Support department, meaning I’m involved in all things customer. I’m in charge of making sure our users are getting the most out of their MetroQuest subscription and managing a team of amazing support specialists who create the best customer experience possible.
What drives you be such so passionate about customer success?
Our customers are helping people speak out and shape how their communities will grow, and that’s pretty inspirational for me! I’m driven to make sure that MetroQuest reaches every single person who wants to share their voice.
Before you joined MetroQuest, what was your background?
I’ve spent 5 years at Apple educating people about technology and helping them when things went wrong. I’ve helped train new support specialists around the world, helped to develop apps that facilitate the best customer journey possible, and worked with huge teams of repair technicians in Apple Stores.
Before that, I worked on my Bachelor of Science, specializing in GIS! I love connecting with our customers about spatial data analysis and getting to see the amazing results they achieve with MetroQuest.
Tell us what compelled you to make the move from Apple to MetroQuest?
I loved helping people get the most out of their personal devices, but I was ready to help them do even more. Instead of showing people how to get the most out of their phones and tables, I now enable government agencies to engage those same people to use their devices to change the world – by giving feedback and ideas as to how to make their cities better spaces to live, work, and play. I was ready to make a bigger impact. MetroQuest was the perfect opportunity.
What do you love about online public engagement?
I’ve been to community meetings before, and there are so many opinions not expressed because the environment is loud, public, and overwhelming. It’s hard to get a question out, and usually only those who are extremely in favor or extremely opposed really end up sharing. I love that MetroQuest provides an online space where people can express everything they want to say in a safe and private environment, without all that stress and fear often present at town halls.
How do you feel you’re making a difference for government agencies and their consulting firms who use MetroQuest?
Our customers look at a new project by asking what they need to learn from the community – what are the right questions, what data they want to get, and what they’ll do with that data. I approach a new project with the public in mind, because you can’t get valuable data without a highly engaging online experience. Bringing those two perspectives together is what makes all the difference, and I love working with customers to get the best of both worlds.
What are your three top tips for great public engagement?
- Make it look easy. Even if there are complex questions in there, keep the first few questions simple and fast to fill out so that participants think it’ll go by in a flash. You wouldn’t believe how many people close a window because something looks time consuming, without reading a word.
- Use all of your resources. Sure, you’ll post a link to your MetroQuest site on your facebook page, but have you considered just how many email lists your organization might have? Maybe there’s an email list of people waiting for a parking space at a facility that’s affected by this project. A list of people who have emailed in with complaints about existing features that this project aims to change. A list of parks and recreation visitors. These are people who have a voice in your community – reach out to them!
- Don’t overthink it. If you wouldn’t understand the information provided quickly and easily yourself, why would a participant? Test out your engagement strategy on coworkers and friends, anyone not involved in designing the strategy – see what they think and hear their feedback.
Tell us about a day in your life at MetroQuest.
My day changes, a lot. I spend some of it checking in on customer progress and exploring their projects. Some of it on the phone with customers hearing about their upcoming surveys and helping shape them into great online engagement experiences. I work with our development team to create new software features that will benefit our customers, and with our sales and marketing teams to make sure the customer experience is the best it can possibly be. The people here are passionate and determined to provide the best product and service imaginable. I can’t picture a better way to spend my day.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m currently training for my second half-marathon with the other Tara in the office, so we spend a lot of time running! Beyond that – I love cooking and am always trying new recipes. You can usually find me hanging out with my wife at Sunset beach with a good book in hand.
What advice do you have for people thinking about working here?
Show up ready to get a lot done. Color outside the lines of your job description. We’re a team of innovators, who rethink every process and question every assumption. This is an amazing place to work. All you have to do is find how you can contribute to making us better and you’ll never have a boring workday again!