A Chat With Our People

Hi. It’s nice to meet you. These are a few of our people.

Celeste
Account Coordinator

Creative Group (CG): You’ve been given many client accolades for the care you take with our clients and their attendees. Can you tell us how you approach customer service and what it means to you?

Celeste (C): I approach customer service with my clients and their attendees based on how I would want to be treated. For me, that means giving detailed responses in a timely manner, even if it’s just a response to advise that I haven’t forgotten about them and that I’m still following up on their request. I’ll also ask additional questions if I have them and won’t pretend that I have all the answers if I don’t. I want to be able to look a client or an attendee in the eye and know that I did everything I could to make their experience with Creative Group a positive one.

CG: What do you enjoy most about your role as account coordinator?

C: There are many, but two things in particular stand out for me. The first is improving upon work from previous programs and making changes that benefit our clients and further engage our program participants. It’s always satisfying when we can eliminate a pain point. The second is working with great (collaborative) people, specifically our team at Creative Group. I’m continually impressed with the new ideas that they come up with and simply how much fun the people are.

CG:  What experiences from your past have contributed to your success at Creative Group?

C: There are a lot of experiences that tie into one another for me. My career has been a winding road. I started out in theater; I majored in theater with a concentration in costume design and wardrobe supervision. That’s obviously not what I’m doing at Creative Group, but the whirlwind of theater–the stress behind the scenes, the love of taking care of actors/people before a big moment, the attention to detail–all of those things tie in nicely to what we do at Creative Group. For me, the art of transferring skills from one area of expertise to another has been incredibly helpful.

Paul
Senior Director,
Solutions Architecture

CG: Hi Paul, can you tell us a little bit about your role in Solutions Architecture? 

Paul (P):  That depends on your security clearance.

But seriously, my role is to deeply understand our clients’ business needs and translate them into actionable initiatives that help change the behaviors of the audience most likely to impact those needs. The non-buzzword sentence would be more like – I design programs that get people to do something more, do something new or stop doing something that isn’t working.

CG: What is your favorite part about your job?

P: By far, it’s the wide variety of business issues I get to work on. Every client is different. Every business is different. Every challenge is different. Nothing is plug and play and that’s what keeps things interesting.

CG: How did you find your way into this industry?

P: My path to the industry was pretty rambling. My undergrad degree is in statistics and quantitative business analysis and my first job out of college was helping estimate manufacturing costs on parts for the B1 Bomber and the Space Shuttle. I had a friend in the incentive industry and when we talked about our jobs, his sounded so much more interesting. So I applied. And applied. And applied. I couldn’t get an interview. Then I sent a note directly to the VP of Marketing appealing directly to him by saying… “If at first you don’t succeed, apply, apply, again.” He thought it was funny and went around HR to schedule an interview with me. And the rest, as they say, is history.

CG: What are some of the challenges that you help clients manage?

P:  We are always trying to find that sweet spot between automating everything yet still creating human interactions and human engagement. Whether for employees or for the company’s distribution channel and their customers, we need to create relationships, not just transactions. That’s a constantly changing space. And it’s where I spend a lot of my time – finding the best ways to use technology to create more (and more impactful) two-way human relationships in business.

Elise
Account Manager

CG: Can you tell us about your role supporting our individual recognition programs?

E: I drive the operations for our Individual programs – I touch everything from strategizing on the structure of new programs, to updating technology and handling participant inquiries. Having the opportunity to be involved in so many aspects of a program gives me a holistic view of how it operates and allows me to provide optimal support for our clients and partners.

CG: Who can benefit most from these types of programs?

E: Everyone! Truly.  Businesses are always looking for ways to improve results and enabling and engaging the right people at the right time in the right way is how we make that happen.  Incentives are performance enablers, and Performance Potential + Performance Enablers = Business Results.   We can dive into our client’s business challenges and goals and determine how to best use engagement and incentives to get them where they want to be.  HR can benefit by providing a way to make people feel engaged and appreciated.  Sales can benefit by developing fun and unique ways to change behavior and enhance performance.  Marketing can benefit by creating programs that improve performance in distribution channels or by retaining loyal customers.

CG: What do you enjoy most about your position?

E: I love the strategy – I love immersing myself in a new client’s culture and understanding their goals and challenges and then building something tangible to achieve results.  When it starts to take shape, everyone gets excited.  It’s hard not to.

CG: Were there any surprising things you learned as you took on this role?

E:  When I started, I put a lot of weight on technology solutions – all of our programs use some sort of technology and I came in thinking that was one of the most defining features of the process.  In reality, the technology is just a tool – although user experience and functionality are important, the solution used really doesn’t come into play until we’ve determined needs and direction and strategy.   And then it is just a way to implement the plan – it can be configured and customized as needed.  Starting the conversation with technology tends to box people in to one direction too early.   It’s really all about the strategy – how do we structure the program to drive the business results? That’s what drives success.

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