Christian brings nearly 20 years of experience to Lang with extensive leadership experience spanning management roles at F500 companies and early stage growth companies. Most notably Christian recently served as the VP of Alliances at Unqork and 12+ years at IBM helping to shape their AI and Blockchain practices.
How would you describe your role at Lang?
To be of service - which sounds trite but I’m quite serious - which democratizes insights from unstructured text to power how customer services, product and marketing teams interact with their customers - has a unique opportunity to help our customers in so many ways. The best way we can help customers unpack these opportunities is to really understand their needs and challenges and use those insights to help serve them better and build them a better platform. If we can bring that perspective it won’t matter if they are in retail, social media or FinTech, in North America, Europe or Latin America - we’ll be able to help them accomplish their goals.
The way to do this is to shape a consistent, positive experience across the overall customer journey - from what expectations were set during the sales cycle to how those expectations are met during the initial onboarding phase to how do we partner with our customers to expand usage of the platform into new areas.
The other piece that I am bringing from my last role is to drive an understanding of the ecosystem we are operating in and optimizing our partnership strategy to build a unique better together story for our mutual customers.
What compelled you to join Lang?
The technology is differentiated - my first conversation with the team convinced me that we had product/market fit and had the potential to not just improve CX service automation for our customers but also expand to other use cases as well.
The team is talented, motivated and collegial - a great group with great energy - tremendous talent as well as a lot of growth potential.
The opportunity is tremendous - I have been working on either high growth initiatives at large companies or startups for the last decade of my career - the opportunity in front of us is to build something scalable and now is the time to help shape the trajectory of that growth.
What are your impressions of your first couple weeks on the job?
First, we have a great customer base! The early adopters of Lang are innovative and passionate about using our platform to solve their pressing CX needs. They show that passion by pushing us to be the best possible platform we can be through strong collaboration, usage, new use cases and thoughtful feedback.
We have a strong team top to bottom - great talent, a real focus on the customer and tremendous upside across the team.
The culture is amazing - while we have great traction in the market - we know that this is just the beginning, we aren’t resting on our laurels and wake up every day thinking about what we can do to build a better product and deliver better service to our customers.
What do you see happening in the customer support space right now and what do you hope to see in the future?
Customer support and service has always been important. Using customer service as a differentiator in your product is something that is even more important for digitally native companies…which lets be honest is everyone growing. Thanks to digital engagement, switching costs have shrunk to close to nothing so creating differentiation in your customer experience for your customers is critical.
The other thing digital engagement has introduced is a tremendous amount of unstructured data. People have been grappling with how to analyze and extract insight from unstructured data for a very long time. Increasing the volume of data to parse through has only exacerbated the challenge.
Every engagement is an opportunity for you to enrich your relationship with your customer and encourage them to come back or engage more right then and there. Automating simple CX tasks to focus your highly skilled service reps on higher value activities is a key strategy in delivering on that promise.
To deliver on all this, you really need fidelity across what can be a large and occasionally disjointed sales and service technology stack. Orchestrating consistently great experience across channels, personas and functions can be difficult to scale without the right foresight and vision.
The good news for us is that can help our customers with all of this today!
What goals do you hope to achieve as Lang's Chief Customer Officer?
Create a great experience for our customers - I want the folks onboarding, enabling and supporting our customers to be thought partners so we can help them deliver awesome experiences to their customers. I want that thought partnership to extend to other departments to inform how our customers build their products and market them to their end customers. Finally, I want our customers to push us to explore uses for we aren’t even talking about yet.
Lastly, I want all that energy to filter back to our product, design, engineering and partnerships teams so we can continue to scale out a better platform for all our customers to derive value from.
Where do you see Lang in 2 years? How about 5 years?
In 2 years - I want to deliver on what is - admittedly - a huge vision that I just finished laying out. We should be done in a couple of weeks (LOL).
In 5 years - I want Lang to be solving problems we haven’t mentioned here or even conceived of yet. Our ability to scale both in the spaces we are focused on today and in the spaces we can apply in the future is going to be key to our long term growth.