My Name Is Erin Ward — This Is What I Achieve at Aha!
What is the best way to accelerate your career? Work in a high-growth company that challenges you and puts learning first. An unwavering motivation to continue improving and achieving is also key. The highest performers constantly pursue new ideas and seek to understand the experiences and motivations of the people around them. We can learn a lot from them.
Curiosity fuels growth — which is why we want to bring you personal stories of achievement from talented people. Our hope is that some of their ideas are useful and maybe even inspirational as you work to become your best.
Meet Erin Ward, a Senior Product Concierge Manager on the Aha! Product Concierge team. Erin loves helping customers solve complex problems and build better products and services. She lives in Carrollton, Georgia with her husband and two young children.
Read on to learn more about how Erin finds meaning and joy in her work — in her own words.
What energizes you about being a Sr. Product Concierge Manager?
"I’ve always had a passion for serving and helping others. My role at Aha! gives me the opportunity to do this with customers and teammates across the world."
"Our customers have challenging problems. It is so rewarding to pair my experience in product development with my knowledge of Aha! software to help them solve those problems. And it is always invigorating to share learnings and experiences with my teammates. I love building meaningful relationships and learning new things from our team of product experts."
Which recent accomplishment at Aha! are you most proud of?
"In my role on the Product Concierge team, I focus on helping customers define standards and use Aha! to drive meaningful value for their organizations. Recently, I guided two customers as they rolled out Aha! to their entire product organization within a matter of months. I am now working with those same customers to expand their use of the software — providing best practices so they can onboard their teams to Aha! quickly."
"Helping our customers realize the value of our integrated product suite and drive increased efficiencies for their teams is something I am really proud of."
What have you done to help your teammates succeed?
"In a remote company, collaboration and open communication are extremely important. One way we encourage this at Aha! is with our culture of sharing feedback and learnings across the team. Recently I had the opportunity to mentor and onboard new team members to the Product Concierge team — sharing guidance on how to work closely with customers so they can maximize the value Aha! brings to their organizations. I also gave a presentation on how to help customers report on and align strategy across their organizations during one of our Customer Success lunch and learn meetings."
What is the most surprising but useful career advice someone has given you?
"When you are starting something new or working on a project outside of your comfort zone, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of yourself. But do not be afraid to speak up — your voice matters."
"Early in my career, I was still learning to build my confidence. Before one of my first big customer-facing meetings, my product leader said to me: 'You are the expert, no one knows it better than you.' It was such a simple message, but it reminded me that I had valuable experience to draw on. Other people in the meeting wanted to hear from me — the reason I was there was to offer my perspective. I have never forgotten this advice and still leverage it when I need a confidence boost."
What advice do you have for an aspiring or early-career product or customer success professional?
"I have a few pieces of advice. First, stay curious and look for opportunities to stretch yourself. This might mean shadowing your teammates and customers to learn from their experiences, or asking (and continuing to ask) questions until you get the information you need. Looking up product management resources (like the guided templates that Aha! offers) is another great way to stretch your skills.
Second, try not to get too caught up on your mistakes. Reflect on any failures and how to improve next time, then move forward with confidence. Most importantly, always be kind and show empathy to others. This will help you better understand the people you are working with and build trust and rapport quickly."
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