Say hello to Kate Thöle

Say hello to Kate Thöle

19 Apr 2024

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Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Kate 👋 I'm 26 years old and work in the Customer Success team at Cue. I grew up and live in the Cape Winelands, but I am currently working remotely in Portugal for a few months.

What's the best part of being part of the Cue crew?

Since starting at Cue, my favourite thing has always been the people. I did meet everyone for the first time at the end-of-year office party which probably helped with the first impressions. But luckily, I still feel the same way. Everyone gets along really well and supports each other in the good and stressful times, which makes a huge difference.

Secondly, Cue's culture has created an environment where employees are up-skilled and challenged but are still able to have a work-life balance. I think this is very rare and something I really value.

How did you get to Cue?

My colleague Patrick also did a post-grad at Red & Yellow a few years before me. When I was studying there in 2021, he reached out to my lecturer for job applicants, and I sent through my CV the next day. A few interviews later, and here we are!

What do you do outside of work?

I'm quite social and love being outside, so my time is usually spent with some combo of these - beach, hiking, travelling, walking, or hanging out with my friends and family (and my dog, Frankie). My boyfriend and I also love to explore SA, so a weekend road trip or staycation are often on the cards.

You're quite the explorer, can you share a memorable experience from your travels?

Travelling across Sri Lanka in December was one of the best experiences of my life, but choosing adventure over comfort is not for the faint-hearted. We took the famous blue train from Kandy to Ella. This train journey is known for having some of the best scenery in the world, which it definitely did.

What wasn't as romantic was having to stand in a packed train with people and chickens for 7 hours, with no food or air conditioning. Looking back, we always laugh about it because it was a fun experience, but definitely one we won't forget!

What inspired a move into Customer Success?

I really enjoy working with people and building relationships, so working somewhere in CS (Customer Success) seemed perfect for me.

What's next on your adventure bucket list?

Still need to tick skydiving off the list!

How did your parent's careers in education & NGOs shape your own values?

Adding value to someone's life through my work is what makes me happy in any job, and that is something they instilled in me.

Growing up with parents who are passionate about making a difference in South Africa taught me the importance of gratitude and positivity.

My sister and I have also been exposed to a lot of different cultures, people, and places through their work, which I'm sure contributed to my love of people and travelling.

Have any funny or heartwarming stories to share about your twin sister?

We had a lot of "twin-telepathy" moments when we were younger, especially unintentionally wearing the same clothes. We didn't fight often, but when we did, it was probably because one of us was refusing to change.

I still remember going to our cousin's house for Christmas Day, and we came downstairs wearing the exact same outfit, down to the jewellery and hairstyle. We were in a big rush and had to leave. I remember thinking it was the most embarrassing thing ever, but now I'd think it's quite funny if we rocked up somewhere matching.

What's the most rewarding part of being a Cue customer success manager?

I find it motivating when customers love the product and it becomes a core process in their business. Building strong relationships with our customers and being there to support them is what makes me enjoy this role, so when they are positive to work with and we can help them reach their goals using Cue, it is very fulfilling.

What do typical days look like in customer success?

Every day is different! But it is usually a mix of onboarding new accounts, training clients on Cue, learning more about our system from the Ops team, and collaborating with the CS team to build out new processes as we expand.

Do you have a big customer win you're really proud of?

We had a client who uses live chat and web chat as a way for student advisors to communicate with prospective students. While the chat portion would work well for them, they also needed a way to avoid agents reassigning leads to themselves.

As a team, we worked with them to integrate our system with their technology provider so that the incoming tickets would be round-robin allocations between agents. This solved one of their primary issues and now ensures leads are being distributed equally among advisors.

Got any advice for someone looking keen on a customer success career?

I think that always trying to put yourself in your customers' shoes really helps to understand their needs, challenges, and goals. You'll then be best equipped to be their problem-solver and someone they trust.

How has your role at Cue evolved over the past two years?

I'm still part of the CS team, but towards the end of last year I moved into our Free Support space. While the goal of onboarding and managing clients is still the same, there are different processes and approaches when dealing with a higher volume of clients that you often don't have a previous relationship with.

It's been a challenging but exciting change that has taught me time management, quick thinking when working under pressure and how to better navigate difficult conversations with clients. Plus I work in a lovely team of ladies(and Pat), so it's been super collaborative, which has been great.

How do you approach relationship building with Cue's clients?

Being pro-active. Actively listening, reaching out, collecting feedback and implementing solutions will build trust and allowing the client to feel completely comfortable in our hands.

There are a few other small things that I think make a big difference when building solid relationships: tailor communication to be personal, provide regular insights into their account, check in regularly, and be flexible to their needs.

What has it been like working remotely from Portugal the last few weeks?

I'm still working on SA time because of clients at home, so the 6am start time did take some getting used! I've grown to love it because of the early finish, getting the whole afternoon to explore has been amazing.

Most of the CS team also work remotely so luckily it's been quite easy to fit in. We have a very collaborative and social team, so we chat and call each other online a lot throughout the day - it's felt like an easy transition being here.

Which superpower do you wish you had?

Mind reading - if I could read a client's mind, it would help to fully understand their concerns and allow us to tailor solutions to exactly what they are looking for. It would also help to predict their needs and anticipate challenges that could be on the way. Any positive thoughts would also be good encouragement!

Describe the Cue culture in three words

Supportive, balanced, and collaborative.

What sets Cue apart from other customer service software providers in your opinion?

Everyone at Cue tries their best to go the extra mile which is something I'm sure customers appreciate and value. I also think providing clients with great customer service and quick turnaround times is what sets Cue apart.

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