Lucidworks recently announced Jessica Jurva’s appointment as the Chief Customer Officer. I sat down with her to get the 411 on her career before Lucidworks, her core values that guide the customer experience, and what it’s like to be a woman in the C-Suite at a tech company. 

Q: Hi Jess! Can you give us some background on what work experience pre-Lucidworks?

JJ: So, when I was 22, I stepped into my first real tech job at Palm Computing – remember them? They launched the first Palm Pilot. I had the chance to work with software and hardware developers, and I just remember it being so cool. It created this desire to learn more about how technology is built and how we interact with it.

It’s interesting that all my roles after I left Palm Computing, whether loyalty marketing, advertising, or digital marketing, had this one common thread: figuring out how to connect with the customer in a meaningful and valuable way.

From all sizes of organizations, small startups to large corporations like Intuit, Visa, and TIBCO, all these companies were leveraging technology to connect consumers with personalized, and relevant information. Right before I joined Lucidworks, I was working remotely as the VP of Customer Success at SessionM (a loyalty marketing platform) where I supported clients like Starbucks, Skechers, Chipotle, and Nike. I was ready to finally be back in an office with real people and not in front of a screen.

Q: Did that common thread of connecting users with information carry over into your new role at Lucidworks?

JJ: When I was approached by Lucidworks, I saw a lot of parallels between everything that I had done in my past. The pillars are the same, no matter the industry: provide personal, relevant information and recommendations to users. It’s answering the question, “How do we connect users with better information to get them to take the next best action?” It’s a neat problem to solve. 

Q: How do you make that happen for customers, and how do you guide the customer excellence organization to live that vision?

JJ: If I had to boil it down to one sentence I’d say that my goal as CCO is to create and earn trust in every customer interaction. That means every part of the journey has to engender trust from onboarding, delivery, management, training, and technical support. 

One of the frameworks I use to guide my decision-making is these three pillars: quality, consistency, and performance. We want to deliver the highest quality people, processes, programs, and products to our customers, where expectations are consistently met and value is delivered repeatedly. Quality can’t be a one-time thing! And finally, we have to deploy a platform that delivers effective results and ROI from Day 1. 

Jess has demonstrated the great quality of being able to serve the best interests of the customer by getting the best out of her team. She has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment to supporting the L.L. Bean team to reach our business goals and deliver a personal digital experience to our customers. She provides exemplary customer experience through consistent, strategic recommendations that enable us to get the most out of Fusion.

– Karthik Nair, L.L.Bean eCommerce Services Manager

Q: That’s a great takeaway. You’ve been in tech (in one way or another) for the majority of your professional career. Do you feel like you have an important role as one of the few women executives in the C-Suite, especially at a tech company?

JJ: I think as I took on more senior roles, the lack of women is painfully apparent, whether director, VP, or C-suite. I’m a woman, I’m gay, and yes, it’s definitely something that I’m aware of. As I build out my own team, I’m ensuring that there’s more of a balance with both racial and gender diversity. I’m very proud to say that I currently have three women and four men on my leadership team reporting into me. 

One thing I’ve noticed, even in tech, is that marketing, customer success, and HR teams often have a disproportionate amount of women compared to technical and sales teams that are mostly men. I would love to see more women in technical leadership roles. I’m proud of the role that I have now at Lucidworks, and I hope that I can be a tiny part of that major shift to bring more women into leadership positions. 

Q: Last question. You’re stepping up as CCO at an unusual time as customers are trying to adapt to a new normal during COVID-19. Has this impacted your work at all?

JJ: I think as an organization, both for Lucidworks and for our customers, there’s worries across the board that if employees are impacted or have a family member who is, we want to prioritize taking care of them. For our digital commerce and enterprise customers, their digital experience is everything right now. We want to be as prepared as possible to help them survive now, and set them up for growth later when this dies down. 

For Lucidworks, we were already a distributed company so being remote isn’t necessarily a new thing. We’ve been successful adapting our in-person meetings into virtual conversations for things like major roadmap planning and discovery workshops. We’re also adding more e-learning classes and training seminars to our content library for now and for the future. 

Thanks for taking the time Jess!

Interested in learning more about the people that power Lucidworks? Check out this interview with Nikki Batchellor, Lucidworks’ Training Manager who was recently recognized as a leader in the field. 

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