ZDirect Expands its Client Services Team

  • ZDirect, Inc.
  • 10.02.14
Due to growth, ZDirect has expanded its client services team to include Maria Olson as West Coast account manager and Kristen Cavanagh as East Coast account manager.

In addition, Devon Ussher was promoted to strategic account manager. Former East Coast account manager Kelly Whaley will replace Ussher as account manager for the Caribbean and South Florida region, and she will also continue to manage all social media activity for the company. ZDirect is also looking to add an additional installation coordinator to manage tasks worldwide.

"ZDirect's client services department is designed to serve as an extension of our hotel customers’ reservations and marketing departments," said Carrie Messmore, director of client services. "Our team provides installation, account management and technical support like no other provider in hospitality. Our account managers and strategic account managers are the real people behind each phone call, trained to give advice and add that extra touch that simply can't be delivered through a call center or by an offshore customer-service agent. They don't read from scripts; instead, through daily interaction with their customers, they are intimately familiar with the ins and outs of each property and brand. They know what will work for each business model, and conversely, what doesn't work. This is a key differentiator in this competitive market, and yet another reason why companies are turning to ZDirect for comprehensive eCRM and hotel marketing automation."

As account manager West Coast, Olson will help ZDirect clients troubleshoot and solve challenging issues related to personalizing reservation confirmations and pre-arrival/post-departure emails, guest satisfaction surveys via email, mobile communication, social networks and much more. She will provide support and training in ZDirect's Zmail electronic communications platform, and assist with new functionalities as they become available.

"Coming to ZDirect with a hotel operations background gives me personal insight to assist ZDirect clients with problem solving and finding resolutions for digital hotel-to-guest communication and vice versa," Olson said. "Whether it's using mobility and text messaging to attract new guests or creating unique incentives to filling empty rooms, we have the answers hoteliers need, always keeping brand standards top of mind. ZDirect has an impressive line-up of solutions designed to aid in every aspect of CRM, digital marketing and loyalty. It's a comprehensive one-stop-shop for the modern hotelier, and I am thrilled to be a part of it."

As account manager East Coast, Cavanagh said she looks forward to the daily challenges that are presented to her by hoteliers, including providing instruction on how to use many of ZDirect's new tools, including its responsive automated email designer and how to decipher device reports. Cavanagh said she is focused on finding resolutions that are 100 percent effective, 100 percent of the time.

"My clients are my No. 1 priority," Cavanagh said. "They will receive 100 percent of my attention, and I won't hang up the phone until they are 100 percent satisfied with the outcome of the call. The key to customer satisfaction is building a relationship based on trust; they trust that I have their back and that their urgent request is my main concern. It takes a lot of time management and organization, but that's what makes ZDirect's client services team so effective. I am impressed with our unique system and the great relationships that have developed between client services and the development team. Our clients tell us what they need and we in turn share it with our developers. Before long, we have new functionalities that not only address our existing clients’ requests and needs, but it sets ZDirect even further apart from its competitors."

ZDirect's client services operation manages more than 2,000 clients worldwide. Each hotel or brand is assigned a dedicated account manager based on its geographical region. Properties or brands requiring a higher level of specialized service are assigned a strategic account manager.

Messmore said ZDirect believes firmly in promoting from within, and Devon Ussher is being groomed to fill a director position in client services in the near future. With her recent promotion to strategic account manager, Devon will work with our specialized accounts to help them achieve their eMarketing goals. She will also be involved in more travelling to do on-site presentations for these more complex clients.

"This promotion is really exciting, and I am looking forward to developing new partnerships and overcoming new challenges my customers are facing," Ussher said. "My project management and service skills will blend well with this client base as we work on implementing new service features and technology tools. I am appreciative of this opportunity to grow with our clients and with ZDirect."

"Having traveled to and spent time in the Caribbean and Florida regions, I look forward to working with our customers and assisting with the enhancement of their current email marketing strategies," said Kelly Whaley about her move. "With more than five years of social media and email marketing experience, I am excited to share ideas and incorporate new functionality within ZMail to an already diverse market. With our cloud-based suite of tools and utilization of online marketing best practices, together we can ensure a positive guest experience through multiple digital modules."

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