Get to know the people behind the platform! Meet Joey Wilson, our VP of Customer Success. He sat down with us to talk about his role, how he found Groundfloor, and how he's built the Customer Success team.
What do you do at Groundfloor?
I am the VP of Customer Success. My team is responsible for ensuring that our investors and borrowers are successful when using our platform. It’s a pretty basic definition, but one that I think highlights an important aspect of how we support our customers. Other companies tend to call this function “Customer Experience,” but we use “Customer Success” because the job really goes beyond just providing a good experience. We’re here to make sure our users are successful -- not only in terms of their functional experience (i.e., is the platform working correctly), but also in terms of providing them with the tools, features, and information they need to successfully carry out their investment strategies.
This extends to our borrowers as well. The Customer Success team is responsible for onboarding, servicing, and keeping in touch with our borrowers so we can support them. In my view, we’re partnering with our borrowers to ensure they can be successful in their projects, which helps them (and in turn, our investors) get the most out of Groundfloor.
Where are you from?
I’m an Atlanta native. I have strong roots in Atlanta -- in fact, I grew up just a few miles away from where I live now! -- and I’ve lived in Atlanta basically my whole life, apart from my college and grad school years. Needless to say, I’m a die hard (and long-suffering) Braves, Hawks, Falcons, and now Atlanta United fan.
What is your background and experience?
I went to the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) for both college and grad school, and after I earned my MBA I moved back to work for Earthlink when they were still around.
I’ve spent the last 15+ years working on customer experience management and CRM for large consumer brands. Before coming to Groundfloor, I did CRM consulting for brands including Coke, Intercontinental Hotels, Clorox, and Lysol, and then led the Customer Experience team for Equifax’s consumer division for almost 6 years.
How did you come to work for Groundfloor?
I was very attracted to the idea of working for a smaller, up-and-coming company and contributing to its growth. Equifax was a great place to work, but as a 120-year-old company with thousands of employees, it was a more traditional corporate structure with very established roles and processes/procedures. At Groundfloor, everyone has a seat at the table, and everything we do impacts the success of the company. Every employee can make a huge difference for the company and ultimately for what our customers experience when they use our products. That’s been the case for me. Working at Groundfloor has been extremely rewarding.
You have built the Customer Success team essentially from scratch. Can you talk a bit about how the team has grown?
As basic as it might sound, hiring the right people to build out the team has really been key. A strong resume is nice, but we hire people who understand who we are, are passionate about what we’re doing, and want to be a part of it. The Customer Success team is very much committed to that. They work tirelessly to support and advocate for our customers and go above and beyond to meet their needs.
After starting with just me three years ago, the Customer Success team now has nine employees, which reflects the growth of the company and our customer base over that time. In many cases, when a company is growing, you as an individual may not necessarily have the resources to grow and be successful in your role. That hasn’t been the case with Groundfloor. As we have grown, I’ve been given the ability to grow my team to better support our customers, and I have to give credit to our leadership for enabling that.
What excites you most about Groundfloor? What is your favorite part about working here?
I’ve always gravitated towards working on products that are tangible, fill a need in the market, and that I am proud to share with others. I love that Groundfloor is something that I can tell my mom about, and she’s interested in it and she can invest. I think it’s really in line with the mission of the company -- we’re opening up something that is otherwise unattainable for anyone to participate in.
I also really love that I have the chance to influence the product and impact the growth and development of our platform. Like I mentioned earlier, I firmly believe that everyone who works at Groundfloor has the ability to make their voice heard and contribute to how we operate.
Which of the Groundfloor company values resonates most with you and why?
Trustworthiness and accountability resonate most with me, on both a personal level and in my work. Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, whether it’s person to person or between a company and its customers. When trust is broken, it is very hard to repair it, and we often don’t ever get that opportunity. And accountability is critical to building and maintaining trusting relationships. I try to teach my kids to not make excuses, to be vulnerable, to admit to and learn from mistakes, and to take responsibility for their actions. We also work hard to embody these values at Groundfloor. I believe the level of transparency we provide our customers is a true differentiator and is representative of these values.
How have you been staying sane during quarantine? Any fun “quarantine projects?”
Like most of us, quarantine has given me more time to be with family, which has been really nice. I’ve also been enjoying the increased flexibility I have with our remote/hybrid work environment. I’ve been able to try my hand at a number of new things. I was one of those who jumped into baking sourdough bread, and I’ve been baking 2-3 loaves a week for the past year or so. I also coach my kids’ baseball and flag football teams, which I had done sporadically in the past but have been able to jump back into now that I can be more flexible with my time. I’m proud to say that our team just won the Atlanta high school flag football league championship. Go AJA Jags!
Thanks so much, Joey! We appreciate all you do for Groundfloor!