Celebrating Our Customer Love Award Winners: Erika Englesby and Laura Kelso
Changing an organization internally to be customer-centric is extremely hard. Earning buy-in for the customer love philosophy and convincing your team that listening to customers is important is challenging. To do so requires getting people to understand business results that might not be clear, requires working with many different teams, and driving people towards behaviors that don’t necessarily have near-term results that are measureable or manageable.
We’ve had the honor and privilege to work with two people who have done this not once, not twice, but three times. In three different organizations, they have been a champion of the customer, of treating customers extraordinarily well, of the idea that customers should love you, and that companies should listen to their customers and build emotional connections with them.
To honor these two very talented and customer-driven people, we created the Customer Love Award. We were proud to present the inaugural awards to Erika Englesby and Laura Kelso during our first-ever Customer Love Summit on July 19th. Erika and Laura have taught all of us how to create customer-centric organizations before being customer-centric was as sought-after as it is today.
Introducing our Customer Love Award Winners
Erika Englesby, Senior Product Manager, Consumer Innovation, Providence Health and Services
In addition to making customer-centricity a top priority at Providence Health and Services, she did so at Nordstrom and Starbucks as well. She’s been instrumental in making all three apps best in their class.
Here’s what colleagues in her field had to say about working with Erika:
“What’s most impressive about Erika is her ability to see the big picture in any decision she makes and her attention to detail no matter how big or small the project is. She comes to meetings prepared and has thought through the full customer experience, including all possible scenarios. Our time together is always productive, enlightening and continues to highlight the same theme: she is super smart.” Christy Culp, Head of Customer Success at Apptentive
“Erika brings joy and enthusiasm to her work, and treats everyone, customers, coworkers and whomever comes across her path as a friend and trusted partner. Her openness and eagerness to take in feedback and turn it into a high quality product is invaluable.” Sarah Ramsay, Senior Director of Consumer Strategy and Innovation at Providence Health & Services
Laura Kelso, Director of Mobile Products at RetailMeNot, Inc.
Laura is responsible for driving customer-centricity at RetailMeNot, Allrecipes.com, and Whole Foods Market. She led the charge on creating best-in-class mobile apps at all three companies—no small feat.
Here’s what colleagues in her field had to say about working with Laura:
“I think it took us 2 years after meeting Laura to hire her at Whole Foods. She’s one of those people who when you meet, you remember. Laura is a great product manager. She is someone who encourages you to look at things differently and is committed to great customer experiences. She makes those around her and the organizations she works with better.” Jon Dorch, former Sr. Global Director of Experience Design, Product Management and Mobile at Whole Foods Market
“Laura Kelso has accomplished several successes for RetailMeNot while consistently finding ways to make the company more productive. She has recommended, implemented, and guided the use of Apptentive, which provided us customer feedback, and drove our app rating to five stars in under 2 weeks.” Rahul Jain, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Apps at RetailMeNot
“It could be her first day, or first week at a new company, and she makes it clear that she’ll do everything in her power to do whatever she can to represent the customer – even if it means going against the grain.” Red Russak, Senior Account Executive at Apptentive
Congratulations to Erika and Laura on being our first Customer Love Award winners!