Why it’s important to build trust with your Executive Assistant
For our Headroom Heads series, we sat down with Elise Schouten, our stellar Customer Success Manager (and all-around great human). After joining Headroom as EA, she’s ready to take executive support to the next level.
When did your Headroom journey start, and how?
I started back in September 2020 as an Executive Assistant. In 2022 I also became a coach, next to my EA work, to help my colleagues grow in their role. And I’ve recently switched to Customer Success Manager, after an internal vacancy was shared.
For me this is another great opportunity to develop myself and Headroom on the Customer Success level – still helping members, just in a different way.
What I love about Headroom is that they are super supportive in growth and learning. There is an internal Academy we can use with all sorts of cool training to follow. In my previous job I’ve learned a lot about how complex the role as an EA can be, what a major impact EAs can have on a member and what cool companies we work with.
What’s your role at Headroom? What’s your main area of focus on a daily basis?
I’m Headroom’s International Customer Success Manager! Basically I’m in charge of tracking the happiness of our members, implement a Customer Success strategy and keep our members engaged with Headroom every step of the way. So, to our members reading us: keep filling in our NPS survey!😊
You’ve been working closely with different entrepreneurs and high-achieving individuals: what’s the secret sauce to a successful Executive – EA partnership? What’s a non-negotiable?
Definitely regular check-ins and trust are the key to work well together. EAs can work with a lot of sensitive information, both business and private. So if you, as a member, do not fully trust your EA, they simply won’t be able to assist you to the fullest. That’s why at Headroom we encourage regular check-ins and weeklys. That way you get to know each other better and can create a bond of trust.
Read what Headroom EA Marylva sees as the key to a successful EA – Exec partnership.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Headroom?
Next to the Academy I mentioned earlier, I love that we really work as a team. EAs communicate among each other a lot, whether on Slack, in calls or through our task management platform “Workspace”. There is so much knowledge in-house that it would be a waste to reinvent the wheel yourself each time. This saves a lot of time and also this is how the best and most fun tips emerge.
A productivity tool or hack everyone should use?
Use colors in your calendar. Sounds so easy but you’d be surprised by how many executives have chaotic calendars. With color-coding you can quickly see, for example, how many external calls you have, how many internal meetings and how much time is left for focus time. I just find it so nice to see at a glance what your week looks like. It bring structure and peace of mind too.
What’s the first thing you’ll work on as new Headroom Customer Success Manager? What’s the key area you’ll focus on to improve members’ experience?
I want to map out what we as Headroom already do very well. But also what we could do even better (it’s in our company values to be hungry and strive for improvement!). We regularly receive feedback from our members via surveys or via our own EAs, which we are very happy about. I am going to review this feedback to see how we can create even more value for our members – from events to curated partner lists to granular data on their EAs’ work and a member loyalty program.
Stay tuned for more!