Team Stirista: Valarie Geckler
This month’s Team Stirista spotlight features Valarie Geckler, our fantastic Director of Client Services. Let’s learn more about her.
Tell us about your overall responsibilities at Stirista and what you do on an average workday.
Everything I do is focused around helping our clients be more successful. Sometimes that manifests as working on a strategy for client campaigns, communication, expectation-setting, keeping projects moving forward, and building closer relationships with the folks with whom we partner.
Sometimes my time is spent looking inward at how our team handles things to make sure our clients always experience Stirista at our very best. I’m obsessed with continually improving, so I always look for ways we can be more efficient, consistent, or optimize our processes.
What do you like best about working at Stirista?
We have an amazing roster of clients who trust Stirista. Thanks to that, we’re able to help tackle big problems and have a significant impact on helping them meet their marketing KPIs and business goals; that’s super satisfying.
I’m also grateful to work alongside smart, hard-working folks who also enjoy discussing everything from database structure to hiking to wine to Marvel movies.
What excites you most about your job?
I’m always excited by opportunities to make something work just a little bit better, and I’ve always been energized by learning new things. Client success touches many areas of business — people, technology, strategy, data, operations, communications, training, and more. There are lots of opportunities to try new things, succeed or fail, learn, and then try again.
Tell us about your background. What did you do before coming to Stirista?
I spent my previous dozen years in the digital marketing agency world. In addition to Client Services, I have a background executing and leading teams in marketing strategy, inbound marketing, lead generation, project management, digital transformation, and web development. The common theme for me is helping solve problems in meaningful and measurable ways.
Tell us something we don’t know about you or something that others might be surprised to learn.
I love trivia and trivia competitions. I enjoy keeping up with current events. I’ve gotten pretty good at putting together a snazzy charcuterie spread at home. In 2015, I had the chance to pet and feed a capybara, so I checked that off my bucket list. A few of the items that remain: travel to six continents (Antarctica is too cold), to visit all the US National Parks, all MLB ballparks, and see the aurora borealis.
What advice would you give to someone interested in your job?
Strong communication skills and the ability to understand your client’s perspective are the keys to success in Client Services. Ask questions that help you understand what’s important to your clients – both as an individual and for their department or business. Your care and interest will be appreciated, and you’ll be a better partner to them in meeting their goals. Be empathetic. Apologize when there’s a screw up and adjust your processes to prevent the mistake from happening again. Never discuss an escalated issue or potentially emotion-laden topic over email. Ever. It’s old school, I know, but pick up that phone!