Thentia’s leadership team is a diverse and exceptional group of professionals who have brought major influence to not only the company’s direction, but to their own teams. Those teams make up Thentia’s structure, functionality, and culture and contribute to our success. In our Leadership Spotlight series, we sit down with members of our leadership team to discuss everything from the importance of powerful leadership influence in the tech industry to of course, the path that led them to Thentia.
This month, we spoke with Colin Hutzan, Thentia’s VP, Customer Experience.
Colin comes to Thentia with eight years of experience in the FinTech space, where he spent time building a global customer support team around accounting software for small to medium-sized business owners and accountants. It was during this time, that Colin developed a deep understanding of how important it is to get the entire organization aligned around delivering a great customer experience (CX).
Aside from his work in CX, Colin enjoys time at the gym and running outdoors. He has a passion for nutrition, cooking, and high fashion (he’s always wearing something outrageous!). On top of that, Colin loves to spend time with his partner and their friends, enjoying what Toronto has to offer. In rare moments of quiet time, Colin finds himself reading and writing.
What excites you about the GovTech/SaaS industry and what led your career here?
I love the constant change and iteration that comes with scaling a growth startup organization in the SaaS industry. The days go by quickly and every one is different from the next. It’s rewarding to help accomplish some daily wins while also strategizing for the future.
This is what led me to Thentia, as we’re experiencing this stage of growth right now. In terms of GovTech specifically, I’m drawn to complex, nuanced problems. Working in this space provides plenty of those challenges to solve. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning about the operations of the regulatory boards we support and I continue to learn more each day.
As someone with a passion for Customer Experience (CX) and Operations, how do you ensure our team delivers a great customer experience?
The first step is hiring the right people; people who care about helping others and who are exceptional communicators.
Next is to focus their talents on the specific needs of the organization’s customer through departmental values and guiding principles. Ideally these are developed with the team rather than in a silo. Thentia’s T8 Principles were used to help me curate the CX department’s own guiding principles.
Finally, coaching and feedback should come often and be systematic, with a rubric developed around the values, principles, and any necessary processes.
The result here is a high-functioning team that knows what’s expected of them and has a great deal of autonomy to give the best experience possible to the customer, with guidelines and principles in place to ensure confidence in the decisions they make.
In addition, the voice of the customer (VOC) always needs to be considered in every area of the organization. It can be collected and absorbed using surveys and by conducting periodic customer interviews.
If you could go back and tell your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
I’d actually go back to my young adult self and tell him that he’s missing out unless he’s continuously building and nurturing a professional network and asking for guidance and advice as often as possible rather than operating as though he has all the answers.
As a slightly-younger professional, I thought it was ‘cool’, ‘on brand’ or maybe even that it made me appear more generally adept to shun networking tools like LinkedIn, decline invitations to conferences; other events where I could meet people and to downplay the importance of professional mentorship. In recent years I’ve done a 180 there, but I’m sure I missed out on many opportunities to learn and grow while I was in that phase.
How do you define success?
I think the definition depends on the context. Success in a day is when my teams and customers are happy. Success in life is being generally satisfied, in both your career accomplishments and with how you’re spending your time overall.
How one defines that should be a moving target; it’s fluid.
Bonus question: Which of the Thentia 8 Principles resonates with you the most and why?
I think it would be the obvious low-hanging fruit for me to choose ‘customer focused’, so I’ll choose ‘authoritative’. I think it is greatly important for any individual coming into the organization to feel that their opinion matters and will be heard and considered.
I am a strong proponent of meaningfully building self-confidence to the point of feeling freedom to bring your true self to work; I know that can be difficult for many. The term, set as a principle, encourages and empowers Thentians to speak confidently and in a way that asks for respect.