Monday, November 30th, 2015 | 6 min read
A microphone sits illuminated on a stage platform. The stage lights slightly blind the speaker. This effect hides the audience’s faces, which might help the speaker relax, but it doesn’t matter for Joe Charnitski; he admits he isn’t shy. The crowd doesn’t bother him.
Joe is a Client Success Director in the First Party Experience (FPX) group at Sprinklr. If you can’t find him at the Sprinklr office, you might find him at a live storytelling slam hosted by The Moth at venues throughout New York City, or maybe at his mother’s home in northeast Pennsylvania, likely eating pierogies.
“If you think you’ve had pierogies, you’re probably wrong,” Joe laughs. “Because what you’ve had has been passed off as pierogies.” His mother’s are massive, fresh, and they might even come accompanied with stuffed cabbage; the fully furnished kind that doesn’t lack pork, beef, rice, or tomato sauce. “Piggies,” the Charnitskis call them.
(Joe shares a joke, followed by a laugh with his team, Nov. 12, 2015. Eric Egerton)
Joe came to Sprinklr after they acquired Branderati, where he spent three-and-a-half years with the company doing advocacy marketing, analytics, content creation, and consulting.
Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas went to downtown Union Square, into the Branderati offices, and told the company an acquisition was happening. Joe was fired up immediately. “In typical Ragy fashion, he gave the greatest speach and pep talk I have ever heard.” His recollection still seems to echo the energy of his initial encounter with Ragy, where he highlighted the core values of Sprinklr in his speech. “The idea of, we’re going to go fast, we’re going to go forward, we have a vision, we have a direction, but we know that mistakes are going to happen. When they happen, we know that we have each other’s back.”
During the first three to four months with Sprinklr, Joe was attentive, yet slightly skeptical, just waiting for the truth to come out about the company. “You know, c’mon. It sounds great and everybody seems amazing and the platform looks super cool, but what’s the thing they haven’t told us yet?,” he kept wondering. “And I guess now we’re 13, 15 months in, and I haven’t found that thing yet. So I stopped looking a long time ago.”
Sprinklr continued the advocacy work that Branderati was doing prior to the acquisition, and worked diligently to ensure current clients were as comfortable as possible post-acquisition. Once a company decides they want to buy advocacy from Sprinklr, they get passed on to Joe’s team as their day-to-day contacts to help them design, build, and launch a successful advocacy program.
(Joe leads a team collaboration, Nov. 12, 2015. Eric Egerton)
The advocacy team prides themselves on providing their services, but just as important, they pride themselves on providing a human experience. The client’s success is where Joe and the team find their satisfaction. He says it might sound “corny” to the degree that it satisfies him to see clients succeed. “The grumpiest, the surliest, the most difficult client is just a human being,” and he believes these human beings are simply trying to navigate through their own internal politics and through their own limitations.
Every one of Joe’s clients has their own hurdles to jump over. His team works to make things run smoothly, and to expand what clients thought was possible in their job description. ”We want to make them superstars in their own company. We want them to feel like champions in their own organization. If they feel that way, we’ve done our job.”
In situations where a platform integration is rocky, and the team feels like they are coming short on delighting the customer, internal communication is crucial. The team rallies to figure out where they are and where they need to get to in a short amount of time, and they deliver the good news, the bad news, and all the inbetweens to the client.
Afternoons can turn into evenings and then late nights, but the group stays focused until they produce a successful product. “Now, look, I would love a smooth project from start to finish. I’m not going to ask for the bumpy roads,” Joe says. When things get challenging, the team comes together to partner with a client. They become their partners, their coaches, their cheerleaders, and their support group.
Joe’s route to brand advocacy was unconventional. Film and television to entertainment marketing, and soon after, social marketing. Creative thinking has been a part of each job description along the way. He needs to be creative. He needs to engage people. This is what gets him excited about life, and he has to bring it to the office with him.
“I would not be very good working at home in the living room with a stats-based job. That would probably not be a place that I could thrive.”
He says a great idea is the most exciting thing in the world, “and if it comes from me, I’m even more excited.” He’s eager to be a part of anybody’s great idea, and at Sprinklr, he gets to do just that.
See Joe perform at the Moth here.
About the Author: Diego Contreras is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied Multimedia Journalism and minored in pick-up basketball. He has a passion for written language, conversation, and a deep appreciation for a unique story.