alfa Insights: Interview with Chief Operating Officer Jörg Wolfram
The year 2022 was marked by changes for alfa Media. One of them concerned the merger of the Application Competence and Consulting departments. The resulting Customer Success department will pursue new goals under the leadership of Jörg Wolfram.
Silke: Jörg, thank you very much for making yourself available for a short interview. I’m sure many of our customers already know you from your work as Head of Consulting. Would you still like to introduce yourself briefly?
Jörg: I’d be happy to. Shortly after my studies, I landed in the publishing and media industry rather by chance and have been assisting publishers with the introduction of our software solutions since 1998 as a customer advisor and consultant. During this time, I have been involved in a wide variety of projects, from weekly papers with small circulations to national media companies, both in Germany and later abroad. The many experiences I was able to gather in the process always help me, of course, to understand the different requirements of the customers and to accompany them optimally in the projects. Outside of work, I like to retreat into the peace and quiet of nature and cultivate my second hobby, photography. That’s where I recharge my batteries for the days ahead.
Silke: Thank you very much. Before we start with the insights, what is Customer Success? What do we mean by the term?
Jörg: As simple as the question seems to be to answer, it is so comprehensive and complex in practice. In short, it is the comprehensive view of the customer – with all his wishes, requirements and problems. Our task is to provide our customers with the best possible support during the introduction and daily operation of the software. We take care of optimising processes and workflows so that our customers can successfully run their core business.
Silke: Until recently, Application Competence and Consulting were two separate areas that were organised independently. Can you briefly outline what improvements you see in merging the departments?
Jörg: I can pick up where the previous question left off: in order to achieve this goal, we must of course also constantly optimise our own internal processes. We all have the same tasks and of course we need short, effective paths and direct coordination. For our customers, we now want to present a central contact person who takes care of all their concerns, no matter whom they are addressing. The merger will bring the joint work of our colleagues even closer together, as they are now also organised within one department. This makes communication easier, welds the team closer together and thus uncovers synergies much better, which optimise our work processes.
Silke: That sounds very exciting. How did you start, or what measures have you already implemented for this?
Jörg: One of the first steps was that we meet once a week for a joint jour fixe and review the previous days as well as discuss the important points for the coming days. This way, everyone is aware of the upcoming short- and medium-term tasks and, last but not least, it also serves to exchange experiences among each other.
For me, it was especially important to involve all colleagues at an early stage, because this way we can prepare for the tasks, form the necessary teams and react more quickly to new challenges.
Silke: What will change for our clients?
Jörg: Well, I hope that the above objectives will have a positive effect on our customers in the short term. Lead times should be reduced and projects completed more effectively. The exchange of information will also shorten distances, so that information can be shared even more quickly and reach the clients.
Silke: Thank you very much for your time and the insight into the foundation of the new Customer Success department.
Jörg: Thank you as well.