5 Questions with Julie
Julie Jones, Vixxo’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, has been a part of Vixxo for just over a year. In a recent conversation, we talked about the Vixxo brand and where Vixxo brings value to its clients.
How does your experience in the tech world bring a new perspective to the facilities management industry?
I had been in the tech industry, managing sales or marketing, for more than 20 years before joining Vixxo. During that time, I had the opportunity to sell and market new, disruptive and transformational technologies including those focused on the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT). I was part of an evolution where it wasn’t just about selling a product or service, but selling a solution that delivers outcomes. And this is what we’re about at Vixxo.
We are in the midst of an exciting transformation as a facilities management leader. Our people and technology work in tandem to deliver significant outcomes for our clients like increasing operational efficiencies, streamlining complex billing processes and driving cost savings.
For a traditional industry like facilities management, this evolution is truly transformational and is causing significant disruption, much like we’ve seen throughout the tech sector.
How does Vixxo impact the experience of your clients’ customers?
When I started working at Vixxo, I naively asked: “What about the end user experience? How does what we do have an impact to the consumer? ”
When we go into a coffee shop or favorite retail store, most of us don’t think twice that the espresso machine may be broken, that the air conditioner has the store at just the right temperature, or if the plumbing is going to work. You expect everything will work as it’s supposed to so you can get your coffee and be on your way! That’s all part of the customer experience. When you visit any Starbucks or 7-Eleven store, for example, you will get your coffee or Slurpee promptly and with the same quality and consistency that you have come to expect because of Vixxo’s services. The services that we provide directly impact our clients’ customers – in affect, you.
As technology is quickly changing how businesses approach the facilities management industry, what do you see as Vixxo’s greatest opportunity?
I believe our greatest opportunity is to help our clients better manage their facilities. Although that may sound somewhat simplistic, it’s a lot more complex than we realize. By leveraging technology, our clients can learn things like: what are we paying for repairs?; what store assets will need to be replaced in the coming month, quarter, etc..?; how much money did we spend during a natural disaster to repair or maintain stores?
As I have said previously though, it’s about the outcomes. So it’s not just providing data, service or technology. It’s ensuring that we deliver outcomes through these combined capabilities. Our services ultimately help optimize our clients’ business, and therefore the customer experience.
Think of your favorite store. It probably has an app, but you don’t do business with that store because of that technology. You do business with that store because of the experience, products and services it provides. Similarly, Vixxo is leveraging a combination of “white glove” customer service, our trusted service provider network, 40 years of industry expertise, and advanced technology to drive long-term success for our clients and our company.
Vixxo has a long history. How has the brand evolved over the years, and how will you continue to drive excitement with clients, service providers and associates?
The Vixxo brand was born as a result of two legacy companies coming together to form one. Regardless of origins, the first step to help a brand continue to grow and evolve is by acknowledging your history. So our clients, associates and service providers are elements of our brand that we will always preserve.
In the case of our associates, I always say a “brand walks on two feet” meaning our people are our brand. Fostering great interactions, empowering associates to share new ideas, and promoting career growth are just a few ways to promote and grow the brand from the inside out. If you have a positive experience where you work, you will speak positively of the brand.
When it comes to our clients, brand success means loyalty. I want them to be talking about Vixxo as a strategic partner, not simply a vendor with whom they work. If our clients believe that their businesses are optimized and well maintained because of Vixxo, our brand is successful.
On the service provider side, a positive experience for them means consistent work. Every service provider we work with is a business in and of themselves. Our role at helping these small and medium sized companies succeed is something we hold dear. If Vixxo keeps service providers satisfied with a steady flow of work and we can help them improve their team’s performance through feedback and recognition that will help optimize our brand through service providers.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
The best career advice I’ve ever received is, “feedback is a gift.” I have no doubt that by being receptive to feedback – not just listening or gathering unsolicited advice – but truly seeking out feedback about my performance, about my team, and about my career, has certainly helped me grow professionally.
I also tend to joke that some gifts need to be returned or exchanged on occasion. That means we need to be sure we are having constructive dialogue with each other and providing feedback when appropriate. These crucial conversations (a favorite book of mine by the same name) help us grow as individuals and as a team.