Q&A with Kat Carter, GM Sales & Marketing
09th September 2020
Author Kat Carter
A Q&A with Kat Carter, Davanti’s GM Sales & Marketing
Month two in her new role as GM Sales and Marketing, we talk to Kat about where she has come from, what her new role entails and the things that matter most to her.
We also ask her to share her views on the importance of staying close to our customers in changing – and increasingly virtual – times.
“We are extremely excited to have Kat join Davanti to lead our connection with our customers. Kat understands at every level – whether board, executives or at the coal face – what our customers need to be thinking about and how they need to be working to get closer to their customers.
I really can’t imagine having anyone join the business that can bring more experience than Kat to help us engage and to help our customers achieve their goals.
Kat’s combination of customer experience focus, her deep knowledge of customer engagement platforms, and her understanding of data and the capability this brings is invaluable. These are incredibly important conversations for us to be having with our customers.”
– John Bessey, CEO
Tell us about your role as GM Sales and Marketing…
My focus is on making sure we engage in the best possible way with our customers to grow the business that we have with them, and to help them help their customers.
On the marketing side, my role is to make sure that the market is aware of Davanti and all the great things that we do to support organisations across New Zealand to get closer to their customers.
Tell us a little about your background.
I started out my career in contact centre business process and design. This was many years ago, before contact centres became a big thing, and my role was all about looking at this new way of serving customers, and making sure we got the design of this right.
I was engaged in rolling out multi-city, multi centre contact centres for large organisations, first in Australia for companies like NRMA, Westpac and News Limited. Back in New Zealand, I continued that work within a business consulting team during the Y2K period, consulting on the impact of Y2K on businesses.
From there, I transitioned into a solutions role, working on all sorts of innovative solutions (from remote filming units for Peter Jackson to telephone betting for the TAB before the internet was a thing).
I then moved into an Account Director role where I really enjoyed engaging with customers and understanding what they were trying to achieve with their businesses, whether this was improving operational performance or engaging with their customers.
It has definitely been a multi-faceted journey, but through my whole career I’ve drawn on my contact centre beginnings, with a focus on the combination of people, process and technology. In every role it has always been all about the customer.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I’m passionate about helping our customers achieve great outcomes for their customers. That’s where I feel a huge alignment with Davanti.
Right across the organisation, everyone is completely focused on how we get the best outcome for our customers. Everyone takes the time to not only understand the customer’s perspective and where they’re coming from, but to also work alongside them, within their ethos, in the style that works for them.
As part of that journey we provide suggestions, recommendations and thought leadership, but we’re not just trying to approach it our way. Our people know intuitively how to engage in the way that works best for the customer. The engagement model is unique – and it’s leader-led; everyone behaves in a way that totally drives and supports this focus.
What brought you to Davanti, and what are you looking forward to in your new role?
I have to call out that one of the things that attracted me to Davanti was the opportunity to work with John Bessey again. I have huge respect for John and he’s a great operator. Knowing, trusting and believing your leader is absolutely critical to me.
What I’m most looking forward to in my new role is seeing Davanti continue to grow and make a real difference to our customers – and their customers – working alongside them on that journey.
Outside of work (and lockdowns), how do you like to spend your time?
I like to spend my time out on the water, boating, doing a bit of fishing, and – first and foremost – spending time hanging out with my kids. We’re a bit of an adventure action family – we live on a 10-acre property and like to spend time outside… riding quad bikes, chasing chickens, feeding cows…
I also love mountain biking and cycling (but don’t get a lot of time to do that these days!), and I do enjoy going to the gym.
As you’ve mentioned, for Davanti it’s all about helping customers get closer to their customers. Given everything that is going on in the world right now, how do you think organisations will – and should – stay close to their customers in these changing – and often virtual – times?
I think it’s more important to stay close to our customers than it ever has been.
Given COVID and the economic situation, our customers need to be digitally engaged with their customers and to know and understand their preferences more intimately than ever before, because with physical distancing our ability to engage in the ways that we’ve traditionally known and relied on are fading fast.
Our customers are still consumers, active in the market, but now they’re actively searching and engaging online. The way the market is going, I think it wouldn’t be surprising if a lot of customers will never bother going into a retail store again because they’ll see it as too much of a health risk.
I think we’ll see consumers do less physical shopping and more online shopping, and people will continue to find new ways to do things. How and where we travel will change and the things we will spend our time on will change. It almost feels like a cyclical shift, a return to what we knew in the “old days” – growing our own veges, a more self-sustainable life, travelling by car, holidaying within your own country…
With all this change, a really strong digital presence is essential. But it’s not only that – we all need to have a really strong reason and way to engage with our customers, because we are all changing in response to the world around us. And when we look at even the average consumer right now, buying behaviour has also changed, and this will only continue.
Kat Carter is Davanti’s GM Sales & Marketing