Every day is different and holds its own challenges for Michele, and she likes it that way because it keeps her thinking and learning. As an Account Manager at Bellwether, it’s Michele’s job to be the go-to person whom clients call on when they have questions about anything at all having to do with their Bellwether IT services. She may not always have the answer right away, but she’ll find it or get them to the people who do.
In her role, Michele works closely with Bellwether’s vCIO’s (Virtual Chief Information Officers) to make sure that the lines of communication are open and that clients have the most up-to-date information about their technology options as well as the status of their IT improvement projects. That means she spends most of her time on the phone, typing emails or in meetings.
Her supervisor, Deb, says that clients trust Michele. They never have to wonder if there’s a loose end or if they’re getting all of the information that they want or need.
“I never worry about her keeping a client in the know,” said Deb. “If she can’t do something for a client, she’ll be the first to say, ‘Listen I promised this to you but we’re not going to make the deadline.’ And in most cases that’s all people want. They just want to know that she’s still thinking about them.”
Happy for the Return of Face-to-face Meetings
Michele is happy to see in-person meetings resume with some clients although she’s noticed that many people continue to work from home or have adopted a hybrid approach. She prefers meeting face to face because she understands that communication is more than words. Body language and facial expressions convey what words cannot.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Michele confesses that she felt a little out of sorts when everyone started working from home. However, Bellwether did what they could to equip people with the technology and collaboration tools they needed to be successful.
“Bellwether was very accommodating, making sure everyone had the equipment they needed,” said Michele. “We had check-ins periodically via Teams. There can be some disconnect working remotely but they definitely tried to keep us engaged and keep us abreast of what was going on.”
Communication and an Open Door Policy
According to Michele, communication at Bellwether is a two-way street and employees have ample opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas. Anything is open for discussion, whether it’s a suggestion for improvement, an issue that needs attention, or a request for help. You can talk about it and someone will listen.
“Bellwether’s got an open-door policy so that if you need to speak with someone – even Poco Sloss – you can walk in and say, ‘You got a few minutes? We need to chat,’” explained Michele.
The attitude about communication has a lot to do with the type of work environment that the company has created. They do a lot to foster relationships and that includes hosting events where employees and their families can mingle. The annual turkey fry is a fun event to look forward to every year, as are get-togethers for an evening of trivia or a crawfish boil.
Learning by Doing Fueled Career Progression
In the 20 years that Michele has been a part of the Bellwether family, she’s seen a lot of changes in both her job here and with the evolution of technology. The IT landscape looks a lot different today than it did when she first started her career as a Sales Assistant. While she doesn’t have a technical background, she’s been able to grow her knowledge to the point where she can confidently contribute to client meetings where technology strategy is the topic.
“I started as a sales assistant and then grew into an account manager,” Michele explained. “My expertise has come from doing the job as the sales assistant to support the salesperson, doing the quoting, the sourcing and the backend tasks. Then the communication just came with keeping up with client calling and giving updates on orders and things of that nature. It just progressed over time.”
Michele also credits her professional success to people in the company who have mentored her and provided guidance that has helped her grow. One of those mentors is Deb. Their relationship is one that has allowed Michele the freedom to take her role and make it her own without fear of micromanagement.
“Michele has integrity. A good account manager does the right thing for both parties and Michele has that balance,” said Deb. “She keeps Bellwether’s interest at heart as well as the client’s best interest.”
Work Environment Where People Care
Michele had a gap in her Bellwether career when she went to work for larger companies but she found that they didn’t have the same feel. Maybe she had to leave and come back to really appreciate the environment at Bellwether where she knows that people care.
There’s no doubt that Michele cares too, especially when it comes to client success. Her favorite part of her job is speaking with clients after they’ve had a project completed. She gains satisfaction from hearing feedback about how much better they are because of the work that Bellwether did and that’s what it’s all about.