Transcript: How Customer Engagement Can Be The Secret Sauce to Advocacy with Leslie Paterson

On this episode, I was joined by Leslie Paterson, VP of Global Customer Advocacy and Engagement at Genesys. When we first connected, Leslie told me that she felt strongly about customer engagement being the “secret sauce” to advocacy, and of course, I had to have her on to speak about that. We chat about how she structures her team, what the role of a customer engagement director entails, and the difference between customer engagement and teams like customer success. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Leslie. 

Margot Leong:  Hey, Leslie. Happy Friday afternoon. Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today.

Leslie Paterson: Oh, my gosh. Thank you for having me. This has been the highlight of my week. I’ve been working for this one, Margot. 

Margot Leong: I’m glad to put you to work because you know, obviously like, it doesn’t sound like you’re really doing that much at Genesys anyway. 

Leslie Paterson: No, yeah, we’re just sitting around at Genesys. Just kind of twiddle our thumbs these days, right? 

Margot Leong: It’s really customer marketing in a nutshell is what we’re trying to push forward is that this work isn’t that hard, you know, like it’s, there’s not a million things that we’re always doing or running around. I am so happy that we got connected. I’d love if we could start off with just a quick introduction. So can you share that 30,000 foot view of your background and how you ended up in customer marketing and advocacy?

Leslie Paterson: Yeah, so, it’s kind of a funny story because I got my degree in marketing and thought, Oh, I’m going to go into advertising. I want to make commercials, all that fun stuff. And started working in that industry and realized, I was the one doing a lot of work. And I was at the bottom of the rung and I was making pennies on the dollar. So I started trying to figure out, okay, of all my friends I know, who seems to be really doing well. So I had a friend who was working at a software company and I couldn’t have told you, outside of Microsoft tools that I used, much more about technology. But he said, yeah, we’re hiring for these CSM roles. You should come interview.

I went and I interviewed and I did not get a CSM role. Instead they said, your personality is much better geared for this reference program role that we have. Lo and behold, couple of weeks later, get the job and start rolling in references, and did that for a while. We really built up a really cool program as CA got to go through the nuances of building, also, a database to house all of our customer information, really digging into, how do you amplify what it is that we do? Because I think one of the interesting things within the advocacy and customer marketing roles is really educating people within your own company about what you do and how you can help them be successful.

Then decided to move outside of advocacy, still staying in tech though, and got experience in sales, carrying a bag myself, carrying a quota. Don’t want to do that again, but it was great experience. Also had some opportunities to do some vendor management roles in the channel, and then ended up coming back to the reference space. Spent quite a few years at Oracle and then came here to Genesys. Actually, yesterday, it was two years.

Margot Leong: Wow. Congratulations. 

Leslie Paterson: Yes. Thank you. 

Margot Leong: Has that flown by for you? 

Leslie Paterson: Oh my gosh. Yes. It’s so funny. We were talking on our chat system, about how you blink and it’s two years. But then you start looking back at everything you’ve done in that two years. And you’re like, dang, I need to pop a bottle of champagne and toast myself. This is pretty cool.

Margot Leong: It’s funny because on sort of those year anniversaries, I think we just, in general, don’t take enough time to truly pat ourselves on the back and realize just the enormity and the scope of what we accomplish. 

Leslie Paterson: Well, and it’s so true, especially in this role, because I feel like another roles, say you’re in campaign marketing, you’ve got a beginning and an end to a campaign. If you’re in sales, you’ve got a beginning and an end to your sales lifecycle . Our role, it’s just constantly going. There isn’t a clearly defined beginning and end, you’re constantly getting engaged. You’re constantly plugging your customers in. But I like that part. That’s what makes me so excited to do what I do. That, and working with customers. 

Margot Leong: That’s a perfect segue, Leslie, into my next question. What are your favorite things about this work, right? What keeps bringing you back to customer marketing and advocacy? 

Leslie Paterson: The customers.

Hands down. I love hearing their stories. I love hearing what they’ve been able to accomplish using the solutions or the technology that whichever company I’m working for provides. To me, one of the happiest things I have is when I see an individual who we’ve worked with as an advocate, get their career promoted because of some of the things they’ve done as an advocate and we’ve helped amplify that. I was telling my team is, we make our customers look like rockstars . And that is a really, really cool thing to be able to do. And there’s very few people in business who get to say, I get to go to work every day and say, yeah, I make rockstars. You know? So I love that part. 

The other thing that I love is having a team and really finding ways for the members of your team to shine as well, because everyone has such unique skill sets and everybody can bring something positive to the table. I see it as my job to really piece together, okay, how can we connect all these pieces to really make the entire team as a whole look like a team of rockstars, which quite frankly we are, but, you know, it’s that part, as I’ve gotten into a management. That is really, really special to me. It’s something that makes me, literally even on my worst days, I’m like, Nope, I’m here for my team. 

Margot Leong: I love that. Let’s talk about that charter for customer advocacy that you’ve laid out at Genesys for you and your team. 

Leslie Paterson: If I could boil it down into one general summary, we want to sit down with our customers, get to know them on a personable scale, and find amicable ways to amplify their stories and their experiences so that others might benefit from what they’ve experienced and what they’ve learned as well. That’s it in a nutshell. 

When I look at the way that we structured the program, the way that we have customer engagement engaged, and then we have the reference fulfillment as a separate group within that customer advocacy team, and then we’ve got all of the assets that we produce: the published assets, the videos, the case studies, the blogs, all that stuff. That is another separate group within all the same team. So there’s all these different things that all work together to really just do that one thing: find ways to tell our customers’ stories so that other people can benefit. 

Margot Leong: A question that I have been enjoying asking recently is, I’m sure that you’ve experienced some skeptics over the course of your career who are like, all right, sell me on what’s the business value? How do you address that? 

Leslie Paterson: So when I look at what it brings to other parts of the business, we really bring that layer of validity that you can only get by capturing the customer’s voice. That can really add a lot of meat to a digital campaign and can add a lot of meat to the sales cycle. It can be incredibly impactful when you put it in front of an analyst community. All sorts of different ways. So we really just try and find as many different opportunities to share the goodness of our customer’s voice within Genesys. 

When I came and started the customer engagement part, nobody knew what customer engagement was at Genesys. And now I look back two years later, there is a very high majority of Genesys that knows now what customer engagement is, and why it’s beneficial for them, how they plug in and work with us, and what the anticipated benefits would be that they would get by working with this group. My team always kind of jokes with me too, is I feel like I give the, “Hey, this is who we are. This is what we do” presentation all the time. Many times a week, to all sorts of different groups, but really when I look at my job, because unfortunately I don’t get to manage customer accounts anymore.

But what I see as my job is really promoting all the good work and the greatness that the team does, within not only Genesys, but outside of Genesys. Really trying to spread the good news and get people understanding, Oh, this is what y’all do. Okay. Now I get it. And now I know how to plug you in, and giving them ways that are easy to engage us. It’s one thing to sit there and say, yeah, we’ve got this great program. We do all this great stuff. And if it’s not easy for someone to work with your group and engage with them, it’s just gonna be not as well-adopted.

So one of the things that we’ve worked really hard at doing is making it easy for the different groups within Genesys to work with us. We’ve gone so far as to create SharePoint sites that are like one-stop shopping for everything customer advocacy and customer engagement, to where anyone in the company can go there and get anything that they could possibly think of, and more. It’s kind of like when you go to Target, and you’ve got four things on your list and you walk out with nine. You’re like, Oh shoot, I got way more. But I’m so excited about it! That’s what I want people to have when they come to our SharePoint site. So by having that self service, it’s really created an amazing level of engagement internally within the business. 

Margot Leong: So one of the first topics that we really wanted to dive into today is all about how you think about structuring your team, which is quite unique. During our prep call, you mentioned that you’re really passionate about this idea of customer engagement being the “secret sauce” to advocacy. So when you use a term like “secret sauce,” Leslie, I gotta get into that. So first off, can you explain what you mean by that? 

Leslie Paterson: Yeah. So when I look at customer engagement, I see it as the secret sauce, because it’s the way to really get to know the customers on a personal level. And the minute you do that, you can take that relationship and all those asks you have, and you can fast track them. And you have that trust built with someone on a human level, not just an email address. They don’t just recognize you as an email address. So that was one of the things that when I came over to Genesys, and started this program, I said, we’ve got to have customer engagement directors located regionally on a global scale, because that’s how you do the goodness that we want to deliver.

And when I look at what they can accomplish by having those personal relationships with the key customers within their regions, it’s amazing. It’s so much more than just making an ask of a customer who might be familiar with you as one of their vendor partners, might really enjoy you as a vendor partner, but might not know you on a platform outside of just email interactions or Zoom calls. The customer engagement really adds that level of personalization to the relationship with the customers. 

Margot Leong: It sounds like it’s kind of the difference between, okay, this is a person that you have some peripheral relationship with, where it’s, yes, you do develop those relationships over the course of it being like a bit more ask-based. Usually that’s how customer marketing gets inserted into the equation is, CS makes the ask and then they’re like, Hey, here’s the marketing person, you get introduced and then you develop that relationship. So talk to me about the difference between that structure, versus what you’re talking about. 

Leslie Paterson: So when I look at what the charter really of customer engagement is, it’s getting to know those key customers that either we know already as advocates and really getting them know them at a deeper level as individuals, or really getting to know the customers that we know based upon either what they’ve purchased or what we’ve read about them in the news as far as their goals, from a technology achievement perspective, we know we’re going to want to work with them, sitting down and getting to know them as individuals. 

And then through that, once you know their personality, you’ll know, okay, this individual has an amazing story to tell. They are so primed for a stage. Or this individual is not really the type who’s going to want to get on the stage, but golly, there’s so many other ways we can share their story that would match their personality, because at the end of the day, and you and I know this very well. Not everyone needs to be put on a stage. Not everyone is comfortable with that, but there are other ways to find avenues to amplify their story outside of just putting together, you know? Yep. Let’s make this blanket ask to all these customers for whatever request it is that’s on our plate today. 

Through customer engagement, we sit there and we basically build an engagement plan with those individuals when we meet with them. And once we get to know their personalities, where we say, okay, this individual has this amazing story to tell that addresses this particular use case, incorporates this particular innovation. They have this type of a background and their personality is geared for these types of activities. Oh, and their corporate communications department will approve them to do X, Y, but not Z. So we go and profile all that. And those relationships that the engagement directors have are typically at a level where, when we need a customer to do something, it’s simply picking up your phone and shooting them a text, because you’ve got a text string with them that has been going for for a while, and doesn’t have a lot of latency in the text string. So they know exactly who the engagement director is. They understand, not only do I like them as a person, and I know them as a person, not just as a person representing their vendor, but they understand, okay, this individual has my best interests in mind as far as promoting my personal brand or getting my accomplishments out, whether that be publicly or even internally within their organization.  

Margot Leong: I think it’s kind of the dream scenario, you’re building a true friendship with your customers. Once they see you as friends, it doesn’t become as much of a worry around, okay. Like, I’m worried about making this ask. When did I last bother them? Like if you are good friends with someone, you don’t have to worry about that necessarily as much. 

 Leslie Paterson: Absolutely. And here’s a proof point with it. When I came over to Genesys, I brought a few of the folks over from Oracle. With them, they brought some relationships that transferred from Oracle.  They may have been a heavy Oracle customer, very pervasive consumption of Oracle. A couple of them weren’t even Genesys customers. But we were able to, through those relationships, get them involved in some customer roundtables we were doing right out of the bat, really go and still leverage that voice. And that was all due to the relationship and the friendship that those engagement directors had built with those customers.

Margot Leong: That’s amazing. How many engagement directors do you have as part of the team? 

Leslie Paterson: Right now, we have five and we would like to have one more soon. So we covered the geographies with which we have a strong presence, which is every geography on the globe. But what’s nice is, the way that we are structured, we can cover multiple different languages as well. So we’ve got in EMEA, we have someone on the East coast who covers East and LATAM. She happens to be from Argentina, so she speaks Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, and then we’ve got someone covering Canada and the government sector, and then we’ve got someone covering Central and someone covering the West. My goal is to have someone covering the Asia PAC region as well, because when we’ve got some amazing customer stories to tell there, so that’s really the goal there. 

Margot Leong: And what are their backgrounds typically? When you’re looking to recruit for this role, what previous experience is ideal?

Leslie Paterson: So I really like it when someone has the experience of being in sales. Because our number one stakeholder is sales. We are here because sales sells and the minute we lose sight of that, we might as well all polish off our resumes. So if you have that sales experience, that’s a tremendous leap forward in being able to jump into customer engagement. Now many of us on my team, we were in sales and realized right away, yeah. That’s not my cup of tea, but being able to understand the pressures that fall on a sales individual’s shoulders, especially as they’re carrying a quota or maybe they’ve got a region where there’s not a lot of conversion to cloud and they really need support from that perspective, being able to understand that and have empathy is huge. 

When I look at a resume, for example, if I were to get for customer engagement, if someone has great interpersonal skills, lots of customer-facing background, that’s really what I’m looking for. Teaching some of the nuances of doing the customer engagement role is easier when they have a background where they’ve been around a lot of customers.  

Margot Leong: Talk to me about then, how do they get introduced to the customer in the first place so that they can can then run with the relationship? 

Leslie Paterson: Yeah. So, we always say we don’t want to work in a silo. We work very closely with sales, with our CSM organization, with our pre-sales teams, et cetera. So we make sure that we go in through that customer-facing account team. When we get to know that account team, build trust with that account team, to where they understand, we’re not going to sit here and work in a silo. We’re not gonna exhaust your customer to where they don’t even want to hear from anyone with the Genesys badge anymore. Then we ask to get engaged directly with the customer and start building relationships directly with that customer, while at the same time, always keeping that account team in the loop on what we’re doing because we cover a lot of accounts. By being close with that account team, we can make sure we don’t step on any landmines as we go and engage with the customers.  

Margot Leong: So when you say account team, is that referred to basically the sales team specifically?  

Leslie Paterson: Sales, CSM, professional services, the implementation part, presales, business consultants, et cetera. 

Margot Leong: That’s a lot of people.  

Leslie Paterson: That’s why we’re so busy, Margot.

Margot Leong: It’s not just the customers, right. You’re also interfacing with all of the account teams as well. 

Leslie Paterson: Because when you look at it, say we’ve got a new customer target that we want to go and explore and see if that customer might be interested in sharing their story publicly, or even sharing their story just to where we can utilize it internally. When you sit down and get the story from the sales point of view, it’s an incredibly valuable point of view, but it’s not the full picture. If we can get that story from the sales point of view, add the perspective from the CSM point of view, add in their perspective from the PS point of view, you know, Hey, what challenges did they run into during the implementation that might be good for us to know. And then also from the business consulting side, that perspective really elevates maybe a technical perspective up to a business level, that element to the story, et cetera. So it really takes that story and creates a full, I think of it as like a layer cake, right? With the sales perspective being the base layer and the other layers just piling on top of it to make it this really gorgeous cake, that to me, is a lot more appealing than a single layer cake. 

Margot Leong: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s really interesting too, because I recently interviewed Cynthia Hester who leads customer marketing over at Google Cloud, and she has a very similar approach, which is that you really need like a fully 360 view of the customer. And some of that can be achieved with marketing tech, but a lot of this is sort of that human component. I think it’s just this theme of collecting as much information as possible, and so then you’re also getting to speak to the customer directly and pull in that lens as well.

Leslie Paterson: Exactly. And you know, it’s funny, Margot because it is a lot more work on the front end. It’s a lot more time that you invest into uncovering the story, but the payoff is so worth it.

Unfortunately, the thing that always makes me kind of grit my teeth when I think of customer marketing and customer advocacy as a whole, is oftentimes I see in different organizations, it’s a one to three person team, right? What those teams shoulder is quite frankly ridiculous. If they’re going to do it right, a company really needs to invest in finding the teams that can cultivate those customers’ stories and really take them to a different level. And thankfully at Genesys, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to build out a fairly sizeable team to do that. But I will tell you, by having that sizable team, we can go and do exactly what you just said. Dig in, get all the different layers of the story, including the customers, because we have the time to be able to do that because the team is structured the way it is. 

Where I have empathy is for those teams that are smaller. And, oh my God, it’s gotta be so difficult to really get down into that level. And then you feel like you probably can’t spend too much time with one advocate versus another, and if I had a smaller team, I’d be leveraging a lot of the technology tools that are out there a lot more heavily.

  Margot Leong: I think you bring up a really good point, which is, how do you scale yourself? How do you scale? You’re a small team of three people, when there are just so many things to do, and at some point I do think that kind of breaks down. There are only so many hours in a day and also like you are talking about quality, not necessarily just quantity. The goal is not just to get a million case studies or customer stories because we can. The goal is really to understand where this can assist the business and to help sales sell more effectively. At the end of the day, you bring up a really good point, which is to be able to invest in something like this does take a lot more resources. 

How do you think about the difference between customer success and customer engagement? What are the things that you see customer engagement directors focusing on versus the CS team? 

Leslie Paterson: So we tend to focus more on, okay , how can we profile the personalities that we’re working with? Some CSMs do that. Not all CSM orgs put a priority on that, but I think there’s a lot of benefit in doing some personality profiling. CSMs have a whole different charter when you look at what their MBOs might be. They might have an MBO, for example, of getting the customer as a reference. Well, just having a reference doesn’t mean it’s going to be a meaningful, nor relatable reference to other customers.

The customer engagement director’s role is to find those individuals, find the layers of those stories that we know, because we see all the reference fulfillment that happens throughout the company. Find those stories that we know are relatable to prospects, to existing customers that are looking to expand their adoption of our solutions, et cetera. So that’s really where I see is the difference between a CSM and a customer engagement director. 

Now, what I would tell you though, customer engagement cannot be successful without having a very good and strong and healthy partnership with the CSMs. We’re really thankful that our CSM community is incredibly open to partnership and very, very supportive. And we, every day are thankful that we have that because I’ve been in organizations where that’s not the case and it’s very challenging. So we feel very grateful for that. 

Margot Leong: it sounds like to even have the ability to have a customer engagement director, that is predicated on this idea that you even have customers that are happy enough to want to hang out with your customer engagement directors in the first place, right. To want to tell their story and their experience with the product. A lot of that rests on customer experience teams, like CS. 

Leslie Paterson: Absolutely. And then when I also look at when we have a good partnership with a customer success team, one of the elements that an engagement director can add to it is, we don’t just see the customers that might be on that engagement directors specific account list. We see well beyond that, so if we see opportunities to connect customers with one another, either in a, Hey, you guys are both experiencing this challenge. Why don’t you guys connect together? Or even putting together small roundtables to talk about particular challenges or subject areas, et cetera, we can go and bring in that added benefit.  

Margot Leong: Bring us into the day in the life of one of your customer engagement directors. What does that entail?

Leslie Paterson: They’ll do everything from sitting on sales team calls for their region, being a part of customer support team calls for their region, to very heavy interaction with customers. We try and reach out to the customers literally as often as it makes sense without us wearing out our welcome mat. But we also do a lot of engaging with other different groups, whether it be other groups within marketing or other groups outside of marketing, to make sure we’re refining what exactly their ask might be, and making sure that we’re lining up the best customers for those asks that they have. If they do all those things on a very regular basis, they will have some tremendous engagements happening within their region.

Margot Leong: Let’s say that you have a customer that has been set up for a call with the customer engagement director for the first time. What does that conversation look like in terms of, you know, this is what we do, and this is why we’re talking to you, and this is how we can potentially work together.

Leslie Paterson: Yeah. So we will oftentimes sit down with them and say, okay, you know, this is all of the different things that we roll up under customer advocacy and customer engagement here at Genesys. And oftentimes there will be components of that presentation that a customer will say, Oh, wow. Okay. I didn’t realize that it was beyond, say, a case study and a video or they didn’t realize that they can get engaged in telling their stories either one-on-one with analyst community, or one to many with an analyst community, things like that. So we sit down, paint the picture of, basically, here’s the art of the possible, and then we get to know, okay, what’s interesting to you? If you could plug yourself into any of these activities, what activities would you see yourself doing and having fun with?

Because at the end of the day, we don’t want to plug in a customer into activities where it’s not enjoyable to them. We can tell when the customer’s having fun, and so can the people listening, whether it’s a live audience, our virtual audience, or whatever, people can tell when someone is enjoying what they’re doing and enjoying the story they’re telling and the way in which they’re telling it, versus if they aren’t. So we make sure we incorporate that element in the initial sit down presentation. 

And then we just get to know, okay, what elements of the story are you most proud of? Because there’s gonna be parts of their story that they’re very proud of. And then there’s gonna be parts of their story where they’re like, yeah, but you know, everyone does that. So we find what they’re most passionate about about their story, what elements.

Margot Leong: So the “art of the possible,” that phrase, you’re, I think, the third person on the podcast that has used this phrase and it’s hilarious because I had never heard of the art of the possible until I started doing this podcast. And I was like, where is this phrase coming from? Am I missing out on some sort of customer marketing convention in which like the theme is the art of a possible? 

Leslie Paterson: I don’t know where I first heard it, but I remember I was on a roundtable with a bunch of customers this summer, and we were talking about trying to articulate the value of a particular platform outside of IT. And one of the individuals said, yeah, what about like the art of the possible? Totally. Yes. That’s totally it. And ever since then, now I think we actually have a project team here at Genesys, that we’re exploring the “art of the possible.” It is very pervasive. You’re totally right. But now you can drop it all the time and look like you’re totally with it, Margot. 

Margot Leong: I can’t wait. I think third time’s the charm. Like I have to ask, you know? This is great.  Now we have a good understanding of what the customer engagement director’s charter is, how are they measured? What does success look like? What are their targets? How do you think about that? 

Leslie Paterson: You know, it’s funny because I don’t necessarily put down hard MBO targets. I came from an environment that did that. I would rather have several really good quality engagements with customers who we know we can rely on, whether we’re in a pinch or whether we need a very particular perspective told to a story. I would rather have each engagement director have a handful of those, than necessarily say, okay, everyone needs to produce 12 published case studies, three videos, et cetera. I’m a little soft on metrics, and maybe that’s not a good thing from a management perspective, but I’d rather see quality over quantity. Because I think a good quality story , whether it’s a brand name that everyone knows or not, if it is relatable, and it rings a couple of the bells that we need to hit, that I’d much rather have over scale. 

Margot Leong: You know, you said you’d rather have several really good quality engagements with customers that we can know we can rely on. I think probably every customer marketer out there can relate to this because, I would have fever dreams, I would wake up in cold sweats because I would say, Oh, no, like, I reached out to these X customers to speak at this event, which came up literally last minute. I hate that I have to do this, and you know, and, and one by one, they just, I get those emails that just say, no, I’m sorry. No, sorry. Like, oh no, I only have one left. 

Like that was something that I always wished for is, you know, I want to build up my roster of true OGs that I can rely on in a pinch and maybe I had a few, but not nearly as many as I would’ve wanted. I really liked that idea of what you’re trying to create here. 

Leslie Paterson: And can you imagine, Margot, if you would have had them, say anywhere from five to six in each of the major regions or geographies? 

Your sleep would be perfect, and that’s  exactly what we strive for. I call them 3:00 AM moments when you wake up at 3:00 AM and the thought is just rolling in your head over and over or a worry or concern. What I love about the model that we’ve built out is, I don’t worry about whether we’re going to get the customers. What I worry about more is, how do we meet everybody’s needs without overpromising and underdelivering as far as what all we can fulfill. But I also see that as a good thing, because if we’re in a situation where we have so many asks coming to us, that means that we’ve done our job as far as communicating the beauty of adding customer validity. So I’d rather wake up at 3:00 AM with that thought then, Oh my God, we don’t have a customer for this and it’s coming up, and knock on wood, but we have never been in that situation yet. And I honestly think it’s because of this model. 

Margot Leong: So we talked about how this is more resource- intensive than what most companies are able to invest in. And I’m curious, when you first joined Genesys and it sounds like you already had this idea in your head, how did you make the case? 

Leslie Paterson: So thankfully, when I came on board, part of the negotiation was that this is not going to be a one to two person gig. This is where I give Genesys a lot of credit as they were extremely open to having that perspective and saying, okay, you know what? You know what you’re doing better than we know what you’re doing, so we will support you. And I give them a lot of credit for that because they didn’t know that this was going to work, but they decided to invest anyway.

And so what we did when we started out, because originally the customer engagement team was separated from customer marketing. It was myself and two engagement directors and we decided, all right, we are going to absolutely kill ourselves for the first however many months. And we are going to knock it out of the park with what we can do. Like we are going to bring our A++ game , and we’re going to blow people away. 

And then my job was to take what we had done and let everybody in the company know what we’ve accomplished. By doing that, we then were able to start securing more headcount, and we merged with customer marketing and they gave me the liberty of taking that newly merged team and figuring out okay. I’m not going to just keep doing the team in the structure that it was just because that’s how we did it. No, we’re going to flip it on its end. And we’re going to take a look at this and figure out, how are we going to best address the needs of the business and serve our customers and our advocates in the best possible way. And so they allowed me to just completely restructure the team. 

It’s a lot of work, but I think honestly, if you were to ask any of the members of my team, it’s a lot of fun. We try and make sure we bring a lot of fun into what we do. In our team calls, we laugh a lot. We joke at one another a lot, we really try and just all be human, check your ego, check your title at the door, just come onto the team and roll up your sleeves. And everyone that we have on our team embraces that completely. And I think that that’s what’s really made our impact in the time that we’ve been doing this at Genesys pretty tremendous. 

Margot Leong: This is a perfect note in which to wrap up the interview. Thank you again so much, Leslie, I had a blast and it’s obvious that you’re super passionate about it. If people would like to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Leslie Paterson: I’m on LinkedIn. I’m also on Twitter. I’m @LesliePaterson8 on Twitter. LinkedIn is just Leslie Patterson, but I’ll say it’s one “T.” Two T’s in Paterson won’t get you to the right person. 

Margot Leong: I’ll make sure that to put that into the show notes so they can get that. 

Leslie Paterson: The other thing I would say though, Margot, if I could. What you are doing through Beating The Drum is really commendable. You’re giving a very good voice of successes that other people can learn from. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, more years than I want to acknowledge. In every one of your podcasts, I learn something and I take something back saying, yep. Okay. I want to see if we can do that. So thank you for doing what you’re doing, because there needs to be more amplification of what all this goodness that customer advocacy, references, and customer marketing is. 

Margot Leong: You are so sweet and you’ve just completely made my day. So I think everybody has so much wisdom to lend in this arena and it just means a lot to me that you learn something different and valuable from each episode, and that’s really the intention. That makes me really happy. 

Leslie Paterson: Yes. It’s a very entertaining way to go for my morning walks and thank you for walking with me each morning.

Thanks for tuning into this episode of Beating The Drum. For more interviews with advocacy leaders and tips on creating customers that will sing your praises, head on over to our website, If you enjoyed today’s show, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts and don’t forget to rate and review us. If you know someone that would be a great fit for the show, I would love to hear about it. You can reach out at Take care, everybody.



Related Posts