Stephanie Bishop is the Senior Business Intelligence Manager with the law firm of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Richmond, where she has been since 2015. In the following interview, Stephanie shares her approach to client service and advice for career success.
How do you define excellent client service?
I define excellent client service by first anticipating or learning what is important to that person (the client), and then figuring out a way to not only deliver it but to exceed their expectations.
How do you implement this level of client service in marketing technology?
Our "clients" can range from a colleague in marketing or business development, to a lawyer, to a firm client. The level of service we provide as a team should not change based on who the client is to us. When responding to requests, I encourage the team to first take a step back and think from that individual's perspective. What are they really asking? What problems are they trying to solve? Is there an opportunity to provide additional information than initially requested if it provides more value? What is the best method for delivering this information? Taking a few minutes to better understand our internal and external clients’ needs helps to ensure we consistently deliver excellent service.
What three things do you attribute to your career success?
This is a loaded question! I would like to postpone reviewing the overall success of my career until my announced retirement, which fortunately (or unfortunately?) is quite a few years from now. There are three things that specifically come to mind that guide me each day at work. I cannot attest to them directly leading to my career success, but I do believe they have helped strengthen my credibility and build key relationships, which are key factors.
- Don't always take the path of least resistance. Sometimes the right way to tackle a project or a situation at work is the most challenging and involves the most work. If there is a true business need, don't be complacent.
- Be inclusive. When possible, reach out to involve others on projects across your team and across the firm. It allows you to see things from different perspectives, build key relationships, and to strengthen the firm's infrastructure.
- Keep Learning. Take opportunities to learn as they present themselves. Sometimes it’s a new system or firm function that doesn't support your direct responsibilities, but having that knowledge will generally help you long-term. Being able to connect the dots will give you the ability to see the broader team, department and firm functions. You'll become a better problem solver and ultimately a better decision maker.
What is a lesson learned that you’d love others to know?
I would say that a lesson I am actively learning is how to say 'no' to certain requests or projects so that I preserve my ability to stay on task and remain productive. As my role, and ultimately the scope of my responsibilities, has expanded, so has the number of tasks and projects. For a tactical person, saying no is a very difficult task and takes a ton of self-discipline. To help myself, I start each day listing the top three tasks I need to accomplish that day before leaving the office. To prioritize, I ask myself, "Does completing these tasks bring me one step closer to completing larger projects and aligning with our set strategies?" If the answer is no, I rethink my daily tasks and realign my day.
What advice would you give to your younger self as it relates to your career?
There are two very specific pieces of advice that quickly come to mind. The first would be to learn how to set boundaries at work to ensure you always maintain a work/life balance. When my children were younger, it was much easier to have a clear stopping point at the end of my work day, because I simply couldn't be in two places at the same time. As they grew up and their needs changed, I found my work days became longer when I no longer had the same time constraints on my schedule. Working longer days helps get tasks done, but it almost always leads to burn out. Learning to set boundaries ensures you take time to unplug, recharge, and return offering the best version of yourself. The second piece of advice I would love to tell my younger self would be to take more risks! Often we are our own worst critics and talk ourselves out of making the next big step due to self-doubt. I have learned if you aren't at least a bit fearful then you're not challenging yourself enough. Reach higher!
How has LMA positively impacted your career path?
Earlier in my career, I was not actively involved in LMA. Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to participate more at the local and regional levels and, as a direct result, I have benefited in great programing and cultivated some amazing peer connections. The legal marketing community is extremely rare in that we actually share strategies and successful initiatives. There are great minds in this industry doing great things, and LMA creates the platform to bring these people together. Through LMA, I have built quite a few close peer relationships that allow a safe space to bounce ideas and cultivate best practices.
Profile by Bobbie Conklin, Business Development Manager, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC