Workplace Experience Manager at HqO
As a Workplace Experience Manager, Annmarie coordinates HqO’s Central Programming, which consists of all of our content available to anyone in the app, on behalf of HqO customers. Before coming to HqO, Annmarie worked on the Undergraduate Admissions Marketing team at Northeastern University. She’s been with the company for just over a year.
Thanks for joining us, Annmarie! Can you talk a little bit about what you were doing before HqO?
Before coming to HqO, my background was mainly in marketing; I’ve done some marketing and communications work in higher education, and I’ve also done some business-to-business (B2B) public relations work. I didn’t have lots of real estate experience before coming here, but some of my PR experience was actually with a real estate PR firm. That started to open my eyes to what a fascinating industry real estate can be.
Some people look at real estate from the outside and assume that it’s mostly about buying and selling land. But, of course, there’s so much more to it. HqO’s work, for example, is critical to many different companies in a number of different areas of the economy. So, while our product is obviously linked to office buildings and physical spaces, our reach extends well beyond the brick-and-mortar office. As an organization, our goal is to position our product as a robust form of social infrastructure, which means that we really touch everything. That’s one of the things that makes it exciting to work here.
How does your marketing and PR background inform your current work?
I find myself utilizing my marketing and PR skillsets on a daily basis. With Central Programming, for example, my team needs to work cohesively to create meaningful workplace experiences for our customers. That means research, lots of customer interaction, and lots of creativity. All of that requires strategic communication, as well as in-depth working knowledge of how sales and marketing teams operate. I find myself drawing on my past experience frequently in my current role.
Can you talk a little bit about what your day-to-day look like?
It’s different every single day! Depending on the time of month or year, it might involve creating in-app trivia questions for the next quarter, coming up with fun events for our users, or working with other HqO teams to come up with new and innovative ways to serve our customers.
One of the things that sets us apart as a company is our emphasis on the importance of the customer in workplace experience, which means that feedback from customers is really important. A lot of my day-to-day is built around improving those offerings so that our customers can have the most positive experience possible with our product.
I know you do a lot of work with our partners. Can you talk about how we leverage those partnerships to better serve our customers?
We work closely with our partners to use their expertise in their fields to inform our processes and best practices. For example: we recently entered into a partnership with OccasionGenius to help us create new in-app lifestyle content for our customers, and were actually able to change our existing lifestyle content plan based on expert feedback from that partner. Obviously, our staff members have a lot of expertise to offer in their specific areas. But that doesn’t stop us from going further to optimize our platform and product capabilities for our customers.
Similarly, how does HqO use customer feedback to improve our product and offerings?
We gather customer feedback from several different sources, but a lot of it actually comes to us through the app. Customers are able to use the app to tell us what’s working and what they want more of (and, of course, they can also tell us where we need to improve). This allows us to tailor our offerings to meet their needs.
On my team, we regularly use feedback from customers to change our in-app trivia topics and improve food and events offerings, among other things. We also try to use the feedback we receive to help us figure out why things are working or not working so that we can use that knowledge proactively in the future. We’re always iterating to improve the customer experience.
It sounds like you work with a number of different teams. Is there one team you work with the most?
I’d say we collaborate with the Customer Success team the most out of anyone. They get a lot of direct feedback from our clients, and they really understand how our customers use our app, so their input matters a lot. We’re constantly iterating to optimize the customer experience and improve the lives of our users. Feedback from Customer Success is a big part of that.
A close second in terms of collaboration is definitely our Product team. We speak to them frequently to deliver customer feedback, and we also check in with them to make sure that we understand and are accurately communicating our product capabilities. Collaboration is key to our overall mission, and I think we do a great job of executing that on a daily basis.
Can you think of an interesting project you’ve worked on recently?
One project that actually involved both the Customer Success and Product teams was our rollout of deep links and deep link notifications. Essentially, this function gives users a push notification that — when clicked or scanned — brings them directly to a piece of content within the app. It also allows them to create QR codes for the same purpose, but by utilizing physical or off-app collateral to drive engagement/users to the app. This was something that we created in direct response to customer feedback, which Customer Success communicated to Product. This is just one good example of how we use customer feedback to improve the user experience within our app.
Is there a way a customer is using HqO today that you think is particularly innovative?
I think the numerous ways that our customers are using the app — both in-person and online — have been really interesting to see, in part because of how many different ways the app can be used. For example, we’ve seen someone actually hide a tile within the app, and as people click on it and enter, they get a bonus — maybe a $10 reward or something fun — which functions as a nice team-building activity. Another one, believe it or not, has actually been scavenger hunts; because we deep link QR codes, you can actually hide the codes within the building and create a real scavenger hunt where you sort of search the building to win a prize. It’s been fun to see some of the ways that different tenants have created different ways of using the app.
It was also incredible to be at some of the first on-site, in-person events that we started hosting with our clients — it was just great to witness the level of excitement that every employee brought to the table. Obviously, people were excited to participate in our events, but I think we were also addressing a deeper need that people have to actually engage in a meaningful way with their peers. And, on a basic level, that’s what HqO does: we bring people together, and we help them create more meaningful connections with those around them.
How do you see technology (like HqO’s) affecting the future of real estate?
Companies value property technology because it gives their tenants the power and autonomy to use their existing spaces with maximum efficiency, which boosts customer satisfaction and improves net operating income (NOI). It’s no secret that the commercial real estate (CRE) sector has been hit with a lot of uncertainty recently, and I think that we’re going to see property technology like HqO’s continue to expand for exactly this reason. It really allows landlords and property teams to weather the current wave of uncertainty, and opens up new avenues for future success.
What’s your favorite part of working at HqO?
From the very first day I started here, it’s always been the people. It is so exciting to work with all of these smart, driven, dedicated individuals who truly care, not only about working with each other, but also the company. We all want to do our best to produce a great product that services our customers in the best way, and it is so much fun to come to work every day with all of these talented, passionate people. The added bonus, of course, is that we get to work in this innovative field with a great product. There’s always something exciting just around the corner.
Inside HqO pulls back the curtain and introduces you to the people who make HqO the undisputed leader in workplace experience technology. For more information on HqO, click here. If you’re interested in joining Annmarie and the HqO team, check out all of our current openings here.