As Senior Vice President & GM APAC, Charles is responsible for Lithium's customer success —overseeing all facets of services, as well as driving and managing the growth of Lithium’s business in the rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific market.
A strong advocate for customers and active customer support communities, Charles brings a long track record of building customer-centric organizations. You can follow him on twitter at @CharlesHough or on the Lithosphere as CharlesH.
Wow! Lithium’s newly formed Asia-Pacific Team has been very busy in the past week weeks. As we officially launched our APAC operations, we visited cities across the region -- from Singapore to Shanghai to Doha to Sydney. We talked to hundreds of people. We flew over a hundred thousand miles as a group. We had countless email exchanges, conference calls, exchanges and meetings. We prepared, rehearsed and tweaked. And we delivered.
In the end, we shared an unforgettable team experience in these two amazing weeks. Sure, we didn’t get to sleep very much, but we aren’t a bit tired and none of us is complaining. On the contrary, we’ve never felt so pumped up, so close to our customers, so strong as a team, or so connected to the people in the region. You see, this journey is just starting, and we are ready to rock!
We often say our role resembles that of the great Silk Road merchants. The Silk Road helped to connect worlds that had been separated by rugged geographies and different cultures. Lithium’s journey is about connecting people across geographies and walks of life around shared passions. And while the world has changed immensely since those first merchants were traversing the Silk Road, at least one thing remains the same: we must deliver a compelling customer experience.
Social, mobile and cloud technologies have provided us with tools that were unimaginable just a few years ago, let alone in those early days on the Silk Road. These tools have shifted the balance of power in consumers’ favor and today’s merchants must meet their customers whenever and however they choose to enage.
As the Silk Road merchants undoubtedly felt about their vocation, our team has a strong sense of mission: to unlock customers’ passion, to connect people around that passion and to harness that passion through an amazing social customer experience.
All across APAC, people are passionately and endlessly engaging. And there’s incredible growth still to come in the region. The adoption of social, mobile and cloud here will clearly surpass that of other geographies. Brands in APAC have only scratched the surface in harnessing all that passion.
We feel blessed with each step we take on Lithium’s own Silk Road journey.
One such step was actually getting a chance to meet some real live superfans —those tireless, passionate, motivated brand fans who spend thousands of hours online helping others.
We were so impressed by how much they care about making their favorite brands successful and we’re especially excited to watch how Lithium social customer experience software will revolutionize their engagement and help grow the communities they love.
We also met with brands (our customers) and even got a few rivals together in the same room. What started off in awkward handshakes turned into hours of conversation about lessons, successes and failures, and ended in anticipatory business card exchanges. In the end, each of us recognized that we’re all in pursuit of a common goal—delivering exceptional social customer experiences—and that there is much we can learn from our fellow pioneers (rivals, or not).
We spent time with partners, who bring their own specialties, domain knowledge and value-add to the social customer experience ecosystem. We discussed numerous ways to innovate together to bring higher value solutions to our joint customers.
Finally, we met with passersby—average people in the street. They didn’t know Lithium, but when we told stories of what we do, they were captivated. We saw their eyes sparkle and heads nod with familiar images of superfans’ experiences. We may not always recognize it, but we are all superfans of something. Lithium just helps social customers live their passion for the brands they love to the fullest extent. When our stories were over, they were strangers no more. They were simply prospective superfans of one or more of our many thriving communities.
So hello, APAC: Lithium has landed and we have launched. Our mission is simple yet strong: We will unlock and multiply your passion, and in our pursuit of passion, we are going to have an unforgettable journey together.