BOSTON (May 19th, 2020) — As VP of People, Finance & Operations and Head of Customer Success, Sammie Luker plays two critical roles at HCS. This combination ensures that our customers always get the solutions and resources they need. Sammie and her team ensure that every HCS client has an experience that is:
- Clear & Predictable – well-structured checkpoints, effective communications, etc.
- Smooth – transparent, prepared, and supported.
- Valuable – on-time deliverables, effective measurement, demonstrated impact.
- Improving via operational science – systematic application of learnings, best practices, and improvements.
What makes you most proud about the Customer Success team at HCS?
Customer Success at HCS is true to its name: we are focused on and driven by how to help our clients achieve success. Success means optimizing the experience patients (and HCPs) have with treatment and the rates of initiation, adherence, and outcomes achieved.
We are flexible and responsive to changing needs and highly proactive in finding new solutions. It can be hard to maintain an adaptive approach and take it in stride when needs change but our team is built on that reality. I’m also proud of how quickly we have established Customer Success as a real driver of value for our clients and HCS. We organized Customer Success only last year and it’s become a central part of how we operate.
What recent achievements in Customer Success at HCS deserve note?
2019 and 2020 have been great years in terms of retaining and growing our relationships with clients. The Resilix® Platform and our Treatment Experience Nurses have both been growth drivers with current clients. These achievements have been a whole company effort and a central objective for our Customer Success team. We’ve been able to demonstrate to our clients the value of extending and expanding partnership with Human Care Systems.
What made these achievements possible?
These achievements depended on all of our HCS teams and happened in part due to our shared mindset of patient focus and personal ownership for success. Customer Success helped support these successes by doing four primary things:
- Pricing – ensure our pricing is always clear, value-driven, and reasonable to clients.
- Resources & Best Practices – support HCS teams to deliver to clients with the right resources and the right processes, roles, tools, and templates.
- Coordination – work closely with clients to ensure transparent and synchronized ongoing communications and value for clients from HCS.
- Client Planning – support our teams and their clients to maximize value from planning and implementing patient services, including insights from reporting & analytics.
What most excites you about Customer Success at HCS looking forward?
I think we’re still just at the start of what Customer Success can deliver for clients and for HCS. During Q2, we are specifically focused on implementing improvements to areas including:
- Client Planning – proactive and value-added approach to help clients stay ahead of needs, trends, and opportunities in Patient Services.
- Analytics & Reporting – enhanced predictive analytics and reporting capabilities to maximize client knowledge and decision-making.
- Best Practices – consistent, repeatable actions across HCS client-focused teams to ensure smooth client experiences.
What's most challenging about your role?
The most challenging element about my role is also the one that really energizes me – our agile approach and fast pace, which enable us to be dynamic and adjust in real-time to our clients’ needs. In my role, I serve three key groups of stakeholders: clients, all my HCS colleagues, and my own teams (People, Finance, & Operations and Customer Success). It can be challenging when there are competing priorities for resources, investment, focus, etc. My job is to optimize those choices so that my stakeholders are taken care of, starting with clients. I love the days when I deliver value for all three groups and cross off more on my to-do list than I add.
How does Customer Success at HCS stay ahead of the curve?
We apply quality systems and operational science to everything we do at HCS, including Customer Success. We are always pursuing defects, root causes, key learnings, and systematic solutions. We stay ahead of the curve because as soon as we identify the current solution, we are working towards the next one and figuring out how to evolve our support for patients. We have a central team that leads Customer Success, so we’re also able to use a broad lens to apply learnings and improvements throughout the business.
What do you love about working at HCS?
I love our whole HCS team. Everyone here cares about one another, works hard, and is really motivated to help patients. Our work has a direct impact on helping patients start and stay on treatment, which gives everything we do a sense of purpose shared across the organization. Our purpose is an organization built on respect for each person as a professional – everyone is trusted to do their work to high standards and simultaneously have a high degree of control over one’s time and work-life balance. Everyone has a voice at HCS.
Prior to the global pandemic, we already had a culture and team built on trust, support, and collaboration. This has made the transition to remote/at-home work very smooth and positive – we all enjoy sharing photos and stories on the company Slack channels about suddenly working alongside our kids, spouses, pets, etc.
Throughout my nearly seven years at HCS, I’ve had opportunities to grow in any number of directions, flex my strongest skills, and build new skills. I am constantly learning and being challenged in new directions. I think growth here can be virtually unlimited and there are plenty of examples of that at HCS.
Tell us a bit about your interests and life outside of work?
I really like to garden – I have plants everywhere. I like being outside in general, especially on a lake or ocean. My fiancé and I play field hockey and trivia most weeks, and we try to get to a few Bruins games every year. I’m also learning how to play golf. I love to travel and visit friends, which brought me to DC, North Carolina, London, Hawaii, and New Zealand in 2019 – and I hope to visit more friends and new places as soon as health conditions permit.
What is your background prior to HCS?
Prior to joining HCS, I earned my Master of Public Health degree from the University of Edinburgh, and my BA in Psychology and Latin American Studies from George Washington University. While I completed my degrees, I spent time working for the US Senate in DC, substitute teaching, co-teaching a performance psychology course, and serving as a barista/bartender.