Since joining Astun in 2023, Sales Account Manager Andrew Smart has become a familiar face thanks to Zoom and real-life events such as FOSS4G:UK, the PSGA tour and the Astun User Group. In this interview, you can learn more about Andrew and his key role in driving customer satisfaction and engagement.
Why did you join Astun Technology?
I heard about Astun when an ex-colleague contacted me about the Sales Account Manager role. He’d joined the Astun team and was a real advocate. By the time he’d finished telling me about the role and the team, I had to apply!
I’d worked for another software development company, Omfax Systems Ltd, for the previous nine years, starting as a Project Manager implementing software for local authorities and housing associations. After two years, I moved into account management and then business development, i.e. having responsibility for driving revenue growth.
Although I enjoyed the challenges of my last role, I was always a little disappointed when handing over responsibility for a new customer after onboarding. I missed the chance to build long-lasting relationships with my customers.
The role at Astun would give me the best of both worlds. I’d be able to return to longer-term client relationship management whilst having the opportunity to tackle challenges in a different sector. These include digesting a vast number of three-letter acronyms…. OMG, there are a lot.
What’s your day-to-day role?
In a nutshell, my role focuses on customer satisfaction, retention and long-term loyalty. Account management involves understanding customer needs, ensuring expectations are met and helping customers achieve their goals.
Much of my first three months have been spent learning more about GIS and Astun’s products, services and internal processes. I’ve also been involved in a small number of projects. Of those, I’ve particularly enjoyed working with the Marketing & Sales Team to help develop a clear approach to customer relationship management.
We’re trying to foster a more collaborative relationship with our customers. This has involved clarifying responsibilities and agreeing and documenting changes to processes and metrics, all with a focus on customer satisfaction.
It’s a work in progress. We plan to regularly evaluate and adapt our account management strategy based on customer feedback and changing dynamics.
What’s it like working with your fellow team members?
It’s like being part of a well-choreographed dance – everyone’s got their own moves, but somehow, it all comes together in the end. The mix of talent, creativity, and the occasional quirk keeps every day interesting.
What are you looking forward to in 2024?
Having had time to settle in and meet the team, I’m excited about getting my teeth into the role. I’ll be meeting more of our customers so I can better understand their plans for the next 12-18 months and identify how the Astun team can help.
Work-life balance is important at Astun. Can you tell us something about your life outside work?
I like to experience something new in my downtime. Some may say I like to start and then quit new hobbies regularly….either way, it’s usually fun while it lasts.
Last year I tried my hand at guitar and my feet at dancing classes. This year I’ve signed myself up to a silversmith course. I’ve also taken an interest in VR and have a day booked with Active Reality for a fully immersive VR experience.
I go karting with my nephew and most recently I became a member of Bath, Wilts & North Dorset Gliding Club. I’ll be experiencing my first aerotow gliding lesson in April.
Next year, who knows… suggestions are welcomed.