FACES #7: Driven by optimization- Meet Michail Theodoridis, Customer Success Lead
On FACES October, we have with us Michail Theodoridis, Customer Success Lead at NET2GRID. Michail holds degrees in Applied Informatics, IT and Artificial Intelligence from Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, University of Macedonia and Université Vincennes-Saint-Denis (Paris VIII) and has 7 years of experience managing IT projects. He finds NET2GRID’s mission pragmatic. ‘’NET2GRID’s mission is not messianic; it’s not a company that claims its solutions will save the planet, yet it can help encourage and educate companies and individuals to strive for a better world’’, we found him saying during a coffee break. Let’s hear what he has to say about work, life and mission at NET2GRID.
1. Michail, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you are working on as Customer Success Lead at NET2GRID.
I was born and raised in Thessaloniki. I am a huge fan of hiking and food tasting (often at the same time), I like going to the theatre with every chance I get and there’s nothing I enjoy more than a nice drink (or like 5 of them) with good friends. At NET2GRID, I am leading the Customer Success department, which essentially means working closely with my team and all the other departments to achieve company and client goals while at the same time planning our future endeavors. It's a position that I really enjoy as it gives one a quite good understanding of NET2GRID’s products and the opportunity to understand quite quickly how we can accommodate our client’s needs. I enjoy keeping a balance between the technical and communication skills required for this job. Being in Customer Success you need to acquire basic knowledge of Cloud Platform Architecture, APIs, databases, SQL and get accustomed to AWS services but at the same time have all the necessary soft skills that are required in a predominantly client-facing role.
More specifically, the Customer Success department handles small and big projects, mostly client-facing like pilots and Proof of Concepts and at the same time supports clients with their day-to-day tasks and keeping an eye out for risks and opportunities. Leading the team means that I am responsible for planning, managing, executing and monitoring all relevant activities.
2. Your job is client-facing. It requires problem-solving skills, effective communication and good time management. How do you cope with all these and what’s the secret sauce in keeping a customer satisfied?
I can’t say that what’s needed for the role is something one cannot learn so there’s no secret sauce, rather some needed ingredients. Experience is sure something that makes things a lot easier and the same goes for goal orientation but I can’t imagine someone doing this without the much-needed patience and meticulous planning. Building a strong rapport with both clients and colleagues but also, proactiveness is a must.
3. What was the most rewarding aspect of the most recent project you managed?
Happy customers. Or rather, successful customers if I may say.
4. You have stated that you find NET2GRID’s mission realistic, in fact, ‘’not messianic’’. Would you like to elaborate a bit on that? What drives you as part of this mission?
To be honest, I never wanted to be involved in the IT field, my passions are different. One of the reasons I joined this field is the notion of optimization. All my life I can remember me getting enraged when I observed something not working as well as it could. I thought that it was a waste of resources, effort, time, and so on. . We currently live in a world where waste is everywhere, waste of food, waste of energy, waste of time and we only just now started to do something about it, with the help of IT and data.
The reason I like NET2GRID’s mission is that it’s not a company that brags about what it can do for its clients, for the environment, etc, but rather it proposes a more sustainable future energy-wise and invites its clients to be part of it. NET2GRID’s mission engages and urges companies and individuals to act to the benefit of both themselves and the environment, by optimizing their operations and minimizing their “waste”.
5. Change management is an important part of your job as well. How do you see change as a concept in the energy transition?
Change is never easy. In the energy field, as in all fields, it’s better to lead than to follow. The transition of companies and thus cultures into a new era is never something that can be done overnight but as Leo Tolstoy once said “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” When we begin with changing ourselves, everything becomes easier along the way and our clients have realized that and are willing to take the next step. We are just there to share our expertise and to help them when things get tough.
6. Colleagues said that it’s not uncommon to spot you enjoying life in nature. Where can we find you on any given Saturday?
Don’t get me wrong here, I do love hiking but under the right conditions, meaning I prefer doing it when the weather is ideal, not too cold, not too hot. So, weekends in spring and autumn are ideal for excursions to the Greek mountains, but in general, I like spending my Saturday night, enjoying friends’ company in one of the many city bars.