App Maker Spotlight: Chris Loeper
[Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series that highlights ArcTouch’s talented team members. Our staff are all “app makers” in the spirit of the maker movement — we crave getting our hands on the latest tech or finding creative solutions to our clients’ challenges.]
Chris Loeper, has a problem. As his wife describes it, he suffers from “new shiny toy syndrome.” Loeper, who recently joined the ArcTouch leadership team as EVP of Client Services, prefers to call it a “hobby.” And it encompasses the process of learning about, buying, and installing new connected devices in his home.
“I actually blame Nest for kick-starting my addiction because after I purchased Nest thermostats and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, I then outfitted the entire house, garage and backyard with Dropcams. Now I am always on the hunt for something new and connected that I can configure and install in my home,” he says.
As the new head of our client services team, his hobby of playing with new technology is now part of the job. He has to understand the products and their dynamic ecosystems so he and his team can expertly advise ArcTouch clients and potential clients on the best way to create engaging and rewarding experiences for users.
Of course, his hobby is only a small part of the story. The sales, business development and marketing executive has spent the better part of two decades in technology, including working with a variety of startups and Fortune 500s. We recently sat down with Loeper to talk about his recent work and what excites him about working in the fast-changing mobile industry.
Would you say you’re more of an iOS or an Android person?
While I have had multiple Android devices over the years because the platform is ultra customizable and geeky, I actually made the move to Apple products a few years back. I really like how Apple seamlessly ties everything together across the hardware and software ecosystem from my MacBook to my iPad. Once my kids started purchasing iTunes songs and movies on my account I couldn’t turn back.
What’s your favorite app?
My favorite app is Waze. This little gem has literally made my fancy navigation systems in my cars obsolete. I love how Waze will redirect me in real-time in order to get me to my destination faster. The community features are fun, too — I like to honk at my friends when they are driving somewhere.
So what does a head of client services do anyway?
Ultimately, I am responsible for achieving our corporate revenue targets, but to do that, my primary focus and overall interest is ensuring we are building great partnerships with our clients. To do my job well, I need to truly understand our customers’ needs and make sure that — from the first time we talk to you all the way through delivery and post-launch — we stay in lockstep with your delivery and business expectations. If you don’t have a great experience with ArcTouch and we lose you as a strategic partner and valued customer, then I’ve failed. If you have a great experience and we deliver a world-class product, the revenue will take care of itself.
How will you measure your own success (or failure)?
I believe your team is your best product and as we grow our business at ArcTouch we also must scale the sales organization. That said, building a strong customer-focused sales and business development team is an important charter of mine and something that I love doing. I am only as good as my team, so I view this as a key success factor and something I am super passionate about.
How would you describe your approach to interacting with customers?
My approach has always been to treat customers the same way that I like to be treated. I love working with customers and helping them solve problems. Our approach at ArcTouch is to listen to the needs of our customers and work with them throughout the entire process to ensure we deliver great results. Everyone in the sales organization at ArcTouch is passionate about creating success for our clients. If our customers win, we win!
In the past five years, you’ve done a lot of work for a range of disruptive startups. How will that perspective help you here at ArcTouch?
The startup space is super fast-paced, scrappy and action packed. This fits my personality. I relish the thrill and pressure of only having one chance to get it right when launching something new into the marketplace. I also love the fact that results and accountability are mission-critical to success in a startup. In many cases, an app for a new hardware device could be the single most important customer engagement point — it can make or break the success of a product. Having a good understanding of these dynamics will be helpful to ArcTouch because many companies who approach us are actually startup companies with big ideas. Even large company clients have internal teams who are starting to act more like “internal” startups, which is refreshing and familiar.
What is the one thing about the mobile industry that’s most interesting to you?
I am very intrigued about how rapidly the mobile space is evolving. The industry and our business used to be focused primarily on phone and tablet apps. Today, we are seeing an explosion in new platforms and hardware that make up the IoT — smart things like Amazon Echo, chatbots, virtual and augmented reality, the connected home and wearables.
You’ve been part of ArcTouch for a few weeks now. What’s been the biggest surprise so far?
The biggest surprise has also been the most pleasant surprise, which is how much our clients value our services and expertise. I have spoken to many of our customers, some of whom have been with us for many years. It is extremely rewarding to hear them rave about our services, from our usability and design work to development and implementation. It’s also worth noting that some of these companies are Fortune 100 who work with armies of in-house and external agencies, so their positive feedback is extremely meaningful.
Earlier this year ArcTouch was acquired by WPP — how does this impact how you “sell” to businesses?
This event was very exciting for the company and puts ArcTouch on the map with other world-class agencies within the WPP family. We continue to run ArcTouch as a standalone business. Our clients now get the best of both worlds — the comfort knowing we have the backing of a global billion dollar company, and the white-glove attention and personalized service we’ve always provided as a boutique agency specializing in mobile and connected experiences.