If you’re an Aisle Planner, chances are you have had some one on one time with Meghan. Whether she’s walked you through a demo, taught you how to build a template or helped you set up your vendor library, basically everyone has learned a thing or two from this lady!
Tina and Meghan literally crossed paths while walking their kids to school one day and the rest is kind of history! Meghan joined the Aisle Planner team shortly after Charis and has spearheaded customer engagement and education from her first day in the office. She knows Aisle Planner like the back of her hand and connects with our community every day to make sure things are running like well oiled machines.
So today, I’d like to introduce you to the lady that needs no introduction. Meet Meghan, Aisle Planner’s Director of Customer Engagement!
What’s the most exciting part of being on the Aisle Planner team?
I love being part of a young, energetic, dynamic team that is working to build a platform that is best in its class. We have accomplished an amazing amount as a small group, and we face new challenges every day, but I feel very energized by seeing the potential of Aisle Planner and working toward our goals every day.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
There’s not a lot of ”fluff’, or non-work related chatter. We are all extremely focused and we have to be efficient in the time we have. Typically, I answer customer service inquiries, often I do screen-share demos, and most recently webinars. But mostly I am constantly working to help each of the planners on Aisle Planner become comfortable and experienced using our system.
What motivates you when you are at work?
I love it when planners give us feedback! It really brightens our day! I also feel very motivated to help new users get up to speed in Aisle Planner and begin to fully benefit from the functionality. I get super excited when we release a new feature, and when we receive amazing testimonials from planners (and clients) who love using Aisle Planner.
What would you do with a day, week, or month all to yourself?
With a day to myself I would spend a chunk of it in nature – preferably hiking on a trail. I’d also like to share a meal with a friend, do a hot yoga class, and play games with my kids. With a week, I’d go on a trip – a horse pack trip in Montana or a river raft trip through the Grand Canyon or backpacking on the John Muir trail. With a month, I’d head on a bigger trip – I’d probably head to Australia and New Zealand, since those are places I’ve never been and I’d like to have a month to explore.
What book are you reading right now?
For fiction, I just finished Bel Canto by Anne Patchett and started Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides. I’ve got several nonfiction books going right now: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The How of Happiness, and Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!.
What is the hardest thing about building a business that you didn’t expect?
Keeping a balance. I could easily work 60+ hours a week (Tina does) and still feel like I haven’t done everything. This helps me stay very focused when I am working (since I am only part-time). I also have to be patient. We all wish we could build our new tools and improve our existing ones faster. We experience a steady growth in our customer base, but we are always aiming to help more trialers get up to speed and become subscribers.
Fill in the blank:
I have to start my day with 20 minute meditation followed by Earl Grey Tea with honey and milk otherwise I’m foggy headed and less productive.
What is the team’s philosophy on running a business?
We are passionate about our work. We all support each other, and our roles are blurred, according to what needs to be done. We operate in a very lean and resourceful manner. Everyone believes in the company and its ability to grow into the premier tool for planners to manage all their events and run their businesses. Our philosophy is to stay true to our purpose, grow and scale efficiently and enjoy a connection with our community of users.
What is your favorite thing about working with wedding planners?
Wedding planners are such a kind and polite group. They are passionate about what they do, (they couldn’t keep up with the demands of the job if they weren’t), and the many who I have worked with are good listeners, communicators, and so appreciative of our tools. I love supporting small, women-owned businesses and helping the planners to become more efficient, productive, and balanced in their lives.
What is your favorite Aisle Planner feature?
I love the checklist. I’m big on making all kinds of to do lists to keep my life on track, and I find great satisfaction in checking items off my list. I love how flexible our checklist is. It starts out with almost an overwhelming amount of detail (the first time I read it from start to finish I felt exhausted!) but I have loved seeing the ways various planners have customized their checklist to match their workflow and create efficiencies – adding details into their templates and creating categories that work for them. I like how communication regarding specific tasks is easily documented in the comment stream, which is such a handy way to politely ‘nudge’ a client who’s falling behind on a task. I also like how it’s viewable by category and by date, and how tasks can be assigned a due date if necessary. Using the checklist gives me peace of mind, because I know no detail will be overlooked.
You worked at Proflowers doing business development at the height of the dot com era, what was that like? How did that experience prepare you for your second go in the start up space?
It was a very dynamic environment, and, like Aisle Planner, we were very customer-service oriented. Everyone spent a week on the phones doing customer service after they were hired and we were all hands on deck during the Valentine’s and Mother’s Day rushes – answering phones, taking orders, and dealing with customer service issues in the aftermath. I had to deal with some really emotional and sometimes angry customers whose flowers didn’t arrive on time or had the wrong card message or were damaged. I also spent one Valentines at our shipping facility in Miami, helping with order fulfillment, which gave me deeper insights in the operations aspect of the company. There was definitely a spirit of camaraderie, and the different departments (marketing, business development, IT, logistics, customer service) all worked really well together. A lot of the deals I structured required these other departments to create collateral, jump pages, product/order options, etc., and I really enjoyed working in cross-departmental teams. Working at Proflowers helped me become more empathetic, customer-focused, and driven to help the company succeed. My experience at Aisle Planner is similar because even though we each have our roles, we all support each other and share a passion for building these tools and pleasing our customers.
After having kids, your foray back into the working world was running a local non-profit education association, organizing fundraising galas and community events. How does that hands-on event planning experience influence how you work with the planners in the Aisle Planner community?
While I haven’t ever planned a wedding, planning these events was probably as close as I will get! I planned and was responsible for overseeing the planning of many fundraising and community events, both large and small. I had to work with a wide variety of people (many of whom were volunteers who could not be ‘fired’ for not performing) and the job required a high degree of organization, active listening, effective communication, and willingness to ask for help and jump in wherever needed. I felt a lot of responsibility to ensure that funding and participation goals were met and immense satisfaction when everyone had a great time and the event went smoothly and met its goals. I think wedding planners have similar traits and experiences, and I have immense respect for their trade and compassion for their challenges.
Where do you see Aisle Planner’s technology influencing the future of the industry?
I see it creating efficiencies in a fragmented market. There are a multitude of wedding-related resources out there, but I see Aisle Planner emerging as the preeminent platform for planners, clients, and vendors to connect, create, and collaborate in a seamless fashion.