Amanda Callahan: designIQ Employee of the Quarter
DesignIQ is a flexible, customer-focused ad design and brand creation company with a reputation for agile and impactful design. Our ability to provide invaluable creative solutions to our clients wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated employees and teams. Amanda Callahan, our employee of the quarter, exemplifies designIQ’s commitment to finding solutions to complicated problems. As a customer experience coordinator, Amanda serves as a valuable liaison between customer service representatives and the advertising designers on her teams. Her job requires skillful attention to detail and innovative problem solving, two traits she possesses in abundance. Additionally, her talent as a designer equips her to work hand-in-hand with designIQ’s fast-acting design teams because she understands the full scope of the advertising process.
A Crucial Transformation from Shy Student to Outgoing Pro
It all began on Franklin College’s wooded and beautiful campus. As a journalism major and burgeoning photographer, Amanda developed a keen eye for the splendor of nature and the virtues of communication skills alike. Today, she enjoys photographing the sprawling grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. As for her collegiate, journalism experience, she learned communication is critical. While she was a student, she served as an ambassador for the school – no small feat for the formerly shy student.
“Speaking helped a lot,” she said. “I gave the tours to the prospective students. That opened me up.” Leading tours through Franklin gave her the confidence she needed to overcome and meet head-on the twists and turns that were to come.
Amanda’s Long Journey Through Gannett and designIQ
Amanda started at designIQ as an Image 1 Specialist in what was then called the regional toning center. Once the regional toning center began working with newspapers outside Gannett, she became an Image 2 Specialist. Even though she loved her job, she felt something was missing. She wanted the opportunity to reclaim the creativity she had flexed during her college years. Fortunately, she became a Digital Media Designer.
“I needed something more…something different,” Amanda said. “It’s what I needed all my life. I’m a creative person. I got the opportunity to be creative again.”
As a newly-minted Digital Media Designer, she didn’t waste the opportunity, crafting the attractive advertisements designIQ delivers each day. Eventually, she moved up to becoming a Digital Lead, and finally, a Customer Experience Coordinator. It was there she applied the breadth of her knowledge to assisting representatives and clients.
Collaboration is Key: Amanda Finds Common Ground
Customer Experience Coordinators play a vital role in helping designIQ provide the personalized and creative work we’re famous for. They’re responsible for reacting to problems and proactively applying specially-catered solutions to mitigate them, working together with artists and clients to find effective solutions. Amanda excels at listening to both sides to find a solution so our clients can be happy. On any given day, Amanda might find a way to rush an ad for a client on a time crunch. She might find a designer who can produce a high-resolution proof on a strict deadline. Sometimes, her job is to explain client qualms or concerns to ad designers and set up meetings to address them. Ultimately, her goal is to utilize the unique skills her teammates bring to the table to leave the client happy and satisfied. In the end, her teammates are one of the things she adores about her job most.
Listening and Emphasizing: Solving Problems a Step at a Time
Journalism didn’t stop influencing Amanda after she graduated. Today, she uses the skills she polished as an interviewer to get to the bottom of client issues and communicate them to her peers in ad design. Even in college, she felt a keen awareness of what her interview subjects desired.
“I felt like I understood their needs, and that translated well into what I do now.” Part of Amanda’s job involves understanding client requests, even when they might not be inherently clear, and communicating problems across multiple channels is a skill each Customer Experience Coordinator must possess.
A Typical Day as a designIQ Customer Experience Coordinator
So, what does a typical day look like for Amanda? Like with most of us, it begins with a cup of coffee. As the sun slowly rises, Amanda begins overseeing what’s on her plate. She opens designIQ’s internal tools to take stock of all client and representative communications present. From there, Amanda begins strategizing and organizing. While she primarily collaborates with teams in Michigan and the Northeast, she’s always willing to pitch in and help other Customer Experience Coordinators. One of the reasons Amanda was recognized was her dedication to improving processes, which begins with lending a helping hand to her valued coworkers. Doing so ensures clients enjoy the streamlined experience they’ve come to expect from designIQ.
How On-Time Ad Delivery and Proof Corrections Happen
When you’re looking for an advertiser to partner with, you’re searching for a quick-on-their-feet agency. After all, you have pressing needs and not a lot of time to meet them. DesignIQ’s reputation for the accurate, on-time delivery of proofs and corrections is one of the best reasons to make the switch. It’s a team effort, from Amanda down to the ad designers who create the proofs. It helps to have a Customer Experience Coordinator who understands how advertising designers build alluring ads and how to make quick corrections to them.
Over the years, Amanda has developed a skillset enabling her to provide superior support to representatives, clients, and her colleagues: urgency. Her sense of urgency drives her in every interaction with a client, representative, or designer. She does so while avoiding impersonal conversation, whenever possible, instead opting for more productive face-to-face interactions.
“I’ve always been a ‘we’re going to fix it and fix it now’ person,” Amanda said. “I like human interaction…I like to talk face-to-face to resolve problems.”
Why a Team Environment Appeals to Amanda
Working on her own doesn’t appeal to Amanda. She doesn’t enjoy isolation. Instead, she’d rather work directly with her colleagues to find new and innovative solutions to designIQ clients’ problems. She believes the answers lie in the collective talents of each member of the teams she works with daily. Because she was a digital artist and lead, she understands the creative process. She knows why graphic designers make the choices they make, which allows her to understand how to resolve a problem quickly. Keeping everyone happy is important to Amanda. She believes displaying empathy for everyone she works with is crucial to her ability to do her job.
“I understand both sides,” she said. “I get the artist’s perspective and client perspective.” Amanda knows how to find the best solutions and maintain client relationships in the process.
Getting to Know Amanda Callahan Outside of Work
Amanda loves living in Indianapolis, but she loves listening to music even more. And there’s no shortage of concerts to attend in the area. She fills her weekends with fun-filled excursions to the city’s various music venues to see the bands and artists she loves. Her expansive Spotify library means she never lacks for something to listen to throughout the day. From 1950s and 60s rock and roll to country, Amanda lives and breathes music. And just as she did in college, Amanda still enjoys finding beautiful images in nature and preserving them on film forever. If you don’t see her at a concert or on the trails, she’s probably curled up reading a book at home.
How designIQ and Amanda Can Help Amplify Your Company
DesignIQ’s ability to provide stellar client services to our customers is due to the impressive roster of artists, designers, and customer experience coordinators, like Amanda. She exemplifies what we value in our team members: problem-solving skills, empathy, teamwork, and a commitment to customer service. Customer Experience Coordinators must wear multiple hats, applying what they know about both digital and print design to a broad spectrum of issues. DesignIQ does the same thing company-wide. We use our abilities to brand design, print advertising, rich media ads, social posts, and more. No matter your needs, your company can feel comfortable Amanda and the other customer experience coordinators will be there to address your problems the moment they arise.