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Jun 15, 2021

Meet the Mastermind Behind the All-New TripActions Community

Samantha Shankman

Business Travel ManagementReturn to blog

Shelley Olson knows a thing or two about serving customers.

She joined TripActions in March 2021 as Head of Customer Success Programs and is part of the driving force behind the all-new TripActions Community, which debuted earlier this month.

Shelley has spent more than 20 years in the customer success arena before pivoting to community. She’s curious about how communities move beyond spaces where customers and users for technical Q&As become more engaging and interactive.

“Leveraging community to craft a high-touch experience for customers is a new activity that’s grown in the past 10 years,” she explains. In looking back at the established, enterprise companies where she worked in post-sales success, she felt grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and build her career. But she also realized something was missing.

As she was reflecting in 2020, she realized that she hadn’t worked at a startup before and, even though some of the previous companies grew significantly during her tenures, she was eager for the opportunity to join a smaller team where she could wear a variety of hats again.

“As companies get bigger, you get pigeon-holed into a particular role. As I researched different options, TripActions stood out to me. The platform and values of what TripActions was trying to accomplish was very interesting to me. The problem and industry is quite archaic and there hasn’t been a lot of innovation so it was fascinating for me to think about where we could go in this space,” she explains.

“I was only more excited after I met the executive team. It appealed to me on a personal and professional level. My skills and interests matched up with what TripActions had already accomplished and is continuing to accomplish.”

Shelley is now running scale, content, enablement, and community—a vision which was recently realized with the debut of the TripActions Community.

Why Community Matters Today More Than Ever

“What differentiates the TripActions community from others is that it truly is a one-stop shop or hub for all things related to travel and spend management. It is where our customers, or others, can go to get all the things they need at any time,” Shelley explains.

She finds beauty in empowering other leaders to find the information and feedback they need without necessarily having to contact support or wait for a customer success manager to get back online.

“Our vision for the TripActions Community is that it will become the single hub for all travel and spend managers to go when they need answers, best practices, expert advice, or even product information.”

It’s also about creating a space where travel and spend managers can be a part of something bigger than themselves. Travel and spend managers are often one-person shows or part of a small team within their organization and the TripActions Community gives them the opportunity to be part of a group and forum.

The TripActions Community does this by going far beyond just TripActions content. Users are encouraged to add content, start groups, and join discussions.

“It’ll be a well-rounded conversation with the TripActions customer success, product, and support teams also engaging in a proactive and robust way,” says Shelley, who is excited about the context and insights it will bring to TripActions customers as soon as they join the platform.

What’s Happening on the Community Today

After the community’s soft launch, Shelley and her team clearly saw that the topics that received the most interest and engagement were all connected to getting back to travel. Users are asking how others are approaching their return to travel, what steps they’re taking, and seeking best practices.

“Community is especially important for the travel industry right now, because there is still a lot of uncertainty around getting back to travel. Everyone is looking for guidance from their travel management partner and peers,” says Shelley.

And there’s no one better to lead the journey to building a community that serves not only TripActions customers, but travel and spend managers at large.

Please join us as this community continues to grow. First time visitors can visit community.tripactions.com and optionally register for an account by clicking Sign In / Register at the top of the page. There are active groups already engaged in the discussion forums, while both the academy and the knowledge base provide scores of learnings.

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