Jack Zimnavoda Joins Synthesis as new Director of Client Success
Posted April 12, 2022 by Emilie Totten
Synthesis Technology recently announced that it has hired Jack Zimnavoda as its new Director of Client Success. With his background in fintech and recent experience leading client-facing teams at eVestment and Eigen Technologies, Jack will leverage his passion for technology and client advocacy to take the Synthesis client experience to a new level. We sat down with Jack to understand his vision for the client success function, and how his efforts will allow Synthesis to provide more value within and across the sales, marketing, and client service functions at investment management firms.
Q: From your perspective, what is your role as Director of Client Success?
My role is to be an advocate for clients. Synthesis does its core functions extremely well: we excel at delivering our software solutions and we have excellent relationships with our client contacts. That’s evident from our long client tenure. I look to build on and support the work of the operations team to maximize the value we provide to our clients. By implementing a more formal and robust client-success function, I aim to ensure that clients — the marketing managers we work with day to day, as well as at the highest levels of leadership — get a high return on their investment.
Q: How do you create a client success team?
Although I’m the one with the “client success” title, the truth is that client success isn’t just one role or team, but is integrated in everything we do across all functions of the firm. I work closely with all our teams — marketing, sales, project management, and executive leadership — to enable everyone to be a client advocate. For example, by unburdening our project management team of anything that isn’t directly related to serving clients, they can focus 100% of their time and energy on moving projects successfully to completion. By optimizing our internal structure and workflow, we ensure each team has what it needs to work in harmony to provide the very best service to clients.
Q: What does your day-to-day look like?
A key to client success is a deep understanding of what’s working well and where there is opportunity to provide more value to clients. That’s why a big piece of my job is soliciting and applying both qualitative and quantitative feedback. Through regular conversations with senior leaders at client companies, I aim to better understand how well we are meeting their current needs. These qualitative assessments also enable greater visibility into our clients’ priorities and strategic direction, so we can anticipate and meet their future needs. In addition, I have initiated regular quantitative assessments across multiple dimensions of our service from everyone at a client company that interacts with our team. Detailed data from these surveys afford us deep insight into how well we are serving clients at all levels of a client organization.
Q: How do clients benefit from your efforts?
The work of learning how our clients feel and what they need is part of a culture of curiosity and continuous improvement at Synthesis that benefits clients in many ways. We know that asking questions is only the first step. The real work comes in applying the learnings to proactively and continuously improve the way we engage with and serve clients all the way up the managerial ranks. Although we can’t immediately act on every suggestion, we strive to understand our clients’ pain points and make sure they know what’s being done with the feedback they’ve provided. That gives clients the peace of mind that we are committed to making it a pleasure to work with us.
Q: What makes you particularly qualified to do what you’re doing?
With 12 years of experience, I’ve honed many skills, including client advocacy and leadership, but I’ve found that none is as important as listening. I learned the hard way that going into a client meeting with a pre-set agenda predisposes you to focus only on what you are going to say. And that often means you miss what is actually being communicated by your clients. But by really focusing, and listening intentionally, you learn much more about their goals and how to deepen and strengthen the relationship. I also love the challenge of navigating a path that is riddled with unpredictable twists and turns, to ultimately provide clients with an experience that delights and exceeds expectations.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I enjoy triathlons and generally spend six months of every year training for a race of some size or distance. I’ve completed four full marathons and four Ironman competitions — that’s a 2.4- mile swim, a 112-mile bike plus a full marathon-distance run. I’ve also completed three half Ironman competitions.