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This Doesn’t Just Happen featuring Sarah Caminiti

Released on MAY 17, 2024

In 1988’s Big, Tom Hanks brought the perspective of a 13-year-old boy, Josh, into the toy design world. It’s a jarring experience for the seasoned executive, Paul, played by John Heard. Despite all the data Paul presented in this meeting demonstrating the potential of his skyscraper bot, Josh brought a different data point – the real voice of the customer. Josh knew kids and how they thought, not just because he was one, but because he talked with them all day long.

That same kind of insight exists in so many organizations, but just like in Big, it’s ignored by the people developing products. It exists within the Support Team who is having conversations with customers all day long. Sarah Caminiti is the VP of Customer Success at DNSimple and an advocate for Support Teams having a seat at the Product Development table.

We discuss:

  • The importance of Support’s Voice in Product Development
  • Why surveys shouldn’t be the only source of customer insights
  • Overcoming barriers to Support Team involvement
  • Fostering open lines of communication
  • Creating a culture of communication
  • 2 Support Lessons learned from hospitality

Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn


Music courtesy of Big Red Horse


Rob Dwyer (00:01.312)
Today, Sarah Caminiti, you are next in queue. Welcome to the show. How are you?

Sarah Caminiti (00:05.752)
Yes! Thank you. I am so happy to be here. I am so glad that I am sitting with you on a Monday and yeah, I'm doing great. How are you?

Rob Dwyer (00:18.752)
I am fantastic, although I have to warn you while we are getting ready to record this, I can see the wind coming in. It's been cloudy all day and it's tornado season here in the Midwest. So I do know that things are moving in and hopefully they don't get really nasty while we're recording. But if for some reason I disappear, hopefully it's just the power and not my house being taken to Oz. But.

Sarah Caminiti (00:39.928)
Good to know.

Rob Dwyer (00:48.576)
You know, that's what happens when you live in Kansas. It's possible.

Sarah Caminiti (00:49.784)
Yeah, that's, it's true. It's true. I watched the Wizard of Oz with my son for the first time this weekend and I am here to guide you through this Kansas tornado journey as best I can, if you need it.

Rob Dwyer (01:02.528)
So I have to ask how old is your son and what was the reaction to watching that?

Sarah Caminiti (01:11.832)
I have two little boys, one is one year old and the other is four. And Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie growing up. I'm talking watching it three times a day. Obsession was Dorothy, I think four or five times for Halloween. So like I really leaned in hard and I've been setting the stage for this introduction for a little while. We've done books, we've done songs.

We've talked about it because The Wizard of Oz is very different from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is his favorite movie and it's not as bright all the time as what is out there today. So we said the stage and he was hooked, totally hooked. It was a blast. Yeah.

Rob Dwyer (02:04.064)
It's really amazing how a really well crafted story and production can age as well as that one has aged because I mean, we're talking about a movie that's nearly 100 years old at this point and it's still delighting kids of all ages today. So.

Sarah Caminiti (02:14.2)
Mm -hmm.

Sarah Caminiti (02:18.68)
Mm -hmm.

Sarah Caminiti (02:25.336)
Yeah, it was magic. It's still magic. It's, while I will say as an adult watching it, I haven't watched it in so long, a lot of things stood out. The costumes were much, I don't want to say homemade, but they carry just a very special quality that I completely glossed over when I was a kid watching it all. So that was fun too.

Rob Dwyer (02:55.232)
Yes, those people who work in costuming these days in Hollywood, I mean, it's pretty amazing what they pull off. And their budgets, though, are probably a little bit more expensive.

Sarah Caminiti (03:09.272)
Slightly different. Yeah, yeah.

Rob Dwyer (03:10.752)
Well, they do a great job supporting productions and Support teams do a great job supporting products you like what I did there and We're gonna talk about Support teams today. That was my Really? I don't know

Sarah Caminiti (03:25.016)
Look at you. That was so good.

Sarah Caminiti (03:33.304)
the sweet end.

Rob Dwyer (03:38.624)
thought that was a clever attempt at a segue. I'm not so sure that it worked out, but we're going to go with it anyway. So yeah, that's what I like to think. So before we do that, let's learn a little bit about you. Who are you? What are you doing today? And what are you most passionate about?

Sarah Caminiti (03:44.44)
Nailed it. Totally nailed it.

Sarah Caminiti (03:51.544)
I'm going to go ahead and close the video.


Sarah Caminiti (04:02.616)
Yeah, I am Sarah Caminiti. I have been in and around support in a variety of ways since my first job where I worked at a general store. I ran from support many times because I didn't think that it was something I wanted to do as a career. And then I found my way back. And I am so glad that I did almost probably close to 10 years ago.

And I've really just been leaning into the opportunities that the tech space affords support. It's a much different environment to make something wonderful without as much red tape for the most part as you would find in call centers of my 18, 19 year old days and retail. So it's been a fun, fun experience building and growing support teams and.

Right now I am in this awesome space of exploring what it means to share things publicly and have really cool conversations with people that I normally would have probably stopped myself from entering in the conversations for. So it's a period of owning my experience, my knowledge, and...

connecting with lovely folk like yourself and learning from you and I am so excited for this phase of life with a podcast with with just all kinds of cool things on the horizon and it's it's great. It's a great spot.

Rob Dwyer (05:47.264)
You are doing all kinds of cool things. I know this firsthand. Lots of behind the scenes things and those things are coming to the forefront very quickly. You are doing some master classes and the podcast circuit. If you will, I hate to say that like it's this. I don't know this thing that people do.

Sarah Caminiti (05:50.392)
Yes, thank you.

Sarah Caminiti (06:01.784)
Yes they are.

Rob Dwyer (06:16.672)
because they're in a certain role. They're not, I think people get on podcasts because they want to share what they've learned. And that I know is one of the reasons that you are taking this plunge and hopping into podcasts. So congratulations on that piece.

Sarah Caminiti (06:36.632)
It is. Thank you.

Rob Dwyer (06:41.248)
You just talked about sharing, right? And sharing can be a little bit of a vulnerable space. But I feel like support teams often don't get to share or be involved when it comes to product and product development. Why do you think that is?

Sarah Caminiti (06:45.88)
Mm -hmm.

Sarah Caminiti (06:51.416)
Thank you very much.

Sarah Caminiti (07:05.784)
Well, I mean, we don't have 17 hours to really dive into all of my thoughts on this, Rob, but truly, I think that for years, for years, support has operated in its own little, I don't want to call it an island because that seems like it's more of a, we forced ourselves over there, but support serves a purpose. It served a purpose for a long time. It continues to serve a purpose, but...

it never really had a chance to be a part of the conversation. And so the data that was there was not maybe, there wasn't a chance to utilize it or you didn't even know that it was there to utilize. And through this, it's, I think generations of...

teams and leaders not realizing their voice and the value that they bring to a company with what they do is so great and so exciting and this is such a great space in this moment for

support with all of the changes that are going on with AI and with just opening the door to conversations to analyze what does support do, what are they capable of, and who are these intelligent, incredible folks that are the ones that are talking to our customers on a daily basis. So I think we're in a moment of change, a good moment of change.

Rob Dwyer (08:38.656)
Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. One of the things that I feel like. People companies get trapped in is this idea of voice of the customer being based off of surveys. What's your reaction to that?

Sarah Caminiti (08:56.216)

hate a survey. I hate, I hate, I hate a survey because I know myself and I know I'm not everybody, but I like to think that I'm not an outlier in having zero interest in completing surveys. And you see all these things come in. You see all the...

to see that things after you talk with products that you're using as a consumer, you see email after email after email looking for information or feedback. And sometimes they even like to stick gift cards for it to get you to do it, which kind of tells you how much of a struggle it is to get people to do it. You have to pay them to, but surveys are completed by a specific group of people. There's either the folks that are,

really angry and really vocal and they want it to be as loud as humanly possible. Or they're the folks that are just this cool group of people that like to complete surveys when they come in and like to share their thoughts. That pool though is very small and you're missing out on the actual customer experience. You're not allowing yourself to really take in what it is that the customer is going through.

when they're using your product and ask thoughtful questions. Support provides a great space for an introduction to that. But again, you're talking to folks that are frustrated. So understanding how to really communicate with customers in a way that extracts information from them when they're in the right head space to think about how they use the product. Surveys I do not think will ever be the answer.

Sarah Caminiti (10:51.192)
to that.

Rob Dwyer (10:53.024)
Yeah, I think that companies that only rely on surveys are missing out on a treasure trove of customer data and insights. And they're missing out on a treasure trove of insights from their support team because they not only see the problems and hear the problems firsthand from customers,

But often they have really good ideas about how to quickly solve things. Like, it doesn't always take a product developer to come up with a great, elegant way to fix a problem. Sometimes that person that's just answering customers knows the best way because they've heard from customers. It'd be great if you could just do this. And they go, yeah, I should share that.

Why don't product teams pay attention to support? Is it just because they're too busy developing? Where's the disconnect there?

Sarah Caminiti (12:07.672)
I think it's a cultural thing, I truly do. I think that the product teams, at least in my experience, want so much to involve support in it all, but when they're in the throes of it and they're stressed and they're trying to get things done as fast as they can because their timeline is not what they hoped that it would be or something else came up and they had to focus on that and it took away from them being able to do X, Y, Z.

When you're working in a tech space, curveballs are not just a support thing. They are the name of the game and timelines aren't always flexible. So I do believe that the product teams know that the support team needs to be included, but they don't have the capacity to...

to figure out how to make it happen. And that connects all the way every time to leadership and what they're putting in place, what they're enforcing, what kind of conversations they're having because if the head of product is...

in their own space of, we have to, we know we have to focus on these people. We know that we have to talk to this person, the UX person. That's who I'm going to go to, to ask them questions about how the customer uses the product. Then, then that conversation never happens about what if, what if, why don't we, why don't we see what's going on over there? And I love what you said about the folks in support having a solution and.

I mean, one of my biggest frustrations of my career in support is the focus on coming up with a problem statement instead of a solution because while that works beautifully in so many areas of a business and is a great way to look at things differently.

Sarah Caminiti (14:13.496)
bringing a solution when you are presented with many, many, many different problems in different ways that are all kind of connected in a special way is what support is. That is, we're just getting tossed problems nonstop. And so, yeah, of course our brain is gonna go to a solution and it's not going to do it justice if we try and pigeonhole the problem into.

Rob Dwyer (14:29.408)

Sarah Caminiti (14:40.728)
maybe the majority of what these questions are for the problem statement. We need to look at this as a big picture and how this impacts all sorts of things and what the solution could possibly provide.

Rob Dwyer (14:52.288)
Yeah, it seems like there is a need to have this ongoing dialogue between the product team, the development pipeline, and what future state looks like, and support, and understanding. Number one, what problems do we have right now? And I also think there is.

Sarah Caminiti (14:59.)

Rob Dwyer (15:20.352)
sometimes support people because your knowledge is of the problems, but not necessarily of the complexity of the problem. That being able to have that dialogue sometimes can help support understand, yes, we know this is a problem, but we also understand either where it falls on the roadmap and why we're not addressing it right now, or what the level of

Sarah Caminiti (15:31.576)

Rob Dwyer (15:49.984)
complexity is and why it's not being addressed right now or what's you know what the priorities are so support people who aren't getting that are often just the ones who are apologizing and they don't really know and and it can lead sometimes to some not great behavior where they

Sarah Caminiti (15:54.872)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (16:19.552)
might say something like, you know, I know Sarah that this is really frustrating. It's frustrating for me too. And I don't know why we haven't fixed it yet. It's silly. We should have fixed this already. And that, or they should have fixed this already, even worse, right?

Sarah Caminiti (16:29.785)
Mm -hmm.

Sarah Caminiti (16:33.752)
Right? Yeah, that is gonna happen.

Right? Right? That frustration is bubbling over at that point. Mm -hmm. Understood.

Rob Dwyer (16:45.024)
Mm -hmm. Yeah. I mean, it's one thing for a customer to be frustrated by an issue. It's another thing for that person who's answering that issue over and over and over, day after day. And maybe they hear about it a dozen or more times a day. Eventually, they get frustrated if they don't understand why we're not prioritizing it. And so that piece of the dialogue can really have

a big impact too. You talked about the right, the differing priorities and particularly get in the throws of it and you get timelines and that happens like with every company product development. Like we want to have X feature out by this Friday. And so it's all hands on deck to work on this feature or this group of features. What are their challenges besides just that?

do you run across or have you heard about that really stop that communication or stop support from really being involved in product decisions?

Sarah Caminiti (17:57.848)
I think that the biggest thing, the biggest blocker is not having a chance to show what's possible. And I think that really connects to exactly what you were saying with the transparency and the communication. And when we start making assumptions about what information is available within support, I have a...

I have assumptions is something that I think about a lot because I think that they just are the root of many problems. But when you're running a company, when you're running a team, when you're a team lead, you have to stop allowing your brain to go to that space of they're not, they can't, they won't. And you've got to ask why.

Why do I think that support wouldn't enjoy knowing this? Why do I think that these teams wouldn't be able to handle this level of complexity? I think that the nuances and the technical nature of so many of these companies is also a bit of a blocker because again, folks are making assumptions about what...

other teams are able to take in and absorb in a way that is effective. And what I found when I was building my own team is I wanted to try something out. And I felt those frustrations that you were describing so many times. And it was also just so frustrating because I could not understand why it was not possible to just share.

the information with everybody. There is no reason why the definitions of things, why the true plan for the company has to be contained within three people. And so I tried something where I really didn't hold back on anything. And just to kind of see what happened, like, I always thought that I could take it.

Sarah Caminiti (20:20.024)
But what happens when you really are transparent about what the project roadmap is or what the realities are of product development or this great idea that you had with your team when you were brainstorming what the reality of that is? that thing's never been invented before because it would take us 17 years and stuff that doesn't exist.

cool, cool, cool, cool. I'll stop thinking that you're avoiding those conversations for other reasons. And just eliminate that moment of doubt. Because once that doubt of, do they value me? Do they value the customer the way that they do? I'm saying all of these things so loudly. Why is nobody listening? That is when you start to lose great employees. And...

you lose customers because of that too. And we've got to really make an effort to figure out why we are so hyper focused on keeping things contained. And the amount of time we spend hiring and training and the thought that goes behind every person that we invite into our company gets lost because we don't hire them because we don't think that they're capable people.

We hire them because we think that they're capable of so much and often we don't give them a chance. So invite everybody to those conversations, invite those ideas and those solutions into the conversation. And if it turns out, hey, for this next quarter, we have to handle tech debt. We just, we never had a chance to handle tech debt. We really gotta go like balls to the wall on this.

Rob Dwyer (21:45.952)
Thank you.

Sarah Caminiti (22:11.064)
then everybody knows. Nobody is thinking, they don't understand, they don't wanna do this, they don't wanna do that. No, everyone has been heard. The decision has been made. The authority levels have not been breached. It is just, okay, I got the context. Let's move on and see what else we can do maybe within our team or with this other team that's not involved in it. So.

Yeah, I think that the biggest blocker in all of this is a lack of transparency because it prevents other departments to problem solve together and think about ways that they can make improvements themselves outside of even just product development.

Rob Dwyer (22:50.976)
Yeah, you used a really powerful word there a few times, and that word is invite. And it makes me think about.

how we invite someone into our homes, right? When you invite someone, you're allowing them to really come into your home and see it, warts and all, right? They're gonna have to use the bathroom and so they're gonna see what that looks like there.

Sarah Caminiti (23:19.512)
Yep. Whether you preface it before they enter of, please don't judge me. They still are going to see it.

Rob Dwyer (23:24.408)
Right. Yeah. And so you're, you're being a little bit vulnerable and allowing someone to see your home. And then, right. I'm not going to have you come in and then we're just not going to talk, right? That's typically what happens when you do that. It would be a terrible evening. So we're going to have conversation and that conversation often leads to something.

Sarah Caminiti (23:29.848)

Sarah Caminiti (23:38.328)

Terrible evening.

Rob Dwyer (23:54.208)
vulnerable and enlightening. And I think when we change our mindset to our employees being people we're offering just as a chance for employment, but instead someone that we're inviting into the company, we're inviting them to have those conversations. And I do think a little bit, it's just about the mindset.

Sarah Caminiti (24:20.696)
agree completely agree.

Rob Dwyer (24:21.344)
How do we view that relationship? And if we view it the right way, it can change how we operate.

Sarah Caminiti (24:30.424)
It can change how we operate. It can change how those people that we've invited in continue on with their career journeys, whether it be within this company or in another space. Having a team or a company that feels like they are valued and they are...

heard on whatever capacity it is and is where you allow space for beautiful things that you would never have thought were possible if you just kept in your corner.

Rob Dwyer (25:10.432)
I love that. Let's get tactical. What are some things that support leaders can do to foster these opening lines of communication? Let's say I'm in a company where they're really, I don't as support have a seat at the table. And maybe, maybe the product team just isn't really open to that just yet. What can I do?

Sarah Caminiti (25:14.456)

Sarah Caminiti (25:37.208)
Mm -hmm.

Rob Dwyer (25:40.608)
to start to bridge that gap.

Sarah Caminiti (25:43.48)
There's a couple of things that you can do and every company operates differently. So take all of this with, you know, a grain of salt because I don't want to, to paint things in different ways for different spaces. But in my experience, being loud in a very specific way is helpful. but also you have to, as a leader, kind of just let the

personal attachment to the conversations, to the questions, to the team, to the whole big picture of it all, that's gotta be gone. And you have to enter into conversations with folks, removing yourself and having it be, I want to know how I can best serve the customer with your help. I want to know how I can do this for us instead of a...

you need to do this, you need to do this, you need to do this. And think about who we are as support professionals. I mean, when you really do think about the type of folks that find themselves in these situations, we are the most skilled and knowledgeable of navigating these sorts of conversations. But yet, for some reason, we're always so nervous. And I think a lot of it comes down to this isn't a department that you get a

a degree in, you don't go to school for it. You can't read a book necessarily that covers all of the curve balls and the, and every, like there's great chunks everywhere, but finding like one space where you know, when I am in this section of my career, I'm on day 97, more than likely this is going to happen. Okay, now I can prepare for this.

That doesn't happen. So you have to go in bravely and blind and be open to the idea of failure. And so when you do encounter these teams that have never had someone really, really promoting this as a company change, because that's what it is, as a company change, you have to approach it in a holistic way.

Sarah Caminiti (28:07.896)
because it's not just product, you've got to think about how everybody touches everything and you've got to think about how you can change your way of presenting or asking to best serve them and one of the biggest wins that I've found is realizing for the most part I'm always going to start these situations, conversations, relationships.

with how I would like to be treated in this, how I would like to see data or how I would like to ask questions or be engaged. And everybody is so different. But if you started and say, this is what's gonna happen, just so that you know who I am and where I'm coming from with this and you understand my intention. After we're done with this, I'm gonna take a second and I'm gonna ask you if you liked.

how I shared this information, if this was the information that you really did find valuable, if this was the approach that worked best for you. And if it wasn't, if there even was just a slight thing that you thought once you heard it or saw it, why didn't they include this? Why did they call it this? Just tell me, I'm not gonna be offended. Like the whole point of this is for us to learn together and become partners.

in this and this is a safe space, that is when you get to have really cool conversations, at least in my experience.

Rob Dwyer (29:43.872)
I love the idea of getting feedback on how you're sharing and how you're leading a conversation. Anyone who knows me knows that that's a passion of mine. So I love that you brought that in. You talk about change. I want to talk about a little bit different kind of change. You are originally from Maine. Is that accurate?

Sarah Caminiti (30:08.312)
For the most part, yes, a midwesterner from the early years, but became a, a mainer when I was about eight.

Rob Dwyer (30:17.12)
So let's talk about then you spent some time in the Louisville area.

Sarah Caminiti (30:24.216)
sure did.

Rob Dwyer (30:26.336)
What was that transition like? And now you're back in the Upper East Coast. You're in Providence, Rhode Island. So I'm curious, what was that experience like in the Louisville area for you? What did you find different? And then what pulled you back to the Northeast?

Sarah Caminiti (30:32.824)
Mm -hmm. Yes.

Sarah Caminiti (30:46.968)
Yeah, that's a great question. We went to Louisville to run away from the winter and Louisville ends up having worse winters than Providence, Rhode Island, which was a super fun surprise. But my time in Louisville was such a learning experience because even though I come from a family from Iowa and Michigan and...

Rob Dwyer (30:53.248)
Ha ha.

Sarah Caminiti (31:15.416)
Midwesterners have a very specific way of navigating life. And then you've got the the Northeasterners, especially rural Northeasterners, over from Maine. And then you've got Louisville geographically, it really is not the South, but man do they present themselves as folks in the South. So it was...

I lost a little bit of that idea of everybody going about things in a specific way, everyone's purpose, everyone's connection to other humans. And this isn't a negative thing. I think that we all find these situations that we're in and we need to make sure that we allow ourselves the grace to use it as a chance to grow as people and reflect on it. And I was the...

executive assistant for a CEO in Louisville and I got to see what a southern man in a CEO space who was acquiring a bunch of different companies, like what the realities of that was. Like what kind of conversations did he have? It pulled the curtain away and I hadn't seen that before.

And I'm so glad that I did because now I don't make those same assumptions about the reasons why people navigate the business world the way that they do because I've seen it happening in so many different spaces. And so once we started growing our family and COVID happened and Louisville was a different space, we knew that we wanted to come back to

to where we grew up. And we didn't want to be in Maine because we didn't want to be in Maine, but we wanted to be close to things, because that's something that Maine doesn't have access to. You are.

Rob Dwyer (33:22.016)
Ha ha ha!

Sarah Caminiti (33:32.12)
You're in Maine and you have one shopping mall and we got our first Taco Bell when I was in high school and I drove 45 minutes multiple times a week to go and get it. But we wanted our kids to grow up in a place that was diverse and connected and we're close to Boston. We're close to.

Rob Dwyer (33:33.056)

Sarah Caminiti (33:55.192)
New York City, we've got the RISD school here, we've got Brown. There's so many different things that regardless of how our children grow and where their interests are, there's going to be a space and opportunity for them. And so we landed in Providence and we've been loving it.

Rob Dwyer (34:15.648)
I love, though, that you took the opportunity to learn and experience and gain something from a city that is culturally different, right? I mean, the Upper East Coast, you're right. Louisville is very much, I would say, has a southern identity and a lot of tradition that goes along with.

Sarah Caminiti (34:38.936)
very much.

Rob Dwyer (34:45.504)
along with the South. And so gathering some things about mindset of how people operate and being able to incorporate that into just an understanding, not a, well, this is negative or bad, but helps me understand where people are coming from can help inform. And I think that's true of...

across the country and all across the world just being able to have an understanding of where people are coming from and What they value and why they do things the way that they do things Helps us all when we're interacting with them because we can hone in on those things if and only if we we understand it you also as I

Sarah Caminiti (35:29.624)
very much.

Rob Dwyer (35:41.152)
understand have a little bit of a background in travel.

Sarah Caminiti (35:46.424)
I do, yes.

Rob Dwyer (35:48.96)
So I want to hear about that, but then I have a very specific question about it. So what's your background in travel?

Sarah Caminiti (35:56.376)
Yeah, my background in travel. Well, I worked for a European car rental company when I was like teens, early twenties and quickly found my way onto the VIP team and.

got to know all the travel agents because that's what the VIP team was. It was the place where you send the folks that are really good at building those relationships. Something that I've learned later after reflecting on my life of my career is I've always been very, very skilled at creating a safe space quickly. And not something I ever practiced or tried to do, but...

but I can deescalate things, I can read the room, and I can do my best to make people feel comfortable. And that has been something that I have really tried to grow as I've gotten older and lean into, especially once I've started with leadership. But with travel, I was helping all these folks with all these different trips that they were doing for their car rentals, all these travel agents with all these big name people doing all their trips. And...

It sounded so incredible. Like, can you imagine spending your days just thinking about the best way for these people to enjoy this one time in a year where they get to go and relax? What can I do to go that extra mile? And to think after this, I tried to run away from customer service for years and years. But it was a blast. And...

After I left to run away from customer service, one of the VIP folks offered me a job as just someone on their team. It was a father and son, Gemulichite. It's a European, German car rental space. And they were one of the biggest customers. And Bob Bester was the, he's the guy that runs it. It was just him and his son. They never let anybody else in. And then they let me in and I worked with them for almost 10 years, still haven't met them in person.

Sarah Caminiti (38:13.1)
But we just did our thing and it was just something on the side. And I just kept thinking like, why do I keep wanting travel to be in my life all the time? Let's be a travel agent. And so then I was a travel agent and travel agents are not like they are on those 1950s themed television shows that...

that came out in the mid 2000s. No, it is, I realized I just like planning trips for the people that I love. And I learned some cool tips and tricks to score deals and to focus on keywords and how to optimize the dollar as much as possible. But the corporate culture of travel is...

not as much fun as the thinking about the experience for the people that you're creating something for.

Rob Dwyer (39:15.744)
That's an amazing story. But the question that I want to ask now that we understand where your background is. What's the one surprising skill? That you honed while you were in that space that you find yourself utilizing today? That. Again would be surprising.

Sarah Caminiti (39:19.096)

Sarah Caminiti (39:41.848)
Two, I'm gonna go in two different directions for it. Number one, the skill that may not be a surprise, but it was the biggest takeaway that has kind of changed how I approach support. And I realized that later on is the questions, understanding the right questions. How do you approach things in such a way that actually gets those folks that are coming to you? Because folks that are coming to a travel agency,

Rob Dwyer (39:44.864)

Sarah Caminiti (40:09.592)
must be lost because with the opportunities you can find online, you have to get to a certain point of, I cannot do this by myself. Please can someone help me? That you have to phrase things in a very specific way in order to extract the actual nuggets that you need to give them what they're trying to articulate. Same thing is true with support, regardless of the product. You have to know,

the right way to ask those questions to fully understand because when folks are in a panic, when they're stressed, when they're angry, or when they're just generally confused and they don't know the right terms, you could end up wasting a lot of time going down all of these different rabbit holes if you don't know how to take a step back and really think about what...

what they could be trying to say. And it goes again to understanding the person on the other side. It's just putting yourself in their shoes. And if you were lost trying to plan a European trip for the first time, what is it that you would really, really want someone to ask you? And that carries over. And then from, I am an agent.

how can I utilize my resources way, don't be afraid to go to the source. Don't be afraid to take all of that stuff that gets fluffed in there and just go to the source and get the context and have that conversation because someone's coming to you and travel and they're asking all these questions about these horror story reviews that they saw.

on TripAdvisor and they're so bummed because this was their dream, then you call the place and you ask to talk to the manager and you have a conversation about what this person is looking for. Ask them if there are other properties that could possibly fit their needs that are affiliated with them or if they had a bad experience, if the customer had a bad experience last time, ask them, you know.

Sarah Caminiti (42:31.928)
what has changed since. And when you do that, it provides such a level of care to the customer of this person values me so much and values the success of my trip that they are not gonna just pay me lip service. They're going to take a second to call the place, verify that things are different, and then also, I mean,

This is what I would do. I would call when they're on the trip and I would check in with that same manager and then you get to build those relationships. The same exact thing holds true within your company and don't allow yourself the headspace of I'm just going to take this information and make my own ideas about what it means. No, go to that developer that shipped this and maybe forgot to loop you guys in and ask.

Hey, what happened? I really, really would have liked to have seen a copy of this before or next time, let's make a point to have monthly check -ins or weekly check -ins when you're working on these products. Like, just force yourself to think bigger and think about the impact that those things have. And I think those were two big nuggets that I took away.

Rob Dwyer (43:55.104)
I love it. I mean, they're great, right? Asking great questions and being resourceful are secrets that shouldn't be secrets, right? They're skills that you can apply in so many different roles, facets of your life. I'm curious on a more personal level. So obviously you, I'm going to assume, haven't been to Germany to meet the father and son team.

Sarah Caminiti (44:06.872)

Sarah Caminiti (44:23.832)
he actually lives in Oregon. He lives in Oregon. Yes. Yeah.

Rob Dwyer (44:25.824)
they live in the. They live in OK. I made an assumption Sarah. We talked about assumptions already. I made an assumption, but I want to ask you. After all of this experience of planning wonderful trips. What's on the bucket list for Sarah and family like if you could pick one spot, maybe a spot that is underrated or people don't think about because I think.

Sarah Caminiti (44:32.792)
There we go, Rob.

Rob Dwyer (44:55.04)
Right, there are lots of cities and places that people go. well, yeah, that's an obvious one. What's something that's not obvious that you're like, I discovered this gem?

Sarah Caminiti (45:08.568)
Why didn't you ask me to research this before this call Rob, come on. I will say now this isn't necessarily the number one on my bucket list for like, I gotta go there next, but I do really, really want to go there. Every single person that I spoke to that went to the Czech Republic said, this is one of the most magical places I have ever been.

Rob Dwyer (45:11.328)
That would be fun.

Sarah Caminiti (45:38.072)
Everyone is so kind. It's just beautiful. The architecture is incredible. The food is incredible. There is so much more to do that is culturally enriching, but also gives you that I'm on a vacation, livin' it up vibe. That it truly came up all the time that you have to go to the Czech Republic.

Rob Dwyer (46:02.528)
All right, well, there's your hot travel tip from Sarah and she knows what she's talking about. She's been, she's been doing some travel things for a while. Sarah, it's so great to have had you on the show to talk about all the things that support can provide to an organization. It's not just a cost. It can provide so much more. And I really just can't thank you enough for taking the time to be here.

Sarah Caminiti (46:06.264)
I'm here all day.

Sarah Caminiti (46:33.144)
Rob, thank you. This is such an honor. It was such a great conversation. It's something that's on top of mind, obviously, since I rambled so much about it. But I think it's such an important topic that people need to be okay with asking questions about and realizing that support folks want to do this. Sometimes they just don't know how. And if you're in another department and you're seeing someone trying...

then just reach out and tell them what you need in order for it to work to start that conversation. And if you're a support person, just start asking questions because you've got what you need. You are more skilled than you realize and just let yourself shine.

Rob Dwyer (47:24.928)
I love that. I love that. Thank you so much.

Sarah Caminiti (47:28.28)
Thank you, Rob. I hope you have a great day.