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SkyFi Hires Claire Fundingsland as Customer Experience Director

Claire Fundingsland, Customer Experience Director

SkyFi's latest team addition is Claire Fundingsland, our Director of Customer Experience. Her role is to ensure user satisfaction with every SkyFi interaction. Our founder, Bill Perkins, once said, “SkyFi is a UX company that happens to sell satellite data.” People, not technology, are her primary focus, making SkyFi a customer-centric company first and foremost. 

Claire, who studied marketing at the University of Colorado, comes to us most recently from a Customer Success leadership position she held at a large digital marketing agency. She’s a died-in-the-wool people pleaser who, early in her career, was part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for five years, where she found her true passion in helping others. Claire could give a genie in a bottle a run for its money with all the wishes she’s granted. At SkyFi, no matter the spend or frequency, Claire provides the white-glove treatment equally to each of our customers.

Why SkyFi, and why does the customer reign supreme? We sat down with Claire to find out.

Why SkyFi?

I have had the pleasure of being a small part of SkyFi from the very beginning and have been amazed at every step I’ve seen them take. They care about nothing more than they care about people, both customers and employees, which is incredibly evident in everything they do. 

Like many in the company, I do not come from an Earth observation (EO) or space background. I’ve never really been super interested in what’s beyond our skies, but I am interested in solving problems here on earth which is exactly what we are doing here at SkyFi.

Do you believe there is a commercial audience for Earth observation data?

Absolutely! Historically, satellite capabilities have primarily been capitalized upon by governments. We are evolving and growing the possible use cases by commercializing satellite data and bringing it to the masses. Even in our early Beta data, we have identified passionate users looking for everything from research to their PhDs to up-to-date construction progress at small local airports.

Why does the commercial market not exist today?

In the current state, given the rapid developments in product offerings, the EO industry is incredibly focused on the product and less on the user. Space is hard, and satellite data providers need to focus all of their time on getting the technology to space and calibrating it to see earth. Few companies are paying attention to the users, who ARE the commercial market. We are disrupting that completely by making our entire offering about the user. 

As you're new to EO, you’re kind of like a new customer. What do you think will be the biggest challenge for getting new customers to understand the value of EO?

I think the biggest challenge is that us lay-users know so little about satellite capabilities that we don’t even knowwhat to be excited about. Every day, I am learning about a new use case and capability that makes me more and more excited about how SkyFi can enhance my life (and change the world!) and we need to get that message out! 

What is SkyFi’s biggest challenge when it comes to your role as Director of Customer Experience?

Given that the use cases for satellite imagery are endless, we will be working with customers from every industry looking to do a million different things with the data we provide. Our customer is everyone from the bride planning her wedding to the environmentalist trying to preserve the forests in Brazil and we want to make sure that each customer feels seen. It’s an exciting challenge to create scalable processes that ensure that each user is getting the value and customized experience that we intend to create. 

What's your favorite satellite image?

In the SkyFi office, there’s an area rug with an image of the African Coastline that sits in an area of the office where the team often gathers to collaborate and brainstorm. This image will always stick out to me as particularly cool because it’s such a trademark of the early SkyFi vision and what we stand for. 

Namibia's Coastline
Namibia's Coastline

What drives you?

I have always been driven by community, both in my work and personal life. The people at SkyFi are incredibly passionate, excited, and focused, which drives me to bring that passion and excitement to our customers every day!