Growth Story: Imani Berrien of COI Energy Services
Welcome to our Growth Story series, where you’ll meet startup team members—either natives, boomerangs or transplants—in Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Imani Berrien, Customer Success Coordinator at COI Energy Services, an energy on-demand platform that allows utilities and businesses to maximize energy and balance the grid.
Where are you from?
Tell us more about your role at COI Energy Services. What does a day in the life look like?
At COI, I can say there is never anything that can’t be completed or improved. My role is important because it lies at the heart of the customer! I am the voice that exemplifies COI. With that being said, I never speak to a customer without a smile on my face. I want them to feel like we are in the room talking with each other, and hopefully, they experience great service and appreciation towards them. I also get to know the third parties that work with us, which is awesome because it doesn’t feel like they are just stopping by for a pick up or delivery. We actually have conversations and it honestly feels like they are just another COI teammate! I believe one of the coolest things about my job is that I get to assist our CEO in providing research that can better assist her in getting to know who and what can potentially bring the company much success.
How did you get your career started and what challenges did you face along the way?
I started out in customer service in many small jobs and was offered the opportunity to put my knowledge to the test. I started at COI, having a slight clue of what problem they were solving, but not knowing the scale of it and how it could change the environment we are in now. COI sparked my interest when I realized that the environment faces increasing pollution and dramatic weather changes. COI is literally tapping into the side that most customers think they know about, but aren’t aware of the many ways to save the atmosphere around them with changes to their energy world. COI can provide many options, that all benefit the customer as well as their providers, but has a huge impact on earth!
I’d say when I first started, I faced having to get over my fear of nervousness and learning to interact. I have always worked with people, but this was definitely a totally different setting. I needed to really understand the solution so I could believe in what we are doing. In doing so, I can make customers feel secure in knowing that we have experienced people on our team and that we take our time to solve issues. We ensure the decision making is in their hands and once the choice is made, we can expeditiously move forward towards change!
How has this region shaped your career or startup journey?
Tampa is a very innovative and as I always say I believe Tampa is off to something really amazing. The region gives me more motivation to push towards the things I want to make happen and see happen in this community and all around the world. I moved to Tampa three years ago, not knowing all of the amazing initiatives and start ups that were building here. I recently came from a much smaller location, where it seems that people are afraid to see better in the environment and the things around them. Tampa and COI has opened my eyes to see that change is good, especially when it improves the energy around you.
What tactical advice can you share from building your startup or career?
I would say that there is never too much to learn… Keep learning and see what you can do with all your knowledge. No one can take knowledge away from you so don’t let anything discourage you from being where YOU want to be. Only you can make that happen.
Where do you see Tampa Bay next? How do you play a role in this future?
“Tampa Bay Valley” lol. Literally Tampa is making big moves! COI is just every part of that by reducing the carbon footprint and by educating others to save and maximize their energy and money! Being the best in coordinating with customers makes it easier for customers to feel like COI Energy Services is on their side, even if that involves us calling in just to check in or say hello! It gives me great joy to know that I can make a customer happy by taking time to make sure all their needs are met.
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