The Director of Customer Support is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the customer support team. But what does a Head of Customer Support truly do that you can’t find in a job description? We asked this question as well and thought we’d go straight to the source!
Enter: Stacy Justino.
Stacy Justino is the Director of Customer Happiness at Wistia. Prior to Wistia, Stacy started her career as an English Language Instructor in South Korea before joining Big Fish Games as a Customer Support Representative, where she worked her way up to Senior Manager of Customer Support.
Startup Boston (SB): What inspired you to choose this career path?
Stacy Justion (SJ): The inspiration for choosing this career path was a little bit rooted in my time teaching English in South Korea. I really enjoyed teaching kids, connecting with them, figuring out what they were passionate about, and helping them get unstuck when they were in a challenging situation.
When I then switched careers to Big Fish Games as a Customer Support Rep, I realized in customer support you see those threads a lot as well. Many people in customer support are very early in their career or changing careers, so all of the things that I found rewarding as an English teacher, I get to do as a customer support manager, but with the incentive of doing it in a fast-paced ever-changing environment where I get to tackle interesting and new problems every day.
SB: How did you know this was the best career choice for you?
SJ: I knew this was the right career choice for me when I realized I was not getting bored with my job. Almost ten years into managing support teams and I’m still not bored, so I think that’s how I knew. It just continued to be engaging and exciting and interesting.
SB: What are the types of qualities that you think someone should have in order to succeed in a head of support role?
SJ: For managing a support team, one of the most important qualities is someone who can see the big picture along with short term problems that need to be addressed.
It’s also important to be adaptable. Things are often changing, especially in the startup world and in the tech world, so you have to always be ready to adapt and constantly keep up with best practices.
Lastly, you really need strong communication skills. You’re working with a lot of different audiences - from customers to engineering and product teams to managing a team of customer support professionals. So it’s really important that you can adapt to what each of these individual teams need to both have a good experience and to do their job.
SB: What is some advice you’d give to someone looking to work in this field?
SJ: I think the advice I would give is to always try to add value and think outside of the box.
I vividly remember landing my first management job in customer support. There was a game with a bug in it and we could not figure out why, so when a customer would reach out we’d just provide them with the coupon to replace the game.
Then one day, a customer wrote that the game worked, but they then updated Quicktime and the game started to crash. So I was thinking, “Well, that’s weird, I think we would have known this.” But I went into our testing environment to see which version of Quicktime we had. Turns out the Quicktime never updated to the newer version, so I did that, and was able to reproduce the problem.
I didn’t have a technical background but I just listened, carefully, to what the customer said rather than glossing over that one small sentence. And I was proactive about testing it out.
It was the first bug I was ever able to identify and reproduce. And that’s really what made me stand-out because the best person for that role to run customer support, at the time, needed to be someone that could take initiative and be proactive.
Curious what a day in the life of a Director of Customer Support looks like? Check out what Stacy does on a daily basis in the video below:
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