Keira Lewis is the Customer Success Manager at Melbourne-based start up Vudoo, an interactive video technology video platform.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am the Customer Success Manager with Vudoo, a computer software company that provides its customers the ability to activate their video content with interactive videos.
The clickable content can be measured and optimised in real time whether it is for marketing, communications, learning and development, lead generation – the opportunities are endless.
Vudoo is a Melbourne based start up and has been operating for 3 years. I am really grateful to have the opportunity to start with Vudoo at such an early stage.
I came to this role a year ago after a previous career in media. Having studied Performance and Media at uni, Channel 9 was my first training ground, where I was given an insight into the importance of the audience, and how to work with existing frameworks to maximise the audience experience.
Following this, I worked in telecommunications and liaised directly with a whole range of customers to improve and maximise their experiences.
Across my career I have been involved in maturing organisations at all stages of the lifecycle to ensure commitment to customer loyalty, strategies and evidence based decision making so this position with Vudoo is such a great opportunity to utilise all of my skills across my career.
2) What does a day in life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Generally the alarm is set early so I can catch a morning gym session, typically a spin class, weights or a run.
I was never really an early morning workout person, however I have found that training in the morning really sets me off for a productive day. I can jump right into reviewing the customers strategy and understand how to best assist and guide them, no matter what happens throughout the day, I know I have been able to do that for me.
In this role, I am always working with customers to help them understand the value of the Vudoo platform and to help ensure they are utilising it to its full potential. I feel very fortunate as in this position I get to work with a variety of different customers, all looking to achieve different goals.
Advocating for the customer internally, working cross functions and other departments such as partnerships, marketing, engineering, sales and working closely with the company founder. There is no ‘typical’ workday and this is what I love most about it.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
We are a global SaaS Startup, so we are in a very fortunate position to work remotely, and hours are flexible as we are working with customers all around the world so our hours will need to suit the customers as much as possible.
We had all the platforms in place and were working this way prior to the pandemic, so we were very fortunate to be able to continue to operate as normal during the lockdown.
We have actually seen the productivity of the team increase when the business focused less on the 8:30am to 5:0pm grind and more on the remote flexibility and we are not looking back.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I love this question and this has been something that I have felt very strongly about for most of my career. In the early days I would work myself around the clock as I thought that was what was needed to prove myself.
However I learnt the hard way that I was unable to be everything for everyone and was not showing the best side of myself, or doing the right thing by me. My personal life, health and work all began to suffer.
In the early days I would watch people gloat about their exhaustion from working around the clock and fall into this trap. I had a little post-it-note stuck on the wall behind my computer that I would always read and it would trigger me and remind me to ensure I am maintaining a balance. “You only live once, do it right”.
You can have a career and have a life at the same time, and this is the culture we look to enforce in Vudoo. I feel very lucky that I love what I do and I can ensure that I am able to balance life and my role together. The happier the team is, the happier our customers will be, so it’s a win, win for everyone.
Looking after my mind, health, taking time for me, making the most of moments at work and away from work as well as celebrating even the smallest achievements. Sometimes the balance will not always be even, but I know it will not always be like that, and loving what I do makes it easy as well as sneaking in a walk or a run when I can to help the mind.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
At the start of 2020 I had agreed to so many things, all very exciting. I was training for my very first marathon, (I am not a long distance runner so this did not come easy!) and I was taking on a few extra adventures outside of work to fit in quality time with my family and friends.
Work-wise, our team was growing and moving in a different direction as well which brought on new opportunities. But then the pandemic hit and it flattened all of my plans instantly, forcing me to learn new ways to engage with the team, family and friends.
I do like to have control and be in control of situations, and obviously with 2020 occurring, it took that away from me and I quickly had to learn that it’s ok to not always be in control. Having more time for me helped me to let my hair down a bit more and accept everything for the way it is.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
For a long time, the customer experience and success place did not have much of an engaged community, as it is a fairly new concept for Australian businesses.
I have found the podcast with Jeanne Bliss Chief Customer Officer Human Duct Tape Show to be a great insight into how other global companies ensure a customer first mindset. Also, I am a huge fan of Brene Brown and really enjoy any of her books and her podcast, Unlocking Us.
Another great book is Radical Candor by Kim Scott, I find I refer to this when I need some inspiration for the team.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I recently broke my iWatch and had not realised how much I relied on it until it was gone. The watch allows me to keep in touch with the team, keep track of my fitness, keep in touch with my family and friends as well as so many other things, so I am embarrassed to admit, I am unable to live without my apple watch.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I really admire Susan Wojcicki, the longest running CEO of tech giant, Youtube, not to mention a wife and mother of 5! Susan is often always promoting about finding the balance between work and life which I really admire in her.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
This is something that seems easy to talk about, but putting it to practice is another thing.
Thinking back to a moment where I found the balance very hard, I remember watching a female CEO I had at the time, she always seemed so prepared, so in control and across absolutely everything that was happening.
I even remember thinking, how does she even manage to do all of this? Being able to look after her young family, manage a company, and look immaculate at the same time? I later learnt that she was also in the same boat with finding the work, life balance difficult.
No matter what front everyone puts on the outside, everyone will cope with the balance differently, and what works for some people may not always work for you and visa versa.
Making small changes and listening to yourself is the starting point, and it’s important to surround yourself with inspiring people personally and professionally, but finding that balance is all part of our journeys.
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