Stacy Justino got some great advice from her former boss – be patient with yourself – and it served her well in her first 30 days, and beyond..
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to the customer support leaders podcast episode 91. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is the first 30 days in your new role. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome to the podcast today. Stacey Justino. Stacy, it’s lovely to have you join me as a brand new guest. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Stacy Justino 0:43
Sure. So, Stacy Justino. I am the director of customer happiness at Wistia video marketing software company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I’ve been here for about two and a half years and before that I was the head of support at Big Fish games. A casual woman gaming company, so on for b2c, pretty high volume to b2b supporting small to medium sized businesses
Charlotte Ward 1:06
and two quite different roles Therefore, I would imagine.
Stacy Justino 1:09
Sure, so this was my first time taking over a new team at a new company at Big Fish games. I came up from being a customer support Rep. worked my way up to managing the entire department of 70 people. And so moving to whiskey, yeah. Where the company was just around 100 people, the support department was 12 people. When I started two and a half years ago, they hadn’t had an outside leader. So I wanted to make sure that I didn’t come in and try to change everything I was really cognizant about. coming in as somebody from the outside, and especially coming into somewhere where I wasn’t an expert. I went from somewhere being the expert where I could answer literally almost any ticket that came into our inbox to a situation where I couldn’t answer any of them. It was kind of humbling in that way. You know, I really had to be patient with myself. That’s the advice that my old boss gave me Like, you know me, what would be your advice to me. And my boss said, I know you really like to get things done. But nobody’s expecting you to have an impact on day one, right? They hired you for you, and what you can do, but nobody expects you to do all that in 30 days. So be patient, though, that really helps me and I actually still have to remind myself that right? To be patient with myself. I am making progress. I’m doing good work. But sometimes it can feel slow going, especially going to a smaller company, where you maybe don’t have quite as many resources as where I came from where we had a reporting analyst is ended disk administrator, three quality specialists to go to a team where everybody has to do part of all of that work. So that was a big adjustment in those first 30 days is being like, okay, where should I start? And I started because it was a small team, I was able to meet one on one with every single person on the team. And I asked them each the same set of questions. What are the team doing really well? What does the team not doing very well, what’s something that we were doing six months ago that we’re still doing today? And you’re like, why are we still doing that? Then I asked them, What do they want to be doing? What do they want to be working on? Where did they want to be in six months in terms of things they want to learn or get better at. So I was able to pick out some themes. And one of those first things that people didn’t know how they were doing, performance wise, oftentimes tell the review. So I introduced productivity expectations. And I didn’t want to do it in a way that was, you know, seemed unfair. So I looked at the data. And I looked to see what people were actually doing. 70 to 80% of the team was hitting, whatever, like that average. So I was like, Well, that seems like a good place to start. That’s good enough to keep up with our volume. And so we rolled it out. I made sure everybody knew how I came to that number, what that productivity expectation was, let them know that hey, everybody’s already doing this. I just wanted you all to have like a bar. So you know, before we get to that review, how you’re doing and it really was impacting the people who are far exceeding what everybody else on the team was. Doing it, I think it was really important to recognise those people, because those are the people who want to stay on our team.
Charlotte Ward 4:06
Yeah, finding what one early priority is where you can really make a difference being really transparent about why which is which is interesting because that’s a counterpoint to what you’re saying right before that, which is about being patient with yourself. I’m the same as you I want to go in I want to make a difference. And and that’s something that carries a lot of pain both both for your team and personally for you, I arrive a role with a full 30 6090 day plan. And my first 30 is all about listening. And I I do and I genuinely, really honestly from the heart, listen and or try and listen. But I’m also really impatient to make some differences, right and that and there’s a real balance. I find that a real conflict. How did you work through that patience you needed?
Stacy Justino 4:51
It wasn’t easy like you Charlotte. I’m also very similar in that regard. I had an interesting constraint where I was five months pregnant. So I had three Months really to get things in order before I left for three months. So that really helped. And I think that if I were to do this again, in a different role, I would really think of like a three month like finite window, I imagined myself in a similar situation, because it was super helpful to have to prioritise things. Because I knew I couldn’t do everything I would want to do. Well, you have to make some good choices, have some solid planning, and decide what are the things that could wait. And I wanted to really get the team set up so that we had some of those building blocks for success long term. And I think that was the other thing is trying to figure out okay, what are some, like a small thing we could do now, that would have an impact, and especially would make the team realise that I was really listening to them right, then I was able to look at the other things that needed to get done. Luckily for me, it was things that were very tangible, like hire new support people and hire a new manager. So a lot of the work was already like laid out there but then my process was deciding which What should you do first? In that case, do you hire a manager first or you do hire for new people because you’re swamped, and you’re behind, I would only have less than like three months to onboard this new manager. It was an internal promotion, but still somebody who had never been a manager before. So I thought that their time one on one with me was going to be more impactful for me to be gone for three months. So I prioritise that
Charlotte Ward 6:22
it’s very easy to think about all the things and there are usually 20 of them at least, that you want to kick off and get going. But thinking about when you can finish them, when you can have them completed and bedded in is probably a really good way to think about how you prioritise them as well. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/91 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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