Hi Karen and Jeremy!
First of all, let me thank you guys for being helpful and supportive with feedback throughout my trial so far. I wanted to write a summary of how it has been so far, answering the points you mentioned in your last email on this page so that you could have a better reading experience (partly because I just wanted you guys to visit my blog 😛 ).
Anyway, to answer your points:
It has been a great experience so far during my trial at Automattic. I have to say, I’m absolutely loving it. The whole universe of Automattic — supporting people through various channels, finding answers on really helpful Field Guide, and when everything else fails, help from other Automatticians on Slack — is just amazing.
My trial buddy Andy was asking me the other day if I could see myself doing this for the next five years. My answer would have been, “I cannot see myself not doing this for the next five years…and beyond.” That is a genuine expression of my journey as a trial so far.
What I think went well
Well, this one is a tough question to answer. I have learned a lot of things over these past few weeks. In regards to WordPress.com, various technical aspects of it, handling customers, engineering happiness, tackling difficult situations, etc., I’ve learned a lot. I think, if I were to guess how my trial has been, I would say it’s mostly positive. I most certainly know a lot more than when I first submitted the application.
I think I’ve got a very good grip over how most technical things work at WordPress.com and where to look for answers. The areas that I still need a lot of improvement is actual dealing with the users, which I believe I’m getting better with each ticket and feedback that comes along my way. 🙂
What surprised me
There are many things that I found quite surprising. Two of them comes to mind right now. One has to do with how we deal with people.
The Automattic’s internal policy to refund most of the upgrades even if the customer is way beyond the original refundable period is something that I found really surprising. It showed me how much Automattic cared about its users’ happiness. In cases other than domain registration and premium themes, we could easily say no when a user requests past 30-day, but the Field Guide, along with my review of many tickets/chat transcripts from other full time HEs, clearly shows the opposite.
Automattic wants to make people happy. Even if that means we’re not getting money from them anymore. That just increases my respect for the company.
The second thing is that I was really surprised at is how amazing and friendly Automatticians are. I think, of all the countless times I’ve pinged others for help on Slack, I’ve only been told a handful of times that they were busy. 95% of the times, even though I realized they might not be totally free at that time, I’ve got help from other Automatticians. That kind of friendliness and support is really amazing to have. 🙂
Aspects I’d like to learn more about
Well, from a support aspect, I’d like to learn more about handling users. This is especially true when people ask about the new dashboard. Generally people don’t take any UI change very well, and since we are permanently moving to Calypso for most WordPress.com tasks, I can only imagine more people contacting us to express their frustration.
During my time I was kind of worried about how to respond to such questions/frustrations. Fortunately I only had a few of such cases where I responded to them saying they could bookmark their wp-admin dashboard and write new posts there. I don’t think they were too happy about that either. So that’s something I’d need to get a better grip on.
WordPress.com-wise, I guess there are tons of aspects. Just store can have many different cases and situations. Seeing that most tickets are store-related, I find myself going to the FG/pinging others about stores. I found myself asking others mostly how things work, more than how to do things.
For example, a user asks to renew an expired domain. I know the standard procedure. I know how to respnod to them, what to do with WWD and manual payment request from Billingdaddy. But if they ask on a time (day 71/72) when the domain is still in redemption but will move to pending deletion, I’ll be confused what to do, since it is possible that they pay and we can’t recover as the domain may already go to pending deletion status before WWD reads my domain.
This is just one case scenario. There can be many more in terms of store aspect.
I’m already close to a thousand words and I think I shouldn’t take much more of your time. I’ll be waiting for the meeting tomorrow at 8pm my time with you guys! ‘Till then, have a great time! 🙂
I’ll add a password to this page soon just so it doesn’t get indexed by Google.