It’s a given that customers want to get the most out of a product and do so as seamlessly as possible. But when products aren’t working as expected or an issue arises, it’s more important to be heard.
And yet a common situation seems to be customers reaching a bump in the road, reaching out to support, and experiencing a feeling of anonymity — like they’re an ether-dwelling presence in a queue of countless others, waiting to interact with a chatbot. No one wants to get cycled through an impersonal labyrinth of messages, phone calls and follow-up emails.
For Rafael Pacheco, establishing real relationships and getting to the root of a customer’s issue — as opposed to cycling people through AI scripts and boilerplate exchanges — is what grounds his approach as a customer care expert at Wix.
“Our main goal at Wix is to have the user reach their success. We’re not a scripted company where you have to say this, this and this,” Pacheco, who’s based in Miami, said. “Whenever they bring a problem, we do our best to solve the issue. It’s fulfilling because we know the impact that we have on each of our users.”
At Wix, bucking a monolithic, catch-all approach in favor of individualized care is championed by Pacheco and his colleagues, such as Skye Kelly, who’s based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Together, they help users apply the company’s broad platform of services designed to boost a business’ online presence. As a leader on the Premium and Policy team, which handles items like refund policies, Kelly’s not about putting up stop signs. Rather, she’s interested in flashing a green light to show customers the right way of getting where they need to be.
“It’s awesome to know that as a company, we are not forcing our experts to get off the phones quickly. We’re letting our experts know that they have the ability to take their time to take care of customers,” Kelly said.
Like Kelly and Pacheco, New York City-based Alana D’Angelica is tapped into the customer pulse, albeit in a different capacity as VP of account management. According to D’Angelica, addressing customer needs at a significant scale at Wix doesn’t mean having to penetrate a dense internal ecosystem — something that’s important to D’Angelica, who, prior to joining Wix, was focused on applying her talent at startups and said that she was a “a little intimidated by the size of the company.”
“Here, it’s easy to just reach out to people. In cases where you’ve got to escalate something, it makes it feel like a community smaller than the more than 6,000 people we have on staff,” D’Angelica said.
Care is an important watchword for the three colleagues and their respective teams — and, according to the trio, they’ve found that the outward ethos is channeled internally, too, through a compassionate culture. And, in the process, that brings about a virtuous circle.
“We’re not an afterthought. If we’re happy, we’re going to make things happen and ultimately we’re going to assist users in the best way we can,” Pacheco said.
Built In chatted with Pachceo, Kelly and D’Angelica to learn how both team members and customers benefit from a caring mission that shapes how the organization engages with those outside and inside of the company.
WHAT WIX DOES
What is your approach to caring for your customers and focusing on their success?
D’Angelica: On our account management team, it’s very common to have an account that is starting a new e-commerce business. We’ll seek to understand their business plan, work with them to build their business dream online using all of our tools and then brainstorm with them on how to grow their business further.
Pacheco: We want the user to reach their version of success, and we take a personalized approach to help them to do so, without relying on boilerplate language to solve their issues. The intention whenever we go to calls and chats is to allow the user to open up about their main goals and what they intend to do and guide them through the way to achieve what they really want to do inside of Wix. For me, it’s very gratifying to know that and to help them along the way.
Kelly: My team, the Premium and Policy group, deals with billing, legal and account access issues, things that are a bit more tedious and difficult for customers. We have the ability to show how much we care and let our personality shine through in those conversations. We’re able to take care of our customers and help them progress in their journeys. It’s not a matter of, “Your refund is denied.” It’s a matter of, “Do you have what you should actually be using?” and working with them to be sure that they do.
Because you’re so tuned into the customer’s voice, what opportunity do you have to offer input on a product or solution?
Kelly: Something that I’ve been able to directly impact is our refund policies and how we align as teams on what’s acceptable for a refund — rather than denying a refund, be more lenient, like looking at a partial refund to help this customer out because of everything that’s going on. Being able to see the way that we process a refund or offer plan extensions because they had to shut down during Covid, allows our team to make changes in that process. We’re making an impact directly, which improves our overall customer experience.
Pacheco: I speak to users every day. It’s not like, “OK, that’s your feedback.” No, we really bring that feedback to our product specialists and developers. Inside of Wix, we’re their voice and advocates and work to make the difference. If something is impeding them from reaching success, we’re going to do our best to change that.
D’Angelica: On my team, understanding, prioritizing and acting on user needs is a big part of the job. We also focus on the enablement and education of our users. Many times, we’ve got to teach them how to use Wix in a slightly different way to get exactly what they need.
“We really take the insight from the user. Inside of Wix, we’re their voice and advocates and work to make the difference.”
Let’s talk about “The Wix Way.” How does it inform your customer-facing approach and how is it manifested internally?
Kelly: One of the philosophies in “The Wix Way” that gives me a chuckle is “no assholes.” Here, you don’t have to worry about being scolded for a question that you have or being on the wrong path. People will help you get on the right one without diminishing you or your question.
Zooming out a bit, one of the elements that resonates a lot with our team is “we allow failures.” Wix would rather you try something 10 times and fail at six just to have one good success, than not try at all.
Pacheco: I feel like “The Wix Way” is translated throughout the day, every day of the year. Whenever we need to ask something, we’re a team, so everybody helps each other. It works. I’ve been here for almost two years — and in two years, it’s been this way since day one.
One of the things that speaks to me is “we own what we do.” You have to own it because at the end of the day it’s going to be our users’ gain. We have to be responsible for whatever we’re doing.
D’Angelica: We try to avoid process for the sake of process. When you’re dealing with customer issues in particular you don’t want to have to go through so many hoops just to get their needs addressed.
Let’s talk about how the theme of care extends internally. How do you feel the company goes above and beyond for team members?
Kelly: I’ve honestly never worked for a company before that I felt truly cared about me. They give us mental health days off because they know that there are a lot of things that are going on working from home. They’re working with our offices in Ukraine to help all of our employees relocate to Turkey to get out of harm’s way. It’s something that’s felt all the way through the company, no matter how minor or large the situation.
Pacheco: Since day one, it’s felt different from any other company where I worked before — from the welcome package that we received to the treats the company sends throughout the year to days off. It’s a very intense job, so we need time to relax as well.
D’Angelica: I’ve only been with Wix during the pandemic. There’s a lot of care for people in particular situations, like being sick with Covid or not having childcare at certain times. We instituted a flexible time off program this year and accounted for separate sick days for Covid, realizing that almost everyone was going to get it. We gave managers some room in the budget for remote outings and the teams have done fun things like paint nights, scavenger hunts and escape rooms. We know that work bleeds into home life and vice versa, and children, pets and partners are welcome to make an appearance during team meetings.
A WEALTH OF RESOURCES
Lastly, why is exposure to leadership important in your work?
Kelly: It’s really nice to be at a company that’s transparent and willing to share information, regardless of whether it’s good or bad. Our group managers’ and our site managers’ doors are always open. I can put a meeting on anybody’s calendar and they’re willing to have those conversations, whether it’s business related or personal.
Pacheco: If you see something that can be better, you can create projects and talk to leadership about it. If something can be improved, they’re always going to welcome new and better ideas. It’s very open.
D’Angelica: Leadership truly tries to build a relationship with employees. Wherever they are, they try to bring us together. It’s been especially enlightening to see how we can accomplish this in a remote environment.