This is part of a series we’re doing to help people in our community get to know the person behind the chat screen. Say hi to Simon Chan at @simon in the chat room.
Hey there, I’m Simon and I work on a mix of Community, Support and Product Marketing at Wunderlist where we help over 12 million people around the globe get stuff done. A big part of my job is working across all the teams to communicate what we’re working on to our customers and most importantly, let our team know what our customers have to say about it all. I’m originally from Canberra, Australia and have been living in Berlin, Germany since 2008 with my wife. I started out at Wunderlist doing part-time Support in 2012, then did a little Social Media management, and now have the rather long and fancy title (for external purposes—we have a flat-hierarchy) of Director of Community & Product Marketing.
Surprisingly, I managed to get out of bed on time today. Most mornings involve a battle between my love of sleep and my wake-up light. My love of sleep usually wins thanks to the light-blocking powers of my doona.
Out of the house for a quick run. I actually don’t really like running since mountain biking is more my thing, but living in the city makes mid-week rides a little hard. But I’m still thankful for the ability of morning runs to clear my head for the day.
After breakfast with my wife I’m headed out to the office now. I’m lucky enough to live just four kilometres away from the office, so I ride to the office almost every day of the year. I stop by the bank to take out some cash—there’s a German saying “Nur Bares ist Wahres” which means “Cash is king” and you really can’t survive here without it in your pocket.
Arrive at the office and the first thing I do is go make a cup of tea. I’m normally a good colonial-descendent and have a cup of Irish Breakfast, but the asian in me is saying it’s definitely a Pu-erh kind of day.
I sit down for a quick chat in with a few folks from our support team to get a quick lay of the land. Ticket count is looking good and there’s just the usual issues coming in. I also update them on what’s planned later in the week from the Marketing & Comms team. We’re looking to officially launch our Apple Watch app and talk about any issues our customers could run into using the app and how we should answer them. We also get a little distracted and talk for a while on whether we’ll personally be buying one—we’re all geeks at heart.
Next up is checking in with our Japan and Chinese country managers and our social media and community manager. Similar to my chat with Support, we go over the previous day’s tickets. We chat about how we think our Apple Watch launch will go and how progress is going for other posts and announcements for the week to come. Speaking of blog posts, I get back to our Apple Watch one to make a few more changes.
Time for our daily Engagement Team stand-up. At Wunderlist we work in cross-functioning teams which basically means we have a bunch of people with different skills working together on specific projects of our own choosing. In the Engagement team, we look at ways to both improve our MAU and WAU numbers and at the same time improve our customers’ experience. A lot of what we work on comes through feature requests that we track, as well as general (anonymous) data analysis. The main points we’re talking about today are a test we’ll be running to improve Reminder creation and checking in on multiple email support for Mail to Wunderlist.
Back at my desk and hitting my work emails and catching up on conversations in Slack. Today is shaping up to be one where I probably won’t get that much work done unfortunately. Having been at Wunderlist for 3 years and working across a bunch of teams, I spend quite a bit of time helping everyone from designers to engineers to sales on how new features should work and how we should talk about them in a way our customers will understand. I like to think of it as support driven branding and comms—we want everything to sound cohesive, make our customers happy with a feature that works the way they expect it to and quickly understand. It also makes us happy because if it’s done right, it means we have less support tickets in our inbox.
We’ve got a bug-fix update rolling out on iOS and Polly our Social Media Manager’s written the changelog. But our country managers who are both originally from Japan and Hong Kong are having a little difficulty with the wording and phrasing. It’s just a bug-fix update, but we like to make all our changelogs a little fun, so I go through the copy with them to make sure it makes sense for their markets.
On to doing some work on our Apple Watch tutorial video. Today is all about fine tuning the script and shot sequence. Before I was at Wunderlist, I worked with video and media in general, which is how I got into producing them. They’re a great way to help our customers get into a new feature or app like Apple Watch.
Berlin’s put on some lovely spring sunshine today, so some of the design team and I are headed out to a place called Imbiss 204 to enjoy the weather and nomtastic Schnitzel.
A lot of the time our lunchtime conversations are about new technology and apps, which then often leads to talking about how we’d do something if we built it for Wunderlist. For me it’s a great space to talk about customers’ ideas and often leads to us building a better product overall.
Back in the office and working on the video script again. This one’s proved to be a tough cookie. I’m already on my third and hopefully final draft. It’s been quite the challenge not having an actual device to use, so trying to explain how our app works to our customers hasn’t come easy.
Jump into a meeting about Wunderlist for Work. It’s a more business focused part of the product we’re working on to make using Wunderlist with your team easier. We mostly talk about how we communicate and the tone that we use.
My brain is a bit too worn out for more work on the video script so I switch gears and hit up our blog comments. This is about as hands-on as I get with support work now. I sometimes answer a few email and twitter tickets, but normally only if we have a big launch or maintenance. On the one hand I love being able to work across teams in my role, advocating for our customers, but I still do miss the really fun conversations you can have directly.
Go over the rest of the week’s social media content plan with our social media and country managers.
Back to answering more of my work emails. I also spot a couple of questions in Slack from our support team. I make a few suggestions on how we can help this particular unhappy customer and de-escalate the situation.
Head to our Retro area for an Open Design Review. About once a week the design team share what they’ve either shipped and/or their early ideas and concepts. It’s a great chance to make sure feature requests and general customer feedback gets heard. Plus it’s always cool to see what the team is thinking of so early on in the design process.
Head out of the office and pick up some groceries – using Wunderlist of course ;) – on the way home. Overall it’s been a pretty hectic day, but still happy with what got done from the team. Time to cook and then hit the couch and catch up on The Americans.