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 Laura at @laura.marciano in the chat room.
Hi Everyone! My name is Laura Marciano and I am the Head of Customer Operations here at Livestream! Livestream is the premier platform for live event coverage. Our goal is to broadcast every live event possible on the web, mobile and connected TVs.
As the Head of Customer Operations, I am directly responsible for managing our Customer Care team which consists of Billing, Technical Support, Customer Service and Education/Training. I am also an active part of the senior leadership team here at Livestream, and occasionally find myself in Marketing, Product, UX/UI, Sales and Strategy meetings with our executive team. I work in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York and live in Middle Village, Queens. Follow along with me on a typical day at work!
Randy in his Thunderjacket (left) and Charlie (right), my dogs
As soon as my alarm clock goes off I am awoken by my 2 dogs, eager to start the day with me. My boyfriend has already left for work and I quickly shower and get dressed with the Today show in the background. The dogs and I hit the pavement at 8am for our brisk walk around the neighborhood before I grab my things and drive to the office around 8:20am.
If there isn’t much traffic – it can take me 20 or 30 minutes to go 3 miles down the road to Livestream Public, Livestream’s Main Headquarters in Brooklyn. I park my car amidst old warehouses with graffiti and an old steamboat that has been abandoned, containing the aftermath of the occasional midnight rave.
I head immediately into Fitzcarraldo, the restaurant within the office, and immediately make a plate from the gourmet breakfast spread laid out for all of the employees, every day, for free. The barista, Ryan, knows to make my morning iced espresso with a splash of chocolate milk as I walk in the door. I fill my plate and then head upstairs to my desk to start my day!
My Desk! I sit across from our CEO, Jesse and with the rest of our Business team (Accounting, HR, Billing, etc).
I sign in to Slack and Google Calendar to check out what’s going on in my schedule. I have already checked my email while walking my dogs and have tagged the urgent issues for my attention to respond to when I first sit at my desk. Issues like providing opinions on a product strategy, following up on a bug escalation with our Head of Platform and co-founder, Mark, and touching base with our CEO, Jesse, who is currently in the midst of traveling to our office in the Ukraine.
I have a Google Hangout session with Uma, our COO in Bangalore to touch base on how our customer base is doing in India. This usually triggers some process tweaks to improve knowledge share and documentation requests. We discuss the idea of our next Leadership offsite possibly taking place in Bangalore! I also catch up with her children, checking in on how school is going and what’s new.
Bianca, our People Experience Manager asks for my opinion for plans on the upcoming Halloween party. After deciding on spoiling the staff with some local hard cider, organizing a baking contest and then ultimately hosting a for-the-public Halloween party after 7pm, I grab a latte that Ryan has waiting for me.
I go back to my desk and check in on one of the newest agents on the team to see how they are coming along with training. Each agent is paired with a more senior agent as a mentor, and our Education Specialist, Emily, sits with them every day for the first 2 weeks one-on-one to get their hands on all of our products. After 2 weeks they can start responding to email, and after 3 weeks they can start to get on the phone. The team sits together in our open office and open dialogue is encouraged.
I make my rounds and touch base with the rest of the agents individually and answer some technical and/or process related questions from them. Then it’s time to start working on the spec for migrating our support center from Desk to Zendesk until noon.
Our Studio Software! Each agent has their own machine at their desk to quickly log in to to support customers that need urgent help with our software and hardware.
The spec is one of the hardest things for me to get to throughout the day – mainly because it is a ton of work, but also because it’s a daunting task with a fast approaching deadline. I spend some time leading the education team on the new format for our help center articles, letting them take charge of the structure of our email webform while I focus more on the development side – the API integrations, our phone queue configuration and the overall customer journey experience of the support center.
There is a candidate interviewing for a new content marketing position, and I’ve been asked to provide my opinion on culture fit. The poor candidate was supposed to come to the office but broke his ankle yesterday! Google Hangout it is! What a trooper! We have a 30 minute interview where I ask a few questions.
- Describe a time you felt you were right but you still had to follow directions or guidelines that you didn’t agree with.
- If you could change one thing on your resume what would you change and why?
- What would you most like to learn working at Livestream that would help you in the future?
Lunch time! Back to Fitzcarraldo for Taco Tuesday! Livestream provides a $5 lunch which includes an unlimited salad bar and hot entree that changes daily. I eat with some friends, one of whom is almost finished knitting a sweater masterpiece (she’s been at it for weeks!) and we have a nostalgic discussion about our histories working in retail.
We’re mainly focused on the return process and how one time when I was working for New York and Company in 2005, a woman returned a black velour track suit with the tags on it, but covered in cat hair and smelled just as bad. My manager at the time accepted the return and wound up just throwing the suit away instead of fighting with the customer about the state of the merchandise. This stuck with me and is something I think of often.
Training session with 5 new agents on our Legacy platform. I go over more advanced troubleshooting, cdn architecture and Q&A from recent customer interactions. This requires a lot of marker to whiteboard diagrams and the team is throwing questions left and right! A successful knowledge share!
The tech team hard at work! This is the room that is mainly focused on the customer. We have our sales team, support teams, marketing, production, design and accounting teams in one area. Our development and product teams are downstairs in a more quiet space, since everyone here is on the phones.
We change conference rooms and invite 6 more agents for our weekly Support Team Meeting. We have a new member of our Product team that is sitting in for his first week. To introduce him to the team, I decide to initiate a fun ice-breaker: What ice cream flavor would you use to describe you? The flavors ranged from Durian to Vanilla with the real black dots peppered in to mine, Rocky Road.
The rest of the meeting is a status update from our QA/Testing team, Hardware Returns/RMA department and Education team. The rest of the agents discuss any weird bugs reported or irate customers that we should be aware of, and I provide my update from the Executive team and instructions on new procedures, etc. We always have one agent stay upstairs to monitor the queue while the rest of the team is away.
I sit in on a Marketing tool demo with other stakeholders in various departments. There are free cupcakes, but I opt for a free pen instead of the sugar. During the meeting I am pinged on Slack for a few housekeeping issues – Seth from our UX team sends me some ideas on the design for our support center and one of our co-founders sends me a link to a piece of video content that needs to urgently be taken down.
My spec outlines on the whiteboard table
I am back upstairs and tea is a necessity. I follow up on my email queue, handle some team HR work such as scheduling, performance metrics, and then check in on our feedback responses and QA of tickets. I check in on project work and go back to working on my spec for migrating our help center and queues to Zendesk.
I get up and stretch for 5 minutes, and then check in on how the job listings are going in Greenhouse.io. Even though I don’t have any urgent openings, I like to see if any interesting resumes came in. I check in to Slack chats galore (the away feature is great), more email and confirming some vendor calls for the next day. There are a few technical questions related to specific production workflows and a few more logistics questions from our reseller channel that I rummage through before going back into the spec.
The office quickly clears and I head for home! After battling traffic and searching for a parking space, I’m home and back with my dogs and boyfriend in time for another walk and dinner.