While the customer may not always be right, the Customer Care page certainly has to be. At LotusFlare, our Product Managers understand the pivotal role this feature plays in maintaining and enhancing customer experience. This week, we had the privilege of chatting with Alafiya, our Product Manager based in Canada. She shared her telco journey and provided the latest insights into her work on the Customer Care Portal.
Hi Alafiya, thanks for doing this interview with us. Can you tell us more about your career background and the path that brought you to LotusFlare?
Before joining LotusFlare, I had gained several years of experience in the telco industry, working for Bell, a major communications service provider in Canada. In my role there, I managed various product offerings, from voicemail and MMS to B2C IoT and 5G wireless services. I decided to join LotusFlare after learning about their mission and recognizing the massive growth opportunity for a cloud-native software offering for telcos that wanted to improve their ability to create and offer products to their customers with greater agility.
What are your key responsibilities as a Product Manager in LotusFlare? How do you see your interaction with customers?
As a Product Manager at LotusFlare, my main responsibility centers around shaping the future of the services under my management. I strive to strike a balance between enhancing capabilities to meet or surpass industry standards and recognizing the distinctive needs of each customer we serve. That’s why I have collaborative interaction with our customers, which is the part of the job that I enjoy. It’s a privilege to be given time with customers and listen to what their goals are, give advice (based on my background and how LotusFlare works with other customers) and help build the capabilities into LotusFlare DNO™ Cloud that will help them achieve their business objectives.
What’s the most recent project - internal product development or external with a customer - that you’ve been working on? Can you share any details that make this project unique?
During my tenure at LotusFlare, I have been fortunate to undertake various unique projects. The most recent one has been focusing on a comprehensive overhaul of the LotusFlare DNO Cloud Customer Care capabilities. We started the process by re-thinking the way we support Customer Service agents and made the Care Portal more accessible and intuitive. This is one of the most used ages by external users on the LotusFlare DNO Cloud so the potential impact of this initiative is beyond the scope of some of my previous projects, adding a compelling aspect to the work.
Currently, the LotusFlare team is concentrating on aggregating and summarizing key customer information. The goal is to enable agents quicker access to the things they need and facilitate faster answers to the questions they receive. At the same time, we’re also making UI improvements to allow for more flexibility and customization of LotusFlare DNO Cloud.
Were there any challenges during the planning and delivery stages, and how did you overcome them?
Every project is always a balance of time, quality and resources - and this one is no different! There are always so many things going on at LotusFlare so getting some space to crank out a whole new customer care experience has been very exciting. The main way we’re handling this project is by breaking it down into manageable phases - setting realistic timelines and reasonable milestones so that we can show steady, consistent progress. There are so many possibilities in the world of customer care - and so many industry examples for agent portals - that trying to do everything at once would get us nowhere fast. This way, we leave some room to change the future of the product but have a plan in place to keep us on track.
Is there anything you learned while working on the customer care portal, that you will keep carrying in your work?
The learning that has stood out to me the most while working on this project is just the incredible number of sources of information available for research and new ideas. Aside from feedback sessions from our customers, the number of designers, engineers and Product Managers who have touched some or all parts of this project in the past, have helped tremendously in shaping this initiative. This is true for so many aspects of what we are building - and I need to take more advantage of the wealth of knowledge at LotusFlare.
How would you describe LotusFlare to someone considering joining our team and which advice would you have for future PMs?
If I had to give a quick summary of working at LotusFlare, I would say that it is fast-paced, fun, and constantly changing - our teams need to be able to shift quickly when new circumstances arise. There are always new projects on the horizon, POCs, demos and more. The people here are very smart and very capable, but more than that, they are genuinely interested in making high-quality products and seeing the company continue to grow.
To all potential future PMs: LotusFlare is a place where you will be able to make an impact. The level of autonomy, the ability to shape your roadmaps, and the capabilities of the development teams here allow you to dream big and make your ideas a reality.