Customers are the biggest priority for flydocs and are whom we strive to add value in all solutions and services we provide. Customer experience is key in creating strong and long-lasting experiences for users and with the emergence of new technologies, it has evolved in exciting ways in today’s business environment.
At flydocs, we identify customer needs and develop personalised approaches to deliver a unique experience. During a customer’s journey, their interaction, expectations, and overall experience of feeling valued are at the heart of the flydocs story.
Lauren Partridge, Director of Customer Experience at flydocs shares her experiences through her journey.
How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as ambitious, approachable, and positive. I can usually be found with a smile on my face mixed with ambition, which is a dangerous combination. I have been ambitious from a young age and still enjoy pushing myself to see where the next challenge can take me. I love collaborating and learning from new people, and projects, and being approachable has opened the door for me to work on some exciting topics. Even going into aviation was by chance through a friend who thought I would fit in well, so she recommended me, starting at the very bottom and working my way up by throwing myself into building solutions and efficiencies for my customers and colleagues.
When it comes to being positive, I try to find the positives in everything I do, or I give a positive spin on every occasion. So, whether that’s in life or at work, there’s always some good that can come out of even a single mistake – sometimes it’s the best opportunity to learn!
How has the journey been so far at flydocs, to be given new responsibilities with the new role? What do you cherish the most working here?
I joined flydocs as the Head of Product Support and over the last three years, we have expanded the role, going from a team of 12 members to now a team of almost double the strength. Strange enough, all the skills I learned from my very early career in beauty therapy prior to going into aviation, I use regularly today, as it is all about giving the customer the best experience and leaving them happy. This is what our team strives for every day.
I have loved the first few months in my new role as it has been a rewarding experience to grow the department and highlight the importance of customer experience across the business. The only tricky bit is stepping out of the operational side and giving myself time to think more strategically but my brilliant team keeps me well-grounded while I find my feet. I am lucky to have an amazing team around me and they make everyday fun. But I also love the focus on people and their experiences while working here. I have worked for three relatively big businesses with varying employee engagement and satisfaction, and hands down, this company has the best attitude I have come across, to be open to change and continuously strive to improve.
Walk us through a typical day for you at flydocs.
09:00 AM is the time my brain switches from parent mode to work mode and I go straight into meetings, with a lot of my role involved in collaboration, so I get to spend my day doing something I love – interacting with people. Everyday is different, so the interactions range from highly technical discussions to organising a customer webinar or carrying out one-on-ones with my team.
What makes your role special and stand out at flydocs? Who’s your role model?
I feel that my role is unique in the fact that it’s one of the only roles where I get to regularly speak to every single department across the business and support them daily, whether it is the product development team on a bug, IT on an infrastructure topic, commercial discussions for new client contracts or the technical services to assist them on projects. It keeps me on my toes.
In terms of a role model, it would have to be two – I come from a pair of very hard-working parents – they both ‘seemed’ to juggle working full time and having three children with ease (still trying to figure out how they managed it – and we’ve only got two!)
Tell us your favourite memory while at flydocs and what made it special.
Attending the Women in Tech awards in May 2022, being amongst some of the brilliant women in our business, supporting Joretha Augostine, our Chief People Officer as a finalist and being in a room full of people and businesses of our field doing amazing things for women in technology. This topic is close to my heart as throughout my 12-year career, the workplace has been changing for the better and it was a great opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and how far we still must go for equality.
What’s your favourite project that you were a part of as a Director of Customer Experience, Product, and Innovation?
I have been involved in a lot of projects throughout my three years at flydocs, as I joined at an exciting time when we were going through a lot of growth. My favourite one has been working with my team on the customer experience transformation project – rebranding the department from ‘product support’ to ‘customer experience’, building our three agile integration pods, and the most recent addition, adding the data feed squad along with focusing on customer pain points and building resilience within the team to focus on ensuring the best customer experience.
Would you like to share any challenging experiences you faced during your tenure at flydocs?
There are always challenges in any role, that’s what makes it interesting. The biggest change we are working through as a business is our Infrastructure move to Microsoft Azure, which is a big, exciting project, opening up lots of new opportunities with different technology and improving our customers’ experience which has been very rewarding.
On a scale of 1-10, how fulfilled are you? Why?
I would rate it a nine because I think I am fulfilled in the role as it’s giving me all I want for my career right now but there’s always scope for a little bit more!
How do you balance your career at flydocs and life outside of work?
I always have to reset myself. The first half of the week I’m good and I’ll make sure that I finish work on time and have quality time at home with my family. Then the second half usually goes out the window. But on a serious note, for me, it’s about knowing what’s important in life and family is the most important thing – ‘work is work and home is home’.
One of the main things that made me move over to working for flydocs was the opportunity to have a role managing people that gave me the flexibility to also manage my own life. Having a team is important to me and something I really enjoy and that’s one of the things that flydocs does well in terms of that flexibility. Enabling me to have that work-life balance and trusting me to be able to look after a team even when I don’t live anywhere near 90% of them. The proximity to a team isn’t always the most important thing, as long as you’re making time for them.
What is the importance of customer centricity for you? How important is customer feedback for the business? Any customer-centric experience you’d like to share in your role, which has been a learning one for you?
The customer is the most important voice, and we must appreciate and understand our customers to be able to give them the best services and products. As a business, it’s important to understand our client base otherwise we will become irrelevant very quickly. For me, giving the customer the best experience and putting them at the heart of the decisions that we make will only lead us to success because the more we have our finger on the pulse of our customers, the more we know where we need to go from a roadmap perspective because as they evolve into the digital world, we need to keep up and be a forerunner of that.
A recent experience I had was last year when we wanted to build a product for a new part of the aviation sector. As my background is in component management and trading, I helped to define a component-focused product that would help us dip our toe in this market. Throughout the ideation phase we made sure that direct feedback from our current and target customers was included for us to build our initial MVP (minimum viable product) having this voice of the user was critical to not building on assumptions and just relying on an individual’s experience, even though I had spent seven years in that sector and Andre Fischer, our CEO had spent many more! It was crucial to not rely solely on this and make sure our knowledge and understanding were up to date. When the product was ready to share, we went in with a simple and effective solution and gathered further feedback to help shape the product and build a roadmap of features. The main lesson I learned from this, as it was my first experience in the product management world, was to not try and resolve everything with the first release – focus on what brings value to the customer and put them at the heart of all the features and functions you build.