Interview with Emily Schwab, a CRM coach who started in 2014:
What were you doing before LACRM?
I was an English major at WashU and a member of the crew team. I stayed pretty busy with classes and the team, in part as an attempt to avoid the fact that I really was going to graduate and enter the "real world." I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation so I was feeling more than a little bit lost.
What appealed to you about the job at LACRM?
I was wandering around the Career Fair pretty aimlessly when Alex Haimann pulled me in and started talking. It quickly became clear that Less Annoying CRM was different, and not just because they were wearing t-shirts at the Career Fair. I’d never worked for a small business before, and I really liked the idea that I could be a valuable part of a small team. I also thought it could be a great place for me to learn more about technology while helping others.
What was the interview process like?
After the Career Fair, I sent in a resume and writing sample (they didn’t want a cover letter, much to my relief). Next, I interviewed with Tyler, Michael, and Mitch in person. We talked about everything from my classes and interests to technology and the customer service team. Then I filled out some practice contact forms and scheduled another interview, this time with the whole team. I did a Google hangout to get to know everybody. The interview was more about getting to know each other than drilling me, and we talked about my interests and goals. This was also a great chance for me to learn more about the company, and I had some questions about life and work with Less Annoying CRM.
When you first started, what was the experience like?
My first week was spent with Michael and Tyler as they explained the system and company history to me. They taught me everything I needed to know about the software, and then I was given some time to try things out on my own and play around to get to know the system even better. By the end of the week, I got to answer my very first email from a customer. Michael helped walk me through it to get started, and over time I started answering more emails. During my first week, and even now, I’ve always been able to ask lots of questions. Something great about LACRM is that you’re not expected to know everything, but you are expected to be honest about what you don’t know, particularly with customers.
Now that you've been at LACRM for a while, what is your day-to-day life like?
My day starts with clearing out my inbox; I’ll go through and answer any contact forms or emails from the night before. Depending on the day, I’ll then dive into my 20% project, answering the phone, or giving consultations. Consultations are always fun for me because I get to hear about other small businesses and the amazing things they’re working on. I can teach them the best way to use our system for their own success, and they tend to get pretty excited when they see how we’ll work for them. Many of our customers have never used a CRM before, and being able to get it working exactly for their individual business is really rewarding.
You're an English major. How do you feel about being a CRM coach?
I love it! I knew I liked working with people, but I didn’t really know how that could apply to a job. As a CRM coach, I’m able to use the writing and communication skills I’ve developed as an English major while helping people solve real problems.
What is living in St. Louis like after graduation?
It’s very different than I expected. I knew that I didn’t really make it outside of the WashU bubble, but I didn’t know how much I was missing! There are a ton of things to do in St. Louis, and a lot of them are free. There are a number of restaurants and festivals in St. Louis, and I’m just starting to explore all of those. There are also a lot more neighborhoods in St. Louis than I was led to believe, and they all have different influences and attractions.
What are your favorite things about working at LACRM?
Customer Service has a pretty bad reputation these days, and it’s a great feeling to help our customers and show them that we really do mean we’re here for them. I also really like the environment; I get to work with a group of people who are passionate and driven to create excellence within the company, but who still know how to relax and have fun. Also, no suits!
What do you think separates LACRM from other companies?
For me there are two major differences between LACRM and other companies. One is that our customers really do like us. They might get a little frustrated with technology, but when we answer phone calls and emails they’re grateful to learn that we understand, we’re real people, and we’re here to help them. The other major difference is that every opinion at LACRM matters. As a new employee, my voice and opinions mattered just as much as everyone else; I didn’t get shuffled off because I was new or wasn’t sure what we were talking about. And if I didn’t know what we were talking about, the team was happy to take a couple minutes to explain to me what was going on, and what it meant for Less Annoying CRM.
Is there anything else you'd like to say to someone considering applying for a position at LACRM?
Go for it! If you want to apply, or know someone who does, feel free to contact me. I’m happy to talk more about Less Annoying CRM, and answer any questions or concerns you might have. If you want to grab coffee or chat sometime, give me a call at (314)-222-2750, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I was in the same position not too long ago, and feeling pretty lost, so I’m happy to help you any way I can!