Our “We Are DocuSign,” blog series places the spotlight on employees from a variety of departments and provides a peek into what it’s like to work at DocuSign. This week, we sat down with Ella, Vice President of Customer Service, to chat about her day-to-day work, what she admires about her colleagues, and something none of her coworkers know about her.
Q: What do you do at DocuSign?
I run global support at DocuSign, which is comprised of everything from self-service to online communities all the way up through our highest level of service, which provides a designated support representative for our top 100 accounts.
Q: What do your friends and family think you do?
They think I run global support. They know I’m on a plane a lot. Actually, there’s not as much mystery as in some jobs. You know when you say you do something and people don’t really know what it means? They seem to know what this means.
Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?
For me, hands down, it’s my team. They’re definitely my energy source and food, if you will. I think we’ve done a pretty great job of creating an environment together; We have a higher goal we’re all focused on and working towards — and you have to be highly engaged and motivated to do so. It’s super fun. They’re a hysterical team. Lots of laughter. For me, my work is one of those jobs that you look forward to in your life. You want to see the people you work with. I feel more energized after a day with my team than otherwise.
Q: What department do you work in at DocuSign and what does that team do?
I work under the overall customer success organization. We are accountable for all the success of the customer post-sale. One of the things I also love about my job is that I’m not constrained by geography. If you’re a signer, for example, we support you throughout the entire lifecycle of you being a customer. Once you’ve signed your contract at DocuSign, our job is to make sure you’re up, running, satisfied, and finding the value you expect from DocuSign.
Q: How is that team different than other teams at Docusign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?
I would boast about my team in the sense that we are a completely unified team. We get to support all of DocuSign. So, again, we’re not vertical — we’re not product — we’re not one area. We cover the entire thing. We have the privilege of having true global insight in terms of the customer — reflecting the customer voice back to product. In terms of our scope and breadth.
This doesn’t come from the leader — from the team — we’ve built a really cohesive team. We’re all in it together. It’s a privilege to come to work for that reason. Everybody is here to help everybody. A lot of collaboration. A lot of energy.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?
I always ask everyone — whether they’re a new employee or not — to keep their eyes wide open. If there’s a problem and you’re doing the same thing all day long, you should be actively analyzing what you’re doing — and then educating the rest of us how to improve it. So I’d say exercise active intellectual engagement. Don’t go through the motions. Be thinking through how you can make your processes better. This type of approach makes what we do more effective, more efficient, and more enabled. Basically what I expect is for team members to lean in and make the organization better.
I recently had a big talk about accountability with my team. We have an incredible culture — but that doesn’t come top down — that comes from the people. They get to own what we become. And I ask people to take that very seriously.
Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?
In my colleagues? Passion and commitment. We really care. Intelligence. And I think, maintaining the belief that we’re really building something big and we’re on the ride together.
Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?
My laugh. It’s very loud.
I think they would probably say collaboration. I work not just with my own team but try to connect with the broader DocuSign. So, I’d say my collaborations, my leadership and providing that sense of enabling my team.
Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?
I was a competitive figure skater and played ice hockey in college. So I can make fun of both of those things with credibility.
Q: What is your favorite snack from the DocuSign kitchen?
When I remember to have a snack, I’m usually trying to substitute for the fact that I can’t eat lunch when I want to. I usually grab the cheese strings.
Q: Where is your favorite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?
Against my better judgment, I’m in my office quite a bit. So people come to me. If I actually had the time I would go to the 17th floor outdoor garden and meet there. The fresh air is good for the mind.
Q: What is the best project you ever worked on at DocuSign and why?
When I first started at DocuSign, when you’re growing so fast, support is what’s called an afterthought. I realized that if we were going to scale we would have to launch a customer portal. That allowed them to find what they needed, have an online community, and self-serve as much as possible. We launched that last August.
The customer adoption has been great. We’ve localized it in French and Brazilian Portuguese. I think it’s a very effective tool. One great sign is that it’s one of many DocuSign investments that is customer-enabled. We’re making your life better in terms of how you use the product. We’re giving you what you need, when you need it. That was the first huge investment in that area that we launched. It was great cross-functional enterprise. Everybody was in the boat getting that out the door.
Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?
I would become — clearly — a prize-winning writer. Writing great novels that will obviously be published. But in all seriousness, I do like to write. I write poetry for my team. For the world at large? I wish I could write more science fiction. Usually I am writing philosophy, and some some short stories. But I would need a block of time to get back into it.
Otherwise, I might go on and run another customer success department somewhere else.
Q: For you, what is the secret to happiness?
I think for me, in general, it’s when you have an alignment between action, values, beliefs, purpose. When what you say is meaningful to you is actually what you’re able to do in practice. It doesn’t necessarily mean you believe in philanthropy and go work in nonprofit — it just means there’s a continuity in your life. I think if there’s misalignment in those things it’s difficult to feel satisfied.