As the first installment of the Meet a Spotifier series, which connects Community Stars (as well as regular forum users) with people who work in different Spotify teams, Community staff members and Stars alike were excited to meet in a recent video call with Chris James, the Service Quality Team Lead in Customer Support.
To get to know @Chris better (and as an icebreaker), @Nikola started the call with a few random questions.
@Nikola first asked, "What is the strangest food combination that you enjoy?"
“When I was at uni, for lunch I would eat Pom-Bears and tomato soup…Maybe not super weird, but weird enough," Chris told us.
@Nikola next asked, "What songs would you say are the soundtrack to your life?"
Chris mentioned that nostalgia would play a big role in deciding on his life’s soundtrack, and that a lot of the songs would be from the soundtrack to FIFA 12; “The soundtrack to that football game was amazing; that’s where I discovered Imagine Dragons,” he recalled.
In particular, Chris said that “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons might specifically be his soundtrack; it’s a very happy song, and you can listen to it here:
@Nikola also asked, "What movie can you quote by heart?"
"I have quite a mainstream taste…I like the whole Marvel cinematic universe, really into that; I think probably the newest Spiderman movie is my favorite film at the moment…it’s amazing, I absolutely love it,” Chris said.
@Nikola then asked, "What is something something that always makes you smile?"
Chris mentioned videos of people falling over (”I guess it’s slapstick comedy, just really a bit old-fashioned").
@Nikola next asked Chris about something we can surely all relate to, "How do you waste time?"
Chris explained, “I procrastinate a lot; anytime I have something important to do, I just will put it off as long as I can. I’ll clean, that’s waiting time… If I’m supposed to clean, I won’t clean; it’s like this endless cycle—as long as I’m doing something, I’ll get to the end result eventually."He mentioned as well that he also likes to just sit in his garden, being alone quietly with his thoughts.
@Hubo then asked Chris, "Do you prefer coffee or tea?"
As Chris had a beverage with him at the moment, he said “It’s tea, if you’re wondering...with oat milk, no sugar."
Chris replied, “No, I don’t think I can find a reason to go vegan, so I’m just procrastinating it.”
@Novy then asked, "Are you more of a cat person or a dog person?"
Chris told us, “I used to be a dog person, I think I might be a cat person now. I might be both, I think it’s a shame that we put them against each other, they’re both quite nice animals.”
As I was curious about Chris's garden that he mentioned earlier, I asked, "What types of plants do you have in your garden?"
Chris replied that he has three types of fruit trees, as well as spinach, bok choy, and strawberries growing. About the potential new additions to his garden, Chris also said, “I’ve dug out a little border; I’ve got clay soil, and I actually don’t know what grows in clay soil.. Lots of vegetables and fruit at the moment… If I want to be a good gardener, I’ve just got to dig in.”
@AmyPenistone then asked, "What secret talent would you show off at a talent show?"
Chris replied, “I don’t have a secret talent…hmm I’m quite good at getting roasted, I don’t know if that’s a talent,” explaining that he’s known among his friends for being able to take a joke.
After our random questions, Nikola handed over the call to Chris, so that he could present more about himself and his role at Spotify. Chris is 28 and has been at Spotify for over 6 years now. He likes TV (sometimes indie films, in addition to the Marvel multiverse); and at uni, Chris was in a band for 2 years and studied audio engineering (both of which he thinks are factors that got him a job at Spotify, as they demonstrate his passion for music). In addition to getting into gardening, Chris and his wife (who also works at Spotify) record music in their office/home studio as a hobby, since they bought a house together about 3 years ago. Chris is also happy to be the dad of his son, who’s 6 months old.
Chris is in the service quality team at Spotify, whose mission is to make sure that their advisor support team has everything they need to get better at supporting customers. After the training, Chris’s team is there to help the advisor support team, making sure that their quality doesn’t slip. It’s the job of the service quality team to support and help the quality team, who in turn support the advisors.
Chris’s current project is redesigning the quality score cards, which are used to assess the performance of support advisors; at the moment, everyone who works on email, social media, CS channels, etc. has their own, different score cards—and Chris is working with his team to develop a score card that can apply across every support advisor team, enabling comparing the performance of different support advisor teams (e.g. email vs. social media advisors).
Chris also shared a tip from his experience as the Service Quality Team Lead: “Always include context when you’re suggesting troubleshooting steps,” since context is important in order to build trust with the user whom you’re helping, and makes them feel like you’re on the same team.
@Soundofus then asked, "What is the best souvenir that you have from when you were a Community Moderator?"
Chris mentioned that while there was a board that hosted troubleshooting steps (Spotify Answers, now called FAQs), it was way at the bottom of the analytics page, which shows the number of views each board has. When Chris joined the Community Moderator team, he worked on a project to get more views to Spotify Answers, so that users would be more likely to find an answer to their issue or question, rather than feeling that they need to create a new topic about it. "I remember that was the first time I made a change and I actually saw a change in the numbers,” Chris said about the project.
In addition, Chris mentioned that he loved being on the escalation board, choosing Star of the Week, as well as writing for the “In Our Headphones” and “Tip-Off” blogs as a Community Moderator.
@Soundofus also asked, "What's next for you in your career?"
Chris replied that he really likes it at Spotify, and can’t let go of the work he’s done so far on the quality team—getting the score card built and getting everyone aligned has taken a lot of time, and Chris would like to enjoy all the work he’s done over the past 6 years with Spotify before starting to think about future projects.
As Chris had mentioned playing guitar at uni in his intro, @Nikola asked a final question, "Were you ever in a band?"
“Yes, I used to be in a hip hop band…I really enjoyed it, it was amazing,” Chris said, adding that they were called Dream Warriors, a 6-piece band with a drummer and producer, pianist, rapper, and bass player, who have collaborated with the British rapper Raxstar.
It was a great pleasure of all who attended the call to learn more about Chris and his role at Spotify, and I’m glad to share some of the highlights from the call with the Community.