Interview conducted by Dana Barfield
Hi Chris! I’m so excited to learn more about you and what you do at Hushmail. So… where are you originally from?
I was born in Ontario, but my family moved out to BC when I was only 1. We started out living on Vancouver Island in a town called Ucluelet and then moved to North Vancouver a few years later. When I was around 8, we moved to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, where I spent the rest of my adolescent years. Horseshoe Bay was an amazing place to grow up. It's just such a beautiful area and really had a small town feel in those days. Still one of my favorite places to go visit.
What brought you to Hushmail?
I was finishing a contract with the West Vancouver school district and on a whim applied for a job at Hushmail that I saw online. At that point, 10 years ago, the company was very small. I liked the idea of working on a small team, and everyone in the company seemed really nice and interesting.
What’s your role at Hushmail?
I’m the Customer Care Manager at Hushmail. Which means I'm responsible for ensuring my team is able to provide the best possible support experience we can for our customers. This means advocating for tools that help us get the job done, relaying customer feedback or concerns to the appropriate team, and coming up with new and inventive ways we can meet and exceed expectations.
What’s your favorite part about working at Hushmail?
I think one of my favorite things about working here is that everything is always changing. No day is ever the same.
I've been here so long that my "what I like the most" list has changed quite a bit.
At first, it was learning all there was to know about the service and what was possible. Then troubleshooting and solving the most difficult problems I could find. As time went on, I just got a lot out of helping people, from start to finish.
These days, since I'm not on the front lines anymore, I get a lot out of advocating for my team so that they can do the best job possible. That could be pushing for new tools, helping break down problems, or teaching a new way of looking at things. It feels like a “passing of the torch” moment because I know the exact issues they’re going through. I want to make sure we tackle them in the smartest way we can and continue to wow our customers when they need us.
What are the biggest obstacles you face in your work?
There are a lot of really smart and passionate people working here. With that come many ideas flying around at all times. Lots of really great ideas. Some easy and some hard.
Part of my job is deciding how we do things and what we do. Like, realistically, what can we really get done in a certain amount of time? It can be tough to decide what ideas to go after when there is such an abundance of great ideas.
That said, having a huge list of good ideas is probably a lot better than having none!
What have you discovered about your position at Hushmail that has been surprising to you?
It took me a while to get used to not directly solving our customers’ problems, but I realize I can do more good by teaching my team "how to fish,” so to speak.
I wasn’t surprised to see my team rise to the challenge. I knew they were smart and more than capable of doing that. But it was surprising just how satisfying I found it to watch them rise to the occasion, solving the problems and pleasing the customers just like I used to do.
I'm extremely proud of the team here and all they do.
What would you like to learn more about? How would you like to grow, either in your work or personal life?
I'm very much into personal development in and outside of work. Right now I'm reading a book on how to identify team players in the office and in the interview process when hiring. I have found myself doing a fair amount of hiring for the team over the years, and I’m excited to learn as much as I can so we can continue to have such an amazing team here.
What would you most like Hushmail customers to know about what you do at Hushmail?
I guess I just want them to know that they really are people to us and that we are people too. I really do want them to have a good experience with our product and a great experience when they contact us. We care and want them to have a product that helps them succeed in whatever they’re doing.
What details about your life outside of Hushmail would you like to share with our readers?
I'm a hobby artist in my personal life. I used to paint acrylic landscapes and now am more into figure art and illustration, as well as 3-D modeling. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and have always enjoyed being creative.
Aside from that, I really like dogs. I rescued a dog from Taiwan eight years ago. Lucy really means a lot to me. We love to go on long hikes in the North Shore mountains. I provided a few pics so you can see for yourself how great she is!