My 6 Year Skimm

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Talent, Technology | No Comments

In nearly 6 years at Daxko, I’ve had a variety of roles and opportunities. I started as an intern in 2010 with no background or degree in technology, but I am so glad to be part of this ever-changing industry! As a Product Manager on our Product Strategy team, I’ve been especially grateful to have such strong mentors and peers that have shown me the ropes. As I’m rounding out my first year on Product Strategy, I’m reflecting on some of the key lessons I have learned in this role, in the style of one of my favorite daily emails – TheSkimm.

Skimm’d in the pod over an iced latte.  


What to say when your coworker offers you a gluten free cookie…

Not right now. Unfortunately, that’s the typical answer I have to give when a customer or coworker suggests a product enhancement. So many of them are great ideas! But I have to say no to most of them. Some ideas don’t align with our product vision, would take too long to accomplish, or are simply way too expensive to do. It was initially tough to face these requests, but I’ve learned to say no firmly, explain why, and refocus on the things we are doing.

What to say your bff is trying to caption her latest Instagram selfie…

This is critical. In my role, so is communication. It’s critical that I pass the right information onto the right people at the right time. Our company often talks about this at an organizational level, and I’m certainly not perfect at communication; However, when we have a discussion or a decision, I try to ask myself, “Who would want to know about this?” I especially try to remember to explain why we are doing certain things, since it’s usually common knowledge to me, but not for everyone else. I’ve learned that if you feel like you are over-communicating, it’s probably the perfect amount. And I try to go easy on the emojis.

What to say when your coworker asks you to turn down the volume on your Bieber playlist…

What do you mean? I ask this question all the time, and to all types of people I work with: Developers, end users, and other team members. If an engineer is explaining a process I don’t understand, I try to ask them to explain it another way. Or if a user tells me that my product needs a feature, I’ll ask, “How would you use that?” or “What actions would you take if you had that information?” As the Product Owner, I need to know about more than just how the software works – I need to know how the data is consumed, why the page is designed that way, how we bill our clients, etc. I’ve never been shy about asking questions, so this comes easily to me.

What to say when your barista asks “Tall, Grande or Venti?”….

Um, the big one? Estimation is one of the toughest parts of my job – since I’m responsible for our product roadmap and release dates, but am not coding or designing the user experience. Humans are bad at estimating things in general, so it’s definitely tough to answer questions like “How hard would it be to do this?” or “How long would this take?” My biggest revelation has been how much easier it is to estimate something by breaking it down. While, it’s difficult (and time consuming) to figure out how many months and resources an entire project may take, it’s much easier to ask how many hours one task may take. I have to rely on my team to help me with this, and it can be tedious, but it’s the best way to set realistic expectations of what we can develop in a set amount of time.

Meg H. is a Solution Designer who connects ideas across teams and loves an ice cold Coke Zero. 

The Speed of Service

By | Customer Experience, Industry | No Comments

The promise of speed surrounds us everywhere. Geico promises that 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and other mobile or wireless carriers constantly tout their 3G, 4G or lightning fast calls, downloads, and messaging (But don’t worry, HughesNet is the fastest for “anyone with a clear view of the southern sky.”)

All this advertising for speed is not unwarranted, because it is wanted by generally every consumer. Speed is not just valued, it’s expected. In my opinion, speed is usually linked to both attention and empathy. Recently, I felt my “need for speed” satisfied in an exchange with a support representative at another web-based software company, GotoMeeting. I use GotoMeeting frequently for trainings with Daxko customers, and I rely heavily on its recording capabilities. After a meeting failed to record properly, (for no apparent reason) the representative was able to help.

I told her that I was frustrated that I had been on a GotoMeeting for an hour and a half, but the recording failed! I told her (ok, griped to her) that I would now have to re-do the recording and upload it today. I am no stranger to customer support, so I asked how I could avoid doing more re-work in the future. She quickly hypothesized why my meeting did not record (she was right!), told me that my recording would be saved on a hidden location on my computer, and sent me a link with instructions on how to recover the “long-lost recording.”

Did I mention that the entire session took about 5 minutes, and we were chatting online? Our messages and responses were instantly recorded. I could save her instructions to avoid the mistake next time. And, she gave me just what I needed (and pleasantly!) so I could accomplish the pressing task at hand.

This speedy interaction made me thankful for any customer service staff person that will help a customer with an eye on the clock, not to improve call times, but to help the customer solve problems and move on. In this case, a “5 minute instant message saved me 1.5 hours of re-recording time.” It’s not quite a catchy slogan, but I think I like it better.

6 Things I’ve Learned in 6 Days

By | Culture, Life at Daxko | 8 Comments

The first few days of a new job can be nerve-wracking. But easing into my new position as a Product Management Assistant has been interesting so far; from hearing Dave talk about DAXKO’s beginnings to learning how to run data in DAXreport, I feel like I’ll never stop learning. I think I’ve also learned a little already about DAXKO’s office culture as well.

Here are 6 things I have learned in the last 6 days as a new team member at DAXKO:

  1. Food and drink are high on the list.  An expansive coffee bar. A whole fridge devoted to soft drinks. Healthy snacks to offset the fridge devoted to soft drinks. Regularly-catered lunches. Approximately 3-4 emails describing various locations of doughnuts, cookies, and a happy hour. I think I’m going to like it here.
  2. Daxko invests in employees with on-the-job training. I’m appreciative of different teams’ thoughtful presentations and all the good info that has helped me settle in.  Also it’s a good time to look around and know that I’m not the only one that’s asking questions.
  3. Everyone is so darn nice. I thought that perhaps the perpetual cheeriness was a “Samford thing.”  Maybe it has seeped in from across Lakeshore Drive. And no one is shy—I’ve gotten greetings from a lovely “I don’t think we’ve met yet!” to the more direct “Who are you?”
  4. Software-as-a-service is really meaningful to these people. And from what I’ve heard, the customers really do appreciate that.
  5. Daxko Leaders Don’t: Micromanage.
    Daxko Leaders Do: Encourage creativity and to “own” projects, even as a newbie.
    Good deal.
  6. When I tell people where I work (I may as well have shouted it from atop Vulcan), I seem to always get a variation of two responses: “I’ve heard that’s a good place to work,” or “People have told me that they treat their employees really well.” I couldn’t agree more.