When Josie-Lynn Lanuza first joined Zwift in 2016, all she knew about the virtual cycling company was that it had “something to do with bikes.” Since then, she’s learned a lot more having advanced from her previous member support agent position to her current role.
As a community support specialist, she serves as the bridge between Zwift’s customers and their game developers — a responsibility she finds most exciting. And based on her experience with the company, their culture of support is the key to delivering high-quality programs to their consumers.
“It's important to have our members voices be heard — no matter how big or small,” she says. “Support is a huge telling sign of the health of our product.”
In a recent chat with Fairygodboss, Lanuza shared the most exciting part of her role, her strengths — which she’s still learning to own — and what’s led her to stay at Zwift. Check out her responses below.
How long have you been with your company? What about it made you first want to join?
I've worked at Zwift since October 2016 — and bikes brought me here! For a couple years, I was cycling a lot with SheWolfAttackTeam (S.W.A.T.) in Los Angeles, a grassroots women's cycling group. They helped me get stronger on a bike, and I climbed up Griffith Park, the Hollywood Sign and San Gabriel Mountains, all things I never thought I'd do.
I started leading rides with them, and fell absolutely in love with having such a strong community of women doing something rad. We planned rides throughout the week and kept that all organized on our Facebook group. That's when I saw the post about a current job opening from another rad human here at Zwift (Crystal!).
I had no idea what Zwift was, except that it had something to do with bikes. The other cool thing was Zwift had started to incorporate running too, which was a past love of mine before I got into cycling.
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at your company, as well as your current one.
I joined Zwift to work on the support team as a Member Support Agent. It's been a wild ride because we've grown a ton, and there is so much we are doing! As an agent, I worked on support tickets helping our members on a variety of things from getting started on Zwift to reporting to various internal teams on issues we're seeing from the public. There were only a few of us for a while, so we were cranking out all the support tickets as fast as we could. Since we're only expanding and growing as a company, obviously our user-base is growing and we need to keep up. We started to enlist help from an external support company and my role evolved even more!
The support team started creating specialties with specific departments (accounts, eCommerce, QA, marketing, knowledge base and game). My specialty is game, and I was the liaison between our larger support team and our game devs. My job requires communication both ways: providing game devs with weekly data points on customer issues and providing our support team with game updates, features and functionality.
What about this role most excites you?
The role is cross-functional, and I think it's exciting to be the bridge between our customers and our game devs. It's important to have our members voices be heard — no matter how big or small. Support is a huge telling sign of the health of our product. We're able to communicate with our internal teams to make sure we are building the absolute best member experience.
What’s something you’re especially good at work?
I've heard this from a lot of people and I know I need to own this: I'm good at bringing people together and getting them engaged in something.
There were a handful of Zwift employees that signed up for the half marathon in 2017, including the founder of Zwift: Jon Mayfield. In 2018, we started growing a bit more of the running side — including some running workouts and training plans. I don't know how it happened, but Jon mentioned that I should test out the new training plan and see how I do at the Long Beach half marathon (LB Half). It kind of just happened that I became the Team Captain for the Long Beach Run events. This didn't involve too much, other than signing up first and creating the team.
I started talking to more people and encouraging others to sign up too. Jon encouraged a bunch of other employees to do this as well, and there ended up being 25 people who did the LB Half that year. Fast forward to 2019 — Zwift was looking to make running a “thing” and we had a goal to get a lot more people signed up for the Long Beach run events. It was difficult since so much of the culture here is cycling centric. We had a few runners, and cycling was clearly still the cool thing to do. Plus, running is kind of hard.
I teamed up with some folks on the run team, and got support to incentivize the event a bit more. We ended up doubling the participation for 2019, people were running more on the treadmills in our gyms, and we got a bit more excitement and buzz around running. I think the coolest thing was to get people to start running — or allow themselves to be challenged by something they think they could never do. So, what were we talking about? Oh, yes... I'm good at bringing people together — and perhaps inspiring people to believe that they can do all the things, too.
A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop/advance your career without job hopping? Ultimately, what has led you to stay at your company?
When I started at Zwift, there were about 60 employees; now there are more than 300! Seeing that growth, and all the job opportunities that pop up all the time, is exciting.
We have a ton of different teams here, and we all have to work together. We have to evolve our ways of doing things, and that's an opportunity for me and others to identify our pain points and see how we can improve workflows and communication. On the support team, we do all of that!
We are speaking with our members every day, and we have the data to encourage the rest of the company to think about the member journey. I love working with different teams and learning from each other. The people here are so smart and talented. You can learn something from every single person and if you reach out and keep asking questions, you see opportunities start to appear.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
Stay curious. Keep asking questions and talk to lots of different people. This is how you learn more about yourself and possible career paths. I think there are a lot of people (including myself) who don't automatically know what they want to do. It takes a lot of exploration of self to know what makes you tick, and then it's having conversations with people outside of your department or outside of your field of work that help you find a path. Everything else kind of follows. You start building on these curiosities and start investing in different ways of building your career.
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