Sebi Vidret’s passion to help others made him an excellent Customer Care Expert. The same passion led him to become a Team Lead and a Product Manager
Sebi Vidret realized that he was overdressed the second he stepped into Wix’s offices in Miami for his job interview in 2016. “I was dressed in a suit and they were all dressed in tech,” he recalls with a smile. “So I said something like ‘So, what's the dress code here?’ and my interviewer just said ‘We don't care about how you dress. We care about what's inside your head and about how you treat others.’ Immediately I felt at home.”
Sebi says that he applied for the Customer Care Expert role at Wix almost by chance. “At the time, I was working at another tech company that was dealing mostly with schools. When I saw an ad for Wix, I recognized it just from using it at school. During the interview, I realized that my passion for helping others was aligned with Wix’s mission of helping anyone build their own online presence. For me, it was very important - and it still is - to do something that is good for the world.”
Sebi started out as a Care Expert for Wix’s ADI Editor. The initial release had its issues, and Sebi says he was quite vocal when he voiced some of the users’ complaints to the product people he was reporting to. “I wasn't one of those people who just wouldn’t sit back, hear complaints, and just keep on moving. I always had to say something to someone. Then within three months of being hired I was appointed as a Team Lead. A few months later, I came to Israel for a vacation and got the opportunity to work from the office and this is when things changed a lot because I met the Product team in person.”
“Because I had already built a relationship with the Product team, I was invited to sit with them. We realized that there are a lot of things that we could be doing better, like communication. They could be helping out with the training and we, as Customer Care Experts, could be sharing more information that can be helpful to them to build better products. They realized I could shed light on what's happening in the product from a user’s perspective and how people feel about it because without our voice, you only have data, and data alone doesn't tell the full story.
“We decided to work more collaboratively, and over time, it ended up being the model for how we operate today. Customer Care teams are a lot more incorporated into the company now and they work with Marketing and with Product teams and share their insights.
Over time, as the Product team understood how valuable the information supplied by Sebi’s team was, he was constantly asked to help build new products. “I was getting very involved with the Product team, but at the same time I was also managing my team, so one day they called me and asked me if I wanted to try to be a Product Manager for a feature. Of course, I said yes. I had a technical background because I studied computer science at college, but I honestly had no idea what a Product Manager did. However, I guess they saw I was passionate and willing to put in the time if needed and that I was responsible and accountable, so they really wanted me to grow. They also invested their own resources in me and gave me a mentor to help me start. After that worked out well, I was offered a full-time position as a Product Manager in Israel. I always thought about moving there, so I immediately said yes again,” he says with a laugh.
“All this was back in the start around the start of 2019 and during this time ADI became a part of the Editor X group, so I became involved with both products”.
“As a Product Manager, you’re creating something that’s going to change people's lives and improve them”
What did you like about being a Product Manager?
“As a Product Manager, it's your job to make sure you know that everything works as expected and that everyone understands what they need to do. It's not one of those jobs where you come to work and someone tells you to do this or that. You have to take responsibility, do the research yourself, talk to the right people, look at the data, and then define the feature. The coolest thing is that when you have an idea, you draw it on a paper, go through the whole process of questioning it and refining it and then, finally, after so much work ,you have something you actually built.
“After it’s released, it's incredible to see how many people it's actually affecting. When you release a feature that’s a critical part of the product, we're talking about impacting millions of people. You’re basically creating something that’s going to change people's lives and improve them.”
When Editor X was in beta testing in 2019, Sebi was appointed as the product’s beta program manager and oversaw all communication with users. “We created a product to get feedback from users and had a whole system where the entire Product team was involved with getting feedback from them and replying to them as if we were all Customer Care Experts,” he says. “Basically, I used my knowledge as a Customer Care Expert and trained the Product team so that they could help users and decide about our priorities. Once the user base grew, we started handing off more and more of the beta responsibilities to marketing, whoI was working closely with at the time. A few months ago, we decided that I’ll join them to lead efforts related to product education because I had a really big knowledge of the product and because I was making a lot of decisions.
Tell us a little about your current role as a Product Marketing Manager
“My job is to help agencies who build sites for bigger users get trained on the product and find the quickest, simplest solutions, adopt it quickly, start building sites for their own clients, and then make them long term partners. We’re showing them they have better opportunities using our product rather than whatever other methods they're building their sites with, highlighting the value of the product,how much time they can save, how many more clients they can get, and all these things. What I like about it the most is seeing people who were struggling with the product achieve so much afterwards.”
What do you think enabled your career shifts in such a short time?
“I think people at Wix are open to taking risks. On paper, it doesn’t look good to offer a Product Manager job to a 25-year-old who doesn’t have any experience. However, there’s an understanding here that if you invest in people, then people will invest back. Wix wants its people to feel that they have the opportunity to grow, and I’ve seen many people that grew up in different directions within the company. It's always the same type of people: passionate and willing to put a lot of time and effort into their work. It doesn't mean that they need to work overtime. It means that when they come in, they're dedicated to doing things right, to help, and to be able to adapt.
“These opportunities are still all around because we're a larger company today with more specialized jobs and growing teams. You do need some luck sometimes, but as long as you're putting the effort in talking to people and building relationships, you’ll find them.”
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