Interview with Ben: Funio’s Pen
As a dedicated customer, you most certainly read him without even knowing it. He studied English literature and has a creative soul. Ben, our content manager, talks about what he does best: all the writing on our site, from content and technical writing to bug fixing. Discover the hand that holds Funio’s pen!
To start things off, tell us about how you first heard of Funio ?
I was working with iWeb in the customer service and technical support department for shared hosting. When the Funio project was born, Sylvain Leclair and I had a meeting where he offered me a golden opportunity. He was looking for someone that was familiar with the web hosting environment and standard internal procedures. Since I had worked in customer service for 10 years, which included being a supervisor and an instructor for customer service and technical support, in addition to my writing and translating skills and interests, I became an important asset to Funio’s foundations. I heard of Funio when there were only 3 people working on the new image and infrastructure that would later become the Funio that we know today.
What makes Funio unique?
Because of our iWeb heritage, we benefit from a large customer base and a good reputation in the industry. The interesting aspect is that we are similar to start-up businesses but emerged from a leader in the industry. We therefore benefit from acquired expertise without lacking freedom. Usually, a corporation has a very established hierarchy, which makes innovation and creativity very difficult. The dynamics within the Funio team are completely different. We are a group of individuals trying our best to make this project a success. Every team member has an expertise as unique as her or his personality. Most importantly, we are heard and our opinions count.
At Funio, a leader is not someone that dedicates his time to reinforce the hierarchy and play office politics. A leader is someone that guides the team and helps every member contribute to the best of their abilities. Finally, we have a large diversity of tasks that enable us to explore different aspects of our work, which makes having a routine almost impossible. In a sense, everyday is different and new.
You just mentioned that you don’t have a routine. Could you still try to tell us a bit more about what a typical day looks like?
Just like everyone here at Funio, I do a lot of things. Mainly, I am the content manager. In other words, anything that you read on our website goes through me, in some way or another. My typical day is somehow multidisciplinary and I could be doing any of the following, if not all of the these:
- Creative writing for a new page;
- Researching and writing new topics for our knowledge base;
- Translating content in French or English;
- Testing user interfaces;
- Helping the development team enhance user experience
You studied in English literature. Besides being able to quote classical authors during Happy Hour, how does your degree help you enhance our content ?
My ability to conduct proper analysis has to be the most important thing I can think of. When you read any text, no matter if its literature or not, you interpret the text you are reading. My training helps me create content that will have a positive impact for the customer, and avoid misunderstanding the message that Funio tries to convey. At least, that’s what I’m aiming for. Since Funio is oriented towards simplicity, the greatest challenge is writing brief content that summarizes our ideas.
My studies have also helped me write some catchlines for our products. My recent favourite is the tagline for one of our new products, the Panelbox Private Infrastructure: «All the advantages of shared hosting, without the sharing».
The customer is at the core of our priorities. When you are writing about a product, how do you make sure that the information is clear for our customers ?
Research demonstrates that the attention span of the average online reader is relatively low. Therefore, it is important that our customers understand the ideas that we are trying to transmit. My efforts are always to produce content that is brief and simple. A good sense of humour also doesn’t hurt when we are trying to point out some key elements here and there.
Some might say that you are more of a salesman than a writer. Why would you bother writing anything that doesn’t generate sales for our company?
Well, that isn’t true. Yes, we are a company and we offer services. Of course, we have to sell our services! But sales are not our priority when writing content.
Corporate transparency is very important to us. When we release new solutions, we want to share the news so that our customers can take advantage of an excellent web hosting experience. We are continuously trying to find solutions to our customers’ problems. The least we could do is tell you about it when the issues have been addressed with new exciting products!
You helped create our knowledge base. Most customers prefer having a human being answer them rather than consulting a database of articles. What would you say to the reluctant customers?
We add articles every week. In the last few weeks alone, a dozen of articles have been uploaded. Our customer service and technical support teams make a list of frequently asked questions, and then we write up articles that answer these questions. Our goal is not to avoid human interaction with our customers. We simply want them to make the most out of their time. There is also a unique sense of satisfaction when you resolve an issue on your own, and we aim to provide that sentiment to our customers.
- Mac or PC? Mac
- Android or iOs? iOS
- Most-used software : it’s a tie between Chrome and TextEdit
- Montréal is … ma ville!
- Your best quality : Understanding
- Your worst trait : Pushover