This is one story in a series highlighting our unique leaders at Aura for Women’s History Month, as told by the women who work every day to help people around the world connect and keep their memories alive.
For Lisa Arena, the customer journey is never traveled alone. It’s experienced through the eyes — and sometimes ears — of a caring team at Aura that helps guide customers through some of their life’s most treasured moments.
As Aura’s VP of Customer Experience, Lisa is tasked with the challenge of meeting the needs of every single Aura customer with a personalized interaction they can remember.
“It’s really about bringing your full, authentic self into everything you do,” said Lisa. “It’s really my innate nature to want to help people. If someone is walking in front of me with groceries in their hands, I’m going to catch the door for them.”
A passion for tech, customer service, and most importantly photography, drew Lisa to Aura initially. But she says what she has enjoyed the most is being a part of a company that is for everyone, and that designs products for anyone.
Although her main role is running the customer care side of Aura, she works cross-functionally with a number of different departments to ensure they’re all looking at the customer’s experience from beginning to end.
“We’re looking at the customer experience from the very first interaction they have with us, to when they are first thinking of purchasing at Aura, and then throughout their entire purchasing experience,” said Lisa. “I mean, we’re with them for support for as long as they have the frame.”
In addition to providing long-term support, Lisa and her team make sure to represent the customer’s wants and needs in Aura’s products especially when it comes to new features and support.
“As a person, as a consumer, I really dislike a disjointed interaction with a company,” said Lisa. “So we really see ourselves as the liaison between the customer and Aura. We make sure that everyone at Aura always has the customer top of mind.”
Keeping that Aura interaction harmonious throughout the entire customer journey may sound easier than it actually is.
From the very beginning, Lisa and her team tackle pre-sales questions and provide recommendations that help shape and curate the customer experience.
“A customer reaches out and says ‘I’m thinking about buying a frame’ and they may ask for a recommendation,” said Lisa. “I will really think about their request and what fits them and their particular situation.”
It’s no surprise how COVID-19 threw many things out of harmony this past year. Such challenges have made the need for a more personalized approach to customer care all that much more important. It’s also served as a test for Lisa and her passion for leading a meaningful and impactful career in the consumer tech space.
Situated somewhere between an intersection of customer care, tech, and the new frontier of a global pandemic, Lisa holds on strongly to the one core quality she feels is most important for any female leader in this industry: confidence.
“I think there’s a lot of people who are very smart and talented but they don’t have the confidence to do it,” said Lisa. “But I think if you can believe in yourself, other people will believe in you too. They’ll be able to follow your direction and be a part of your team. No one is going to say, ‘This is your roadmap.’ You have to go out and talk to people.”
Although Lisa serves in a senior role at Aura, she encourages lifelong learning and mentorship no matter what title or role someone may already serve in. She said that by believing in yourself, doing your research and homework, and not being afraid to ask questions, it’s possible to hone in on the leadership skills necessary to propel your career forward.
She considers herself living proof as she recounts her first professional manager who she reported to for about five years, and had a great working relationship with for about 10 years.
“She was a damn good leader,” said Lisa. “I think of women like her who I see doing it every day, and I really look up to them and model them.
“I’ve always been a female leader, so I don’t know any other way.”