For this episode of our HIGH (How I Got Here) series, we chatted with Toluwani Obadina, a Customer Experience Analyst at Flutterwave. In this article, Toluwani tells us how she got into Customer Experience, Flutterwave and a bit about her career since she started here over two years ago. We also get a glimpse into her interests beyond work.
Toluwani, what’s the most interesting thing about you?
Honestly, the most interesting thing about me is the fact that I know how to ease into situations very quickly. Sometimes, I surprise myself with how quickly I can strike up conversations and flow with people like we’ve been best friends for a long time. I think it’s interesting because, I mean, it’s not a very easy thing to do for most people.
Interesting, so how did you get into this career path?
I think it was a couple of things and ironically, it was during my Master’s degree completion when I had a part-time job. In that role, I had to analyse the results of a survey that was given to clients. I found out that the solution to the problem had already been rolled out, but there was no proper communication with the clients. They had rolled out a solution based on assumptions and just expected it to work. While I was ranting to one of my friends, she asked me if I had considered tech, product and all since I had a degree in civil engineering. Although I knew people who ventured into tech from University, it wasn’t something I thought of. The friend sent me some links, and then I started consuming information and you know, I started seeing companies in Nigeria, abroad and even people that had studied conventional courses; engineering, chemistry, microbiology etc. going ahead to do great things. So I was just learning with the information I had. I came back to Nigeria, and there was this opening in Flutterwave for interns for Customer Experience (CX). I just applied, and I got in. Yeah, that was how I got into the company and the idea was that after a period of time, I got interested in product and started talking to people and product managers that have been in the room for a while. They clarified that you have to understand your users and customers. So, the customer experience role was just a great opportunity with the possibility of switching in the long run. So that’s how I got here.
What’s your Flutterwave story and how long have you been here?
The CX intern ad came up and you know, almost everyone I know wants to work at Flutterwave but when I saw it, I had been taking some courses on product management and a customer-facing role was what most people advised that I start with. It was just like a great opportunity that came up. Meanwhile, I had been taking courses, learning the lingo, what to say etc. So I applied, did a test, did a group assessment and a few days after, I got an offer. It was great, I couldn’t sleep that night as it was so unbelievable. I’ve been here for two years now, and it’s been great.
Great! So can you explain your role to a five-year-old?
My role is simply to ensure customers are happy. Happiness means different things to different people. For some, it’s ensuring their money is safe, for some, it’s getting their questions answered, and for others, it’s ensuring that the person that hacked their account doesn’t get away with their money. So short form, to ensure customers are happy.
What does a work day look like for you?
Hmm… So, I do not have a typical day because I do other things at work. But for my CX role, it’s really just attending to customers’ queries and they may come in different forms. Some other days, it might be attending to reviews on any of our review platforms. On some days, it’s training, and on some, meetings. So, it’s a blend and mix of all these; queries, calls, meetings and training.
Sounds good… So what’s your proudest moment as a Flutterwave Employee?
In 2021, there was this Barter Ambassador Programme launched by the product growth team. At the time, I volunteered to work with them on it. A couple of things happened during and after the programme. I was appreciated for the role I played in the programme, I got “thank you”, “we’re really grateful”, and I got really positive feedback from the students. A lot of work was done during that period and some weren’t planned for. It felt good getting feedback on how the programme went and all. I still talk about it to people when asked, and how I was able to manage it. That period was one I would never forget and I was really proud of what I did.
What tools make your work seamless?
In our team, we have a major CRM tool that does what it’s meant to do but on my own, I use a couple of tools. Google Suite is really great, a lot of collaboration happens with docs and sheets. We use Google Sheets a lot in CX and the fact that you can work on something, and someone else can update it or do the same. I don’t know if the collaboration quality is meant to make me happy but it does. Haha!
How has working at Flutterwave made you a better employee?
So because of the peculiarity of the role, I’ve learnt to be more empathetic, you know, in a situation where you would normally get riled up, I’ve learnt to be more patient and put myself in people’s shoes. For instance, there are so many things that I have to manage every day that are primarily not my fault. I can’t tell the customer that it’s from the engineers. I’ve learnt to take responsibility for things that may or may not be caused by me. It has helped me understand people better, that machines break, things spoil, and just how to manage the situation. It has helped me understand my co-workers better. Sometimes you need feedback from them for a customer but you then realise that they are actually doing a lot too.
Wow! I love this perspective… What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Be very open-minded, of course, and make plans but don’t close your mind off to opportunities because they don’t seem like what you planned for. Also, whenever opportunities come up to learn something new, just do it, learn it, and keep it there. You don’t know when it’s going to come in handy.
So good! What do you do for fun outside work?
I go out with my friends, I try to plan it. We do fine dining, outdoor, games, and movies. We really just have a blend of a couple of nice things.
Where can people connect with you?
LinkedIn works just fine for me.
This is how Toluwani got here and we’re grateful for the awesome work she’s doing here at Flutterwave.
PS – Toluwani’s role changed in September 2022, she’s now an Assistant Projects & Optimization Manager on our Global Expansion and Partnerships Team. When this interview was conducted, she was still a Customer Experience Analyst.