Real Model Interview Episode #10 featuring Niki Kilby, Auto Trader UK

Niki Kilby
Describe a typical day for you

I have two young kids, a crazy commute and run a team of delivery leads across a range of initiatives and projects so there really is no such thing as a typical day. That’s one of the things I love about my role, I can never complain about being bored!

I spend a lot of time with people, my role requires getting alignment across our business on the things we’re doing and ensuring everyone involved is aware of what we need from them, can commit to doing it and has the support in place to get it done on time. This can be anything from informal chats, meetings with teams, facilitating workshops, webinars, calls with remote teams or more formal settings.

The rest of my time is spent getting plans in a good place, we work in an agile environment and do our best to avoid any bureaucracy but some things just need to be captured, visualising what we’re doing, the direction of travel and what great could look like is important for people’s shared understanding and is a part of the role I really enjoy.

What is the biggest challenge you face when trying to provide great customer service?

The team I look after are dedicated to providing the highest levels of customer experience for both our internal and external customers. However, we’re also balancing many different demands and competing priorities, we often need to deliver something fast to fulfill a need for our customers and then move on to another priority. We need to deliver something that does the job well but also allows work to be done on other jobs being done well. It’s a constant challenge.

Which jobs have you already done on your career journey?

I’ve always worked in and around sales and marketing. I started in Telesales for a local classified advertising paper and moved into a more operational role with Auto Trader around 10 years ago. So I’ve been responsible for sales, marketing, production teams, our old copy collector function that many people still remember and more recently our ‘Go To Market’ activities and our technical and commercial delivery teams.

What was your biggest success/ best day at work?

I’ve worked on a lot of big initiatives and my best days and biggest successes over the years have been the launch events for products we’ve worked hard on.

The feeling of relief and satisfaction when you see our teams excited about something they are about to take out to our customers is brilliant. It’s even better when customers start engaging and giving positive feedback. I also enjoy the challenging days, when it’s felt like a problem we need to resolve is insurmountable, but we work at it and find a way through. I enjoy hard work and like to feel like I’ve earned my keep!

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