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[Interview] A day in the life of… Jo Homer, the CX Expert at Signet

We are thrilled to feature Jo Homer, Head of CX & Product at Signet Jewelers, in our latest day in the life interview. With an impressive… View Article


[Interview] A day in the life of… Jo Homer, the CX Expert at Signet

We are thrilled to feature Jo Homer, Head of CX & Product at Signet Jewelers, in our latest day in the life interview.

With an impressive career in leadership roles within renowned brands like Halfords, Mothercare, Butlins, and Haven Holidays, Jo brings a wealth of experience in driving transformative change and elevating user experience standards.

At Signet Jewelers, Jo leads the charge in spearheading strategic initiatives, including a recent replatforming project, the creation of a new UX team, and the implementation of a test and learn strategy. Her expertise in UX strategy, insights collation, and continuous improvement development stream has positioned her as a trailblazer in the field of customer-centric innovation.

Walk me through a typical day in your role at Signet.

My day usually kicks off with a review of ongoing projects and any new developments in the pipeline. I typically dive into data analysis, looking at various metrics to gauge the performance of our online platforms. After that, I might have meetings with different teams, collaborating on upcoming campaigns or discussing user experience enhancements.

A significant aspect of my role is problem-solving; whether it involves addressing usability issues or brainstorming creative solutions to enhance the online shopping experience. And of course, staying updated on industry trends and technological advancements is always woven into my day.

What are the key responsibilities and tasks that you handle regularly?

Well, apart from overseeing the user experience strategy, I’m heavily involved in data analysis and interpretation to drive decision-making. This includes examining metrics like conversion rates, bounce rates, and user feedback to identify areas for improvement. I also work closely with our marketing team to ensure alignment on brand messaging and promotional activities. Additionally, collaborating with our IT department is crucial for implementing any technical changes or updates to our platforms.

How did you get in to the role and what’s your background?

My journey into the world of UX has been quite unconventional. I initially started my career managing teams at leisure centres before discovering my passion for web development and design. With the advent of the internet, I found myself drawn to creating websites. I started helping the Leisure Centre out with their website and I just really got into it.

I would say my turning point came when I landed a role at Bourne Leisure as a website manager. It was a bit of a lucky break, to be honest. Despite lacking prior experience in the field, a former colleague saw potential in me and encouraged me to apply. I’ll always be grateful for that opportunity because it allowed me to immerse myself in web development and design, igniting a passion that has guided my career ever since.

From there, I dived headfirst into learning everything I could about websites and digital experiences. I was a bit like a labrador, lapping it all up – think fast, learn quick. But I was in my element. I work well under pressure, so it suited me and over time, I started experimenting with different tools and techniques, honing my skills through hands-on experience and self-directed learning. Bourne Leisure provided the perfect environment for me to grow and develop, and I’ll always cherish those early days.

Over time, my role evolved as I dived deeper into analytics, usability and optimisation. It became my niche and my roles evolved and grew. I spent some time working with Mothercare and then went on to head up the UX team at Halfords. Each step of the way has shaped me into the professional I am today, driven by a passion for creating seamless digital experiences that delight customers and ultimately drive business results. It’s such an interesting role and it’s always changing and developing – because people change, and technology changes – you’re learning all the time.

So how do you stay ahead of all these changes, trends, developments?

I actively participate in industry groups and engage with my professional network and the UX and ecommerce community quite a bit. I attend events and conferences and read whitepapers and I work with a couple of external mentors. This is especially good for problem solving, suggestions or advice. I firmly believe that having a mentor in your profession can greatly enhance your growth and development. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to excel in their career.

Given the importance of data-driven decisions, can you describe how you use analytics and performance metrics?

Sure, data and analytics are fundamental to our decision-making process, and we use various tools to meticulously track user behaviour, pinpoint bumps in the shopping journey and gauge the effectiveness of our initiatives. Metrics such as click-through rates, session durations, and customer feedback provide us with invaluable insights into areas requiring improvement. However, it’s important to recognise that while data can often highlight issues or indicate when something has gone awry, it may not always provide the underlying reasons behind these challenges. In such cases, we might use tools and techniques, such as moderated sessions with customers, to dive deeper and build a more nuanced understanding.

By combining these insights, we are able to inform our strategies for enhancing website usability, refining product offerings, and tailoring marketing campaigns to better resonate with our customers.

You must need to work closely with other departments?

Yes! Collaboration with other departments is paramount to our success. We work closely with various teams, such as marketing, to ensure our digital strategies align seamlessly with brand messaging and promotional efforts. This involves translating the brand proposition into a digital context, drawing on insights from user research, and collaborating on campaign designs tailored to our customer personas. There’s a continuous exchange of ideas and feedback to ensure we’re delivering the best possible experience for our customers.

Additionally, we partner with our IT department to implement technical changes and address backend requirements aimed at optimising website performance and security.

When it comes to deciphering anomalies in our data, we may collaborate with the call-centre or customer services team to understand trends or patterns. Understanding the customer perspective is paramount, as evidenced by one of my (many!) guiding “mottos”: ‘It doesn’t matter what we or I think, what do our customers think?’ This philosophy often reveals invaluable insights that shape our decisions and strategies.

Could you share more about how Signet manages internal communications and collaboration?

At Signet, we’ve implemented a collaborative approach to internal communications and project management. We’ve established working parties and squads to facilitate teamwork and streamline communication across different departments. These squads are essentially multidisciplinary teams composed of individuals from various departments, each bringing their unique expertise to the table. By assembling the right people for each project or task, we ensure that all perspectives are considered and that decisions are made collaboratively.

This approach works well for us because it’s transparent and efficient. By bringing together diverse teams with complementary skill sets, we’re able to tackle challenges from multiple angles and arrive at well-rounded solutions.

Any projects that stand out as particularly rewarding?

One notable challenge was a major replatforming project where we migrated our entire digital infrastructure onto a new system. It was without a doubt the most challenging project I’ve worked on, but also the most rewarding.

It was a mammoth of an undertaking that required meticulous planning and execution to avoid disruptions to our online operations. Despite facing technical hurdles and tight deadlines, we successfully completed the project within the set timeframe and even exceeded performance expectations post-launch. It was a testament to the collaborative efforts of our team and our ability to adapt to evolving circumstances.

How would your team describe you?

I believe my team would describe me as passionate, supportive, and driven. I’m deeply committed to building an open and empowering work environment where team members feel valued and encouraged. While I strive for excellence, I really do recognise the importance of supporting and nurturing the growth of each team member, ensuring collective success and fulfillment.

Jo, what’s it like working at Signet?

Yeah, no, it’s good. One of the things I really appreciate about Signet, especially compared to previous companies I’ve worked for, is the level of autonomy I’m given. I feel like I have the freedom to pursue my ideas and initiatives without constantly hitting roadblocks or facing excessive bureaucracy. Signet values my input and trusts me to make decisions that align with our goals. If I have a suggestion or a passion project I want to pursue, I know I can bring it to the table and be supported in implementing it. This level of trust and support is something I truly cherish. In other places, there’s often a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through, but at Signet, there’s a culture of empowerment and encouragement that makes it a great place to work.

How do you relax/unwind?

When it comes to unwinding, I find solace in the life’s simple joys; savouring a glass of fine wine to unwind after a busy week or indulging in delicious food shared with friends and loved ones. And of course, there’s nothing quite like the recharging effect of sunny holidays.

I also have a passion for sports, particularly women’s football. I’m a big fan of Arsenal Women’s Football team. Supporting the team is a source of excitement and relaxation for me. It’s a good way to unwind.

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