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A day in the life of Louise Johnston, Customer Success Manager

How did you get into your career?

I started my career in HR at 19 years old, I fell into it by accident really! I started out as a Trainee HR Assistant doing general admin and at that age, I didn’t really know what HR was.

But quite quickly I fell in love with the job and was lucky enough to have a lot of support from the charity I worked for who put me through university and gave me the opportunity to move up the ranks. I stayed at the charity for several years until I decided it was time to move onto other roles, all of which used the iTrent system as their HRIS.

I then took maternity leave and on looking for a new role, I stumbled across an advert for a company named Phase 3. I applied for the job and met the lady who literally changed my life – Kate Wadia. Kate Wadia (1977 – 2019) was Managing Director at Phase 3 and was instrumental in helping grow the company to the position we are in today.

Kate saw potential in me and my passion for HR. She saw that I was able to translate technical terminology into layman’s terms and felt I could really relate to her customers at Phase 3. Kate employed me 6 years ago as a Consultancy Services Manager, but my career has now developed into Customer Success; where I focus on achieving the very best for HR teams by translating their requirements into what technology can offer them.

What are the key responsibilities in your role?

My key responsibility is to look after our clients and ensure that their projects run smoothly and on time, and to ensure they understand what their systems can and cannot do.  There is no “one-size-fits-all” HR system, so during a selection project I help our customers to marry their process to the tech, and the tech to the process.

One of my favourite parts of the role is translating technology in a way that clients understand and creating a safe space for them to ask all the questions that they want to, there are no silly questions!

I want clients to be free to discuss things with me without feeling like they are using up consultancy time.

Describe a typical day

I wake up at 6.30 and I have a precise morning ritual to gear me up for the day.  I come straight downstairs and roll out my yoga mat.  Every day!  This keeps me sane and gives me everything I need to have the best possible day I can.  Once I’ve finished my yoga and meditation practice around 7.10 I get ready for the day and wake up my son.  He’s 10 so there’s normally some less calm practices getting him ready for school.

I check my emails first to see where I am with my clients and then get ready to commence the non-stop talking!  I will get in touch with clients who have long running projects for a catch-up and ensure they are where they need to be. I then speak to our consultants to ensure things are running as they should.

My day is then set up with numerous calls with prospective customers to work out if their system is doing what they need it to and advise them of the best way that Phase 3 can help, whether it’s a system review, training or support through our managed services.

What skills are needed for his role?

The ability to communicate and to translate! Many customers who find their way to us have had bad experiences in the past and are disappointed in the system that they are currently working with, so it is vital to be able to communicate and build their trust to work out the best possible solution for them.

The role often requires being able to translate the recommendations that the technical team are making, so that clients who aren’t close to the tech can easily understand what we’re suggesting.

I’ve been known to compare systems to cars, washing laundry and of course clothes and accessories.  But seeing that lightbulb moment when something makes sense to a non-technical client really makes it worth it!

What challenges do you face in this role?

This is a really tough question! I enjoy it so much that I’m finding it impossible to think of any challenges, the work we do is so positive. The only thing I can really think of is organising our consultants’ diaries, those guys are so busy!

What keeps you motivated to go into work every day?

The team at Phase 3 are so close and we really do only want the best for our customers. Being around such experienced, motivated and all-round great people makes me want to be here every day and be part of it.  The team always pull each other along even in busy times and I remember Kate’s passion for this business every day.  I want to carry this passion on for her and really just want to help our clients.  I have sat in their seats and been desperate for some genuine help and advice from someone like Phase 3, so it keeps me motivated knowing we are making their working lives that bit easier by sorting out their systems and carrying Kate’s legacy on.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in HR Tech?

A career in HR Tech is certainly an interesting one and it is very rewarding.  If you’re solutions focussed, like seeing technology come to life and evolve in a custom way to suit clients, then you will find that it’s really rewarding.  Have a look at Kate’s Competency Indicator to see where you are with things and then go for it!

Louise Johnston is our Customer Success Manager for Consulting at Phase 3

Our team of HR tech experts cover all aspects of HR & Payroll systems consultancy. If you’d like to learn more about our team or more about our business and what we can offer, you can contact one of our specialists today.

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