We chat with Carolyn Jameson, chief legal & policy officer at Trustpilot. We talk about the how reviews have become a central part of the customer experience and how resilience is the most important tool for anyone to develop.
Carolyn Jameson joined Trustpilot in the summer of 2019 to oversee Trustpilot’s legal and public affairs globally, as well as ensuring the integrity of the platform as it continues to grow. She was previously chief legal officer for Skyscanner and head of international M&A for Ctrip, helping to build and maintain legal and public affairs, M&A and corporate communications globally.
Carolyn Jameson is committed to using her experience in building trust between consumers and businesses to help drive the next step in Trustpilot’s journey. Carolyn trained as a barrister and solicitor in the UK, and has spent her career working for a range of global technology businesses in legal and commercial roles.
Please explain who you are, what your business is, and what it does/aims to achieve?
I work as the chief legal and policy officer at Trustpilot. Trustpilot is a platform, sitting between businesses and consumers, where consumers can share and discover reviews of businesses, and we give every company the tools to turn consumer feedback into business results.
What time does your day usually start and end?
I don’t have a typical routine. It very much depends on where I am and what I have to do that particular day. If I’m travelling to one of the Trustpilot offices it starts pretty early, and I normally use the evening time to catch up on emails.
What is your favourite part of your job and what is your least favourite part?
The fact that no day is the same and there are constant challenges to think through and solve. My least favourite part is that it is so busy it can be difficult to plan – or get space to think.
What inspired you to join the business?
The purpose behind the business. Peter, the founder at Trustpilot, has a genuine desire to improve the experiences of consumers and build trust in an online environment.
What has been the biggest challenge for your business?
The biggest challenge is that as reviews have become increasingly important in the consumer purchasing decision, individuals or companies are trying to use reviews to manipulate consumers. We need to make sure that we maintain the integrity of the Trustpilot platform by continuing to prevent that.
What do you feel are the biggest obstacles to growth for SMEs in the UK?
An uncertain political environment is certainly not helpful, but in more general terms, finding and retaining the right talent. In a digital age, we’re playing catch-up against a number of other economies.
Have you made any mistakes along the way and how did you overcome them/learn from them?
Plenty! The way to overcome them is to get up and try again and make sure that you take the time to think about what you might have done differently in hindsight. Resilience is such an important tool to develop.
What previous experiences have helped you in your current role?
Joining Skyscanner when it was pretty small, and seeing that growth journey and the various pain points. Also, spending my career working in a technology environment, where the answer isn’t always black and white. Much of the role is about judgement and intuition as much as pure legal advice.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to anyone facing the same challenges?
Spend the time to really understand the business and industry you’re in. Any legal or policy advice you provide has to come with deep contextual knowledge.
Would you do anything differently if you could start again from scratch?
In all honesty, no. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my career to date, and have done some really exciting things. I feel very fortunate.
What do you do to relax away from the hustle and bustle of work?
I like to get outside and walk. Ideally with my dog and the kids.
What would you be doing if you weren’t working within the ‘legal and policy space’?
Something in the art/history space. I love old buildings and museums, and I definitely have a creative side that I’d like to explore one day!
Do you manage to achieve a good work/life balance?
It can be tricky to manage, but I am good at taking regular holidays and switching off. It’s so important to me to spend time with my family and to get the rest which then lets you get more done in the longer term.