Taking the Next Step: From Sales and Customer Service to Supply Operations
Today we hear from Rui and Barbara on their transition from Sales and Customer Service to Supply Operations on the Connectivity team. They share how their career has progressed in their time at GetYourGuide, advice for anyone who wants to apply internally, and what excites them about working in Connectivity.
Could you please introduce yourself?
Barbara: I’m Barbara, I’m originally from Hungary. I joined GetYourGuide in February of 2017 as a Customer Service Representative and am now working as a Connectivity Specialist in Supply Operations.
Rui: I’m Rui, I come from Lisbon. I joined GYG in July 2015 as an Account Manager for Portugal and am now working as a Connectivity Specialist.
What made you want to join GYG?
Barbara: After graduating with a degree in tourism, I spent a few years traveling and working here and there in tourism. Eventually I wanted to settle down a bit and was looking for something within the travel industry at a company I could believe in. So, I found GetYourGuide and thought it would be suitable for me.
Rui: The learning opportunities at GetYourGuide really attracted me. Back in Lisbon I had my own company for tours and activities, but I was self-taught without a degree in tourism nor business. In fact, I actually have a background in biology and teaching.
So, I found GetYourGuide and really wanted to extract as much knowledge as I possibly could to eventually take back with me for my own business, which I made very clear throughout the interview process. But when I started working here, I decided I wanted to stay long-term.
How has your career progressed/changed in your time here?
Barbara: I was very lucky I joined when I did because at that time GYG was beginning to take new steps on the supply side of the business. By the end of my probation period as a Customer Service Representative, I had the opportunity to move into my current position working in Supply Operations. I had never studied anything technical before, and now I actually serve as the bridge between Sales and Tech. I’m learning something new everyday. Never did I think I would be in a job where I’m looking at computer logs.
Rui: I started as an Account Manager for Portugal and was in that role until the end of 2016 when I joined the Customer Service team as a Team Leader. I worked in that role until February 2018, when I moved into my current role in Supply Operations.
What made you want to change roles?
Barbara: It was really the learning piece. I had an amazing team in Customer Service, but I had studied and worked in tourism for a long time, so I wanted to use my knowledge for something different.
Rui: Connectivity is extremely specialized and technical, so I saw this role as a good opportunity to learn something very specific about a field that is more and more relevant nowadays. I also like the direct relationship between the objectives of the company, what we do in the Connectivity team, and the results that can be achieved.
What are your daily tasks?
Barbara: Generally, we tend to unconfirmed bookings, troubleshooting anything impacting the customers first. We also collaborate with the engineers on problems we can’t deal with on our own.Then we grow our portfolio a bit, connect more tours, talk to suppliers. When we are planning a new integration, we have frequent calls with outside suppliers.
Rui: The role is made up of two different parts: the proactive and reactive. The proactive part is when we try to move ahead with integrations. The reactive part involves reacting to issues affecting customers.
What was your onboarding process into the new role?
Barbara: My onboarding was sort of a jump in the deep end. The team was new and small, made up of only a manager and a specialist. I was lucky because I was already familiar with some tools from my work in Customer Service, but I still needed to learn a lot of new tools. My onboarding was purely 1:1 with the other specialist and over time I was given more tasks and working independently. We’ve since made big changes in the onboarding.
Rui: My onboarding was very structured. There was a very clear sequence to the process and a clear understanding of what needed to be achieved in each stage of the process. Since I had experience in Sales, I was also already familiar with a lot of the basic tools. The team needed me to be ready quickly, so the onboarding was pretty fast. This could be a challenge for some people, but for me it was exciting.
What’s the biggest difference between this role and your previous role?
Barbara: The key difference is definitely that I don’t have the direct relationship with the customer and I’m facing a lot of different challenges without a clear solution. In Customer Service, you have a set routine and process to deal with problems.
In my current team, there are moments every day when we all look at each other unsure of what steps to take, before we have a eureka moment, “That’s how we’ll solve it!” This role involves a lot of investigation and proactivity; we can’t simply rely on our current processes because we are constantly addressing new challenges.
Rui: The biggest difference between being a Team Leader and a Connectivity Specialist is the people management aspect. As a Team Leader, my main responsibility was leading the team and making sure everyone was trained, performing well, and happy. Now I am much more focused on technical issues and project management.
What skill(s) did you develop in your previous role that still comes in handy in your new role?
Barbara: The customer-centricity. At the beginning I was a bit shy to bring up my experience in Customer Service, but the engineers told me my insight into the customer was an asset. They were focused on the process and the solution, but had never faced the customer or their problems.
Rui: I use a lot of the skills I developed as an Account Manager. A lot of this role involves slowly but consistently working with partners to achieve a mutually beneficial solution, and this is very similar to the work being done in Sales. It helps that I’ve already developed the patience, perseverance, and commitment to work with these partners and arrive at a good integration.
Since you have both successfully applied internally, what advice would you have for internal candidates applying for a new role?
Barbara: Prepare for the interviews and try to learn more about the role from the manager or someone working in the team. Also, don’t be afraid to jump into a role where you might not meet 100% of the job description. You have to have the right attitude, be open to learn, and be up for the challenge.
Rui: Know why you want a particular role and be able to articulate this motivation. Don’t apply just because you want a change; know the position and know why you want the position. Also, like Barbara said, keep an open mind. If you don’t get the role the first time, really take in the feedback, use it, turn it around, and then apply for the role again. This organization is growing fast, there will always be new roles and opportunities.
What excites you about working in Supply Ops?
Barbara: We work closely with engineers and have a lot of contact with different departments. We work together with the B2B team in Customer Service, the Supply Excellence team, and the Sales team, both in Berlin and in the local offices. Also, the work we do has a big impact on our suppliers and our customers and is very multi-faceted. My team is actually dealing with 30% of the entire revenue of GYG. We are a small, but mighty, team.
Rui: It’s about the connection between what we do or don’t do, what works and what doesn’t work, and the results it has for our customers and for GYG. It’s great to get a connected product online and see the immediate bookings. We help customers get what they want. I also like that the work is so fast-paced; on the same day many things can go wrong and many things can be fixed.