Owning your development: Customer Service Representative turned Team Lead
Owning your development is a key piece of our culture. Today, we hear from Raoni, Customer Service Representative turned Team Lead, on how he progressed in his career and his advice for those looking to do the same.
My name is Raoni, I’m originally from Brazil, and I started at GetYourGuide in 2015 as a Customer Service Representative. In this role, I had direct contact with customers via email and on the phone. After 6 months in the role, I became a Second-Level Representative supporting customers and other Representatives as they handled more complicated cases with customers. A year and a half later, I became a Team Leader.
What did you enjoy about working in Customer Service?
My love of languages initially drew me to the role, but shortly after I joined, I realized I also enjoyed solving problems and helping people. Traveling had brought me many life-changing experiences, and I wanted to help other people have the same great experiences. GetYourGuide was the perfect place for this because we focus on delivering an incredible experience to our customers. Lastly, having first-hand contact with customers and seeing the impact I was having in the moment was really rewarding.
What potential for impact did you see in the role of a Second-Level Representative?
As a Second-Level Representative, my primary task was to support other Representatives on the 1st-level “main” team as they helped customers. So, in this way, my impact was two-fold: I could improve the agent’s working experience and improve the customer’s travel experience. It was really nice to have more contact with the entire team and feel like I was supporting everyone.
Why did you want to be a Team Lead?
I never thought I would have a career in Customer Service, but once I realized how much I enjoyed it and had been working in the role for a while, I started thinking of ways I could make things better for the team and our customers. I felt like I could make a bigger impact driving decisions forward as a Team Lead. So, when the opportunity came to apply for the Associate Team Lead program, I went for it.
What is the Associate Team Lead program?
The Associate Team Lead program is a six-month long sponsored trial program. Your sponsor, a current Team Lead, supports you along the way, and at the end of the six months, if you’ve performed well, you graduate into the full Team Lead role.
The Associate program is all about learning by doing. Within my first month of the program, I was leading a team of 12-15 people. We also learned about and took on all the daily tasks of a Team Lead like team management, recruiting, and reporting.
What opportunities did you have for ownership as an Associate Team Lead?
In our department, we have a lot of projects, so there’s a lot of room to take ownership. For example, I led the transition of our ticketing system. We were on the market for a tool that would reduce the amount of time wasted on small details, allowing for more time with the customers, shorter response times, and a better overview of the support we were providing.
I managed the project from beginning to end: I researched what tools were available, spoke with my manager, determined our requirements, met with different providers, selected a new system, ran the pilot program with my team, and then rolled the system out to the entire team. Now, a year later, we still use the new program and are finding ways to make it even better for us.
As a TL, what impact do you have on our business and our customers?
I have received very positive feedback on how I manage my team; they are happy to work here. I feel this creates an environment where people are comfortable and motivated to work and best serve the customer, whose satisfaction is the ultimate goal of the company. The team is very important here, and I’m happy to be a part of building this strong team.
What are the key pieces of advice you would give someone to help them progress in their career at GetYourGuide or elsewhere?
Excel in your current role.
It’s really important to first do your own job very well. Your potential will be evaluated based on how you’re already performing in your role. If you aren’t meeting expectations, internal stakeholders might not be convinced of your ability to rise to the next level.
Keep the big picture in mind.
This was something I had from the beginning — I was interested in GetYourGuide, where we were going as a company, and the impact we could make in the industry. Having the company’s big picture in mind is important because you can then connect everything you’re doing in the moment to that mission and find ways you can help the company achieve it.
For example, in Customer Service we’re currently working a lot with outsourcing companies and bringing a more specialized approach to the teams in Berlin. In thinking about my own development, I am leading a particular project that allows me to contribute to this overall mission and bring our team, and GetYourGuide, to the next level.
Understand your motivation.
Here in Customer Service, if you really want to help customers and you care about traveling, it’ll give you the fuel to move forward to whatever you want to do. If your motivation isn’t really here or doesn’t match the responsibilities in your role, then you’ll always have one foot out the door. You need to understand your motivation and stay accountable to this motivation. This, along with being invested in where the company is going as a business, are the driving forces that can really propel you forward in your professional growth.
Thank you to Livia Figueiredo for the header image.