How (and why) to Build a Global Career in Customer Support
We recently checked in with our friends at Agoda (you may remember them from an earlier blog post), hiring now on Jobbatical for their Customer Experience teams around the world. The team told us all about why a career in customer support at Agoda is the right move for anyone who loves the travel industry and a good challenge.
With offices in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai, Yokohama, Budapest, and São Paulo, travel giant Agoda’s Customer Experience Group (CEG) is as global as it gets. In September 2017, they’re opening an office in Providence, USA, and preparations to open a new office in Seoul are underway—the travel empire keeps expanding, and so does the team.
And what a melting pot of a team it is, too—with 1,200+ professionals in 8+ countries, there’s no shortage of diversity here. In this atmosphere of creativity and collaboration, new ideas are nurtured and every team member’s sense of accomplishment is a priority.
Agoda’s customer support is a full-spectrum experience that leaves nothing to chance—the teams provide in-person, real-time help in 17 languages around the clock. To understand how a company this widely distributed can function so smoothly and what makes it hum, we spoke to some of the people making the magic happen day after day.
The right balance of challenging and fun
When he was deciding whether to take a job at Agoda, Yura Te, a CEG recruiter in the Kuala Lumpur office, was immediately drawn to the company’s culture of innovation and diversity. “I’m excited to be part of a dynamic team and always have the chance to get my hands dirty trying new methods in recruitment,” Yura says.
Junho, Korea Team Manager at the Bangkok office, was equally impressed with the inherent diversity at Agoda and confidently recommends a career in customer support even to those who might not initially consider it a dream job. “This job can be challenging,” he admits. “The company is growing and there are many customers to care for and support. But there are a lot of opportunities and the work-life balance is very good. If you can handle the challenges that come with the work — it’s definitely worth a try.”
This balance of challenging and exciting appeals to many others on team Agoda, too. Jeanette Lionel has been working on Agoda’s Indonesia team since September 2015. “This is my first job after I graduated from my degree and I have never regretted working with Agoda,” she says. “I have never stopped learning and continue to improve myself, especially in the areas of communication and decision-making. This is challenging yet interesting work, which is why I love my job.”
Never a dull day at the office
Another one of the many things the team loves about their work is the variety it brings—no two days are ever the same. “Be it from guests or hotels, we always face very different scenarios to handle,” Jeanette says. “These elements make this job exciting and motivating, especially the satisfying moments when we are able to create a win-win situation. These challenges help me break my boundaries and improve myself. My team members are all from Indonesia and we are very supportive of each other, which makes my job my second home even when I’m far away from my home country.”
As a technology company, Agoda is always eager to test and implement the latest technology trends. That focus on innovation, experiments, and efficiency contributes to an exciting, fast-paced environment. Reyna, China Team Manager, considers that one of the highlights of the job. “This is a company that moves extremely fast with different products launching on a daily basis,” she says. “I’m always learning new things and new processes. I’m also proud of the fact that Agoda welcomes people of different backgrounds and experiences! Here, employees have more individuality and are given the opportunity to approach things in their own way.”
With so many offices around the globe—they’re big on localization and getting closer to their users—Agoda is in an enviable position to offer its people many opportunities to move between cities. Serika joined the Japan team in Bangkok three years ago. Since then, she’s transferred from Bangkok to the Yokohama office in Japan, where she’s currently a ‘buddy agent’. “Working at Agoda has given me a lot of great opportunities to work with friendly and professional people,” Serika says. “My work is structured into shifts which means no “zangyo” (a Japanese term that refers to unpaid overtime) and a better work-life balance. Above all else, the best part of working at Agoda are the opportunities to improve your skills and abilities.”
Paloma Olmedo, Team Manager at Agoda Budapest, considers Agoda the perfect place to build a strong career in the travel industry.
“The biggest impact Agoda has made on my professional career has been how much my communication skills have improved,” Paloma says. “Working as an agent, I had the opportunity to speak with people all around the globe, with totally different personalities and behaviors. It helped make me more empathetic and customer-oriented as well as improving my problem solving skills. Now as a Team Manager I can focus on all the analytical and organizational part of the business.”
Mao, CEG’s Japan Team Manager, graduated from university in the UK and had always been very passionate about working in the travel industry. For her, joining Agoda to expand his career was a no-brainer. Her career took off in a flash. “After taking care of new team members as a ‘buddy agent’, I stepped up into a more challenging role as a Team Manager for the Yokohama office in Japan,” Mao says. “It makes me very happy to see team members under my care overcome difficult situations, grow their strengths and help each other through teamwork.”
Her advice to anyone considering a job at Agoda? “If you would like to challenge yourself in a stimulating and fast-paced environment, work with people from diverse backgrounds and grow your career — this is the company for you.”