A young man wearing a black rain jacket stands in the middle of a path with trees and bushes either side. He is smiling at the camera.
Vasile Gabi Croitoru. Image: Workhuman

3 top skills this customer service executive uses every day

19 Jul 2022

Workhuman’s Vasile Gabi Croitoru discusses a typical day – or night – in his role and his top tip for those who communicate mostly by email.

Vasile Gabi Croitoru works as a senior customer service executive at Workhuman. As part of the night shift team, his typical day starts when everyone else is going to sleep.

While there are challenges to this, he told SiliconRepublic.com that the role is highly dynamic with a lot of variety, meaning his shifts go by quickly. Additionally, his role allows him to work in multiple areas with different departments, allowing him to build up his connections.

‘My best tip would be to have your own list of templates and plenty of sticky notes on the wall’

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

I start my night 15-20 minutes earlier than my schedule to give me time prepare the systems, sign in and go through my emails, flagging the ones I need to prioritise. I say hello to the team, see how everyone is keeping up and if anyone needs a hand before we dive in.

Currently I am part of the customer service and merchandise team, so I am swapping between the roles during the shift where I’m needed the most.

In the customer service team, I interact with our customers via emails, phone calls and previously chats, providing the support needed on the questions they might have regarding our product.

In the merchandise team, I do escalations to our supplier, follow up with them in order to get a resolution, refunding, cancelling orders and reaching back out to customers providing details on their case or final resolution.

Having the opportunity to do different roles makes my night go faster and helps me connect with people outside my direct team.

What types of project do you work on?

Working on the merchandise team is my longest ongoing project where I can transfer all of my customer service skills to this role. It gives me a great exposure to learn the behind-the-scenes processes and what happens after a case was sent further by me or my colleagues.

I am also trying to pursue a career in recruitment so I was involved by my manager in different projects which will give me more skills for the role, such as participating in interviews, asking job-related questions and providing feedback afterwards.

Recently I started a local biweekly quiz for my team with work and non-related work questions where you can win a prize and learn a thing or two.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

On a daily basis the top three skills I use the most are communication, empathy and patience.

You will need good communication skills in order to be responsive in a timely manner and to communicate in a clear, easy-to-understand way to solve the problem.

The interactions may begin with someone who is unhappy. So, empathy is important to understand and identify the feelings our customer might have and communicate accordingly.

Clients and customers might ask several questions or ask you to repeat instructions several times. Patience is important to keep the conversation on track, remain personable and provide a positive experience.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

Eating my lunch at 4am!

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

Productivity is that part of the job where you can see how efficient you are in resolving customer queries and problems, and how to improve yourself.

If the communication is mainly done by emails, my best tip would be to have your own list of templates and plenty of sticky notes on the wall. Some of the queries are similar so having a template ready will save you time by just adapting the one you already have.

Also, have your own work style by taking the best from your colleagues and change it in a way that works for you better.

And the most important: take a five-minute break here and there, stretch, stand up and get yourself a drink. There is no other drink than coffee when you are on the night team.

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

When I started the job, I was thinking that it will be a regular call centre job, but I was never so wrong in my life.

The most important part of the role, and which surprised me the most, is to be human.

You are encouraged to be yourself, to have your own types of conversations in order to provide that amazing level of satisfaction to the customers, so they will know that on the other end is just another human trying to help them out.

How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

The amazing speed that the sector grew and evolved has changed my role since I joined the company.

With all the clients we have onboard, the product was exposed to many changes in order to keep up with the demand and make it more personalised, which gave us the continuous learning opportunity.

However, as the Workhuman products are constantly updated, we have training provided and it makes everything easier for us.

I see changes as a good thing – I would start to worry if there were none!

What do you enjoy most about the job?

Culture! This is what I enjoy the most about the job, that we are part of such an amazing culture where so many efforts are made by the company to keep us connected. I am working remotely since I joined the company, but I feel that the bond I built with the team is even better than the one I used to have at my previous company where I used to work in an office.

The second thing I enjoy most about the job is the real career advancement opportunities. I am with the company for a year and a half now and I was promoted recently as a senior agent, where I am currently working on different projects to gain more skills for future roles.

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