A day in the life of a customer care agent.
Transparency
April 20, 2022

A day in the life of a customer care agent.

Picture of article author Shion Periy
Shion Periy
Customer Care Agent

We are your first and last point of contact. Rather delicately, we either make or break your experience. A being that embodies both empathy & compassion, with a ‘people-first’ attitude. Someone that is honest to a fault, says ‘screw going by the book’, and is uniquely themselves. A being that possesses the trait of customer obsession and cares so much, we send a bottle of wine as a thank you for hanging in there with us (true story).

We may not wear capes, but your kind words and positive google reviews give us a reason to soar each day. Wait a minute…we should totally wear capes.

We are... the oxio customer care agents.

Rise and shine.

8:00AM

~ “Help! My service cut out just now. I reset the devices multiple times but the Internet is still not working.”

~ “Good morning! Will I receive a text message and/or email after the activation? Will the technician need to come into the house?”

~ “WTF are you kidding me? No support until 8AM. My Transfer was today and I still do not have service, please help me!”

~ “Hi Oxio support. I need to update my credit card information.”

And thus begins the day of our metaphorically caped crusaders. Messages like you see above are real examples of what we normally see each morning.

Because our service is 100% online, the nice thing here is one agent alone can respond to all four of those customers' messages within a matter of minutes, instead of each one having to wait in a three hour phone queue. *Queue the annoying elevator music.

Now, like most customer service positions (or at least we would hope…), it’s important for us to remain professional, polite, and be in a good headspace before answering our customers. Coffee helps, too!

But what exactly makes us unique from other companies' customer service agents?

…wait a minute, what does make us different?


Well it really comes down to us embracing oxio’s four core values.

  • Empathy & Customer Obsession
  • Radical Transparency
  • Free Spirit
  • Innovation & Simplicity

Now, instead of getting too philosophical here and explaining how these values are embraced when interacting with our customers, it’s better that we actually show you how:

10:00AM - Customer writes to us via SMS. It seems the technician for their activation appointment was a no show. Hmm, better investigate.

10:03AM - I explain how, based on the latest status update from our network provider, something happened to the technician and they were unable to make it in today. I offer to get this appointment rebooked asap for a timeslot tomorrow.

10:06AM - Customer is understandably upset. Asks for a technician today.

10:07AM - Really put myself in their shoes. I would be pretty upset too knowing I wouldn’t be getting online today, especially taking into consideration I work from home. Whether it’s the answer they want to hear or not, it’s time to be transparent. I explain how the technicians are fully booked each day, and tomorrow morning would be the soonest we can get another technician confirmed.

10:10AM - Customer is understanding but unhappy with this first impression experience.

10:12AM - MOAR EMPATHY. I let the customer know I hear them, and that their response to how this has gone so far is completely reasonable and their frustrations understood. I proceed with getting the new technician appointment booked for tomorrow.

10:16AM - Customer is very thankful for my understanding and appreciates the swift responses + solution. They leave a nice comment that although it has not gone as planned, customer service has been a much better experience than the robotic responses they’re used to receiving from other ISP customer service teams.

10:17AM - Phew. I let the customer know I appreciate their patience and understanding, and because we’re sometimes a little ‘extra’, I hit them with a GIF of Brad Pitt tipping his cowboy hat as farewell.

Here, we see how damn ffffine Brad Pi… wait, not what I meant to type.

Here, we were able to deliver a more personable customer service experience and, AND, a solution for this issue was made in less than 20min! In our humble opinion, that sure beats waiting on a phone line only to hear the dreaded “Let me transfer you to another department”. *Queue the dreaded elevator music AGAIN.

So, what makes us unique from other companies’ customer service agents? Well, really, we just get to be ourselves, overcome obstacles with the help of our core values, and develop stronger bonds with our customers because of it.

This customer probably put it best:

Our mornings may be a lot like a box of chocolates. We’ll never quite know what we’re going to get. But we sure do love starting our mornings with comments like this one.

Mid-day vibes.

A day in the life of a customer care agent not only has to do with customers, but also involves the interactions we have around the office itself.

For those wondering, oxio is a completely remote company and 100% online.

You might be thinking.. “But you JUST mentioned an office?”

Oh… we have an office.

Picture your favourite Nintendo gameboy game meshed with Habbo Hotel (if you don’t know what that is I’m older than I thought.) Now think of those games if they were made in 2022, and that’s the interactive, and surprisingly social office we use every day.

Better yet, let me just show you.

Decked out with state-of-the-art meeting rooms, a beach front view, and even escape rooms, our oxio office really has it all. We are a funky bunch! And yes, that’s a Go-Kart next to that desk. (I did mention we can be a bit extra). Whenever we’re not helping out our oxio customers, this is where we help each other out, ask questions, hold meetings, and sometimes even have game nights with Trivia & Fibbage, which may or may not get dangerously competitive.

Why don’t we check in and see what an afternoon between two customer care agents looks like?

1:07PM - (Agent 1) Hey! Can you look at this customer’s convo with me? Their service just got activated but it doesn’t seem to be working.

1:10PM - (Agent 2) For sure!

1:12PM - (Agent 2) Oh! Based on the photo they just sent, they haven’t connected the modem to their home’s coaxial cable.

1:13PM - (Agent 1) Welp… that explains it. Thanks!

1:13PM -(Agent 2) No problem! Actually I need your help with something too.

1:14PM - (Agent 1) ?

1:17PM - (Agent 2) What’s the best Nickelback song?

1:17PM - (Agent 1) All of them.

Okay that last part may or may not have been a real conversation that happened. Besides answering questions and exchanging classy song recommendations, what else is it about being a customer service agent that we enjoy?

One thing I love about being a Customer Service Agent at oxio? Just helping people. It has always been a simple trait of mine, simply being happy to help. And here? I get to do just that :)” ~ Tyler

My favourite part of being a CC agent is sharing my knowledge with my co-workers and how great we all work together. Even though we work remotely, I never feel like I am on my own! The support I feel from the rest of the team is so awesome.” ~ Heather

Our team can’t be the caped crusaders that they are without the help and support of our peers. We’re really more of a team-up of unique, diverse, and interesting people rather than a solo outing. More of an oxio Justice League (but the cooler, edgier Zack Snyder version of Justice League and not the Whedon version we were all so disappointed in).

Our priority? You.

Everything we do in our day as a customer care agent really comes back to you, the customer.

…you are a customer, right? If not, hey no worries. We still heart you, and you still play a very central role in our ever developing origin story.

We’ve mentioned a couple times in this article that our service is 100% online. But what does that mean exactly?

Well, first and foremost, it means we do not have a phone line to call customers. For some, this may feel like a necessity. But for us, not having a phone line actually makes for a better experience for the customers (and non-customers) that we help out each and every day.

Let’s look at HOW and WHY this makes you our priority.

We use the messaging platform known as Crisp to communicate with all of our customers. Every loving, frustrated, or curious message sent to us via SMS, Email, Messenger, Instagram, or website chat, all show up as a message to our customer care agents on Crisp.

From there, one of our agents will assign themselves your chat (they become your personal designated hero, gifted with the powers of empathy & emojis), and respond to you as soon as they’re available. This agent will typically do this for 5-6 other messages at the same time. Which means, while they await a response from one person, they can go ahead and help someone else out.

This in turn allows agents to help multiple customers at once, instead of us forcing you into a phone queue, only to be helped out one at a time and then put on hold, only to THEN be transferred to someone else, and still have no solution. See where we’re going? By offering the innovation of online-only support, customers get to save on time, avoid headaches, and get back to surfing the web. COWABUNGA! (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

Without you, the customer, well we wouldn’t be customer care agents. Just…agents? Unless we’re going to add the word “secret” in there, it sounds kinda lame without you in it. A little too vanilla for our neopolitan personalities.

The very core of our day, quite simply, is answering the questions and concerns of customers, and making this an easy and painless experience. By the way, we’ve still got your back even if you’re not a customer and just want to inquire about the services!

Along with this are meetings with management and teammates to address issues that arise, and to look into how we can always improve the customer experience. Because we don’t go by any script, or really have a set guideline on how we respond to customers, our interactions may be less formal, but so SO much more human. Because at the end of the day, we’ve most likely been in your shoes before and most importantly, we give a damn.

A nice bonus is knowing you left your interaction with us with a big smile plastered across your face … just don’t leave your smile on all day, you’ll creep people out.

But what makes us..er…want to yeet our keyboard sometimes?

We wouldn’t really be embracing our value of radical transparency, if we didn’t also share with you the other side of a day in the life of a customer care agent.

Things happen. Mistakes will be made. Shit hits the fan. Customers will sometimes be disappointed and upset.

But as customer care agents, we really do try our best to own up to mistakes on our part, be empathetic, and get solutions made asap. And while that may not be our favourite part of the day, overcoming obstacles with customers sure feels like the most rewarding part of the day.

The most frustrating thing for me is having things go wrong that are completely out of our control.” ~ Heather

As a TPIA provider, there are certain occurrences that can, and do happen that are out of our control (outages, network provider technicians not showing up, stability of Quebec TV Services, etc…). Our frustrations don’t stem from the frustration of the customer, but from a feeling that it’s not something we can immediately solve ourselves or worse, that we let someone down.

Let’s take a look at what something like this looks like:

3:10PM – Someone looking to sign up with our services writes in using Messenger. They ask if someone can give them a phone call to ask some questions.

3:12PM – I explain how our service is 100% online, and as we operate remotely, we do not have a phone line to call customers. However, we are more than happy to help them out right here.

3:15PM – This person explains how that’s a big necessity for them, as they’ve always dealt with their provider’s via phone calls. They proceed to explain how they tried signing up, but noticed the next available date for a technician is 10 days away, which does not work for them as they work from home and need internet service this week.

3:19PM – I explain how these dates reflected on our website are accurate, as we have to leave enough time for the equipment to get shipped out to them, and have to abide by the already busy schedules of the technicians supplied by our network provider. I also mention I understand as someone who also works from home, how vital it is to always have an up and running connection. I then explain how once they receive a confirmed time slot for their appointment, they can write back to us and we’d be happy to put in a reschedule request to move the appointment up. However an earlier appointment is not something we can guarantee.

3:22PM – This person outlines how not having phone service was the first strike. And not being able to guarantee an appointment to get their services online within 10 days is strike number 2. They let me know they will not be signing up with oxio and decide to take their business elsewhere.

3:23PM – I thank the customer for reaching out today and let them know their feedback is always heard.

This is a case where certain factors were out of our control. This can cause frustrations for our team and well, just plain suck to deal with. When something like this arises, the best we can do is adhere to our four core values, find a feasible solution, and deliver the absolute best damn customer service experience that we can.

Regardless of what happens, part of our day involves learning from experiences like this, staying calm, and having an ownership mentality so we can look to prevent certain instances from happening again in the future.

Even heroes must recharge.

As the shift nears its end for us customer care agents, we first make sure to tie up any loose ends. This includes any follow-ups or requests that we need to check on for waiting customers, passing on information to our teammates that will be hopping on next, taking notes on ideas and improvements that can be made, and making sure customer messages are being attended to right up to the last minute of our shifts.

Like many other customer service agent careers, our day involves logging in, helping customers, innovating, taking extra steps to show we care, logging off, and then doing it all over again. But, we like to think we put a little more flavour into this by embracing our four core values, being ourselves, and showing that everything we do ultimately puts the customer first.

Oh and riding around our office on Go-Karts makes for a good time too!

The customer care agents are ready and eager to help you out in your time of need.

Speaking of, feel free to drop us even a simple ‘Hello there!’ anytime. Well, preferably within our working hours of 8AM - 10PM (we too must recharge!) seven days a week. Even something like a small kind message to our team goes a very long way and is always greatly appreciated.

And… we’ll do our best to make sure we’re the first internet provider you will actually like. Come chat with my colleagues and me here!

…and if you don’t feel like chatting, or still miss having phone service, here is MOAR ELEVATOR MUSIC.

Article written by Shion Periy with the graceful help & guidance of Danilo Tubic & David Purkis (Copywriter & Senior Copywriter respectively). Comic illustrations exquisitely drawn by Joanne Marwood (I owe her one!).

Picture of article author Shion Periy
Shion Periy
Customer Care Agent

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