Here at ShopPad, we are very proud of our customer success team. Our team works hard to make sure our merchants’ stores become successful. Knowing that our merchants are talking to our experts every day, we wanted to introduce them to the world, so that you can learn more about who is helping you. You can check out our first interview (with Alan) here! Up next: Anh Pham, Customer Success Engineer.
Cara: “Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me! Shall we dive in with a fun fact? Something you’d like to share about yourself with our merchants?”
Anh: “Well, one thing about me is that I love hobbies and skills. I’m a person who wants to keep gaining skills. Shortly before starting at ShopPad, I decided to do 8 weeks of swimming lessons because I didn’t know how to swim. As you get older, you get more afraid of trying new things and I was scared to go in the water. But I’m so glad I took those lessons because now I’m not the best swimmer ever, but I’m not afraid of the water anymore! Also, around the same time, I decided to take some bartending classes. I wanted to know more about how to put together all sorts of drinks. So I took four eight-hour bartending classes and it was really so cool. I didn’t just learn how to put drinks together. I learned about the histories of different spirits and things. We even had to memorize fifty different cocktails. Our final was to create 8 different drinks from that fifty in ten minutes. We had no idea what the eight would be.”
Cara: “That’s seriously admirable. I should push my comfort zone more. So next question: what brought you here?”
Anh: “Well, in college I did a computer science major. And during the time I really wanted to get out of it, but I took so long trying to figure out what else I wanted to do that it was time to graduate before I’d made up my mind. After college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do professionally. I knew that I didn’t want to just be a computer programmer because I had an internship at eBay that helped me see that wasn’t the life for me. But I also didn’t want to not use this skill set I’d just spent a lot of time and money on acquiring. So I took a few months to look around - and I took those classes during that time. I knew I wanted to have something that involved my people skills, too. Basically, I was applying to a lot of programming-type jobs, but when I saw the listing for the position here that combined coding and people skills, I knew I had to have it.”
Cara: “That makes so much sense! How long have you been in customer service/success now?”
Anh: “It feels like forever. [Laughs] I worked a lot of customer service jobs in college. I worked for the dining hall, for a Starbucks in a Target, and as a receptionist. I think I learned the most working at Starbucks because there was such a wide variety of customers and rush hour there is somehow faster than a typical fast-paced environment. There are also so many steps involved in making drinks that if you’re not careful, you might miss something important.
I also had a coworker at Starbucks who really inspired me. He was very humble and took his job very seriously. He never complained and stayed very focused on the task at hand. He always left a good impression on a customer, even if they’d come into the store angry. I learned a lot from him and I always try to leave a good impression on all my customers ever since. In fact, I kinda live by this quote: ‘People won’t remember what you said to them, but they always remember how you made them feel.’”
Cara: “That’s seriously so inspiring. I want to talk for a moment about what exactly a customer success engineer does. It’s a bit different than a customer success expert, right?”
Anh: “Well, we do most of the normal tasks that everyone on customer success does. We answer tickets etc. But we also work with the technical problems that our merchants have, which the other experts can’t solve.
It’s actually pretty cool. Because Shopify is this connection between coding and storefront, my job as a customer success engineer is to help merchants bridge that gap. We can teach them about how the coding works or help them with the difficult pieces of code.
There’s also another aspect to the job of being a customer success engineer that our merchants don’t really see. Since we spend so much time talking to our merchants and seeing how they use our products and how they think, as well as understanding how our own coding works, I get to have an important voice with our engineering team to advocate for our merchants as we write new apps and app updates.”
Cara: “Now I’m wondering what makes for a good customer service or success representative?”
Anh: “Patience is the most important quality. Our apps are on the technical side and many merchants don’t want to deal with the technical aspects. So much of the time, I need to remember to slow down and explain step-by-step how and why things work. Our merchants appreciate that kind of handholding.
I also think you need to be very understanding. You work with all kinds of people and you need to be able to step into their shoes and understand what they’re looking for.
And I guess if I’m doing my top three qualities, the last would be attention to detail. Many people will need something very specific fixed, but write into us with paragraphs of story and background details. I learned early on that if you rush and don’t take the time to read the whole thing and understand exactly what they’re saying, you’re not going to provide the right help. You also won’t be able to ask the right follow-up questions to pinpoint the problem.”
Cara: “Totally. Let’s talk about what your favorite thing about this job is.”
Anh: “I’d have to say it’s my teammates. I got really lucky because I wasn’t hired alone. Logan [one of our other customer success engineers] started on the same day as me. So we went through that scary first day together. And now we work so well together. We go back and forth with our work and he always provides a fantastic second set of eyes when I can’t solve a problem. Every person on the team, though, is amazing and makes my day better.”
Cara: “Now, I have to ask: Is there a difference between customer service and customer success? If so, what is it?”
Anh: “That’s so funny you bring this up. I was just talking to my boyfriend about this. He’s in customer service, as a waiter. He brought up that with customer service it’s about being there when the customer needs you and leaving them alone when they don’t need you. And for me, customer success goes way beyond that. Success isn’t about just being there when the customer wants you to be. It’s about doing whatever it takes to make them successful. That means working on a problem for and alongside a customer for as long as it takes to get to a solution.”
Cara: “Great answer. Second to last question: what’s the best customer service you’ve ever received and why?”
Cara: “That’s so funny - Alan said the same thing. Two votes for Amazon from the ShopPad customer success team.”
Anh: “Yeah, they’re incredible. One moment that really stood out to me was when I ordered an Xbox in college. On the day it said the package was delivered, I looked all over for it and saw this package nowhere. I waited two days to give it time to show up and it still didn’t appear. So I called Amazon about the problem. They immediately sent me a replacement with no additional charges. The new Xbox showed up two days later and I became a Prime member right away.”
Cara: “I love hearing stories like that. I have one final question for you: what makes the ShopPad team special?”
Anh: “For me, it’s definitely that I know everyone here. We’re still a small company. And everyone here is so friendly - it’s hard not to enjoy working.”
Need to talk to Anh?
Anh’s the best, we know. Take it from Danique Trinkets and Things, who said, “I was most impressed by the help I received from the Expert Install team, in particular, Anh couldn't have been more helpful. As someone who is not as savvy as I would like to be, Anh was a god send.”
Want Anh to solve one of your problems? Give her a shout on our customer service email, firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you.
Cara is the digital marketing manager here at ShopPad. She's passionate about eCommerce, marketing automation, and great wine. When she's not hard at work innoventing new marketing automation techniques, you can find her trying to stop her beagle from getting into the trash.