All Things Upwork
October 4, 2010 by Guest Blogger

By: Barbara Wright

There’s only one thing to do when you have one of the best customer support teams around – celebrate Customer Service Week, of course! In the United States, this is a national event held in the first full week of October, created by a proclamation of the U.S. Congress, who felt it was important to recognize and honor customer support representatives.

We’re always looking for ways to help the oDesk Customer Support Team feel connected as an important part of our company, and celebrating this week gives us the opportunity to recognize special customer support achievements – such as the team member that has served the longest, the team member with the most hours, and the team member with the highest customer satisfaction scores.

About our Customer Support Team

customer service threeThe oDesk Customer Support Team, which now totals 39 contractors and employees, is a good example of how to keep a remote team close-knit and connected. Due to the large volume and variety of help requests, some support representatives handle tickets; others staff the LiveChat support, while the recently-implemented phone support team makes help response calls. In fact, most support representatives perform multiple tasks while working with the many other teams that assist them, such as the oDesk Marketplace Quality Team, the Finance Team and our Technical Support Group.

How do we keep everyone on the same page with such a large group of contractors?

Support teams are broken up into smaller groups that include a Team Leader. Each support team confers with each other continuously throughout their shift, using Skype chat. Individual team members also keep in touch with Skype messaging. Team Leaders hold weekly meetings to share information, ask questions and bring up current issues.

It doesn’t stop there.

customer service twoAll-hands meetings include the entire oDesk organization and provide an overview of the company direction, performance metrics and plans for the future. Gary Swart, oDesk CEO, sends out a monthly email to everyone, to let us know how oDesk did in the previous month or how we’ve done since the last quarter. Emails, sent regularly by our marketing communications manager, lets us all know when television, radio or other media outlets feature a story about oDesk. It’s not surprising that our team members have formed personal friendships because of working together and communicating regularly.

We asked our customer support representatives what they like most about working as an oDesk Customer Support Representative, and here’s what they had to say:

“What I like best about my job with oDesk is that I am working with great people. Everybody is very helpful and friendly. The Team work is awesome and because of this my job becomes easier and simple.”

“I like being a part of such a great company that offers a vision for the future. It is wonderful to be part of such a great platform.”

“Working with an international team of coworkers, learning every day, and helping people to be successful in their online work.”

“Helping customers who are appreciative of the extra effort I put forth for them.”

customer serviceWe understand the challenges of working in a remote team are many. Communication can sometimes be difficult. When you add to that the lack of direct interaction, such as a smile or even a simple handshake, it’s easy to see how some remote workers would feel isolated and out of touch with team members. Our support representatives are dedicated and empathetic – they understand these challenges, face them head on, and lead our users through them every day. Customer Service Week is one more way that we can show the oDesk Customer Support Team how important they are to the success of oDesk.