We caught up with Jayride.com’s Customer Service Manager Sandra Leriche and members of her team to find out how Jayride.com works with a remote customer service team to provide our travellers, travel agents and transfer companies with seamless transport solutions.
Managing a customer service team is a monumental job for any company, let alone a global transfer company with customers and stakeholders all over the world. Sandra Leriche joined Jayride.com in 2017 as Customer Service Manager, and talks to our blog team about how she manages a team of customer service professionals all over the world, and the benefits of having an exclusively remote team.
Hey Sandra, can you tell us a little bit about your role?
‘Sure. I’m the Customer Service Manager here at Jayride.com, and it’s my job to grow and train our customer service team to ensure we constantly meet our customers’ expectations; whether those customers are travellers booking directly on our site, travel agents booking on behalf of others, or transfer companies using our platform.
‘I work closely with different departments here at Jayride.com so I can understand each stakeholder’s requirements, and then work with the team so we can meet and exceed those expectations and ensure we’re all aligned.’
Where abouts in the world can we find members of Jayride.com’s customer service team?
‘Myself and our Head of Customer Service, Aron Lewin, are based in the Jayride.com HQ in Sydney, Australia, while our 28 team members (this number is always growing!) are located across the Philippines and Jamaica.’
Why does Jayride.com work with an exclusively remote customer service team?
‘There’s a number of reasons we choose to work with a remote team, rather than having an in-house one. Most importantly, it allows us to work in different timezones; this is a crucial element of our customer service, as we’re a global company dealing with queries 24/7 from all around the world. By having team members in different parts of the world, we can address all questions that our customers, travel agents or transfer companies have, outside of our regular business hours in Sydney.
‘By not limiting ourselves to hiring in just one city in one country, we also have the added benefit of a wider talent pool to hire from. This means we’re lucky enough to work with employees who have a lot of experience working with overseas companies in the travel industry, and we’re able to learn a lot from their previous experience and utilise it for Jayride.com.’
Gem Anyar, one of the Jayride.com team leaders based in the Philippines, is proof of why round-the-clock service is required.
‘I’ve been working with Jayride.com for about two and a half years now, for the Jayride Agent Quoting Team. Part of my role is dealing with quote requests from different travel agencies all around the world; in Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK.’
Gem also knows better than anyone the value that Jayride.com brings to her customers; travel agents.
‘Jayride.com definitely aims to make their lives easier, as we’ve worked hard to gather information about thousands of transfer companies across the world in one great place. Apart from this, we also regularly send updates on any newly added routes, as well as any discounts that may become available. We work hard to make sure we’re with our customers from start to finish of their booking.’
How does the hiring process work?
Sandra says it’s pretty much exactly the same as for staff based in Sydney.
‘We interview candidates over Skype to ensure that they’re a good fit for the company – even though they work overseas, it’s still important that we find people who stand by Jayride.com’s values and work ethic, and to ensure they engage within the wider company.
‘The team follow the same performance review as any other team member at Jayride.com. We track progress and ensure everyone is constantly growing and enjoying their role by following up with a one week review, one month review as well as quarterly reviews so that there is open, honest and transparent communication between us all.’
How do you keep the team engaged with the company when they work remotely?
‘I organise weekly video calls with all the team members to get a run down on what’s happening that week and to discuss weekly goals,’ says Sandra. ‘I also make sure I’m as available as possible on our online chat system, so they know that if they have a question they can reach out to me. I also equip each team leader with the necessary tools to support their team members, so everyone feels encouraged and aided to do their jobs well.
‘To keep them connected to the Sydney team, we use group chats that the whole company is connected to where we discuss work-related topics, wish happy birthday to anyone who may be celebrating, and engage in general chit-chat, just as you would with coworkers over a morning cup of coffee.
‘We also make sure they have access to our monthly company meeting; we broadcast it live and invite the whole team to join in and listen to exciting updates within the company and voice any ideas they may have. This is an important part of making sure our remote team members feel part of it all. They’re the ones interacting with our customers and representing our brand, so we definitely give them the opportunity to have a voice and value their opinion in terms of how we can keep improving our services and products.
‘A new initiative we’ve tried recently too is the introduction of ‘The People of Jayride.com’ videos. Each week, a person working in the remote team and a person working in Sydney film a short video introducing some fun facts about themselves. This gets sent around the office, and has been a great way to get to know everybody, no matter where they live!’
Have you had a chance to meet the team face-to-face other than through fun videos?
‘We certainly have! Aron and I were lucky enough to organise a conference in the Philippines in February 2018 to meet the Philippines-based team. We were able to do face-to-face training and get to know each other. I believe this definitely helped us build a strong relationship and greater trust, and share our values with one another, even though we work remotely the rest of the year. It was a blast, and we received great feedback from the event.’
What does great customer service mean to you?
‘For me, great customer service means that we have done everything we possibly can to help customers in a way that is efficient and friendly. You want the customer to remember their interaction with you, as it was so professional and positive!
‘Great service is what can really set you apart from your competitors.
I believe that you should always do what you say you can do, do not over-promise, be honest and ensure your customer knows that you are doing everything that is in your power to solve their query. It’s very easy to over-promise and not deliver, which is the last thing we want.
‘Our stakeholders’ expectations vary, and I believe that if we’re able to deliver what we’ve committed to and the customer has a positive experience interacting with our team, and that we’re able to maintain the trust in our services, then we’ve done a great job!’
Sandra’s team certainly believes in great customer experiences, too. John Fabian, who works in the Philippines as a team leader, says going above and beyond should just be your standard.
‘For me personally, I don’t really label anything as going above and beyond my role. I always make it a point to provide excellent service,’ John says.
‘Good customer service for me is letting your customers feel that you would do everything to provide a solution to their problems. And it’s not just about finding the solution, it’s the whole experience.’
What are some of the challenges in your role? Especially when it comes to managing a remote team?
‘Managing a remote team can be challenging at times, but the key is trust.
The fact that we have built this trusted relationship over the past year, and that I can rely on a team that is working thousands of kilometres away from us definitely helps with the stressful times.’
What do you love about your role?
‘I love that every day has new challenges. As our product and stakeholder demands evolve, we constantly adapt our processes and look for improvements. No two days are the same when working in customer service, especially at Jayride.com.
‘I like working with team members from different cultures and backgrounds, whether it’s here in the office or remotely. It’s great to see the team grow, see people learn new skills and develop and evolve with us on this journey. What’s even more exciting is to see our team members get promoted to team leaders as we expand and grow. We always encourage the team to level up to new positions and give them the opportunities to do so.
‘And the team certainly level up! I’ve seen team members working outside of their regular hours simply because one specific customer wants to interact with them because they’ve had such a great customer experience, even though the next team member was online and ready to take over!’
That’s certainly true for Philippines team leader José Flores, who truly knows the meaning of going above and beyond.
‘We always treat customer queries with urgency; I once actually stopped at a gas station, logged on and handled a customer’s question then and there!’ says José. ‘If we don’t address the problem it won’t get solved, so I did what needed to be done to help the customer travel.’
And Sandra says it doesn’t go unnoticed.
‘I’m always impressed with my team, whether it’s seeing the conversations between team members through the chat and how they develop a friendly, trusting relationship with customers, or the feedback we get from customers themselves. My team constantly does me proud.’
Jayride.com is the airport transfer comparison site, giving you seamless access to thousands of transfer companies in the one place.