A Customer Experience Manager's 30 year career

How Oswaldo became a Customer Experience Manager at PayJoy.

How did Oswaldo become a Customer Experience Manager at PayJoy?
Focus and family.

At his core, he is laser-focused on his goals and uses his father’s example to drive him toward success. This attitude has allowed Oswaldo to work on exciting projects with international companies, and often to make something out of nearly nothing — as you’ll see him do throughout his career story.

Family ties

Before he began his journey in CX, Oswaldo watched his father excel as a medical representative.

“He was a medical rep for about 30 years, so I learned by watching him and hearing him talk about his job. It was interesting how he was not a doctor, but he could understand everything in medical terms. He would explain things to me, and then I would go with him to his appointments while he talked to doctors.”

Oswaldo’s father encouraged him to become a doctor, but it just wasn’t what Oswaldo wanted.

During those early years, while he watched his father take the medical sales world by storm, Oswaldo was actively finding jobs for himself, despite his young age.

“Since I was probably 9 or 10 years old, I didn’t officially work. But my dad would teach us the value of having an income and he would purchase things to clean shoes in a proper way with wax and ink. So we would go to neighbors and offer our services. That was one of my first jobs. When goji berry and acai were very successful, I also remember a place that sold bottles of juice, and I would buy them to resell. I also sold discount medical cards for pharmacies. So that’s where I started getting experience in the field as a salesman. I would think about my dad and I started developing experience in tailoring your speech for customers. With time, I could tell who would say yes to my services and who would say no. For those that might say no, I would try different approaches to win a customer. Then when I was 16 years old, I started working at a call center.”

He learned so much from his father, but his biggest takeaway was that he wanted to be successful in whatever he did and always have a stable job. However, after two years, Oswaldo left the call center to deepen his connection to his faith.

Faith & foundations

At 18, Oswaldo went on a mission trip for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“It’s a very eye-opening experience because you live in a very humble way. You need to try to be independent, there are just a few people with you, and the rest is just you and your mental strength. It’s powerful because you start to see things in a different way. You take care of money; you treasure your family, you value being able to go to study.”

Stepping out of the Customer Experience Manager's shoes: Oswaldo’s family all together (his father’s the photographer).

That mission laid the foundation for his future goals as well.

“Most of my life, I’ve tried to focus. I think you need to have two types of visions — ones that will help you on a daily basis, like I know I have to wake up, have a job, pay bills, I’m saving for this or for that. But you have to have a bigger vision. For me, I wasn’t going to be an agent forever. You have to make small goals to achieve bigger goals. My mission trip did help me because we had daily goals that would add up to a bigger goal. It’s like a model inside of me, and I’ve always had a balance between the two.”

After completing his two years of missionary work in Chihuahua, Oswaldo returned to go to college and start his career. He went back to the call center with more wisdom and drive than ever. Quickly advancing to Floorwalker (similar to a Junior Supervisor), QA agent, Trainer, and later on as a Supervisor. Oswaldo took this opportunity to learn the call center at all levels and understand what each role required.

“That’s where I started noticing that there’s a pattern for every job related to customer service. It has to be empathy. It has to be a lot of patience, a lot of tolerance, and you need to breathe a lot. If you get mad, you don’t have to make it personal. Whatever a customer tells you, you can’t take it personally.”

Not taking things personally when you are in the heat of the moment is tough, and it’s a skill that Oswaldo does with ease. Perhaps it’s because he watched his father deal with such complex and nuanced medical solutions with calm composure, or maybe it’s because he learned what good customer relations are at an early age. Whatever the source, it’s a critical skill that has taken him far.

At the same time, he went to university (talk about focus!).

“I went to the State University of Baja, California. College was easy for me; marketing is a fascinating thing to do. You can do anything! You can become an advisor, and you can do analysis, forecast, and help a brand or product itself. So it is very personal, like when we had to do special projects. Once, we went to a local brewery. We did the whole business case for them, and the marketing plan, the sales plan. I was finding it fascinating. So it was not hard for me because I was passionate about it. The five years went smoothly.”

Paying attention

A Customer Experience Manager and his team: the Uber team after growing quite a bit!

From the call center, Oswaldo moved on to a money transfer company. He excelled at it, earning his quarterly bonus without breaking a sweat.

“I would be paying attention to the little details, for example, if a customer is in a specific store that mostly did wire transfers or money transfers to Nicaragua, a past rep would have tried to give a special price for Mexico-bound wire transfers, and that would not be of much help. So you would need to really pay attention to the actual partner.”

That attention to detail led him to be outstanding in the role.

As many professionals do, Oswaldo kept an eye out for interesting opportunities when he noticed an intriguing yet vague post.

“It was for a customer service role with a high salary to start working for the best company in the world.”

Dreaming of the possibilities, Oswaldo applied and found that Uber was opening a branch where he lived. He got the job but had to start from scratch.

Customer Driven: supporting a company in hypergrowth

There weren’t any Spanish materials, and his manager began traveling for business immediately after he was hired. He needed to figure out how to onboard new drivers while clearly explaining the business model and requirements. It was a serious challenge, but one that Oswaldo knew he could tackle. After contacting the head office, he was granted access to their materials. From there, he translated them, tailored them to match the market, and hit the ground running.

When I asked him if he was frustrated or upset to be left with such little assistance, his answer was simple:

“They knew we were capable of doing it, and they gave us the information.”

He uses a similar methodology in his own hiring practices,

“You look for people with a specific profile, people with the attitude and mindset that you have.” Oswaldo got involved in the recruitment process at Uber; he helped build a team of like-minded, driven individuals.

By understanding the drivers’ concerns and anticipating what they’d need to succeed, he helped grow the contact center into something special. Oh, and did I mention this was in-person support? They had to create a welcoming space for drivers to stop by and get the assistance they needed. As the popularity grew, so did the demand, and eventually, the contact center saw between 400 to 700 visitors a day and outgrew the original office.

Unfortunately, that’s when Oswaldo hit a stumbling block. He wanted to grow within Uber, but they had a policy against hiring external employees, which he technically was. His manager was honest with Oswaldo that he could give him more responsibilities, but there wasn’t a path toward the role he wanted.

The joys of finding a new direction

Oswaldo’s father with the grandkids.

Interestingly, Oswaldo has had a great deal of luck with his LinkedIn profile. He’ll see someone looking at it repeatedly over time and get the hint that he’s probably going to get a recruiting call. On several occasions, this resulted in new positions — one as a marketing manager and one with another rideshare company.

Oswaldo tackled, conquered, and eventually outgrew each position. He enjoyed the work but was always on the lookout for something truly fulfilling. When it came time to move on from the rideshare company, he was proactive about his search.

“I started sending out my resume and having interviews. That’s when PayJoy found me. They were disruptive, and they were looking for a new Customer Experience Manager. They’d struggled with past Customer Experience Managers, and they needed someone with experience, so I got the job.”

He took his CX experience to build what they were missing.

A Customer Experience Manager proves his worth

“There were no meaningful KPIs, very little structure, and a lot of incomplete processes, training was extensive and not so helpful, and we didn’t measure QA. It was just a group of agents taking calls and chats. Someone would eventually respond to our support tickets. There were like 2000 emails stuck in the queue without anyone answering.”

Oswaldo set everything up, gathered the team, focused on big goals, and set up milestones. For data, he relied on Sara, an awesome Zendesk Specialist and started leading the team towards organized success. His story shows how much believing in your skills and having a focus can help you achieve your goals.

Even starting at a job with no guidance and no structure, like Oswaldo's at uber, can work out if you carve your own path: whether your destination is to be a Customer Experience Manager or something else.

Bring your best to every role, and just like Oswaldo, you’ll find a world of opportunities waiting.

Have a question for Oswaldo (Customer Experience Manager @ Payjoy) about setting goals?
Leave a comment below or contact him here.

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