A Customer Happiness Officer is not a title that gets seen around everyday. When I started at Headphone Zone, I was told that the role meant that I had to do what it takes to make sure every customer got 'more' than he expected, to make sure he was delighted, that he had his 'mind blown away'.
So that's what I've been doing for 3 months now at Headphone Zone, and it’s just a pool of delightful memories and experiences and time has quickly flown by.
Starting the Journey with an Interview
Headphone Zone's unusual interview process is well known now. I was surprised and nervous to find a group interview with the entire team and me in the spotlight. I was literally sweating my palms off! But then began a one-of-a-kind interview for the next 2 hours where we talked casually about everything Headphone Zone was about, the work culture and individual roles. Questions about everything from my past work experience to my interests and hobbies were posed surprisingly casually and its easy to get a chilled out vibe from each member of the team. A quick poll, and I was hired on the spot. Yay on that!
Happiness at an Organisational Level
Creating Happy experiences for our customers really starts from inside the house. I was pleasantly surprised with many 'firsts' as i got settled into the Headphone Zone culture.
The highlight of the 6 day work week, is the Saturdays' pizza lunches, poker games, foosball tournaments, taboo and lots of music. With a small team, lunch breaks are like a "Family Lunch" with everyone eating together. That's also when we make it a point to learn new things from each other across various topics of interests and skills.
Even though each team member may have different roles, it's rare to find in a company that everyone has an equal stand with freedoms of speech, taking decisions and ownership.
Learning the world of Audiophiles and Headphones
Now coming to the work that I do here as a Customer Happiness Officer. When I initially joined the company, I really never thought that an e-commerce company could survive only by offering headphones, and most of them from brands which I hadn't really even heard of.
The first week I came to realize that Headphone Zone was a new world to me, and I had a tough time understanding all the various headphones and brands around me. It seemed difficult, and I seriously thought that I would give up in a week.
I didn't even realise that Headphones could be so expensive. The ice breaker really was when I had to learn about all these big unknown brands and then introduce them meaningfully to our customers. But thanks to the patience and friendly nature of everyone at work, I didn't need to hesitate while asking a silly question even a dozen of times over. Learning became easy.
Talking to our wide pool of customers on a regular basis has taught me how to deal with people from various walks of life. A week into the job I started dealing with cases of customers returning back Headphones to us. I quickly realized that an e-commerce company doesn't have it easy. It's hard enough to sell products online in a very competitive space in a country like India, but thats just the start of the many problems that need to be dealt with.
Dealing with the Hard Times
As a company there are times we make mistakes and screw up. It's a simple human error or sometimes even a system error. If we screw up, we unconditionally send a cake to customers as a token of our appreciation for their patience, understanding and for the hassle they had to face. It often catches the customer by surprise and it's usually appreciated even after a disappointing episode. It's a very simple thought and in the end all that matters is that you have a happy customer.
Most of the time all you have to do is keep your calm and not lose your patience with a particularly difficult customer. For me, I have to keep the customer's happiness as the number one priority: a lesson taught by Raghav. One can tell that Raghav thinks a lot, constantly challenging you to test your potential and even assumes the role of our in-house counselor.
Just to end this post, I'd like to say that these past 3 months at Headphone Zone have been full of learning. It still just feels like the beginning of a long journey! Looking at the pace of growth, I feel I will have many new things on my plate very soon.
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