GUEST POST: Behind the scenes – The team connecting you at home and on your travels.
This article was written by NZMCA member, Enrie Newman, for the Motor Caravanner magazine.
“We’re a family.”
That’s the instant reply from Sheena Palillo, the Logistics Manager, when I asked the Wireless Nation team to describe the culture of their head office with a call centre based here in Takapuna, Auckland. Everyone else nods vigorously. They’re clearly a tight bunch. There’s lots of laughter. Every Tuesday a different team member prepares a delicious lunch for the whole group.
Other answers arrive thick and fast.
“There’s no hierarchy – everyone feels equal – we all get along together – we get great comments from our customers”.
They’re a unique group ethnically. About 29 in total, comprising more than 10 nationalities. Most are in their late twenties. Nearly all are migrants to New Zealand.
And for migrants, having a ready-made, family-like support team at work is a real plus. Human Resources and Customer Service head Parker Park knows that first hand – when he arrived in New Zealand he wasn’t even able to order a McDonalds meal.
Ethnicity aside, they all speak excellent English. But if you prefer to deal in Korean, Indian, Philippine, Te Reo, Chinese, German or Fijian dialects they have someone who can help.
It’s the energy and good humour in the place that impresses me.
I didn’t need to ask whether it’s a fun place to work – that’s obvious from the body language. You can feel the energy and the bounce in the air when you walk in the door. Masses of smiles and laughter.
Happy staff – happy customers!
So when I visited on a recent Tuesday (that I struck their special lunch day was just a coincidence honestly) it was a laugh a minute. On this occasion, lunch was preceded by a training and team-building session. Consultant Bill James had everyone in a meeting room learning about the importance of identifying different personality types and dealing with them in different ways. That’s a really crucial skill in the technology sector where customers sometimes struggle with complex concepts and can get very stressed quickly if things are going wrong.
People fall into 4 groups, Bill explained – Counsellors, Drivers, Coaches and Advisors. Examples – Coaches see the humour in situations. Drivers communicate briefly and sharply with no unnecessary words – it’s “my way or the highway”. Counsellors don’t want to let anyone down, hate surprises and want to know what’s coming.
The trick in customer service is to know how to recognise these different personality types and respond to each differently. Over time it becomes second nature. When the pressure comes on, and things become a little stressful, recognising each customer’s type and responding accordingly is a core skill.
The accuracy behind all this is shown clearly when the team debates which group each member falls into, and there is almost complete agreement.
When I join them for the Tuesday lunch afterwards the talk is all about the training. There’s no doubt the message was well-received and taken aboard. That’s great for the team but even greater for the customers.
Customer Support Officer Vipul Sakpal hails from India. He came to Auckland as a student and took jobs in landscaping, cold storage and health before joining Wireless Nation. His role includes some sales as well as giving technical advice. I ask him the trick to dealing with customers in high-stress situations.
“It’s about getting quickly to a point where they see that you have understood the issues,” he says. “You have to ask as few questions as possible, but they must be the right questions. Too many questions just make the customer more stressed. The aim is to get as quickly as possible to the stage where you understand the problem and can offer a solution.”
A final word comes from Parker Park.
“In my native country, Korea, everything is about hierarchy,” he says. “Employees there are not invited to express ideas. We are lucky that Tom (Tom Linn, founder and Executive Director) is a very open-minded person who is very comfortable with diversity. He’s much more interested in who you are than in what you can do – if you have the right attitude we’ll make sure we give you the skills.”
Judging from the success of Wireless Nation’s business, the inclusive approach to hiring is paying great dividends for its customers as well as its energetic team. NZMCA member and Waikato branch secretary Des Austin is a fan. He’s been using the service for four years.
“I did away with the home landline once we joined,” Des told me. “We use the Wireless Nation modem in the motorhome as well as at home. In the caravan we have the option of 240 or 12 volt connections. We’re heavy users of the Internet for research, social networking and YouTube – often at home we have two or three computers online at once, and it works just fine. And when we have a problem or query their call centre in Auckland always answers promptly and understands our needs – their support service is exceptional.”
(To test out the claims of timely service, I made a quick check – 10.30am on a weekday morning. From picking up the phone, to speaking to a live technician, it took two minutes 21 seconds. Compare that with the industry giants!)
Many other members have posted their praise for the service on the Google reviews about Wireless Nation.
Robin Bruning’s comments are typical.
“Nothing but great service since we signed up… and great reception. So easy to set up and off you go! Living full time in camper van and need reliable affordable internet. Hubby’s very happy. So am I. Netflix very accessible now especially over the winter months!”
Likewise, member Colin Wilson says
“I had been shopping looking for a mobile solution for travelling around the country. Wireless Nation provided an easy quality solution and now we have everything. Our energy system can be viewed remotely by our systems technicians, and we get all the online functions for our TV. It’s perfect.”
“Perfect.” That’s a high standard.
Meet all our team members here and put a face to the name!
Get in touch with Wireless Nation today to find out the benefits of staying connected with Portable WiFi, at home – and on the road!