Rigorous training, copious amounts of patience, quick wits, and a great sense of humor.
As Edwin, one of ExpressVPN’s Senior Training Coordinators, explains: “What sets a service apart from the others, in our eyes, is the quality and availability of support. In the tech industry, some users will ALWAYS encounter errors or issues. Nothing’s perfect when dealing with technology as we’re dealing with different devices, with different hardware and network setups. Getting these matters resolved quickly makes all the difference.”
Edwin is passionate about human to human customer support—the Support Team proudly boasts a 90% positive feedback score and an average live-chat initial response time of just 25 seconds. What drives him and the team to consistently hit such highs?
“I can name at least 10 times when I’ve contacted support from different companies, only to feel like I’m talking to a robot. The agent doesn’t care if my issue gets resolved or not. Having experienced that from other companies, I always ensure that all of our users are well taken care of, and quickly!”
— Coops (@smc2707) December 23, 2016
ExpressVPN is proud of its Support Team, for a good reason. So we thought we’d sit down and have a chat, to find out what makes them tick.
Hey guys, thanks for talking to us. Let’s jump straight in the deep end… What’s the most challenging part of being an ExpressVPN chat agent?
Having 5 chats open, 3 for billing issues, 2 for routers—and everyone expects an answer ASAP. – Jay
Deciding which one to prioritize when all customers are a high priority. – Elmar
Sounds challenging! What do you think sets ExpressVPN apart from other VPN companies?
Before working here, I tried out multiple VPN service providers. What sets ExpressVPN apart from other services is that we listen to what users want.
We implement features in our apps based on customer requests and add the locations that people want. Even if I didn’t work here, I’d go for ExpressVPN, personally. Also, the Support Team is awesome, if I do say so myself, being a part of it. Haha :p – Edwin
The Support Team and everyone from the dev/systems teams have direct communication with each other. – Jerome
It’s very Dynamic; everyone works as a team which makes it really solid. – Martin
Thanks for the excellent support and the amazingly fast VPN service @expressvpn!
— TheMaaarc (@realmadmarc) October 7, 2016
It makes it easier when you believe in the company, right? So what’s the best part of working at ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN really takes care of staff. The benefits and bonuses are great!. – Jay
The peeps! – Mike R.
The work environment. It’s never really a competition here, and since there is no internal politics, everyone works together. – Marco
The lessons learned. ExpressVPN taught me significant skills: understanding how a VPN works, router setups and troubleshooting connection issues and network problems, but instilled valuable lessons that would comprise my lifelong playbook and ultimately provide inspiration for my agents as their Team Leader. – Ken
The benefits, work environment, the people, the food, and flying/crashing Romar’s toy drone whenever he’s not around. – Jerome
I learned a lot of things technically which I never imagined I could. – Martin
Seeing us grow from a start-up company to one of the biggest VPN providers in the market. – Jerome
There seems to be a lot going on, is this the most challenging job you’ve ever had?
Indeed. I’ve been on the project for more than 3 years now. When I started, I was the only girl on the team, it was more than a little bit intimidating, I just hoped I’d make it a year; had I allowed the discernible fear to sway me from trying out, I would have missed this opportunity. – Ken
Yes. Even though I graduated in a similar field, I have no previous customer service or technical support experience. I rely mainly on hands-on experience during my training and have a good mentor in Eric. – Jerome
— Colin Inglis (@shinglis) December 2, 2016
A few of you have been here a while. How does it feel to see the team grow so large?
It can be overwhelming sometimes. From a group of fewer than 10 people, to what we are now- it makes me proud seeing such improvement. I’m just glad I’m part of this growth and that we’re still on that steady upward climb to the top. Never stop! – Edwin
We need nametags now. – Jerome
Grateful. No matter how much success we may achieve, it’s important not to forget where we’ve come from. For me, in so many ways, that gratitude leads right back to our dear customers, the Management, the first group of boys I met here in ExpressVPN who taught me so much: my seniors. – Ken
Do you remember your first weeks on the job? What did your training involve? Tell us about the training process to become an ExpressVPN chat agent.
I could compare it to growing up from infancy. I started with a blank slate, not knowing anything about ExpressVPN. Then becoming a toddler that needed to be trained of what are the right and wrongs, do’s and don’ts, etc. Later, growing into a child that learns from his mistakes, owns up to them, and makes sure he doesn’t repeat them Then becoming a teen that imparts his knowledge and experiences to other “children,” while continuously learning and dreaming of being an accomplished adult that inspires others. Right now I’m at the stage of being a young adult trying to balance everything out. – James
It involved familiarizing the system and everything about the work process. – Marco
Understanding the basics of the product, and it’s better to look stupid with your co-workers rather than the customers. – James
Shout out to Joe at @expressvpn. Thanks for all the help and patience! I really appreciate it 😀
— Teddytedted (@teddy_tedted) October 25, 2016
It seems like you rely on each other to help and have a system that works. What are your colleagues like?
We have bikers, mountaineers, dancers, artists, gamers, toy collectors, bookworms, coffee lovers, movie fanatics, and a CHOIR OF KARAOKE SINGERS (Especially when tipsy). It’s an incredibly diverse group of individuals with an equally amazing array of interests! – Bryan
Hilarious in a good way. – Martin
It’s certainly an eclectic bunch. What about the customers? What’s the nicest thing a customer has said to you?
You are my savior! – Jay
Tell your boss to give you a raise. – Diomar
You’re a legend! This was the first chat I handled. – James
A customer once told me that I have a nice name and I would be a good husband. – Jerome
I love you! – Edwin
You’re a genius! You’ll become famous. – Martin
It must feel great to get the recognition you deserve. What was your most memorable interaction with a customer?
When a customer tried cracking corny jokes, saying they were SNL material. – Bryan
One guy in the military told me it meant the world to him to be able to get in touch with his loved ones while stationed abroad. – Jerome
I can remember one person offered to have a beer with me because I helped him out with a very difficult issue. I got a sense the customer was genuinely happy, and I got to share in that happiness. I think that’s quite rare in a job. – Elmar
@expressvpn Gena thanks your great support. So glad I dropped PIA
— Lyman Duggan VE9NE (@lymanduggan) October 26, 2016
It’s great to be appreciated! What’s the most interesting problem you’ve ever had to solve at ExpressVPN?
Cleaning someone’s web browser from spam ads and unwanted toolbars. – Jerome
Troubleshooting and fixing slow connections is always a fun challenge. – Liz
When the new app for routers was released, everything was new, so my knowledge of the product was tested through fire. – James
Having worked in the tech support industry for a while, I’ve seen numerous problems. The most interesting are issues that I’ve never encountered before and aren’t resolved with the usual fixes. Then I really have to use my brain and trust my training. – Elmar
Sounds like there’s never a dull moment at work! But what do you do in your free time?
Sometimes I practice with my band. I do vocals for a punk rock band, so we record songs during my days off. Other times, I either try to make art or travel. I like seeing and experiencing new things. It revitalizes you and gives you much needed energy for busy work weeks ahead. It’s a meditative thing, to travel and experience nature. – Edwin
Read, read, read! – Jay
Ride on my motorcycle (anywhere), build Gunpla (Gundam plastic models), play PC or PS3 games. – Elmar
Singing, playing guitar, playing video games and watching anime. – Martin
@expressvpn you guys seriously have the best costumer support in the world, also your app is pretty neat. keep it up!
— League of the Doto (@leagueofthedoto) August 15, 2016
Finally, what would you say to all the readers out there that are still unsure why they should use ExpressVPN?
Why not try it? We have a 30- day money- back guarantee. You have nothing to lose! – Jay
We’ve got your back covered 24/7. No one else will give you that kind of speedy and efficient support. – Elmar
To us you’re not just another customer, you are a part of the ExpressVPN family. – Jerome
What makes the ExpressVPN Support Team so great?
Edwin summarizes it best: “We encourage new hires to share best practices from their previous companies. We try to take in the best things that other companies have regarding support and assimilate it as our own when it makes sense.”
The demands on the Support Team are high, all ExpressVPN agents are expected to:
- Be well informed and well equipped
- Put the customer first; no bad attitudes!
- Pass a 30-day startup training program
- Attend classroom sessions
- Perform setup exercises
- Become technically savvy
- Complete daily coaching sessions
- Ensure ExpressVPN’s quality standards are upheld
But, “We value each and every agent we have with us right now. Each one from a different background, but we all working together towards a common goal: Achieving 100% satisfaction from customers.“ says Edwin.
“We remind each trainee that we’re dealing with real people here. Some support teams forget that very simple fact. We highlight this during our training almost as much as the technical aspects.”
Thank you for everything, Support Team. – ExpressVPN