Interview with Andrijana Davidović, Partner Liaison Coordinator
Andrijana moved to the Czech Republic seven years ago, and she joined the Customer Support department (CS), at Kiwi.com in 2018. Since then, she has changed positions four times within the department, and today she works as the Partner Liaison Coordinator.
“Looking at it from this angle, I can only think of one thing to say: Who would have thought an entry-level job could offer so much? Definitely not me!” said Andrijana.
We talked to Andrijana about her time as a CS agent, the most important learnings she gained during her work, her days in the CS department, her career development and more.
Hi Andrijana, tell us a bit about yourself.
When I moved to the Czech Republic, my goal was to learn the language, which was very challenging to accomplish within a year. But if I managed that, I feel like I would be able to learn anything 😀 I am an optimist who believes that the puzzle is always solvable, so I’d rather look for a solution, instead of complaining. In my free time, I used to make handmade, eco-friendly home decor. I like traveling, and exploring new cultures and traditions, and I would say that spending time with my friends and family is the most valuable thing for me.
How did you end up in your current role as Partner Liaison Coordinator?
I started working as an Order Processing Specialist, which meant that I handled passenger requests in the back office, from booking the flights to contacting the airlines and adding additional services, while the front office had direct contact with passengers. After that, I got a chance to join the B2B team, take on partner bookings, and support our B2B partner teams. I enjoyed it there, however as I still wanted to learn more, I started helping the Quality Department with their daily responsibilities. That was possible thanks to the Individual Development Plan we could all work on at that time.
A few months later, I joined the Quality team. Everything I experienced, from helping the Customer Experience team, a business trip to India, and being a stand-in Team Manager, brought so much to me, and I wanted to learn more and more about people management. I applied for a Team Manager role, and I wasn’t successful…yes, rejections are also part of success. In Serbia, where I’m from, we have a saying that everything happens for a reason. This rejection was a reason for me to discover something even better, the role that I am working in now. If it weren’t for this rejection, I would never be where I am right now!
You joined firstly as the CS agent in the Back Office. What did you expect from the role, and what have you gotten out of it?
I never imagined an entry-level job could give me and teach me this much. My only goal was to become more fluent in English and acquire experience working with “more mature people”, (as 19-year-old me referred to my older coworkers). 😀
In the previous question, I mentioned how it gave me so many career opportunities, but it’s not only about that. I got to understand how teams contribute to each other, the organisational structure of the such a big company, to think outside of the box, which was essential for further development within a company. My expectations were obviously exceeded 99 times and counting…
CS roles are usually considered entry, many say simple jobs with repetitive tasks. In what ways is our CS role different from the other CS jobs?
The company culture, I’d say, the people, and the environment make the most significant difference. Since I joined the company, I have been amazed by my coworkers’ constant willingness to assist, and dig deeper into challenging cases with you. We had the KPIs to follow and reach, however, the environment is not as stressful as I could hear in some other companies with similar jobs. The managers were always willing to help and I loved that the whole organization is focused on us, the people. Additionally, all the professional skill-building opportunities that are very beneficial for career growth make a huge difference.
What are the most important things you’ve learned as a CS agent in the Back Office, and what skills have you improved?
To be patient, understand how to efficiently solve problems, develop soft skills, comprehend and find new approaches, and be self-motivated. It also helped me to understand the product and service as well as internal tools. All of this is crucial whether you are working directly with customers, partners, or even for cooperation within the team. Therefore everything that I learned as a CS agent gave me a perfect base to work with our B2B partners nowadays.
What does your day as a CS agent looked like?
The first thing I do every day is to check the task I have been assigned to. Following that, I would begin working on specific cases, investigate the request, review previous comments from my colleagues, determine whether the problem might be fixed in any other way, and try to provide the clients with the best and quickest response. In addition to responding to client inquiries, I sometimes participated in Quality calibrations and team meetings.
Apart from that as I always had great people around, we often used our game room during breaks to disconnect from work. We would have coffee, order food together, or simply exchange some interesting cases that we came across. It was a lot of fun working there, and I made many friends.
There are more than 350 people in the CS department working in 16 tribes. How do you cooperate with each other?
Cooperation is essential here! As everything is interconnected, you frequently require assistance from people responsible for things that are outside of your scope, and it is happening on a daily, hourly basis. The Front Office team helps and urgently informs the customer, the GDS team to reissue the ticket, the Claims team processes a refund, and even tech teams ensure the functioning of the tools. Everyone’s contribution is essential. Communication across the teams works through internal systems, devices, or when necessary, directly as all teams sit close to each other in our HQ, therefore that sometimes makes things much more straightforward.
There are many areas to grow within Kiwi.com, but you chose to stay in the CS department. What do you love the most about working here?
I would say it’s primarily people and the environment that I’m used to in the CS department and that I love. I had an opportunity to develop meaningful connections with colleagues from different departments. Another important factor is working with people from all over the globe, internally and externally. This is sometimes the most challenging aspect of my job, but it is also the most rewarding one.
What was the most unique, weirdest, and funniest story or task you had during your role as a CS agent in the Back Office?
During our business trip to Indore, India, one of our goals was to assist in improving productivity results. At some point, there was a discussion about how many bananas have been eaten since the beginning of Kiwi.com. Then one of the agents had an idea; he was confident that his performance would exceed 100%, (which was undoubtedly our target at that moment), and if that happened, the manager would guarantee to provide the same number of bananas.
The deal has been made. Everyone was anticipating what would happen, counting, and waiting to see if he would receive 100 bananas. And he did it! Following the presentation of the final results, 136 bananas, if I recall it right, were placed on the agent’s table that same day which was equal to his productivity score. Very original idea!
Do you want to join our CS team? We’re hiring! If you want to explore our culture, upskill your knowledge and grow with Kiwi.com, take a look at our open positions in CS!