Testo: Miriam Terruzzi
Immagini: Miriam Terruzzi
A journey behind the scenes to learn about La Passione's customer care that helps customers from all over the world every day, strengthening the special bond between the brand and the community.
They listen, they answer questions, they transmit feedback. They are Sara, Elisa and Sara, the beating heart of La Passione customer care. Not just a job but a genuine vocation. In a three-way interview they explain the direct but transparent contact with customers, who have always played a central role in the history of the Digital Native Vertical Brand.
How long have you been working with La Passione? What are the main changes you have seen during your experience here?
S - On average, the staff who deal with customer care have been working at La Passione for more than three years. The main change we've observed is the ever-widening range of products, in terms of both variety and continuous, ongoing research. The technical and performance solutions developed so far have helped to achieve better quality, with the aim of satisfying the community's various different needs.
What are the languages you communicate in with customers?
E - Generally English is the international language used in this type of communication but we also speak Spanish, Italian and German.
What is the most exciting part of this job?
S - A customer care representative's duties involve being able to answer all the customer's questions in the shortest possible time, assuring them they can count on us at any time. Being able to provide optimal support, respond to any request, and consequently make the customer experience as simple and comprehensive as possible are the main features of our work, both before a potential purchase and post sales.
And the most challenging?
E - Maybe just the frustration of not being able to fully explain the sales policies to some customers. It does unfortunately happen that commitment and kindness don't have the desired effect and unpleasant discussions have to be had about, for example, replacing a product after the time allowed or after it's been used. These are certainly situations that we would prefer to avoid.
Are there any customers with whom you've built such a special relationship that you can anticipate their choices?
E - Receiving requests and contacts from thousands of people, it's not always easy to establish a close relationship, however there are some exceptions, cyclists who're part of our community who like to write to us whenever they want to place an order. They ask us for advice on new products or feedback to feel confident about the purchase. Then there're the little gestures that make us feel truly united, such as the messages we received in the period between February and July 2020 – when the Covid19 situation in Italy was dramatic. People wrote to us from all over the world with recommendations and thank-you messages for never stopping and being able to ship orders, despite the many difficulties.
What's the best review you've received?
S - Fortunately we receive a lot of positives – several tens of thousands – for both products and the entire customer experience. Any review where the customer appreciaties the commitment to finding the solution to a problem encountered is, without doubt, the best. People often thank us for how fast we handle cases and this is very gratifying for us.
Do you have any particular amusing anecdotes?
S - We often receive returns which customers claim to be new and never used but they forget to remove energy bars, chewing gum or even bananas from their pockets – yes, it's really happened. The colleague who manages returns has a drawer full of items that are forgotten in pockets or end up in the bag with the products to be returned.
What are usually the busiest times of the year?
E - Naturally the busiest months are January and August which coincide with sales and promotions. Don't underestimate Black Friday week which is as short as it is intense and customers expect answers as quickly as possible.
What do you think will be fundamental in the future of customer care?
S - Definitely maintaining constant communication with the product team we share customer feedback with. This allows us to continuously improve the quality and performance of each item. In future it will be important to increasingly develop skills in solving the problem in the initial stages or even knowing how to anticipate various requests, due to the knowledge gained over the years.
Trust, perseverance and helpfulness are just some of the values that mark out the girls who work behind the scenes in customer care. Their training and expertise allow for impeccable service as well as bringing customers even closer to the La Passione community.