People @ Personio – Melanie Wolf, Customer Service Manager

At Personio we strive to understand our customers and to make them successful. After all, they are the reason we exist in the first place. Having #CustomerEmpathy is an essential priority, and thanks to our amazing Customer Operations & Success team, we are on our way to becoming Europe’s leading HR platform. Melanie Wolf, from our team in Munich, shares insightful details about working as a Customer Service Manager with us:

How many languages do you speak?

I can speak:
🇩🇪 German,
🇬🇧 English,
🇪🇸 and Spanish fluently.
🇫🇷 I do understand a bit of French, but I cannot speak it anymore.

Considering that, contrary to people who are engineers or marketeers, no one goes to school to be a Customer Service Manager, how did you know you wanted to go on that path?

I had never “actively” planned to become a Customer Service Manager. Actually, I studied Political Science and Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy. Before I started working at Personio, I worked in a hotel in Ecuador and I really enjoyed working with the customers there, but also the start-up atmosphere of the hotel (the brand is called Selina, maybe you know it). After coming back to Munich, I wanted to find a job in a company with a similar atmosphere. I came across Personio and looked into the different jobs they offered at the time. Customer Service Manager just seemed to be the right choice considering that I loved working in a team and with customers directly. Therefore, I decided to apply.

What attracted you to joining Personio?

As said, I was also looking for a company that had a fun atmosphere and would align with my values, since I personally like #Teamspirit and #SocialResponsibility. When I was in the recruiting process, I felt that all of this applied to Personio. Additionally, I felt really welcomed and appreciated from my first contact with the team onwards. Now, after one year working here, I realize how great it is to play my part in shaping and improving processes as a Junior Customer Service Manager. Personio is constantly evolving and we have the opportunity to contribute to the overall journey of becoming Europe’s leading HR platform. #SeekToImprove

What does your typical working week look like nowadays?

If you take a look at my calendar it is quite colorful 😄 , which means days pass by really quickly and I never get bored.

We start the day at 8:45 am with our Daily Stand-Up meeting: In this meeting, we get updates about important numbers from the previous day as well as any other important news. Then, I have a certain amount of shifts per day, for which we use “Zendesk.” This can often mean being available on the phone or answering incoming emails. After those shifts, I normally need a bit more time to answer any open tickets questions I could not answer during my shift (so-called ‘backlog time’).

Currently, I am also a Buddy for a new colleague on our team. So, I spend roughly an hour per day with her, onboarding her as best and as quickly as I can. In addition, I do ‘service offers,’ which means, for example, doing multi-hour training about a certain topic for a specific customer. The rest of my week is filled with other meetings, like the Mentoring Program I am part of, as well as some additional projects like conceptualizing new processes.

What has been your coolest Personio moment so far?

In February 2020, we were able to spend two weeks in the Madrid office with our Spanish colleagues. This was an amazing time! The trip already started with an adventure: As a company with a focus on sustainability, we wanted to give an example that the value of sustainability matters also when having company projects such as the Munich-Madrid exchange. So, two colleagues and I decided to go by train to Madrid. This meant a 36-hour train ride through Germany, France, and Spain. It ended up being a really fun trip, getting to know my colleagues better as well as discovering new places on the way. In Madrid, we lived in a really beautiful place in the heart of the city. It was awesome to experience the city from the view of a person working and living there and not simply as a tourist. We had a lot of fun both inside and outside the office with our Spanish colleagues and they even took the time to show us around the city after work!

After work meeting at our Airbnb in Madrid (February 2020)

Which of our operating principles drives you the most?

Definitely #SolutionsOverProblems and #SeekToImprove. I like these two principles, because they help me to focus on what I can change and where I can learn new things instead of what is going wrong. For example, I remember I was frustrated, especially in the beginning, with more technical questions as I have no previous knowledge in this field. In order to deal with these questions, I started using my yearly development budget for a course about basic programming skills. Additionally, we are setting up further training sessions for colleagues in their onboarding phase, focused specifically on more technical issues that we face in our daily interactions with our customers.

What advice would you like to have received at the beginning of your career?

I am somewhat of a perfectionist and can therefore struggle with situations where I do not feel 100% prepared. But, it’s all about having a positive attitude and mindset. After all, there is (probably) no job in the world where I will know everything and do everything perfectly from the very beginning. The advice I would have liked to receive and especially embrace more would have been:

Be courageous and make mistakes in order to learn and see difficult situations as an opportunity to grow and not something to be scared of!

What advice would you give someone to be successful in Customer Service?

To be successful, you need to be patient, friendly, and to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your clients. You should also like helping people. We are always giving our best! But you also need to be tough and not get too affected by interactions with difficult customers.

How would you describe your ideal team?

This sounds cheesy, but our current team is pretty ideal for me. This is another important reason why I love working at Personio! We are always supporting and helping each other. We also laugh and joke a lot and don’t take ourselves too seriously. We hang out for lunch, but also after work or on the weekends. So, a lot of my colleagues have become my friends. Additionally, I appreciate that I can speak openly with our leaders about any issue that comes up.

Would you like to be part of Melanie’s team?

Check out our open positions and #StartUpYourWay with us!