October 17, 2021
Working in the BPO for a decade made me what I am today. Also, its world-class culture and product training gave me skills that helped me a lot when I started working from home.
But finding an online job wasn't easy: the competition is stiff. You could find a job but some wages were below the minimum. I tried going back to Upwork but I just felt I wasn't fit for it. I also tried applying to other VA companies or onlinejobs.ph but the salary or offer was too low.
Last 2017, I saw a post on Fb about eCommerce University so I applied for a scholarship and luckily got chosen. I chose to study eContent Writing. eCommerce University was an amazing platform and was being moderated by Filipino VAs. eContent Writing was a self-paced course and I finished it a year after enrolling. When I finally got my certificate, I was endorsed to the eCommerce Graduate platform. eCommerce University was already making its name hence it wasn't so difficult for clients to find their VAs.
After a few months of waiting, I got my first VA or Virtual Assistance job with Amrita, a New York-based mortar and pestle store but decided to open its online shop. I started working on April 24, 2018, not as a content writer but as a Customer Service Lead because of my previous experience.
I was the only one working for the business at that time and we were in the process of migration. The store transferred from Woocommerce to Shopify and I didn't have any idea about online business tools. I had to study and learn while working with no training at all. It was a good thing that I was a Computer Science graduate because I was able to adapt to my new environment, my technical skills saved me.
When I formally started as CS Lead, I never thought that there were a lot of challenges I needed to face: we got a number of angry customers because of double orders and charges, monthly subscription issues, delayed orders, marketing issues, and email management problems.
The first thing that I did was, I checked our ordering system at the back end and figured out the double order issues. I was able to stop the shipment of pending double orders in the system. My boss Ar said it was okay if the customers won't pay for the second order but I was grateful that some of them either paid in full, paid half the price on the second order, returned the second order. I was happy that the company prevented further losses.
Then I scrutinized the subscription issues. Some customers didn't receive their monthly order because of the system migration so I called them one by one. I processed manual orders for the others while the rest was willing to wait until we were settled. Then we ordered an app for the subscription. I think it was called Orderify if I am not mistaken.
I also checked all the orders for the month and determined the reasons for the delay. I even talked to the owner of the shipping company and coordinated with our project manager if the delayed orders could be sent out ASAP once the stocks are available. I then called the affected customers, apologized, and updated them with the status of their orders. I gave them a discount code as compensation for our shortcomings.
Some of our customers tagged us as spam due to the frequency of the marketing emails they received from the shop so I unsubscribed them as per their request. My boss didn't want to do so, so I explained to him that a company with good customer service empowers its consumers. So I changed the frequency preferences of the customers who still wanted to hear from us based on their choice.
I then took care of our store inbox and answered each complaint and inquiry until all problems were resolved. After it, I then supervised the orders in Amazon and contacted the customers who had issues with their orders. I also addressed customer concerns in Amazon by responding to the cases they opened against us and closed most of them.
I was happy that I helped the business grow. Its Google reviews increased with great feedback on Customer Service. I learned to manage orders via Shopify, editing its product details and descriptions using Wix, fixed the website, while handling the phone, chat, and email, and even got new high-paying clients.
Since everything was already fixed, my boss then hired a Social Media Manager and a Shopify manager. I was so happy because I wasn't bored anymore. I then created the store's SOPs as a training guide for the future Customer Service Lead and as a reference if a backup is needed when the CS Lead isn't around.
Amrita was my first online business job experience and I did love it. But I had to leave because of my health. Two years after, my boss told me I could go back if I wished to. He wanted me to become a project manager before and I wonder if that offer still stands.
By the way, my probationary salary was $4/hr and increased to $5/hr after a month. For me, it's pretty decent already.
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