As part of our effort to build a localized Spanish-speaking support team, the Happiness Hiring team at Automattic recently had the opportunity to connect with WordPress communities in Argentina and Spain. From speaking engagements to networking events, our trip was a great way to meet local communities that are passionate about WordPress and exemplary customer support.
Last year at Automattic, we built a localized Brazilian Portuguese-speaking support team to help provide support to a subset of the WordPress.com community in their primary language. We strongly believe in the power of an excellent customer support culture — after all, that’s why we call our support team members Happiness Engineers! Customer service isn’t just about answering questions, but making an educational experience memorable and empowering.
Over the past few months, we’ve been working to provide the same level of localized support to Spanish-speaking customers on WordPress.com. We’ve promoted the Happiness Engineer (ES) role through blog posts, Twitter, and Facebook, but we decided to reach out to local Argentine and Spanish WordPress communities in person as well.
“Connecting with Spanish-speaking WordPress communities is invaluable for both sharing our experience with customer support and letting others know what it’s like to work on our support team at Automattic.”
—Karen Arnold, a member of the Happiness Hiring team
Connecting with the Argentine Community
The WordPress community is global, spread across many cities, states, and countries. This decentralized aspect of the WordPress.org open source project plays a large part in Automattic’s philosophy of distributed work. It’s better to have the best candidate for the job, period, than the best candidate in your city.
What’s the difference between Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, and the WordPress.org project? Learn more about .com vs .org.
Karen, along with Deborah Beckett, another member of the Happiness Hiring team, connected with the WordPress community in Argentina to set up events around customer support. On their visit, they spoke with members of the WordPress Buenos Aires Meetup, WordPress Córdoba Meetup, and the new WordPress La Plata Meetup, as well as members of the local tech community through their networking event at Sugar Bar in Buenos Aires and various co-working and incubator spaces, such as Co-Innova and The Tech Pub.
“We were excited to connect with Automatticians and ask questions about Automattic’s unique customer support philosophy and what it’s like to work remotely with so many teammates,” said Juan Francisco Aldasoro, a WordPress Buenos Aires Meetup organizer. Juan also owns a remote WordPress-related company — and understands the value of distributed work.
Automattic is a distributed company, currently with 478 Automatticians in 45 countries — and growing! Learn more about our distributed work culture.
The conversations Karen and Deborah had in Argentina were enlightening: they shared their expertise on developing a customer support philosophy, but also had the opportunity to hear real questions and challenges facing community members who are building their own projects and companies with WordPress.
Talking Shop in Barcelona and Madrid
Pam Kocke and I flew to Spain to speak with local WordPress and tech communities. We spoke to a dozen or so members of the Barcelona WooCommerce Meetup, and later to the WordPress Barcelona Meetup and WordPress Madrid Meetup.
These were helpful conversations, especially around how to build a reputation for great customer support. “[Good support] not only applies when your company has a product,” said Joan Artés, an organizer of the WordPress Barcelona Meetup. “It also applies when you own an agency.”
“Customers are also users, and they must be happy.”
—Joan Artés, WordPress Barcelona Meetup organizer
Customer support can often be seen as an afterthought, but we believe in using your interactions with users as a way of building your reputation and goodwill amongst the tech community. When speaking with community members in Barcelona and Madrid, we were impressed by how much thought and time they’d already put into providing excellent support. When an audience member in Barcelona asked for advice on how to work with customers who are deeply frustrated, we emphasized the importance of validating customer concerns — and always going above and beyond.
We had insightful conversations, both on stage and off, and chatted with quite a few people who are equally passionate about providing exceptional customer service. We look forward to building these relationships, as well as our Spanish-language support team.