Wahyu Praptono is a Regional (SEA) Head of Customer Experience at Intrepid. Previously Head of Strategic Partnership at Lazada.
1) To kickstart, could you share about your current role, what the company does and a bit about your career background?
I’m currently the Regional (SEA) Head of Customer Experience at Intrepid Group Asia (Intrepid), a leading innovative regional digital solutions provider, offering services across three business areas such as Omni-Channel End-to-End Ecommerce Management, Digital Marketing, and Insights & Analytics, all enabled by advanced inhouse technology.
My role's main responsibility is to drive and deliver high-quality service to the customers of the company partners through marketplace chat platforms. This ranged from setting up the fundamental structure of a customer experience (CX) chat team, planning new initiatives to increase customers satisfaction score metrics to building CX-tech projects which enable the team to perform better. I also work closely with cross-functional regional and local teams such as the commercial team, merchandising team, business intelligence team and product-tech team to achieve common goals.
Prior to Intrepid, my career backgrounds were diverse. I was lucky to be able to hone my expertise in the best of both the sales and service worlds. I co-founded a local Ecommerce enabler that became a sub-holding of an Indonesian leading distributor company, I was a Lazadian as the Head of Strategic Partnership – Indonesia, I achieved great success at Pasarpolis.com when signed GoJek as its star business partner, and successfully ran customer service and telemarketing call-centers in various insurance industries.
2) Can you describe what your typical workday looks like?
Even during WFH, on business days, I wake up early at around 4.30 AM. After praying, a quick motorcycle ride, breakfast, and a cold shower, the fun starts at 9am. The first thing I check is my to-do list for the day which I made the night before (including all the meetings which I will have on the day); next is my email. The early part of my day also consists of checking all countries' CXs yesterday’s performance on the dashboard, and highlighting/discussing any issues with the local Head of CXs, if any.
Then, depending on whether there is an urgent issue that needs immediate firefighting or not, I immerse myself in meetings, catch-ups (Regional/Local teams), and work on CX key initiative projects. But if there is an urgent issue, I will focus my attention on resolving the issue first.
In the evening, I usually do some light-work, ensure all emails are read (and replied to) and compose my to-do list for tomorrow.
The above typical day will have slight differences on campaign days.
Working in a fast-paced industry and start-up requires me to be always focused, driven, and productive, especially on the regional level. As our company’s CX service is open 7 days a week, including public holidays, I also make myself available for anyone in the company to reach me should there be any CX emergency.
3) What does personal growth mean to you?
Previously in my early career days, personal growth to me meant a higher salary, and a position in a company, but I was wrong. Upon learning while venturing into every career role that I had, I found that it involved learning and growing emotionally, intellectually, and professionally with positive work and life skills.
As an individual, personal growth helps me to become emotionally mature. As a professional, personal growth means I am better equipped to understand how to meet goals at work, discover passion at work, and aim for the successful empowerment of those who need my expertise.
4) Is there a habit you consciously exercise to ensure you achieve your ideal personal growth?
Motorcycle rides, be it on a street race, circuit, or dirt track, is my routine exercise. It teaches me to be humble when winning, accept defeat, respect my rivals, and always strive to challenge myself to be better.
5) What does it mean to grow in your career? How do you measure your career growth?
Career growth for me in my current role is mastering C.O.B.R.A. The key points are as follows:
Continuous Learning. Having an “always a student” mindset, enables me to absorb new knowledge and points of view from various individuals in the company. I usually have a reflective day in a month to go through and think about every new work-related knowledge and point of view to come up with new initiatives for the team.
Optimal. Achieve more by doing less; my new initiatives which might come up from the above point need to be able to run automatically/semi-automatically with the help of technology. There is no point in having 100% manual work initiatives.
Balance. Adjusting my work-life balance is one of my greatest challenges as I always find interesting things to do in my current role which leads me back to my laptop. I tried to balance my life by having a scheduled motorcycle ride, eating out with my family, and (trying) not to touch my laptop on weekends/public holidays.
Realization. A great idea will be just an idea if I don’t have methods or ways to make it into a realization. Detailed Gantt-chart plans and structured flowcharts on how initiatives should be put into realization are a must.
Acclimatization. Be water, not steel, and always be friendly to everyone. No matter how harsh the working environment is, the secret is how you acclimatize to it. We need to be emotionally mature in order to have career growth.
6) Aside from your full-time job, is there anything else you like to do outside work?
As an avid fan of RPG and action-adventure games, I help fellow gamers to solve their difficulties by answering questions on gaming websites community, such as gamefaqs.
Early, around 5 – 6am, my morning ride. I do this quite often on business days lately, aside from the routines on Saturday and/or Sunday. Motorcycle speed and sound help me to clear my mind and make myself ready for the day.
7) Are there any books, podcasts or apps that have been helpful for your growth?
Mark Manson - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. A self-help genre, with insights into day-to-day problems and attitudes with which we deal with them.
Alvi Syahrin - Jika Kita Tak Pernah Jadi Apa-Apa (If we never be anything). It's basically about the hope that flares throughout life even though it doesn't match expectations and plans.
8) Any tips you’d like to share for those who are looking to venture into similar roles?
Should you want to focus on customer experience roles, the most important thing is you need to have passion in serving customers, then a customer-first mindset, be proactive & innovative, and keep up to date with recent Ecommerce marketplace trends and customer satisfaction metrics.
9) Finally, what is the one quote you always live by?
"Lead, don’t follow".
There will always be someone who doubts, dislikes, or questions our decisions and asks us to follow their ways. We are the leaders of our own lives; therefore, stand firm and lead your own life to the fullest.
Interpid have job openings in various countries!
They encourage qualified professionals to apply and join the team! Refer to their careers page for more information.
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