Vicky Puig is an integral part of the Member Services team, a group of six employees that acts as first level support for the general Nexion Membership. The department’s primary function is to handle incoming phone calls from the members and provide support on Nexion products and service inquiries. They also coach agents to help them grow their home-based businesses.
I joined Nexion in 2011 after our company had moved to our new offices. Though new to Nexion, I’ve been in the travel industry since 2007, working for Sabre as a trainer and customer service business analyst. It was this experience that made me the first new Montevideo employee to become part of Nexion’s six-person Member Services team.
Less known than Nexion’s Dallas office, but absolutely crucial, our office in Montevideo, Uruguay is where a group of dedicated in-house employees – including me – strive to provide the extra edge to over three thousand North American travel agents.
The story of this South American office mirrors that of Nexion itself. Once part of Sabre Travel Network, the agency followed its former parent company’s steps and seized the opportunity presented by Uruguay’s well-trained, bilingual workforce by setting up a division within Sabre’s offices in Montevideo in 2005. When Nexion became part of Travel Leaders Group in 2010, the business decided to retain the talented team in Montevideo, and opened up Travel Leaders Global Services. Since then, our group has grown to our current size of almost thirty employees, including me.
I thought that the transition from a massive corporation to a company where everyone knows each other could be complex, but everything went smoothly. My department handles both incoming calls and proactive measures like tailor-made training, and I soon became the first point of contact for member agents, identifying them just by their voice as soon as they called me—like all of us here in Montevideo, I can be reached by agents through my own US phone number, allowing us to support agents in the same way as those employees in North America.
My own team is a mix of experienced hands and fresh faces: two of us here in Montevideo, three in Dallas and one in Tennessee. However, location really doesn’t matter to agents because we are all on the same VOIP network and instant messenger. If any of us receives a call without having an answer, it’s very easy to connect with our teammates and work out a solution. Technology has made distance irrelevant.
I take pride in my team and role within it. Something I noticed on the first day at the job was that nobody talked about agents as customers, but as members. Even the name of the department, Member Services rather than Customer Services, hinted at a small but significant difference in how they were treated. There is time for all issues, with no rush to end a call. All too often, agents thank me for being patient with them!
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For my good work on the phone (ahem), and my past training experience with Sabre, I was recently entrusted with Nexion’s Strategic Sales Coaching initiative. This is a 3-month, personalized program where Member Services coaches agents to help them with their needs and goals. The first call is extensive – we use it to learn more about them, how they work as agents, and what they want to do in the future. Then we start planning in collaboration with them and work out the areas of their business that they want to improve. It’s a huge benefit to our agents.
One of the biggest surprises I’ve had here was when an agent wrote a grateful note to my manager about my assistance during a particular call. Even today, whenever I get a call from that agent, the first words I hear are “Is this my Vicky?”
At first, I thought that it had been nothing special, but I then realized that it had made all the difference for the agent. Most of our agents work from home alone, and value their interaction with my team—but what our collaboration with them really means is that with us, with Nexion, they are never alone.