sos podcast episode

Matthew Caron, Head of Customer Support at OpenTable joins us in this episode of Support Ops Simplified to discuss OpenTable

Connect with Matthew and OpenTable here:

Key Takeaways:

  • Matthew’s journey in customer support

Unemployed for two-years during the 2008 economic crisis, Matthew had two options to improve his livelihood– either to take a job in the drainage ditch sector of Florida or work at an outsource contact center as a Customer Sales Representative.

As anticipated, he chose the latter and thus – a fruitful journey started. With time, Matthew gradually moved up ladders to the position of Director in a span of three and a half years. During his tenure at an outsource contact center, Matthew had the privilege to work with several big names in the industry, including UPS, Verizon, Scholastic Books, New York Times, and FairPoint Communications. 

During these years, Matthew decided to focus on a more ‘employee-centric’ organization. He believed that if the employees are content with the company culture, it would ultimately permeate in their communications with the consumer. With this goal in mind, he joined DirectTV and later on AT&T for the role of Associate Director in Field Communications. 

Currently, Matt is working as the Head of Customer Support at OpenTable, where he is responsible for the global customer support department and providing guidance to the leadership to ensure each team of the organization is running smoothly. 

  • What makes a great organization?

For him, the best organization is not about the big paychecks, facilities, and the perks that are offered to the employees. Instead, Matthew believes that the culture of any office is created by the employee themselves and thus – special consideration is made during the recruitment process at OpenTable to ensure they are hiring the right person. This means that the CSR should not only be focused on his growing career and making big sales but also growing as an individual!

Matthew further elaborates that one of the prime KPIs he focuses on is the experience of people at his company. If the team is content with their work environment, it will automatically be visible in their work – and thus customer turnover.

  • The metric supported by Matthew – Repeat contacts

Matthew believes that the contacts which repeat – or come again for further information is the metric that paves the way for a sale or a convert. He also advises other fellows in sales to focus on the tone during communication. This would reveal whether the sales process is going a positive route or negative. 

Matthew, similar to other guests on the show agrees that giving the consumer the preferred experience is a struggle. This is especially prominent in consumers who differentiate in demographics and prefer different modes of communication. 

  • The business philosophy followed by Matthew and his team

For Matthew, ‘communication is constant’ and believes that talking to others is the best philosophy to follow in order to avail a better environment and experience. 

At OpenTable, he, along with his team have curated five specific behaviors that are beneficial for both – the team and the consumers alike. This includes:

    • Personal accountability
    • Being innovative
    • Being respectful to people
    • Have a fulfilling experience
    • Human-to-human interaction
  • What does the future hold for Matthew and OpenTable?

Matthew works with one goal in mind – to make things simpler and easier for his team and consumers – both. He believes that when work is simplified, stress levels are lowered drastically and in return, they get exceptional results. 

On the work front, he wants to limit the CSR team to chase numbers. Instead, he suggests them to drive experience and improve the world around them ‘one CSR at a time – one conversation at a time.’


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