The Humans of smrtPhone
This month’s featured “smrtie” is a name you might recognize from getting helpful advice, tips, and troubleshooting on the live chat: Alex Coldea!
Alexandru Dumitru Coldea. Most people call me Alex.
Title / Role in the Company
I work as 1st level Support, on the live chat. I help our clients understand our system the best way I can, troubleshooting their issues if needed. And, we try to do it in a friendly manner, so clients don’t get frustrated, feeling like they are talking with a robot.
How long have you worked for smrtPhone?
1 year. Time flew by!
What’s your background?
I’m from a small town and moved to Brasov for university. I attended the Mountain Sports University, and although I didn’t finish, I have always kept my passion for sports and fitness. I have been a personal trainer, a swim coach, and a lifeguard. I love sports.
Before moving to smrtPhone, I worked in tech support for a large call center serving U.S. based customers. It was tech support, but there were also sales requirements – you always had to upsell or sometimes even get them to pay to be able to help them. It was pretty shady and I didn’t enjoy that experience.
Plus, when you’re providing tech support over the phone, you don’t have your screen to show them or share screenshots. You have to describe everything to them just using your imagination. It can take so much time. Even the verification process we had to follow to be able to talk to a customer was pretty hard. If they didn’t have the exact information, we would have to turn them away. It was a lot of dead ends.
That’s why I like smrtPhone so much because we are always trying to find solutions. If we hit one dead end, we aren’t going to give up. We are going to keep working to find the answer.
What was your first job?
My very first job was working in a wood factory making wooden chips for rummy games. It was 8 hours a day of repetitive motions. It was noisy and boring. Just wood chips all day and trying to not cut your finger off.
What do you like about working for smrtPhone?
I really like that it feels like we’re a whole family. You’re never alone. You can get overwhelmed sometimes, but there is always someone there to help you. That’s really reassuring.
Everything here makes sense and has an order and a process. We have macros, which are saved replies, so we don’t have to retype everything if we know exactly what’s going on. It’s very efficient.
Plus, the schedule is so much better. It’s consistent and we can work from home.
Describe smrtPhone in 3 words:
Family. I really think we’re like a big family. Efficient. We already covered that. Hm… I want to say “the best” but that’s two words. Can I answer with four total?
Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?
Right when I started, we released the User Permissions and got rid of the general Admin role. We launched the ability to give individual permissions to a User, or remove them. It was so good for our customers to have additional flexibility, to have options. If they wanted to modify something or give a permission or restrain a User, they could. It puts greater control in their hands.
At first, when it was launched, clients were confused because the Admin role was going away – but once we were able to explain that they were gaining something even better, something more detailed, they really liked it.
I also felt really proud when we launched the new smrtDialer interface. It’s so modern – it looks like a spaceship. It’s beautiful, and it looks how we feel. It reflects the capabilities and innovation of the product. It’s really eye-catching.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Most of my free time is spent working out. I really enjoy it. I’ve been working out for 11 years. Most of my life I’ve done sports. Karate. Skiing. Swimming.
I learned skiing here at the university. I never thought I would ski. I didn’t learn until I was 20 years old. It took me a long time to learn – I hugged a lot of trees – but once I got the hang of it, it was really enjoyable and I love to go to the mountain whenever I can.
I also love to hang out with my girlfriend. But, she’s almost like my opposite. I’m like a bodybuilder and she’s a 97 lb. vegan. Together, we like to watch movies, hang out, travel, and explore.
Name something that is on your “bucket list”
To be honest I don’t think I have a bucket list. I just don’t. If I want to do something, I just do it. I don’t plan or anything. I have to laugh because, again, it’s the opposite of my girlfriend who likes to plan every detail. I’m always telling her “let’s just see what will happen.”
What is a fun fact people might not know about you?
I’m an only child. When I was very little, like 4 or 5 years old, my parents asked me if I wanted a sister or brother. I said no to them and explained my reasoning was that I wanted all of the money and attention for myself. And they listened to me!