It was March 2020; spring had sprung in Hamburg, the pandemic was about to hit Germany, and Carina had just started her new role as a Sales and Operations trainee at a growing taxtech company, Taxdoo.
Fast forward three and half years; Carina has scaled the career ladder and is now a Senior Sales Associate. We asked Carina about her time at Taxdoo and how she achieved her success.
What do you love about Taxdoo?
There are a lot of things! I am so lucky that Taxdoo allows me to work with so many wonderful colleagues, especially in the Tax Advisor Solutions Team. As our solution specialises in the field of e-commerce internationalisation and accounting, there is always something to learn and get your head around. Of course, with most scaling start-ups, there is and will always be a place of change. For some, that’s uncomfortable, however for me, it means that I am constantly evolving professionally.
Taxdoo has a great culture that thrives on timely, open communication and tight feedback loops.
What is the difference between working Sales and working in the Tax Advisor Solutions Team?
Tax advisors and online merchants have specific requirements and ways of working, so the team structures and different roles at Taxdoo reflect that. You are required to have depth of knowledge of the Taxdoo solution yet also taxes and accounting so that you are able to offer the best advice to tax advisors using our software.
It also involves taking care of partners and building relationships with the tax advisor firms. The aim is to create a multiplying environment- if one firm is happy with us, then they are more likely to bring on more of their clients, online merchants, who will also use Taxdoo.
What is special about working in taxtech?
Taxtech is constantly evolving. You need to be ready to keep learning new things, be open to mastering new skills, and even as you progress, stay operational and hands-on. There is no better way to stay up to date than by speaking to clients regularly.
Tech is renowned for being fast-paced and sometimes stressful. What has your experience been so far?
It is definitely fast-paced, yet I believe the benefits we have at Taxdoo contribute to a healthy work-life balance that accommodates a lot of different lifestyles. I am very much a people person and I am happy to say that I have many friends who I am lucky to call colleagues, as well as a great social circle outside of work. All of this is possible when a company like Taxdoo puts people at the core of its culture. Yes, tech is fast-paced, however, when you work in a supportive environment with people who care about each other, it makes all the difference.
Taxdoo really wants everyone to be able to thrive, in a way that is comfortable to them and their lifestyle choices. This is also reflected in the benefits we have such as gym memberships, the opportunity to work remotely, and steady, personalized career progression.
What is it like to work remotely?
It is basically like having the best of both worlds. I’ve worked remotely in Greece, France, Portugal, Malta and the Netherlands. My sister lives in the Netherlands, so working remotely makes it much easier to visit family. These experiences are cool because you get to extend a holiday by a few weeks without using up your annual leave allowance.
How would you describe the Taxdoo culture? How has it changed since you joined?
There always will be a special Taxdoo culture, because the founders and management have always made team spirit a priority from day one. When I started at Taxdoo, I was beginning my career, yet I was never made to feel like a junior. Respecting people and encouraging them to voice their opinions has always been something that I admired at Taxdoo. This has undoubtedly played a big part in my success and progression throughout my career.
Has the culture changed? At its core, it definitely hasn’t changed. I still feel that the company is putting people first and prioritizing healthy, sustainable growth with a long-term vision supported by a well-considered and transparently communicated strategy.
Meet Joachim, also known as Joe, a vital member of Taxdoo’s Customer Success team for over 2 years. Joe excels in guiding new clients through onboarding and providing unwavering support. With a dedicated focus on customer satisfaction, he promptly responds to inquiries, leads meaningful conversations, and diligently works to win back customers. Beyond the office, Joe’s passion for adventure extends to dancing and staying informed about current affairs and politics. We are fortunate to have Joe’s expertise and genuine care contributing to our clients’ success at Taxdoo. Dive deeper into the interview we did with him.
I’ve been on Earth since 1965, arguably the best year. I did an apprenticeship as a bank clerk in 1984. After that I went to the German armed forces to do military service in 1987. Then I studied business administration from 1988 at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg. From 1994, I worked as an account manager in field service for a big IT service-provider for the Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken (cooperative banks in Germany). There I was responsible for migration projects in the core banking application. This was a great career and for twenty-five years, my role had me on the road traveling to and from projects. At some point, I decided that it was time to call it a day with the traveling. I started looking for a company that aligns more with how I’d like to live my life. Therefore, I am very happy to be at Taxdoo!
What does a typical day at Taxdoo look like for you?
A typical day for me is, well, never typical! And this keeps things exciting. I have a customer-orientated role, so I devote a lot of my capacity to understanding our clients’ needs, resolving issues, and helping them get the most out of Taxdoo with bespoke training and onboarding. Many people assume that working in my role is just about landing new deals, upselling, and preventing churn – which, to an extent, is true. However, I think the most important part of my job is building and maintaining relationships with our clients. Customer satisfaction is very important to our team!
What are the common misconceptions or misunderstandings about your work?
A common misconception is that it is a department where deals or upsells are made.
Customer Success is a very important department, as it’s the hub of all client relationships and knowledge. In Success, you always need to ask yourself, ‘What does the customer want? What do they need?’
Be obsessed with the client’s point of view and be this voice that represents them within the company. This is especially important in a tech company where thousands of users rely on our software every day. We need to make sure we are building a product our customers love, need and want to use.
Which was the most challenging project so far, and Why?
The most challenging aspect of my role has been mastering the ins and outs of EU-wide VAT (Value Added Tax) compliance. Not only is this a deeply nuanced and vast topic, but it’s also an area that is responding to changing market needs, so I’ve gotten used to always learning to absorb compliance information and legislation.
How do you keep on learning?
At Taxdoo, any new feature introduced to our product is an area we need to learn so that we can advise our clients accurately. Working for a tax tech company, you always need to be thinking ahead. This means being aware of upcoming changes to compliance services in the EU, extensive knowledge of bookkeeping, data export, and revenue generation are just some examples of topics that you need to be an expert on in order to provide the best care to clients. How do you find this information? Firstly, work with your teammates and be ready to listen and share knowledge. Webinars and podcasts are easily accessible learning methods, but a variety of learning experiences tailored to your needs are offered. To help you achieve your goals, you also have an individual training budget.
A major learning for me is learning how to be a ‘farmer’, which is a more nurturing way of helping the client get the most value from Taxdoo and understand which services fit their business best. This approach sows the seeds of goodwill and realizing product value for every client’s needs, rather than aggressively upselling.
What tips would you give someone who’s starting out in Customer Success?
Be customer-oriented. Know how to communicate with your customer; via email, in phone calls, and meetings, always try to understand the customer’s point of view and communicate in a way that will help them trust you. I’ve had years of experience in this, so it comes to me naturally. It is possible to learn this skill though, if you are open to it.
What did Taxdoo teach you?
That mixed-age teams can work together very effectively, for example, in our team a self-declared “baby boomer” together with colleagues from generation “Y”.
I really value and enjoy the fact that I can carry out my tasks mostly from home. Working from home means you can be productive and collaborate virtually, however I also appreciate the opportunity to work in an office environment. This mix is great for achieving a balance whilst establishing rapport with colleagues and clients alike.
Last but not least, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m really interested in current affairs, especially politics. But also I’ve been dancing with my partner at a dance school since 1996. For me, it’s a way of life. Dancing is so much fun; not only does it keep your body nimble, it also keeps you mentally sharp, improves your overall movement and when you have a girlfriend to dance with as lovely as mine, it makes learning new dance styles even more enjoyable.
‘Why dance when you could be resting from work?’, some might say. At the end of a long day, you should bookmark it with an activity you love. My role at Taxdoo is exciting yet demanding; it’s not uncommon for my day to be back to back with phone calls, completing tickets, onboarding new clients. I always strive to make the customer satisfied and deliver everything to a high standard (perhaps too high, sometimes) so committing to going to dance lessons in my free time reconnects me with the people and things that are most important to me.