An Interview with Siew Kam Onn | WordCamp Taipei 2019 Speaker

An interview with Siew Kam Onn

WordCamp Taipei 2019 concluded with huge success last month on 28th December at GIS NTU Convention Center in Taipei. This was the second of its kind and it received a lot of love and support from WordPressers around the world. There were many amazing speakers at WCTPE who inspired attendees to learn and grow. Siew Kam Onn was one of the speakers and he provided some detailed WooCommerce Subscription Renewal practice.

Siew Kam Onn is a WordPress user for more than a decade now. He currently works as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. As a Happiness Engineer, he dedicates his energy to engineer happiness for WordPress.com customers from all over the world.

DevotePress had the opportunity to interview Siew Kam Onn and we are very thankful. Thank you, Siew, for taking out time for this interview.

Here’s the full interview:

Please provide us your short introduction and how you started your WordPress journey.

I started more than 10 years ago. It was when I built a website for my freelancing business and later as an administrator of my church website – both on WordPress.

How do you keep yourself updated with the latest news and trends in WordPress and the web overall?

I work at Automattic, so, I have easy access to the internal plans. Besides this, I also read websites like Hack WordPress, WP Engineer, WPMU Dev, WPShout, etc.

How is it like working at Automattic and what has the platform taught you?

It’s an amazing experience working at Automattic. Automattic is very diverse and this is the most multinational company I have ever worked in. Besides the amazing technology stack (a lot of tools within Automattic are built on WordPress), it has taught me a lot of diversity.

As a Happiness Engineer, what is your definition for a good support?

  1. Good listening ear; to hear the Customer’s needs and requirements from the customer’s perspective.
  2. Good product knowledge to provide actionable and practical solutions.
  3. Service predisposition to treat each Customer interaction with respect and patience.

How do you think support engineers should handle negativity in their Customer Support journey?

If a customer takes the time to get in touch and communicate his complaints, be grateful! It’s an opportunity to repair the relationship and keep the customer.

How can IT companies better support experience for their customers? Any suggestions?

Something that we do at Automattic is to have everyone spend a few days to a year in Customer Support to interact with Customers. This support rotation keeps the Customer experience front and center. Thus, it helps us incorporate this perspective into our decisions.

You were one of the speakers at WordCamp Taipei 2019. What’s your talk about?

I spoke on the available tools to troubleshoot WooCommerce Subscription Renewal.

What was the inspiration behind delivering a talk on WooCommerce Subscription Renewal?

Many IT systems are like a black box and troubleshooting requires specialist skills. My motivation was to share the tools that enable everyone who understands the flow to troubleshoot issues themselves.

What are 3 to 5 takeaways from your talk?

  1. Understand the Renewal workflow
  2. Know the available tools
  3. Continual learning (by attending WordCamp, meeting with other community members)

Where do you see WordPress in the coming 5 years?

WordPress powers 35% of the internet as of today. With the support of the open-source community, WordPress will continue to improve and the percentage will grow.

Which platforms do you think are in competition with WordPress and what could be the possible threats from competitors?

We know the competition and will not strengthen their case by naming them.

What do you think WordPress developers should do in order to remain at the top?

Keep the faith in open-source; WordPress.

And lastly, what are your thoughts on the Gutenberg implementation in WordPress?

It is one of the big changes in WordPress that happened in recent years and although there was initial apprehension of whether it was ready to be rolled out, today it continues to evolve and improve at an amazing pace. It’s hard to imagine that it rolled out a little over a year ago.

DevotePress, once again, would like to thank Siew Kam Onn for this informative interview. We wish him all the very best for his future endeavors.

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