Working Remotely Allows Me to Take Care of Customers — and Myself

Sweetan Mankotia is a customer support specialist at Shogun. He’s worked with customers at global and software companies in the past, and this experience has helped him tremendously in his current role.

In this Q&A interview, Sweetan talks about his love of troubleshooting, working with users and the qualities support professionals should bring to the job. He also opens up about how remote work has made a major impact in both his work and personal life.

Sweetan joined the team in February 2020. 


Q: How did you get started in customer support?

A: My first job was in customer support, and I’ve worked in the field ever since. 

I just love talking to people — hearing their issues and working to resolve them. I always wanted to be a journalist growing up, but I’m glad I didn’t pursue that path.

Q: It definitely takes a special type of person to work in customer support. What do you like so much about the field?

A: To me, customer support is giving a face to the company. When a customer is talking to you, they are also talking to an extension of the business; that gives me a sense of ownership, responsibility. I love it. 

A bonus: The thank-you emails and chats I receive from customers after helping them with their problem or question makes my day!

Q: What does it take for a person to succeed in any type of customer service role?

A: You need to know the product and the company. Once you know the product you’re offering support for — I mean really know — your work becomes easy.

Yes, there will be changes and challenges, and you need to be open to learning something new every day. But once you know the basics, you’re ready to get started.

man wearing a hat looking off into the sky while outdoors
Image credit: Sweetan Mankotia

Q: What about specifically working with customers — any tips there?

A: You need to be super patient and be able to communicate clearly. You shouldn’t sound like a bot — be human!

I believe you should be able to explain everything without having a lot of back-and-forth communication on the same issue. That way the user:

  • Won’t be frustrated, 
  • Will be satisfied knowing they’re talking to someone knowledgeable 🙂 
  • And, after a good experience, will likely tell others about it, resulting in free word-of-mouth advertising for your business.   

Last, always be open to receiving feedback, whether it’s from your teammates, senior-level employees or your customers. The more you learn, the better you’ll be at your job.

Q: Customer support is sort of the original remote-work job. What’s difficult — and easier — about doing it remotely?

A: That’s true! I don’t think there are major difficulties in doing customer support remotely, and the pandemic has only pushed companies to embrace the remote work culture more. 

Working remotely (especially via email) provides you with extra time to analyze and investigate an issue so you can dig deep before offering a resolution that’s on point. Companies that cater to international customers also have an edge since they can have an international customer service team spread across time zones to offer a 24/7 experience.

The only time I think it’s tough is when there’s some sort of communication gap between you and a user — you feel like a face-to-face interaction would help clear up any misunderstandings faster. However, these situations don’t happen often, and even then, that experience can be replicated through a video chat. All thanks to the incredible tools available to execute the job, remotely. 😇

Q: Shogun is a completely remote company. Have you worked for other remote companies in the past? What were your experiences like?

A: Yes, two. One company was completely remote and the other was somewhat work-from-home… a bit of a hybrid, in-person/remote role.

I’ve worked at other remote companies with a 9-5 schedule, and I can tell you — it was never 9-5. You’d always end up stranded and over-working.

I tolerated this for a while. Then, something happened in my personal life: I had neck surgery in 2018. That’s when I decided I was going to embrace the work-from-home life and look out for good remote opportunities.

Working remotely has allowed me to take care of my health, both physically and mentally. Before and after my surgery, I was suffering from depression and anxiety. I was living alone and missing my family. 

Now, I can live where I want, stay close to my family and, if I want to travel, I can still do my work.

Q: I’m happy to hear how much remote work has enriched your life and helped you improve your health! Sounds like remote work is non-negotiable for you. Is there anything you miss about working in a physical office space? 

A: Remote work has been great to me. I also love that I can manage my time and pick up new skills. I’m learning basic HTML, which has been awesome.

desk space with a chair, books and laptop
Image credit: Sweetan Mankotia

I can’t really think of anything I dislike about working remotely. Yes, I do miss meeting with and seeing my colleagues in person. But that’s about it.

Q: How did you find your job at Shogun?

A: I subscribed to receive new job listings at Angel.co. I also wanted to learn more about ecommerce, so I kept jobs in that industry in mind during my search. I had worked at a past company that offered a Shopify integration, which is when I first heard and learned about Shogun.

Interestingly, I received an update at Angel.co that Shogun was looking for a support specialist. Shogun was the only company I applied to — I just wanted to be a part of the team and learn more. 

It’s been over eight months now, and I’m so glad I applied. Shogun has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Q: That’s quite the endorsement! Tell me, what do you like about working at Shogun?

A: Shogun has the best of everything: the best products, the best customers, the best founders and the best teammates. I love that everyone is super approachable and always happy to answer questions and offer feedback. It makes the job so much easier. 

The days fly by at Shogun, too! I’ve worked at companies where I used to count the days to my weekend or time off  😅 (I had to insert the sweat emoji here). That’s never been the case here. 

Also, I sincerely appreciate that our founders value the feedback provided by customers and the team. Decisions are discussed with everyone like a family, and they take the time to share important updates with us. 

Nothing is hidden — and that’s what differentiates Shogun from other companies for me. 



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Kathleen Garvin

Kathleen Garvin is managing editor at Shogun. She’s worked for back-to-back (to-back) startups and lives in St. Petersburg, FL, via Philadelphia. You can reach her on Twitter.