Featuring Customer Support Team Member, Armando Estrada
The people behind our popcorn are as unique and interesting as our flavors. In our Meet the Team series, we introduce you to the smiling faces creating joy for our team members, customers, and their supporters. This month, we interviewed Armando Estrada, one of our senior Customer Support agents who started at Double Good making the popcorn before joining our Customer Support team.
ANDY: Armando, you have had an interesting journey here at Double Good. How did you find us, and where did you start in the company?
ARMANDO: I joined Double Good in July of 2021. As we all recall, we were still in the middle of a pandemic when I decided to leave my previous job. I used to be a food manager for a local Chicago restaurant. You might remember a significant shortage of workers throughout the pandemic, and the restaurant industry was hit especially hard. At the restaurant, I sometimes found myself doing the job equivalent of 2 – 3 employees with no benefits and an average hourly rate. So I decided it was time for something new, and while applying to production jobs, I stumbled upon a gem of a company named Double Good.
I was excited to hear that Double Good offered competitive wages and benefits on the first day of starting work. I knew by looking up Double Good that I wanted to work there and help the company in any way possible. I was interviewed and onboarded in a matter of weeks and started as a production operator, initially on the kettles which produce our caramel-flavored popcorn. I quickly was able to learn the machines and was eager to continue to gain more experience in other working areas. Soon, my direct leadership saw my potential and transitioned me to a savory-flavors operator.
ANDY: Last year, you joined our Customer Support team. How did the opportunity to move to another part of the company come about?
ARMANDO: After several months of getting to know management and more of Double Good’s values and missions, I learned there is always an opportunity for growth in the company, especially if you are willing to step up to take on a challenge. I self-reflected and decided I wanted to continue to grow with Double Good and eventually move into a leadership role. Many of my coworkers were applying to be team leads in production, so I looked at the career section on our website. I realized that with my managerial experience, knowledge from undergraduate school, understanding of our production operations, and bilingual skills, I could aim for something I have always strived for: customer service. I have always enjoyed working with people and helping others. I felt I would contribute more to the company by working in the customer support department.
ANDY: So you went from taking care of our customers’ orders to taking care of our customers’ support needs. What do you find in common with these two roles and parts of the business?
ARMANDO: I was always happy to make high-quality popcorn for our customers, but I had yet to receive direct feedback from the customers themselves on how good the popcorn tasted. I knew the popcorn was put to a great purpose, but I felt distant from the customer. At the restaurant, I was used to providing the food directly to my customers and receiving immediate feedback. Now when I talk to customers, I hear how great the popcorn tasted and, most importantly, how it helped them reach their Virtual Fundraising goal. To hear someone say the popcorn tastes fantastic and the excitement of receiving their order makes me feel really proud of once being part of the production team. Now I strive to help the customer with any and all of their needs. It always amazes me to hear a worried or concerned customer become happy and excited after helping them with their issues.
ANDY: What was the biggest challenge going from one role to the next?
ARMANDO: The biggest challenge of changing from production to customer support was the change of my workspace. I was used to waking up early and being on my feet all day. Now I work primarily from home or our downtown office. At first, I missed my day-to-day socialization with coworkers, but I enjoy helping customers and helping those individuals have a better day.
ANDY: What has been the most fun surprise since joining the Customer Support team?
ARMANDO: The best surprise was how swiftly I learned our software systems and shifted from a Tier 1 Support Agent to a Tier 2 Product Support Specialist. I appreciate that I was quickly considered to have more responsibilities and have been chosen to be part of new projects. My continuous growth with the company is only possible because management helped me and other coworkers grow in sync with the company’s needs. For example, I have applied my bilingual skills, helping with Spanish translations and supporting primarily Spanish-speaking customers. I like that I’m gaining experience that helps me be more well-rounded.
ANDY: Is there anything you have learned about our customers through helping them?
ARMANDO: I have learned that most customers just want to be heard. They want to know they have someone to talk to about a concern, and it isn’t a computer on the other end. We are humans who understand and empathize with them to fix their problems. They enjoy having a customer support team willing to help and speak to them like friends. The comfort and guidance we provide them differentiate us from most companies. Customers are sometimes shocked at how fast we can resolve their inquiries. They compliment us on our service and always highly regard us. Our customers are not only an email; they are our neighbors, friends, and community. Without them, we would not be where we are today.
ANDY: Do you have a favorite experience here at Double Good?
ARMANDO: My first company event was one of my favorite experiences at Double Good. I was new to the company and only knew a few people. But to be invited to the employee party was very exciting. I was able to meet so many coworkers from different departments and was able to speak to Tim Heitmann, our Founder and CEO. It was a unique experience to engage with all coworkers, from top management to new entry-level team members. Talking to Tim and seeing that there was no divide between departments made me feel honored to work for such a great company. I had found my gem in a world of uncertainty. I knew after that event I would make Double Good a second home.
ANDY: As someone who used to make the popcorn, I have to ask: what is your favorite flavor?
ARMANDO: My favorite flavor is “In Queso Fire.” It is my favorite because it has an outstanding balance of cheese and a pinch of spice. While working in production and making this flavor, I always enjoyed the smell of cheese and jalapeno. I am not a big fan of spicy food, and this flavor is not too spicy!
ANDY: Is there anything you’d want people to know about what it’s like working at Double Good?
ARMANDO: This company is very unique, and it is hard to find a company that will treat you as well as Double Good. It will open doors for you that you never thought would be accessible.