Cassandra Sohnly, Chat Agent
Cassandra Sohnly's FCM Employee Story
“Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” - Seneca
I didn’t know anything about Concur when I started at FCM, but after a few months on the job you could consider me something of an expert. OK, maybe that’s hyperbole, but being a Chat Agent means that I was put on the de facto fast track to learning all things FCM. Not only do I feel empowered at work, but I’m also personally empowered – I get to live and breathe my passion while helping others with their travel-related goals.
Finding my way back as a boomerang employee
I worked for Liberty Travel, which is under the umbrella of Flight Centre Travel Group, in 2016. After a few years, I took on a role in humanitarian travel outside of the company. When I got an opportunity to work selling wholesale flights remotely, I jumped at it so that I could pursue my dream of living in Ireland for six months. Every single day of living abroad was amazing, but unfortunately the pandemic cut it short and I relocated back to the U.S. I worked in insurance in the interim, but it wasn't long before I found my way back to the travel industry through FCM.
I applied and interviewed in October 2021, but the only positions available were slightly below my skill level and on the phones which wasn’t what I wanted at the time. Having conveyed that in my interview, I thought I’d never hear from FCM again. To my surprise, I got a call back from another recruiter saying that the previous round of interviews went well and that they had a role better suited to my needs. It was a huge deal to me that someone who spoke to me months ago thought of me when a better opportunity arose. And that’s how I came to work within Flight Centre once again!
I am not a bot
One of the features that the FCM Platform offers is Sam, a virtual travel assistant powered by live chat agents. If any of our clients are having trouble and don't want to call, that’s where I come in. No matter what the issue is – IT trouble, profile questions, invoices, travel cancellations or changes – I do my best to help. What sets the team I work on apart from a typical agent team is that we will get questions from any of our travellers who use the Platform rather than a specific client. It’s given me an advantage to learn about the Platform from a whole range of perspectives. I’ve developed a sharp attention to detail since policies by company vary. Another plus is that there’s a paper trail of all customer interactions, so I have a ton of resources at my disposal to help assist.
One thing I always get asked: Are you a bot? Nope, I explain, you're talking to a real, live person! The entire vibe of the conversation changes after that and I can tell they’re relieved to be getting one-on-one assistance.
A workplace that always has my back
The management culture at FCM is a breath of fresh air. I feel so comfortable reaching out to a colleague or manager for assistance and our team environment is very collaborative. If there’s something you’ve learned, everyone gets to hear about it. I have one team member specifically who even writes up a Word document on processes for us all. It’s provided a great place to learn, share findings, and there’s always someone who has your back.
I would love to keep growing with FCM. I feel confident that I’m working at a place where I am recognized for my work. Instead of promotions being purely based on seniority, I’ve noticed that there’s an emphasis on how individuals work. If you do good work here, it will not go unnoticed.
Sharing my love of travel
I’ve always loved travelling, so it’s amazing to be working in this space. As a kid, I barely even took trips to the beach. But when I got on my first flight to visit a friend living in Italy during his service in the Navy, I was hooked. Fast forward to actually living in Ireland, which would definitely qualify as my favorite country. I’ve even been back since!
But my next trip? Scotland. I look forward to my visit and sharing my experience with my colleagues!