What a man, what a view! In the beautiful venue placed on the 21st floor, the exciting evening and fireside chat with Rinaldo Andreolli took off with some drinks, food and a warm welcome by Maria Wagner, Head of games:net.
During the fireside chat lead by Simon Koschel, former Head of Creator Partnerships DACH at Twitch, the guests had the opportunity to learn a lot from and about Rinaldo, a man with many years of experience within the customer service and over 15 years of experience within the video game industry.
Rinaldo shared interesting life stories about how to pick fitting employees for specific teams and tasks, lead a team to success, as well as pitfalls and anecdotes about setting up an office in Berlin.
According to Rinaldo, a Directing Manager should serve its team. That’s why he values his experience in customer service. People who work in customer service deal with a wide array of problems and customers’ emotions. Dedicated to serve the product and the company they learn how to stay calm and take the concerns of the customers seriously. “You have to deal with the concerns of your team and take them seriously. There is always something that might need improvement if someone is complaining or not satisfied”.
Another key habit of Rinaldo in creating successful teams is to always “hire people who are smarter than you”. In a humorous tone he even remarked that he is happy when he is “the dumbest person in the room”. He also emphasized that when you hire smart employees it’s important to let them do their job: “You don’t hire smart people to tell them what to do, let them do their job”.
If you need to change the team structure or working habits of your team, you have to do it slowly and by putting change into practice. That’s how Rinaldo helped revolutionize the customer service back in his days at Blizzard in Europe, where account management and customer service were separated in the first place, and customers had to call the customer service first and then the account manager if they had an accounting problem. Rinaldo’s solution to solve this customer nightmare was training the customer service staff to deal with the problem first-hand. On the other hand, he placed the account managers sitting among the customer service staff, so they could communicate better and exchange knowledge. After a while the accounting managers started to pick up the phone themselves and helped the customers directly, instead of explaining their colleagues what they had to tell the customers. From this change, communication and customer satisfaction increased rapidly.
After his career at Blizzard and many years within Wargaming, he was asked to start off an office in Europe and he decided to establish Wargaming Germany in Berlin, the “most vibrant city of Europe”. Although it took him 9 months to set up his current office, he is “very happy to be where he is”. One of the anecdotes of the night was the story about why it took so long to register the company. The German administration initially did not allow the registration due to the name, as they considered it glorifies war, to the point that a lawyer had to prove that Wargaming is indeed a registered trademark with more than 30 offices all over the world. The name also created other roadblocks such as finding a bank and an office space to rent, as landlords did not want to word WAR on their doorbell. However, with a strong will and by finding the right people, Rinaldo did make it happen. To put this in his words: “If you want to open an office in Germany, don’t call it anything with WAR in its name”.
Towards the end of the interview, we even got a personal insight into Rinaldo’s mind-set. His answer to Simon Koschel’s final question: “What is your purpose in life?”, was very personal and educational and will be held as a secret by all of the participants.
We thank Rinaldo Andreolli for being our guest and for sharing the interesting insights into his work and personal life, as well as the team of Wargaming Germany for the great collaboration ahead. Furthermore, we want to thank Simon Koschel for moderating this event and asking just the right questions.
We thank our games:net partners for their ongoing support. We are already looking forward to the next upcoming events!