Meet the Team: Product Support Specialist Marek Krátky
By Petra Trubinska
Marek is a member of our Operations team, and has been with Bloomreach for four years now. We spent some time chatting with him about his experience with the company to give prospective candidates a chance to better understand what it’s like being part of our Operations team and supporting our customers.
When and how did you realize that you would like to work within technical services?
Actually, I wanted to be a lawyer for most of my childhood. However, my logic-based skills were always a lot better than my poor memory, so I took people’s advice and went to a technical university.
Luckily, I found that the technical path was a good choice. During my studies, I was approached (as every young person is who’s studying IT) by many different companies that were hunting for students to work at the company after they graduate. It was during these times that I was seeing all the cool projects and job opportunities that I definitely decided to focus on working in technical services.
How did you find out about Bloomreach?
One of my best friends/classmates joined the company Exponea (note: a company that was acquired by Bloomreach in 2021). Soon after that, another one joined. I wanted to see what all the ruckus was about, so I went there for an interview. Before that, I already went to a few interviews, but frankly, they were quite bleak — white or gray walls, the same rooms with the same furniture, employees without a spark of passion in their eyes. I could go on, but you can probably imagine what I mean — they do not use this kind of stereotypical office image in movies for no reason. 😀
Right after entering the building for my Bloomreach interview, this is what I saw immediately: unorthodox, colorful furniture and paintings in the hallway; some guy walking around barefoot; another one on a hoverboard; and a girl patting her dog while working. Everyone seemed relaxed and cheerful, but focused and productive at the same time. I knew at that moment that this is the kind of environment I wanted to work in.
What was your journey to becoming a Product Support Specialist?
I had first applied for a part-time position as a Product Support Specialist as I was still about to finish my Bachelor’s degree. Since I went for an Engineer's degree (a Masters degree level in Europe) as well, I ended up being a part-timer for three whole years. I was actually one of the first in this department for the Engagement pillar.
The working time flexibility, compassion, and support I had received from my manager during my studies was greatly beneficial to me — I was able to balance my studies and my time at work. I was helping our clients and becoming more efficient and savvy at client-facing communication as well as problem solving and multitasking — all that while subconsciously improving my soft skills and applying my technical background into learning more about how our product works.
After I finished my engineering degree, I immediately changed my contract to a full-time job as I have really enjoyed the work, the culture of the company, and the potential of our product. Being able to fully concentrate on the job, I was finally able to participate in initiatives outside of my original scope of work as well, such as building the knowledge base, onboarding new members of our team, and even teaching (never thought I would be into that kind of thing before I tried it!) as part of the Bloomreach Academy team, where I teach advanced product-specific knowledge to both clients and internal employees.
Currently, I am doing all of these things and always looking into other interesting initiatives, and I’m really enjoying this diverse yet perfectly balanced agenda so far. I love that in Bloomreach, you are not restricted by boundaries based on the job position that you have signed for — if you are curious, there are always opportunities to participate in other interesting projects as well. 🙂
Walk us through a day in the life of a Product Support Specialist at Bloomreach!
The beautiful thing about this position is that the day always looks the same but also never the same at the same time! Let me elaborate:
Your routine is the static, well-known part: You are taking tickets written by clients when they need assistance — this is being done via live chat so it is less formal and more efficient. We work closely with our other team members so apart from a regular standup in the middle of the day when you can ask for help about anything, you are also able to write or even jump on a quick call with any of your team members at any time throughout the day.
There is, however, also a dynamic, variable part, thanks to which you are never bored — due to the complexity and the size of our platform, almost every query clients approach us with is unique in some aspects. This means that you have to actively engage your cognitive skills, execute problem decomposition, use logical and critical thinking, debug, use your practical and technical skills, etc. That means that every day, you will encounter and try to solve something new, providing you with constant growth.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Definitely the relaxed atmosphere and positive feedback! As someone who is interacting with clients daily, I must say that the heartwarming feeling you get from an appreciative client — who can go as far as honestly saying, “Thank you, you have literally saved my life with your assistance” (complete with funny GIFs) — can be even more rewarding than the satisfaction you get from solving a difficult problem. I did have similar moments when I finally finished coding a program that was crashing for the previous three days during my studies, but receiving honest appreciation from someone else when you help them with their struggle is an entirely new level of satisfaction.
We are keeping very good relations with our clients and they know our team well as some of them write to us regularly, so the communication is usually very pleasant despite the usual fear associated with the “client-facing” jobs. Even while being at a job, you can sometimes feel like chatting and assisting your friends, which adds a very pleasant feel to the day-to-day work.
What do you consider the most challenging part of your role?
That would be the balanced usage and application of multiple soft and hard skills on a daily basis — when you are handling multiple different issues with multiple different clients, you have to apply your communication, multitasking, and problem-solving skills, all while keeping a calm composure and a clear perspective.
The good news is that this is providing you with constant personal growth in all of these aspects without consciously thinking about such improvement. These are all very important skills and learning how to engage all of them at once is very useful for you, no matter what you end up doing in both your professional and your personal life.
What would you say is your favorite thing about working for Bloomreach?
Colleagues! There are many things I love about working in this company — the culture, the vision, the work, the benefits…I could go on and on, but even those amazing things are overshadowed by how amazing my team is! Currently there are 19 of us, and we are not just working together — we are helping each other and laughing with each other (by introducing a bit of humor into any meeting or issue we are tackling together). We care about each other and share a sense of a common purpose and ownership, meaning that we do not just care about OUR work, but about the work of our whole team. That is not something people are able to easily find, cultivate, and maintain in a working environment.
What is the best part of being in your team?
I am constantly growing by just doing my job while being surrounded by people who I can count on — all that while being able to have a good laugh even in the most difficult situations, which is very important to me. Moreover, in our team, you are not restricted by any usual corporate behavioral standards and norms, and you feel like you can be yourself. 😀
In three words, how would you describe the culture at Bloomreach?
No drama — I like that there is a lot of emphasis on honesty and integrity, and any criticism is taken constructively
Honesty — we can be completely honest with each other and share things without fear
Ownership — people here don’t run away from their problems; on the contrary, they solve everything in depth and often try to help you with something else that might be related
How do you learn new things applicable to your role?
This may sound like a cliché, but I simply learn by doing. When I encounter an issue I can’t solve from the first glance (which usually happens on a daily basis), I get into discussion with my colleagues, as well as into testing my ideas and reading our documentation or just Googling. We also have a well-structured onboarding plan for newcomers where we guide them through all the important materials and practices to become a competent, likable Product Specialist.
Outside of Bloomreach, what are you passionate about?
I've always been very passionate about music. Before I started studying and working in IT, I was even singing for 11 years in choir and acting in multiple operas in the Slovak National Theater — the experience of standing on stage when hundreds of people are looking right at you is really frightening at first, but enriching in the end.
Music still remains my biggest passion in my free time though, so I do enjoy grabbing a mic whenever there is a cheerful atmosphere and a good song to be sung.