Creating a positive experience - An interview with Milena Lateva

When you have a product with many moving parts and a lot of coordination required to make it work, everything doesn’t always go smoothly. If you find yourself stuck at a charging station with a malfunctioning charger or trying to figure out an invoice that doesn’t seem right, customer support is there to help you.

Our Partner & Service Manager, Milena Lateva, links support and the rest of the Plugsurfing team. She routinely handles escalations, finding ways to resolve tricky situations the support team can’t fix independently.

This interview kicks off Plugsurfing’s We Care series. Plugsurfing is all about bringing back the carefree drive, which is why we are focusing on tangible pain points that EV drivers face every day. As Milena explains, the best results come from constant communication and actively seeking ways to improve our products and processes.

Q: Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Milena, and I have been with Plugsurfing for two years. I oversee drivers and car maker partners as Partner & Service Manager.

I work extensively with our support team and handle any escalations that arise. My responsibilities include enhancing internal processes, providing training and guidance, and ensuring the quality of our customer support team. I am the primary link between Plugsurfing and our first-line customer support partner, EVA Global.


Q: In what situations do customers contact the support team? What’s a typical interaction like?

Our customers contact us for various reasons: to learn more about our products and services, share feedback, or report issues. We offer customer support through three main channels: email, chat, and 24/7 phone support.

The typical interaction starts with the driver contacting us. Our customer support tries to help quickly, but if the case can’t be resolved by there and then, it is escalated to me. Then I follow up with the relevant team, for example, Product, Billing, etc. Once a solution has been found, we immediately pass on the feedback to our customer support agents, who respond directly to the driver.


Q: What are the most challenging situations like?

Challenging situations can arise, and customers may become frustrated. That’s why we need to resolve their issues, engage with them, and create a positive experience. This is especially important when a driver is stuck at a charging station with a malfunctioning charger. Our top-notch support team always aims to help drivers overcome these situations.


Q: In your role, you get direct customer feedback on what works and what doesn’t. How do you compile this feedback into actionable insights for other Plugsurfing teams to improve our product?

The input we get from our customers is super valuable, and my job is to share it with the relevant team. One of the greatest things about Plugsurfing is that you can communicate directly with different departments, discuss ongoing topics, and share feedback to improve our customer experience.


Q: Can you give examples of features or procedures that have been added based on customer feedback?

Certainly! We have received feedback regarding the receipts and invoices issued to our end users. Our Product team has enhanced this feature, and we plan to introduce additional features to the roadmap throughout 2023. We will keep you updated on these developments, so stay tuned for more information.


Q: You have helped scale up our customer support by onboarding our new customer support agency EVA. What do you see as key things when working with an agency? What are the most important things to communicate about our support?

We made a great choice with EVA Global. Working with these specialized EV support professionals is amazing. They are proactive, help us improve our daily support, and are there for our customers. When you work with this kind of partner, you build the relationship on trust and transparency.


Q: You have also helped implement customer support for Polestar, one of our carmaker partners. What are the key differences in doing support for a carmaker?

We’ve provided EV charging support to European Polestar drivers via our white-label app since March and April, depending on the country. So far, everything is going great, and we are receiving positive feedback for the migration and the whole service. It has been a big challenge and a great learning opportunity for me. Collaborating closely with the Polestar team allowed me to gain insights into their core values and understand why they are a major player in the car industry. This project is a great achievement for the whole company, and I would like to thank everybody involved.