KEM LY PHAM
Merchant Development Representative
We get oh-so-excited when we get to feature Grouponers who have previously worked with Groupon as merchants! Kem shares her Groupon journey: as a small business owner and as an employee.
Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?
My job is to manage merchants that are currently running campaigns on the site. It is crucial to make sure that we maximize the profits for both merchants and Groupon, while maintaining those relationships as well. A typical day usually consists of responding to merchants’ questions and requests, answering inbound calls, optimizing underperforming campaigns, and winning back merchants that have worked with us in the past.
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?
The most challenging thing that I have worked on is winning back merchants who have worked with us in the past. This involves trying to reconnect with merchants, listening to their past experiences with us, and understanding why they stopped working with Groupon. Most importantly, I try to keep the conversation focused on how Groupon can benefit their business because for many merchants their business is their livelihood.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
I loved the office and the people. I got an offer from Groupon 10 months in advance of my graduation, had managers send me welcome emails eight months in advance, and I got invited out for dinner to meet with the team five months before my start day. The people at Groupon are awesome and connected with me every single step of the way to welcome and assist me with everything I needed even before I started.
How does your work impact Groupon’s mission of building the daily habit in local commerce?
I make sure that we maintain a good inventory of health, beauty, and wellness services on the site to give customers a variety of choices. This will help build habits for customers to visit Groupon first when they want to get a massage, facial, yoga classes, etc.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I used to be a Groupon Merchant, so I can understand where they are coming from when working with them.
Whoa, really? Can you tell us more about that?
I owned a Thai restaurant before joining Groupon. I started out by working there and one day the owner of the restaurant wanted to borrow $300 from me to pay for the electricity bill to keep the restaurant running. I then negotiated to take over the restaurant and keep him as a chef. We needed more customers and I decided to run Groupon to bring in more foot traffic. It worked very very well for us. The income of the restaurant increased from nothing to $700 a day. There was a lot of up-selling and the place was packed on the weekends and holidays.
Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?
What makes Groupon unique is the company and support of my co-workers. Sales can be tough and stressful if you don’t have the right help. Groupon provides an incredible training program for sales which is organized and very effective so you know exactly what to do when you communicate with clients. In addition, I can ask for help at any time and everybody is happy to answer my questions. Even on my bad days, my manager will encourage me to keep my momentum going, give me useful advice to help me overcome obstacles, or simply take a walk with me to help me talk it out and get me back on track.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
My favorite Groupon memory was when my team threw me a surprise baby shower. I had only been with the team for three months, but my team planned a party with homemade food and plenty of gifts for me. It was very touching; it showed that we were bonding not just as coworkers, but connecting on a personal level as well.
We see you’re a member of Women@Groupon and Groupon Volunteers. Tell us about your involvement with them!
Women@Groupon has held many useful events, such as skill development classes, managing your own finances, building your professional brand, etc. Also, I like to give back to the community, therefore I joined Groupon Volunteers and am currently working on a project for Pilsen Neighbors Community Council. This entails researching their organization to develop marketing materials to help them deliver concise and meaningful messages about what they do to attract donors and clients. Doing this has allowed me to connect with and learn from different people in other departments as well as obtain new skills.
What inspires you?
There are great benefits of working with Groupon, especially as a marketing tool. I love to connect with those merchants to educate them on the benefits of working with Groupon and provide recommendations on how to maximize their potential with the help of Groupon campaigns.