Director of Member Services & Business Development, Mike Tsang, explains how a background in customer services has helped him at AmCham
By Jennifer Khoo
What do you do at AmCham?
My main responsibilities are membership recruitment, retention and seeking out new business opportunities for the chamber. I work daily with chamber leaders to identify potential members, meeting with non-members and members to understand their needs while informing them of how our services can fulfill their business requirements.
At the end of the day, AmCham is a membership organization, and our members enjoy privileges such as speaking opportunities, access to hundreds of member-exclusive programs throughout the year, special discounts on selected events, and the chance to get involved in committee activities and program planning.
How did you get into the field?
I studied hotel management in the U.S. After graduating, I returned here to work at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong for about five years. Since then, my career has taken me across different industries, including tele-communications, direct marketing and retail, but has remained rooted in customer services.
Prior to joining AmCham seven years ago, I worked for City Super – a high-end retail chain store with operations in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei. There, I started a brand-new customer service/store training section within the store operation division, specializing in: handling customer complaints, providing customer service training to frontline staff, developing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manuals for staff to follow, and providing staff training to new stores opening in Shanghai and Taipei.
After working in the fast-paced retail environment for about five years, I came across the opportunity to bring my people-focused skillset to AmCham. Though unfamiliar at first with NGO operations, I believe any organization involving people requires customer service skills to satisfy its customers, so I decided to give it a go.
Best and hardest part of the job?
The best part is working with people from all walks of life, meeting new faces and learning something new every day. I get to work with senior executives from all backgrounds - from MNCs to SMEs to start-ups - something I wouldn’t have the chance to do if I worked in a single industry. We always describe working at AmCham as a “walking MBA,” where you can learn new things by simply talking to a member or by attending a couple of our almost-daily events.
The most challenging part is member retention. In 2018, our team will prioritize member engagement. This means working more closely with our members to boost the value of joining AmCham, be it through more visibility/exposure and networking opportunities, greater advocacy support or expanding the scope of access to members-only programs.
We want members to experience the “AmCham difference,” to participate in our activities and to hopefully, spread the word of why it pays to be a part of a chamber.
Favorite moment at AmCham so far?
Participating in AmCham’s annual Washington Doorknock. Meeting face-to-face with leading think tanks and representatives from the U.S. Administration and Congress was an eye-opening experience.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I like playing badminton. Also, traveling to nearby countries and taking trips that don’t require a lot of planning - like a long weekend in Thailand, or maybe a week in Japan exploring nature, and shopping, of course!
Final words of wisdom?
“I can accept failure… But I can't accept not trying” by Michael Jordan. This motto motivates me to try something new every day.