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Q&A with Tony Won: “My favorite cat is Garfield, but Klaus comes in a close second”

Customer service3 MIN READAug 25, 2023

Tony Won


Tony Won
has made a career as a leading player support specialist in the gaming industry, with hands-on experience at both startups and large corporations, like Epic Games, Riot Games, and TELUS International.

His advice has influenced customer experience for millions of gamers worldwide.

What one invention would make your work life easier?

A contextual chatbot that actually worked great 90%+ of the time and knew what it didn’t know well, so it could just forward customers to agents at that point.

If there were no holds barred, what change would you make to customer service?

Erase all the best-practices that turn decent humans into bad robots.

If AI is going to change the customer service industry monumentally, who do you think stands to benefit most, and why?

Human beings. It’ll save a lot of frustration and time. If by benefit you mean money, then it’s the AI companies that solve that problem the best.

What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when nurturing a team?

Team chemistry, helping them develop an eye for what’s truly important, and focusing work on those things.

What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned recently?

That loss of objective meaning is almost akin to a loss of purpose. If groups of people cannot agree on fundamental ideas or, worse yet, if they have fundamental ideas that are incoherent, then following them will lead to confusion in the best-case, and self-destruction in the worst.

What makes you proud of your team?

The quality of their work, and that they are constantly learning, challenging themselves, and delivering solid results for all stakeholders.

Which book, podcast, or newsletter are you enjoying right now?

Book: Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
Podcast: Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett
Newsletter: Product Growth by Aakash Gupta

What part of your day do you look forward to most?

Dinner with my family and the subsequent evening together. They are a warm reminder of what I am living and fighting for. They strengthen the armor around my heart to face the world.

What’s your most memorable experience as a customer?

Haha, I’m not sure if this is really fair because it’s a negative experience around my wedding.

My wife and I were flying back to South Korea for our big ceremony, and without notifying us, the airline landed in a completely different city. We had to be transferred on a bus to another airport to get a connecting flight, but there was no direction, no help from the crew. Luckily, my wife spoke enough Mandarin Chinese to get us on the first bus out. It was a nightmare.

I think I’m like most people, though, in that good customer service experiences don’t really stand out in my mind, except for maybe when I’m at any of the Disney resorts. They always do an excellent job and I’m constantly watching for ideas. 

Who is your favorite cat?

Who? Well, if we’re talking about specific cats, I would have to say Garfield, though Klaus comes in a close second. In terms of breeds, I’d say either the Maine Coon or an Ocelot.

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