Customer Support Agent

    Published • Application due Indefinitely

    Tofugu is looking to add someone to the customer support team. The mission of the "Support" role at Tofugu is to "help people to learn Japanese by resolving any issues they might have." That means helping people to use our products, helping people to find better ways to learn Japanese (even if it's not our product), helping people with their Japanese language issues, and in general just being someone who encourages our learners to keep learning Japanese (assuming that's what they actually want—you can always suggest that maybe it's making them quite unhappy and that they should check out Norwegian instead).

    We are specifically looking for someone who can mainly work on weekends. The person hired for this position will have some flexibility to choose which weekend hours they work, though the expectation is they'll work for ~four hours each on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, there may be some weekday periods open, as well as opportunity to cover for and/or trade with colleagues, depending on availability, coverage, and individual preferences.

    The Work

    • Triage all items in the inbox (emails, chat, Twitter DMs, telephone messages) by replying to them, giving updates, transferring info form the messages to the right places, and/or getting the message to the right person.
    • Respond to Chat support messages in real time and answer learner questions / solve or triage problems they have.
    • Test user issues and create detailed tickets for issues passed on to engineering (for bugs, and the like).
    • Monitor and deal with flags in the WaniKani Community Forums.
    • Collect and process content errors for Tofugu and WaniKani.
    • Add to, modify, and generally improve both our public and internal documentation.


    • You're "tech savvy," in a general sense. That is, you know your way around computers, troubleshooting, and figuring things out.
    • You have a JLPT 3+ or equivalent level of Japanese.
    • You have native-level English, and it's quite good, at that.
    • Our learners are generally quite kind, reasonable people, but you should be the type of person who never loses their cool. If a customer is being abusive, we will fire the customer, but you should be able to deal with people who are being moderately annoying with calm and elegance.
    • You can make (good) decisions on your own. It's expected that members of the Support Team make decisions based on the context and Tofugu's mission. Anybody can make a decision worth up to $300 on their own without consulting a colleague.
    • You're quite independent / autonomous, and in general you can figure things out for yourself. There is of course going to be training, your colleagues, and all our internal support documentation, but you shouldn't be afraid to think things through yourself without defaulting to asking "how should I do this?" for every little thing.


    Job Type: Part-time, Hourly, Contractor (~10 hrs/week)
    Work Hours: Saturday & Sunday, Some Weekdays, Hours Flexible
    Work Location: Remote, Worldwide
    Pay: $30-$50/hr

    Hours are flexible, but we do expect this person to take the weekend shift, though there is possibility for change in the future.

    Hourly rate depends on Japanese level, as well as the development of certain technical skills (currently TBD, but they have to do with being able to do some pseudo-engineering tasks, how you update documentation, and other things we're still trying to define). The breakdown on hourly pay for this position is the following:

    $30/hr — JLPT 5 or below (or equivalent)
    $35/hr — JLPT 4-3 (or equivalent)
    $40/hr — JLPT 2-1 (or equivalent)
    +$10/hr for a set of certain technical skills (TBD)

    The person offered this role will need to complete a paid trial period of one to two months before a more formalized continued agreement is put in place and you officially "start," so to speak. This is a contractor position so employee benefits do not apply.

    If you think you would be a great candidate, you can apply by putting together the following:

    • Your resumé or some resumé-like document, giving us an idea of your work history and experience. PDF format, please.
    • A cover letter-like document, in PDF format, telling us about yourself, why you are applying, how you would add value to Tofugu, how you'd measure success, as well as anything else you'd like to add.

    When you've put together the above, please fill out and upload the documents via the following form:

    If the button doesn't work, use this link.

    You will receive an email letting you know we got the application. You will receive another email later on letting you know whether or not you made it to the next step. We get a lot of applications so please be patient. If you don't hear anything for a couple weeks, though, please do get in touch. The hiring process for this position is:

    1. Submit application
    2. Work challenge (unpaid)
    3. Short interview
    4. Long interview (maybe)
    5. 1-2 month trial period
    6. Continuation agreement

    Sometimes things change, but the above is probably pretty close to correct.

    If you have any questions, please email