At the heart of customer service: An interview with our customer service representative, Aleksi Vesala

The customer service in is primarily handled by the knowledgeable, cheerful, and hardworking Aleksi Vesala. He joined the team at Osaamistehdas (which includes the brands, and just a few months ago, but he has quickly become an important member of the workplace, sought after by both customers and the office staff.

We sat down with Aleksi and asked him about his customer service role and for tips on obtaining a Hygiene Passport.

You have been at Osaamistehdas for just under four months. How have you enjoyed your work so far?

I have enjoyed my work immensely! Osaamistehdas provides an enjoyable work environment, great colleagues and a positive atmosphere. I transitioned directly from a job in the retail industry, which also involved a lot of customer interaction but was quite different in nature. I didn't have much prior knowledge about Hygiene or Alcohol Passports, so I've had the opportunity to learn a lot in a short period of time. However, I've received tremendous help and support from my colleagues, test instructors and representatives from our partner educational institutions.

Your job responsibilities include customer service, which entails responding to customer emails and phone calls. What is the most important aspect of customer service for you?

I consider myself a highly customer service-oriented person. I love providing customer service! What I enjoy the most is being able to genuinely help and find solutions to customers' problems. In my opinion, a good customer service representative is someone who works with authenticity and passion. It's also important to develop a clear mode of communication to avoid misunderstandings. I have refined my communication style accordingly.

What are the most common questions customers ask regarding hygiene certificate tests? How do you respond to them?

There are often inquiries about reordering a Hygiene Passport and how or when it should be done. For reorders, I always provide instructions that follow, for example, the flowchart outlined in the blog post on renewing Hygiene Passports.

Many also ask about the registration process for Hygiene and Alcohol Passport tests. When faced with registration issues, I always try to go through the process step by step with the customer either over the phone or via email. It can sometimes take a while and require multiple repetitions, but that's okay! I'm happy to serve as the customer's technical support in such situations.

What is the most important advice you give to customers regarding preparation for hygiene certificate tests?

Study and prepare in advance! It's always advisable to study the basics of food hygiene before taking the test. We offer several different ways to prepare for the hygiene certificate test. I recommend choosing a method of learning that suits your preferences and best learning style.

a) is a gamified practice website that is easy to use, even on mobile devices. I especially recommend it for younger participants.

b) If practicing on an online platform feels unfamiliar or if the customer prefers reading theory from a physical textbook, I recommend purchasing our Basic Facts of Food Hygiene book from our online store.

c) If learning through listening and having someone explain the theory and learning materials works best, I recommend participating in our two or four-hour online training sessions. The trainers leading these sessions are food industry professionals and authorized Hygiene Passport test instructors approved by the Finnish Food Authority. Participants can also ask questions on the topic! I also recommend online training for those who are unfamiliar with Finnish food legislation and food hygiene matters.

As a final piece of advice: make sure to check the validity of your identification document well in advance so that it doesn't expire a couple of days before the test. You must always bring an official, valid, and photo-bearing identification document to the Hygiene Passport test!

What kind of feedback have you received from customers so far?

I have received mostly very positive feedback! Customers have praised my friendly service and quick responsiveness. It has also been delightful to receive messages with heart emojis as feedback - emojis are always welcome!

What has been the most memorable customer experience you've had regarding hygiene certificate tests?

There are customers who, for various reasons, have to take the Hygiene Passport test multiple times. For them, I always offer additional support and advice. I empathize with their situation. When a customer finally passes the test, it's a moment of victory for the customer service representative as well - it always brings an incredibly wonderful feeling!

What is the most meaningful/lovely aspect of your work?

Definitely the customers! And my colleagues too.

What is a Hygiene Passport and how can I get it? How do I renew my Hygiene Passport? I need assistance with test registration!

Contact us by sending an email to or by calling our customer service number at 0400 809 009.

We strive to respond to all email messages within 24 hours, depending on any exceptional circumstances. If it's urgent, it's always advisable to call! Our phone lines are open on weekdays from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Aleksi and the rest of the Osaamistehdas team are available at our Helsinki office to provide additional support and advice regarding hygiene certificate matters. Please always contact us in advance by email or phone before visiting the office!