Support Driven 2019 Day 1: Notes from Afternoon sessions

Afternoon session notes from Day 1.

Elevating the Role of Customer Support Within Your Company

  • Bryan Elsesser (Moderator) Senior Director of Sales Development, Aircall
  • Lawrence Lewis (Panelist) Director of Client Services, DYME
  • Brian Levine (Speaker) Founder, Bottle Cap Technology
  • Kristen Zuck (Speaker) Happiness Engineer Team Lead, Automattic
  • Sarah Betts (Speaker) Customer Champion, Olark

Variety of setups where everyone is involved with support at least at some times, but in other cases, staff were pulled off so that it doesn’t look like everyone can do it.

How do you know when things are broken?

  • when development does not address support’s concerns
  • might be working but will often still have gaps
  • keep working and keep working/talking on it
  • when customer has a problem, long ongoing problems have to be addressed
  • develop escalation paths

How built up customer advocacy?

  • support work with engineering team, embedded support
  • engage with the idea of the customer at all levels

Advocating support priorities

  • director of product also director of support
  • development has to present MVC to support and write documentation for feature
  • no team is actually a blocker, so need to get it into the culture that teams are working on together
  • build the relationship and give the feedback

Times that need to push back but have different priorities. How do we balance this?

  • keep customer first, whether it severely affects the customer
  • need to document and consistently talk about what is a business priority
  • what is the story, motivation, pain point. Other teams don’t want to block you, so find the motivation and work from there
  • contribute to other teams to help build empathy, being curious and ask questions
  • at some point get to an equal level and respect

How do you overcome the stigma that Support is not a revenue-generating unit?

  • small ideas: showing the impact that Support can have on revenue. What would happen if Support provided discount codes when users were on the fence? Pulled what data you can and can find.
  • retention of customers who interact with Support vs. those who don’t

Which support metrics or data points do you find are most influential when trying to get buy in from other teams?

  • customer testimonials, share with other teams
  • how many customers are struggling with X, need to fix it, understanding the magnitude of the issue

How to improve the relationship between sales and support? Specifically at larger companies when you aren’t necessarily interacting regularly.

  • sit on sales calls
  • help with not oversell and clarify possible misunderstandings
  • having sales sit in on support

How do you advocate for unsexy maintenance and improving existing features vs. building shiny new features that will bring in new deals?

  • you can advocate all day long but depends a lot on culture. Team needs to have culture where shiny =! promotion
  • everyone and support had power to put up status alert, publicly call out there’s a problem

Five Ways Accelerated Learning Can Improve New Hire Training

Sheri Kendall-duPont (Speaker) Learning and Development Manager, FCR

  • brain based learning: active engagement of purposeful strategies based on principles derived from neuroscience
  • connect learners to each other, the topic
  • ignite curiosity about the work they’ve been hired to do
  • mindset: customer service professionals. Share the origin story, vision and mission.
  • movement: set the tone, learning is not a passive activity, engage creatively
  • exams: say no; instead, rich scenarios based assessments
  • know how to ask for help, what questions to ask, know how to write
  • willingness to learn is a choice
  • know your objectives to have questions to ask
  • anytime you can bring colour into that room, do it e.g. index cards, markers
  • one takeaway: knowledge is creating and consumed

End of day

Time for some food, recharge, and back at it tomorrow!

owls in a tree

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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