Last week, I attended my first remote support meetup. I wanted to share the notes on what we discussed and what we gained – let’s spread the word!

Something that we talk about an awful lot in the support industry is being remote: working with remote workers, managing remote teams, etc. But, how about hosting virtual meetings with different people belonging to your same domain and learning from them? It sounded interesting to me!

This is what we’re doing at the #zlocal-remote channel in the Support Driven Slack Community. Different Support people working in different organizations, under different titles (for example: people wrangler or Individual contributor), share their stories, learnings and suggestions with each other. If you want to learn how to do something, but you don’t know how, join the community and gain knowledge!

At the meetup, we started the discussion around the relationship between “Customer Support and Customer Success” to learn about how exactly different teams handle these two teams. We found some really interesting perspectives:

One of the teams handles both support and success as different teams. The success team focuses on proactive support; they work with the support team, get onto customer calls, and actively focus on reducing churn. The success team’s task is to nurture relationships with customers. The support team focuses on reactive customer interactions.

However, on other side, we learned that a few organizations have their support team doing everything. Whether that be dealing with customers, doing follow-ups or reducing churn.

Lastly, a few have created their success team out of their support team based on need. The key considerations when selecting the cream of the crop of their support team for this role were: who can deliver the best product demos, and has impeccable communication skills.

It’s interesting to see how many different teams tackle the same theme.

While talking about success and support, we came across a plan followed by one of the teams: they keep a track of ‘how many customers logged less than 10 tickets in last x months’. Using this metric, the customer success team finds out the customer/company’s number of seats and MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue), and contacts them proactively to find out how their journey’s been going and if it really has been so easy they never had to contact support.

This gives you a clearer idea if your customers are super happy using your product and everything is good so far or if maybe you can get involved before something goes very wrong ;)

Our second point of discussion moved on to the always-interesting topic of all-hands support and talking about whether it works well or not. Again, no surprise: we came across the same as with the discussion on support and success, a few said “yes” and a few “no.”

However, there was an interesting angle added to this discussion: using all-hands support during training. We were all familiar with how all-hands support is when your entire team (any members belonging to any teams) provide support to your customers.

As per “regular” all-hands support, every new team member (in every department) will be trained by customer support team. In the beginning of their training, they sit with the support team to better learn about the product as well as get to know the actual pain points of the customerbase. This helps the teams cultivate understanding, discuss customer views within the product team, work on it and see how it can be improved. The support perspective is carried throughout the company. Interestingly, mentors are also changed on weekly basis!

Lastly, we chatted about user engagement tools to track customer usage metrics. Here are some of the tools that people are using:

Everyone had a different preference on tools. In general, teams that were large or engineering-oriented preferred to build their own tools, while most teams opted to purchase, rather than build their own. Nonetheless, every team was using multiple tools for many different projects, rather than just one.

Come and join us in #zlocal-remote, but otherwise we will keep sharing our notes—we hope you learned something from them. For knowing people and learning from their experiences, you don’t need to worry about the distance!

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