Hi friends,

We’re only two weeks away from Expo! I’m super excited to announce that Airbnb will be hosting a Welcome Party for Expo attendees at their Portland office on Wednesday evening, June 20 , with food and drink provided by Zendesk and PartnerHero. The Welcome Party will run in two blocks — A (6:00-7:30pm) and B (7:30-8:45pm) — due to space limitations at the venue. Each party will offer Airbnb office tours, which were a big hit last year. RSVPs are required, so secure your spot in Welcome Party A or Welcome Party B now!

If you have not already downloaded the app, now is the time to do it. It includes maps, the Expo schedule, speaker bios, and is the primary method we will use to communicate day-of news and updates at Expo. Once you’ve downloaded the Attendify app on iOS or Android, search “Support Driven” to find Expo.

Downloading the app now will allow you to bookmark sessions you want to attend so that you can plan your Expo ahead of time. There’s also an activity stream where you can interact with other attendees and push messages to your social networks, and the maps will help you find the Welcome Party, Community meetups, and food options around Portland.

See you in Portland in two weeks!

Haven’t gotten your Expo ticket yet? Time’s almost up – get it now!

Welcome Party

Join Expo attendees at Airbnb’s Portland office for a pre-Expo Welcome Party! Tour Airbnb’s offices, pick up your wristband at early registration, and enjoy food and beverages courtesy of Zendesk and PartnerHero.

Due to space limitations, there are two runnings of the Welcome Party – A and B. RSVPs are required, and you will need to present an ID on arrival. To attend one of the Welcome Party sessions, select the time that works best for you and RSVP via the links below:

RSVP Welcome Party A: 6:00 – 7:30 pm on Wednesday June 20. A tour of Airbnb’s office will began at 7:15pm.
RSVP Welcome Party B: 7:30 – 8:45 pm on Wednesday June 20. A tour of Airbnb’s office will began at 8:15pm.

Guide to All Things Expo

We’ve created an Expo Guide to provide everything you need to know about Support Driven Expo June 21-22, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. If you’ve got a question that’s not answered in the Expo Guide or on the Expo site, please join the #event-sd-expo channel in the Support Driven Slack to ask, or send us an email.

Staying up to date on all things Expo
– Code of Conduct
– How to Expo
– How to find help
– Meet the Speakers
– Lunch
Registration and wristbands
Parties and Community Meetups
Getting around Portland
Support Bars at the Trade Show
Career UnConference at the Career Fair
Venue Map
Campus Map
Area Map

Awesome sessions to look forward to

We’ve got another batch of session announcements for you. You can find all the sessions in the app and on the website schedule.

Agent Empowered: Leveraging AI and Data Science to speak the same language as Product
As the first responders to the most pressing customer issues and requests, support is constantly encountering user preferences and product insights. Convincing others to take action on these observations however is a real challenge. The solution – speak the universal language of “data”.

This talk focuses on how support teams can gather the right data to drive strategic initiatives, inform product and operation decisions and act as the “voice of the customer” across the organization.

We’ll specifically dive into how developments in data science and artificial intelligence have enabled anyone on the support team to sift through, analyze and present actionable insights from high volumes of customer feedback.

Colby Parrot

A True People Play: Delivering Customer Value Through Employee Enablement and Engagement
Many sales teams have enablement functions to support sales and account management activities. However, this role hasn’t traditionally sat within a Customer Operations function. There is value in doing so because enablement provides a strategic, proactive, and hands-on learning approach. SurveyMonkey is tapping into this strategy to create an enablement and engagement program bespoke to Customer Operations. The goal is to provide systems and tools, programs, and a clear career path for the Customer operations team. Topics discussed in this session include:

• How the enablement and engagement team is set up to deliver customer value through an empowered customer operations team

• How our Customer Operations team is driving value through personalised, effortless, and speedy service

Ryan Steinberg

How real-time customer support improves conversions
One prevailing view of customer support is that it is a cost center and that companies are always looking to lower those costs. At Intercom, a recent experiment taught us that investing in real-time support can actually turn customer support into a revenue driver.

Real-time support proved to be a big win for our customers and for our business. Customers who received real-time support asked 18% more questions and got more answers in real-time from our support team. Moreover, these customers were 30% more likely to start a trial. Overall, real-time support drove 10% incremental growth in new business revenue. What’s more, these customers were happier too – with a 15% higher NPS scores.

Charles Myers

Show & Tell: The Best (and Worst) Responses to Customers (You show yours. We’ll show ours!)
Support organizations strive to deliver scalable, high-quality responses that drive customer satisfaction. Sometimes they get it right, but often they miss the mark. Let’s share and break down some of the best (and worst) customer responses and walk through some frameworks and toolkits that can be employed to ensure consistency.

Be sure to bring your favorite customer responses and together we’ll break down why they are so powerful.

Kelly Mason

Replicating support issues in a contained environment
If you have ever had to reproduce a technical issue involving discrepant versions of multiple dependencies (or even operating systems!), you know it can be a nightmare producing the exact same conditions as the user. Learn how to use containers to quickly produce a controlled environment with the right dependencies to successfully reproduce and share technical issues.

Meg Brennan

Trisha Todman

Being a Stronger Ally
This interactive workshop created by Valerie Aurora explores the ways that people can use their influence to challenge systemic oppression in their workplaces and communities.

Utilizing small group discussions about real-life scenarios, this peer-led workshop provides participants with the language and skills necessary to interrupt bias and challenge systemic oppression in the workplace. This workshop is for anyone interested in creating a safe, inclusive space, regardless of how they identify. Prior Unconscious Bias training is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Why should you sign up?

The workshop works best when people with a wide variety of backgrounds attend and share their wisdom and expertise. Most of the workshop consists of small group discussions of real-world scenarios. Before the discussions start, we will go over the discussion guidelines, aimed at giving everyone a fair chance to be heard. We encourage you to participate in the workshop, whether you want to learn ally skills or share your experience. If you are interested in learning how privilege can be used to advocate for others in your company, or in your daily lives, consider attending on June 21st.

Are you getting excited yet? Go ahead and grab your Expo tickets, and we’ll see you in Portland June 21-22!

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