Hey there! My name is … wait for it … Julie Kuehl and I can be found in the Support Driven Slack team as … wait for it again … @juliekuehl (Twitter too). I’m a Customer Support Agent at CoSchedule, the marketing calendar that serves as mission control for you and your team’s entire marketing strategy. We’re headquartered in North Dakota and I live in Fargo.
So, what does my day look like? Well, it starts early right now because it’s summer and the sun comes up around 5:30 am and the Canadian geese near my house do a great job of keeping me informed of it. Like many with customer support roles I sit far more than I should, so I like to start my day with some exercise. If I don’t exercise in the morning, it just doesn’t get done. So I start the day on my rowing machine. That means I roll out of bed, change clothes then hook up my computer to my rowing machine and have a nice relaxing (hah!) row. After that it’s shower time then breakfast with a quick check of email, (non-job-related) Slack, and possibly even snail-mail that has to be dealt with. (Much of that is from my mom’s affairs since she’s now in assisted living.)
I arrive at the office around 9am. Yes, I go to an office. After years of doing freelance front-end development (and a bit of support too) remotely from home I now (again) have a job that requires me to go into an office. That took months of adjustment for me, but I really do enjoy working shoulder-to-shoulder with my teammates. I’ve learned so much from them!
So, the first thing I do when I get to the office is, of course, get caffeinated with a cup of tea. I don’t drink coffee (but I love the smell!), so tea is my hot beverage addiction. Then I settle in to Zendesk, our tool of choice, to see what the ticket queue looks like. Our team ison duty from 9am – 5pm Central time, so tickets that have come in overnight are waiting for our attention. Someone on the team (sometimes me) is responsible for triaging those tickets for topic and priority and pushing them over to our “open” box. That can take 30 minutes or so, but it’s a great way to get a feel for any bugs that might have sprung up, any trends that are happening, or any other changes that may have materialized (we’re dealing with social media networks, you know). We have a team of five people that supports thousands of customers, so we’re usually heads-down throughout the morning responding to tickets.
At some point during mid-day the team catches up with the inbox (at least on a good day) and we can turn our focus to other projects in addition to tickets. We’ve been experimenting with live chat recently and of course that continues throughout the day.
We have meetings every afternoon, but what type of meeting is is depends on the day of the week. Mondays are the weekly planning meeting where we go over features that are being worked on and those expected to be released that week, the webinars and demos that are happening, and any marketing messages that are going out. All of those can impact the support desk so they are good to be aware of.
Tuesday through Thursday we have our daily standup meetings. We typically have each member of the team bring a ticket that is an example of the values we strive for and talk it through. It’s helpful to see how other team members approach tickets! We also make sure everyone is aware of any changes to our processes or resources so that we can all take advantage of them.
Friday afternoons there are actually two meetings. The first is our Customer Experience retrospective (retro) where the support, success, and training teams meet together to talk about trends or issues or lessons learned. It’s a good chance to make sure that we are all on the same page with our interactions with customers. The second is our All-Hands Retro where everyone in the company (we’re just shy of 70 folks) gets together to do a quick review of some company data and highlights from the teams. There’s usually a few minutes at the end for Founder Q&A where we get to ask questions of our two founders. We usually have a bit of fun with that!
Once a week, and I do it on Thursday afternoons, each of the support team folks gets two hours for some “Off The Desk Time.” It’s good to have a couple of hours to get your head out of tickets and step back to look at larger projects that can help the team provide better support. Sometimes I work on the internal knowledge base, sometimes I catch up with our shared reading list, sometimes I work on refining our tools to help us provide support better, and sometimes I research new tools that we could use. Every now and then I write a blog post. :-D
Eventually, we make it to the end of the day, and usually we’re at inbox zero. At least for a few minutes while we close down our laptops.
After work I head home to say “hi” to the dogs and feed them, then cook dinner with my partner. We’re currently doing the Blue Apron thing and it’s fun to have that to look forward to. Once again it depends on the day of the week as to what I do in the evening. Sometimes it’s record a podcast. Sometimes it’s watch Forged in Fire or Mysteries at the Museum. Sometimes I’m doing volunteer work. Sometimes it’s sit on the deck and throw a ball for the dogs or just read quietly. Eventually the sun starts to set and that’s my clue that it’s time to call it a day. That only works in the summer, mind you.