Hey, Support Driven Community. 👋🏻

We’re starting to highlight some questions and answers you’ve all shared via Slack on our blog. We want to showcase your unique perspectives beyond just Slack.

If you’re not familiar with our Slack community, it’s full of 8,000+ members who care about customer support. We ask for advice, share our expertise, and have fun virtually connecting.

Let’s get into this week’s highlights.

What KPI’s do you track for your support team? What KPI’s do you specifically track for staffing additions and adjustments?

“I start with capacity. What is the expectation for one person to manage? When I made this chart, we were at 7 full time IC2/IC3s in the queue.
I took some historical data measuring month-to-month to see (as a broad stroke) what could 2021 look like. So far, it’s not spot on but it’s fairly close. We’ve already made 3 new hires in 2021 and ready to smash the queue.

Also, we had to take into consideration WHEN customers contact us (1.6M users in 180 countries). So, I did an hour-by-hour analysis to know exactly when these 3 new hires shifts should be.

THEN, I had to consider the number of days off (convos missed by days taken off) and separate holidays (team in IE + US). This helped me understand the capacity that I needed to fill, not just measure against missed SLAs and lowered CSAT ratings.”

Brett Rush, Director of Customer Experience at Frame.io

“For capacity & Scheduling, I like to look at “CSAT (or whichever metric you want) by agents/hour. In a given hour you have X agents. They can effectively work Y contacts in that hour. If you have too many contacts/tickets, the agents will feel rushed, and even the contacts they do handle will have lower CSAT/NPS. What that magic value is is vv dependent on your industry, customer base etc. So if you know your agents can handle 10 tickets per agent per hour, and you know you get 50 tickets per hour in the morning, then you know you need 5 agents on your morning shift, etc. where “hour” can be grown out to whatever timeframe you want, maybe your SLA? whatever a customer would expect a response within.”

Jacob Lee, Support Operations Lead at Nylas

I’m new to a customer support role and was curious if anyone has any foundational readings or resources that would’ve helpful for them when they first started the job?

“YES!!!  I love this question:

  1. The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
  2. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
  3. The Customer Support Handbook: How to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience For Your Brand
  4. The Customer Service Survival Kit: What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations
  5. If It Wasn’t For The Customers I’d Really Like This Job: Stop Angry, Hostile Customers COLD While Remaining Professional, Stress Free,… (the name sucks but it is a GREAT book!).”

Brittany Ferguson, Senior Customer Support Manager at Brio Systems, Inc.

“Also also our very own ‘s Support Night School: https://supportnightschool.com/.

Stephanie Faile Lundberg, Community Support Lead

How does your organization divide work between members of your technical support team and the actual engineering/dev department? For instance, do you have Technical Support Engineers on your Support team, or do they belong to the Development/Engineering team? If they’re on the Support team, is there another role on the Development team adjacent to that role?

“Our entire support team is within Engineering and is adjacent to dev. Support works with dev but it’s a separate team.I’m curious what you mean by “another role on the Development team adjacent to that role”? What did you have in mind?”

Cynthia Ng, Senior Support Engineer at GitLab

“Our Technical Support Engineers sit under the Support Team (in the CX department). The Engineering teams maintain a rotating roster of people who are on support for different product areas each week. The two teams (support + engineering) work together, but we’re managed separately.

Cat Burston, Technical Support Engineer at Contentful

Hot topic time! QBRs: do you do them? Why/why not? I’m not a fan of forcing them on customers, but our sales team is putting pressure on to do so. I believe they should be done on a case-by-case basis, and done at anytime (the most appropriate time) not just quarterly. I also believe most of this information can be communicated outside of meetings for some customers. Some customers want those meetings, some don’t. Thoughts?

“I think you’re on the right track. I hate QBRs for the sake of QBRs. All your doing is assigning a chore to your customer. I think this is something to address presale and onboarding.

What level of ongoing support is going to be beneficial to the customer? Ask them. Set expectations on both ends and understand how they like to be communicated with (and potentially a backup in case of turnover).  As a CSM your goal is to ensure they’re successful. How do they want to work with you? An email, a call, how often? Maybe after they get assigned a new project to assess if they can leverage your tool to help them achieve the goal. I think it’s about understanding how/when you might be helpful and suggesting that path and a way to stay connected.”

Diane Garcia, Head of Operations at Scratchpad

“Yea I agree.. so I guess my question is: how do you handle a sales team who’s putting pressure on to do QBRs for every customer?

– Community member

“Can you work backwards? why is a QBR required? What value do you as a sales person handling renewals/expansions get out of it? Does that mean we’ll have to wait a quarter for an upgrade, what if something happens mid-review period? Are you willing to leave money on the table to adhere to a rigid process? How does/would that work for you in closing the original deal?

Diane Garcia, Head of Operations at Scratchpad

See you next week with another roundup of Q&A highlights! If you’re not already part of the Support Driven Slack community, join here.

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