Apply Now For A Scholarship Ticket To SUPCONF Fall 2017

Thanks to our scholarship sponsors, we’re excited to offer a scholarship ticket program for SUPCONF Fall 2017!

Our scholarship sponsors (in alphabetical order):

FullStory – What do you want to know about your customer experience?
Guru – Be an expert, everywhere you work
Help Scout – Make every customer support interaction more human & more helpful
Olark – Your customers want to chat with you

A bit about SUPCONF

SUPCONF is a conference for Support Professionals.  The two-day event is full of hand-picked talks, connection and community.  Learn more about the conference here.

Each SUPCONF talk is refined through our Talk Development program to be meaningful, and contain actionable takeaways that translate to your daily work.

This year we’re spending time exploring four themes: Improving Support, Changing the Conversation around Support, Working with Data and Building a Career in Support.

We’ll facilitate conversations with other attendees and it’ll be a fantastic opportunity to hear how folks from other companies tackle problems similar to the ones you face, make connections with others in the community, and build your personal network.

We have more fun things planned, too.  Subscribe to our newsletter to stay looped in!

Excited to join us at SUPCONF?

Here’s what you get with a scholarship ticket to SUPCONF Fall 2017:

  • The full $600 ticket price
  • 2 full days of the SUPCONF experience

Note: You’re responsible for your own transportation and lodging

Apply for a ticket

Fill out the form here by August 24th, 2017.  We will contact the chosen scholarship recipients by August 31st.

HelpU – customer service education coming soon

I was a web designer during the Age of Geocities & Angelfire, when we learned mostly through experimentation and the magic of “view source”.

When it comes to customer support, especially the human, helpful, personal, Support Driven type, we’re still in our own Geocities era. Making up our own approaches, trying new technology and constantly adapting to changing roles in growing companies.

As a community we are collectively showing that support can do so much more than just answer questions. We can strengthen customer relationships to create fans and brand advocates. Now we have an opportunity to build on what we’ve started, and capitalise on the huge growth in the customer experience industry to help support and service take on a more central role.

To take that opportunity, we all need to get smarter about our jobs and our industry. And that’s where HelpU comes in. It’s a free customer service education hub that we’re working on over at Help Scout. We’re taking all our existing customer service content and turning it up to 11! Hear from new voices, experts from inside our community and beyond. Find new resources and actionable advice that will help you succeed, whatever support stack you use.

It’s not quite ready yet, but I wanted to share this with you now because it’s really built for you — people who want to improve their skills, grow their teams, make more impact.

What is HelpU?

Interested? Sign up to be notified when HelpU is ready

Would you like to be involved?
HelpU won’t be useful if it doesn’t include the unique perspectives and experiences of people like you, who are creating support experiences every day.

We want to elevate the voices in this community, and one way we can do that is by regularly publishing ideas and insights from people active in Support Driven.

How does publishing on HelpU work?
If you’ve got an idea to share, fill in this form and tell us about it. From there, we’ll figure out if and when it’s a good fit.

It’s not a paying gig, but if you bring the message then we’ll provide you with professional editorial help to craft it and a platform to share it.

If you’re interested but want to know more about the process, in my next post here, Olark’s Kimberly Bringas will share her experience. Kimberly worked with Emily on the Help Scout team to get her excellent article about handling conflict written and published.

Want to contribute to HelpU? Start here!

 

SDX 2017 Blog Post Roundup

I have been back from Portland for a bit over a week – but I feel like my heart just left SDX!  I had such an amazing time getting to learn from and connect with so many folks in our amazing community!

Before we get too far back in to our “normal” worlds, I wanted to take a minute to recap, and share some fun things from the event!

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Blog Posts

Here is a nice writeup of @heatherk’s talk on Radical Candor

Nice Reply shared a blog post summarizing SDX: SDX: Learning and growing at a customer service conference

@andreabadgley shared a workshop post: Take Control! Techniques for Efficient Live Chatting

@valedoero shared a talk post: Customer support – are you really listening?

@nachochristo shared a talk post: A Framework for Creating a Robust Onboarding Workflow

@zing shared a talk post: Breaking up the Band: Scaling Support

@nicolestgermain shared a talk post: Level up your Support Career: Create an accountability group with your peers

Talk / Workshop Summaries and Slides

@alexandria shared workshop slides: “Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup”

@sukh shared talk slides: “How to make your customers loyal”

@dpotter shared a writeup + workshop resources: “Training Through Teaching”

@sarahbetts shared talk slides: Trolls, Grumps, and Villains – Surviving the Worst of Support

@nikschen shared workshop resources and slides:

Augment your corporate Content – Slides, blog post and workbook

ROI calculations for Support Communities – Slides and workbook

Other awesome things

We love pictures!  You can see pictures from SDX here (or, add your own!).

You can also check out the hashtag #SDX2017 on Twitter, for more good memories!

We hope you enjoyed SDX, and look forward to doing it all again next year!

Itching to see everyone again before then?  Join our Slack for daily conversations, or join us at SUPCONF in Atlanta this November!

Announcing SUPCONF Fall 2017 – Atlanta, Nov 6-7

The next SUPCONF will be in Atlanta on November 6-7 and we have a handful of early bird tickets available on the site.

As a member of the Support Driven Slack (join here if you’re not a member), you know how valuable and fun it is to hear how others have faced challenges similar to the ones you encounter.

Having those conversations in person adds a new dimension and depth – as you have the full attention of the people you’re talking to, without the distractions that tend to pop up often at work.

SUPCONF is a fantastic way to meet some of the folks you’ve been talking to online and an opportunity to meet new people in our industry! Don’t take my word for it, here’s a few quotes from community members that have been to SUPCONF:



And if you to want hear from more members of the community, Lisa Hunt (@lisahhhh) went to the last SUPCONF in Seattle and talked to a few people while she was there, you should check out the Support Breakfast SUPCONF Seattle Special. Note, I spoke with Lisa on the podcast and revealed that breakfast was my least favorite meal of the day to her shock and horror.

If you’ve never been to SUPCONF before, here’s a few things you should know about it.

Help with the social parts

Most of us self-identify as introverts according to every survey we’ve run that includes a question to identify as introvert or extrovert.

As a fellow introvert, I know about the awkwardness that comes with meeting people at events and we’ve designed opportunities to socialize that’s introvert friendly. Plus, it seems like things that are introvert friendly also work for extroverts.

Meeting online

It starts with a private channel for SUPCONF where you’ll have a chance to meet other attendees before the event. People have used it to find out the best places to eat and stay as well as coordinating eating and seeing sights together. If you have time, I highly recommend talking to fellow attendees before the event as you’ll have a chance to meet them in person at the event and it will be awesome.

Conversations at SUPCONF

It’s not that introverts don’t like talking to people. It’s just awkward to get started when you don’t know them. That’s why we’ve designed multiple opportunities to help you start open, meaningful conversations at SUPCONF.

And all of the opportunities are optional. You’re not required to socialize, we want to make it easier if you decide to.

We keep it small

We’ve designed SUPCONF to be small enough that you’ll feel comfortable talking to people and you won’t feel like you’re lost in a crowd. That means there’s a limited number of tickets and an even smaller number of early bird tickets.

If you think the Support Driven community is amazing, wait til you meet them in person! I hope to see you in Atlanta in November.

Tickets go on sale today, get your ticket now.

Propose A Talk For SUPCONF Fall 2017

SUPCONF Fall 2017 is coming to Atlanta on November 6-7 and we want to hear your ideas!

We’re looking for talks that fit within the 4 themes we have for SUPCONF Fall 2017 –

Improving Support
Support is what we do and there’s always room for better ways to deliver a great customer experience.

Example topics:

  • Preventing burnout
  • Hiring for support
  • Providing support across multiple channels

Changing The Conversation Around Support
The role of support is changing within companies and across departments and there’s a lot we can learn from what’s working and not working with these changes.

Example topics:

  • Working with other teams
  • Proactive support
  • Taking on non-support responsibilities

Working With Data
Data is everywhere and effectively working with it is a part of what’s expected of us.

Example topics:

  • Making sense of NPS and CSAT
  • Connecting revenue and support
  • Budgeting and forecasting

Building A Career In Support
Learn how your peers in the industry are navigating and advancing their careers and the skills they’re using to do so.

Example topics:

  • Negotiation
  • Effective communication styles
  • Developing career paths within support

About The Talk Development Program

Whether you have prior speaking experience or not, we’re dedicated to working with you to deliver an amazing speech that will help you win friends and influence people. You’ll be speaking in front of some of the best folks in support – who work at companies like Automattic, Basecamp, DigitalOcean, and more.

If you’re invited to participate in the talk development program, we think you have the potential to deliver an amazing talk. To help you realize that potential, we pair you with an editor who works with you to refine and revise your talk for our audience.

What you’ll get as a speaker

  • Editorial assistance in developing your ideas and story through our talk development program
  • A complimentary conference ticket
  • An invitation to a speaker dinner before the event

Your commitments if you get invited to speak

  • You (or your employer) will cover your travel and accommodation costs.
  • You will follow our code of conduct.
  • We may use your name and photo to promote the conference.
  • We may record your talk and slides (audio, video, photography) for use in social media, marketing, sales and distribution.

Milestones

  • July 18 – Proposal Form Opens
  • August 4 – Proposal Form Closed
  • August 18  – You’ll hear from us about your proposal
  • September  – Meet your editor
  • October 10 – Share an audio recording of an early draft of your talk
  • October 24 – Send in your final slides
  • November 6-7 – SUPCONF Fall 2017

 

The proposal process is open to all – proposals will be anonymized and reviewed by our talk editors. Feel free to submit more than one proposal if you have more than one idea for a talk.

Please note that if you work for a company that sells a product related to the topic you submit, your proposal will not be accepted.

Talk proposals will be closed on August 4th and you’ll hear from us by August 18th.

 

 

Support Driven Spring 2017 Writing Challenge – Week 5

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This week in the Support Driven Writing Challenge we wrote about sharing our thoughts on Networking – the good, the bad, and the ugly!

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Below are the submissions for this week – enjoy!

@giovanna – Networking: A Fancy Word For Connection

@sukh – Everyone has a story to tell

@chelsea – I was a little bit social and I didn’t die.

This was the last week of this writing challenge.  It was such a joy to jump back into regular blog posting, and I loved reading everyone else’s posts, too!

A few folks completed ALL 5 topics:

@chelsea

@sukh

@giovanna

Super awesome job to everyone who wrote for the challenge, read fellow challenge writers posts, or were with us in spirit!

~ Chelsea

P.S. Did I miss anyone? If so, it was not at all intentional, please let me know!

P.P.S. Do you want to do more challenges (of any type) in the future? Let us know and we’d love to help facilitate these!

Support Driven Spring 2017 Writing Challenge – Week 4

This week in the Support Driven Writing Challenge we wrote about the methods we use for Self Care.

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Below are the submissions for this week – enjoy!

@sandy121 – Self-care…so that you can avoid burnout!

@giovanna.allegretti Self Care: The Importance of Chill Time

@bethnelson Advocate For Yourself

@chelsea I chose me. And the world didn’t come crumbling down (yet).

@amy Self-care can’t exist without self-compassion

@sukh – Self care — First Love Yourself (F.L.Y)

Next (our last week!) we will be sharing our thoughts on Networking – the good, the bad, and the ugly!

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~ Chelsea

P.S. Did I miss anyone? If so, it was not at all intentional, please let me know!

Support Driven Spring 2017 Writing Challenge – Week 3

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This week in the Support Driven Writing Challenge we wrote about our thoughts on feedback – when and how do you like to receive it?

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Below are the submissions for this week – enjoy!

@giovanna.allegretti – Feedback: How to Give And Receive It Using NVC

@valedeoro – Ask for advice instead of feedback

@sukh – Feedback — the reaction for improvement

@chelsea – Confession-I struggle with feedback

@mary_m – Can I Give You Some Feedback?

@alicia_b – Making feedback count

@amy – Feedback from the mat

Next we will be sharing about the methods we use for Self Care (this is something I personally could do better at!).

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~ Chelsea

P.S. Did I miss anyone? If so, it was not at all intentional, please let me know!

Support Driven Spring 2017 Writing Challenge – Week 2

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This week in the Support Driven Writing Challenge we wrote about our current view – or a view we enjoyed recently.  I love seeing inside other people’s worlds – so I’m really excited!

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Below are the submissions for this week – enjoy!

@andreasaez – Why Did Our Crappy Airbnb Have So Many 5-Star Reviews?

@chelsea – On solo hiking [as a female]

@giovanna.allegrett – My View: A Good Day As A Working Mother

@sukh – Borders and Labels are optional

@amy – A matter of perspective

@mary_m – Regarding Nessie

Next we will be sharing our thoughts on feedback – when and how do you like to receive it?

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~ Chelsea

P.S. Did I miss anyone? If so, it was not at all intentional, please let me know!

Join Us: User Group Rooms in Slack

If you frequent the halls of the Support Driven Slack rooms, you know that there is often a lot going on.

In any given day it is fully normal for the conversation in #chit-chat (our main catch-all room) to go from Good Morning chatter, to helping a fellow Support Agent through a tough situation, to a discussion about the weather, and then on to something fully random – maybe dinosaurs?

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While there is room for all conversations, things can get a little noisy – especially if you’d like to concentrate for a bit on a specific topic.

To help focus attention on the tools we use everyday, we have created a handful of Help Desk Software specific Slack rooms within the Support Driven chat.

Feel free to join any of these channels below:

#u-desk
#u-helpscout
#u-intercom
#u-servicecloud
#u-zendesk

These rooms are excellent places to brainstorm ideas with fellow users of a particular Help Desk software, to ask for help, and to talk about workflows or workarounds.

You can also pop in to any of these if you’re evaluating a software, to help learn from the folks who use it already!

We’re excited to see the conversations that blossom in these rooms!

One quick note – these rooms won’t be a dedicated source of Support for these systems.  As always, the folks around the Support Driven community are wonderfully willing to help out when they can, but do raise any matter that needs a Support Team’s attention through their traditional help mediums.  

Not in Slack?  We’d love for you to join the conversation!  Click here to learn more.