SCHEDULE: DAY ONE

MONDAY APRIL 1, 2019

 

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8:00 to 8:45am

Registration
Come to the Support Driven table to check in. You do not need to bring a printout of your ticket. We will register you from our registration list. After checking in, enjoy free coffee, fresh water, and the great company of Support Driven community.

Location: Atlantic 2 — Entryway to Trade Show and Discussion Groups

Conversation corner: suggest a topic!

Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Is there a particular support challenge on your mind? Do you have a customer service idea to share? Something you’re excited to learn about, but don’t know where to start?

Wander in to Conversation Corner, the lounge area at the end of the Pacific Ballroom! From 8am to 12:30pm, you can write down your topic idea, and suggest a time you’d like to talk about it with other attendees (starting after lunch on Day One).

Then you can check out other people’s ideas and add your vote, and people can vote on yours! By 1:30pm the completed schedule will be posted so everyone knows when to turn up for their favorite discussions on the comfy lounges of Conversation Corner.

Starting at 9:00am

9:00 - 9:20 -- Reporting for individual contributors - Mat Patterson, Help Scout
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
Personal reporting can help you improve your performance, progress in your career and understand yourself better

Description
Are you good at providing support? How good? Does your team leader know? Or their boss? What do you need to do to improve, and what’s next for your career progression? Maybe you’re not responsible for reporting on the support team’s performance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reporting at all. By measuring and reporting on your own work, you can understand more clearly how you’re doing, where you’re heading and how to make a bigger impact in your role. In this talk you’ll learn why self-reporting matters, some ideas on what to measure and how to make best use of the information you collect.

Speaker Bio

Mat Patterson spent a decade building and running a customer service team at Campaign Monitor. Since 2016 he’s been promoting and teaching customer service skills with the team at Help Scout, the help desk and customer service software company. He’s Australian, but not like “Crocodile Hunter” Australian. Just so you know.

9:00 - 9:20 -- Using automation to make your job easier - Mike Griffin, GitHub
Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Why you should use automation and shortcuts to speed up your workday

Description
We all spend a lot of time doing repetitive work, clicking here, dragging there, typing the same phrases. This talk will show you some shortcuts that you can use to become more efficient. You will see how automation has helped my team to work better together and how you can use these tips to help your team. You’ll also see some reasons for not trying to automate everything.

Speaker Bio

Mike works at GitHub as a Business Support Engineer, providing support to companies big and small. He gets excited when he sees new ways to make computers work for us and loves to see how others work through their day.

9:00 - 9:45 -- I see you! The art of solving other people’s problems - Valentina Thörner, Automattic
Location: Atlantic 1

Takeaway
Create rapport with customers, validate their concerns and set the stage for resolution.

Description
Customers who contact support usually are in pain. Somehow your product or service is not fulfilling their expectations. Instead of shunning you, they have decided to engage with you – sometimes hurling a full set of emotions through your contact channel, at you. As a dedicated customer agent, your specialty is problem resolution. You are ready to dive in, dig deep, and find the perfect solution. And yet – the customer doesn’t listen, gives you a devastating review, or screams back at you. How can you create rapport with your customers? How can you set the stage so that they are able to listen to you, even if they came through the (virtual) door steaming with rage? The magic starts with acknowledging their pain – even if it seems small and trivial for you. Give your customers space, allow them to hurt, and only then, move towards a resolution. I’ll share with you practical examples, concrete phrasings and a framework that allows you to engage with your customers not to simply delight.

Speaker Bio

Valentina has over a decade of support experience – as front-line agent and team lead. Her specialty is setting up systems that allow everyone to excel despite our human flaws. This includes ideas and strategies to deescalate human behaviour at scale, even remotely. As a German expatriate in Spain, she combines teutonic efficiency with mediterranean charm.

9:00 - 9:45 -- How Customer Support drives Product Quality - Stefanie Siegmund, Blinkist
Location: Atlantic 3

Takeaway
Interdepartmental collaboration as a key to gain the most out of your team and your product.

Description
Departments are often lost in translation, working in silos. Drawing inspiration from an important company value ‘SupportEachOther’, Stefanie will walk through examples that illustrate how it will help defining a need of a self-organised customer support team collaborating in interdepartmental ways. Collecting customer feedback involves more than just having the managers talk to each other. Stefanie will dive into some best practices on how to empower team members burning for your product and grow them into key roles of knowledge flow within the organisation.

Speaker Bio

Stefanie is a support and product driven professional. She currently leads the customer operations at Blinkist, a mobile learning startup that offers key insights from non-fiction books. She has been working in customer and product focused roles for 10 years, combining her project-driven skills and leadership background with her passion for providing meaningful customer support.

Starting at 9:30am

9:30 - 9:50 -- Following the sun for success - shifting from a co-located team to global support - Kev O'Connor, NationBuilder
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
How to staff your support team globally, whether you should, the benefits and the risks.

Description
Are your customers around the world? Then shouldn’t your support be, too? At NationBuilder, we have transitioned our support team from a single location, to now be spread over four timezones. We first had 24/5 written support coverage with a team of just 13 (including management), so this doesn’t have to be about building out big international offices. The process has been incredibly successful in improving the quality and timeliness of our support. Topics covered in this session include: How to know if ‘follow the sun’ is right for you How to work out how many people to hire in each location What to look for when hiring remote/international team members How to coordinate a global team How to ensure performance improves as your coverage expands

Speaker Bio

Kev has worked at NationBuilder since 2014. As their first international employee, Kev initially did everything for the European market, before specializing in support. He has been a leader on the support team for the last three years and is now one of the managers co-ordinating the globally distributed team. Before joining NationBuilder, Kev spent eight years in political campaigning.

9:30 - 9:50 -- How to keep that personal touch as your company grows - Magdalena Sendal & Andrei Caisin, Zendesk
Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Keeping pace with rapidly changing expectations of the customer is essential to the success of any business.

Description
In a company’s early days, a nascent support team’s ability to practice empathy and provide personalized customer service plays a crucial role in building a foundation for future growth. But what happens when success comes knocking? Whether it’s a ballooning customer base or pulling the trigger on that long-planned-for push toward global operations, many businesses grapple with a perplexing problem: how can a customer service team maintain that personal touch as it scales?

Speaker Bio

Magdalena & Andrei work with industry-leading software for several years and on a daily basis, they help companies to revolutionise their customer experience. Building relationships with clients are really important to them as everyone has an individual business need. Truly understanding these is key to finding the optimal solution to help those businesses differentiate and scale.

Conversation corner: suggest a topic!

Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Is there a particular support challenge on your mind? Do you have a customer service idea to share? Something you’re excited to learn about, but don’t know where to start?

Wander in to Conversation Corner, the lounge area at the end of the Pacific Ballroom! From 8am to 12:30pm, you can write down your topic idea, and suggest a time you’d like to talk about it with other attendees (starting after lunch on Day One).

Then you can check out other people’s ideas and add your vote, and people can vote on yours! By 1:30pm the completed schedule will be posted so everyone knows when to turn up for their favorite discussions on the comfy lounges of Conversation Corner.

Starting at 10:00am

10:00 - 10:20 -- Scaling Support with Culture in Mind: How not to make it feel like the first day at a new school - Vanessa Subramaniam, TourRadar
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
An onboarding template that will bring new hires to your team with inclusivity and empathy in mind.

Description
When your team is growing exponentially, it can be tough to bring in new members to your team and fully integrate them into the culture. From the new hire perspective, it can feel overwhelming to be expected to learn the job and connect with your new colleagues. A successful onboarding week helps new hires understand what the company is all about, what is expected out of the role, and takes an inclusive approach to bringing them into the team. Based on my experience of growing a support team from 13 to 25 within my first 3 months, I’ll share our onboarding calendar template and logic behind strategic ramp ups that produce longer term employee engagement and retention.

Speaker Bio

Vanessa’s servant leadership style demonstrates her genuine dedication to growing and developing those around her, and her focus on creating a remarkable career journey for her team is authentic and the real deal. Vanessa is the Manager of Support for TourRadar, an online marketplace for multi-day tours based out of Vienna, Austria.

10:00 - 10:20 -- "If I were you I would...": A practical approach to customer success in a technical role - Lorant Menehart, Thrive Themes
Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Deliver customer success with honesty and without clutter

Description
We are encouraged to delight customers, be personal, hold their hands, feel their pain, be a friend, be a hero, a rockstar…and other buzzwords. The problem is that more and more support teams try to adopt this without understanding it correctly and it leads to way too much clutter in support conversations. This ranges from inadequate cheerful tone when dealing with serious issues to confusing responses when trying to avoid saying “No”. My solution to this mixes a solid response based on clarity and actual solutions with the necessary “icing” that brings kindness and hospitality to build trust. I take my knowledge and experience in the industry and describe the exact thing I would do if I were in their position, even if that means exposing limitations of our own products. This reassures the customer that I’m acting in their best interest, it makes me an authority they can trust and return to for advice. And it motivates me to always learn and challenge myself to keep that position.

Speaker Bio

Freelancer, remote worker, customer success advocate. As a freelancer I’ve been working with clients directly for the past 10 years. My first official support gig was in 2013 and I’ve been doing that ever since, either as a freelance contractor, full-time team lead or just-the-support-guy. Regardless of the job title, I’m there to help customers succeed.

10:00 - 10:45 -- Help! I don't want to be a manager. What now? - Lisa Hunt, Geckoboard
Location: Atlantic 1

Takeaway
An idea of potential career paths outside of people management and how to start towards them.

Description
If you work in support and you’re great at your job, the chances are that at some point you’ll need new challenges. If you don’t want to be a people manager – the traditional next step for a promotion – what are your options? How can you develop your career and find your own niche to make sure you don’t end up bored or burned out? I’ll take you through some possibilities, how to find the right next step for you and _even_ land a role that doesn’t yet exist.

Speaker Bio

Lisa is a Customer Success Champion for Geckoboard and former UK Customer Support Engineer for Moz. She recently completed her computer science degree and now spends most of her time reading books, playing video games and catching up on her Netflix queue. When she’s got some spare time, she also co-hosts the Support Breakfast podcast and organises London support events.

10:00 - 10:45 -- Support in the Middle of Feedback Foodchain - Mariam Sargsian, Wrike
Location: Atlantic 3

Takeaway
Support is dealing with Customer feedback all the time. I will talk about the ways to push the valid feedback through.

Description
Developers may create software with their vision of usage and the customer feedback can help them realize how exactly the users utilize the tool in their processes. Support is playing a tremendous role in opening new horizons for the development team by providing the insight into customers’ patterns of using the tool and transferring the user feedback. During my presentation I will show you the solutions to the problems that the Support team can face when dealing with feedback such as: lack of a system for properly handling feedback, customers not understanding the full complexity of the development cycle and lack of communication and transparency between Support and Engineering, etc. I will also talk about what to do when you are lost in a pool of feedback not realizing which of it is valid and should be promoted to Engineering leads . All of these steps can lead a Support team to a better, more efficient way of handling feedback, making both the product and its customers happy.

Speaker Bio

My name is Mariam Sargsian and I am a support specialist for 3 years now. During this time I gained a lot of experience in dealing with the customers and handling various cases. Currently I am a technical expert in the support team in Wrike. Our team in is striving to come up with innovative techniques and processes of delivering a great Customer Service and I am here to talk about some of these.

Starting at 10:30am

10:30 - 10:50 -- Building a successful remote work culture - Karen Arnold, Automattic
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
Attendees will learn how Automattic, a fully distributed company of more than 850 employees in 65+ countries, recruits, auditions, communicates, develops, and accommodates for its employees.

Description
Automattic is known for being 100% distributed. As we’ve grown exponentially, how have we maintained our culture, values, and low turnover rate? We hire candidates who are the best fit for Automattic, who invest in the process by intentionally contributing to what we do, and who will have the greatest impact and contribution to our teams and our customers. And we keep them around with a culture of communication, feedback, and transparency. Learn the tools, processes, and tactics that have worked for us in relation to growing a remote team while maintaining a strong sense of our core culture. Explore how to carefully recruit a diverse applicant pool through storytelling, conference speaking, and deep community involvement and workshops. Dig into how we audition candidates to find a good mutual fit and how we incorporate our values around communication, feedback, and work/life balance.

Speaker Bio

Karen leads the Tech Support Hiring team at Automattic, the team responsible for hiring support staff for Automattic’s products. She’s worked remotely for Automattic since 2012. She lives in Albuquerque, NM with her husband and four children.

Conversation corner: suggest at topic!
Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Is there a particular support challenge on your mind? Do you have a customer service idea to share? Something you’re excited to learn about, but don’t know where to start?

Wander in to Conversation Corner, the lounge area at the end of the Pacific Ballroom! From 8am to 12:30pm, you can write down your topic idea, and suggest a time you’d like to talk about it with other attendees (starting after lunch on Day One).

Then you can check out other people’s ideas and add your vote, and people can vote on yours! By 1:30pm the completed schedule will be posted so everyone knows when to turn up for their favorite discussions on the comfy lounges of Conversation Corner.

Starting at 11:00am

11:00 - 11:20 -- Building a career remotely: very remotely - Rhoda Meek, Olark
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
The confidence to explore remote work opportunities.

Description
Remote work offers us the opportunity to; design our best lives and build careers without the constraints of location. I’m going to show you how working remotely has let me do exactly that. I started out working as a front line Customer Service agent at Olark, and 5 years later I’m the department Director – about to take on the role of Product Manager for Olark. All from my desk on a small island, 40 miles off the west coast of Scotland. I take remote to the extreme – but remote doesn’t have to be extreme. In fact, remote shouldn’t be extreme. Remote work should be standard. By the end of this talk, I hope you will have the confidence to explore the remote opportunities that are out there waiting for you too!

Speaker Bio

Rhoda Meek is the Director of Customer Service at Olark. She lives and works in the Isle of Tiree, off the West Coast of Scotland, with a collection of animals, a market garden, and a healthy dose of humour.

11:00 - 11:20 -- Win-Win Situation: How to Drive Customer Loyalty with Effective Support Career Path - Stanislav Katsion, Wrike

Location: Baltic

Takeaway
How to create an efficient career path for Support that will also increase customer loyalty.

Description
Customer Support is no longer considered to be a forge of talents for other departments or as a periphery department. Having a clearly defined and diverse career path becomes an absolute necessity for a customer-facing department. Unsurprisingly, a well-organized and rewarded Customer Support team drive more customer loyalty to an organization. I was lucky to join Wrike right at the time of a new Support career system adoption. Seeing the results it has brought us, I’m eager to share the experience and explore this phenomena deeper.

Speaker Bio

I’ve been working in customer support since July, 2012 and have never considered drifting off customer-facing role. I ljoined Wrike’s customer support team in December, 2017, gradually gaining more responsibilities, such as working with premium support customers and handling social media replies.

11:00 - 11:45 -- Chrome Extensions that make your life easier - Sergiu Andreca, Thrive Themes

Location: Atlantic 1

Takeaway
A list of key Chrome Extensions you should use.

Description
Working as a support technician is always challenging. Being able to deliver a good and a fast experience to your customers is crucial. For this you will need some tools that will help you to achieve that. Sergiu will give you recommendations for the best chrome extensions for different areas like: – Spell checking; – Text expander; – Debugging ( CSS, Responsiveness, browser compatibility ); – Screenshots, video recording. Using all of this tools will definitely make your life and job easier.

Speaker Bio

Sergiu is a support technician for more than 4 years. He started working in a support team made of only 3 members, that grow to almost 20 members today. He is passionate about remote working and traveling and is always looking for ideas that can can facilitate his work and life. Sergiu is giving presentations on a daily basis, and also won a few speaking contents.

11:00 - 11:45 -- Embracing Change: What I learned from speaking to support leaders for two years. - Durga Sundaram, Freshworks
Location: Atlantic 3

Takeaway
Insights from different support companies on how to identify when processes need to be changed or improved.

Description
There is always a scope for improvement in support-processes at any time and it’s hard to achieve perfection. However, when small issues are ignored or aren’t identified, they will snowball into bigger problems over time. This ultimately ends up compromising your agents’ job satisfaction and your customer’s happiness. That’s why it is imperative that support leaders are able to identify problems in operations at an early stage and use the best means to fix them at the roots. Drawing from her experience working with support leaders, Durga will share some of the common mistakes that customer support teams make and how they can be avoided. She will also share insights into how to identify when there is a need for change in your support process, and how you should plan and execute it. Regardless of whether you’ve just started with your support team, or you’re planning on scaling a large team, these fundamentals of support processes will help support leaders in making better decisions.

Speaker Bio

Durga has worked with support leaders of different companies and has helped them improve their support process. She has implemented Freshdesk for support teams at scale and has helped them transition to a better support process. She’s gained exposure to how companies handle support, what causes issues, and what works best in such situations.

Starting at 11:30am

11:30 - 11:50 -- 1 to 20, challenges and victories in a growing support team - Taco Verdonschot, Yoast
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
Gain insight in the journey from being the only support engineer to leading a team of 20.

Description
About five years ago, when Yoast was still a small company, I was customer support. Since then, we’ve grown from a 1-person support team to a 20-person team. In this presentation I’ll share our biggest mistakes, to keep your growing team from making the same mistakes. And I will share our biggest victories, so that you can use them to recreate these victories immediately after Support Driven Expo!

Speaker Bio

After starting out as a developer at Yoast, Taco Verdonschot quickly progressed to customer support. When no longer able to answer all tickets on his own, a remote colleague was hired. Now, almost 5 years later, he runs a distributed team of 20 support engineers.

11:30 - 11:50 -- How to turn flexible work hours into rock solid chat support - Denise Williams, Automattic

Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Learn how Automattic’s distributed team manages to choose their own work hours… and still achieve 24/7 chat coverage.

Description
Automattic’s teams of Happiness Engineers live all over the world and start their days in dozens of different time zones. The geographic spread is a great strength when it comes to providing continuous presence to customers, but organizing our flexible, distributed team to provide consistent chat support became a mind-bending puzzle we needed the right tools to solve. Find out how a custom scheduling tool enabled us to achieve 24/7 chat coverage, with a distributed team completely empowered to choose their own work hours.

Speaker Bio

Having spent a decade in project and team management for digital and print publications, Denise now spends the bulk of her time developing workforce management systems and attacking coverage puzzles for WordPress.com’s global team of 200+ Happiness Engineers.

Conversation corner: suggest at topic!
Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Is there a particular support challenge on your mind? Do you have a customer service idea to share? Something you’re excited to learn about, but don’t know where to start?

Wander in to Conversation Corner, the lounge area at the end of the Pacific Ballroom! From 8am to 12:30pm, you can write down your topic idea, and suggest a time you’d like to talk about it with other attendees (starting after lunch on Day One).

Then you can check out other people’s ideas and add your vote, and people can vote on yours! By 1:30pm the completed schedule will be posted so everyone knows when to turn up for their favorite discussions on the comfy lounges of Conversation Corner.

12:00 - 2:00pm

Lunch
Lunch time! Lunch is on your own, to get out into the fresh air of Belgrade and explore the food options.
1:30 pm - Conversation Corner Topics Announced
Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Visit the Support Driven table or the Conversation Corner lounges to see the topics that have been selected, and when each one takes place. Whether you suggested your own topic or not, have a look and see what grabs your interest!

Starting at 2:00pm

2:00 - 2:20 -- Community: Your Secret Sauce to Bridging Your Customers and The Product - Aravind Sundararajan, Freshworks
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
Starting a user community and driving engagement to build better products+creating an exciting career path for your team.

Description
Great brands have great user communities. Beyond just keeping users engaged, communities go a long way in making sure you also build a better product. In the last year, Aravind has turned the Freshdesk user community from a chamber filled with angry posts into an engaging place brimming with ideas and feedback. Our community has slowly turned into a place where users feel heard, and come to contribute in the product building process. In this talk, Aravind will share his story on how he went from a rockstar support agent to being the voice of the customer, embedded in the product team. He’ll start with what sparked the journey to turning around the Freshdesk community—how he started small by seeing it as an extension of regular support, and then drove momentum by doing little things that added up over time. Aravind will also share ideas on how you can create create sustained engagement in your own user community, and how it can be an exciting career path for people in support.

Speaker Bio

Aravind spent four years in the Freshworks support team, witnessing it grow from 7 to 70 people. He now owns engagement in the Freshdesk community, bringing the voice of our customers closer to the product team. When he’s not responding to customers in our forums, you can find him watching a game of cricket or exploring the chef in him.

2:00 - 2:20 -- Love/Meh/Retire - how to pick a career path that's right for you - Finbar O'Grady, HubSpot

Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Helping individual contributors pick career paths by analysing their current roles in a love/meh/retire framework

Description
People often feel at sea when they’re early in their careers. They dont know what options are available to them for internal mobility or what other departments do where they can apply their skills and continue to grow. Love/Meh/Retire is a light weight framework that mangers can use to help individual contributors uncover the parts of their job that they love/loath and start using that information to plan for their next career move.

Speaker Bio

Finbar has over 6 years of experience working in both Customer Support and Customer Success. He currently manages the Continental Europe Customer Success team at HubSpot’s Dublin office.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Creating a robust conversation review (or QA) process for a remote team - Martin Kõiva, Qualitista
Location: Atlantic 1

Takeaway
Having a solid conversation review (or QA) process is the best thing you can do for you large and/or remote support team.

Description
Sales has coaching, engineering has code review, copywriting has the editorial process. What about customer support? Customer support has or at least should have conversation review. This a good idea no matter what – I believe in it to the degree of quitting my day job and building a company around this idea. This becomes even more important, if the team is remote. Think about it for a second – you have people working in various place, time zones. How are they going to develop, if there is no internal feedback loop? Customers give feedback on 10-15% of cases, but they cannot know what your internal goals or processes are supposed to be. I will give practical advice on setting up a robust conversation review (or QA) process, specifically for the remote setup. I talk about personal experience as well as best practices I have witnessed customers use for creating a conversation review process that benefits the individual agent, the team as well as the company as a whole.

Speaker Bio

I’m the founder of Qualitista, a conversation review tool for customer support team. Previously, I was head of customer support globally for Pipedrive. Based in Estonia, I’ve also lived in Germany and Portugal. Outside of work, I love old cars (join #x-cars on Slack!) , audiobooks and going on adventures with my Schnauzer puppy named Haiku – ideally combining all three.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Remote work - how to make it work - Agnes Abel, Typeform
Location: Atlantic 3

Takeaway

Remote work doesn’t mean you’ll always need to feel left out. Typeform’s Customer Success team makes it fun and efficient.

Description

My name is Agnes and I come from right across the border, Hungary. I joined Typeform in Barcelona as employee #8 back in 2013 ( we are slightly over 200 employees now).

I have worked in Barcelona for over 5 years now and have been working remotely since 2016.

Working remotely has not a bit decreased the level of fun I am having at Typeform. We have offices in Barcelona and San Francisco and 6 other fully remote team members. Our office based colleagues also take advantage of the flexible working policy and occasionally work from home or while travelling.

Being “remote friendly” encompasses everything we do, from business as usual operations through projects to team events.

In my workshop we’ll explore how it is all done at Typeform and in other remote teams – what are the tools to use, how to set up work and after-work activities so remotes don’t feel ‘remote’. I’ll also give you actionable tips on what you can do to make the most out of being a remote team member – if you are so lucky to be one :)

Speaker Bio

Remote member of the Customer Success team at Typeform. Has started her career in consulting at McKinsey. Moved to Portugal to follow her passion for music and play flute in a symphonic orchestra. Discovered Typeform in Barcelona and fell in love with conversational data collection. Works from her home and tries to stay away from the fridge.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Conversation Corner: Discuss Maintaining quality at scale OR Categorization of incoming customers' emails
Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

The first two topics up for discussion in Conversation Corner:

1. Maintaining quality as you scale (suggested by multiple people)
2. What is your experience working with categorization of incoming customers’ emails? How do you structure internally? (suggested by Valeria Kast)

Starting at 2:30pm

2:30 - 2:50 -- You are your team's quarterback - let's own it! - Kathy Oelbrandt, Showpad
Location: Mediterranean
Takeaway

A few tools you, as a manager, can use to get insights into your team members’ and team’s drive and how to empower it.

Description

You are your team’s quarterback. You have the honor to lead your team towards success, by motivating, engaging and believing in them. This is easier said than done: you need to be aware of the “what’s” first: what motivates them? What engages them? What drives them? With this talk, I’d like to give you some specific tools to get better insights into your team members and these “what’s”. The tools I’ll provide will help you to see the bigger picture and find a happy place for every team member at work. You are the game changer for your team’s success here, let’s own it!

Speaker Bio

Kathy is the team lead of the technical support engineers that are based in EMEA at Showpad. She is part of a kick-ass global team that excels in delivering an effortless support experience for B2B customers. In between leading the technical support engineers, helping our customers, meeting with the engineering and product team, she likes to free her mind while running and eating ice-cream.

2:30 - 2:50 -- Artificial Intelligence in Customer Service - What are the options and what is to come - Nuno Carneiro, Cleverly

Location: Baltic

Takeaway
A deep understanding of the current AI tools for customer service and how to prepare to make the most of them.

Description
The talk will present results of an extensive research about the uses of AI in customer service. It will be very practical, presenting several case studies of the different applications of AI. The second part of the talk will focus on the most recent developments of AI (post-chatbot technology) and explain how to prepare your team operations to take advantage of this change. Topics to cover: Overview of different applications of AI in customer service: Present what are the main automations used nowadays (triggers, categorization); Chatbots (w/ case study); Translation (w/ case study); Personalization (w/ case study); What is to come? Recent developments in AI/ what AI can already do and what it can’t; Deep learning Voice enabled interactions; AI as an assistant of customer service agents: more problem solving, less repeated work. How to prepare for the future? Preparing your operation to take the most of future applications of AI for customer service.

Speaker Bio

Nuno Carneiro is leading Product at Cleverly.ai, a startup building an artificial intelligence assistant for Customer Service teams. As an experienced data scientist with background in the fintech and e-commerce industries, he is now taking the lead in developing the future of Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service at Cleverly.

Starting at 3:00pm

3:00 - 3:20 -- Don't Just Close Tickets, Eliminate Them. Four Strategies To Minimize Support Load - Arun Basil Lal, WP Media (WP Rocket)
Location: Mediterranean

Takeaway
How to use your support experience to make your product smarter and intelligent so that the same issues does not repeat.

Description
As support professionals, we are often fatigued by answering similar questions, multiple times throughout the week. That is no fun! In this talk, I will share four killer strategies that delivered successful results and helped not just reduce support tickets, but often eliminate them completely. Thus keeping the support team sane and relatively small in size for a rapidly growing product. I will also share the secret sauce that made a WordPress plugin the category leader, even though there were other products before its time.

Speaker Bio

Arun is a WordPress developer who works on a handful of plugins. He primarily provides “Level 2” support at WP Rocket where he helps customers solve technical issues. His development background gives him a unique position in support where in addition to resolving issues, he helps the product grow smarter to predict points of failure and intelligently prevent them.

3:00 - 3:20 -- Internal Communication Cookbook: Three proven recipes to feed information to other departments - Magdalena Olszewska, Automattic
Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Improving in-company communication to build an efficient and successful support division.

Description
As Customer Support representatives, we dedicate a lot of time to communicating. However, in order to make lasting changes in our work environment, communication with internal stakeholders (team, division, developers, etc.) is just as important. Just like our diet needs a proper nutrient combination, communication needs to be balanced across the entire company. Let’s take a step back and see how we can take maximum advantage of how we communicate.

Speaker Bio

An empathetic creature who loves making people smile, associated with Customer Support the entire life. Currently a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, previously a Customer Relations Manager at UXPin and a teacher.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Designing self-service support content: Help your customers help themselves - Richard Ingram, Geckoboard
Location: Atlantic 1

Takeaway
How to apply editorial leadership and content design methods to improve your self-service support.

Description
Customers will always opt for the path of least resistance. Why wait for an agent’s response when you can self-serve immediately? It’s little wonder customers place such great value on intuitive, guided, and simple help centers. They won’t tolerate a jumble of predetermined questions and irrelevant information. They want the one right answer to their question and to leave as quickly as they arrived. So what’s the best way to deliver a great self-service support experience for your customers? It means making sure your support content consistently delivers accuracy and clarity, whilst drawing on your team’s collective knowledge. In this session, you’ll learn how to eable and empower non-writers to write effective technical content, maintain living resources, like pattern libraries and style guides and use content testing methods that went beyond heuristics and analytics.

Speaker Bio

Richard Ingram has over a decade’s experience in the field of digital product, content and UX. As a content strategist and information designer, he’s passionate about the role data science plays in designing content-rich experiences. Richard joined the Customer Success team at Geckoboard as a Content Developer to help revamp their self-service support content.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Not just free pizza! How to develop your Support teams culture - Seán Reid, HubSpot
Location: Atlantic 3

Takeaway
You will develop a strong team culture that spans multiple offices and helps build, support and retain your best talent

Description
Our attitude to the workplace has changed. We no longer look at work as “just a job”; we now want to know how an employer will invest in us, we want to know what their values are and do they align with ours. If we do not invest time creating an attractive team culture, we are missing out on recruiting and retaining the best talent out there. Culture, however, is more than free pizza. A strong culture program is one that is inclusive, creates a safe work environment, encourages team growth, and makes your team feel proud to be associated with you as an employer. If you do not take the time to set a culture program in place, you also run the risk of a toxic culture growing within your team which can do more damage to your brand for your customers as well as potential employees. During this session, Seán will guide you through how he developed a culture program within HubSpot’s EMEA Customer Success org, how it grew into other global offices, and how to grow out your own culture program.

Speaker Bio

Seán is a Senior Customer Success Manager in HubSpot and manages the culture program within it’s EMEA Customer Success org. Over the past two years his program has seen in growth in team NPS results, encouraged further career growth of team members and used as a method of attracting new talent.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Conversation Corner: Building influence inside your company OR Providing support when you're under-resourced
Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Topics up for discussion in this session of Conversation Corner:

1. Building influence inside your company (suggested by multiple people)
2. Providing support when you’re under-resourced (suggested by multiple people)

Starting at 3:30pm

3:30- 3:50 -- All Hands on Deck: Getting Everyone to Buy Into Whole Company Support - Kristi Thompson, Help Scout

Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Concrete tips based on hard-earned experience for getting everyone to buy into Whole Company Support

Description
We’ve all heard how valuable it can be for everyone in a company from the CEO to the engineers to participate in Whole Company Support, but how does this kind of thing work logistically, and how do you get everyone on board? I’ll share exactly how we got it up and running at Help Scout, what’s worked well for us and what hasn’t, and concrete tips for implementing it at your own company.

Speaker Bio

Kristi is a former elementary school teacher and has been working in customer support since 2015. She’s a Customer Champion and Culture Specialist at Help Scout. Her day-to-day includes caring for customers, overseeing Whole Company Support, and fostering a fun and inclusive work environment for her team. She loves helping people, checking things off to-do lists, and dog sitting.

Starting at 4:00pm

4:00 - 4:20 -- How to escape routine and level up at the same time - Irina Arutyunova, Wrike
Location: Meditrranean

Takeaway
Best practices on how to escape routine (and tickets) and grow in Support & how to bring the activities to your team.

Description
Sometimes our work can be monotonous and boring: we work with the ticket queue and, to be honest, the queue never ends. The more you work, the less you get unique and interesting cases that require an original solution. Over time, you catch yourself thinking “I have already seen this somewhere, this case is just like the one I had yesterday” more and more often. We believe that a change of activity is the best rest. You’ll see what we’re doing in Wrike to avoid the feeling of monotony, and how we can escape the ticket queue to evolve and grow both personally and professionally. You will find out how 40% of our team tried themselves as managers, why shuffle makes us happier, who are buddies, interns, experts, Tier 1.5 and champions, and how often each of these roles allows an agent to shift the attention to a different type of activity. You will see what steps we made to introduce this to the team, and how all these activities help agents in choosing a future path in the company.

Speaker Bio

I’m a 1 y.o. Wriker from Saint Petersburg branch, Help Center Operations expert and Product Champion. You’ll find out what this means if you join me and listen to my presentation :)

4:00 - 4:45 -- What would a punk rock version of CX look and feel like? - Adrian Swinscoe

Location: Baltic

Takeaway
Practical takeaways and motivation to help participants start to create their own punk version of customer experience.

Description
Emerging in the 1970s, prog rock was often accused of being overly technical, too elaborate, not focused on its audience and often in danger of disappearing up it’s own a***. One could argue that the service and experience space is starting to exhibit some of the same characteristics namely it’s in danger of becoming overly technical, benchmarked, frameworked, measured, codified, certified, specialised and functionalised etc etc. Punk exploded out of the back of prog rock with it’s democratic, DIY, back to basics approach that inspired both a cultural and musical movement and change in mindset. It dared to be different and was OK with the fact that not everyone liked that. So, is it time to consider what a punk rock version of CX would look and feel like, particularly given that many reports suggest that around 70% of customer experience projects fail to deliver on their promises? If so, what would that look and feel like?

Speaker Bio

Adrian Swinscoe is a best-selling author (How To Wow), Forbes contributor, independent advisor and aspirant CX Punk. He’s been growing and helping develop a vast range of customer-focused businesses for over 20 years and describes himself as a lover of simplicity and an advocate of the human touch with a bit of really useful technology thrown in.

4:00 - 4:45 -- A Data Driven approach towards Customer Support - Manoj Paulraj, Freshworks
Location: Atlantic 1

Takeaway
Use historical data to prepare for the future (Hiring) and provide personalized customer experience.

Description
Hiring the right people is key to the foundation of your business and the impact it has over your customer’s experience. And this becomes all the more crucial when hiring for customer-facing teams. Over the years, Manoj has seen first hand how teams struggle with hiring and how it has affected customer relations. In his talk, Manoj debunks the idea that hiring happens only when there is a resource crunch. Drawing from his experience, he will talk about how you should take a data-backed approach in hiring people resources for customer support? what metrics and data points to consider when hiring for support? how to use data to proactively identify customer needs at various points in their journey?

Speaker Bio

Manoj has been with Freshdesk’s support team for five years. He now manages a team of 30 super enthusiastic customer champions. He is a data enthusiast and his insights have helped forecast and scale the team from 5 to 85 members. His forecasting model has been adopted across different support teams at Freshworks. Manoj enjoys barbecuing and slips away for a ride in his motorcycle when it rains.

4:00 - 4:45 -- Bursting up! Rapid-Scaling Customer Support - Sahra Santosha, Babylist
Location: Atlantic 3

Takeaway
Scaling a support team quickly is hard. This talk will focus on strategy to help you 10x quickly without going insane.

Description
It’s exciting when your company’s product catches on. Success can be sudden. Marketing and product get to celebrate – but support now needs to grow to take care of all these new users. How do you work through the rapidly growing backlog? How do you hire and train without pulling needed resources out of the queue? How can you help new team members get useful quickly? How do you find and fix gaps in process and knowledge quickly? How do you keep the existing team from feeling overwhelmed? Sahra has rapid scaled teams more than once and learned a ton about how to 10x quickly without going insane.

Speaker Bio

Sahra Santosha is passionate about customer support, team culture, and puppies. She has worked with a number of high-growth startups including GitHub, Earnest, and is currently honored to be serving the support team at Babylist.

4:00 - 4:45 -- Conversation Corner: Working remotely in support
Location: Pacific Ballroom, Help Scout’s Conversation Lounge Area

Topic up for discussion in this session of Conversation Corner:

Working remotely in support (suggested by multiple people)

Color Key

Talks
Talks are shown in grey in the schedule below. Talks are 20 minutes and will be video recorded. Talks will take place in the Mediterranean and Baltic rooms.
Workshops
Workshops are shown in blue below. Workshops are interactive and 45 minutes long. Workshops will take place in Atlantic 1 and Atlantic 3.
Discussion Groups
Discussion groups are attendee-organized for a chance to talk to others at Expo about a topic that may not be represented in one of the sessions or that you simply want to discuss with others. Discussion groups will be up to 45-60 minutes long. Topics will be announced at Expo.

Location: Pacific ballroom, the room with coffee :D.

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