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The Support Helpdesk
49 minutes | Sep 5, 2019
Episode 5 - Support and Product Teams Harmonizing
Bill and Mercer are joined by Jeff Vincent of Appcues to talk about everybody’s favorite topic: how to improve dialogues between support and product teams.Hosts: Bill Bounds (billbounds.com) and Mercer Smith (mercenator, everywhere)Guest Exert: Jeff Vincent (@jeffvincent) jerf.spaceMusic by Flavio MangioneRecap Notes:- Osmosis: get on the level of product, speak the same language and ask them to speak your language.- Something we’re always trying to do better at: everyone has to work in support of a really great customer experience. It’s not something that you can check off.- Product teams and support teams need to be talking about “little niggles” as well as the really big stuff. Find balance in what you are building, and once you have that understanding, then you’re able to have a deeper conversation- Going fast versus going right—you have to have the right people in the room.- How do we balance using the customer’s language versus making a digestible message for product? PM seeks out individual support people’s perspectives—what’s the problem driving the issue? LEGIT.- Support should feel comfortable and heard in bringing up those issues. Just ignoring them forces you to swallow your frustrations. Any form works to send the data to product just send it.- How can support send the information to make story telling better and easier for product: direct response to the existing roadmap. If you’re making a case for something, say what business metrics it’s going to take away from, and what it’s going to add to.- Bill would automatically generate a report that shows stories to the product team. After there’s a product release, do a support retro (this is what it generated, this is what it looks like, no judgement).- Working one-on-one with customers, you can lose perspective of the larger product impact. For every one that gets in touch with you, there will be plenty that don’t, but it’s still important to understand contextually how TRULY important it is.- Report: here are the critical areas, and the problem workflows that customrs use everyday. Here are some of the issues that come up ALL The time. Here are a few links to recent conversations about that area.- Don’t be afraid to ask why something is the way that it is or if something is hard to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for something just for the sake of asking.
37 minutes | Aug 27, 2019
Episode 4 - Showing Support's Value
Bill and Mercer are joined by Doug Akers of Smile.io to talk about how to best show your support team’s value to the rest of the organization.Guest Expert: Doug Akers (@spiderdoodle42 on twitter and “Doug Akers” on LinkedIn)Guest Caller: Alanna Feinsod (@alannafeinsod)Music by Flavio Mangione.Recap Notes:- Harvest is a saas company, time tracking for medium to large sized businesses. Primary customers: agencies (creative), lawyers to landscapers.- Support is sole voice as a product-led company, so giving insights into the key conversations.- Share the why behind how the information is important.- Speak the language so that the people you’re talking to care about and understand the situation.- Narrow it down even further: for a few minutes, convey information about the overall health of the team. After that, pick a specific team that you need to speak to and compel, and use the rest of your time for that. Relate it back to something another team is working on.- It’s important to understand WHY you are trying to lift your profile and to what end. - Lean on business strategy as your first direction, and then tease out from there.- Try to see if there are ways that you can make it a bit more collaborative across teams—if you shine light on what you’re working on, other teams that might have cross over will be able to reach out and help too.- How do you handle when stuff gets put on the backburner and you have to fess up?Remain on taskDetermine what capacity you need to be at and hire for it.Talk about why it got put on the back burner and what you could shift in the future. Frame is as a lesson and share that lesson.ALWAYS present your basic numbers so people DO have an ongoing baseline.
41 minutes | Aug 20, 2019
Episode 3 - Outsourcing Tier 1 Tickets
Bill and Mercer are joined by Jim Coe, formerly of The Yeomen, and Conor Pendergrast from Expensify to talk about how to consider your goals and weigh your options when exploring outsourced support.Guest experts: Jim Coe (jamespcoe.com) Conor Pendergrast (conorpendergrast.com)Music by Flavio Mangione
35 minutes | Aug 13, 2019
Episode 2 - Making the Most of 1:1s
Bill is joined by Jon McCartie from Heroku and Sarah Bellamy, an executive coach, to talk about how to make the most of meetings with your manager especially when everything is “ok”.Guest experts: Jon McCartie (@jmccartie) Sarah Bellamy (@sarahrichie)Music by Flavio Mangione
59 minutes | Aug 5, 2019
Episode 1 - To Round Robin or Not?
Bill and Mercer are joined by Ben McCormack from Full Story to talk about round robin queue management and other possible alternatives.Guest Expert: Ben McCormack (@benmccormack), Director of Support at Full Story.Caller: John Cason (@johncason)“Why You Should optimize Customer Support for Queue-Based Performance” by Ben McCormack
25 minutes | Jul 17, 2019
The Intro Episode!
Get to know Bill and Mercer, who briefly explain what this podcast is all about: helping others with their support challenges. From there they cover vulnerability and some of the lessons learned during their careers.Music by Flavio Mangione
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