Hey everyone! I’m Rucheli, and I’ve recently joined the ranks of Support Driven’s part-time team to help out with all things Career Development. With Expo just six weeks away (😱), I’m focused pretty exclusively on all of the awesome resources we have coming your way to help you take the next (or first!) step in your Support career. Things like the Career Fair, the Career Unconference sessions, and resume reviews by hiring managers… it’s going to be great!

If we’re being real though, the biggest difference-maker in your career isn’t the training you get or the applications you submit; it’s having support, encouragement, mentorship, and the knowledge that you belong here.

One of the things I’ve always loved about the Support Driven community is that everyone is welcome. That’s not an accident. We’ve consciously worked on creating an inclusive environment for people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Between our community (and event) Code of Conduct, our speaker diversity program called Represent, and our ongoing partnerships with organizations like PDX Women in Tech, we’re always working to make sure that you feel like you truly belong here. Because you do.

To that end, I’m super excited about some of the awesome things we’ve got planned for the Support Driven Expo this year! To name just a few:

  • Ally Skills Workshop with folks from Airbnb
  • Unconference sessions for women, LGBTQ, and PoC groups
  • Diversity scholarships through various nonprofits and meetups
  • Accommodations for ADA, nursing mothers, working parents, and special dietary needs

There are more partnerships in the works, and we’re always exploring new ways to make Support Driven in general, and the SD Expo in particular, a place that everyone feels comfortable. Have questions or ideas? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at rucheli@supportdriven.com

I’ll see you in Portland!
Rucheli Berry

 

Six weeks until Support Driven Expo — get your ticket today!

Career Unconference

Support Driven is dedicated to support as a career. Expo is an opportunity to set aside time and space to learn, share ideas with others in the support industry, and take the next (or first!) step in your Customer Support career. We’re excited to offer a career unconference this year, with dedicated sessions on the schedule on themes like:

  • Creating a new career in support
  • Women working in the support world
  • Getting started in support management
  • Being a person of color in tech
  • Building and leading support organizations
  • Being LGBTQ in the field of support

Stop by the unconference to join a discussion, or start your own!

Who will be there?

Here’s a sampling of some of the companies and organizations who will be at Support Driven Expo in Portland June 21-22.

ActBlue

Airbnb

Atlassian (Statuspage)

Automattic

Clubhouse Software

Freshdesk

Geckoboard

GitHub

Guru

Help Scout

Heroku

HubSpot

Illuminate Education

Intercom

Lucid Meetings

Magoosh

MailChimp

Nerd Fitness

Olark

PartnerHero

PDX Women in Tech

Portland State University

PlanGrid

ScopeAI

Community Meetups

We’re excited to announce another meetup happening around Expo! Portland WordPress Meetup is joining forces with Support Driven to host a panel on Blogging for Professional Development. On Saturday June 23 at 1:00pm, the Portland WordPress Community will be welcoming support pros Jessica Malnik, Kathryn Presner, and Andrew Spittle from Support Driven Expo to talk about personal blogs and their impact on career development. For more details and to RSVP, check out the meetup announcement.

It’s not too late to organize a community meetup in conjunction with Expo — if you have an idea for a gathering, please suggest it here.

A sampling of sessions at Expo

Here’s your weekly dose of speaker sessions to look forward to at the Support Driven Expo on June 21 and 22 🙂.

Sandeep Kaur
Hackerrank

Ways to strike a chord between Support and Engineering
I’ll be talking about all the actual stuff that we do at Kayako to make Support <> Engineering work together. Both teams have certain expectations from each other and there needs to be middle ground where they can both meet and understand each other, even though they probably talk completely different languages (read as technical and not so technical.)

Emily Bradley
MailChimp

The Evolution of Voice and Tone in MailChimp’s Knowledge Base
Defining your voice and tone is one thing. Implementing it is another; especially when it comes to support content intended to serve a wide variety of users.

At MailChimp, we’re always iterating on our Knowledge Base content. We strive to speak to our users effectively, while staying true to our brand. It can be a tricky balance, but we’ve learned a few things along the way.

We’ll tell you about our voice and tone journey, share successful strategies, and offer some tips you can use to improve and evolve your own support documentation.

Antonio King
Shinesty

CSAT: It’s almost dead
What is customer effort? What’s the difference between CSAT, CES and NPS? If you’ve ever had these questions, fear not! Antonio will walk you through understanding the pillars of customer effort, and how you can implement low effort strategies into your support structure to improve customer experience.

Kathryn Presner
Automattic

Don’t Fear the Forums: Lessons from the WordPress support community
Let’s face it, supporting your products in public can be nerve-wracking – forum replies are out there for anyone to see, forever! But helping a single user in a public arena has the potential to help a hundred others, making forums a valuable support avenue like no other.

As a helper in WordPress support forums for over seven years, I’ve witnessed how public support fosters a community of long-term volunteers, leverages the collective knowledge of our user base, and provides opportunities to educate and promote best practices.

In this session, I’ll share some of what we’ve done to foster communities of helpers in both the WordPress.org open-source software arena, and the WordPress.com forums. We’ll also look at how to handle challenging situations in public support, including how to correct your own mistakes, defuse disagreements, deal with major bugs, and manage complaints.

How we rewrote 426 knowledge base articles in 60 days
In the summer of 2017, Freshdesk went through a major UI revamp. As soon as we started, we realized that we had a marathon task ahead of us. Our knowledge base had acquired a fair amount of debt, with a lot of issues on our ‘We’ll Get To It Later’ list. We didn’t anticipate it when we started our knowledge base, but it meant that all the articles we wrote over 7 years had to be re-organized, re-written, and re-published. With careful planning, our team completely refreshed our knowledge base of 427 articles in 60 days. In this session, we’d like to share with you our future-proof plan to update and organize your knowledge base to best serve your team and your customers.

Drive Your Team’s Success by Being an Intrapreneur
Escape the monotony and flourish in a project hand picked by you! In this talk, we’ll discuss how being an intrapreneur can further your career, help your organization, and make you happy. Learn how to identify the need for a specific project within your organization and how to convince others that it’s worth pursuing.

Tools for Distributed Support Teams
Support teams at technical product companies have a number of communication and workflow challenges. Distributed teams – working across multiple geographic locations and spread across time zones – see these challenges multiplied and magnified. Drawing from the experience of a handful of distributed Support teams, we will look at a few ways teams can use, integrate, and build tools to improve their work lives.

Topics include:
– Tools for team communication
– Using metrics to keep teams aligned and focused
– Using your tools’ APIs to increase functionality and meet your team’s specific needs

Are you getting excited yet? Grab your Expo tickets, and we’ll see you in Portland June 21-22!

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