SCHEDULE: DAY ONE

THURSDAY JUNE 21, 2018

For easy access on mobile, the Support Driven Expo schedule is available via the Attendify app. Download Attendify for free from your app store, set up a profile, search for “Support Driven Expo” to find the event, then click “Join.”

Main Room

Main Arena at Viking Pavilion

Talk Room A

Auxiliary arena with stage

Talk Room B

Large classroom marked with red sign by the door.

Workshop A

Classroom marked with orange sign by the door.

Workshop B

Classroom marked with blue sign by the door.

Workshop C

Classroom marked with green sign by the door.

Workshop D

Classroom marked with yellow sign by the door.

Workshop E

Classroom marked with purple sign by the door.

8:00 to 8:45am

Registration

Come to the registration table to check in and pick up your wristband. Enjoy free coffee, fresh water, and the great company of Support Driven community.

Location: Main Room

8:30 to 8:50am

Welcome Orientation

Do you have Expo questions? Want to get familiar with the space? Meet at 8:30am at the Support Driven Table where our friends from Guru will be available to answer your questions and give you a tour of the venue. The orientation will end in Talk Room A for opening remarks.

8:50 to 8:55am

Opening Remarks - Andrea Badgley, Support Driven

Location: Talk Room A

Starting at 9:00am

9:00 - 9:20 -- Talk to me: Nonviolent Communication for Support Pros - Sarah Betts, Olark

Location: Talk Room A (Stage)

Takeaway
Understand the main steps of a non-violent communication (NVC) interaction. Apply NVC to a support interaction, even when most of that conversation happens in your own head.

Description
Nonviolent communication was developed as a means to resolve conflict in particularly intense situations. It’s also a wonderful way to keep your cool and ensure everyone in conversation feels heard and empowered. We’ll learn the basic principles of NVC and how to use them with customers and coworkers.

Speaker Bio

Sarah is a Feels Herder at Olark. She loves learning all about communication and how to make it more pleasant for everyone.

9:00 - 9:20 -- Forget Hello World: technical skills and how to learn them - Lisa Hunt, Geckoboard

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Resources for learning new technical skills and ideas on how to apply them to your work.

Description
Working in support, you probably do a lot of troubleshooting. If you’d like to take your technical skills a bit deeper but don’t know where to start, this talk is for you.

I’m not on the Geckoboard development team but I know how to poke around in our code base, send data to our API, automate tasks within Google Sheets with Apps Script and use Chrome’s developer tools to troubleshoot an issue.
I’ll take you through some of the ways you can use a bit of coding knowledge to level up your game and show you that it’s not as scary as you think.

Speaker Bio

Lisa is a Customer Success Champion for Geckoboard and former UK Customer Support Engineer for Moz. She’s also a part-time computer science student, 1/5 of the Support Breakfast podcast and organiser of London support events. In her sparse free time, she likes to play board games & RPGs, read books of all kinds and marathon shows on Netflix.

9:00 - 12:00 -- Being a Stronger Ally - Meg Brennan and Trisha Todman, Airbnb

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
Learn the ways you can use your influence to create a safe, inclusive environment in your workplace and community.

Description
This interactive workshop created by Valerie Aurora explores the ways that people can use their influence to challenge systemic oppression in their workplaces and communities.

Utilizing small group discussions about real-life scenarios, this peer-led workshop provides participants with the language and skills necessary to interrupt bias and challenge systemic oppression in the workplace.  This workshop is for anyone interested in creating a safe, inclusive space, regardless of how they identify. Prior Unconscious Bias training is strongly encouraged, but not required.

Why should you sign up?

The workshop works best when people with a wide variety of backgrounds attend and share their wisdom and expertise. Most of the workshop consists of small group discussions of real-world scenarios. Before the discussions start, we will go over the discussion guidelines, aimed at giving everyone a fair chance to be heard. We encourage you to participate in the workshop, whether you want to learn ally skills or share your experience. If you are interested in learning how privilege can be used to advocate for others in your company, or in your daily lives, consider attending on June 21st.

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Speaker Bio

Trisha is the co-founder and leader of Airbnb’s Portland Belonging, a consortium of local Employee Resource group leaders, aimed at strengthening the impact and efficacy of diversity initiatives at her company and in her local community. When she’s not supporting the Airbnb for Work team, she leads Art Therapy groups in Portland, and volunteers with various youth organizations. She’s passionate about cultivating empathy, especially when it comes to intersectionality and allyship.

Meg Brennan is the former coordinator of AirPride and current coordinator for Women@, two of the largest Employee Resource Groups at Airbnb’s Portland office. She has also been a project manager for Airbnb’s participation in the Portland Pride Parade from 2015-2017. Her work with ERGs focuses on the health of the internal community, empowering members to lead initiatives, and encouraging intersectionality among groups. As of 2018, she is the Diversity Ambassador with the Portland team, tackling issues of diversity and belonging within Airbnb.

9:00 - 9:45 -- 5 Tips to Increase Employee Participation in Your Community - Lana Lee, Zuora

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
Tools and strategies that will help thaw employee inactivity and turn your community into one that is vibrant and have users wanting more.

Description
You know the saying “Build it. They will they come.” How true is this for online support communities where internal teams hold a wealth of product knowledge, but they aren’t sharing it with your community users? If your users aren’t getting the answers they need from the Community, your Community will become a ghost town.

In this interactive workshop, Zuora Community Manager Lana Lee will share strategies that motivated Zuora employees how to leverage the Community for their teams while, at the same time, helping customers with their questions.

Speaker Bio

Lana Lee graduated from UC Berkeley in civil engineering and then attended USC – receiving music (oboe performance) and masters (civil engineering) degrees. For 15 years, she worked as a civil and structural engineer in the mining and gas industry, but in 2012 she moved into freelance web design, social media management and community specialist before becoming the Zuora Community Manager. She loves building communities through Meetup and Facebook, playing oboe and English Horn, and volunteering her web and social media skills for non-profits like Mensa, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra and Life.Church Online.

9:00 - 9:45 -- Finding the right data to make the product team take action - Christopher Martinez, Idiomatic, Inc.

Location: Workshop Room C

Takeaway
At least one experience constructing an argument that can actually convince the Product team to take action. Participants can refer back to example in day-to-day work to make more convincing voice of customer arguments.

Description
Most customer support teams struggle to communicate actionable insights to product. Too often this means product dismisses the recommendations as anecdotal or biased, wasting the gold mine of customer feedback that support holds.

This interactive workshop will have participants walk through a slightly altered version of a real-life example of how a support leader was able to use their data to answer Product’s questions, overcome Product’s objections, and actually influence the roadmap to improve the customer experience around a company’s top customer pain point.

Participants will be tasked with uncovering the right mix of quantitative (how many customers) and qualitative (what’s the specific problem) support data to consistently convince product using the voice of customer.

Speaker Bio

Chris is the Founder of Idiomatic (www.idiomatic.io), a company that uses artificial intelligence to help customer support teams uncover the voice of customer. Among others he has partnered with the customer support leaders at Slack, Smugmug, Eventbrite, and Intercom. By mining textual data to automatically understand and categorize customer conversations at scale, Idiomatic lets companies systematically know what their customers are saying and how they can improve.

Prior to Idiomatic, Chris founded and ran data for Glow (www.glowing.com), a leading publisher of mobile health apps for women. Glow was spun out of HVF, Max Levchin’s (a co-founder of PayPal) startup studio, where Chris was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Previously, Chris spent many years camped at Stanford, racking up a BA in Math & Computer Science from Stanford University, a JD from Stanford Law School, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

9:00 - 9:45 -- Handling Data for Forecasting in a Startup - Anant Pai, Grizzly Coast Media

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaway
No longer let a spreadsheet of raw data intimidate you when trying to make a forecast.

Description
Startups work with limited data to try and predict important future needs. It’s rare to have the luxury of a team dedicated to engineering software for your forecasting needs or the budget to buy software that will do this for you. We will work together to learn some simple ideas that will help you understand how to look and work with data correctly in order to make forecasts on a tight budget and limited software.

Bring to the Workshop
Laptop

Speaker Bio

I’m a Canadian enjoying the startup life in Vancouver. I’ve worked in Client Success and Customer Service my whole career, and I would love to share some of what i’ve learned with the wonderful Support Driven Community.

9:00 - 10:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 9:30am

9:30 - 9:50 -- How To Automate AND Sound Like a Human - Maia Olson, TextExpander

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Tips on automating your support replies within your help desk, with a minimum of time spent typing, while having your support team sound true to themselves, using help desk macros and TextExpander.

Description
You’re responding to customers left and right, maybe in multiple channels, through multiple apps. But are you being efficient about it? Using your help desk macros? Giving accurate information every time? Is the whole team?
Get through the “work” of talking with customers with a little automation, giving yourself more time to think about the best solution to their problem. Learn how to store up your common and custom responses for more thoughtful support.

Speaker Bio

Maia Olson has worked with TextExpander for the last 8 years to spread the joys of quality productivity software. Over that time she has worn many hats, including those of customer support, technical writing, marketing and PR.

She spends her summers volunteering at App Camp For Girls, a summer camp geared to inspire girls to join the tech industry by having female role models teach them to make iPhone apps. Sometimes she goes hiking.

9:30 - 9:50 -- Ways to strike chord between Support and Engineering - Sandeep Kaur, Hackerrank

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Understand the tools support can use to deliver relevant information to Engineers so that they can act and fix things quickly, how to best organise reported issues to be passed onto engineers, and benefits of training your engineers on using the overall product that they make.

Description
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.)

Speaker Bio

I’m a Senior Customer Support Engineer at Hackerrank. I write blogs and speak at conferences about Customer Support. In the past I have also managed projects and mentored my colleagues. I’m a big advocate of contributing back to the Support community through various volunteer activities.

Starting at 10:00am

10:00 - 10:20 -- Cool in a Crisis: Preparing for and learning from an outage - Andrea Bishop, Automattic/WordPress.com VIP

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
You’re only as good as your hiring, onboarding, planning, rehearsals, iterations, and post mortems for outage incidents.

Description
Managing enterprise WordPress installations on the web is exhilarating, especially when you get to say you helped USAToday, Facebook, TechCrunch, Microsoft, or the Dow Jones at the end of the day. When things go wrong though, they can go really wrong quickly. Downtime means lost revenue, upset shareholders, and puts contracts in jeopardy.

How do you stay calm during something like that? What do you say to your customers? How do you get the job done when everything around you is on fire?

Learn how WordPress.com VIP has iterated on their processes so the fires are easier to put out and the same ones don’t happen anymore.

Speaker Bio

Andrea began doing software support, training, television, website development, writing software manuals, and speaking at trade shows in 2001 for a quilt design software company. In 2008, they outgrew their chosen CMS and switched over to WordPress. After a decade of support, she made the move to the WordPress.com support team where she helped lay the foundation for supporting higher-tiered customers with their domains and websites over live chat. She now leads and conducts hiring for the VIP Support team of Enterprise Happiness Engineers, responsible for supporting some of the busiest and largest WordPress installations in the world.

10:00 - 10:20 -- Drive Your Team's Success by Being an Intrapreneur, Cynthia R. Avila, Idealist.org

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Attendees will walk away with clear steps of how to become a Support intrapreneur.

Description
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.

Speaker Bio

Cynthia has worked in customer service and operations in the luxury jewelry industry for 10+ years and in support for the nonprofit sector for 1.5 years. She combines both sector’s experiences to help create a seamless interaction with the people she has the pleasure of helping.

10:00 - 10:45 -- Quality Assurance: Creating a framework that scales - Elizabeth Piñon, ipsy

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
I want attendees to feel they can execute a QA plan at any level of scale. They will leave with a framework for getting set up, and an understanding of how QA will drive improvements for their team.

Description
Have you invested in Quality Assurance? Are you managing QA, but you cannot devote enough time? I would love to walk you through our learnings from creating and executing a Quality Assurance plan that has scaled with us 10x throughout the past 3-4 years.

Hot topics to explore:
– QA Setup; rubric, data collection, and coaching method.
– Building buy in; how to ensure the team prioritizes quality of quantity.
– Reporting; how to communicate quality with data internally and cross functionally.

Speaker Bio

I’m an energetic support professional living in Argentina. I work remotely for ipsy — where I have been for the past 6 years. I’ve worn many hats; from the startup days and frontline Customer Support work, to QA, to Operations and then Customer Support Manager. A mentor once donned me “Eli: Special Projects”. I liked the way that sounded as it encapsulates my resourceful, can do attitude!

10:00 - 10:45 -- Standardize your Level of Support: Finding your support voice - Adrian Orozco, PlanGrid

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
There are principals of communication that support agents should use as a guide when dealing with customers. These principles are learnable and always evolving. My hope is that by understanding the 3 Parts that make up a stellar support agent, you can more easily develop a chat track through which you can guide your customers to improve outcomes.

Description
There are three parts that make up a stellar Support Agent. The Technician, The Artist, and the Therapist. I’d like to talk about these three parts and how they tie into developing a “chat track” to Standardize the level of support delivered, Avoid misdirection, Improve support outcomes, and as importantly, Avoid “chat fatigue”. A sample:

The Technician: We’ve chosen a career that requires quite a bit of intellectual agility to work with different technology, both internal and external. Knowing where and how to find answers is more important than knowing the actual answer. Knowing the in’s and out’s of the product is a must. Lack of technical know how will impede creativity in developing your Chat Track.

Once you have the technician in your back pocket, only then can you develop the artist. An artist without the technician has zero credibility and will eventually fall by the wayside.

Pre-Workshop Tasks
Each attendee should fill out the following survey: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp Please send adrian@plangrid.com your 4 Letter Result without doing too much extra research.

Speaker Bio

I am Support Agent for the raddest company. An avid fan of communication theory and technique and also a professional headshot photographer. Honorable mention, I’m a hobbyist woodworker and dad to two wonderful daughters.

10:00 - 10:45 -- The Insiders Guide To Increasing CSAT Scores by Creating a Training Workbook - Mark Bangerter, ClickFunnels

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaway
The #1 Guide to Creating Training Workbooks for Yourself and Your Team.

Description
In December 2017, I created a training workbook for our team leads. It outlined everything that we needed to focus on and implement within our support organization. Little did I know that because of this, our CSAT scores would increase 5% within one month.

Pre-Workshop Tasks
Read the book that you plan on creating your workbook on.

Bring to the Workshop
Notepad, pen, the book that you wish to use to create your own workbook for your teams, computer (optional)

Speaker Bio

Mark Bangerter is the Director of Customer Experience and Education at ClickFunnels. He has been with ClickFunnels for over three years. Prior to life at ClickFunnels, he worked as a project manager for a small agency to create and launch new products on a regular basis. In his free time Mark enjoys being with his wife and three children, volunteering with his church, talking about funnels, reading Jim Butcher or Brandon Sanderson novels, and watching Arrested Development or the Office.

10:00 - 11:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 10:30am

10:30 - 10:50 -- The art of difficult conversations - Bharghavi Annan, Freshdesk by Freshworks

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
How to say no to customers.

Description
As someone on the support team, we all know that we’re here to help customers. But, what about certain situations when you can’t? A feature that’s not going to be built, an outage or a bug. There is sometimes no way to prevent a mishap from happening. However, you can be better prepared for a potential mishap with these tips that we’ve collected over the years. These tips can help you handle difficult conversations with customers better. We’ll also be offering bonus tips on how to steer difficult conversations with your team because it’s a happy agent that makes a happy customer!

Speaker Bio

With over 6 years of support experience, Bharghavi knows the art of delivering exceptional customer service. She is currently working as the Regional Support Lead in Freshworks. Her strong leadership qualities help her manage the team to work efficiently and in harmony. She is an expert in juggling between multiple tasks and wears many different hats. Her most favourite one being a mother of a naughty 3 year old.

Her in-depth knowledge of the product that makes her a class apart in problem-solving and giving the best solutions to clients. Her forte is implementing Customer Support workflows and processes for e-commerce and SaaS businesses. She also takes care of training the new members in the team many of whom are first timers in customer support. She plants the seed of knowledge and with encouragement and right guidance she creates careers for many budding Customer Support champions.

Starting at 11:00am

11:00 - 11:20 -- How we rewrote 426 knowledge base articles in 60 days - Sumana Srikanthan, Freshdesk by Freshworks

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
You can future-proof your knowledge base with a little bit of planning.

Description
In the summer of 2017, Freshworks 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.

Speaker Bio

With over three years of experience in support and managing a few of Freshworks’ most important accounts, Sumana has personally worked on the largest restructuring of the helpdesk’s entire knowledge base.

When she’s not helping customers, she can be found spending her time teaching underprivileged children.

11:00 - 11:45 -- I'm sorry, can you repeat the question? Getting to the bottom of what the customer is really asking - Pam Kocke, Automattic

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
Strategies for figuring out what a customer is really asking so their problem can be solved quickly.

Description
As support professionals, we field hundreds of questions a week from our customers. Sometimes they’re straightforward, but sometimes, they’re…not. And sometimes it’s the “straightforward” ones that give you the most trouble.

How many times have you confidently typed out an answer, only to look at the user’s site, and realized you just answered the wrong question? Or read a ticket fifteen times, but still couldn’t figure out what in the world the user was asking?

In this talk, I’ll discuss strategies for getting to the bottom of what a customer is really asking to make you more efficient and your customers happier.

Speaker Bio

New Orleans resident Pam Kocke works for Automattic on the team responsible for hiring Happiness Engineers. She started blogging over a dozen years ago while training for her first marathon. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, photography, and blogging at pyjammy.blog about her identical triplet sons.

11:00 - 11:45 -- Getting on stage - Kathy Lee, Bonneville Power Administration

Location: Workshop Room C

Takeaway
More knowledge and confidence around public speaking.

Description
Want to improve your public speaking skills? Don’t know where to start? Come to this presentation and we will walk through everything from picking a topic, to writing a proposal, to writing and delivering a talk.

Speaker Bio

Kathy Lee has been a windows software developer for over 15 years. She has spoken at OSCON and Puppet Conference as well as local PDX women in technology events.

11:00 - 11:45 -- How to Take Care of Each Other: Supporting Support Teams - Abbey Fox, Intercom

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
Explore this question and provide tangible solutions to cope with the stresses & challenges of high stress jobs.

Description
We know that burnout and empathy fatigue run rampant in tech and customer support. We know that there are limits to self care. We know that we live busy, full, multi-tasking lives. So, as managers, how do we take care of our teams and ourselves?

This presentation seeks to explore this question and provide tangible solutions to cope with the stresses & challenges of high stress jobs.

Speaker Bio

Abbey Fox is currently an Associate Manager of Customer Support at Intercom in Chicago. She previously worked as the Community Development Manager at another Chicago startup, Pear, for 3 years. Prior to that, she worked in social justice nonprofits and holds a M.A. in Gender Studies from DePaul. She’s also a new teacher of meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage where she has been practicing for the past five years. She believes fiercely in intersectionality, compassion, and making the world a better place.

11:00 - 11:45 -- Craft your own incident response plan for when things go wrong - Shannon Winter & Jake Bartlett, Statuspage

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaway
Attendees will walk away with time-saving templates and a personalized incident response plan to bring back to their team.

Description
Even the best services face some downtime — it’s an inevitable part of building, shipping, and running cloud services. Being prepared before sh*t hits the fan is key to speedy resolution and maintaining user trust and loyalty.

But how do you prepare your team to resolve issues quickly while keeping customers and other stakeholders in the loop? Throughout this workshop you will learn our top tips and tricks for incident response, from initial alert, up to post-incident review. You will come away with time-saving templates and a personalized incident response/communication plan to bring back to your team.

What to expect:
* Best practices for internal and external incident communication (including communication templates that save time when it matters most)
* How to create incident roles and responsibilities to ensure the right people are involved at the right times
* How to run a seamless (and blameless) post-incident review (PIR) so your team is always learning and improving for next time
* How to use incident values as a north star for decision making during downtime

Speaker Bios

Shannon is a Product Marketing Manager for Statuspage and Chair of the Atlassian Bay Area Foundation Council. When she isn’t Atlassian-ing, you can find her trekking to food-inspired travel destinations or snuggling with her kitten, @arugulathecat.

Jake is obsessed with all things “customer experience”. He’s been running the Statuspage support team for over 2 years and when he’s not working, he loves playing music, biking, and camping along the California coast in his Honda Element.

11:00 - 12:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 11:30am

11:30 - 11:50 -- Getting Results With Data When You Don't Love It - Jessica Malnik, Dynamite Circle

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaways
1. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
2. How to use the 80:20 principle to determine what KPIs to track and make building your reports each week/month/quarter a lot less stressful.
3. How to tell a story with data and use those insights to improve customer experience and build credibility in your organization.

Description
Most of us know that we should be tracking core metrics for our support teams. The reports that we send our boss and C-level execs need to be concise and show how what we’re doing ties back to key business goals.

Spending time in spreadsheets and working with data can be intimidating, especially since most of us don’t have any formal analytics or data science training. For example, knowing what’s an actionable v. a vanity metric, working across other departments to get the data you need and building concise reports that tell a story that people in your org actually want to read.

Building reports is one of the most important things you can do to demonstrate your value and move up in your org and in your career in general. I made a lot of mistakes when I was first getting started. I want to open up and share what I’ve learned with everyone at SDX so they can hopefully avoid the mistakes that I made early on in my career.

Speaker Bio

Jessica is Community Manager of “the DC”, aka Dynamite Circle, a community of 1200+ location-independent entrepreneurs, where she manages a mix of online forums and offline events. Prior to that, she worked at Bigcommerce, where she scaled the community team and tripled ideal member participation in the customer support forum within 10 months.

Her writing on community and customer support been featured on: The Next Web, Buffer, Helpscout, Groove HQ, Convince and Convert, Feverbee, CMX, PR Daily, Spin Sucks, SocialFresh and MSN UK, among others.

11:30 - 11:50 -- The Evolution of Voice and Tone in MailChimp's Knowledge Base - Emily Bradley, MailChimp

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Tips for implementing a defined voice and tone, examples of how we have done it.

Description
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.

Speaker Bio

I’m a senior technical writer at MailChimp, so I obsess over things like user stories, editorial consistency, and app copy. I live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and daughter.

12:00 - 2:00pm

Lunch

Lunch time! Lunch is on your own, to get out into the fresh air of Portland and explore the many food options.

12:00 - 2:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 2:00pm

2:00 - 2:20 -- I just became a manager! But now what? - Kevin Chang, Intercom

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Taking on new challenges as a first-time manager can be intimidating and isn’t a walk in the park, but leveraging your existing skills and new peers will push you through the learning curve!

Description
As ambitious people, we always strive to amplify the impact that we make on our team, our department, and our organization. When you become excellent in your role as an individual contributor, the next step may very well be towards people management, where you can extend your abilities to others on the team.

However, just because you are great at the role yourself, it doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly be amazing at teaching someone else how to do the same. Exciting new responsibilities are ahead, but challenges accompany them too: from performance managing your former peers to almost extreme levels of multi-tasking to increasing ambiguity in what success looks like for you.

But while the learning curve may be steep, it’s important to remember that your skills rightfully earned you this new chapter of your career and that you don’t have to face the new challenges by yourself. Leveraging your existing skills and tapping into the support system that is your peers will help you push through the learning curve!

Speaker Bio

I’m a manager of the Intercom support team in San Francisco. Having started out as an individual contributor in a support engineering role, I’ve transitioned to people management and have learned a ton about myself along the way!

2:00 - 2:20 -- How to land a great support job! - Matt Dale, Illuminate Education

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
An understanding of what support hiring managers are looking for in a resume/interview, and resources for further reading.

Description
What you need to know when you apply—and some real world insight from a guy who does the hiring.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates and reviewed even more applications from people looking to get their next support job—or make a career transition into support. You’ll learn from the mistakes I’ve seen applicants make (no sense you making them, too!), find out what a hiring manager sees in your resume and how to shine during your interview.

In twenty minutes, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward!

Speaker Bio

Matt runs the Support and Data Services teams at Illuminate Education in Irvine, CA. When he’s not at work, he loves to spend time with his wife and their two little boys. In his spare time he loves driving fast on the backroads of SoCal and playing Galaga, Joust, and other classic arcade games.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Clean Up That Ticket Data: Using OpenRefine to get your help desk export ready for analysis - Mark Kofman, Import2

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
Learn how to clean up ticket data for further analysis.

Description
You are getting ready for the first analysis of your ticket data. Feeling super excited about all the new insights you are about to find out. Until you realize that you ticket data is a big mess making the results of analysis totally obsolete. You are not alone. We all have multiple data issues in our ticket databases. Unorganized tags, unpopulated custom fields, invalid ticket statuses and so on.

In this talk, you will learn how to fix your ticket data. Equipped with the free open source tool OpenRefine and few tricks, you can do magic to your data.

Bring to the Workshop
Laptop

Speaker Bio

Co-founder of Import2. Software engineer turned entrepreneur. Responsible for support of more than 20,000 customers.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Meet by Design: Using Science to Run Awesome Meetings - Elise Keith, Lucid Meetings

Location: Workshop Room C

Takeaway
Practice using simple techniques that will make their meetings rock.

Description
Keep meetings short, always use an agenda, stand up, take notes on paper – and hop on one leg while you’re at it! There’s no shortage of advice about meetings out there, but what really matters?
In this workshop, you’ll learn
THE SCIENCE OF ENGAGING TEAM MEETINGS
What the research shows about team engagement in meetings and how this impacts your team’s overall performance.
THE 5 STEP PROCESS FOR INCREASING ENGAGEMENT
A simple checklist for creating the conditions necessary for team participation.
SIMPLE TECHNIQUES
Techniques anyone can use that get people paying attention and actively working to get things done together in a meeting. No facilitation experience required!

Speaker Bio

I’m the co-founder of Lucid Meetings and a bona fide meeting maven.

2:00 - 2:45 -- How Change Management Leads to Happy, Adaptable Teams - Katharine McCarthy, ipsy

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaways
– Understanding of why change management skills are critical for business leaders and for team happiness/success
– Change management best practices
– Example of how to design an implementation roadmap

Description
As the modern world becomes increasingly complex, the amount of change humans must adapt and react to accelerates. We see this in all facets of business—startups in particular—but not all business leaders necessarily take advantage of change management principles to ensure transitions are implemented smoothly and successfully.

Research has shown up to 70 percent of transformational change initiatives fail (Harvard Business Review). On a financial level, poor change management can waste a lot of time and money; on a people level, it can lead to disengagement, the perception that employees aren’t valued, and refusal to support the initiative.

In this workshop, we’ll discuss change management best practices and go through an example of how to design an implementation roadmap. You’ll learn how to define critical success factors for a change initiative, assess and mitigate risks, and how to incorporate proven change management strategies to ensure the initiative is designed in a way that will inspire all stakeholders to embrace and support its success.

Speaker Bio

Katharine is a customer support manager, writer, bicyclist, techno/house music enthusiast, HIIT junkie, cat lady, coffee fiend, and an adventurous extrovert based in Oakland, CA.

2:00 - 2:40 - Career Unconference - Getting started in Support management

Location: Main Room

We’re big believers in support as a career. The career unconference provides a time and space to explore different themes such as:

  • 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 LBGTQ in the field of support

The unconference gathers the people most interested in these themes to decide the topics they want to talk about.

2:00 - 3:00 - Career Fair

Location: Main Room

From seasoned support veterans to newcomers just checking it out, everyone will have a chance to find their dream job at the Expo Career Fair!

Top companies will be onsite to chat about what life is like on some of the best customer support teams in the world, including:

  • Zapier
  • MailChimp
  • Airbnb
  • Automattic
  • PDX Women in Tech
  • Launchcode

Aaaand don’t forget to stop by the Support Driven table at the Career Fair for a free resume critique from hiring managers in the community… it’s sure to give your next job search a boost!

2:00 - 3:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 2:30pm

2:30 - 2:50 -- The Need to Belong: The Neurology of Inclusion - Rachel Etnire, New Relic

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
To identify how it feels when your core needs aren’t being met and try and find empathy for your fellow employee or human being when their needs aren’t being met, even if that need is completely different. To come to a place of understanding ourselves and others.

Description
A huge chunk of inclusivity is recognizing the core needs of others as real and valid, even when they are different from your own.I will talk about cognitive distraction, the amygdala and flight/fight response, and how those concepts relate to the feeling (and science!) of belonging and inclusion. When someone’s core needs are not being met, they can be distracted and less effective. Working to meet the core needs of others not only makes them feel included, but is an investment in the effectiveness of your whole team.

In this talk, I’ll teach you about the BICEPS model (belonging, improvement/progress, choice, equality/fairness, predictability, status), a useful tool and framework for identifying those core needs. This talk will encourage the audience to introspect about their own core needs, empathize with the core needs of others, and talk more candidly about these things so we can build a more inclusive and effective workplace together.

Speaker Bio

Rachel Etnire is the operations manager for the customer training department at New Relic. After traveling a long and random road, she ended up at New Relic almost by accident. It is definitely, professionally, the best accident to happen to her so far.

In addition to her day job, Rachel also created the Allyship @ New Relic program and has rolled out an ally skills training on the company level. She is the program chair for the Relics of Color employee resource group. She is a lover of cats and considers herself to be a donut enthusiast.

2:30 - 2:50 -- Balancing process and innovation as your support team grows - Jon McCartie, Heroku

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Identify what stage your team is within the organizational lifecycle paradigm. Understand what stage is next, along with the benefits and pitfalls of growing to the next level.

Description
Support teams are living organisms and each stage in their life-cycle brings new challenges and rewards. We’ll talk about common patterns for team growth, tools for determining where your team is at, and how to keep your team healthy, strong, and productive.

Speaker Bio

Jon has worked in tech for over 15 years, and in leadership for 5+ years. Having made the rounds from corporate, to startup, to non-profit and back again, he provides a unique perspective on the health and growth of teams.

Starting at 2:50pm

2:50 - 3:30 - Career Unconference - Women working in the support world

Location: Main Room

We’re big believers in support as a career. The career unconference provides a time and space to explore different themes such as:

  • 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 LBGTQ in the field of support

The unconference gathers the people most interested in these themes to decide the topics they want to talk about.

Starting at 3:00pm

3:00 - 3:20 -- Curiosity: Death to cats, life to support - Mathew Patterson, Help Scout

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
An understanding of the importance of curiosity to customer service, and what to do about it.

Description
We think of customer service as delivering quick, empathetic, helpful and accurate answers. But the best customer service is really about asking the right questions:

What are you trying to get done there? Why do you feel that way? How can I make that better?

Curiosity is an underrated skill that is linked to attitude, troubleshooting, relationship building and personal fulfilment. In this talk, learn why curiosity is vital to great service, how to hire for it and how to develop it in yourself.

Speaker Bio

Mathew Patterson spent nearly a decade building and running a SaaS support team before joining Help Scout to help teach customer service pros and teams how to deliver better support.

He’s Australian, so that explains the rest.

3:00 - 3:20 -- Self Care Matters For Remote Teams: A Manager’s Guide For Why and How - Kimberly Bringas, Olark

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Guidelines to implement self care into your own culture as well as tips of how to “sell” those in charge of its importance.

Description
Self care and remote work are currently at odds with each other, often leading to stress out teams. Managers have the MOST influence to cultivate self care into remote culture, but are the WORST offenders at making it a habitual practice. This talk will provide managers and culture influences guidelines to implement self care into their own cultures as well as tips of how to “sell” those in charge of its importance.

Speaker Bio

Kimberly is the HR & Culture Enthusiast at Olark and active member of the Pawnee Goddesses. When she’s not busy putting the Human back in HR, you can find her salsa dancing, exploring a new food place in Denver, or hiking on a mountain.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Fostering Accountability, Adaptability & Resilience - Wanda L. Scott, WLS Enterprises

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
Attendees will learn strategies to build authentic relationships in a fast-paced environment, and how accountability and adaptability are modeled to make change as a leader.

Description
The customer support industry can be in a constant state of flux and can create uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments for the people who work within them. In order to thrive within a changing environment, leaders at all levels must demonstrate accountability, adaptability, and resilience. This competency allows individuals to hold themselves responsible for behaviors and actions, be willing to change as needed, and to acknowledge setbacks and find creative ways to move forward.

Great leaders rise to the occasion under pressure in order to lead people effectively and courageously. Whether the challenge is transitioning your work group from one office to another, moving to make a mark in your industry through pushing a technological advancement, or to inspire your employees to make a personal change in order to better serve your customer, it will require courage. Building authentic relationships is the driving factor to achieve this type of leadership success! Leaders who have more influence than others are considered to be more effective. These leaders invest more “in” others through some form of consistent direct or indirect contribution. Leaders with the greatest amount of influence have authentic connections.

Speaker Bio

Wanda L. Scott has experienced constant growth, forward movement and change. Corporate America has sharpened her Leadership, Customer Support and Training skills; working for companies such as Microsoft, to government agencies like the IRS and U.S. Department of State. Now Wanda travels empowering and educating others with practical experience on how to communicate, lead, transition and redefine YOU. Her desire is to activate in you what is possible when you search deep within to be GREATER! She is an Associate Professor, a Corporate Trainer, and she develops customized curriculum for organizations. Visit www.WandaLScott.com.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Grumps, Trolls, and Villains: Surviving the worst of support - Sarah Betts, Olark

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaways
– Identify difficult customers quickly
– Develop 2 strategies for handling each type
– Have a self-care plan for after especially taxing interactions

Description
It’s been a pleasant day of emails, chats and calls. You’ve helped solve problems, directed people to resources, and you’re feeling great! Then you get one of *those* support interactions. While we wish we could yell back, walk away, or hunker down and cry, there are some strategies for dealing with tough customers.

In this workshop, we’ll learn how to determine what type of customer you are dealing with and how to effectively manage the situation.

Bring to the Workshop
Each attendee should bring a printed photo of a favorite place/person

Speaker Bio

Sarah is the Feels Herder at Olark. When not thinking about talking, she is probably talking. Or making stuff. Or hanging with her awesome family.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Advanced Tetris: Solving Your Remote Team's Weekend Staffing Puzzle - Denise Williams, Automattic

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
A checklist for weekend planning that will help you determine your ballpark staffing needs.

Description
Weekend support coverage is a high-impact tool that can reduce your churn and help you stand out among your competitors, but sometimes it feels like you need a PhD in queueing theory to get started.

Full-time salaried team members! Overlapping time zones! Multiple simultaneous forms of support services! How many employees does it all take?

Come hear about how we managed to crack our own weekend staffing code at WordPress.com, and learn which factors you need to take into account when outlining your own team’s weekend expansion.

Speaker Bio

I’m a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, focused on developing our attack strategy for support coverage at WordPress.com.

3:00 - 4:00 - Career Fair

Location: Main Room

From seasoned support veterans to newcomers just checking it out, everyone will have a chance to find their dream job at the Expo Career Fair!

Top companies will be onsite to chat about what life is like on some of the best customer support teams in the world, including:

  • Zapier
  • MailChimp
  • Airbnb
  • Automattic
  • PDX Women in Tech
  • Launchcode

Aaaand don’t forget to stop by the Support Driven table at the Career Fair for a free resume critique from hiring managers in the community… it’s sure to give your next job search a boost!

3:00 - 4:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 3:30pm

3:30 - 3:50 -- How real-time customer support improves conversions - Ryan Steinberg, Intercom

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Real-time customer support is an investment that can drive revenue.

Description
One prevailing view of customer support is that it is a cost center and that companies are always looking to lower those costs. At Intercom, a recent experiment taught us that investing in real-time support can actually turn customer support into a revenue driver.

Real-time support proved to be a big win for our customers and for our business. Customers who received real-time support asked 18% more questions and got more answers in real-time from our support team. Moreover, these customers were 30% more likely to start a trial. Overall, real-time support drove 10% incremental growth in new business revenue. What’s more, these customers were happier too – with a 15% higher NPS scores.

Speaker Bio

Ryan started off as a frontlines Support Rep at Intercom in 2015, eventually working his way to become a Senior Sales and Support Operations Analyst. He loves dashboards, bread, politics, basketball and his Michigan Wolverines. It’s also his first time speaking at a conference!

3:30 - 3:50 -- Building an online community from scratch: do’s and don’ts - Nadia Padzensky, GitHub

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Some foundational keys to success in building a new community.

Description
Online communities are an amazing way for customers to connect with one another, quickly find answers to their questions, learn, and grow. There are many opportunities for companies to reach their customers in meaningful and memorable ways with a community offering.

That’s all great, but let’s be real: Building new communities is hard work. There’s an immense amount of things to consider. What kind of community are you trying to build (Q&A, forum, social, all of the above, or something else)? What are the goals of your community (connect customers to one another, engage with your customers more directly, gain new customers)?
How do you put measures in place to make sure your community is inclusive, welcoming, and safe?
How will you get your customers excited about your community? Just as important: How will you get decision makers at your company excited about your community?

For over a year, I worked on building a community forum at GitHub with a very small team of amazing and dedicated people. We hit every roadblock you could possibly hit, and we learned where to compromise, how and when to iterate, and most of all, what is most important in building an inclusive, engaging, and positive online community. This presentation is all about sharing those discoveries.

Speaker Bio

I’m a Community Manager at GitHub. I am also a photographer, writer, traveler, and lover of ice cream. I live in Portland, OR with my husband and our three dogs, Quinn, Albus, and Atari.

Starting at 3:45pm

3:45 - 4:25 - Career Unconference - Creating a new career in support

Location: Main Room

We’re big believers in support as a career. The career unconference provides a time and space to explore different themes such as:

  • 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 LBGTQ in the field of support

The unconference gathers the people most interested in these themes to decide the topics they want to talk about.

Starting at 4:00pm

4:00 - 4:20 -- Never ask your customer, "How was the service?” Moving beyond CSAT and NPS - Shervin Talieh, PartnerHero

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Don’t do CSAT and NPS “just because that’s what everyone else does” and feel free to try new things.

Description
In a quest to align support organizations with key business goals (KPI’s), CSAT and NPS surveys have become the norm, almost mechanically subjecting our customers to a series of questions and behaviors, and providing questionable data in return.

This is utter madness. I will make the case for why it is absolutely inappropriate and misguided to “outsource” our product or service quality assurance function to our customers, share the unintended consequences of this “ritual”, and provide a series of alternative methods that are both more intuitive and more impactful.

Speaker Bio

I run PartnerHero, an outsourcing company specialized in working with startups, and Sidekick, a peer feedback QA solution for support organization. You could describe me as a mashup of a management consultant and startup junkie, with a sprinkle of DJ.

4:00 - 4:45 -- How Working with AI Tools Lets You Deliver Superb Service - DigitalGenius Panel

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Repetitive and mundane tasks are a thing of the past. It’s time to step up the contact center game.

Description
Has the calculator made the job of the accountant easier?
Can you imagine a finance team without spreadsheets?

At DigitalGenius we feel the same way about support teams, and we’re building some amazing AI-powered tools that make your job easier and your customers happier. From case classification to automated actions, we believe support teams should be freed to focus on thinking and complex queries. Now is the time to let the machines do what they do best: automate the boring tasks. Join us in this panel with two DigitalGenius customers to hear their thoughts about the empowerment brought by the next wave off customer support tools.

Speaker Bios

Mikhail Naumov, Co-founder, DigitalGenius (Moderator)

 

 

James Lemire, Director of Customer Care, Soylent

 

 

Mike Yakovlev, Technology Alliances Manager, Zendesk

 

 

Briana Cahn, Student Help Manager, Magoosh

4:00 - 4:45 -- The CX Game - Dave Dyson, Zendesk

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
In this workshop, we’ll use an interactive game to give you a picture of where you’re at in your organizational maturity, help you zero in on a few opportunities for improvement, and work on building a case to help get you the resources you need.

Description
Customer experience is a big subject that covers a lot of ground, from product, to marketing and sales, all the way to the support experience. Even within the realm of customer support, there are a lot of potential ways you might improve the customer experience. But you’ve only got so much time, and very limited resources – so how do you decide where to focus your energy?

In this workshop, we’ll use an interactive game to give you a picture of where you’re at in your organizational maturity, help you zero in on a few opportunities for improvement, and work on building a case to help get you the resources you need.

Speaker Bio

Dave Dyson is a Senior Customer Service Evangelist at Zendesk’s headquarters in San Francisco, previously serving in roles as Customer Advocate, Support Manager and Senior Support Manager. Having lived the support experience from the inside, he’s now working as part of the Zendesk Content Marketing team to help bring the best-practice lessons he’s learned to the wider world – both through writing and presenting at Zendesk events as well as others, such ICMI Contact Center Expo 2017, Elevate Summit 2018, and right here at SD Expo.

4:00 - 4:45 -- Automate your job so you can focus on the hard stuff - Richard Yang, Bugcrowd

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
Create a tool to simplify one repetitive task.

Description
We’ll learn various tools to help streamline your daily tasks.

Speaker Bio

“If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, you must go together” – African proverb

I’m an avid reader and yoga novice currently building support and learning cyber-security.

4:00 - 5:00 - Career Fair

Location: Main Room

From seasoned support veterans to newcomers just checking it out, everyone will have a chance to find their dream job at the Expo Career Fair!

Top companies will be onsite to chat about what life is like on some of the best customer support teams in the world, including:

  • Zapier
  • MailChimp
  • Airbnb
  • Automattic
  • PDX Women in Tech
  • Launchcode

Aaaand don’t forget to stop by the Support Driven table at the Career Fair for a free resume critique from hiring managers in the community… it’s sure to give your next job search a boost!

4:00 - 5:00 - Support Bars and Trade Show

Location: Main Room

Support Bars

​Our trade show sponsors work with hundreds of companies solving very specific problems. You can benefit from their experience by booking a time to discuss your challenges.

Trade Show

Other companies who will be available at the Trade Show include:

  • Answer IQ
  • Digital Genius
  • Freshdesk
  • Guru
  • Help Scout
  • Intercom
  • PartnerHero
  • Sidekick
  • You Can Book Me
  • Zendesk

Starting at 4:30

4:30 - 5:00 - Meet the Speakers

Location: Main Room

Many of today’s speakers will make themselves available for Q&A and discussion in the center of main room at this time. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself to speakers whose sessions you attended throughout the day.

5:30 - 8:30pm

Guru SD Expo Launch party!

Location: Ground Kontrol, 115 Northwest 5th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209

Flex your gaming muscles with Guru as we celebrate Support Driven Expo and our new product launch with an evening of awesome arcading at Ground Kontrol, Portland’s premier classic arcade. Free play means no quarters weighing you down, so hit that high score as you nosh on some light snacks and jam to the beats of DJ Ambush

Bonus* If you find the Guru team at SDX for a drink ticket, your first round is on us!

Space is limited, so please register.