SCHEDULE: DAY TWO

FRIDAY JUNE 22, 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 8:55am

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

Starting at 9:00am

9:00 - 9:20 -- Meticulously Molding Yourself for Management - Jake Murphy, Hudl

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Moving to management can present a variety of paths. Whatever path you take, keep in mind the three rules of successful management preparation – Give a crap, don’t be afraid to fail, and get involved and practice.

Description
Here are three rules that I abided by as I prepared for the move into management.

Rule number one in the move to management: Give a crap. Care about people, their personal lives, and their well-being. Without them and their work, your business and team will fail.

Rule number two – don’t be afraid to fail (generic, right? It’s true). Given you fail at something – reflect on how you did, and imagine what you could have improved on or done differently. Self-feedback and feedback from others is an incredible tool to help yourself improve and seize the next opportunity.

Rule number three – Get involved and practice! Bring valuable discussion and topics to management and be prepared with evidence to back up your points. Come up with ways to better your work or the department. Practice certain management scenarios so it’s second nature for you in the moment.

*Takeaways for moving into management:*
-Give a crap
-Persistence is key
-Get involved when possible
-Be armed with data to make change
-Practice

Speaker Bio

I was raised in western Nebraska, and my high school graduating class consisted of only 8 people. I attended Chadron State College in Nebraska and received a Bachelor’s Degree, as well as an MBA. Halfway through my MBA, I applied for and landed an opportunity as a Coach Support Specialist at Hudl – a dynamic sports technology startup in Lincoln, NE. Fast forward one year, and I’m now a supervisor within our Coach Support department – making sure our coaches receive world-class experiences while assuring our team is adequately equipped with the best tools to do their job.

9:00 - 9:20 -- Support as a hard skill. Building a department that bucks the 'All Hands Support' Trend - Alyssa Twomey, ActBlue

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
The key takeaway/action item attendees will come away with is a plan for writing a mission statement and setting non-metrics (response time, queue zero, other KPIs) goals.

Description
How do you get beyond the quantitative metrics that all Support Managers care about and set a mission statement for your department that everyone can rally around? How do you lift up Support as a key part of your organization’s work, with or without institutional buy-in? Learn how to grow and manage your team’s expertise — without resorting to “All Hands” support.

Speaker Bio

Alyssa is the Director of Customer Service at ActBlue, a nonprofit tech organization that builds fundraising software for Democratic campaigns and committees and nonprofit organizations. She works remotely in San Francisco and has been with ActBlue since 2010.

9:00 - 9:45 -- Show & Tell: The Best (and Worst) Responses to Customers (You show yours. We’ll show ours!) - Charles Myers, AnswerIQ

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
A roundup of strong support content created just for customers.

Description
Support organizations strive to deliver scalable, high-quality responses that drive customer satisfaction. Sometimes they get it right, but often they miss the mark. Let’s share and break down some of the best (and worst) customer responses and walk through some frameworks and toolkits that can be employed to ensure consistency.

Be sure to bring your favorite customer responses and together we’ll break down why they are so powerful.

Speaker Bio

Charles is leading Customer Experience at AnswerIQ (www.answeriq.com), an intelligent automation platform that mimics the decision making of an organization’s best support teams to deliver a superior customer experience.

Charles has nearly two decades of CX oriented experience – starting his career scaling outsource technical support operation centers. He then moved on to scaling customer experience operations at startups including Wyndham Hotels, HotelTonight, Beepi, Redbubble, and Upserve. Charles lives at the intersection of employee experience, customer experience, and technology – repeatedly implementing cutting-edge platforms and models derived through the voice of the customer. Charles is a constant advocate for remote/flexible teams and leveraging technology to allow for humans to do what they do best – be human.

9:00 - 9:45 -- Does it bring you joy? The life-changing magic of tidying up your knowledge - Rachel Robbins, Guru

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
You’ll leave with action steps to reduce your stale company knowledge and increase the trust of existing internal knowledge.

Description
Successful knowledge management relies on your information being reliable and up to date. Support teams are constantly asking: Is this the most relevant information? How would I know if it’s been updated? How do I get to what I need? Whatever your existing tool is, you can improve the knowledge you have and the processes you employ to create it. A konmari-style decluttering session and tools to keep your knowledge fresh will change the way your team works.

Speaker Bio

Rachel is a customer success manager, people-connector, yogi, houseplant enthusiast, inadvertent Philadelphia tourism ambassador and wears the same thing everyday in the hopes of simplifying life.

9:00 - 9:45 -- Don't Fear the Forums: Lessons from the WordPress support community - Kathryn Presner, Automattic

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
Attendees will be inspired to get involved with community support, or to reinvigorate their own support community if they manage one.

Description
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.

Speaker Bio

Kathryn Presner is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, where she helps folks customize, configure, and troubleshoot their sites. Also member of the WordPress.org support team, she enjoys mentoring and encouraging both new public speakers and people learning to code, at grassroots events like WordCamps, Girl Geeks, and Ladies Learning Code workshops. Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Kathryn’s non-tech loves include discovering great casual restaurants and collecting vintage-Pyrex mixing bowls. Dislikes include bad restaurant websites and slushy sidewalks.

9:00 - 9:45 -- Support Detectives - How to Use the Jobs-to-be-Done Framework in Customer Support - Chase Clemons, Basecamp

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaway
A better understanding of what your customer really needs.

Description
In the pursuit of more data, support teams fall into the trap of tracking all the things. Every email that arrives in the inbox asks for a tag or label. Every customer interaction is a data point for your metrics. But what’s the point?

In this workshop, you’ll see how our Basecamp team forgoes tracking customer emails in favor of actually talking to customers. You’ll learn how we use a jobs-to-be-done approach to find out what customers really need when they send in a feature request. Using a real customer interview, we’ll walk through what happens between a feature request email and the final pitch we present to the product team.
Speaker Bio

I work at Basecamp, where I’m part of the customer support team. I am also founder/host of Support Ops.

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 -- Customer Success Is a Team Sport (Here's How to Play It) - Eva Klein, HubSpot

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
– Common anti-customer behaviors that crop up at every organization: what they are, and how they emerge
– What you can do as a CS leader or individual contributor to better align with product, marketing, and sales to combat these patterns

Speaker Bio

Eva Klein is VP of Customer Success at HubSpot, a technology company that builds sales and marketing software. In her current role, Eva brings her 15+ years of experience in the quantifiable world of business development, to the softer art of customer success. Prior to joining HubSpot, Eva held senior positions at Constant Contact, Invoca, Enservio and FatWallet where she delivered substantial customer and revenue growth. Eva has also served on advisory boards for Google, Rakuten Marketing, Commission Junction, and CouponCabin.

9:30 - 9:50 -- What you should know before outsourcing -- TJ Stein, MeUndies

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
You can outsource labor but you can’t outsource your problems. The same challenges you face today cannot be deferred.

Description
One of the most rewarding aspects of my role has been building our outsourced team. When I started at MeUndies in 2016, we had an in-house team of a dozen or so that was ill-prepared to meet the demands of our growing membership base and the upcoming holidays. Faced with a dilemma to scale quickly and service our customers at a high level, I chose to supplement the in-house team with an offshore group. In doing so, I learned how to evangelize the idea to management, pick the right vendor and grow the team without compromising the mission and vision of what we stood for.

Is it for every team or company? Certainly not. But for those that choose to go down this path, it’s important to consider the following:

1. Do it for the right reasons. If you’re just looking for a cheap alternative and don’t want to invest in great customer outcomes, you will end up with the exact opposite.

2. Find a partner that emphasizes people over cost control. Many BPOs simply want to find a way to maximize output for the cheapest possible costs. Look for teams that embody the same values as your organization and hold them accountable.

3. Understand the risks associated with a co-sourcing strategy (what happens if they experience network issues and go dark?, labor strike, lightning strike). When things go wrong – how will you respond?

Speaker Bio

TJ Stein is a highly motivated and enthusiastic operations, technology and services leader with proven ability to build and scale organizations to support and drive business outcomes.

In June of 2016, TJ joined MeUndies, one of the fastest growing retail companies in the US. In his current role as Head of Customer Experience, TJ drives the strategy, technology implementation and execution of a best-in-class service organization.

Prior to his current role, TJ worked for (mt) Media Temple. For years, Media Temple was repeatedly recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in North America and one of the best places to work in Los Angeles. As Sr. Director of Customer Support, TJ helped build a customer-focused organization that enabled customer success and delight.

Starting at 10:00am

10:00 - 10:20 -- Support to CX: Building Your Career in Customer Experience - Kimberly Powell, GetFeedback

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
How to talk to your executive team about creating a Cx role, why it’s important, and how to move into that role at your current company.

Description
My story begins in college, where I was given the best advice imaginable “Don’t become a web designer, your job will be obsolete in 10 years.” I of course, as any college graduate would do, became a web designer soon after being given that advice by a brilliant advisor of mine, Terry Curtis.

While I didn’t follow his advice straight away, Terry’s voice would stay in my head for many, many years to come. It didn’t stay with me because I thought about my awful choice to become the worlds least detail oriented web designer, but because of what that advice meant. Always be changing. Always be evolving. Your job will be obsolete. Keep on learning. Keep paving new paths for yourself.

From web designer to product manager to support representative and now as the Director of Support and Customer Experience for GetFeedback, I’ve carved new career paths along the way in my evolution. Most recently, that path has led me to become a driving force for great customer experiences. Customer Experience is all the rage these days and more and more companies are looking to put driven, customer-centric folks on their leadership teams to help increase customer loyalty. So, how can you go from the support world to customer experience guru overseeing your company’s customer experience strategy? How do you create that path for yourself? What does it mean to be a customer experience leader and how do you prove ROI to the higher ups when paving this new trail? I have some tricks I’ve learned along the way from my journey that I’d love to share as you grow in yours.

Speaker Bio

I’m currently the Director of Support and Customer Experience at GetFeedback. I’ve studied Communication Design at California State University, Chico with an emphasis in internet communications and currently reside in beautiful Portland, Oregon with my husband and three dogs. With a background in web design and product management, I’ve most recently lived in the world of customer support, where I’ve developed a passion for building strong customer connections and amazing experiences.

10:00 - 10:45 -- Replicating support issues in a contained environment - Kelly Mason, Bugsnag

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
Attendees can walk away first with an understanding of how to reproduce and share occurrences of technical issues from a high level. In addition, they can see an in-depth walkthrough of one particular use case and come away with next steps for creating their own containers/images for support purposes.

Description
If you have ever had to reproduce a technical issue involving discrepant versions of multiple dependencies (or even operating systems!), you know it can be a nightmare producing the exact same conditions as the user. Learn how to use containers to quickly produce a controlled environment with the right dependencies to successfully reproduce and share technical issues.

Pre-Workshop Tasks
Download and install Docker

Bring to the Workshop
Laptop with Docker installed

Speaker Bio

Kelly is a current software development, former educator, and forever grammar nerd. As Customer Engineering Team Lead at Bugsnag, she currently gets to put her teacher skills to good use teaching customers how to get the most out of their error monitoring and helping them solve all their (error-handling) problems.

10:00 - 10:45 -- 2 Quick Ways to Jumpstart your Knowledgebase - Craig Stoss, Independent

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
How to start a Knowledge Management program fast, and be successful in quarters instead of years.

Description
Your customers want to help themselves. Research not only shows this is true, but that the trend is growing. This is why it is so important to invest in a quality knowledge base program. However masterful your support team is, it’s always rewarding if a customer can figure it out on their own — so you should make that an option. With new standards, products and techniques, Knowledge Management has gained a reputation as a large scale project, that is difficult to succeed. This is simply not true. In this session, you will learn 2 key principles you can implement tomorrow to make a successful knowledge program. You will also learn how to measure success and promote the KB both internal to your organization and externally to your customers. Distilled from the Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) model of Knowledge Management, we’ll cut through the clutter and get you off and running faster by embedding KB content into your process and engaging with your team to post the right content, in the right format, at the right time. Customers want to learn on their own, and be successful, so why not help them thrive today!

Description
At least 2-3 pieces of undocumented knowledge (Could be a feature, a bug, a “How-to” that is missing, a customer question, internal training etc.) Really anything that is undocumented to use as an example article.

Speaker Bio

Craig has over 18 years of customer facing experience. He has spent time in more than 30 countries, working with support, development, and professional services teams building insight into Customer Experience and engagement. He is driven by building strong, effective support and services teams and ensuring his customers are successful. He loves his Detroit Tigers and is attempting to visit every MLB ballpark.

10:00 - 10:45 -- When the Talking Gets Tough (the Tough Use These Tools) - Bailey McCoskey, Hudl

Location: Workshop Room C

Takeaway
Tough conversations can make us feel stuck, but you don’t have to stay that way. Acknowledge your assumptions and stay focused on the real issue so you can move forward confidently.

Description
As a manager, tough conversations are inevitable. Whether it’s talking about poor performance, taking an escalated call, or even terminating someone, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to flex your communication skills. But jumping into a tough conversation doesn’t come naturally for most of us, and we often end up botching them or avoiding them altogether. In this workshop, learn how to prepare for and walk through those dreadful conversations with less stress and a lot more grace.

Speaker Bio

I started an unlikely career in technical customer support in 2013 at Hudl, which led me into support management, and now manager training and development.

I’m a small town Nebraska girl, landlocked in the Midwest for most of my life. I find chopping vegetables therapeutic, which works well with my love for cooking, and enjoy traveling anywhere new to me.

10:00 - 10:45 -- CANCELLED Negotiate All the Things - Diana Potter, Qwilr

CANCELLED – Diana is unable to attend Expo.

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaway
How to feel more confident around job negotiating (new or raise requests).

Description
Negotiating is hard. How do you translate your worth to a certain paycheck? How much should you ask for? How do you push back? Aren’t you going to lose out on the awesome job if you don’t accept what they offer?

Learn about tips, tricks, and ways to get in the mindset of negotiating. Take control of your career and rock it.

Speaker Bio
Diana heads up support at Qwilr. After a decade in support, she knows that it’s the best job ever.

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 -- Tools for Distributed Support Teams -- Brian Levine, Plaid

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Attendees will take away practical examples of tooling implementations that will positively impact their day-to-day work.

Description
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

Speaker Bio

Brian was once an aerospace engineer designing weapons and software for the US Department of Defense. After 13 years, he decided he’d rather help people than blow things up, so he transitioned from military work to technology work – technical support work, specifically. He was the VP of Support at GitHub for five years and is now the Head of Support at Plaid. His focus is on building and scaling highly effective support teams.

10:30 - 10:50 -- Creating a Customer Success Program to Boost ROI While Scaling Support - Josh Magsam

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Adding a focus for Success within a Support team can increase the visibility and influence of Support within your company.

Description
The field of Customer Success has grown rapidly with the rise in B2B SaaS business structures, helping companies drive growth through subscription renewal and upgrades. These teams are often housed in Sales or Marketing, reporting back directly on revenues and returns.

But given the customer-facing nature of most Customer Success models, it makes much more sense for that team to align with Support first and foremost – and gives Support a well-deserved spot at the table when measuring ROI. And this isn’t “just” for B2B or SaaS companies – consumer-facing or even community-oriented companies can benefit as well!

In my talk, I’ll describe the benefits of working with (or building out!) a Customer Success team within Support, as well as strategies for mapping out workflows and proving value to executive leadership.

Speaker Bio

Left academia for the private sector, never looked back! Grew a three-person regional support team into an 18-person international team covering both support and success. Always looking for the next data set!

Starting at 11:00am

11:00 - 11:20 -- How to sell a Support Vision to your C-Suite - Alex Mozes, Udemy

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Guidance on how to frame and lead the development of your support strategy and get buy-in from key players at your organization.

Description
Why does Support matter to the business? Why should the product team invest in support projects? Why should an engineer do shifts in the support queue? If your small and fast growing now, what happens when you get big and budgets start to matter?

As your company grows, you have a chance define what “support” means across your organization. How you answer these questions will shape how your team evolves and can be the difference between a developing an innovative, integral Support team and running a chop shop on fumes. Alex will some hard lessons learned as he grew Udemy’s support team from 2 to 100+ HC and the key differences in strategic planning for leaders in a 40 vs 400 person company.

Speaker Bio

Alex was Udemy’s 20th employee, joining initially to help with content acquisition, but was soon asked to be the first Director of Support at Udemy. Over 5 years, he’s built high performing customer operations and policy teams supporting more than 20 million global customers with a 95% CSAT. A San Francisco native, Alex spent a decade teaching Excel and MS Office around Silicon Valley before joining Udemy, and has published 3 of his own courses in the marketplace.

11:00 - 11:20 -- One weird trick to boost your career: support engineering -- Amanda Fuhrmann & Saima Hashimi, Fastly

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Setting up career growth as a pillar of your support org can fix a lot of issues that companies face.

Description
Support engineers are the backbone of the company, acting as first-responders for customer issues, a cache for full-stack knowledge, and a trusted touchpoint for engineering. A company culture that recognizes the crucial role of support engineering can leverage that department for continued success.

Companies that invest in their SEs find that they have lower turnover rates as their support team transitions internally to engineering, or product teams, or continue to advance in the SE track. These promotions benefit both the company and the employees themselves.

How do you build a SE org that can foster this type of career growth? Focus on non-ticket traffic with an 80/20 workload split, embed with engineering groups, give autonomy to the SE to build a career path that suits their strengths and interests, and allow them to build social clout within the company, whereby their engineering peers become their sponsors for internal career progression.

Speaker Bio

Amanda Fuhrmann is a former bookstore manager who made the jump into tech three years ago. After completing a coding bootcamp, she ended up as a Customer Support Engineer at Fastly. Through a couple of jumps up the career ladder, she now manages the US-West region of support engineering for Fastly, and she’s passionate about helping others achieve their career goals.

Saima Hashimi was on her way to medical school before she realized she wanted to try her hand at several other things first. Having recently learned about software engineering, she was accepted to Hackbright’s coding bootcamp, creating a path for her to enter Fastly as a Customer Support Engineer. As a CSE, Saima developed a keen interest in all the network tickets and issues; this became her impetus for developing her own career path to transition to the Network Engineering team. Two and half years on, Saima continues to enjoy her work on the Network Engineering team while paying her experience and guidance forward to other CSEs looking to make similar transitions.

11:00 - 11:45 -- Support Engineering 101 - Chris McCraw, Netlify

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
A plan for acquiring the skills to break into support engineering and/or enable teammates to level up in this area.

Description
Customer service is a valuable skill that we’ve all got ideas about. Assuming that skill as a base, how can one transition or be trained into a role as a Support Engineer? What kind of skills should you start with, and what does a solid foundation of on-the-job training look like?

This workshop is targeted for folks looking to move into more technical support roles as well as managers who are hoping to train their employees in this direction. There will be some discussion about good troubleshooting skills and solving problems with an engineer’s mindset, and also some in-class exercises to practice those skills.

We’ll wrap up with some suggested sources for the deeper technical knowledge it’s useful to bring to these technical jobs – not just “buzzwords for your skills list” but some effective self-study coursework targeted towards your preferred specialization(s).

Speaker Bio

I’m an adventurer, joy facilitator, and community builder. I’ve been an engineer for almost 25 years, and I love problem solving and helping folks learn and improve.

11:00 - 11:45 -- Using Customer Effort Scores to influence Product and win customers - Brandon McFadden, Kustomer

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
You’ll be able to go back to your CX and Product teams with ideas on what issues your team is facing that cause customers the most pain and ideas on how to fix those issues through Product improvements.

Description
Product and CX often have very similar goals, but often have very different strategies to get there.

In this workshop, we’ll talk through what Customer Effort Scores are, how they work and how they can make an impact on satisfaction and referrals.

While you may not be collecting this information now, we’ll work on finding the issues you have today and how you can launch a similar program internally.

Speaker Bio

11:00 - 11:45 -- Welcome to the Empathy Economy - Tiffany Apczynski and Todd Lienart, Zendesk

Location: Workshop Room C

Takeaway
Knowledge of key trends impacting customer service over the next several years; best practices for operationalizing diversified experiences, such as volunteering, into your support organization.

Description
As customers increasingly demand that less people come between them and the support they receive, ironically, businesses now need to be more human than ever. AI and Machine Learning might pave the way for a more frictionless customer experience, yet consumer appetites signal a new era of customer relationships focused on authenticity, trust, and nearly familiar.

Meanwhile, with consumer trust at an all-time low (according to market research firm Edelman) and by 2030, predictions estimating that more than 400 million jobs will be displaced by automation, fears of a bleak dystopia of robots, and an increasingly polarized world abound. But now is not the time to lose hope. As we enter what many are calling the Age of Automation, the silver lining is an important and incredible opportunity to capitalize on empathy. Empathy will be the new currency that brings balance to our increased reliance on technology to build and maintain relationships.

But how do you successfully operationalize empathy, especially across your customer-facing teams? By tying Corporate Social Responsibility — the connective tissue—to your business strategies. CSR maintains your humanity and is the key to succeeding in the Empathy Economy. During this workshop, you will learn why bringing more trust and authenticity to customer-facing teams will be a key differentiator across millennials and new generation businesses, and the best practices for creating diversified experiences that can bring this new thinking to life.

Speaker Bio

Tiffany is the Vice President of Public Policy and Social Impact at Zendesk, a software company that moved to the Mid-Market/Tenderloin neighborhood in 2011. She is credited with drafting and executing the city and county of San Francisco’s very first Community Benefits Agreement, held up by the city as the “gold standard,” and the framework upon which Zendesk’s global social responsibility strategy has been built. Under Tiffany’s leadership, Zendesk has won several awards, including the 2015 “Grantmaker of the Year Award” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the 2016 innovative CSR programming award from Compass Family Services, and the 2016 Joseph Mignola, Jr. Award from Curry Senior Center.

Todd Lienart is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibilty Enablement at Zendesk. He has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience in software companies, and focused on studying how social good initiatives at Zendesk enable better job performance and customer trust.

11:00 - 11:45 -- High Touch, Low Overhead: Tiptoe into a white-glove support offering - Maureen Carruthers, Automattic

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
A concrete plan to test in your own company to start a high-touch support offering.

Description
If you’d like to offer more personal support to your customers, but can’t imagine how you could possibly add one more thing to your plate, this session is for you.

In this workshop we will discuss:
* how Automattic Inc. started the WordPress.com Business Concierge program with just two Happiness Engineers working in their spare time and grew it over two years to be a major pillar of our customer retention strategy.
* ideas for how to develop and test similar strategies tailored to your customers
* low friction options for bringing the learning from these sessions back to your product teams.
* how to grow a successful pilot into a sustainable part of your regular support offerings.

Speaker Bio

Maureen Carruthers is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic where she spends her days helping WordPress.com users turn blank pages into their personal corner of the internet. She started her career as a theatre major and spent many years as a non-profit program manager (mostly involving combat robots) prior to joining Automattic.

She’s also a board game player, cat-lover, feminist, and geek. Her perfect evening includes wine, coffee and philosophical conversation until the sun comes up.

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 -- Separating Hype from Reality: A practical approach for incorporating Machine Learning into your support stack - Rick Nucci, Guru

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Learn what’s real and what’s hype, and best practices for creating a practical strategy for incorporating Machine Learning into your support stack.

Description
Machine Learning is both exciting and daunting. In this talk, we’ll help you distinguish fact from fiction as we explore how machine learning is impacting each facet of the customer experience.

Speaker Bio

Rick has been an entrepreneur in the Philadelphia area since 1999. He’s currently the co-founder & CEO of Guru, which helps companies centralize their collective knowledge. Prior to Guru Rick was the Founder and CTO of Boomi, which defined and led a new segment as the industry’s first cloud integration platform-as-a-service. Boomi was acquired by Dell in 2010, where Rick went on to run the Boomi business for Dell, helping grow the organization into the industry leader it is today.

11:30 - 11:50 -- Working effectively with Agile teams - Sejal D'Souza, Invision

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Learning how to work with teams that follow Agile principles in your daily processes.

Description
Everyone is doing Agile these days. Agile is the new buzzword. So how do you work with teams that follows Scrum and KanBan even if you do not? How do you fit into their Agile world if your world looks different? Come and find out more. Let’s chat about it.

Speaker Bio

Sejal D’Souza is an experienced project manager and Agile coach who has successfully established Agile teams in large companies and fast-paced startups. She has conducted independent Agile training programs for associations like Women In Tech and Women Who Code with over 50 participants. She has also pioneered an innovative training program in remote areas of India, teaching IT skills to teenagers using computers for the first time.

She has managed multiple projects serving over 5000 customers and has managed large globally distributed teams including a team of 30 members over 3 continents. She loves training and coaching teams to adopt project management and Agile practices and enjoys the challenge of spreading her passion for Agile.

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 -- A Beginner’s Guide to Building and Maintaining an Inclusive Team - Blake Toder, HubSpot

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
You will walk away with 5 concrete ways we used to get started building an inclusive team environment.

Description
A mentor once told me that people are programmed to focus a disproportionate amount of time on their failures rather than their successes. This has certainly been the case for me. I’ve fallen victim to this repeatedly as I’ve made 5 years’ worth of mistakes in my first year as a new manager. I walk home each day and replay the events that occurred, over-analyzing what I could have done better to help my team (If you are a new manager I’m sure you’ve done the same). To combat this, I recently started allocating 5 minutes a day to reflect on the most positive aspects of my workday. I found that in the 25 minutes I dedicated to positivity this week, I continually returned to the same thought: I love the Services team we’ve built at HubSpot. Despite our consistent obstacles, I am impressed with our team’s humility, inclusiveness, adaptability, grit, education, and most importantly their unwavering focus on the customer. Though I’ll be the first to admit we have a long way to go, I want to share a few tips with everyone that I believe have helped us get here.

Speaker Bio

Blake is a Manager of Customer Success at HubSpot. Blake began his career at HubSpot working as a customer support specialist for HubSpot. Building on his technical knowledge, he moved into a sales and marketing consultant role for HubSpot customers. When HubSpot launched their sales product line, Blake helped scale the customer service department that improved retention by 15%. He is now a Senior Manager for HubSpot’s new User Success Coach team which is a hybrid of sales and services.

2:00 - 2:20 -- Finding balance: pursuing a career and prioritizing wellness - Irenka Carney, Abstract

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Whether you struggle with your own health issues or want to accommodate folks with these issues, I hope to leave you with some validating and actionable ideas to help you move forward.

Description
We’ve all heard the quote, ‘it isn’t what you do but how you do it.’

I am living that philosophy now that I have learned in order to thrive despite chronic disease it didn’t matter what I did for work as much as the how I worked.

I would like to tell you about my journey from trying to pick a job based on a field to picking a job based on work culture and how that journey led me to working in support. In this presentation I will talk about the challenges I face and how the right work culture can really empower people in situations like mine.

Speaker Bio

I have a background in science, art, and design and I am driven by a powerful need to solve problems and tell good stories. Currently, I have the pleasure of expanding my problem solving skills with the Abstract support team.

Whether I’m crushing tickets at work, fixing the dishwasher, or improving treatment plans with my doctors, I’m usually troubleshooting something. When I do have down time, I love creating art, hanging out in nature, and binge watching tv with my partner and 2 rescued cats.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Translation for Support Pros - Colin Flanigan, Pingboard

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
The skills to recognize who you’re writing to, what they want, and how best to word it for them.

Description
Learn to use demographic information to write better content for your Help Center, Internal Documentation, Customer Response Writeups, and in your work life in general. Who you are when you’re writing matters just as much as who you’re writing to.

Speaker Bio

I’m the Customer Support Manager at Pingboard, was previously a support contractor for an action-packed (and learning-rich) 4 years. A former barista, server, and English major, I’ve found my home in the support world and have been proud to bring my perspective to past talks at support conferences across the country. I’m passionate about mental health and healthy ambitions, and I love talking about how perfectionism can hold leaders and teams back from achieving excellence. I believe that storytelling is key, communication is an (under-appreciated) art, and the Nintendo Switch is the greatest video game console of all-time.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Fostering Accountability, Adaptability & Resilience - Wanda L. Scott, WLS Enterprises

Location: Workshop Room B

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.

2:00 - 2:45 -- Navigating the transition from Support Agent to Team Lead - Kaylin Bailey, Illuminate Education

Location: Workshop Room C

Takeaway
Tips / Tricks / Expectations for transitioning from a support agent to a team lead role.

Description
You’ve worked really hard to do your job well. You slay the tickets, you feel great about your phone skills, and are super ready for the next step in your support career. And now it has finally happened. Yay! This is so exciting! It is going to be a lot like my old job, but just with some new responsibilities, right? In many cases, this is not true at all.

I have recently gone through the transition from support agent to team lead and it was a lot different than I thought that it would be (though I promise I really do enjoy my new role!). I would love to share my experience and some tips / tricks / expectations for managing the transition. If you are new to a leadership role, or looking to make this move in the future, this is the talk for you.

Speaker Bio

I have been in Customer Support for 3 years. I started my support career at GoFundMe, and have been with my current company (Illuminate Education) for almost 3 years. I have recently moved into a leadership position at Illuminate.

2:00 - 2:40 - Career Unconference -- Being LBGTQ in the field of 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.

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 Blueprint For Revenue Development - Aaron Thompson, Portland Customer Success

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Tighter coordination and teamwork strategies that they can implement immediately.

Description
Today’s modern business growth strategies have one fatal flaw. Segmentation. Marketing, Sales & Customer Success aren’t working together to create true customer centricity like we should be. This lack of coordination and strategy creates a friction filled customer experience from lead to evangelist and the result is often customer churn.

The RevDev Blueprint and subsequent 7 Playbooks aim to address this overdue need. The BP empowers businesses to work better together and align their goals and objectives with the customer journey. The resulting outcomes are: increased marketing ROI, decreased sales cycle duration, increased conversion rates, decreased CAC and increased LTV.

In this presentation, I will walk the audience through RevDev’s proprietary growth strategy and outline the Blueprint in full. We’ll assess the impact of each prescriptive playbook with highlights of the positive outcomes achieved every step of the way. Finally, we’ll learn what improvements to the overall customer experience implementing such a program offers.

Speaker Bio

Aaron Thompson, founder of Portland Customer Success, has dedicated his career to helping companies improve retention rates, increase recurring revenue, and recoup customer acquisition costs. His background developing and executing software training and implementation programs, managing technical support staff and then leading Customer Success for a Portland-based SaaS company, has uniquely positioned him to partner with organizations to unlock exponential revenue growth. At the heart of every project is Aaron’s desire to partner with his clients, forge lasting relationships, and deliver bottom-line results.

2:30 - 2:50 -- How to enable ambitious agents while still getting the job done - Martin Kõiva, Qualitista

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Specific things that helped extend the time people stayed in customer support and other measures that failed at it.

Description
Let’s be honest – support can be quite repetitive and if there is nothing more to it than doing cases, the people that are best at dealing with customers will want to do something else eventually. So how do you balance giving them something more challenging, while still getting that backlog taken care of? That’s what I’m going to talk about: the struggles of creating a career-path within support, with and without extra financial incentives, rules etc. But also how my thinking has changed over the years and how I actually now think it’s much healthier to accept the fact that great people will move on. And that’s OK. I will share some our failed attempts at tackling this topic as well as those that currently help our team of 60+ people function without crazy turnover across 3 locations.

Speaker Bio

After an eclectic career in PR, marketing, general management and building customer support at Pipedrive, I recently founded Qualitista – a start-up aiming to solve the problem of achieving and maintaining excellent customer support at scale.

Most of my recent 4 years were spent building customer support at Pipedrive. As I left this May, the team was 60+ people, servicing more than 70 000 customers globally, in 3 offices and 2 languages. We experimented with pretty much every possible platform, channel and changed completely many times over during this time. More here: http://bit.ly/2BjtHq4

Outside of work, I love old cars, audiobooks and going on adventures with my Schnauzer puppy named Haiku – ideally combining all three.

Starting at 2:50pm

2:50 - 3:30 - Career Unconference -- Being a person of color in tech

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 -- In the Mix: Leveraging technology to build community and culture across remote and co-located teams - Hannah Baker, Magoosh

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
The key to cultivating a strong sense of community with a combination of in-house and remote employees isn’t activities, it’s accessibility! Attendees will learn how to thoughtfully utilize basic technology to support a freely flowing mix of structured and spontaneous interactions between all team members, regardless of location.

Description
Whether your company has a few remote employees scattered across multiple teams, or whole teams that work remotely while others are based in a central office, having a mix of in-house and remote employees can be a challenge when it comes to creating a sense of unity and a company culture that everyone feels engaged in. While one option is to geographically bridge the gap by bringing everyone together periodically for retreats or team-building activities, this solution isn’t realistic for all companies, and doesn’t have the same effect as measures that influence the everyday work lives of all employees.

Enter technology! No, you don’t have to buy a telepresence robot for everyone who works remotely 🙂 In fact, you likely don’t need to buy anything at all! It’s all about analyzing your habits and using what you’ve got — email, messaging apps, project management platforms, webcams — to cultivate a variety of well-defined avenues for interaction that allow both spontaneity and structure to thrive between all members of the community.

Too often on mixed teams, culture is seen as inherently existing in the office. Learn how to leverage technology to open up the key communication channels (remote <-> in-house and remote <-> remote) to ensure that your company culture isn’t just engaged in, but also *created* by the entire community!

Speaker Bio

Hannah manages the Student Help team at Magoosh, with a focus on top-notch academic support for Magoosh students as they prep for standardized tests around the world. In the past 3 years, she’s become a specialist in scaling and managing remote teams in an otherwise co-located company. Outside of work, she’s a rock-climbing polyglot with an exceptional love for curious foods!

3:00 3:45 -- Practicing Empathy without Bias - Anthony Galleran, Illuminate Education

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
How to show the client you care while defending your product.

Description
We all know the situation: a client calls in complaining about a feature your product does or doesn’t have that makes it hard to use. And the worst part? You kind of agree with them. How do you show the client that you understand their frustrations – truly – without throwing your product and development team under the bus? I’ll share with you some tips I’ve learned from previous experience both in customer service and as a college counselor, and we’ll try out some scenarios in a safe, fun environment.

Speaker Bio

I’ve been working in customer support/service in some capacity for the last 15 years, whether as a bartender, college counselor, or my current career, product support. I’m a CA transplant living in the greater Portland area with my amazing wife and 1 year old daughter. I love watching and talking about film, theatre and television, am a killer mixtape maker, and avid video gamer.

3:00 - 3:45 -- Be the Boss: Own your Career and Get Where you Want to Go in the Unknowable Future - Mercer Smith-Looper, Appcues

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
A better handle on your own career and what you want to do with your life.

Description
My workshop will include activities that help people really get to the crux of what they want in support and in their career, and then provide them with tools, encouragement and guidance on the best way to get there.

Speaker Bio

Mercer is Head of Support at Appcues. She also teaches yoga, has a baby, and loves food and lifting up others.

3:00 - 3:45 -- A (Very) Beginner's Guide to APIs - Abigail Phillips, Help Scout

Location: Workshop Room D

Takeaway
You’ll walk away with the ability to make basic API calls, a list of tools to get started with, and the confidence to continue learning on your own.

Description
Does seeing the word API leave you in a cold sweat? Not to worry – a former API avoider is here to help.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to level up your technical game, or you’re looking to be a more competitive job applicant. If you have no idea how or where to start learning, this will help you take the first step.

The topic of APIs felt completely intimidating to me a couple of years ago, but I now love the possibilities they open. This is meant for total beginners – no advance knowledge of APIs or programming is required. Only a desire to learn :-).

Speaker Bio

I’m head of the Customers Team at Help Scout, where I’ve been a Customer Champion for almost 3 years. Even though I work remotely, I still choose to live in frigid Boston – I genuinely don’t mind the winters. I love backpacking (the Smokies are my favorite), reading (like the rest of you introverts), and any chance to get on or in a body of water (paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, duck boats – they’re all great!). I laugh a lot, so come say hi if you want to feel hilarious.

3:00 - 3:45 -- From Inception to IPO: The Art of Scaling your Support Department through Storytelling - Marlene Lee Summers, Zuora

Location: Workshop Room E

Takeaway
Five Takeaways to Scale Successful & Tell the Story
Top 10 Execution Principles Through Growth
Understanding Growth, Product Specialization, and Customer Experience
Successful Customers = Your Personal Career Success
Embracing and Overcoming Growth-Induced Adversity
How to Address the Question from your CEO: What are your industry peers doing?

Description
Congratulations! Your company is making money and thriving! You have a product or service that people want and need. Your customer base is expanding rapidly. You feel fortunate to have the ability to hire more and more employees, from 10 to 50, 100 to 300 and beyond. Now that you have more people, will it be easier? Is it time to rest on the laurels of your hard work? Did you figure out the formula to pave the road for future success, right?

Nope! Guess, what? How you ran customer service in your small company won’t work as you grow. We have all heard stories and have likely experienced it ourselves: a great young company started out really caring for each of its customers, knowing them by the first name and giving them a fantastic experience with each service interaction. Times goes by, the company becomes “big”, loses touch with its base and customer satisfaction plummets. In a blink of an eye, smaller companies emerge and carve out their piece of the market, using superior customer service as their competitor differentiator. The now big company looks around and cannot understand what went wrong and when they lost touch.

The adage, “the fastest you rise, the harder you fall” holds true. As Customer Service leaders and professionals, it is our job to make our organization ‘grow-ready’ and resilient against the popular traps that companies fall into when scaling. When you do not scale and evolve your people, programs, and processes, you are placing your company and its future at risk, along with your professional career and reputation. Rapid growth without adaptation drives chaos, confusion, loss of productivity, inefficiencies and cash flow leakage. The results can be toxic: drops in customer satisfaction, customer disengagement and ultimately the loss of the customer – impacting corporate earnings. The customer service team which contributed to your initial success now becomes the source of the problem – resulting in reorgs, layoffs and other organization actions which can breed either more chaos and dysfunction.

Speaker Bio

Recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Woman of Influence and by the Stevie Awards as a Female Executive of the Year in Computer Software, Marlene is an industry trailblazer, born to lead customer success at software companies. She brings 20 years of experience in enterprise software, grounded in a technical background and empowered by insightful leadership and an influential management style which gets the things done. Marlene joined Zuora in 2010 as the first Customer Success Manager before transitioning to build out the customer support organization, which provides 24×7 support through six service centers, delivered by over 70 experienced support professionals, achieving a 96% Customer Satisfaction rating, which exceeds the software industry benchmark by 10%. Her Customer Support Services and Community now includes product and developer documentation, as well as the Zuora Community program, a recognized front-leader in the B2B community space. She enjoys shares her passion and lifelong learnings through presenting around the world on building a CS organization from inception to IPO. Learn more @ www.marlenespeaks.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 -- Company not diverse enough? Take matters into your own hands - Kristina King, Jama Software

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
When diversity is top-of-mind, you can make an impact. This is a start.

Description
You ever have those moments at an all-hands meeting where you think, everyone here looks very similar? (Like, we tend to interview and hire people that are mirrors of ourselves!) It seems like a cultural problem, but you yourself can’t change that overnight. My team certainly noticed that, and in the service of creating diversity amongst ourselves, our Customer Care team started an internship program for entry-level support engineers. Now that we’ve been doing this for almost a year, I’d like to share our process and how it’s worked.

In the talk I will cover: the problem we were trying to solve (our company does not invest enough into unconscious bias training or interview prep to close the diversity gap), why we decided to create an internship program (to change that, starting with the Support team), how we sourced candidates (promotion geared toward nonprofits serving women in tech and those changing professions), how it benefits the interns (experience), and how it ultimately benefits us (different points of view). I will share the types of applicants we received and how we ended up making our choices, too.

Ultimately this talk is geared towards those who get to make hiring decisions, be it from a hiring manager perspective (like me) or those on hiring panels. If you feel like your organization isn’t making a big enough impact, from the top, with diversity and inclusion, take matters into your own hands!

Speaker Bio

Kristina King is a manager of a technical support team at Jama Software. Prior to joining management, she formed Jama’s community management program and worked as a support engineer. She wasn’t always in tech, though: she worked as a middle and high school teacher for five years. Fortunately alternative pathways into the tech field are becoming more common, and she is passionate about bringing more people with atypical backgrounds into tech. To achieve this, she volunteers with PDX Women in Tech and runs an internship program at Jama. In her free time she makes short films and rides her motorcycle.

3:30 - 3:50 -- CSAT: It's almost dead - Antonio King, Shinesty

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
How to implement low effort strategies into their support processes.

Description
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.

Speaker Bio

Serving as the Director of Experience for Shinesty, a company that’s out to encourage the world not to take itself too seriously, Tones is championed to oversee the customer experience as well as the employee experience.

Starting at 3:45pm

3:45 - 4:25 - Career Unconference -- Building and leading support organizations

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 -- Agent Empowered: Leveraging AI and Data Science to speak the same language as Product - Natalie Abeysena, ScopeAI

Location: Talk Room A

Takeaway
Support sits on a treasure trove of insights – get other teams to listen and take action by mining, analyzing and presenting this data in a quantitative way.

Description
As the first responders to the most pressing customer issues and requests, support is constantly encountering user preferences and product insights. Convincing others to take action on these observations however is a real challenge. The solution – speak the universal language of “data”.

This talk focuses on how support teams can gather the right data to drive strategic initiatives, inform product and operation decisions and act as the “voice of the customer” across the organization.

We’ll specifically dive into how developments in data science and artificial intelligence have enabled anyone on the support team to sift through, analyze and present actionable insights from high volumes of customer feedback.

Speaker Bio

Natalie is the CEO and Co-founder of Y Combinator-backed artificial intelligence company ScopeAI. ScopeAI helps support teams analyze customer conversations to find product and operation insights. Prior to founding ScopeAI, she was a UX researcher at Google where she translated user interviews into actionable insights for product teams. She holds a Masters degree from Harvard University in Technology, Innovation and is currently based in San Francisco.

4:00 - 4:20 --A True People Play: Delivering Customer Value Through Employee Enablement and Engagement - Colby Parrott, SurveyMonkey

Location: Talk Room B

Takeaway
Hear theory and see a practical use case to gain ideas on how to build a team who are great at what they do and who love what they do.

Description
Many sales teams have enablement functions to support sales and account management activities. However, this role hasn’t traditionally sat within a Customer Operations function. There is value in doing so because enablement provides a strategic, proactive, and hands-on learning approach. SurveyMonkey is tapping into this strategy to create an enablement and engagement program bespoke to Customer Operations. The goal is to provide systems and tools, programs, and a clear career path for the Customer operations team. Topics discussed in this session include:

• How the enablement and engagement team is set up to deliver customer value through an empowered customer operations team

• How our Customer Operations team is driving value through personalised, effortless, and speedy service

Speaker Bio

Colby has built a unique perspective on innovation in customer operations and in talent development. Joining SurveyMonkey in 2006 as the seventh employee, this enabled her to build teams from start-up through adolescent stages of growth. Colby started in client services and moved on to build knowledge engineers and L&D team strategies. Colby’s work in localizing user experiences brought her to Dublin in 2014 to grow and scale a global support team. Now with a Master of Science in Organizational Behavior, Colby is applying this expertise into building a new program within Customer Operations focused on enablement and engagement strategies.

4:00 - 4:45 -- So, are you ready to start a customer success team? - Yasasree Nerayanuri, Freshdesk by Freshworks

Location: Workshop Room A

Takeaway
Understand if you’re company is ready for a customer success team.

Description
It’s been quite a journey for us at Freshdesk – right from when we started the customer success team to where it is today with 50+ people helping over 150,000 customers make the most of our product. When we began, we didn’t know where the boundaries of support ended and where the customer success team could jump in. Over the last 5 years, we’ve learnt a few things about starting a customer success team. We’ve found that most organizations have telling signs on when they’re ready for a customer success team, and we’d love to share them with you in this session.

Speaker Bio

Yasasree is the Global Lead – Customer Success for Freshdesk at Freshworks. When she’s not helping customers, crunching numbers and putting out fires, she’s an active fashion blogger. She loves red lipstick as much as helping customers make the most out of Freshworks.

4:00 - 4:45 -- Remote Culture: Turning on Engagement - Hilary Dudek, Handshake

Location: Workshop Room B

Takeaway
Attendees should walk away feeling empowered to create a more inclusive environment for their remote colleagues and direct reports.

Description
Within the tech industry especially, and extending beyond that, the so-called sub culture of the remote employee is growing. These employees work remotely 5 days a week, from home, coffee shops, and other locations but what do they really do all day when we can’t see them on a video call? Who are these people, how much are they really working, and how difficult is it to collaborate together? How do we stay connected with those who are not physically in the office with us?

In this workshop, I will present attendees with a day in the life of a support, chat about some of the challenges remote employees face, and cover what YOU can do to create an inclusive, collaborative environment.

Things you can do to create an inclusive atmosphere for your remote employees, and keep them integrated with the team in the office:

  1.  Empower your remote support employees
    a) Arm them with the knowledge they need to
    succeed
    b) Arm them with the tools they need to
    succeed
    c) Empowering them with the knowledge and
    ability to have success and growth in the
    company
  2. Tips for including your remote support employees
    a) Video call etiquette
    b) Efficient methods of communication
    c) Team building activities that are easy for remote people to participate in
  3. We will close with an activity for practicing remote empowerment and inclusion

Speaker Bio

Hilary is the Support team manager for Handshake, based out of San Francisco. While she resides in Michigan, she has a found a track to success within her company while living across the country. With her own success, she has been able to help assist in adding to the remote culture of Handshake and helping other remote employees find their voice and track. Her area of expertise includes engagement with Fortune 100 Employers and students from top universities across the country, and helping them further understand the Handshake platform. When not on her laptop working, she is a wife and mother of two with a passion for singing and theater.

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.

5:00pm

5:00 - 5:10 Closing remarks - Andrea Badgley, Support Driven

Location: Main Room

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Community Meetup: Vintage Arcade (and Beer)!

What are we doing?

We’ll be hanging out at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade (115 NW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97209). I’ll probably be camped out near Galaga, my personal favorite, but am hoping to get a group together to play an SD-only version of Killer Queen. For the uninitiated, it’s a 10-player mashup of capture the flag and Joust with three different ways for your team to win.

If you haven’t been to an arcade bar, Ground Kontrol is one of my favorites and worth a visit. They have 90+ arcade cabinets and pinball tables including most of the “classics” as well as some of the more modern games. The games are in great shape and you can enjoy an adult beverage while channeling your inner 12-year old.

This is an actual bar, so you’ll need to be 21+ and have a valid form of ID to get in.

When will it start?

We’ll arrive around 6PM and we’ll go until we’re out of quarters—probably sometime around 8PM but who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Help, I’m lost!

I’m @md on Support Driven and can be reached via phone/text at 805-640-5224!

Click here for more details and to RSVP.