Fletcher Richman

5: Kathryn Castle, Head of Technical Support Engineering EMEA, Optimizely

In Episode #5 of the Support Leaders Podcast, we interview Kathryn Castle, Head of Technical Support Engineering EMEA for Optimizely.

We discuss how she started teaching English after studying at the University of Warwick before starting her career in support. We talk about all of the changes she’s seen since starting at Optimizely in 2014.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Optimizely balances support between different technical teams as well as collaborates with different teams across the organization
  • What support channels Optimizely uses and how they chose those
  • How Kathryn improves her team’s efficiency with tooling and strategy

The book’s Kathryn recommends:

Crucial Conversations

High Output Management

 

4: Lauren Cowher, Director of Customer Experience @ Havenly

In Episode #4 of the Support Leaders Podcast, we interview Lauren Cowher, Director of Customer Experience at Havenly.

We talk about her experience at Princeton, working in healthcare, going back to study anthropology at Goldsmiths College, and then her first customer support role at WriterAccessd. Then we talk about how Havenly’s support team has grown to support customers and interior designers in their dynamic marketplace.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Havenly manages an onshore and offshore support team
  • How support for a marketplace creates unique challenges and how Havenly solves them
  • How the Havenly “Happiness Guarantee” has been built into their culture and has impacted the entire company.

Lauren’s favorite book:

Uplifiting Service 

3: Andrew Spittle, Happiness Engineer @ Automattic

In Episode #3 of the Support Leaders Podcast, we interview Andrew Spittle, Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

We talk about his first experience using WordPress and building a company in college. Then we talk about how Automattic’s support team has grown extensively as a fully remote team. We go into Automattic’s amazing company rule – no internal email,  and how that affects the support team.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Automattic effectively supports a wide variety of different products.
  • Why every employee at Automattic starts with 3 weeks in support, and how Andrew’s team makes that possible.
  • Why Automattic built their own live chat product and how it enables them to manage live chat for a completely remote team at scale.
  • Why Automattic has no internal email and how they manage internal communication.

Andrew’s favorite books:

The Effortless Experience

The Effective Executive

Tribal Leadership

Leading Change

2: Zach Bouzan-Kaloustian, Director of Customer Support @ DigitalOcean

In Episode #2 of Support Leaders, we interview Zach Bouzan-Kaloustian, Director of Customer Support at DigitalOcean. We talk about his time at Foursquare, Fab.com, and then growing with the team at DigitalOcean. He explores his ideas of “Support as a Product” and goes into detail about how they are solving their massive knowledge management challenge.

In this episode, you will learn:

The makeup of DigitalOcean’s support team, how many tickets they get, and how they have scaled.

The DigitalOcean support tool stack, why they chose to move to Salesforce ServiceCloud, and what their challenges were in moving. 

How DigitalOcean manages real-time chat with customers at scale.

The skills required to be a support agent for DigitalOcean.

How DigitalOcean’s support team works with the Risk and Saftey and Customer Success teams. 

1: Antonio King, Director of Experience @ Shinesty

In Episode #1 of Support Leaders, we interview Antonio King, aka “Tones,” the Director of Experience at Shinesty.com. We talk about customer support as the one night stand vs. customer experience as the relationship, customer satisfaction vs. customer effort, growing a team for seasonal peaks, some funny customer stories, and much more!

Show notes:

Here’s one of the Fun.com videos we mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PHthbqnTlc

To learn more about Shinesty, visit their Website: https://shinesty.com

The NiceReply blog post I mentioned: https://www.nicereply.com/blog/frictionless-customer-support-shinesty/

Effortless Experience Book: https://www.amazon.com/Effortless-Experience-Conquering-Battleground-Customer/dp/1591845815