Support Breakfast Podcast Episode 2 – Communication

We made another one!

With lovely Sarah being in New Zealand this week, it was a wee bit trickier to find an ideal time for us to work together. Luckily we’re all used to working as part of distributed teams, so we weren’t fazed by something like a 13 hour time difference!

We love to start the recording sharing stories of great customer service, both of our interactions with our customers and *as* customers.

Last week Sarah shared the great experience she had with American Airlines when it came to pre-ordering a vegan in-flight meal. Unfortunately the meal didn’t materialise! Thank goodness for Clif bars!
Luckily Lisa had a wonderful experience resolving an account mixup with Bluebird Tea Co, who took care of it very smoothly and also added a personal note to the delivery. Nice touch, lovely tea people!

Over at Buffer, Dave was able to quickly take care of refunding an unintended $1,000 payment, which resulted in a relieved customer and a happy thank-you tweet.

The main topic this week is Communication. We’re keen to share and learn how we communicate both with customers, and internally within our teams, especially across different timezones. How do we all keep up to date with news, issues and changes?

Conor was the first Expensify team member outside the US, and shares how Expensify invested in super simple and very cool video tech from High 5 to link their offices (Disclaimer: HighFive is an Expensify customer, and Conor works for Expensify). (Sqwiggle RIP…)

Lisa talks about team member slide decks at Moz. Each team member adds their profile to a shared slide deck which acts as a team member ‘user guide’, members of the team are also encouraged to make individual guides on how they work best. Here’s how Lisa’s Feedback Guide looks. Very cool! A great way to learn about team members, in both a social / personal, and professional way.

Sarah was the 2nd team member to work outside of New Zealand, and implemented a hand-over process. Handovers are in the format of a Slack Post, highlighting:
Issues – things that aren’t working right
News – good-to-know updates
Sundry – the fun stuff
Timely also have a monthly all-company hui

At Moz, the team is kept up to date with a weekly sync, which is recorded for those who can’t attend, and email updates are sent to a shared email alias for the three non-US team mates.

At Buffer there’s a Support News channel in Slack, and a weekly Product sync to cover changes and updates, and a Quality sync to go over bugs, fixes and improvements

Explaining and showcasing features to customers is so important. As Conor says, getting the message to the relevant customer in the right way at the right time is important! Timely have a customer facing change-log, there are also in-app notifications to highlight new features and changes, typically linked to blog posts with more detail. There’ll be social media announcements too.

At Expensify there’s a blog which highlights the significant customer facing changes. They were inspired by Intercom who add a small red dot in the web dashboard to indicate a new feature. Bigger and more complicated changes will have a message in the dashboard. For major new integrations, Expensify host webinars.

Webinars are a great way to demo a product, in an interactive way. It’s a great example of customer support beyond the queue, which may well become the topic of next week’s podcast… we hope you join us!

Here are some apps we think your should check out:
We love Shush, a Mac app which lets you map a single key to a mute option, ideal for the quick moments when you want to slurp your drink or clear your throat.
And also Headspace – an incredible meditation and mindfulness app. Sarah loves the design and the interface. Conor recommends this article about their office (and how the Headspace team starts their meetings).

We’d love to hear from you! Please email us at and follow and message us at @supportbrekkie or individually:
Lisa – @gentlethorns
Conor – @conorp
Dave – @davechapman
Sarah- @sarahleyh

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