Support Breakfast Podcast | Episode 39 – Building a bridge

It’s just Lisa this week and she’s joined by Chelsea Stroh from Recruiterbox to talk about solving communication challenges to bridge the gap between support and the engineering teams who build, maintain and fix our products.


We want to thank our regular listeners for bearing with our recent unscheduled hiatus. We love making this podcast but it takes a lot of work to put it together every week and we’ve all got a lot on our plates. This is a labour of love and we don’t get paid for any aspect of it right now. If you’d enjoy listening and want to support us please email us at hello@supportbreakfast.com to find out how you can help, or donate a few pounds to help towards our costs at Ko-fi.com/supportbrekkie

With that out of the way, let’s talk about breakfast…

Lisa had toast with delicious coconut almond butter and has a small bone to pick with Pip and Nut. (Update: she reached out to them and they were very friendly and nice but they’re not able to switch out the crunchy peanut butter for a smooth one, which sucks)

Chelsea made a special effort to eat breakfast and had something called buckwheat groats. We did Google and apparently you can get these in the UK from some health food shops and online, if you want to try them.

Customer Stories

Chelsea has nothing but good things to say about Helpscout after a recent change to the helpdesk tool her team uses.

We also talk about the experience of adapting workflows (and workarounds!) from one system to another. Definitely something to explore in another episode!

Mailbag

Sophie Lafayette (@slafayette) tweeted to let us know how much she’s been enjoying catching up with our episodes. It’s so great to hear from you, Sophie! Thanks for listening!

And now on to this week’s topic

If you want to skip straight to the discussion, it starts 5 minutes and 27 seconds into the episode.

Chelsea and Lisa talk through these questions:

  • How does your team handle this communication?
    1. Day to day?
    2. In emergent situations?
  • Has this communication/relationship always been good, or is it something you’ve had to work on (or are maybe still working through) (is there anything that worked well or didn’t?)
  • How do you fill gaps in the empathy for both teams (feeling empathy for the customer’s problem and feeling it for any tech limitations)
  • Does your company’s support team see features/designs and give input before they’re released?
  • Have you ever struggled to find common ground with someone whose communication style was unlike your own? How do you improve that kind of relationship?

A few key takeaways:

  • You might need to iterate on the way support communicates with your developers as the company and team changes.
  • Communication may not happen organically so try to create opportunities to keep support in the loop, whether that’s a specific meeting or inviting support to the developer standups.
  • Cross-team projects are a great way to build relationships.
  • You might need to chase developers up to communicate with you in a way that you understand and can explain clearly to customers.
  • Work to build empathy for your team and their technical limitations, as well as empathy for customers.
  • Not everyone communicates in the same way – if possible try to create something like a user guides, here are the questions that Chelsea and I used for ours.

Homework

If it’s before 7pm on Thursday, September 28th, you may still be able to get a ticket for the event that Lisa is running as part of her new project, London Support Lab:

Lisa's Moderators

Eventbrite - London Support Lab: Measuring Success 

Chelsea also has homework: take a few minutes this week to improve one relationship or communication process.

That’s it for this time – if you have a topic you’d like to hear us get into or want to help out in some way, email us hello@supportbreakfast.com.

Don’t forget that you can now donate at https://ko-fi.com/supportbrekkie

Follow us on Twitter @supportbrekkie or individually at @gentlethorns@celysestroh,  @conorp@sarahleyh@davechapman & @sarahleeyoga.

Have a great week!

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