Support Ops Hangouts

Support Ops Hangouts
This is our weekly talk show focused on all things customer support.
#147 – A Good Manager Gives Feedback Upward
Aug 15 • 36 min
On the last episode, we looked at how to actively seek out feedback from your team for yourself. But what happens when it’s you and your boss? With this episode, we tackle how you can give feedback to your own manager and C-suite team. On this episode,…
#146 – A Good Manager Actively Seeks Out Feedback
Aug 1 • 35 min
With support teams, our empathy often creates a culture of nice where it can be tough to have candid discussions. We hold our opinions back rather than risk being confrontational. But a good manager will create a culture that encourages candor and open…
#145 – A Good Manager Trains Their Replacement
Jul 25 • 33 min
It’s rarely a good idea to bottle up all the knowledge you have that makes you a great manager. But how do we make sure others on our team are ready to step into our shoes? On this episode, we’ll talk about the idea that “Regardless of seniority, every…
#144 – A Good Manager Admits Their Mistakes
Jul 18 • 24 min
Everyone makes mistakes, even super managers and team leads. It’s how we handle those mistakes that set good managers apart from the not-so-good ones. On this episode, we’ll look at the idea that “Regardless of seniority, every good manager will admit…
#143 – A Good Manager Helps Balance the Team’s Work/Life Schedule
Jun 27 • 34 min
One of the things we’ve been talking about at Basecamp is the idea that 40 hours is plenty of time for work. Is that enough time for your team though? And how do you make sure they stick to 40 hours, especially when you’re a remote team and can work any…
#142 – A Good Manager Creates Growth Paths
May 23 • 39 min
Jeff started a great conversation on the last episode around the idea of growth paths and grow-outs. We’ll continue that conversation this week and look at the idea - “Regardless of seniority, every good manager creates growth paths for their team.”
#141- A Good Manager Knows the Team’s Strengths
May 9 • 27 min
Leading a team is all about knowing the strengths and weaknesses of others on the team. It helps you to put the right people in the right roles for the project. But how do you find out the strengths/weaknesses of individual team members? And what happens…
#140 – A Good Manager Will Keep Regular 1:1s
May 2 • 26 min
Everyone talks about the power with regular 1:1s between you and your team. But are they really worth it? And how important is it go have them regularly scheduled? On this episode, we’ll talk about the idea that “Regardless of seniority, every good…
#139 – A Good Manager Will Care Personally
Apr 18 • 41 min
“It’s not personal, it’s just business”. You’ve heard this phrase before and maybe even said it. But is it true? On this episode, fill in the good manager question with this belief - “Regardless of seniority, every good manager will care personally.”
#138 – A Good Manager Will Listen
Apr 11 • 32 min
Next up in our “Every Good Manager Will…” series is an important one that often gets overlooked. Managers tend to focus on action - do this, don’t do that, etc. On this episode, we talk about the idea that “Regardless of seniority, every good manager will…
#137 – A Good Manager Will…
Mar 28 • 29 min
It’s new series time here around the show. There was a great Tweet that caught my eye, both because it’s a great prompt and had a great conversation thread alongside it. “Regardless of seniority, every good manager will” and you get to fill in the blank.…
#136 – Preventing Burnout
Mar 14 • 38 min
Camille E. Acey joins the show this week as our special guest. You might remember her from SupConf NYC back in November. We look at how burnout happens and more importantly, how you can help your team both prevent and manage it.
#135 – The Business Value of Thank You
Mar 7 • 30 min
With special guest Emily Triplett Lentz on the show, we take a look at one of her recent articles over on the Help Scout site. In The ROI of Thanking Your Customers, she makes a case that something as simple as a thank you card can have a big impact on…
#134 – Your VIP Customers
Feb 14 • 33 min
It’s the last in our boundary series so we’re focusing entirely on your customer borders. When you have customers that have been with your company forever, it’s tempting to set them up with perks and special treatment. Where’s the line for these types of…
#133 – Protect Your Time
Feb 7 • 33 min
This week we’re talking about one of the most important boundaries to set - your time. We look at ways to control how much time you spend on your work and how much of your time people grab for themselves. Best of all, you’ll hear how each of us says “no”…
#132 – Share Often
Jan 31 • 27 min
If you don’t have clear boundaries on when to share one’s work, a person can get wrapped up in it and let it become part of them. If/when the work doesn’t pan out, that person can get discouraged and frustrated. All that brings us to this week’s question…
#131 – Social Media Boundaries
Jan 24 • 33 min
This week, we kick off a new series focused on boundaries. We have boundaries all around. With customers. With team members. With work itself. This series it going to look at those boundaries and help you rough in where the lines actually are. First up -…
#130 – Live from SUPCONF NYC
Jan 17 • 44 min
It’s our live show from SUPCONF NYC! With it’s AMA style, we tackle everything from “Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into support with no experience?” to “What you rather be a dragon or have a pet dragon?”.
#129 – Turn the Ship Around!
Jan 10 • 43 min
With our final Book Club episode of the series, we look at “Turn the Ship Around!” from David Marquet. We look at what a leader-leader model means for our teams, how to think out loud in both in-person and remote situations, and why training is okay if…
Thank You!
Dec 26, 2016 • 1 min
I wanted to take a moment and say thanks to you and all of our other listeners. 2016 has been a blast and we’ve got a ton in store for 2017. But none of it would be possible without your support. Before we go back to our holiday break, I have just one…
#128 – Hug Your Haters
Dec 6, 2016 • 36 min
This week’s book club episode looks at “Hug Your Haters” by Jay Baer. We’ll talk about the different kind of haters, how you should engage with them, and if you really should answer complaints on every possible contact channel out there.
#127 – Trust, Empower, and Clear the Path
Nov 29, 2016 • 27 min
It’s part two of “Creativity, Inc. Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull. We talk about the Pixar Brain Trust, clearing the path for others, and empowering your team.
#126 – The Table, the Ugly Baby, and Creativity, Inc.
Nov 8, 2016 • 36 min
This episode kicks off a brand new series - the Support Ops Book Club! We’ve got four books on the docket for this series. We’re starting today’s with “Creativity, Inc. Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull.…
From the Archives – #85 – Success vs Support Teams
Oct 18, 2016 • 40 min
Since we’re on fall break, we’re bringing back another excellent episode. On this episode, we’re looking at the difference between customer support and customer success. We’ve seen more and more companies set up support as a reactive, first line of…
From the Archives – #89 – Keeping Your Team Happy
Oct 11, 2016 • 52 min
We’re bringing back another great episode from the depths of our archives. We’re always talking about keeping customers happy. From easy refunds to pro-active support, we go out of our way to make sure they stay customers. But what about our fellow…
From the Archives – #91 – Have a Little Fun
Oct 4, 2016 • 47 min
We’re bringing back a great episode from the depths of our archives. We all strive to make support interactions memorable for our customers. But what’s the secret to doing that? This week, we look at a few ways to inject fun into your customer…
#125 – Communicating Better as a Team
Sep 27, 2016 • 25 min
We’re wrapping up our series on how you make yourself a better support pro with a look at how you communicate with your team. Whether you’re remote or local, communicating with your team members can be tough. Just like talking with customers takes time…
#124 – Take Care of Yo Self
Sep 20, 2016 • 36 min
The very first point on our manifesto is ” You first. Put on your oxygen mask first. You can’t help others if you’re gasping for air yourself.” But so many support pros struggle with this. Our entire job is taking care of others. But if you don’t take…
#123 – To Specialize, or Not to Specialize
Sep 13, 2016 • 23 min
As your support team grows, it can be tempting to start splitting out into different specialized groups. Team Billing handles all the billing related questions. Team Success only handles onboarding new customers. But is that something you should be doing?…
#122 – Self-Mentor
Aug 30, 2016 • 32 min
We’ve looked before at how mentors can help a new manager. But what if you don’t have one? In this episode, we’ll talk about ways to be your own mentor.