Operation Delta Force - Building a user-centric culture through company wide support

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Causes has been able to build a user-centric culture by adopting practices of company wide support. Our model is a bit untraditional, focusing on meeting people where they are and giving everyone in the company an opportunity to interact with users directly or through other passive channels.

Here's my full presentation at UserConf 2013 - San Francisco.

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Operation Delta Force - Building a user-centric culture through company wide support

  1. 1. *Operation Delta Force* Building a user-centric culture through company wide support James Rogers @urbancali
  2. 2. Company wide support Benefits: • Scale resources • Decrease response time • Increase satisfaction • Strengthen user empathy • Create a better product
  3. 3. What’s Causes? The world’s largest online campaigning platform Support me at causes.com/jroget
  4. 4. Causes in early 2012 Support systems didn’t really exist • Few metrics • No asking of support satisfaction • Feedback loops back to product development poor • Bugs sat in queue for months at a time User empathy was poor • Little understanding of their needs • Generalized them based on unexpected behavior • We took them for granted
  5. 5. Step 1: Build systems Gather data • Weekly reports • Number of tickets, response time, satisfaction • Tag and track issues Set clear goals • 24 hour 1st reply time (Monday-Friday) • 85%+ user satisfaction Expand your channels • Integrate ZenDesk with Facebook/Twitter • Install chat support (Olark)
  6. 6. Step 2: Launch Delta Force Syd Dir. Community & Support Melissa James Community organizer Support Emily Kellen Community intern Community organizer Rocky Community organizer
  7. 7. Step 2: Launch Delta Force Training the team • Week 1 - Support pairing (2, 1-hour) • Week 2 - Cover support with mentor (2, 1-hour) Scheduling • James - Everyday, Monday - Friday • Delta Force - Individuals have assigned days • No more than 2 hours coverage for assigned day
  8. 8. Step 2: Launch Delta Force Managing the team, sharing information • DeltaForce@ email • Priority bugs • Interesting support articles • Weekly retros • Review rated tickets • Issues/housekeeping • Support Wiki • Login information • Reports and processes
  9. 9. Step 3: Grow Support’s influence • Integrate Support into Product • Publicize Support data and feedback • Public Olark chat sessions • Join product manager meetings and engineer scrum • Organize weekly bug triage meetings with tech leads
  10. 10. Step 4: Make it a company effort • Support onboarding for every new hire • Lunch time talks on support and interacting with users • Meet people where they are - give them options and ask them to join
  11. 11. Step 4: Make it a company effort Active Interaction type More Answer tickets Time commitment Cover live chat Passive Usability test or product research call Checking the Campfire Support feed Sitting in on a public live chat Employee-user interaction pyramid Less
  12. 12. Today’s Delta Force “It’s getting a chance to see firsthand how users understand the product in the wild.” - Emily, Product Manger “It helps me understand some of the common misconceptions about the product. If people still think we’re a Facebook application, that’s a problem Marketing needs to solve ASAP.” - Brad, Audience Growth PRODUCT VP Product Product Managers Post Master ENGINEERING Software Engineers VP Engineering “Delta Force gives me a sense of empathy for our users that I wouldn’t necessarily have and helps me realize the impact of bugs.” - Tom, Software Engineer Director Product Research UX Researchers MARKETING Audience Growth Marketing Manager
  13. 13. What we achieved • Made user support sustainable • Improved response time • Bugs tackled faster • Increased satisfaction - ~70% to ~85% • Talked with more users proactively • Conversations changed
  14. 14. What we learned • Communication and building Active relationships is important • Support isn’t for everyone - Interaction to those who help • Support should live within Product Team • Interacting with users makes everyone’s job easier, and makes our users happy Answer tickets Time Cover live chat meet people where they are • Give awards and recognition More Passive Usability test or product research call Checking the Campfire Support feed Sitting in on a public live chat Employee-user interaction pyramid Less
  15. 15. Now it’s your turn!

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