May 14, 2020

Managing support challenges at every point of scale

Brian Sze

In this video, Assembled’s CEO, Brian Sze, facilitates a panel of support and workforce management leaders—Adrien Seldon from Stripe, Shelton Wirth from Daily Harvest and Nick Martin from Harry’s. The group discusses the challenges of scaling a support team and the workforce management tradeoffs that come with growth. They explore expanding channel coverage and timezone availability, growing teams in-house and through vendors, forecasting support volume in dynamic environments, and the adjustments needed to work during COVID-19.

This panel is brought to you by Support Driven.

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Video Notes

01:48 - Introductions of support leads and workforce managers

06:31 - How do you define the different chapters of your support team’s growth and what challenges did you need to address along the way?

07:50 - Getting support staffing right through random and expected volume spikes (like Father’s Day) at Harry’s during a period of rapid growth

10:45 - Expanding support channel coverage and moving from scrappy processes to standard operating procedures at Daily Harvest

14:00 - Implementing customer service productivity metrics and databases with support vendors for increased visibility at Stripe

15:57 - How have support channels evolved at Harry’s?

16:42 - The support channel that made Harry’s realize you don’t need to be everywhere

18:55 - Advice for transitioning from email to live support channels

19:55 - The implementation at Stripe that kept live channel support volumes in their control as it ramped up

22:55 - Launching SMS and inbound phone support at Daily Harvest

24:40 - The unexpected benefit of a delayed channel launch date

25:47 - Best practices for managing your social media presence

26:42 - Using Instagram at Daily Harvest for both branding and support

29:20 - Difficulty of finding reliable metrics for social media support

30:54 - Expanding support hours of operations to new timezones and geographies for live channels

32:05 - An important consideration for outsourcing to reach 24/7 availability from Stripe

36:06 - Ensuring overlap in hours to transfer overnight knowledge and increase each office's feeling of inclusion

37:18 - How have you adjusted to the reality of COVID-19?

37:31 - Scheduling creatively to help across channels with a significant volume surge at Daily Harvest

40:30 - Making tough tradeoffs regarding spikes in incoming volume and forecasting for the new normal at Harry's

44:10 - General tips handling spikes in support volume

44:24 - Build a buffer for both staffing plans and occupancy assumptions

45:45 - When looking at remote teams in different parts of the world, consider the infrastructure for both offices and residential zones, especially during COVID-19 when work is being taken home

46:50 - How has the journey been with cross-training and specialization?

47:16 - Harry’s philosophy toward specialization

48:40 - Using technology to assist in specialized triaging during high-volume times

51:43 - Any tips or tools for managing virtual environments vs in-office environments?

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