Supporting your Support: Give your Support Team Flowers, Chocolate, Money, and Stock Options

*
Accepted Session
Short Form
Intermediate
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 10:00 – 10:45am in B301

Excerpt

How to support your support team

1. Pay your support staff a living wage. There are many reasons why you should pay your support staff a living wage, including reduced stress and higher quality work. We don’t expect support staff to be paid on par with engineering, but they should receive the same benefits & perks as engineers.
2. Listen to your support team. Your support team has valuable, data-backed insights about your customers’ pain points. Prioritize support needs in terms of product improvements.
3. Support your colleagues’ career ambitions. Some people who work in support are interested in becoming engineers. You can encourage this by giving them time to learn coding or work on projects during work hours, or paying for educational materials or tech conferences. Respect the fact that not everyone wants to be an engineer as well. Support should be a viable career path in its own right.

Description

Your support team isn’t happy. They leave the team after a few months, and you’re constantly having to pay the cost of interviewing and training new candidates. How can you, a tech manager or engineer, keep your support team happy so they’ll stick around?

We’re two members of the npm, Inc., customer support team, and we’ll talk about how you can better value your support colleagues.

The audience will come away with concrete solutions for how they can be advocates for, value, and retain a stellar support team. After all, if support isn’t happy, they won’t be able to make your customers happy.

Tags

customer support, technical support, emotional labor, management

Speaking experience

Kiera has given two 5-minute lightning talks at Double Union, a feminist hacker space in San Francisco, to an audience of 20-30.

Stephanie has given internal talks at various workplaces, and enjoys speaking about her passions.

This is the first time either of us have submitted a talk to a conference.

Speakers

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    Biography

    Kiera Manion-Fischer has successfully made a career transition from newspaper journalism to tech. She is an experienced writer and communicator. Kiera now works as a support tech for npm, Inc. She loves “Star Wars” way too much, but not enough to use it as a metaphor in her talk.

    Sessions

      • Title: Supporting your Support: Give your Support Team Flowers, Chocolate, Money, and Stock Options
      • Track: Business
      • Room: B301
      • Time: 10:0010:45am
      • Excerpt:

        How to support your support team

        1. Pay your support staff a living wage. There are many reasons why you should pay your support staff a living wage, including reduced stress and higher quality work. We don’t expect support staff to be paid on par with engineering, but they should receive the same benefits & perks as engineers.
        2. Listen to your support team. Your support team has valuable, data-backed insights about your customers’ pain points. Prioritize support needs in terms of product improvements.
        3. Support your colleagues’ career ambitions. Some people who work in support are interested in becoming engineers. You can encourage this by giving them time to learn coding or work on projects during work hours, or paying for educational materials or tech conferences. Respect the fact that not everyone wants to be an engineer as well. Support should be a viable career path in its own right.

      • Speakers: Kiera Manion-Fischer, Stephanie Snopek
  • Screen shot 2015 09 29 at 8.34.44 pm

    Stephanie Snopek

    npm, Inc

    Biography

    Stephanie Snopek is a professional problem solver with extensive experience working in advisory and supportive roles in the field of Education. She transitioned into tech in 2015 because of the career opportunities this industry offers, and she’s passionate about creating space for other people coming from non-technical backgrounds.

    Sessions

      • Title: Supporting your Support: Give your Support Team Flowers, Chocolate, Money, and Stock Options
      • Track: Business
      • Room: B301
      • Time: 10:0010:45am
      • Excerpt:

        How to support your support team

        1. Pay your support staff a living wage. There are many reasons why you should pay your support staff a living wage, including reduced stress and higher quality work. We don’t expect support staff to be paid on par with engineering, but they should receive the same benefits & perks as engineers.
        2. Listen to your support team. Your support team has valuable, data-backed insights about your customers’ pain points. Prioritize support needs in terms of product improvements.
        3. Support your colleagues’ career ambitions. Some people who work in support are interested in becoming engineers. You can encourage this by giving them time to learn coding or work on projects during work hours, or paying for educational materials or tech conferences. Respect the fact that not everyone wants to be an engineer as well. Support should be a viable career path in its own right.

      • Speakers: Kiera Manion-Fischer, Stephanie Snopek

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