It might surprise you to know that there are two regular podcasts dedicated to nothing but customer support. With one of those having 100+ episodes, how much more could there possibly be to say about customer support?
A lot, it turns out. Much like the early days of B2B “inbound” marketing, customer support didn’t really exist ten years ago. It isn’t taught in schools, and nobody’s mother encouraged them to pursue it as a career.
Customer support is undergoing a fundamental shift. It’s moving from the outskirts of business consciousness to occupying a very central role. We need communities like this to drive the role of customer support, attract talented would-be candidates to the profession, and elevate customer service to its rightful place in a company’s growth strategy.
But it can be difficult to know where to look for things you need to grow, develop and learn.
Luckily, we’ve scoured the web and found the top resources that will help you get better at customer service. here’s the list.
Hosted by: Chase Clemons
By day, Chase Clemons helps customers at Basecamp. By night – well, once a week – he transforms into the host of his very own Support Ops. By his own admission, the show is the change he wanted to see.
“I looked around online for a place to learn about customer support, maybe exchange some ideas with others working support or find best practices… But there was none.”
Support Ops is the closest you can get to taking a course in customer support. Every week, a crew of customer happiness pros from Buffer, Automatic and Wistia, get together, discuss a new topic each week, and record it as a podcast, a Youtube video, and MP3 download. Start listening here and keep updated with Support Ops on Twitter.
Hosted by: Scott Tran
Support Driven is the brainchild of Scott Tran, who found that the relationship between the external-facing customer support and internal development hasn’t been explored enough at all. On the Support Driven site you can find anything from a-day-in-the-life-of stories to community-generated reports on salaries and team size
A rolling Slack team with over 700 of the most passionate and knowledgeable support pros in the industry, it’s the shared experiences which make Support Driven a valuable destination for anyone in the industry.
“I’ve been thinking about why the community works… and I think it’s about folks helping each other. No one has all the answers… but we face a lot of the same questions,”
Customer support blogs, and publications
Customer experience goes hand-in-hand with great support. CX Journey is led by Annette Franz, who’s focused on creating remarkable customer experiences. Check out and subscribe to her blog to learn about the latest best practices in the customer experience and success space.
Tracky Dacks is Mathew Patterson, who spends his days looking after the customer service team at Help Scout. Matthew has had over eight years in customer service and is dedicated to sharing support tips and tricks for web app stores, online stores and content websites.
Tockeroo is a blog all about customer happiness by Ines van Essen. Ines is part of the super online support team behind WordPress. Her wisdom from learning on the job brings a new perspective to the typical day-to-day of a support pro. You’ll find videos of Ines’s speaking at events like WordCamp, and we recommend reading her post on how her life as a mother has helped her become a better customer support professional.
Help Scout Blog
Amongst topics like growth and product, Help Scout have published many blog posts about customer support. Their posts cover everything from tips to focus on individual customer issues, how to improve your online support interactions, and useful insights on how to better support your co-workers and teams.
Groove’s customer support academy has many practical tips on supporting your customers, with a particular focus on dealing with customer interactions. Readers are also drawn to the warts-and-all entrepreneurial journey from their CEO, Alex Turnbull.
Born out of call centers and technical support, WINTHECUSTOMER is a blog from Flavio Martins, author of Win the Customer: 70 Simple Rules for Sensational Service. Flavio’s great customer service tips are insightful, and he often writes about how call centers can up their game and create amazing customer experiences.
Andrew Spittle is a happiness engineer at Automattic. Andrew documents his personal accounts from dealing with customer relationships amongst snippets of wisdom from the customer service world, combined with plenty of quotes, images from his travels, and thoughtful articles with analysis.
Mercernator is Mercer Smith-Looper. With a self-described occupational background that includes pretty much everything, Mercer has honed her skills on web-based troubleshooting and development, as well as support and solutions management.
Mercer curates the best reads online in Leadership, Product, Support, Marketing, and self-care, plus writes her own posts on her thoughts about the customer support world. You can get both her recommended reads and her own writing directly to your inbox through her newsletter. Mercer also co-hosts a video/podcast series with Elsie Ramsay on community building and support.
Mercer is very active on Twitter so be sure to get in touch with her!
Sarah Chambers on Medium
While busy running the Kayako support team and writing for the Kayako blog, Sarah shares her experiences of working remotely, the lessons she’s learned from building and running support teams, and is an active note-taker at conferences she attends. Named one of Mind Touch’s top 100 customer success influencers of 2016, you can find Sarah on Medium and Twitter.
Lilac Incorporated is Melissa Rae Brown, an ex-pat from St. Louis currently in Dubai. Specializing in community management, and shares her insights and experiences on her blog. You’ll find her on Twitter with #cmgrEMEA, a monthly Twitterchat for community managers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. A discussion on community loyalty, managing productivity, customer retention, and much more, #cmgrEMEA is held on the first Wednesday of the month at 1 pm GMT (9 am EST / 5 pm GMT+4).
Hot Dogs and Eggs
Hot Dogs and Eggs is Chris Gallo from Highrise. Chris makes customers feel important and that definitely comes across in his writing, you’ll find everything on there from working with product teams to redesigning help centers. But why would you name a site Hot Dogs and Eggs? Better head over to his site to find out!
Customer Centric Support
Customer Centric Support is Nate Brown. Nate is the VP of Communication for the HDI Music City Chapter. His goal is to create engaging, innovative and personalized service transactions with his customers, and his blog full of content to support this philosophy. He’s active on twitter so be sure to reach out for a chat!
Customer Service Life
Not one but, two people write for Customer Service Life. Customer Service Life is served by Jenny Dempsey, and Jeremy Watkin. They’ve both been working in customer service for a collective 20+ years, and the writing on their site definitely shows that experience. You can learn everything from best practices in handling angry customers to learning how yoga can make you better at support. Hit them both up on twitter: @jtwatkin and @.
The Customer Support Handbook
The Customer Support Handbook, by CoSupport isn’t a blog but it is a book devoted to customer support. Leaders in customer support bring their stories of brand failures, triumphs and best practices for support on the web. Finally, all you need to create your own amazing support team.
Customer support newsletters
The Helpfuls Newsletter
This is a curated reading list by Morten Lundsby of UserChamp. Every week, you’ll receive five links curated to help you to improve your customer service, learn from users and build great products.
Status Page Support Weekly
This weekly email from statuspage.io shares five helpful links to customer support posts from around the internet. They feature everything from helpful best practices to insightful thought leadership.
We Support NYC
We Support NYC is an online community dedicated to redefining great customer service and elevating the role of support and community in tech. We Support works at the intersection of customer service and social customer care. Each week, you’ll receive a list of blogs to read, events that are happening, and jobs for customer support or community support with vacancies in NYC – plus a gif that’s guaranteed to make you smile.
If you’re not great at checking in with the SD community, or staying on top of fast-moving discussions, this newsletter is for you. Each week you’ll get a list of the topics and trends the support pros in the SD community are reading and talking about, so you won’t miss out.
As well as the podcast, Chase Clemons from Support Ops sends a notification each week for every new podcast episode with the show notes, and special mentions. If you’re not a podcast fan, this newsletter is the TL;DR version.
Customer support meetups and communities
Evan Hamilton’s Community Manager Breakfast:
Evan Hamilton has been running Community Manager Breakfast for over five years. A monthly meetup for those in community management, Community Manager Breakfast focuses on creating an ongoing dialogue between peers to share unique insights and perspectives. Originally in San Francisco, CMB has now opened up a meet in New York City.
SF’s Customer Success meetup
This Customer Success meetup is a monthly meetup for dedicated professionals in Customer Success looking to connect and share best practices. If your role touches on the success of their customers, product management, lifecycle marketing, or making your organization more customer-centric, this is the group for you. This group jumps around startup campuses in the San Francisco area and has over 100 attendees every month!
London’s Customer Success Experience meetup
This London Customer Success meetup happens every other month. The Customer Success Experience is interactive, collaborative and innovative in learning and sharing knowledge about Customer Success. If you want to meet other Customer Success professionals in an informal environment then get yourself down there!
Elevate Summit doubles up as a conference, and meetup. It’s the only conference where you can develop your professional skills in customer support, success, and product management. Elevate Summit conferences are currently planned in Europe and the US.
SupConf is a conference for folks who want to make a career out of support. Driven by it’s community, the conference focuses on developing skills to excel your customer support career.
So many resources, so little time…
There’s an easy way to keep up-to-date on everything happening in customer support. Head over to Support List, a curated directory of tools and resources for customer support pros covering:
- Support tools and software
Have you got a favorite support community, podcasts or newsletter I’ve missed out? Leave a comment and I can add them to the list.