Take Control! Techniques for Efficient Live Chatting

I gave a talk this past weekend at SDX Portland on tips for controlling and ending chats. Here are the slides and script 🙂

Live chat is fast. That’s why it’s great for customers, and that’s why it’s a challenge for support professionals. Unlike email support, the customer is waiting for answers in real time, and unlike phone support, a live chat agent is often handling multiple conversations simultaneously.

If you watch the Support Driven Slack, you’ll see questions pop up about live chat at least once per week. Along with staffing, two of the biggest concerns with live chat that repeatedly appear are: Continue reading “Take Control! Techniques for Efficient Live Chatting”

A day in the life of a live chat Happiness Engineer

I lead a WordPress.com live chat team at Automattic, and as we expand our live chat offering into the weekends, I work a couple of weekend days each month. Today is one of those weekend workdays for me.

On weekends I do more customer-facing-support and less team-lead stuff than I do during the week, and I’m excited to share my experiences in direct support to help folks who are looking to become Happiness Engineers see what the day-to-day job is like. Continue reading “A day in the life of a live chat Happiness Engineer”

The power of self-demand

People in general, and knowledge workers in particular, grow according to the demands they place on themselves… If they demand little of themselves, they will remain stunted. If they demand a good deal of themselves, they will grow to giant stature.

— Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive

I’m spending the morning under a blanket, transcribing underlined passages from professional development books into a notebook I can carry with me in my laptop bag. As our daughter challenges herself to baking a new type of cake, and piping a new type of frosting, this quote from The Effective Executive resonated with me.

Originally published on Butterfly Mind, December 2016.

Tools I use for task and time management

This week’s SupportDriven writing challenge focuses on tools, and specifically on the tools we use for time and task management. When I moved into a leadership role this summer, my day-to-day work changed significantly, and in any given week I’m trying 2 or 3 different tools to find an effective combination that helps me get the right work done on the deadlines I’ve committed to.

This past month, I think I finally found it. Continue reading “Tools I use for task and time management”

Ecologist to… Happiness Engineer? The evolution of one career in support.

Growing up, I did well in math and science — areas I was told repeatedly I was special to do well in. I felt a sense of rarity, and thought, “If I’m good in these, when others struggle, then this is where I should direct my life.”

By the time I arrived in college, it did not occur to me to study anything other than science. Continue reading “Ecologist to… Happiness Engineer? The evolution of one career in support.”

Writing a flash talk under a tree

Each autumn, the company I work with, Automattic, holds our annual all-company Grand Meetup. We all converge this year in Whistler, British Columbia, where we will take and teach classes together; build internal tools; gather in town halls where we ask our CEO, support lead, and product leads anything we want; attend workshops on diversity and public speaking; and most exciting to me, give and listen to Automattician flash talks. Continue reading “Writing a flash talk under a tree”