Inside B2B Tech Support

Feb 22, 2018

Data Talks, Episode 4

Data Talks is Exago's podcast on all-things business intelligence, analytics, and application software. This month, Exago Support Manager Jeff Kalpakis talks shop with Zendesk Senior Advocate Manager Brian Harris, exploring such topics as team structure, internal communication, and what to do about those pie-in-the-sky enhancement requests.


Segment 1: Methodology of Support Team Management

(4:10) Structuring a support team

(5:30) Triaging tickets

(6:50) Segmenting by subject matter expertise (squads)

(8:40) “Stretch tickets” as a means of training agents

(10:35) Using ticket tags to facilitate support QA

(12:20) Feature owners and product champions

(14:13) Training agents/advocates

(14:50) Incremental improvement

(16:05) Focusing on soft skills

(17:10) Internal communication: meetings and collaboration

(18:43) Slack

(19:57) 24-7 Model and Follow-the-sun method

(20:22) Warm hand-offs

(21:45) Atlassian and HipChat

(22:23) Support communicating with development

(24:25) Handling tickets

(24:50) Ticket types and ticket forms

(27:35) Managing support operations

(28:56) Handling enhancement tickets

(30:14) Utilizing community forums

(30:45) Voice of the Customer program

(32:30) Tracking client interest in JIRA

(33:14) Transparency and managing expectations

(34:40) More on Voice of the Customer

(39:00) Top three support hacks

(39:05) Jeff’s top hacks

(43:22) Brian’s top hacks

Segment 2: What We Are Nerding Out About This Week

(46:55) Data storytelling as a better way to communicate metrics

(48:40) Intel chips’ Spectre and Meltdown security flaws


SIIA Webinar: “Building a Killer Support Team” with Scott Epter, Ph.D.

Relate by Zendesk

The Anatomy of a Data Story” on the Exago Blog

Wired on the Intel debacle


Featured Guests


Jeff KalpakisJeff Kalpakis joined Exago in 2016 as a Support Analyst and has since assumed the role of Support Manager. When he’s not overseeing support meetings or interfacing with clients, Jeff builds websites and leads walking tours of Kingston, New York.


Brian HarrisBrian Harris began his Zendesk career in 2015 as a manager of Tier 2 Advocates and ascended the ranks to Senior Advocate Manager a year later. He makes his home in Stoughton, Wisconsin, where he knits with his wife and crafts artisanal sausage.



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