85: Remote Work with Mo McKibbin

85: Remote Work with Mo McKibbin

Mo McKibbin has worked remotely for six years, and believes Support is perfectly suited to remote work. We chat about why this is such a beneficial relationship, and then she gives me one hot Slack tip!


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 85 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is remote work. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome back to the podcast today. Mo McKibbin, Mo. It’s lovely to have you back.

Mo McKibbin 0:37
Yes. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited. This is something I’m really passionate about.

Charlotte Ward 0:42
I know, I know. That’s why I wanted you to come and talk with me about remote because I know you have a real love relationship with this way of working right.

Mo McKibbin 0:49
Yeah, I’ve been actually working remotely for the last six years.

Charlotte Ward 0:53
When it comes to remote work and its relationship with support. Do you think that’s particularly beneficial relationships

Mo McKibbin 1:00
Absolutely, in fact, I actually believe unless your support team has a direct relationship with something in terms of fulfilment or warehouse where they need to, you know, process something tangible or customer support should absolutely be remote. Because one of the most important metrics really in in terms of delivering awesome support is you know, that time to first reply are many of our businesses, our customers do not live where our office lives. Our friends in the UK are going to be waiting eight hours for, you know, the San Francisco office to open up. And that’s a really poor customer experience. And on top of that, when you have a whole world of conversations that come in, before you know, your office wakes up, that even also pushes the help that you’re able to give the people who do live in your time zone because you’re opening the day with a backlog Having remote team members across time zones, helps to make sure that you are producing accessible support available support at the time that they need it. And then the other thing that it does is it helps to have people who are connected to the cultures that they’re part of serving the cultures that are writing. I actually did a conference in Europe once and I was told that I’m so American. I think, you know, like, there’s like a, in the US there’s like this abusive bubbliness and like over positivity, that’s expected and in us support in Europe, being direct, and being like to the point is more valued. So just having folks that understand some of those different cultural nuances is also really awesome and helping people the way they want to be helped.

Charlotte Ward 2:52
I totally need to get you back to talk about cultural differences as well, which I feel we’re in danger of straying into here, but No, no, it’s super fascinating. I think this is super interesting in the context of remote as well. If you do have a global team that probably you are supporting customers that are from elsewhere in the world as well, right, so you open up the world, but also you need people who are a bit more capable of sort of doing some gymnastics culturally, right?

Mo McKibbin 3:21
Yes, absolutely. Well, that’s one thing that’s awesome and helps to we have a remote team is that the whole team that educates people on those cultural norms to share a lot of these knowledge with us better educating our team where we wouldn’t get the exposure to that if we had like an insular group of people, um, you know, all developing our voice and our tone and our process and all those things.

Charlotte Ward 3:45
Now, you said the P word there as well. And I want to talk to you about this. You said processes.

Mo McKibbin 3:51
Oh, yeah,

Charlotte Ward 3:55
It was buried in there, but I spotted it. So really quickly. Talk about processes in remote because this is really important, isn’t it?

Mo McKibbin 4:05
Absolutely. First of all, in general, I love a good process for anything and customer support. Even if your team is not remote, it’s specifically important in remote because you are dealing with having to have that a plus support all across different time zones and making sure that everybody is aware of all the changes that take place.

Charlotte Ward 4:25
This is the argument that people so often make for in offices that the communication is, is so in the moment, it’s real time. It’s perfect. Everyone knows what’s going on, because they’re just there.

Mo McKibbin 4:37
Yeah, so you know, I think slack can be a disaster tool or the most powerful tool and it all depends on how it’s wielded. What I’ve noticed is that situation of everything gets lost usually happens if you don’t have a clear organisation, around your slack channels. So one of the ways that we can Around this and help scout you know, it’s funny because it seems like such a simple thing but like people like love it is I think about channels and slack channels in two different ways and their conversation channels. Maybe you have like a company wide support channel that the whole company talks about support and then you have like your C team private that’s like just your support team. The other type of channel is what I call a feed channel only feed channels are things that you have integrations for, so like maybe like that stream of Zendesk tickets, or that stream of you know, like just little pings that come from external tools that keep you in awareness. So what we do at help scout was we actually created a feed channel for internal processes. So instead of being like run by a integration, it was run by like us the support team, whenever we would release new information that everybody needs to stay on top of. And so we would have these categories like new save reply, new help article, like new process documentation, we had this like little bolded tag Whatever the category was, and then we would like link to whatever the new article was, whatever the new internal code slab was, all of those things, and this would not be used for any discussion whatsoever. And the other thing that was nice as we did have it open to the whole company as well. So it also elevated the support processes and how much we were producing. And its surface some of that information elsewhere in the organisation as well. We’re very firm. I’m like, this is not a discussion channel.

Charlotte Ward 6:26
That’s awesome. I’m going to go and do that.

Mo McKibbin 6:29
I hope you do. I hope everyone does. It’s life changing.

Charlotte Ward 6:33
I think that’s the simplest, most concise piece of slack advice I’ve been given in quite some time. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/85 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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