May 6, 2022

Five Things We Learned About Support Experience from the First SX Live Conference

In the support industry, the need for transformation has been a long time coming. That need was confirmed at the inaugural SX Live, and the response to the event and engagement from the support community has been phenomenal. We recap the conference and look ahead to what’s next.

In the support industry, the need for transformation has been a long time coming. A function long under-resourced and under-appreciated as a value driver outside of the confines of support, true change has required business model shifts in ‘everything as a service’ and the maturity of AI solutions to make it viable. Now it’s time.

In April, SupportLogic was proud to host SX Live, the first event dedicated to Support Experience. SX Live contained 3 days of thought leader- and practitioner-led sessions and panels:

  • Day 1 was focused on the rise of Support Experience and understanding what it means.
  • Day 2 was about organizational alignment to Support Experience and how functions like product, engineering, customer success, and sales all improve together with support.
  • Day 3 celebrated the agent superheroes with sessions sharing practical guidance to improve retention and career development.

The response to the event and engagement from the support community has been phenomenal. Twenty Five amazing speakers joined us representing different industries and functions, all with a shared passion for Support Experience. We had over 700 people attend live from all over the world, including business leaders from support and other functions, support managers and front-line agents. We’ve also had over 1,500 people sign up to engage with the content on demand. This is a clear and strong validation of the desire to learn about these topics.

Here are five key takeaways from the first SX Live:

1. Support Experience is now critical to revenue.

Support can no longer be an afterthought or a cost-center where margin pressure cuts away at investing in what’s really important: delivering a great support experience throughout the customer journey, from initial onboarding and adoption through growth, renewal and expansion. Each of these phases relies on being smarter and more proactive in how support is delivered. As one support industry luminary said, “support experience is now everything!”

2. Every organization in the company benefits from understanding insights hidden within support interactions.

The Support function has traditionally operated in a silo. Support engineers have always had deep insight on customers and ideas for what could be improved in the product and in the customer experience. The challenge has been they’ve had no easy way to share that information out with the rest of the organization at scale. Until now. Many companies are leveraging AI based solutions to unlock and process massive loads of customer input that’s been hidden in the unstructured data within support cases. These insights are now readily available to help product, engineering, customer success and sales teams improve their part of the customer experience. 

Watch this fireside chat about employee experience & customer experience: creating the right balance for success, with Dean Robison, SVP, Customer Service and Support at ServiceNow and Omid Razavi, Chief Customer Officer, SupportLogic.

3. Support escalations don’t need to be scary – they can be predicted and prevented with the proper technology and workflows.

Every business must deal with customer escalations. Most manage them in a reactive way – e.g. a customer requests an escalation and the support team scrambles to assemble the right team and resources required to fix it. But why didn’t that business see the warning signs and proactively address the issues before the case got escalated? Imagine the improvement in CSAT if you could prevent many of these escalations? How about eliminating calls to the CEO?

Watch this panel discussion on building a reliable and scalable escalation management system, with best practices shared by support and customer success leaders from Qlik, Cloudera, and Commscope.

4. The Product-led growth business model that is driving improved growth and business valuations relies heavily on support to ensure good customer experiences.

Today many B2B SaaS companies are embracing the PLG (product-led growth) model, where the product itself is the primary driver of customer acquisition, retention and growth. This business model is proven to generate faster growth and higher valuations for PLG companies. A challenge for both PLG-native and legacy companies in transition is that building the perfect product to avoid human interaction is futile. The best PLG companies offer a great support experience to help their customers early and often. 

Learn about how proactive support drives product-led growth with leaders from Monday.com, Gainsight PX and OpenView Partners.

5. Investing in the agent experience and retention is key to improving customer experience.

We’re all familiar with the ‘great resignation’ that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the ripple effects of remote work. Employees in a technical support role have had high levels of turnover due to a number of factors. Many leading companies are now investing in the employee experience as a way to stop the bleeding and improve how they support customers in the process.

Watch the keynote from John Ragsdale, VP of Technology Ecosystems at TSIA ’s key on envisioning the future for support technicians and learn tips for putting tech support engineers on the fast track in an insightful panel with support leaders from UI Path, OSIsoft, and Salesforce.

Watch SX Live on demand and come join the Support Experience movement! 

There are 18 sessions from 25 industry speakers. Also join the Support Experience group on LinkedIn for content updates and connecting with support leaders and practitioners.

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