Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Tour of UserVoice

by: Brooks Webb

I recently took a trip to the UserVoice office located in the center of downtown Raleigh, NC.  I went for their monthly Customer Service Breakfast, where people from the Customer Support industry meet to discuss and share ideas.  Topics have included Customer Service Training, Dealing With Angry Customers, and the importance of Internal Company Communication. It's always educational and highly recommended for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of the Support environment.  That goes for both mid-upper level management as well as front-line agents.

While I took a lot away from the discussion that can be applied towards my own role as the manager of a support team, I was also interested in how UserVoice handles their own support processes. The office in Raleigh only houses a handful of employees, two of which are Support agents who love their jobs. Typical of most support centers, they are extremely customer focused and seek customer feedback for ways to improve.  They handle support via email, live-chat, and the occasional Skype request. They occasionally work remotely from home, but absolutely love their office space. Though there were only two support agents, they were the support team and their office was the support center.

Untypical of most support centers, it's in what used to be a luxury residential apartment in downtown Raleigh, it's on one of the most active streets in town, and there's just the two of them handling support inquiries.  There are a few developers located there as well, but the support reps have a room with a view instead of the common cubicles that most centers have.  The rest of the UserVoice team is located in San Francisco.

As mentioned before, the office used to be an apartmentThe building itself, built in 1913, houses a restaurant and bar downstairs, the UserVoice office upstairs, with a coffee shop and bakery next door.  Within the office space, they have a full kitchen, arcade machines, and a direct view to the hustle and bustle of downtown Raleigh.  When work is over, they can literally walk downstairs for dinner and drinks if they like. 

I've only been working in the call center environment for a little over 3 years now, but this has to be one of the most unique support centers I've seen.  Morale at this place was through the roof, and it was apparent by their attitudes and their high customer satisfaction rating.  It goes to show that keeping your employees happy really does translate into a better customer experience.  UserVoice maintains morale with their environment and flexibility.  What does your center do?  Or better yet, what could they do?

Brooks Webb is the Manager of the Premier Support team at iContact, where his team handles all second level support inquiries, including Billing Support, Level 2 Technical Support, and Support for all Top Level Managed Accounts. Follow Brooks on Twitter @WBrooksWebb

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