Support Driven Expo 2024

Takeaways from Support Driven Expo 2024: Embrace change and get ahead

Recently, I traveled to Support Driven Expo 2024 in Las Vegas with Sayam Kim, Lead Technical Support Engineer at Intercom. It was an incredible experience, where we got to meet customers, network, learn, and share our knowledge on AI-first customer service.

Sayam gave a talk on “Deep Product Knowledge in the Age of AI,” using a Lego example as building blocks. I spoke on “How to Love Your Career in Support as a Human Partnered with AI,” where I shared what the day to day of a support rep using AI across the customer and teammate journey looks like, along with the moments of joy I experience each day working in support.

We also attended a few talks and learned how other companies are thinking about and executing on their support strategy at this time of great change. And we met and chatted with a ton of people, including many of our amazing customers. Here are my three major takeaways:

1. Your knowledge content is key

A theme that permeated the learning sessions is this: your support content is key. Both external help center content and internal knowledge content need to be robust, effective, and up to date in order for your support strategy to succeed.

“If you could overinvest in anything, it’s content – and soon”

This wasn’t just highlighted in the AI sessions about training chatbots. It was also mentioned in sessions about operational efficiency, accelerating individual contributor (IC) onboarding/upskilling time, providing higher quality customer experiences, and helping support agents thrive in their careers.

Trevor Humphrey, VP of Customer Experience at Honeylove, said: “If you could overinvest in anything, it’s content – and soon.”

2. Support teams love Intercom (and we love them 🤩)

So many customers came up to us at the Intercom booth – during the happy hour, and throughout the conference – to say how impactful Intercom has been for them. We even chatted with brand advocates who have moved to new companies and advocated for Intercom to be implemented.

During a session by Dan Sahar at Guidde, he focused on how essential Fin has been to their AI strategy. Another long-time customer, Text In Church, which is popular for having an amazing team and support focus, shared their enthusiasm for how key Intercom is for their company.

Sayam was blown away by what our customers shared with us, saying, “This was actually my first opportunity to meet multiple customers in person like this and it was such a good experience. I know it’s real people and teams on the other side of the Inbox, but hearing firsthand how essential Intercom is to their day to day and feeling the excitement they had around moving forward together as we execute on our AI strategy really drove home the scope of positive impact that we have on many of our customers’ daily lives.”

3. Speed matters in an AI-first world

When it comes to embracing new tech and strategies, the speed at which you adopt them can make or break your support. Luckily, because of our early and ongoing investment in AI-first customer service, Intercom is on the right track and in many ways ahead of the game. In most of the sessions, I was nodding along and saying to myself, “Yep, we do that,” or “We just started ramping that up.” It was so validating to hear that all of the great advice on building an amazing support team, customer experience, and operational strategy are things we’re already doing or thinking about.

“Be a little more brave, and try things sooner”

In the session with Trevor from Honeylove, he showcased how quickly their support team moved on AI this year, putting their help center content as their top priority, training the AI, and introducing new roles on the team (including doubling their AI QA team over the past month). And yet when he was asked what he would change, he said, “Be a little bit more brave, and try things sooner.”

Companies that move fast to adopt new tech and strategies are already reaping the rewards. For example, we launched our Fin AI Agent in May 2023. On day one, the average resolution rate was 28% of customer questions. Less than a year later, the average resolution rate is 50% and climbing. Companies that don’t adopt AI early will be left behind, because customers are already expecting faster and better support with AI, and if you don’t meet that need, they’ll find a company that does.

And with new AI tools such as Fin AI Copilot emerging for teammates, the experience for support reps is only getting more efficient and delightful.

How to keep up and get ahead in the age of AI

Now, if you’re thinking what I was thinking – “But how does our support team keep up?” – there were so many actionable insights covering this. Here are the main ones I’ll be sharing with my own team:

  • Your support content is key. Create it early, keep it updated, make it thorough.
  • Ensure your support team has a seat at the table, and works closely with product teams before launching new features or products. This will make it easier to QA new features, craft great support content, and better support your customers.

I’m back in Chicago and looking forward to implementing some ideas that were sparked during the conference to drive forward our AI-first customer service strategy.

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