Picture this: it’s Thursday morning, and for three months you’ve been working on a presentation that could change your life. You’re slated to go live tomorrow, so today is your last day to proofread, publish, and upload your work to the company website.
You open your file, click publish, and the program crashes. No big deal. You attempt the good old-fashioned reboot. And…nothing. The program is frozen. Panic sets in.
We’ve all been there, whether in our work or personal lives. Technology hiccups and we feel dead in the water.
When this happens, you aren’t looking for canned responses from a faceless support staff. You want to speak with somebody who understands your needs and the urgency of your situation and can help you reach a speedy solution.
Our support team strives to provide this level of empathic support. We recently got back from our annual retreat, where we got to know each other and improve our team workflows. At this retreat, we’re reminded of our shared goal as a support team: to inspire our customers to create beautiful e-learning–and to empower them with our award-winning support.
Let me introduce a few of these wonderful people:
Allison Goulet, Customer Care Advocate
Ali’s day usually begins with coaxing her little Luna, a pouty Boston Terrier mix, out the door for a walk. Then, like many of us, Ali opens up Slack on her phone to get caught up on any workplace news. Since she starts an hour later to provide evening support coverage, she has some time to get up to speed before jumping right into her day.
Working remotely gives Ali the flexibility to do her job from wherever. She’s been known to work from her home office in upstate New York and her brother’s place in Southern California in the same week! Keeping in touch with family across the nation is a little easier when you can take your work with you.
Her work set-up has also given her time back in her day. This extra time gives her the freedom to maintain work-life balance and engage in activities she enjoys, such as going for a run, propagating her new crop of succulents, or practicing on her banjolele (which is the cutest stringed instrument I’ve ever seen).
Manish Desai, Tier 1 Support Manager
Manish calls India home. He works the night shift, from 7 PM until 3:30 AM India Standard Time. That’s a tough schedule to work, but it’s a tradeoff he makes to spend time with his family during the day.
In the 11 years that Manish has worked at Articulate, he has hardly ever missed a meal with his family, and he always has time to tuck his son into bed. Few full-time working parents can boast a track record like that.
During his time with Articulate, Manish has built a great team. Tier 1 enables our technical support staff to be available 24/7, so when Manish or his co-manager Viren sign off for their shift, they can leave our workflow in capable, diligent hands.
Justin Grenier, Director of Technical Support
Justin wears a lot of hats, both in his work and personal activities. A father, soccer coach, Michigan Wolverine, amateur driving instructor, and curator of all the things, Justin also has a talent for juggling.
Justin is the mastermind behind such fun work exploits as Fun With Data Friday and improv exercises at the support team retreat co-working session. He regularly geeks out over data, and he freely admits that his favorite part of the job is getting to the root of a technical mystery so we can get customers back to work quickly. And don’t get me started on his spreadsheets.
Ashley Terwilliger, Support Team Manager
Ashley feels most productive in the quiet morning, just before the world whirs to a start. Knocking out some work in the discussion forums early in the AM gives her the opportunity to pop out for yoga or a planning session for her latest travel project later in the day.
In the past year, Ashley has traveled to Washington, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, and Iceland. During four of her big trips, Ashley was able to bring her work with her, enjoying a different office view in each place. The ability to explore the world and her passions without interrupting her work schedule allows Ashley to feel fully dedicated to her work while avoiding burnout.
Vira Inzon, Support Team Manager
Vira oversees the team leads and product experts that make up the Tier 2 support team. Based in the Philippines, she works the night shift so she can relay information from her U.S.-based colleagues to her local team during their 9-to-5 workday. She sustains these late hours with coffee and Spotify.
Vira’s main focus is case management. She ensures that customers are getting the help they need quickly when cases are escalated by Tier 1 to her team’s queue. She’s an emoji power user with a relentless sense of humor, a quick wit, and a level of positivity that inspires her team to excel. If Vira hadn’t coaxed me onto the dance floor during the last two retreats, I wouldn’t be the same person.
Those are just a few of the fine folks on the Articulate support team.
While hiring a new Community Moderator for our E-Learning Heroes site, we experienced what Justin called an “embarrassment of riches.” It’s common for us to experience an abundance of excellent candidates when we screen the talent pool for new jobs. And that’s because of the great culture we have here at Articulate.
Each of us recognizes the good fortune of our jobs here, and it almost always causes clamoring envy in our personal circles: “Can you get me a job there? I can work from home! The flexibility sounds amazing! Do you really have such good relationships with your coworkers?”
Yes, yes we do.
Having just come back from my second retreat, I feel even more connected to my teammates. Spending a few days breaking bread, problem-solving, and singing our hearts out during karaoke has deepened my respect for each of them. The way our personalities shine through to a customer in need is what really makes our support the absolute best.