If you’re a CX professional in the Austin area, ATXCX is no secret to you. ATXCX is a group for anyone that is passionate about or looking to learn more about customer support and success. Hosting regular meetups around Austin for the CX community to network and learn, every meeting features one or two key speakers that speak to different topics relevant to customer support and success.
ATXCX is approaching its One Year Anniversary, and Stella Connect is joining forces with ATXCX, Evernote, Dialpad, and Kustomer to throw a huge event to celebrate! To kick off the celebration, we sat down with ATXCX founder Brittany Naylor to talk about the genesis of the group and her passion for CX.
Customer Support Manager at Evernote
1. First of all, tell us a little about yourself!
I am currently the Customer Support Manager at Evernote. Prior to this, I functionally built the Customer Support and Success departments from scratch at Service Direct, where I was employee number 5. I spearheaded the support functions and wore several hats during my time at Service Direct, handling everything from social media to office management. During my time there, I saw explosive growth at the company and hired some amazing people.
Now that my professional bio is out of the way, here are the fun facts! I love craft beer and traveling to new places! I have run two half marathons. I just built my first home and have really been enjoying homeownership. My two dogs, Luke and Leia, are my life and I do everything I can with them. I love hiking, but my favorite vacation has been my trip to Hawaii. I am also married to the most supportive, amazing man in the world who encourages me to chase my dreams and be the sugar mama he always wanted.
2. What drew you to CX?
I found my love of customer support through my part-time college job at a hotel. I loved that everything we focused on was to enhance the customer’s experience. That level of care is what made me want to abandon my career path of becoming an archaeologist, and jump feet first into the tech world starting with Apple Retail. Apple Retail was an obvious jump from hospitality to CX because they view every aspect as an experience, down to the time it takes for a product box to open. Everything is designed to delight the customer. I have been striving every day since to build organizations that have as much care and focus on the customer.
3. What do you love about CX?
I love being able to help make products people actually want. I have been on both sides of the fence where a product was built with the company’s needs in mind instead of the customer, and I have been in a place where every step is taken to innovate and solve problems for their customers. CX to me is more about listening to the customer and giving them something they want, instead of just building something and having an infrastructure to support upset customers after.
4. Tell us about the genesis of ATXCX
ATXCX started in an interesting way. There is a large startup event every year in Austin and I got an email inviting people to host meetups. I got most of the way through the application when I realized there was not an option for anything CX-related at all. They were all focused on sales, marketing, design, and engineering. So, I emailed them asking if I could help build out a CX meetup, and they wrote back saying they weren’t interested in that field at this time. That made me very sad for Austin because so many Silicon Valley companies have their support and CX teams located here, and we needed a place to get together and learn from each other too.
I have been inspired by many events such as Support Driven, Pulse by Gainsight, and Elevate CX. Those events are so great, but the problem was that they are so expensive and it is hard to take an entire team. They depend on a few people to come, learn, and go back to their teams to implement the things they learned. I wanted the full teams to have access to quality networking, peer to peer mentorships, job opportunities, and most importantly continued growth in knowledge of CX. Thus, ATXCX was born!
5. What has been your favorite part of running ATXCX over the last year?
My favorite part of ATXCX has been seeing how many people’s lives this community has impacted. People have gotten the knowledge and skills they needed to get a promotion, and they have networked and met people that helped them land a new job. It is so rewarding to see so many people out there wanting to take time out of their busy lives to better themselves and in turn better their careers and their companies.
6. Where do you see ATXCX going in the next year? How are you hoping to grow?
My goal for ATXCX next year would be to start up a mentorship program within the community to pair up experienced professionals with mentees looking for help and advice. This was something I did early on in my career and it helped me more than any book I read or webinar I watched. Having a real person who had been through what I was going through and came out the other side was so encouraging, and I hope to bring this to the community soon.
7. What advice would you give to other CX leaders hoping to create their own local community?
I would love it if every community in the world had a group like ATXCX! If you want to start something in your local community, I recommend joining forum groups like CX Accelerator or Support Driven to find people near you. Start small, inviting your teammates, co-workers, and telling them to invite their friends. ATXCX started with a small group of about 15 people sitting in a circle just telling each other stories and laughing over a couple 12 packs of beer that I bought fifteen minutes before the meetup started. It doesn’t have to have sponsors or event spaces or a logo. You just need a few good people wanting to grow and network.
8. Lastly – favorite CX success story?
My favorite CX story! It’s so hard to choose just one. The most meaningful moment was back when I was building out a support team for a startup. There was only a homegrown form on the “support” page that customers could fill out as a ticket. It just emailed a copy of the response to me, and I would reply via email. It occurred to me after a very insightful CX conference that there are actually tools out there to make not just my life easier, but also make the support experience better for the customers.
After months of demoing and doing the song and dance with these software companies, I landed on the perfect one. The engineers built it out and pushed it live (on my birthday – which I said was the best gift anyone had ever gotten me). Within the first week, I saw a huge decrease in ticket volume because customers had access to help articles before opening a ticket. The CSAT of the agents went from a 20 to an 80! Customers were so happy to get the help they wanted. And I was SO happy to not be fielding a thousand tickets a month. This was a huge win for a small startup with a customer to agent ratio of 250:1, and I was relieved to see those months of hard work pay off.
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