20 Support Leaders That We are Grateful For

When we asked our networks who people were grateful for, there was such an amazing outpouring of kindness…and far more people than we could include in one blog post.

Support, as an industry, grows more each day. It used to be that when you were sitting at the dinner table over the holidays and people asked “how’s work going?” us customer support folk wouldn’t know what to say. I know, at least, that when I tried to explain to my parents what I did, it went in one ear and out the other.

But those times are no longer. Now everyone, at least tangentially, knows and understands about customer experience and its importance. As the industry has grown, so have the amazing leaders within it. People that all of us in the world of support learn from each and every day.

As the holidays approach, we want to take the time to recognize some of those leaders, especially the ones that the community found to be the most impactful in their lives and growth within the support.

So, check it out! Our 20 support leaders that we are grateful for this year. If you’re a Twitter person, I’ve also created a handy dandy list that you can follow!

Camille Acey, VP of Customer Success at Nylas

Camille has an impressive background in customer success and advocacy leadership. Not only is she committed to consistently learning and bettering herself and team, but she documents all of it. Her LinkedIn is a treasure trove of insights, as are any of the multiple talks she’s given. Go, Camille, Go!

Kathy Sierra, Author, Game Developer, Java Programmer

While she originally started her career as a developer, Kathy Sierra has written a number of hugely impactful books, including Badass: Making Users Awesome. Numerous people listed her and her texts as immensely influential in their career in support and how they think about customer experience overall.

Angela Raiford, Head of Community Happiness at Patreon

Angela is an excellent resource when it comes to learning more about the intersection between product management, support and development. You can check out her Twitter here.

Abby Armada, Customer Support Manager at Flickr

Abby is a pro when it comes to working and managing remotely. She’s also worked in support for over 10 years, and tech for 7. Beyond that, she cohosts the Support Driven podcast and is an active member of the Support Driven community. Needless to say, there were lots of people thankful for her this year. I’m especially thankful for her 1D tweets, though.

Sarah Betts, Customer Champion at Olark

If you’re looking to get to know someone consistently caring and insightful, Sarah is your person. She’s worked in a variety of different support roles across industries and, because of that, brings a unique perspective on customer support and success. Best of all, she is humble and always willing to have deeper conversations about her reasoning and thought process. Her Twitter is excellent.

Chelsea Baker, Head of Customer Engagement at Recruiterbox

It feels like Chelsea has done a little bit of everything, and is always willing to share her varied expertises with those around her. From her insightful and informative newsletters when she managed the community at Support Driven, to her encouragement and leadership of the support and success teams at Recruiterbox, there are tons of people who are grateful for Chelsea.

Diana is a successful consultant, cohost of the Support Driven Podcast, and a support leader. She’s a huge influence in the Support Driven community, and always willing to lend her deep insights whenever she can. If you’re looking to better your email marketing or website copy with the customer’s experience in mind, she can help!

Chase Clemons, Support Team Lead at Basecamp

Chase has had his hands in almost everything support related. Whether that be working on the community over at Support Driven, helping run the Support Ops podcast, or leading his team at Basecamp, he does so with humility and insight. He’s also excellent at homesteading and a number of other things that you can learn about on Twitter.

Andrew Spittle, Happiness Engineer at Automattic

Personally, I’m grateful for Andrew because of the care that he puts into everything he does. It feels like everything that he touches, he does so with the utmost consideration. This was echoed by all of the people that said they were grateful for him this year. Thanks, Andrew. You’re the best.

Antonio King, Director of Experience at Shinesty

Antonio shows all of us what it means to be excellent. Providing support, humanly and with a sense of humor is not easy. You can frustrate customers, use the wrong words and come off as uncaring. Tones has taught all of us that that doesn’t have to be the case.

Mo McKibbin, Head of Support and Enablement at Brightback

Mo has done support at some of the best companies in the game, and brings a TON of insight into every conversation about customer experience that she has. Her enthusiasm is unparallelled and her writing is clear, concise and informative. Basically, she’s just the best.

Sarah Hatter, Founder of CoSupport

Sarah runs a conference series that has given many of us our first taste into the community behind support and customer experience. She also organized and co-authored The Customer Support Handbook, which serves as an excellent guide for anyone looking to break into, or better understand the concept of success in this career. She’s also hilarious and kind, to boot.

Ben McCormack, Head of Support at FullstoryBen is kind, funny and humble—which says a lot, because he’s also excellent and informative when it comes to customer support. From the numerous talks that he’s given professionally, to the pep talks that he’s given many of us personally, Ben is an all around Good Egg that so many of us are grateful for.

Adrian Swinscoe, Customer Experience Advisor and AuthorAdrian is an all around boss. He’s published books (a new one just came out), runs a successful CX newsletter, and serves as an advisor for companies looking to grow in their customer experience. He’s informative, intelligent, humble and very, very funny. Check out his Twitter.

Waldo Broodryk, Customer Support Manager at Webflow, IncWaldo is excellent at providing support and has made a huge impact on people that have worked with him. But, beyond that, he makes an impact on strangers by sharing candidly, encouragingly and openly about his own journeys and work in life. If you’re looking for a way to cultivate gratitude and live a more present life (while also totally slaying the CX game), Waldo is a great person to know.

Ana Wiechers, Senior Manager, Enterprise Support at ZendeskAna is all about empowering her team to make the right decisions on their own. Her tweets are inspiring, especially for those of us still looking to grow and open up opportunities for ourselves and others. Pay attention, especially, to what she shares about her own personal experiences with leadership and growth.

Scott Tran, Founder of Support DrivenScott gave the Support world one of the first online communities where we could come together and learn from each other. For that, all of us are grateful.

Mathew Patterson, Customer Service Evangelist at Help ScoutMat went from managing support teams and leading departments to writing about how to do those things at Help Scout. He’s funny, informative and, most importantly, willing to share his knowledge through talks, blog posts, and on his Twitter.

Jim Mackenzie, Support at BasecampIs there a more thoughtful and intentional person alive? We’re not sure. Jim is great at sharing unique, kind and gentle perspectives about support interactions and how we’re doing them. Another one of those people that make your life better just by following them.

Andrea Badgley, Happiness Engineer at AutomatticNo matter where she is working, Andrea is thoughtful, kind and never hesitant to reach out with a kind word. People are particularly grateful for the effort that she puts forth to help individuals work through career challenges. Overall, we love her for all of the work that she’s put into making the support ecosystem kinder and more intentional with her work.

When we asked our networks who people were grateful for, there was such an amazing outpouring of kindness…and far more people than we could include in one blog post. To see some of the others, check out this LinkedIn post or this Twitter thread.

A big thanks to everyone that reached out and shared a little gratitude this season, and to all of the people on this list. We’re grateful we get to learn from and grow with you every single day.


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Mercer Smith-Looper Mercer Smith-Looper

Mercer is the Head of Support at Appcues, a yoga fanatic, and strives to make the world a little bit happier one customer at a time. You can find her at mercenator.com and on Twitter at @mercenator.

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