“As a community, if we band together, we can achieve almost anything.”
With International Women’s Day right around the corner, on March 8th, we figured it was an excellent time to give credit to some of the amazing women in the customer support, success, and experience world.
With so many amazing women to choose from, it was pretty difficult, but here’s our list of the top 13 women that made the cut:
Kathy Sierra might not be explicitly involved in support or success, but her books, including Badass: Making Users Awesome, have influenced a number of us in the industry. She’s consistently done an excellent job in influencing the industry with how we think of what software is and how to support it. Check out her writing or find her on her website which has her blog, her publications, links to videos of talks, and a whole page of pictures of ponies.
Natalie may not be immensely well-known in the speaking world nor be shouting her message from the rooftops, but that doesn’t make what she has to say any less valuable to know about. Reading through her Medium articles, one uncovers a great deal of emotional knowledge that helped make Basecamp, according to one colleague, what it is today in terms of management and emotional navigation.
Sarah has done tons of amazing work for the modern support industry. From creating UserConf (now Elevate) and publishing The Customer Support Handbook, Sarah has done immense work in our space. Her conferences have made a community for people to get to know each other, and sparked the fire for other primarily online communities to flourish.
Say it with me: Speed of reply is not the hallmark of great #customersupport. If you’re fast but your replies are crap, you’ll only make your customers more frustrated.
— Sarah Hatter (@sh) August 19, 2018
Emily Triplett Lentz
Emily—originally from Basecamp and HelpScout and now at Loom—is an amazing writer and editor in the support community. Her fantastic blog posts for Help Scout helped a whole userbase of support agents learn how to do support better, and her editing is, according to her colleagues, the very best.
Trans rights are human rights and transphobia is anti-feminist ?#WontBeErased
— Emily Triplett Lentz (@emilytlentz) October 23, 2018
Her twitter is a great view of the day-to-day at Help Scout as well as quality shares of fun functional support tidbits.
Sarah was effectively mentioned by almost every person that we talked to for this piece.
#chatsnax risks: Eating Doritos and a chat comes in, but your fingers are all cheesy, so you have to lick them super fast.
Phew! that was close
— Sarah Betts (@Sarahinapickle) January 17, 2019
Her twitter is one of the best places that you can go to when it comes to thoughtful critiques, commentaries, and up-votes on support processes and trends. Not only that but in communities like Support Driven her voice is an unparalleled one of reason. She’s an advocate for the people: all people, not just customers.
Another Help Scout employee, Leah has a true eye and ear for excellent support. While she’s the Director of Talent Acquisition at Help Scout and isn’t directly involved in their support organization, she has shared knowledge on video, tips on using video for support, and how to communicate it that has helped many teams, remote or otherwise, do support better. She is truly inspiring. To check out more, here’s her twitter.
Me: spends hours crafting perfect Spotify gym playlist.
— Leah Knobler (@LEAHisKNOBLER) January 4, 2019
Abby leads the customer support team at Flickr and hosts the Support Driven podcast. She serves a unique perspective on the way support should be done and has years of experience in support or working with people.
I’m petty but I automatically distrust anyone who didn’t like The Last Jedi.
— Abby ☃️❄️ (@mygiantrobot) March 2, 2019
Her twitter is a fun representation of her various hobbies and interests, with some support thrown in, and the Support Driven recap podcast recordings can be found here.
Formerly the Director of Customer Support at Kayako, now the founder of Supported Content, it feels as though Sarah and her team keep many SaaS companies’ content afloat! Sarah has written tons of articles that can be found across the web. Her personal Medium account covers a number of things that range from learning to work remotely to understanding deeper emotions within yourself, while her LinkedIn sports useful shares to things written and produced by Supported Content.
I didn’t choose the influencer life, the influencer life chose me.
— Sarah (@sarahleeyoga) December 27, 2018
Check her out on twitter if you’re looking to find more.
Originally at Zapier, then Basecamp, and now part of Help Scout, Alison has amazing support work under her belt. Her documentation is unparalleled, the ebooks she worked on at Zapier are fantastic and, just in general, she’s an all-around good egg.
Tonight’s Brooklyn 99 is so good, it feels like it was written by a woman who has seen some shit.
Oh wait, we all have.
— Alison Groves (@alisongroves) March 1, 2019
She’s done volunteer work with Support Driven as well as sharing her own thoughts on her twitter.
Andrea is the Director of Operations at Support Driven but, before that, she worked as a support lead, and support engineer at Automattic. Andrea’s career blog on her website is one of the most useful pieces of reading that someone starting in support can find: it covers everything that she has done from beginning to end. So, it charts her journey from a support engineer to a team lead, on to the head of operations: pretty impressive. There are articles about leading a distributed team, putting on large events (and budgeting for donuts) and everything in between.
For releasing tension, there’s nothing quite like scream-singing Sinéad O’Connor in the car.
— Andrea Badgley (@andreabadgley) January 27, 2019
You can find her on twitter at @andreabadgley and in the Support Driven slack.
Diana has been working in the support game longer than most, and has unique insights and wide reach to prove it. Currently working at Qwilr and co-hosting the Support Driven podcast with Abby Armada, Diana keeps herself busy with writing about topics where her experience leads her: documentation, for example, is a favorite point of discussion.
Some people stress eat. Others stress clean. I stress dye my hair, while cleaning the bathroom, and eating junk food.
— Diana Potter (@drpotter) March 1, 2019
Check out her posts on Twitter to get more of a taste and see her expertise in action.
Lisa is a customer success champion for Geckoboard that has recently started her own Patreon to continue producing and providing amazing meetups, podcasts, and writing for the support community. She also produced the Support Breakfast podcast with some of the other people on this list.
Though the podcast is not being recorded currently, hopefully Lisa’s Patreon will help and it will soon come back into existence. In the meantime, it remains an excellent resource to refer back to.
Me, yesterday: I’m definitely definitely going into the office tomorrow
Me, this morning, looking at the snow and delayed trains: Or I could just stay under this blanket and work from home again
— Lisa (@gentlethorns) February 1, 2019
Check out Lisa on twitter for more information about her Patreon, any new projects she’s got going on, and also any fun, nerdy trivia she sees fit to share.
Denise Twum gave a talk a year ago about how to create your own job in support, and it inspired a slew of support people to discover what it was that sang to them most and got them most jazzed up for work. She’s worked in support, managed in support, and now she has a role that SmugMug created specifically for her: the Support Process Manager. She’s also deeply invested and involved in the Support Driven community, specifically the Leadership channel there.
Check her out on twitter for K-Pop facts, knitting, support, and the best smile on the planet.
All of these women are strong, powerful, capable, and amazing in their own ways.
On this Women’s Day, it is our pleasure and honor to call attention to the work that they’re each doing in their own part of the support world and encourage you to look to them for inspiration and knowledge. Similarly, know that you, too, are amazingly strong and capable of doing great things! As a community, if we band together, we can achieve almost anything.