How 15 Minutes Each Week Keeps Our Distributed Team Connected

I’m quoted in a blog post for Trello, discussing the advantages of our get-to-know-you weekly video chats:

“It helps me build personal relationships with people who I need to work with to do my job but who are on other teams. And that’s invaluable when I need to ask folks to do something or soothe over a difficult discussion. Plus, it gives us a space to talk about something other than work.”

Read the rest of the article on the Trello blog.

Send Emails, Update Trello Using Trolly and Mandrill

Recently, I’ve taken on some additional tasks at work. Chief among them has been reaching out to users for interviews—I ask them about pain points and favorite features, record the sessions, and then write up notes.

The start of every one of those sessions, however, is emailing a user to see if they’d be interested in talking to me. It only took sending a few of those (basically identical) emails for me to wonder if I could automate the process—it turns out I can.

I’ve written a bit of Python that takes a first name, last name, email address, and company name for a user. It then substitutes that information into a stock email script, sends the email through Mandrill, and makes a card on a Trello board containing the user’s name and company (to which I’m assigned as a member). It uses Trolly (a Python wrapper for Trello) and Mandrill’s official Python wrapper.

I’ve uploaded a Gist of the script here (you can ever see the script that I use for the emails): interview-request.py. Continue reading

Want Loyal Customers? Improve Your Workflow!

I’m quoted in this OfficeVibe piece on avoiding support agent burnout. Engaged agents means longer-lasting agents means less employee churn and a more educated front-line workforce: everybody wins.

Personally, I like writing documentation. At my last job I wrote the documentation for how to do Twitter support, and the training guide.

Now Ben McCormack (Head of Support) is encouraging us to work on our programming skills, so I’ve been spending time going through Learn Python the Hard Way with the team. When we co-work we usually try to do something with that, and we’ve written a few internal Python scripts that we use for various reminder emails.

Click here to read the full piece.

Forget Big Data: How Tiny Data Drives Customer Happiness

If you’ve written in to Trello’s support team in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a little bit of extra flair. We added a “how did I do?” rating option at the bottom of our emails back to you. We’ve been tracking those replies since we started gathering them, and it’s led to some unexpected (and useful!) insights for our support team.

Sometimes, a frustrated user might walk away from the case. And, frankly, can you blame them? If the only contact they have is with an agent who is perhaps misunderstanding them, it’s easy to see why they might think their issue is going in one of our ears and promptly out the other. We wanted to give our users another outlet to let us know about a case that may require extra attention.

Read the full post on Trello’s blog.