The Non-Coder’s Guide to Using the Help Scout API

When I first started working in support, APIs — the Application Programming Interfaces that connect technical products — were a scary unknown. They involved code, and I’m no developer, so surely they were beyond my comprehension.

Then I wound up being hired to support a product that was entirely APIs. I discovered that with a little effort, I could learn how to use them, and you can, too.

APIs are just the specific words servers use to tell other software what to do. If you can help those inconsistent and wildly undocumented humans get things done with software, you can do the same for a nice predictable computer.

Below, you’ll see a video walkthrough of the Help Scout Mailbox API. Even if you’ve never used an API before, we’ll have you up and running before you know it.

Read the rest on the Help Scout blog!

​​Making the Most of Beacon 2.0

As part of my work with Help Scout, I had the enjoyable experience of hosting two different webinars on our Beacon product for proactive customer outreach. There are two—one for Beacon basics, and one for a more in-depth look at our Beacon API.

If you’re interested, you can watch both videos on the Help Scout site. Beacon is super powerful, and worth checking out!

Keep Customers In the Flow With Messages

A customer is browsing your store, ready to spend some money on a new wardrobe for winter, but they just can’t find the perfect piece. A big company is trialing your software, but they haven’t quite got their setup right and are struggling to progress. You’ve just released an awesome new feature, and you’re looking for ways to get more people to use it.

These are key moments to reach out and offer help: Share some personalized style advice, pop up a helpful video guide, promote a new service, and keep those customers moving smoothly in the right direction.

Read the rest at the Help Scout blog.

Providing Chat Support On A Small Team (Without Making Your Team Or Your Customers Miserable)

Slide preview

I had a wonderful time speaking at SD Expos Americas about how to provide chat support on a small team without making your team and your customers miserable. I used to say I’d never take another job that required me to do chat support, and, well, here I am!

If you’re interested in exploring this yourself, my slides are now available on the Support Driven Slideshare.

Engineering vs. Development

Recently, I participated in Healthify’s lightning talk series. I chose to speak on one of my pet topics: the concept of engineering versus development. Given that it was still a talk I was presenting, it of course had a goofy title and bright-pink color scheme:

Title slide: Engineering vs. Development—Why does Emily’s job title have “engineer” in it even though she doesn’t write code?

As the bright pink slides go on to clarify, I’m Emily; my title is “sales engineer”; I have never been a salesperson; and I don’t write production code. (The code I do write is instead used for the very noble goal of making Python play improv games, or generating Lana del Rey themed lorem ipsum.)

So: why is sales engineer an appropriate job title for someone who has neither a quota nor access to our production servers?

Continue reading

Digital Health Done Right: Healthify

I recently helped assemble a blog post highlighting Healthify’s work with one of our partner organizations, Redox. Check it out if you’re interested in the digital health space, social determinants, or interoperability:

Every great while you run into a company whose mission is so pure it stops you in your tracks.

It breaks you from the illusion that capitalism exists solely as a means of generating wealth and reminds you that some organizations are founded on visions of making the world a better place.

Healthify is one of those organizations. Their purpose made clear by their mission statement. Their sincerity felt in every interaction.

“Build a world where no one’s health is hindered by their need.”

-Healthify Mission Statement

The obvious question when met with such a lofty goal is–where to start?

For Healthify, the initial target was clear: our healthcare system’s inability to effectively understand and address the social determinants of health known to dramatically impact health outcomes.

Read the rest on Redox’s blog

SSO Enterprise: Future-Forward User Management For Your Trello Team

Providing lots of manual controls and settings can be great for admins of teams who want to customize their workflows. As a company creeps over 100 employees, however, manually setting up accounts for each new user on every single service can become tedious and inefficient.

IT Admins can’t keep track of every tool and maintain its security for every employee of a large company. Lucky for them, they don’t have to. Learn why SSO and SCIM and other fun acronyms are a boon for employee security, and bulk actions make transitions a breeze.

Read the rest on the Trello blog

How to Automate ALL THE THINGS So You Can Freaking Live

I’m quoted in a GetBullish article about automation (aka bae):

At the 2017 Bullish Conferencespeaker Emily Chapmanwill talk more about tools, systems, and processes (full talk title: Tools, Systems, and Processes: A quietly profane, rambling ode to keeping as little stuff as possible in your head because you might get hit by a bus or just not want to think about it).

One of the tools Emily is “ride or die” for is Zapier, which moves information between web apps automatically, and which we use here at Bullish.

The application connects to hundreds of different sites, profiles and apps that we use for our shop, social media presence and subscriber lists. Then we get a nifty email each week about how many “zaps” (haha, robot talk) were completed. Automation + Quantifiable Results = the kind of efficiency one needs to do All The Things (and a baby, and having time to more or less maintain my biceps).

Read the full piece at GetBullish.

I’m speaking at #BullCon17!

I’m very excited to announce that I’ve been accepted as a speaker at BullCon17, a conference for ambitious, feminist women.

The conference takes place November 2-5 in Washington, DC. I’ll be speaking on Tools, Systems, and Processes—basically a loving ode to TextExpander an scheduling recurring events on your calendar so you can devote your brain space to Polyvore collections and/or SQL.

Check out more info here, and buy tickets here.

A personal endorsement: I attended the first two BullCons, and I can absolutely say that the professional and personal connections I made with the women there have been the most beneficial connections I’ve acquired since I left school. It is incredibly worth the money and I am very excited to attend in addition to speaking.