Reimagining Customer Support Communities

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to speak at the 5th annual SWARM Conference in Sydney, Australia. SWARM is one of my most favorite events in the community space, and I've "watched" from afar, via Twitter, over the last 4 years. The in-person experience did not disappoint in the slightest!

The closest thing to having my name in lights! 😂

The closest thing to having my name in lights! 😂

Talks were held at the New Law Building on the University of Sydney campus, and it was nothing short of breathtaking! Had I gone to college on that campus, I probably would have found ways to avoid graduation just so I could stay a few extra years. 

This was *not* the New Law Building, but a very lovely building on campus nonetheless.

This was *not* the New Law Building, but a very lovely building on campus nonetheless.

Alison and Venessa are the most incredible women, and excellent hosts. If you're in the community space, and don't know them, you should. These two really know how to put together an action-packed event that mixed traditional presentations, lightning talks (10 minute quick talks with no slides), and even a good 'ole fashioned debate on the future of community management (spoiler: I lost). It was an amazing event, and we had the #swarmconf hashtag trending on Twitter before 10am on day 1! 

The beautiful Venessa Paech & Alison Michalk, as captured by Mark Woodrow. 💞

The beautiful Venessa Paech & Alison Michalk, as captured by Mark Woodrow. 💞

My talk centered around the topic of customer support communities, and how we can improve upon our accepted standards. I've been in software long enough to know that your customers will either rant about you, or rave about, depending on the situation. But if they don't say anything, then that's when you need to worry. Sadly, we don't hear nearly enough (if any!) people talking about the great experiences they've had in customer support communities. We don't hear about the money they've saved, the time they've saved, or even the friends they've made. I truly believe that we can make memorable, praise-worthy customer community experiences. We just have to dream big enough, and put in a bit of effort. So my goal for this talk is to inspire all of the customer community managers out there to reach a little higher, and think way outside of the box about what we might be able to achieve.

Have a look through the slides and let me know what you think. Also, here are a few great recap posts written by fellow Swarmees:

Or you can just scroll down and look through a few more photos from Sydney. Your choice. 😉