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Keeping it cool in a crisis (Relate Live Sydney)

Dave Dyson, Sr. Customer Service Evangelist, Zendesk

Keeping a cool head in a crisis isn’t just a good trait, it’s absolutely essential when things go wrong and your customers are expecting you to be the hero. Learn how to act fast, say the right things on the right channels, and deliver a solution quickly. In this session, you’ll learn best practices for managing customer satisfaction in a crisis— including the need to be responsive and transparent.

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Keeping it cool in a crisis (Relate Live Sydney)

  1. 1. #RelateLive
  2. 2. #RelateLive Keeping it Cool in a Crisis
  3. 3. Dave Dyson Zendesk Senior Customer Service Evangelist @dave_dyson
  4. 4. Crisis Communication What we’ll cover • Definitions • Goals • Ingredients for Success • Our Red Alert Process • Metrics
  5. 5. Definitions
  6. 6. What is this “Red Alert” that you speak of? Categories of Bad • Service Disruption • Security Incident • Legal Entanglement • Public Relations Nightmare • Physical Emergency
  7. 7. Goals
  8. 8. The “Prime Directive” Your Mission • Repair Trust with Customers • Restore Service ASAP • Consistent Response • Efficiency
  9. 9. WARMTH COMPETENCE
  10. 10. WARMTH COMPETENCE
  11. 11. Ingredients for Success
  12. 12. Planning Ahead A Haiku A Red Alert is not the time to figure out how to handle one.
  13. 13. KEEP CALM AND HAVE A PLAN DOCUMENT IT TRAIN TAKE OWNERSHIP AND COMMUNICATE
  14. 14. Stay Calm Emotions are Contagious As a leader, your emotions carry extra weight. If you’re nervous, your team will be too.
  15. 15. Empathize Show You Care
  16. 16. Active Listening Helps Defuse Anxiety • Leave your ego behind • Frustration is normal • Let them speak • Verbal “nods” • Reflect what they say • Validate their emotions
  17. 17. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” - Benjamin Franklin
  18. 18. “vaj nab luj SoH, luj nab SoH!” - Benjamin Franklin (original Klingon)
  19. 19. Red Alert Plans What to Include • Process • Roles & Duties • Staffing • Tools • Communications • Special Cases • Metrics
  20. 20. Stakeholders This isn’t just about you. • Support Team • Engineering • Operations • Security • Marketing / PR • Sales • Account Management • Customer Success • Executives
  21. 21. Your Plan is Not Set in Stone Hone & Refine
  22. 22. Documentation If it’s not written, it won’t be remembered • Complete • Process & People • Clear • Accessible • Up to Date
  23. 23. Training Practice Makes Perfect • Onboarding • Shadowing • Video • Drills
  24. 24. Take Ownership • Empathize • Apologize • Don’t Shift Blame
  25. 25. Communication “All decks, this is the bridge…” • Internal • External • Timely • Accurate • Compassionate • Honest • Transparent • One Voice
  26. 26. Red Alerts at Zendesk The Plan in Action
  27. 27. Red Alert Process Documentation Keep it secure, keep it safe • Process Documentation • Checklist • Twitter & Flowdock • How to get Notified • Training Materials • On-Call Schedules
  28. 28. Zendesk Red Alert Process Overview 1. Assess the Situation 2. Alert the Incident Team 3. Communicate to Stakeholders 4. Public Acknowledgement 5. Status Updates 6. Resolve the Issue 7. Wrap Up
  29. 29. Assessment - Criteria Is This a Red Alert? Security Event A current, ongoing threat to the security of customer or Zendesk data
 OR Service Event Loss of critical Zendesk functionality - AND - The event impacts multiple customers Impact: Scope:
  30. 30. Assessment Specific Criteria Critical Functionality: • Account Access • Performance Degradation • Channels • Core Partner Services • Business Rules / Routing • Agent Collision • Reporting • Apps Framework Security Threat: • Compromised data • Spoofing • Stolen passwords • DDoS Attack
  31. 31. Internal Alerts Tools and recipients PagerDuty: Incident Response Team (Support, Operations) Email: Internal Stakeholders (Engineering, Operations, Marketing) Flowdock:
 Wider Team Visibility (Support, Operations) Company-Wide Visibility
  32. 32. The Incident Response Team Customers Customer Advocates Incident Lead Support Duty Manager Operations Manager Engineering & Operations Staff Incident Response Team
  33. 33. Incident Response Team - Staffing On-Call Duty Rotation Weekly on-call shifts for each role • 8 hours x 7 days – based in AMER, APAC, EMEA Avoid consecutive duty shifts • Standard: one shift every 6 weeks Support Duty Manager has on-call Backup as well • Allows for escalation when primary duty manager is unavailable PagerDuty used for scheduling & alerts • Dashboard shows who is on call & upcoming schedule • Individuals can customizable alerts for incidents and upcoming shifts
  34. 34. The Zencident Room
  35. 35. Red Alert - Problem & Incident Ticket Problem Ticket • Created internally, owned by Incident Lead • Uses Service Disruption ticket form • Technical updates & discussions recorded here • No risk of inadvertent customer communication • Solves attached incidents automatically Incident Tickets • Customer reports - attached to the Problem ticket • Proactive tickets attached as well
  36. 36. Service Disruption Ticket Form Additional Fields Added to the Problem Ticket: • Impacted Pods • Alert Duration • Number of Incidents • Link to public Help Center article • Link to internal Operations incident record • Checkbox: Post-mortem published
  37. 37. Communicating to Customers Key Points • Acknowledge Quickly • Take Ownership • Provide Scope and Impact • Regular Progress Updates • Be Transparent
  38. 38. Communication Cadence What We Share, and When Within 15 Minutes: • @ZendeskOps: Acknowledgement • Create internal Problem ticket • Respond to customers & attach to Problem ticket Within 30 Minutes: • @ZendeskOps: Scope & Impact • Publish Help Center article • Proactive Notifications to top customers Every 30 Minutes: • @ZendeskOps: Status update • Update Help Center article • Update Top MRR Customers • (Reset cadence if necessary)
  39. 39. “Tell them what you would want to know” - Susan Griffin-Black, EO Products
  40. 40. Resolution & Wrap-Up Once service is deemed restored by the incident team: 1. Ticket Resolution • Solving the Problem ticket solves all attached Incidents • Include link to Help Center article for post-mortem 2. Send “All Clear” Tweet • Include link to Help Center article for post-mortem 3. Post-Mortem (within 3 business days) • Operations team writes internal version • Support Operations Incident Manager edits for public consumption, and publishes to Help Center article
  41. 41. Service Disruption Post-Mortem What should it include? • Scope and Customer Impact • Incident Duration • Communication Timeline • Process / Training Gaps • Recommendations for Improvement
  42. 42. Special Situations Exceptions to the Rule Security Incidents Involve the Security Team Zopim Outage Communicate via Zopim Twitter & Facebook Partner Outage (Twilio, GoodData) Report incident to Partner Refer to Partner’s system status page Zendesk Support Instance is Down Use backup voice service (IfByPhone) Outgoing communication via Tweets only Shift Handoff Live handoffs only - no email Overlapping Incidents Separate Red Alerts & Problem Tickets
  43. 43. The Red Alert App Custom App in our Zendesk Instance: 1. Displays links to active Red Alerts 2. Turn a ticket into a Red Alert ticket • PagerDuty, Ticket Form & fields 3. Send Social Media Communications • Twitter, Facebook • Composition, templates, character counts • Salutation and closing • “All Clear” option adds link to Help Center article • Creates or updates Help Center article 4. Proactive Ticket Communications • Lists top customers, with Pod & feature info • Composition, templates, all-clear option • Creates or updates Incident tickets • Updates Yammer 5. All actions add Internal Notes to Problem ticket
  44. 44. Metrics Red Alert Impact Report (Insights) • Number of Red Alerts • Number of attached Incidents • Total Support Handle Time • Estimated Support Cost ($/ticket) • Number Proactive Tickets • Top Red Alerts (by # of incidents) • Red Alerts by “About” field • Customer Satisfaction over time • Process Scorecard
  45. 45. Customer Satisfaction Red Alert Tickets CSAT (Last 7 weeks): 100%
  46. 46. The Future! Where No One Has Gone Before System Status Page (released) • More detail, account-specific Improved Red Alert App • More capabilities • Possible public version Wider Proactive Communication • More channels • More customers Incident Management as a Job • Not just a role
  47. 47. Conclusion
  48. 48. WARMTH COMPETENCE
  49. 49. KEEP CALM AND PLAN AHEAD DOCUMENT IT TRAIN TAKE OWNERSHIP AND COMMUNICATE
  50. 50. Smooth Sailing “Second star to the right, and straight on ‘till morning…”
  51. 51. #RelateLive Q & A

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