Hey there! This is my landing page where I capture everything I’m doing over the next month and present it for your viewing pleasure.
My project this month aims to package several elements that will elevate the customer service/success of any company. Along the way, I’ll be getting lots of practice writing mock responses to real customer complaints, learning new customer success related tools, and practicing effective project management to get it all done in 30 days.
I am targeting this project at the board game console startup SquareOne. A board game console is essentially a large tablet that can interact with physical pieces using NFC and RFID technology, thus creating a hybrid board game/video game experience.
My goal is to package a number of projects that will drastically improve the customer service efforts of SquareOne.
I’m super excited about SquareOne’s console, as they have a licensing deal with Asmodee (Fantasy Flight) who makes some of my favorite games, and I love the idea of enjoying them in a hybrid experience.
However, SquareOne is among the first attempts at this type of entertainment system, which brings a lot of difficulties not so prevalent in more established industries.
SquareOne is based in France, and their social media is in French despite the vast majority of the board game market being in the United States. I think they can benefit greatly from having a native English speaker manage their social media and customer relations.
Below you’ll find:
- 6 newsletters that get people on board with board game consoles
- FAQs added to TextExpander so the Customer Service team can efficiently answer customer questions
- Tutorial on setting up TextExpander
- Tutorials on Zendesk and its chat function
- A list of questions and comments from social media about these consoles, compiled and answered by yours truly, for the purpose of better community engagement
- Slideshow walkthrough of problematic themes I’ve identified with SquareOne’s customer feedback
- Weekly updates on what I’ve learned from my struggles and wins while doing this project
Why this Project?
With SquareOne launching their console this December, and their competitors InfinityGameTable and TapTop still working hard to build up their libraries, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to fulfill some needs the early-stage SquareOne has.
As with any product in development, there are periods where the engineering team is working on the next iteration and there’s nothing exciting to talk about. Except…there’s always something interesting to talk about in the realm of board games! SquareOne could benefit from a newsletter that gets people hyped to play board games in general, and also promotes the features of their console.
Engaging with the community is always important, so I’m also looking through their socials and writing responses, and putting common questions in TextExpander for efficiency.
I’m also identifying positive and negative themes in customer feedback so that SquareOne has a chance to pivot and keep their backers happy!
I’m familiarizing myself with the basics of Zendesk, as it’s a great customer success software. I’m also making a tutorial to crystallize my knowledge.
Follow My Progress!
- My grand scheme for how the next 30 days will go
- I write rough drafts of the board games articles, learn Zendesk, and began compiling feedback from SquareOne’s backers
- I write mock responses to negative feedback, create a Prezi slideshow walking through my process of identifying issues with SquareOne’s communication, put FAQs in TextExpander and make a tutorial on how to set it up, and polish the board game articles
- I proofread, polish, and publish everything. I write a cold email pitching my project to SquareOne, and a final blogpost recapping the project.
- SquareOne’s Customer Feedback
- Setting Up TextExpander Snippets for SquareOne
- 3 Reasons Kids Should Play Board Games
- 4 Reasons Board Games Won’t Die
- How to Start a Board Game Group
- Why SquareOne was Successfully Kickstarted
- 4 Difficulties Developing SquareOne
- SquareOne: Why Bother?
- Pitching My Customer Success Project to SquareOne
- What I Learned Writing 6 Articles for SquareOne
- Final Project Thoughts
Loom walkthroughs & tutorials
In these three videos, I walk you through a slideshow where I lay out what issues I identified with SquareOne’s communication, and how I would solve them.
A post containing a written overview of the content covered in the slides, as well as all my mock responses, can be found here.
- Improving SquareOne’s Customer Relations Part 1
- Improving SquareOne’s Customer Relations Part 2
- Improving SquareOne’s Customer Relations Part 3
What I Learned
Yay for Trello!
I had previously used Trello to organize my weekly tasks, and while it was useful, I never felt its indispensability until this month.
Even though I did not accomplish everything within the exact time frame I had planned, having all the pieces of my project visible in one place allowed me to see exactly where I stood in relation to the whole and to act accordingly. It also removed the stress that comes from not knowing what’s next.
It was fascinating to see themes emerge in regards to what customers were displeased with. I learned more than I expected about what it takes to sort through customer feedback and make a plan to remedy the recurring issues.
What Went Well
I’m glad I pushed myself to write six articles relating to SquareOne, even though it’s not something every Customer Success role will call for. It afforded me practice writing the first drafts in five minute bursts, which forced me to get my thoughts on paper quickly. It’s a tactic I’ll be using more in the future.
I was nervous about executing the mock responses portion of the project, as it felt like a lot of steps when I was setting up the tasks in Trello. But once again, the power of organization overcame the difficulties.
One of my cohort brought up using Prezi to do a project overview, and I thought that would be the perfect tool to do an overview of SquareOne’s communication and my mockup responses. It was my first time using Prezi, but I think it’s a great way to present information in the right context, and I’m glad I got my feet wet.
What I’d Do Differently Next Time
I would pick a tech tool that I haven’t used before. I had already made a video with TextExpander, and even though it’s a great tool for this project, I could’ve pushed myself farther by figuring out a way to integrate Hubspot into this project.
I should have figured out my publishing schedule from the start. I had planned to pitch my project to SquareOne at the beginning of the fourth week, but I realized I hadn’t packaged it in an appealing way yet. Maybe this was a trivial objection, and sending them a bunch of Google docs would’ve been fine. Either way, I should have planned it out at the beginning of the month.
Ask questions sooner! I got some great feedback and ideas from my Praxis advisors at the end of the first and second weeks that helped clarify the project, but I could have built something even better if I had asked those questions at the start.
Given that this is a customer success project, I would probably choose to replicate the mock response portion on several different companies, as opposed to spending a week writing articles for SquareOne.
That being said, writing is an incredibly important skill, so I’ll never view it as wasted time.
Customer service has easy and difficult components. In many ways, responding to the customers is the easy part. It takes some practice to write clearly and empathetically, but once you have that down it’s fairly formulaic.
The difficult part is taking the negative feedback and implementing change, or deciding if the feedback indicates a need to change.
Anticipating customer sore spots and creating a system to proactively deal with them requires a lot of planning and coordination within the team, which is probably why young startups fail to do so.
Overall this was a great project for my development. I got hands-on practice responding to real customers, and learned how to document my work effectively. I got practice handling a bigger project and using Trello to my full advantage.
I’m eager to put what I learned this month into practice helping customers and making everything more efficient.
This month’s project was a success, and I can’t wait to tackle the next challenge!