How (and why) we chose our Support Stack

Support Driven Writing Challenge

Jake Bartlett
Nov 27, 2016 · 3 min read

I’ve been wanting to participate in the Support Driven Writing Challenge for a while. I’m coming off a 24-hour fried turkey-eating binge (I spent Thanksgiving in North Carolina) and I found a couple days of downtime after the holiday.

So, here’s my first Support Drive Writing Challenge (and I look forward to participating more!)

The StatusPage Support Stack

Tools and process are something I’m really passionate about. I love finding new ways to work smarter (not harder). At StatusPage, our toolset is pretty lightweight. We use a variety of tools that focus on doing individual tasks really well and with little effort.

Email/Ticketing: FrontApp

Front has allowed us to scale our all-hands-support model from 3 cofounders to a team of 14 people. It essentially keeps all of our incoming communication in one place, where everyone can access it. Support emails, billing emails, Twitter conversations… it’s all in Front. We also pull metrics from front (response time, volume, tag data, etc).

Live Chat: Olark

We offer live chat throughout our website and our knowledge base using Olark. We receive inquiries from prospective customers and active customers alike. Live chat allows us to solve support problems on the fly before they ever hit our support inbox. If we’re not available on live chat, customers can leave us a message — missed messages get piped into Front, where we can reply and keep the conversation going.

Knowledge Base: Groove

Groove is actually a support ticketing & knowledge base tool. We only leverage their knowledge base offering, as we found Front to be more valuable from an email/ticketing point of view. Groove’s easy-to-use knowledge base management tool makes it easy for us to create and update content quickly using Markdown Syntax.

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) Ratings: Nicereply

We use the Nicereply + FrontApp integration. This allows us to tie CSAT ratings directly back to individual support interactions. CSAT helps measure the quality of our responses.

Using (and adapting to) the tools that work for us

I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all support stack. I believe the tools you use should help you accomplish your goals and stay true to your values, and everyone’s goals and values are different.

As a young company, selecting light-weight, simple tools makes sense. Your team is small, you’re probably all wearing many hats, and you just need to get the job done. But eventually (if things go well) you’re going to grow, and those tools might not always be the right tool for the job.

StatusPage was acquired by Atlassian 5 months ago. Needless to say, we’re growing. More customers means more support volume. More support volume means we’re finding the ceilings in our existing support tools and processes.

For example… Front has limitations around escalation workflows and ticket data. In general, live chat has it’s own questions around scalability. And the disconnect between logging a support ticket and searching for a knowledge base article in Groove is becoming more and more apparent.

As we grow, we’ll need to rethink how we’re working, and that includes the tools we’re using. Eventually, we’ll get more and more integrated with the Atlassian support organization and begin adopting some of their tools and processes in effort to continue scaling.

Closing Thoughts

Our customers and our team are both affected by the tools we use. As we continue to grow as a product and evolve as a support team, our tool set will need to adapt to fit those needs.

Jake Bartlett

Written by

Customer Success Manager at Atlassian Statuspage