From San Francisco Customer Support to Leading the Cork, Ireland Team
Courtney Duhring was one of Eventbrite’s earliest hires. She has been a driving force in shaping the Customer Experience team as we have grown from one tiny room in San Francisco to 500+ Britelings in 8 offices today. I sat down with her to talk about the early days at Eventbrite, her experience leading Customer Support teams in four cities (across three countries), and the newest team she’s building out in Cork, Ireland.
You have a pretty unique perspective being one of the earliest Britelings. Can you tell me a bit about the early days at Eventbrite?
It’s kind of crazy to think how quickly six years have passed since I first joined, and how much we’ve grown. When I started, I was one of five Customer Experience Representatives. Everyone was all-hands-on-deck all the time. If we had a peak time or a big onsale every member of the team would jump on the phones.
I remember those moments when I’d be sitting next to engineers, marketing and our founders all taking customer calls or helping troubleshoot when we needed help. For some of the first big events on Eventbrite we’d all volunteer to go help check people in. Fast forward to today, and our Customer Experience team is over 100 strong and spans the globe. And here I am, helping to launch a new team in Cork. It’s pretty surreal at times to think of how far we’ve all come.
You’ve seen the CX team at Eventbrite at all stages of growth, what would you say makes the team stand out?
It has come down to the people. My team members are smart, talented, and passionate about helping others. They all share an innate desire to improve experiences and problem solve. There is no script, so everyone gets creative to help each customer they work with. The way we operate helps us hire really team-focused and fun people — there’s a kind of energy in the office. We also take the time to celebrate each other. Each week I start off my team meetings with a “round of gratitude” so we can highlight a person or event that we’re grateful for.
How has customer support changed at Eventbrite over the years?
Our team has created processes and best practices to help us scale. We’re in four different offices and four different time zones now, so we needed to create those kinds of resources. Change was scary at first, but with time you realize how critical it is to long-term success. Ideas that we put into practice two years ago feel outdated today, so we’ve all learned to ride the change curve. We’re not hesitant to continuously reinvent ourselves or shake up how we’ve done things in the past to ensure the best possible customer and team experience.
Thinking back to the early days of new team member onboarding, we began with a week of autonomous study, using the Help Center and a few casual coaching conversations. Now it has transformed into a really great 2-week program where we cover not only the product, but tools, workflows, soft skills, and leadership philosophy to arm the team with everything they need to succeed.
What has stayed the same?
From the very beginning Eventbrite set itself apart by putting a huge emphasis on the value of great customer service. That high bar and commitment to delighting customers has never changed. I remember my first interview with Kevin and Julia Hartz and how impressed I was with their sincere respect for the role of each Customer Experience Rep. This customer-centricity has continued to grow, it expands beyond our CX team and is one of our three core values today.
Who do you typically look for to join the team?
There’s no cookie-cutter background that we look for when hiring. I’d say it’s our diverse range of experiences and perspectives that make us a strong team. We have people who have worked in customer support before, people with event industry experience, people who worked in education or are fresh out of school. I look for people with the ability to transmit our genuine interest to our customers. Each rep brings their unique, unscripted voice to conversations, and this opens us up for making powerful connections with our customers. From the more technical to the deeply empathetic, everyone contributes their passion for helping people. I look for team players who drive feedback and improvement on the team. When we bring people together who have those skills, it goes a long way.
You’ve led teams in San Francisco, Nashville, London and now Cork. Can you tell me a bit about the Cork office and the team?
We have our first team of 11 here in Cork, and have a brand new office right off Oliver Plunkett Street. It reminds me of the early days of Eventbrite. We’re figuring out what works, what doesn’t, setting best practices, and helping to define how we grow Eventbrite as a global company.
Cork is our International CX headquarters. We support not only our English customers, but German, French, Dutch and Italian Eventbrite users. The team brings both their language fluency and their knowledge of cultural nuances to the job, which helps us adapt to regional preferences in the European market. It’s really fun to be part of such a small and tight-knit group and to know we’re influencing the direction the company takes in delivering the biggest impact for our customers.
Interested in joining our Customer Experience team? Check out open positions here.