Customer Support Leaders

Charlotte Ward

Customer Support Leaders have been there, on the front line with customers. They understand how things work, and the value of support. They understand the needs and foibles of their customer base. Unlike most other disciplines, there’s no training for this role. No two CS Leadership roles are alike. No two CS Leaders are alike. So this is our opportunity to hear from those leaders and learn from them. Whether you’re a CS leader now, or you aspire to be, this is the podcast for you! Hear different leaders discuss a topic with me, Charlotte Ward.

Trailer 2 min 36 sec

All Episodes

Looking forward to 100+ weeks!Support the show (

Nov 26

36 min 17 sec

From The Archives: Fireside with Mo McKibbinMo McKibbin talks about the challenges of screening for those magical unicorns: technical, customer success-support hybrids, remote, in Europe, ideally with specific industry experience. And we excitedly steal each others' favourite interview questions.Support the show (

Nov 19

36 min 17 sec

From The Archives: Fireside with Tue SøttrupTue Søttrup helps me kick off this new Fireside season with a conversation about Product-Led Customer Success, and how Dixa have used this approach to drive product engagement and business improvements for the customers at the same time.Support the show (

Nov 12

21 min 26 sec

From The Archives: Diversity and InclusionAntonio King joins me to talk about the importance of keeping the conversations going, no matter how uncomfortable it feels..Support the show (

Nov 5

16 min 4 sec

From The Archives: Scary Support StoriesTodd Curtis tells the scary story that inspired this whole week of terrible tales. I heard this at a conference two years ago and it still gives me chills. Support the show (

Oct 29

27 min 10 sec

From The Archives: Scary Support StoriesMatt Dale joins me to tell the story of a possessed laptop. And I have rather too much fun with sound effects. Support the show (

Oct 22

9 min 15 sec

From The Archives:: Support’s Relationship to SalesNicholas Zeisler (“Zee” to his friends, and “Zed” to his British friend over here) returns to talk about how CX can minimise friction in this less-obvious relationship. He’s at the end of the phone if you need him!Support the show (

Oct 15

9 min 15 sec

From The Archives: Support’s Relationship to ProductAndrea Saez joins me for the first time, where we talk about capturing all customer conversations and using that feedback to validate the product roadmap.Support the show (

Oct 8

14 min 20 sec

From The Archives: Freelancing in SupportAndrei Kamarouski joins me from Belarus, to talk about freelancing as a Zendesk consultant, primarily using Upwork.Support the show (

Oct 1

13 min 44 sec

From The Archives: CSATMo and I spend quite a significant amount of time talking about the value of those smiley faces. And we take an unexpected hypothetical trip to the airport.Support the show (

Sep 24

8 min 25 sec

From The Archives: Support ScopeMike Redbord believes you can build the scope of Support by saying “Yes” as much as possible!Support the show (

Sep 17

9 min 1 sec

Week 87 Topic: “In Support, I Believe…”Simone Secci shares his Support Belief: It’s not always about giving the customer exactly what they expect.Support the show (

Sep 10

2 min 40 sec

Week 86 Topic: “In Support, I Believe…”Matt Dale shares his Support Belief: It’s all about making a human connection.Support the show (

Sep 3

2 min 50 sec

Week 85 Topic: “In Support, I Believe…”Craig Stoss shares his foremost Support Belief: The Customer Experience is the most import considerationSupport the show (

Aug 27

3 min 48 sec

Week 84 Topic: “In Support, I Believe…”Ryan Klausner returns, this time from a new role, to share his most fundamental Support Belief: Agent Experience is as important as Customer Experience.Support the show (

Aug 20

3 min 26 sec

Week 83 Topic: “In Support, I Believe…”Your very host, Charlotte Ward, tells of her most fundamental Support Belief: Metrics should measure, not rule.Support the show (

Aug 13

8 min 44 sec

Announcing a new format, based on “This, I Believe…”Support the show (

Aug 6

3 min 41 sec

Week 81 Throwback: Panel 10Five leaders join me to talk about the wonderful, frustrating and elusive nature of hindsight. If only we’d know then, what we know now.Support the show (

Jul 30

1 hr 2 min

Week 81 Throwback: Panel 7Six leaders join me to talk about managing change. We come to the conclusion it involves data, a 4-type taxonomy, a workshop, and a lot of cheese.Support the show (

Jul 29

58 min 24 sec

Week 81 Throwback: Process ImprovementAsh and I talk about how a culture willing to accept feedback and examination is best placed to improve on the status quo.Support the show (

Jul 28

6 min 59 sec

Week 81 Throwback: First 30 Days in a New RoleAlyssa Percell and I start talking about ‘new to us’ roles, but unexpectedly dwell more on the plans we’re forming before we even get in the door.Support the show (

Jul 27

7 min

Week 81 Throwback: Remote WorkAsh Rhodes pitched this topic to me with one phrase, and I took him up on his offer.Support the show (

Jul 26

7 min

Week 80 Throwback: Forecasting in SupportMatt Dale tells how he’s been refining his model for seven years, so don’t go looking for any quick and accurate answers in your first forecasting efforts.Support the show (

Jul 23

7 min

Week 80 Throwback: Support Contributing to RevenueThis is such an interesting topic for most of us, that we’re visiting it twice this Throwback Week!  In this episode from the archives, Mo McKibbin joins me for the first time to talk about the topic that has defined such a huge part of her CS leadership career: Support Driven GrowthSupport the show (

Jul 22

7 min

Week 80 Throwback: Support Contributing to RevenueMike Redbord talks about the invaluable information and data your support team is already gathering, that might very well generate revenue.Support the show (

Jul 21

6 min 59 sec

Week 80 Throwback: Onboarding New HiresAsh Rhodes isn’t a List Person, but he knows they’re useful for onboarding. We also find a name for that spyglass thing you do with your hands.Support the show (

Jul 20

7 min

Week 80 Throwback: Building Leaders in Your Team  Meredith Molloy returns to talk about how you spot, and care for a unicorn!Support the show (

Jul 19

6 min 56 sec

Week 79 Topic: Building a Team from ScratchWhen is a full-time job not a full-time job? When it’s a two-person job! It’s been a while since Matt Dale built a team from scratch, but nonetheless, he returns to round out this week with his own wisdom and perspectives from further on in the journey.Support the show (

Jul 16

17 min 18 sec

Week 79 Topic: Building a Team from ScratchIn Kat Olsheske’s first outing on the podcast, she talks about the transferrable skills and knowledge every support leader brings to a new team, and what might be different between each team building experience. Support the show (

Jul 15

14 min 30 sec

Week 79 Topic: Building a Team from ScratchAdela Bodor returns to talk about building a support team from scratch: which she has done multiple times and has down to a fine art now!Support the show (

Jul 14

16 min 23 sec

Week 79 Topic: Building a Team from ScratchHilary Dudek and I haven’t talked in soooo long! She “recently” started a new role at Sana Benefits and joins me to talk about what she did first, and what she wishes she had invested in earlier.Support the show (

Jul 13

18 min 55 sec

Week 79 Topic: Building a Team from ScratchAshley returns to tell us how she prioritised early definition of ‘Operating Principles’ for her nascent team, and how they’re essentially still holding strong 4 years on.Support the show (

Jul 12

14 min 45 sec

Week 78 Topic: Knowledge ManagementCraig Stoss and I muse about the validity of some of the metrics often applied to Knowledge Centred Support, and talk about the types of knowledge that apply in different situations. He resurfaces one of my favourite analogies for the difference between a KB and docs, too.Support the show (

Jul 9

24 min 13 sec

Week 78 Topic: Knowledge ManagementTadas Labudis is the CEO and Founder of Prodsight. Today he returns to tell me about Prodsight’s own knowledge journey: from not believing he needed to document a product to embedding documentation in the product! Check out Tadas' previous fireside, where he talks about tagging taxonomies for Support! Support the show (

Jul 8

29 min 53 sec

Week 78 Topic: Knowledge ManagementSimone Secci rebuilt a knowledge base from scratch, banking on being able to show its value much further down the road. It worked! From zero to knowledge hero, Simone talks about his journey.Support the show (

Jul 7

22 min 57 sec

Week 78 Topic: Knowledge ManagementCynthia Ng describes how GitLab approach all their knowledge with a ‘Handbook First’ ethos, and how their value of Transparency informs everything they do. Support the show (

Jul 6

21 min 15 sec

Week 78 Topic: Knowledge ManagementAprill Allen, a Knowledge Management Consultant & KCS Specialist at Knowledge Bird, helps support teams stop being so overloaded with solving the same problems over and over, and start using their knowledge as the lever it really is. How do we even get started on our Knowledge Management journey in Support?Support the show (

Jul 5

15 min 6 sec

Specials: Fireside 26According to “Zee” (if I could only say it), we’re doing CX wrong! Nicholas Zeisler joins again to tell us why we’re doing it wrong, and how to get it right. A man after my own heart, he says it hinges on the process! But how do you leverage process, prove ROI for your Customer Office, and truly develop a customer-centric culture? Support the show (

Jul 2

26 min 50 sec

Specials: Fireside 25What a conversation! Ash comes on the podcast to talk about job hunting in Customer Support Leadership, but we only get there via comparing consulting notes and his insulting the average British meat pie. Honestly.Support the show (

Jun 25

33 min 52 sec

Specials: Fireside 24Doug and I talked quite some time ago about “All-Hands Support”, which becomes a mini fireside episode today. We talk about the type of industries where this is an appropriate paradigm, and when and how it might be useful.Support the show (

Jun 18

8 min 56 sec

Specials: Fireside 23Josh brings a really interesting topic to the fireside today: specialisms in Customer Support and Service. We talk about everything from expertise to trusted advice.Support the show (

Jun 11

23 min 45 sec

Specials: Fireside 22Jim Israel talks about the dangers of developing a culture of heroism in our teams, despite being the type of folks who always want to help.Support the show (

Jun 4

31 min 58 sec

Specials: Fireside 21Vlad Shlosberg is building a business that enables organisations to better connect with their customers. As a creator of a support/success tool like, how does he connect with his own customers?Support the show (

May 28

26 min 3 sec

Specials: Fireside 20Lauren Fearn comes to chat about creating growth opportunities and pathways in Support, so that you can continue to challenge, develop, and ultimately retain your staff.Support the show (

May 21

24 min 46 sec

Specials: Fireside 19Hannah Steiman, from Peak Support, joins me today, to talk about how we even begin to consider finding the right outsourcing partner in support, and how we overcome the fear of what might be a strange new world for many fast-growing teams out there.Hannah Steiman is Chief Operating Officer of Peak Support, which provides exceptional customer service outsourcing to high-growth companies. Hannah oversees sales, marketing, HR, and administration for the company. Peak Support specialises in building and managing dedicated teams of customer service agents. Its clients operate in a wide variety of industries, including SaaS, eCommerce, social media, transportation, financial services, business services, and more.Support the show (

May 14

30 min 15 sec

Specials: Fireside 18Sharad Khandelwal, co-founder and CEO of Sentisum, joins the podcast today, to talk about accessing valuable insights in all those communications support teams have with their customers. Can AI ultimately solve this by doing the heavy lifting?Support the show (

May 7

25 min 26 sec

Specials: Fireside 17Ethan explains how we can apply a scientific approach - semiotic theory - when trying to understand our customers context, and therefore meet them where they are.Support the show (

Apr 30

10 min 27 sec

Week 67 Topic: Managing ChangeLauren joins me for two milestones: the 200th episode of the podcast, and my birthday! It’s always an interesting chat with Lauren, and her academic background in human genetics and social behaviours.  Here, she brings her expertise to bear in helping us manage change. Always hard, Lauren brings advice on making it easier.Support the show (

Apr 23

13 min 55 sec

Week 67 Topic: Managing ChangeJosh talks about thee easy bits and the challenges in dealing with any change, and how sometimes, the key is in a team that trusts and supports each other.Support the show (

Apr 22

12 min 27 sec

Week 67 Topic: Managing ChangeAdela Bodor joins me for the first time, and from a space I’ve never ventured into beyond the building site: cement! Her organisation has undergone significant transformation over the last few years, and here she talks to me about the changing shape of support and different demands placed on her team. Support the show (

Apr 21

14 min 8 sec