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Use Support To Build Better Products

Three Support Tools In Two Months

What's your problem/idea/question?

We’re not talking about getting bug reports or feature requests from users to the product team.
You should have that figured out already.
We look for ways to understand what users ask for help with, why they ask, and how important it is to them.
In ways that help product teams build better products.
That take a lot of work today - we think it can be easier.

What?

We want to build three tiny tools that can help support and product teams build better products for their users. By tiny tools we mean a tools or utilities that do only one thing.

Why?

Because support teams sit on heaps of data that can help product teams build better products. And because the APIs and tools are available to find solutions in a few weeks.

How?

By picking very specific niche problems and building tools to solve them with as little functionality as possible. Call it prototypes or MVPs.

Week 3 of 9 - We are working on:

Tool 1: Conversation Stream

Problem(s)

Product teams don't know what users ask or how they describe problems they have. Don’t want to log into helpdesk to find conversations.
Support teams don’t have time to export helpdesk conversations for product team. Don’t have extra logins available to give to product team anyway.

Who looks at your tickets? Tell us in a few sentences!

Solution

A support wall that tells you what users are asking right now.
A page that shows a real-time list of questions coming in to support.
Anyone in the company can visit the page to check the pulse of support on any given day.


Would it be useful to you? Take a look at the design!

Ideas so far

This Is Where You Can Help

At this point you’re probably thinking:

1. “ME, ME, ME, I have better ideas! I can tell you all the things! I want to see the wireframes and click the buttons!”

2. “Um okay. Not hitching my wagon to this train, but I’d be interested in seeing how it goes down”

3. “This is so dumb. I’ll go wash some dishes, seems like more fun”


If 1 or 2 is where you’re at we’d love to talk! We really want to work on stuff that’s useful apart from just keeping us entertained. So we need good people to give us input along the way!

If that is you, please leave your email so we can keep you updated!

Thank you! We will keep you updated!

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Extended FAQ

Why two months? And when does it start?
Because a child is scheduled for November and that serves as a good forcing deadline. August 16 was the kick-off and we are spending three weeks per tool.

What is a “tiny tool”?
It’s something that can be built in a couple of weeks. It is something that does only one thing in a very simple way. Probably a thing that could easily have been a feature of any other, larger product.

What sort of tools will you build on?
Most ideas so far center around small utilities built on APIs from common support tools. Zendesk, HelpScout, Olark, Kayako etc. all have APIs that let developers do things with their data. Slack, HipChat, Gmail etc. do as well. Combining different APIs seem to lead to good things.

Is this a business thing?
Not over the course of the next two months no. Of course, everyone likes a good business, but right now this is more to get some ideas out of the system that have been floating around for a while.

What do you want me to do?
Whatever you feel like. And if that happens to be: telling us your opinion on some of the ideas we have posted, suggesting something better, or giving us feedback as we go, that’s awesome! If you get inspired by any of this to go off and do a better job of it yourself - also awesome! We are firm believers that the biggest danger to any idea is for it do die a lonely, ignored death. Whether anyone wants to help us save a few ideas, or go save them on their own, we’d be happier for it.

Are you just going to steal my idea and run off to your secret lair and become gazillionaires?
First of all, that’s not even possible. And second of all, no. We don’t have a secret lair. We do have an old RV that we consider sort of an HQ on wheels. But until that thing gets a new battery it’s not running off to anywhere. Which is entirely besides the point anyway, that ideas are useless by themselves. In fact, feel free to take any of the ideas that we have had so far. They’re right here on the page. 

Why are you telling me all of this? Can’t you just build the damn thing if you want to?
Sure, but everything is more fun with friends. And since we’re huge fans of Building In Public that’s what we thought we’d do. Or at least with input from a few more people than just the same old ourselves.

How well thought out is this whole process?
Not particularly well. In fact, pretty much everything we’re telling you here can change along the way. Except the baby. The baby is coming one way or another.

Who’s “we”?
It’s Morten and Hadiyah, probably Ibai, and possibly others as we go along.

Any questions we missed?

Thank you! We’ll get you an answer pronto!

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Want Updates?

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