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In the customer support world, we thrive off of effective communication loops and feedback. It’s our lifeblood, quite literally what keeps us going (and employed)! And most of the time it’s digital feedback, from a specific group of often like-minded people.

With that in mind it’s important not to forget or underestimate the value of community, and to share ideas and strategies outside of our internal networks. In order to develop fresh ideas and insights, it’s great to constantly expand our networks and meet people in a similar field. It’s how we grow our companies and careers, while staying personally engaged in both.

Actively participating in customer support meetup groups is a great way to achieve all of the above and can lead to huge opportunities. Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman said something in Forbes a few years back that is especially poignant for those in the CRM world: that going to a meetup is a chance for “new friendships and connections to be made in an age where people seem to prefer sinking into smartphones over speaking with the person next to them.”

We love that people prefer sinking into their smartphones because it allows us to perpetually be of value and service. And we too ‘sink into’ our screens all day, every day. But having a complementary time allotted for discussing the content of said screens, in-person, can be as light and refreshing.

Our Meetups will usually have a specific topic and objective, and crafting your own goals prior to attendance can help maximize your experience. Here are some to get you started:

Goal #1: Becoming a better networker

For many of us, networking is awkward. It takes practice. The casual meetup environment, though, will surround you with people you already have something in common with. This can help ameliorate the growing pains of networking and transition that pain into productive conversations.

Goal #2: Finding solutions and comparing notes

Without going into borderline NDA-questionable territory, you can relay issues that you’ve experienced in your role with an empathetic audience, and explore new ways to remedy them with those who have applicable expertise.

Goal #3: Sharing your experience and value with others

A little quid pro quo goes a long way. Never go into a networking event with the singular mindset of getting. Giving fellow meetuppers valuable insights and furthering their knowledge base will be extremely appreciated, and more rewarding in the long run. Just make sure that your insights are in fact valuable, and welcomed.

Goal #4: Broadening your intellectual horizons

Learn about something new that you didn’t even know you’d be interested in. While these groups may have a narrow topical focus, conversations with guests stemming from these topics can lead to stunning ideas and overall fun, food for thought.

Did you know that Helpshift has its own San Francisco meetup group, Support Superheroes? We’d love to see you at our next event on January 18, 2017!

Published January 13, 2017
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