Scaling Support: Geckoboard & Tettra Case Study

Geckoboard, a data dashboard for businesses, serves thousands of customers all around the world. They make it easier for these companies to share key metrics, so that all members of a team can make strategic, data-driven decisions.

As VP of Customer Success at Geckoboard, Luis Hernandez plays a key role in solving problems and keeping customers delighted. His team fixes bugs, helps customers use the product, and educates users with clear documentation.

The Need

Given Geckoboard’s global reach, the Customer Success team fields questions 24 hours per day. And because Geckoboard is so central to many companies’ ability to function well, these customers expect speedy replies. Luis’s team prides itself on their fast response time: they respond to emails via Zendesk in less than 2 hours and are even faster in live chat via Intercom. Though the majority of the ~40 Geckoboard employees are co-located in the London office, the 10 members of the support team are distributed across the globe.

The upside of this dispersion is that someone is always available to answer customer questions. The downside is that it’s challenging to solicit help or input from colleagues:

“When you have a remote team, especially with some team members so far away, there are cases where there's no time in common whatsoever: Hawaii vs London, for example.”

Luis’s team wanted an effective way to share information across distances and time zones, and they wanted a solution that made it fast and easy to find what they needed.

The Pain Points

Initially, the Support team at Geckoboard used a combination of Google Docs and Zendesk articles. But this quickly got out of hand:

“We ended up with a bit of a mess. We had articles in Zendesk, info in Google Docs, and there wasn't an easy way to search for them. They became out of date quickly, so you had to create new resources, which made things worse because then you didn’t know which one to trust. Documentation became very messy.”

This messiness became especially problematic when onboarding new people. Luis notes that it’s relatively easy to train someone when they’re seated next to you. Onboarding is much harder with a remote team, so documentation becomes very important:

“By the time we hired a new person, trying to train her became a nightmare. We realized we needed a single place for information...a source we could trust for up-to-date knowledge.”

The Solution

Luis and his team now use Tettra to organize and share knowledge on a broad range of topics. They have folders for policies, processes, troubleshooting, and more. Luis tried a number of solutions but quickly landed on Tettra:

“I’ve used Confluence in the past, but I find it a bit clunky. I checked out competitors like Guru, but I really liked Tettra best from the start. Because we use Slack as well, it adapts really well to our existing channels for communication.”

Tettra has saved the support team a lot of time and has allowed them to more easily achieve their key metrics. These metrics include customer satisfaction, first response time, and full resolution time. It has eliminated most cases where a team member would otherwise need to wait on a response from a colleague:

“The whole reason for having people in different time zones is to have great resolution times. It’s detrimental to the business if you have to tell the customer to wait. Having Tettra documentation accessible and up to date is key in reducing resolution times and raising satisfaction.”

Tettra’s Adoption across the Company

Though support was the pioneering team, it quickly spread across the company. Developers were the next group to show interest. Some engineers started writing lots of pages, using it for a myriad of topics: runbooks for the infrastructure and ops team, guides for using AWS, common tasks such as deploying or troubleshooting your dev environment.

After engineering adopted Tettra, it spread to marketing, and then to people ops. A year ago, they hired a head of HR, Thaisa Money, because they were growing so fast. They were getting to the size where they needed clear processes in place to deal with things internally. The obvious place to document this process became Tettra, and everyone just joined. People needed to know these things and appreciated having easy access to the knowledge that lets them do their jobs better.

PostScript

For anyone building a remote support team, (or even just hiring a few remote employees,) Luis shared some excellent tips and lessons learner in his post, “How We Grew Our Customer Success Team in Four Steps”. Check it out (as well as Geckoboard, generally!) for great insights about your team and business.