Ah 2016, a time for new beginnings, baby steps towards a better ME. I have many things I want to do “better” both in mind, body, soul, and even support-life ๐Ÿ™‚ I am sure many of you have similar goals, so I hope sharing my favorite customer service productivity tools might help make you a speedier, more efficient rockstar!

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Making a wish at the Hoi An Lantern Festival, Vietnam

Text Expander

Okay, for real though, I don’t know how I used to function without this! Most customer service folks are familiar with “macros” or “saved replies” that we use over & over again. While I definitely still use macros, they often sound cold, robotic and I get an icky feeling using them. Enter Text Expander,ย 

This tool allows you to create little “snippets” of frequently used text. Instead of writing the same thing again & again, you just type out a keyboard short cut (you make it up so it’s easy to remember). Once you type the short cut, BOOM, your snippet magically appears, saving you time, and your poor little hands.

I love Text Expander because instead of using a same old boring “saved reply,” I can use a mix of snippets to make each answer personal.

When you first download, it may seem like a lot of work to get started. I know when I first checked it out, I put off making the snippets for around six months. Sigh.

Once I got over the hump though, it became my #1 favorite support tool. It’s not even a support tool, per-se; it’s for anyone who could benefit from expanding text instead of repeating yourself all day, every day.

Example Snippets to get you started

My best tip for creating your short cuts is to make them memorable to you. Here are some of mine below:

Hi ->>> Thanks so much for reaching out.

Interest ->>> Thank you for your interest in ABC COMPANY.

iOS ->>> The ABC company app requires iOS 8.0 or later, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.

//We get questions about app compatibility all the time!//

Android ->>> We really want to create an amazing iOS experience before we start developing for other platforms. As such, we will only support iOS at launch, but we havenโ€™t forgotten about our Android supporters.

Because we are a small team, constantly updating the app (with pretty major re-designs), we have chosen to focus on one platform at a time.

With that said, the team is aware of how much demand there is for it. Once we nail iOS, we’ll move on to other platforms. I’ve also added you to my own “Android list” so I can let you know if things change.

//People always want to know why we don’t have an Android app. This answer helps explain the thought process behind it//

Help ->>> Please let me know if I can help in any way!

Sorry ->>> I am very sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Text Expander saved me 40 hours of typing in the last 6 months

Text Expander provides some neat stats about “how much time you’ve saved” by using their software. My mind is blown thinking about the fact that I could have spent four full business days of straight typing “frequently used” snippets. I found it so awesome that as soon as I hired our first team member, I got her on it too!

Since my shortcut names are often nemonic devices (that only make sense to me), I am thinking about starting a Github repository to share snippets with one another. That will be Phase 2 of our little Text Expander project, but wow, I’m such a fangirl!

Jumpcut

On the support front lines, you often have to copy and paste a bajillion times a day. Jumpcut actually keeps a full clipboard history, so you can paste any of the last 50 things you “copied,” via the use of a keyboard shortcut.

Oh keyboard shortcuts. Noticing a trend here?

Google Mail Merge Add-On

When a support emergency strikes, of if you want to provide a “product update” to a sub-set of folks, you may be asked to email a list. Some of you folks are blessed with tools for this (yay!) but for those of you that think you have to do this all one-by-one, there is good news!

This Google Mail Merge Add-On has saved my butt a few times this year. Given, we have a email marketing tool, but for certain cases, I’d just rather do it quickly from my personal work email address.

You should really read the instructions on how to send personalized emails with Mail Merge in Gmail because it takes some getting used to. I promise you though, if you are ever tasked with “Hey email 200 people” about XYZ in the next hour, this will be a life saver. Your productive self shouldn’t have to do it manually.

Pen & Paper checklists

While our company uses Trello to stay organized, when it comes to my personal to-do lists, I’m old school like that. Try googling “pretty check lists” (I love pretty paper things), and there you go!