Neal Travis on Building Community Within a Customer Support Team

Manuela Aggio November 6, 2023
- 6 min read

Building community within teams has many perks. It enhances communication, knowledge sharing, productivity, and overall employee well being. This is particularly true for customer support teams, where fast paced environments, conflict resolution, and customer engagement shape day to day operations.

On episode 72 of Ticket Volume, Neal Travis – Support and Admissions Manager for AIHR – discusses the importance of building community and fostering strong relationships within customer support teams. Also, as an active participant of the popular Support Driven community, Neal shares how collaborating and sharing experiences throughout the industry also helps him learn and improve his own work as a team leader. 

Keep on reading for a summary of the episode, and remember that you have the option to sign up for our monthly webinars, where you can ask your questions in real time!



Customer Support Teams: Who supports the supporters

When it comes to Service Management, it’s clear by now that the focus can’t lay solely on customer experience, but it should also incorporate the fundamental role played by employee experience for things to work smoothly. To kick off the episode, Neal takes on his own journey of over a decade in customer-centric roles, which led him to this same conclusion, as well as to look for ways to improve what he felt wasn’t working right in customer support.

Neal currently works leading a customer support team in AIHR. Having had the experience of working face to face with customers is what helped him really understand what a big difference it makes when customer support teams feel truly engaged and connected to their work, and how this can encourage companies to foster a genuine and effective customer-centric culture.



"I was also in this period when I was doing support all by myself. Part of what drove me to keep going through that time when I was like, “I’m just solving tickets all day, this is kind of crazy.” Now being able to think outside of that box, like “Okay, how can I actually improve the experience outside of that”” I am very much a builder. (...) And that really helps me stay motivated, building these new and exciting ways to make the experience better, not just the customer experience, but also the experience that we have being able to help them in the first place."

Neal Travis
Support and Admissions Manager for AIHR
Episode 72 of Ticket Volume


Now that Neal is fully focused on support functions, he is able to try all of this out in practice guiding a customer support team. He shared the efforts he is currently putting into building community and fostering relationships within his team. In his own words, a big priority of his is “supporting the supporters”, which means “making it an enjoyable experience to be in support” and for team members to feel good about themselves and the work they carry out. 

Building community in the Service Management industry

It’s not just within customer support teams that community is important; it can also have a meaningful impact across the broader support industry. During the second part of the episode, Neal shared his experience with the Support Driven community, as an active collaborator. This encourages him to grow and learn professionally, share experiences, stay informed and up to date with any new trends, and give back to the community what he’s learnt. He also argued that collaborating in this way is helping the industry as a whole improve and move forward.

On top of this, and similar to what happens with customer support teams within companies, these platforms are a valuable resource to not feel isolated in an industry that can sometimes tend to it. Neal found that they are valuable to get out of the loop of just solving one ticket after another, or staying caught up in analyzing your metrics religiously.



"This is why I’m so active in Support Driven as well. I look at my own team and I really want to support them and be able to grow in their professional and personal development. But in a community like Support Driven where everybody is focused on that, I also want to grow together with the community, move the industry forward, and give back on what I’m experiencing. How can I help other people that are going through something that I have been to get there?"

Neal Travis
Support and Admissions Manager for AIHR
Episode 72 of Ticket Volume


Finally, bringing the episode to an end, Neal dove into some of his current projects and challenges. His focus for the upcoming year will be strengthening customers' self-service offering and designing a more proactive Knowledge Management practice for his customer support team to inform themselves better. He also looks to build up richer data insights, in order to go beyond operational help desk metrics to incorporate real and honest customer feedback that can enhance the quality of the experience they are offering.

The bottom line

Here we have covered the main points of the 72nd episode of Ticket Volume with Neal Travis, but there's a lot more valuable information where this came from! Listen to the full conversation with InvGate Product Specialist Matt Beran to learn how to build community within your customer support teams and create a solid customer-centric approach that will work towards your business goals.

You can find the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast platform. And remember to subscribe if you want to be a part of the monthly webinars! 

Read other articles like this : customer satisfaction, customer service, ITSM, Ticket Volume podcast, Service desk agent

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