Habits of Effective Community Managers

Community managers are responsible for promoting the well-being of online communities, where people meet in the digital world to discuss the things they care about.

Online communities are diverse, ranging in size from small sub-communities of only a handful of members to global social platforms like Facebook, with over 2 billion users. The interests they represent are equally as varied, bringing people together over a fascination with birds with arms and to connect men with beards through their unique beard profile.

Regardless of the size or nature of the community, an effective community manager (CM) can improve the community’s chances for success. Ultimately, the CM is responsible for establishing the ground rules for engagement and developing a relevant strategy, among other things.

It’s a huge amount of responsibility with several moving pieces, so it’s important for CMs to stay on top of their game. In order to effectively manage communities, here are a few habits to keep in mind.

Play on the team before becoming a coach. Highly effective CMs get their knowledge not just from managing their community, but by being a part of it. A video game CM doesn’t just post patch notes; they play the game on their own and can anticipate how those patch notes will be received. A CM for an airline knows exactly what excites and infuriates travelers, because they travel frequently, too.

It’s not just about understanding what makes people tick; it’s about genuinely sharing those passions with fellow community members day in and day out. CMs who are part of the community can walk the walk and talk the talk.

Keep your finger on the pulse. As CMs often plan and create social calendars, it’s important to stay up to date with new features and changes to the social platforms. As spokespeople for the community, it’s essential for a CM to be highly knowledgeable about what’s happening in the industry and stay on top of important trends. If a new game drops or a new flight route becomes available, the CM needs to know about it first.

Beware of news, fake or otherwise. Breaking news can greatly impact a community. It’s important to read headlines voraciously in order to stay relevant and sensitive to what’s happening in the world. At a time when the world is more connected than ever, news ranging from celebrity gossip to natural disasters to security crisis, travels fast. We can’t control global events, but being mindful of what’s happening around us and how it could impact the community is key.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. The truth is, the news isn’t the only thing we can’t control. Communities are living and evolving spaces made up of unique individuals. While it’s possible to make smart predictions on how the community may react to a specific change or update, it’s important to have plans and preparations ready for any eventuality.

Show off your passion. The best CMs bring their passion to work. Fluent in internet slang, brand tone of voice, and niche jargon, a great CM knows how to communicate in a way that inspires. It is ultimately this ability to give passion and personality to a community that attracts new members and keeps them engaged. People may come because they’re interested in the topic, but they will stay for the way the community makes them feel.

Having created and managed myriad online communities, we know how a highly effective CM will take great care in making their gathering place a welcoming environment. Putting these five habits into daily use helps them to do just that.

For more tips and tricks, check out Habits of Effective Social Media Managers.

Infographic: Americans to the Internet, “Clean Up Your Act”

For months, Americans have debated the issue of objectionable content in social media and other online platforms. Publishers of these online discussion platforms have faced pressure from the public, the press, and government to examine the level of moderation within these forums.

For a better understanding of public opinion on the topic, ModSquad enlisted Harris Interactive to poll 1,050 U.S. consumers in an online survey. We wanted to know how people feel about the content they see online and whether they feel that material should be censored, reviewed and moderated, or always allowed. We present the results in this exclusive ModSquad infographic.

Mod of the Month – June 2018

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the halfway mark on 2018. As summer gets into full swing across many parts of the world, we’re continuing one of our favorite monthly traditions: celebrating yet another one of our awesome Mods. This month’s honoree is all about helping others, and her giving nature is right in her name. Without further ado, please join us in congratulating our June 2018 Mod of the Month, Charity S!

Charity joined ModSquad two years ago while searching for a remote-work opportunity. She loved ModSquad’s dynamic and that we were so in tune with how digital engagement and support have evolved over the years.

Charity has worked on several projects over the two years she’s been with ModSquad. Currently, for our client KeyMe, she provides phone support to customers who call in with questions or issues. She has an extensive background in customer support, having worked in service roles for the past 15 years. And while she excels in all forms of customer support, she says her favorite tasks are phone and live chat support.

I love getting the customer’s issue resolved in real time so that they’re taken care of and won’t have to be waiting around or going back and forth. The feeling of knowing I’ve helped the client and the customer is so rewarding!

Of all the customers Charity has helped during her time as a Mod, one in particular stood out: a customer whose phone call started in tears of frustration and ended in tears of joy.

An elderly customer called in and was so upset. She had just lost her job and was choosing to go back to school, using our client’s app to access her books. She wasn’t able to get into her account, not realizing there were several steps required to register the account. I calmed her down by asking her about a detail she’d mentioned while explaining her issue. She talked about that while I worked on the back end, activating her account. I walked her through everything to make sure she was able to access her account and use the app. She cried tears of joy because of how helpful I was.

In her off-work hours, Charity can be found with her family and her dogs, either at home or at the beach near her North Carolina home. It’s the simple things, she says, that mean so much to her.

Here are just a few of the awesome things Charity’s Project Managers had to say about her:

“Charity is so amazing. She steps up to the plate and always goes above and beyond to get the latest project info and stay up to speed on all the changing processes. She’s a rock star, and I want to have her on every project ever!”
— Lauren McClune, Project Manager

“I worked with Charity for a year and a half and she was amazing! She is always wanting to know more and is 100% engaged in everything. She is a sponge for anything that has to do with a project and comes up with great ideas. It’s so nice to see her recognized for her hard work and dedication.”
— Cheryl Wagner, Project Manager

“She’s super smart, funny, always up for learning something new, and she brings a positive energy to all. I would work with her anytime!”
— Laura Ankerson, Project Manager

Account Manager Spotlight: Monica Armstrong

It’s time for another chapter in our Account Manager Spotlight series. This time, we catch up with Monica Armstrong, who lives not too far from our Operations Center in Austin, Texas. Monica joined ModSquad just after we opened our Austin office and has quickly become a go-to Account Manager for new social media and digital strategy clients.

Having worked with clients around the world and having lived in all different places, Monica’s global experience brings a perspective that jibes perfectly with who we are at ModSquad. When she’s not impressing her clients and colleagues, you can find her out and about in Austin with her dog Atlas or planning her next adventure abroad. Just how does she impress everyone? Her answers during our recent chat made that clear.

Tell us about your background.

My background is diverse, to say the least. In college, I majored in finance, with a minor in creative advertising. I started my career in marketing at American Airlines’ headquarters in Miami before taking on a financial analyst role with a timeshare exchange company. After about three and a half years of very long work nights, I realized I no longer wanted to work in Excel spreadsheets for the rest of my life.

I bought a one-way ticket to the opposite coast and moved to Los Angeles, where I transitioned into an hybrid media buying and budgeting role that I molded for myself at a global advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. My primary client was Lexus, and after four years of developing this role, I decided to take my skill sets and work experience abroad. I transferred into the London office and resided with the company for eight more months before deciding I wasn’t leaving the UK anytime soon and switched companies. At Mediacom Worldwide, I worked as a Global Investment Account Manager, working with global brands and their teams around the world, including countries such as China, Italy, Turkey, Japan and Slovakia.

Ironically, l met my English husband while living in Los Angeles, and our relationship turned into marriage while living in London. In October 2016, we decided to continue our adventure and move back to Texas (I grew up in Dallas), specifically Austin. I immediately took on a contract position overseeing all social media, marketing, and events for a startup coworking space.

What brought you to ModSquad?

I discovered ModSquad at SXSW in 2017. Its British-inspired Mod branding is what initially attracted me, as I’d just moved back from London and clearly felt nostalgic. A month or two later, I came across a ModSquad pamphlet in my bag and decided to check them out online and noticed there were some attractive open roles. Being able to work remotely was a huge bonus; it was a business model I hadn’t encountered in my previous jobs, and I really wanted to experience it.

What do you do for ModSquad?

I am an Account Manager and I’ve worked with a range of clients, from high-end fashion brands to gaming to an international airport.

As the saying goes, no day is ever the same at ModSquad, especially as an Account Manager. I work with clients to make sure we’re representing their brands in accordance with our high standards and the brand’s guidelines/tone. To me, it’s all about creating a connection with consumers and audiences to drive brand loyalty and satisfaction for the brands we represent.

What sets ModSquad apart, in your opinion?

ModSquad’s business model itself is unique compared to a lot of other companies, with our remote-work model. Our entire company is adaptable and flexible. We’re also able to scale easily; we’ve had clients whose original contract entailed only one service area, like customer support. Through cultivating the client relationship and demonstrating more ways ModSquad can provide value, services can extend to other areas, such as community management and engagement. Those instances are fun wins.

Any great stories that stand out in your memory?

Having the opportunity to work closely with our offices across the world and with people from just about everywhere in the world is a humbling experience. As my father is from India and my mother from Brazil, travel and culture continues to play a huge role in my life. I appreciate that ModSquad’s diverse network enables employees to connect and collaborate with one another, both culturally and professionally.

Living in Austin, I’ve been able to watch ModSquad’s Austin Operations Center continue to grow. When I first started, we had just opened the location, and over time it’s been really great to watch the Ops Center and its team develop. Being able to put a lot of faces to names and having the opportunity to join group outings have both been really important parts of building the culture here. We keep it weird.

ModSquad’s Dog Squad: Meet Our Canine Companions

Whether rescued as adults or raised from puppyhood, dogs easily become trusted, four-legged members of a family. With the unconditional love, emotional support, and the silly memories dogs provide, it’s no wonder dog lovers can’t see themselves without their furry companions.

Here at ModSquad, we’re no different. Our dogs are constant loyal companions, keeping us company during work hours. Warning: The following endearing pooches may give you Fido fever.

When you work from home, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Let’s meet some of the many puppers and doggos that keep us company here at ModSquad.

Take your Dog to Work Day ModSquad 2018

Stella is very special to me. She was the only puppy of her litter to survive. She follows me everywhere and works the same office hours I do. Her talents include being a champion couch potato and cheese eater! Stella is a six-year-old English bulldog, but will always be a puppy to me!”
— Tammyann R.

“We rescued Dingo about 10 years ago when my fiancé worked for a pizza place. He spent a month gaining her trust with pepperoni before bringing her home. She’s a snuggly old dog who loves everyone she meets, except cats and ducks. She’s afraid of cats and ducks.”
— Lauren M.

Zarya came to us just before Christmas. She’s a border collie rottweiler mix and the master of giving high fives! When I’m working, she keeps me company and is absolutely my best friend.”
— Janeen L.

Take Your Dog to Work Day ModSquad 2018

Princess is our best friend. She wakes up our kids every morning. Because of her, they’re joyful and ready to start the day with smiles on their faces.”
— Elva S.

Bill found us last summer. She had been abandoned and wandered into our backyard to drink the condensation from the air conditioner. She was very sick, and we nursed her back to health. She likes to sit at my feet while I work. She has her own hashtag on Instagram (#bailiffbill) and loves to have her picture taken.”
— Cory B.

Opie is the answer to the question ‘Who’s a good boy?’ I’ve had Opie since he was a pup. He likes to dress up when persuaded with cheese or anything tasty.”
— Nate M.

Take Your Dog to Work Day ModSquad 2018

Jax is a resilient pooch. He survived parvo, giardia, and colitis at just four weeks old.”
— Emily W.

Louis is a Pomeranian poodle. His hobbies include modeling, eating, and stealing my socks. His favorite sleeping spot is on my head or in my lap.”
— Ella L.

Desi is a pit bull mix rescue doggie that I fell in love with before I ever met her. She lies here all day as I work and quietly waits for the headphones to come off, which means it’s time to play. I pay her in hugs and lots of snacks!”
— Vanessa M.

Take Your Dog to Work Day ModSquad 2018

Raiden is a Siberian husky who loves to climb on furniture when we aren’t home. He snaps at any bugs he sees flying and loves eating his veggies!”
— Kimberly C.

Lucy is a hyperactive border collie who loves to play fetch and go for long walks in the park or along the beach. She’s my office buddy when I can take my laptop outside.”
— Kyle M.

“I’m not sure how it happens, but every pillow or cushion Jax sits on explodes! We have no idea how it happens. We’re lucky he remains unharmed.”
— Kelly A.

Take Your Dog to Work Day ModSquad 2018

Maxie passed away last month, but he was always right there with me while I worked. He always helped me stay on task. Maxie loved being six inches away from me at all times.”
— Mike D. P.

Lulie is a black Labrador mix that I adopted when she was five months old. Two days after getting her, she trashed a brand new sofa, but stole my heart. She usually hangs with me in my home office. She still thinks she’s a puppy and loves to jump on my lap, although she weighs around 80 pounds.”
— Marcio L.

“My husband and I had been looking for a dog for a few years. He sent me a photo of Molly from a corgi rescue website several states away. It was love at first sight! We ended up driving nearly eight hours to adopt our pup. She’s now spoiled in a happy forever home with lots of treats.”
— Kay S.

Jackson, or Jax for short, is the silliest of the silly. He loves squeaky toys but knows when one of his people are on a work call. He used to nap under my desk, but now at five months and 70 pounds, it’s a tight fit under there.”
— Michelle C.

Willow is an Australian cattle dog and has only known the work-from-home version of me. From the time she was a tiny puppy, she would curl up on my feet or behind my knees. She’s now roughly 50 pounds but still thinks she is an eight-pound dog and tries to curl up on me!”
— Aunya S.

“My wife and I acquired Nova, a border collie-beagle-Akita mix from a local shelter. Nova waits for me to get off work so we can play or go for a walk. Sometimes he gets a treat if he’s being especially good about keeping his barking to a minimum. He’s a great dog and my best friend.”
— Jamie J.

Lilly is a Jack tzu, a mix of shih tzu and Jack Russell terrier. She likes to play tug-of-war, fetch, and bark at stuff.“
— Mike P.

Starla Jane is a Maltipoo. She enjoys going to my eight-year-old grandson’s soccer games and playing tag with the kids. She loves to walk, explore, and play fetch. She brings our whole family joy.”
— Jennifer G.

Rosabella (Bella) is my shadow. We adopted her from the shelter when she was eight weeks old. She is a Labrador-shepherd mix that I was going to train to be my service dog, but she gets too happy when she meets new people. Stori is different; he’s a ball of fire. He’s a purebred boxer and has no regard for personal space. Stori is our trick dog. He can catch toys out of midair.”
— Samantha W.

“We adopted Charlie from the Oregon Humane Society a little over a year ago when he was just three months old. He loves that I get to work from home and take him to the dog park at lunch. His favorite thing to do is go swimming, especially in the ocean.”
— James C.

ModSquad’s June Roadshow: E3 and US-Ireland Top 50

Just in the past week, ModSquad was represented at two major events on both coasts of the United States, meeting clients and partners, soaking in new offerings in one of our favorite industries… and did we mention picking up another shiny award for the ModSquad trophy case?

Los Angeles: We started our E3 experience a day early to attend EA Play, a fan-fest and showcase event at which EA Games previews their newest titles. The most anticipated release is action MMO Anthem, in which players will don mech suits called Javelins and explore a vibrant and gorgeous open world. EA Sports took the spotlight with new FIFA, Madden, and NBA Live titles in the works for 2019. Other exciting upcoming titles include Star Wars: Battlefront II, Battlefield V, and a multiplayer update to platformer title Unraveled.

At E3, the Bethesda booth was our first stop, which set the fun-and-games tone that would prevail throughout the show. What better way to kick off E3 than by smashing pennies in the Mement-O-Matic? We attended a Fallout-style Reclamation Day party and accepted an invitation to an ice cream social held by the developers of Rage 2, where we got a sneak peek at gameplay. Bethesda also had some VR experiences; it seems they are creating VR games for all of their beloved franchises.

Other standouts included the Nintendo booth, where we experienced the new Mario Tennis Aces and new Nintendo Switch versions of Fortnite and Overcooked 2. The Playstation booth offered playable demos for Destiny 2: Forsaken and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Over at the Microsoft Theater at LA Live, we familiarized ourselves with the new Xbox Adaptive Controller, developed to allow greater accessibility for those with disabilities. Multiple customizable inputs can be linked to the single Adaptive Controller to allow users to connect and play on their own terms. The Xbox showcase also previewed Gears of War, Sea of Thieves, and Halo Infinite.

At the IndieCade E3 Showcase, which featured a curated selection of international independent video and tabletop games and installations, we played the demo for promising 8-bit racing game Desert Child. We also hit the National Videogame Museum for a healthy dose of nostalgia, where we spent some quality time with an archaic Vectrex. Hey, all games start somewhere!

But the cherry on top was the celebratory dinner we hosted for friends and clients at Fleming’s Steakhouse at LA Live. It was a grand gathering filled with fabulous food, liquid libations, and congenial camaraderie.

New York: ModSquad was honored to be feted at the eleventh annual US-Ireland Top 50 New York-New Belfast Conference. For the fourth year in a row, ModSquad (which has an Operations Center in Londonderry, Northern Ireland) was recognized as a high-performance business in Ireland and around the world.

We’re in good company. Along with ModSquad, brands like Amazon, Bank of America, Allstate, HBO, Moet Hennessy, and Mastercard were among the recipients of the coveted award. Representing ModSquad was COO Mike Pinkerton, who also took part in a panel discussion in the “Tech Start-Up Shaping the Future” presentation.

“In 2015, our three-year plan was to triple our business with European clients and hire 100 employees in Northern Ireland,” said Pinkerton. “We were thrilled to exceed those goals and we’re excited to be honored again as a US-Ireland Top 50 company.”

At ModSquad, we keep a hectic travel pace, from conferences to awards ceremonies and more. When will an event bring us to your corner of the world? Watch this space.

World Premiere Video: Meet the Mods

We’re proud to present the world premiere of our new video, Meet the Mods. In this two-minute clip, you’ll meet Mods from all around the world. Get a look at the life of a Mod as eight Mods talk about where they’re from, what services they perform as a Mod, and why they’re so enthusiastic about their work for ModSquad.

In the video, we ask our interviewees to sum up ModSquad in one word, which they do. We can describe, in two words, what truly sets ModSquad apart…

Our Mods!

We’d like to thank the Mods around the globe who participated in the making of this video, which can be viewed below or at its new home on our Why Us page. Now sit back, crank up the sound, and Meet the Mods!

 

5 Tips for Planning Seasonal Support

Seasonality is the name of the game for many companies and organizations, whether they rely on post-Black Friday sales to stay out of the red or ramp up for the summer, when their products fly off the shelves. If you find yourself taking a deep breath before your busy season and not exhaling until it’s all over, you know what it takes to navigate seasonal spikes. And you’re not alone: Last year’s Cyber Monday was the largest online sales day in history, with consumers spending $6.59 billion in just 24 hours, a $1B increase from 2016. Seems like many merchants were ready for the rush. As noted, the summer season brings its own need for all hands on deck. Just look at the European tourist industry, which welcomes 33% of annual nights spent in just two months, July and August. Talk about a summer rush!

With these surges come fantastic opportunities beyond revenue spikes. It’s a chance for your company to pull in new customers, impress them with your product and service, and retain them as a customer throughout the year. A long-term, loyal customer is worth much more to your brand than the value of that single sale-day purchase.

In order to put on your best face, you have to be prepared with a sufficiently sized and well-prepared workforce that ready to supplement your traditional and social customer support team. Normally, that entails a huge hiring push that sees your HR team inundated with applicants and on-ramping workers that will have to be let go months later. It’s a laborious process that can overwhelm anyone.

But there’s a better way. As longtime readers of this blog well know, it’s possible to outsource (or ModSource) a flexible, cost-effective team of experienced agents that can ramp up and scale back in perfect alignment with your company’s needs. ModSquad has provided seasonal support teams for some of the biggest names around, so we know that the careful planning and management of these seasonal spikes can pay off in a big way. As you map out your plan, here are five tips for planning great seasonal support.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. You need time to prep your team; there’s a learning curve that can’t — and shouldn’t — be rushed. You’ll also want to nest your support agents, putting them in a live environment with assistance, to ensure they’re fully equipped to handle your customers and represent your brand with the knowledge and professionalism you require.

Reschedule company events as needed. Do you hold annual corporate gatherings, training sessions, parties, or retreats? It might seem logical to celebrate the holidays during the appropriate season or venture on an outdoor excursion when the weather is nice. But if that’s the time your team is most in demand, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s not unheard of to celebrate the end-of-year holiday season with a January gathering, as scheduling your activities during quieter periods makes sense.

Set priorities based on past performance. If your call volume heavily outweighs your need for social customer support, plan accordingly. Similarly, if you find that agents supporting your chat feature racked up longer times to close tickets last year than you would have liked, give them the assistance they need.

Maintain your standards. You may be bringing on a support team on a temporary basis, but they’re still representing your brand to your customers. Apply the same quality metrics to these new agents as you would to a traditional worker. They may be filling in a short-term need, but that customer who’s calling in still deserves to be welcomed by someone with technical know-how, empathy, support skills, and a shared passion for your product. Your team is only as strong as its weakest link.

Stay on top of your schedule. This is not a one-and-done. Keep a close eye on the schedule to watch out for gaps and work swiftly to resolve any issues. Try to maintain the same support ratio for agents as you would during normal periods if you hope to uphold the same high-quality performance level.

Handing your seasonal spikes smartly is about more than making a few extra sales; it’s about filling your client base with satisfied brand ambassadors who will in turn bring new customers to your door. This is done by offering top-tier service during each and every customer contact, even in crunch time. We’ve seen again and again how proper planning and staffing can make all the difference to your customer experience.

Updates to Social Media Platforms Target Privacy, Community, and More

In a single minute, the world publishes 481,000 tweets, creates 2.4 million snaps, and watches 4.3 million YouTube videos. And along with all that content, the platforms we share it on are constantly evolving to better serve us as users.

If you’re still in the process of multiplying 481,000 tweets by 131,040 minutes, you can stop (it’s around 63 billion). We’re here to tell you all you need to know about how the major social platforms have evolved since our last update, and more importantly, what these changes might mean for your brand’s social strategy.

Facebook

New Tools for Groups
With millions of active groups and billions of users across them, Facebook is upping the support it provides group administrators. A new online portal gives group admins access to best practices for managing their groups. Facebook is also testing a dedicated support portal that group admins can use to get quick answers from the Facebook team.

For all groups, the new pre-approved members feature allows selected members to bypass pre-moderation on their posts. This is great for groups that require moderator approval of posts but also have members whose content you trust. When posts do need moderation, an additional moderation tool allows admins and moderators to easily inform users their content was removed. We’re excited about this feature, as educating a community about the rules goes a long way in preventing repeat offenders.

Changes to Reviews (on the horizon)
There hasn’t been an official announcement of this yet, but several of us here at ModSquad have noticed some changes to the way Facebook handles page reviews. Instead of giving 1–5 star ratings when posting a review, some users see “Do you recommend <page name>?” with Yes and No options.

Facebook’s new scoring system gives all pages a score of 1–10, instead of the previous 1–5 based solely on page reviews. It claims new recommendations weigh more heavily in calculating the score, so for those of you lamenting a lower-than-expected score, give the “Do you recommend?” option some time to roll out to all users.

Instagram

API Limitations for User Privacy
Instagram has limited the access to its application program interface (API). This will impact how teams use third-party tools to interact with user content discovered through hashtag and location monitoring on Instagram. Even comments on a brand’s own content can no longer be deleted through a third-party platform. All of these actions must now be done natively, typically adding extra steps to existing processes.

Analytics have also been impacted by these changes. You now need a business profile for your third-party tool to pull your Instagram data.

Add More to Your Bio
All Instagram profiles can now include in their bios clickable profile handles and hashtags. Add another user’s handle to your bio as a way to promote partnerships or feature fans or influencers. A hashtag in your bio can be used to promote a campaign or to share and encourage user generated content (UGC).

Upgrades for Stories
It seems there’s always a new feature to add to your Instagram Stories. Among the latest are the emoji slider, type mode, and the ability to upload multiple pieces at once. Use the emoji slider to ask your followers a question they can answer using a rating scale. Type mode allows you to create a story asset without needing a photo or video background; no more uploading blank images just so you can add a text-only slide!

For those of us who like to curate our Stories and preview them before they go live, you can now upload up to 10 photos and videos at once, rather than one at a time. This is perfect for major announcements and refined storytelling where you don’t want your avid followers sitting there waiting for you to add the next slide.

LinkedIn

That’s right, LinkedIn made our list this time, with an important update they rolled out recently. Drumroll please…

Multi-Photo and Native Video Publishing
Ta-da! LinkedIn now supports native video publishing for all pages and profiles. This was a long-awaited feature, as pages would previously have to upload their video to YouTube or another video hosting site in order to share it on LinkedIn. You can also now publish an update with multiple photos, instead of just one. The only sticking point so far is that video can’t be published or analyzed via third-party tools.

As the social media world turns, we’ll be here to keep you updated with all the latest changes and how they might impact how you engage with your followers. Will the updates we covered here change any aspect of your social strategy? Others have you not sure how to proceed? Comment below and a member of our digital strategy team will get back to you.

ModSquad Heads to E3 2018

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) powers up June 12–14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and with it comes another chance to meet up with friends and colleagues in the video game industry. With our large roster of game-industry clients, ModSquad has considered E3 to be one of our must-attend shows for a decade. Awesome game industry shows like E3, the PAX shows, and Gamescom are always great opportunities for the ModSquad team to connect personally with clients and other game-industry professionals.

There seems to be quite a bit of positive buzz around E3 this year, with a lot of interesting announcements on tap, including the usual gamut of game previews, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Destiny 2 leading this year’s pack. But you won’t have to wait for E3 to hear about all of these announcements. More and more, game publishers are putting on their dog-and-pony shows before E3 officially opens its doors. This year, Electronic Arts is hosting their EA Play show in the days prior to E3, and games like Bethesda’s anticipated survival RPG Fallout 76 have been announced in recent days. See the rundown below of the major press conferences to keep an eye on.

ModSquad’s mix of player-facing services, including in-game and in-app player support, moderation, social media, and community management, means that there are always have quite a few interesting conversations and encounters at E3; check out last year’s post-event recap of E3. I hope to see you there; if you’re going to be in attendance, drop me a line.

E3 2018 Press Conference Schedule

Saturday, June 9

  • Electronic Arts — 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET

Sunday, June 10

  • Bethesda — 6:30 PM PT / 9:30 PM ET
  • Devolver Digital — 8 PM PT / 11 PM ET
  • Microsoft — 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET

Monday, June 11

  • Sony — 6 PM PT / 9 PM ET
  • Square Enix — 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET
  • Ubisoft — 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET

Tuesday, June 12

  • Nintendo — 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET

Rich Weil
Senior Vice President, Global Operations

Mod of the Month – May 2018

If we ever decide to put together a squad of cheerleaders for ModSquad, we know where to turn. Our newest Mod of the Month has no shortage of enthusiasm, and it only makes us appreciate him more. Let’s give a warm, it’s-almost-summertime round of virtual applause to our May 2018 Mod of the Month, Edward O!

Eddy first joined ModSquad in September 2016 and, in his words, has “been lovin’ it ever since!” He explains that his approach with every customer service interaction has always been to make each customer feel like family, and in that same vein, ModSquad feels like home to him.

Eddy is extremely passionate about the clients with which he works, including a gourmet coffee and tea company for which he provides customer support. He excels especially in live chat and phone support, where he builds trust with customers and ensures their problems are resolved.

I want to be able to make sure customers feel heard above all things. In a world full of technology, it can sometimes be difficult to make that connection and have customers feel heard, so I make it my personal responsibility to see a customer through it all.

Eddy’s long background in and passion for customer support allows him to excel in the work he does for clients. After graduating from college, he worked in technical fields but always found himself being drawn back to working with customers. Before ModSquad, Eddy worked for top software and technology brands, where he provided support directly to customers, performed quality assurance, and trained new agents. These roles helped him build the skills he uses to ensure his ModSquad clients and customers are satisfied.

You can be the best at any skill in the world, but the relationship you build with your customers is what makes any business successful.

When he isn’t wowing customers, Eddy can be found paintballing, fishing, learning the violin, or enjoy the beautiful beaches near his home in Miami, Florida. We expect mastering the violin will be a proud moment for him, perhaps on par with his proudest moment at ModSquad, which he says was the day he landed his first project:

I’m proud to be with an amazing company and to be given the opportunity to meet some great people here at ModSquad.

His managers think Eddy is great as well, and they are just as proud to work with him.

“Eddy is an absolute champ on every project. He’s the go-to Mod that always wants to help and always has a positive attitude. His work is exceptional, and he is always looking for ways to improve or be more efficient. He’s super hard-working and is always a great asset.”
—Christina Williams

“Eddy worked on one of my projects and he was a stand-out Mod. His productivity was outstanding, too. He asked all the right questions and was just an overall team player! 10 out of 10 from me.”
—Tera Tilden

“He always does an outstanding job on my project. He is always eager to jump on tasks for the client, and it is obvious he takes pride in his work.”
—Erin Lewis

“I’ve worked with him on a couple of different projects, and he’s always been seen as an extremely valuable resource. He makes it his business to find out how everything works, and uses that knowledge to provide an extremely thorough level of support to customers.”
—Shane Beeton

Tourism Ireland and ModSquad Explore the Future of Tourism

This month we were honored to spend time in the beautiful Irish seaside town of Malahide, County Dublin, to meet with our clients and friends at Tourism Ireland (TI) for their Digital Days conference. The annual event brings together TI’s local teams, international teams, and core strategic partners to review, discuss and plan around the digital future of the organization.

This year, the event focused on the Future of Tourism and how digital opportunities can provide more individualized services and experiences for potential visitors. Core to these discussions were the relationship between technology and human connection, and how to develop the two to work in harmony with one another.

Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland - Location for the 2018 Digital Days

ModSquad was invited to participate again this year, representing the voice of consumer engagement and the important role we play in TI’s Digital Roadmap. During the event, our ModSquad team had the opportunity to facilitate discussions around community: what community means to TI and how effective community management and engagement can support ongoing efforts for a diverse range of teams and goals. Partnership is the heart of client services, working together toward common objectives and overcoming shared challenges. We are delighted to work in this manner with TI, serving as an extension of their wider team.

For the second year in a row, we left this event feeling inspired and energized for what’s to come. The core themes that shone through the conference are those same values we share in our work together: trust, customer-centricity, and evolution.

Trust

During the conference, we were reminded that a brand should elicit trust. In this same way, we work to build trust every day with our customers and our clients. It is through open and transparent work that we can achieve great success with partners like TI.

Customer-centricity

In the field of customer support, the customer must be central to all that we do. ModSquad and TI share this value. We work hard as individual organizations, and also collaboratively, to ensure our work is rooted in customer-centricity.

Evolution

As ModSquad is a digital engagement provider supporting a digital marketing organization, there are tremendous opportunities to develop ourselves, our tools, and our systems to continuously evolve with new technologies and approaches. Just as change is a constant in the digital space, it is a necessity in client services.

Tourism Ireland ModSquad Digital Days 2018

As we continue beyond the Digital Days, we move forward with a renewed shared purpose to meet the needs of our client and our customers, inspired to put news ideas into action.

Mod Holiday: Our Favorite U.S. Destinations

In part one of our Mod Holiday series, we highlighted countries, cities, and islands around the world that are frequented by our Mods. The ModSquad crew works hard, and they play hard too, creating memories with family and friends in locations across the globe. Whether they’re embarking on fun, off-the-beaten-path adventures with friends or taking a simple walk on the beach, these are the moments they look forward to when it’s time to recharge.

In this latest installment of the series, we asked Mods to share some of their favorite vacation destinations in the United States. Read on for some inspiration for your next U.S. getaway.

Charleston, South Carolina
“The historical architecture in this little city is absolutely beautiful. The Southern hospitality, seafood, and sunny beaches make it a relaxing getaway.”
— Jennifer Morgan

Saint Mary’s, Georgia
“There is a camping spot called Crooked River in Saint Mary’s that’s nice, quiet, and leads into the Atlantic Ocean. I like to camp in a tent and go to the dock at dark to fish. Last year I landed a 6.5-foot bull shark on my birthday.”
— Jennifer Berry

Phoenix, Arizona
“My vacation every year is spending a weekend at the Phoenix Comic Fest, where I see friends, family, strangers, and celebs. I get to wear costumes and gosh, it’s fun!”
— Cory Benzenhoefer

Denver, Colorado
“Every year in June, my friends and I go to Denver. The city has great craft beer and fantastic brunch spots, and there’s always something to see. Then we spend a day outside the city in the mountains. We always stop at a truly terrifying clown museum located in someone’s shed.”
— Chris Coder

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
“I love the ocean and all of the water activities. You can never run out of things to do there, and the beach is so beautiful at night.”
— Marla Lendor

St. Augustine, Florida
“I love the beach, the warm weather, and the plethora of activities available in this area. There’s a marina just about everywhere you turn, historic sites, and sailing. I grew up close by, and it always brings back fond memories, so I love to visit every chance I get!”
— Matt Williams

Anaheim, California
“We’ve been going to Disneyland for years as a family. Those are some of the best memories of my childhood.”
— Charel Grimes

Using Customer Engagement to Express Your Brand’s Values

Customer engagement is not only a way to support and connect with your customer community, but also a way to showcase your brand’s core values. Making efficient use of all the customer touchpoints through which you engage your customers (such as social customer support, moderation, and traditional customer service) provides a golden opportunity to go beyond sharing information about your products and services to convey your values. Therefore, you need a digital engagement strategy that encompasses social media moderation and customer support with a personal touch that expresses who are you as a brand.

Younger generations are leaning toward companies with values that reflect their own belief systems. Being public about those values with strong declarations about what you stand for was shown in a Harvard Business Review study to lead to better financial performance. And consider: If your company’s employees have shared values, you’re nine times more likely to have high customer satisfaction.

Here are four key strategies that will keep your messaging consistent and ensure that your values are effectively conveyed to your customers.

Don’t wait — take action. Effective interaction with your audience is all about being proactive vs. reactive. Think about your brand, its values, and how you want to treat your customers. Take the lead by jumping in early and often and steering your brand’s conversation and personality.

Customer care is not a silo. Engagement execution needs to dovetail with the overall brand/marketing strategy. Be sure that every public touch point reflects the same commitment to quality and your core values.

Deal with issues in open forums. Resist the temptation to resolve all matters via email or bidirectional closed conversations. When appropriate, share your customers’ relevant concerns with the larger audience and allow your community to understand how committed you are to properly resolving those issues.

React well to bad things. Unfortunate incidents occur, so it’s vital to proactively develop strategies to show your best side during problematic times. Whether it’s developing a crisis management plan that’s informed by your core values or simply rising above the trolls and working hard to keep the community conversation elevated, be prepared. As with people, companies are often judged by the character they display during difficult times. While not ideal, a crisis offers a unique opportunity for your brand to shine and rise to the occasion.

Ultimately, the goal is for your brand’s logo to be seen as a trust mark. With proper support, your customer engagement strategy can serve the dual purpose of better serving your audience and building the value and trust they place in your brand. This is done with every customer interaction, from support conversations to social interactions, and even through moderation. Excellent customer engagement should not be purely viewed as a method of brand protection; it provides a mechanism for enhanced, proactive engagement that can help you share your brand’s core values with the world.

Clive Jefferies
Sales Vice President

Mods at Play: What We Do in Our Leisure Time

When prospective clients ask us about ModSquad’s services, we have been known to say, “Our Mods do it all!” Of course, we’re talking in that case about our range of digital engagement services, but it also extends to our personal lives. If you’ve read any of our previous blogs covering our hobbies, volunteer work, and favorite vacation spots, you know we keep busy when we’re not hard at work.

Here are just a few of the hobbies some more of our talented, diverse Mods enjoy.

I love working with miniatures; 1/12 scale is my favorite. I have been working with miniatures since stumbling across it over two years ago. I used to think dollhouses were only for children, but that’s just a misconception. Being able to build your own scale house and add the decorations in any way you like is an amazing feeling.” — Jessica Dyer

My hobby is gaming in any form. I am an avid player of MMOs, MOBAs, and roleplaying games, depending on the day. I currently spend a lot of time on JRPGs, and I have been part of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that we run within Second Life every Sunday.” — Michael McDaniel

I love making jewelry. In particular, I have learned how to sew beaded earrings. I discovered the method at a craft show from a vendor who was sewing beaded sleeves for pens. I took the idea home and started working on my first patterns to create jewelry. It takes a LOT of time and patience, as the beads are about the size of 1/4 of a grain of rice. But the outcome is just gorgeous!” — Jessica Wilkin

My hobby is running. I have been doing it seriously for about seven years now, though I picked it up purely by accident. I live in Canada and travel down to Florida for March break. I decided to do some running along the beach and found I enjoyed it. When I got back, a friend saw I had been running, and invited me to do a half marathon. I did it, and found it to be really relaxing.

“For me, running is very zen. After the first 1-2 kilometers, my thoughts go quiet, and all that’s left are my feet and the pavement.” — Marcel Beaudoin

My hobbies are reading and video games. I have been reading ever since I first learned to read, and I have been playing video games since around age 10.” — Cat Schenk

I create travel content for my blog, including photos and videos. I started doing this in 2015 when I went to San Francisco for an internship, and I have since been to many places in Asia and Europe. It’s a way to make tangible memories that aren’t just photos on a hard drive. Joining ModSquad has allowed me to pursue my passions and discover new places.” — Antoine Aarens

My hobby is Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve played it for 39 years, and everything good in my life, from making lifelong friends to all the great times, has involved this game.” — Michael Raper

Mod Holiday: Our Favorite Places for Adventure and Relaxation

The ModSquad crew calls various cities around the world home. Located in more than 70 countries and speaking over 50 languages, our Mods have quite an array of interests and hobbies. That’s reflected not only in the diverse array of projects at which they excel, but also in the impressive range of destinations they seek out when they’re not at work. From the Mayan Ruins to annual festivals, our Mods love to see and experience much of what this world has to offer. Join us as we hear from the Mods, who are eager to help us discover some exciting and exotic places that are perfect for rest, relaxation, and adventure.

We asked our Mods: What’s one of your favorite places to get away?

Bermuda
“My brother and my mom’s side of the family live there.”
— Nicole Moose

La Romana, Dominican Republic
“The people are extremely kind. The food is great and the prices are reasonable. La Romana also has some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean!”
— Miranda Halla


London, England
“I adore British history and culture, so London is the city of my soul! I see magnificent shows in the West End and walk along the south bank of the River Thames.”
— Christine Rose

Perú
“Swimming with sea lions, dune buggy riding, sand boarding, and white water rafting — all fun things to do there.”
— Matilde Sanabria

Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
“I recently went on a cruise. While in port in Progreso, we visited the ancient Mayan ruins. It was an awesome experience.”
— Stacy Long

The Bahamas
“I cruised here once, and it is so beautiful. I enjoyed playing volleyball on a private island with strangers and trying new foods.”
— Ina Witherspoon

Belize
“It’s so beautiful and the temperature is just right. I also get to spend time with my family and enjoy all of the fresh seafood.”
— Morgan Dalton


Dartmoor, England
“Badgers Holt is set in a valley amongst the rolling hills of Dartmoor, with little to no internet connectivity. The apartment I rent for the holidays there is just meters away from the banks of the River Dart. Waking up to the sounds of nature, the river, and having my morning coffee is a pleasure beyond compare.”
— Darren McGrory


Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France
“This small town in the south of the France is known for its wild horses.”
— Charlotte Benoit

What’s your favorite vacation getaway location? Where do you go to recharge? Got a secret spot that only you and the locals know? Be a sport and share it with us in the comments section below.

Case Study: ModSquad’s High-Flying Customer Support Boosts Flybrix’s Sales and Revenue

Overwhelming customer demand is one of those double-edged situations. While you might be grateful for the success of your service or product, you’re also in a precarious situation. If you don’t live up to customer expectations, your reputation and sales might take a hit.

Such was the dilemma in which the founders of Flybrix found themselves. The hardware firm launched with a focus on combining consumer-oriented drones and computer vision technology. During the development of their product, they tried assembling a drone using popular interlocking plastic bricks. It was their hallelujah moment. Soon, the company was offering this product to the world, to a resounding response.

From the start, it was clear Flybrix had a winner on its hand. The company was inundated with customer inquiries and orders, and sold out of its inventory in 15 minutes. The Flybrix group quickly found themselves struggling to keep up, with the amount of back orders necessitating them to scale up by a factor of 10 in the four weeks before the intense holiday shopping period. While they were confident they could ship their orders in time for the gift-giving season, they knew they needed help with customer support.

That’s when Flybrix turned to ModSquad. With the help of the Mods, Flybrix saw ticket response time reduced by 75% during that period of 10x scaling. In just 10 days, ModSquad processed thousands of backlogged tickets and ultimately generated and processed 35% of the company’s revenue increase for 2017. For the behind-the-scenes look at how it all came together, read this new case study from ModSquad.

How Being Pop-Culture Savvy Helps Moderators

Over the past decade, pop culture has been remarkably influenced by the ways in which we receive and understand online content. From the development of odd languages to the prevalence of digital currency (and the diverse variations), the internet continues to redefine how we communicate and interact with our environment.

Even seemingly innocent emojis have double meanings, which certainly should not be used or endorsed by many brand pages (we’re looking at you, peach). Therefore, it’s important for those moderating content and managing social media and communities to understand these reference points.  Over the years, we have witnessed many examples of brands that have dropped the ball when it comes to using pop culture references and memes for their intended message. Fortunately we more often see brands really nail the use of memes to connect with their audience.

One notable example comes from a well-known travel company that caters to an 18- to 35-year-old audience. This demographic would seem to be more receptive to this type of marketing, particularly if the ad pokes fun at a very relatable aspect of the service they offer. I mean, who hasn’t got to the airport to find that their meticulously packed suitcase is well over the allowed weight?

When a brand shares funny, relatable material, it naturally lends itself to the consumer sharing back with the brand. That’s where intelligent moderation comes in. This a fantastic marketing opportunity for brands, but it’s vital for content moderators to be able to understand the content that’s being shared.

User-generated content (UGC) can be a powerful marketing tool, but it can also go wayward. Consumers and communities are more responsive to UGC than brand content because the independent, human element implies credibility. With that comes an allowance for the consumer to utilize pop culture references which a brand may not necessarily get away with. It’s essential that content moderators who happen to come across such content in their daily work have a good understanding of memes, emojis, and their particular audience. Without this understanding, potentially inflammatory,  inappropriate or even great content could pass by unchecked. Your team should constantly update their frames of reference to ensure they’re able to appropriately handle the next meme of the day.

The world of pop culture and content moderation is an ever-growing encyclopedia of delicate nuances, obscure jokes, and intricate reference points. In order to ensure that all content is understood, acted upon, or engaged with appropriately, it’s increasingly important for brand representatives to keep up with these ever-changing trends. Because even using a dated meme won’t put you in good light with the evolving crowd.

ModSquad and Extra Life: A Roundtable Discussion

As regular readers of the ModSquad Blog know, Extra Life is a fundraising event that’s near and dear to us. Gamers of all ages raise sponsorship donations in support of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals during a 24-hour gaming marathon. In 2017 alone, players raised more than $11 million. ModSquad has taken part in this annual event for the past five years, and we’re planning to go even bigger and better next time around.

This March, members of the ModSquad family joined hundreds of other charity gamers at Walt Disney World to participate in Extra Life United, a gathering that brings together fundraising participants from across the nation for four days of games, camaraderie, and fun. To get an inside look at the event, and at ModSquad’s ongoing efforts supporting Extra Life, we spoke with Amy Pritchard, ModSquad’s Founder and CEO; Matt Hostler, ModSquad Account Manager; and Mary Pritchard, avid gamer and Amy’s daughter.

How did ModSquad become involved with Extra Life?

Amy: It started with Matt Hostler. He is entirely responsible for bringing this amazing charitable organization to our awareness five years ago.

Matt: I’d watched game developers and communities participate over the years and always thought it looked like a fun, silly time. I thought, Why isn’t ModSquad doing this? I did some research and talked to people at the Sacramento office. Surprisingly, I found that a bunch of people were also crazy enough to stay up all night playing games!

How has the team’s participation with Extra Life grown over the years?

Matt: I really thought the first year was just going to be about the Sacramento office. Surprisingly, Mods from everywhere tuned in to our live stream to cheer us on. It was humbling. I knew we had to not only keep participating, but go even bigger. Since then, ModSquad has opened two additional offices, and last year we had video feeds from each one of the 24-hour Extra Life gaming marathons. We even had a satellite Extra Life party happening in Tennessee.

Amy: Again, all the credit goes to Matt. He started our involvement and has grown it over the years. This past year, we had a splash page and banner on the website promoting Extra Life. Matt said, “Wow, this feels so official now!”

What makes the Extra Life event stand out?

Mary: It’s a great excuse to be glued to a screen or a board for 24 hours! But seriously, the idea is genius. Who wouldn’t want to play video games for charity?

Matt: Extra Life is about playing games and helping kids. Game communities, developers, blogs, streamers, and everyone else in the industry all come together to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. And it’s a lot of money!

Amy: I met one longtime participant at Extra Life United. His team raised $180,000 last year. He said to me, “A bunch of middle-aged engineers aren’t going to run a marathon for charity. Playing board and video games? Now that I can recruit a lot of coworkers for.”

Tell us about Extra Life United.

Amy: Extra Life United is a game tournament held at Walt Disney World as a part of the Children’s Hospitals Week. ModSquad sponsored Mary to play and raise money. We met the most incredible children that have benefited from Extra Life fundraising and were completely blown away by the passion of everybody involved. We were asked extremely important questions at the beginning of the tournament. Like, is pineapple on pizza okay? (No!) We also had a huge, 200-person round of rock-paper-scissors. I actually made it three rounds in!

Sounds like a fun crowd!

Mary: Oh my gosh, everyone was so cool! I met a ton of new friends and friendly competitors. It didn’t matter that most of them were twice (sometimes thrice) my age.

Amy: I remember Mary’s first event was playing the board game Down Force. She sat down at a table with seven men between 20 and 60 years old. Oh, back up, Mary is 12. It was so funny at first, but they welcomed her as one of them and had a raucous time. The entire rest of the weekend was just as fun.

Meeting Victor and Jo Ellen Enmon was so impactful. Extra Life was started to honor their daughter Victoria, who passed away from leukemia in 2008. One particular friend was Jose, a teacher from L.A.; we still regularly correspond. But the best was meeting the Extra Life Champions. They were the rockstar kids that have benefited from care at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. There was a really fun pin exchange, and Mary got photos with a lot of those champs.

What are ModSquad’s future plans for Extra Life?

Matt: Global domination! It was great to have all of the offices involved last year. But ModSquad is in more than just three cities. We’re everywhere! So now we’re working on how to include more people, play more games, and, most importantly, raise more money! Mark your calendars for November 3, 2018. ModSquad is going bigger than ever!

Mary: I’ll definitely come party with one of the offices come next year!

Amy: We are blowing it up.

Mod of the Month – April 2018

April showers bring May flowers… so it must be time to shower one of our Mods with praise and appreciation! It’s time once again to introduce one of our outstanding Mods, and we’re excited to shine to spotlight on our April 2018 Mod of the Month, Vicki K!

Since starting with ModSquad in October 2016, Vicki has dedicated her time to one of our women’s fashion clients, providing customer service via phone and email. Because of the skills and experience she’s built over her time working with the client, she handles the more complex customer inquiries that come in, as well as returns and disputes.

Vicki is no stranger to working from home and has been doing so for the past 15 years. She excels at handling all sorts of customer service requests, from simple questions to frustrated complaints.

I always try to take a happy, personable approach when starting a call with a customer. The calls then seem to roll along nicely, and I challenge myself to end each call on a good note with the customer. I’m a firm believer that you need to have fun and share smiles when you help others.

Vicki loves working with numbers, so she excels in processing returns and handling disputes. She says her overall goal, both personal and professional, is to continue finding new challenges and learning all she can.

When she’s not assisting customers and wowing her client, Vicki can be found with her husband riding on their motorcycle around southern Florida, crafting, or spending time with her two sons. She has a few four-legged family members, as well: two dogs and a tortoise.

Vicki says that when she found out she was selected as Mod of the Month, she danced around like a little kid. Based on the fantastic work she’s done, we’re sure her Project Managers do happy dances all the time, too.

“Vicki is beyond amazing. She’s loyal and dedicated to our project and works so hard, often going above and beyond, to produce brilliant work. She’s a real all-star!”
—Cherise Verrett, Project Manager

“Vicki is very dedicated, has a great work ethic and a sharp mind. She stays balanced, and responds quickly and positively to new challenges.”
—Rabbit Korbin, Project Manager

“Vicki was always a “go to” person for the project I was on with her. She is an excellent resource and outstanding asset to any team that she is a part of.”
—Shane Beeton, Project Manager

8 Ways to Improve Your CSAT Score

A happy customer is a loyal customer. And in a business landscape that’s as competitive as ever, loyalty matters. It costs up to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, so once the sale has been made, it’s more than worth the effort to ensure ongoing satisfaction.

To understand their customers, many businesses measure the success of their customer relationship by utilizing a Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT. This key performance indicator illustrates how much the level of support that was experienced meets the customer’s expectations. If you’ve ever been asked to stay on the line after a customer service call and rate your interaction on a scale of one to five, your survey response has been used to measure CSAT.

In order to cultivate an audience of happy and loyal customers, you need to understand the most effective ways to move the CSAT needle in the right direction. We’ve compiled eight tips to help ensure that you’re taking the right steps to boost your company’s CSAT score.

1. Treat customers the way you’d want to be treated.

It’s called the Golden Rule for a reason. Anything you would expect when contacting customer support yourself should be provided to your own clients — and then some. Go as far as treating the customer as if s/he is your boss: with respect, full attention, and a commitment to providing top-notch quality. Act as though your job depends on it; ultimately, it does.

2. Minimize wait times.

This one should be a no-brainer, but we’ve all called support lines that “are experiencing higher than normal call volumes.” Whether due to an unexpected rush or understaffing, it’s the customer that gets the short end of the stick. Plan ahead and have a flexible support staff on hand for peak periods.

3. Offer multichannel support.

Many customers would rather have their issues resolved through methods other than a traditional phone call. If your audience is more comfortable communicating via chat, email, or social media, meet them where they are. In fact, providing positive support experiences through social media can help drive customer loyalty.

4. Empower your agents.

Allow agents to manage a customer issue themselves rather than needing to escalate up the chain of command. By empowering your agents, they’ll feel greater pride in their work while making life easier for your customers, who won’t have to repeat themselves to a supervisor or manager.

5. Survey says…

How can you make your customers happy if you don’t know exactly what they’re looking for? Read online reviews to discover what they’re saying about not just your product but your support team. Proactively resolve issues you discover through these reviews. You’ll also gain valuable insights by soliciting feedback through user surveys. Be sure to allow customers to explain their ratings and offer suggestions on how your customer service can be improved.

6. Follow up on the data you’ve gleaned.

Those surveys you asked your customers to take are filled with pearls of wisdom, if you take the time to look. Examine any complaints from your audience and follow through: act on them, learn from them, and acknowledge them with your customers. Identify and improve where your service is lacking and build upon the cited strengths.

7. Set expectations.

When can your customers expect to have an issue resolved? Will they hear back from a member of your team today? Is their feedback being directed to the right party? Let the user know exactly how you’ll proceed… and then raise the bar with a quicker-than-expected response or similar grand gesture. Exceeding their expectations brings you that much closer to winning their loyalty.

8. Your customers have a name… use it.

Everybody appreciates being recognized as an individual, rather than a customer ID number. Use your customer’s name in verbal and written interactions, and make that extra effort to make them feel special. Reward them on their birthday or on the anniversary of their initial purchase. It’s little things like these that can have a big effect on customer sentiment.

Keeping your customer top of mind is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Use your knowledge of what’s working and what isn’t with your customer service to make informed business decisions. In today’s rough-and-tumble marketplace, you owe it to yourself… and your customers.

Multilingual Mods: European Edition

Here at ModSquad, language is a key element of the services we provide. With clients around the world looking to us for outsourced digital engagement, our network of 10,000+ Mods in 70+ countries is ready to deliver, in more than 50 languages and dialects. When a project requires native speakers of a foreign tongue, we’ll locate just the right Mod to take on the role.

But who are the Mods providing customer support, moderation, social media, and community management services in nearly every nook and cranny across the globe? Let’s meet some of the Mods providing native-language services that extend beyond English and learn a little more about them. For this virtual meet-and-greet, we touch down in Europe to say hello to three local Mods.

Name: Tanya Brandi
Country: Italy
Provides Services in: Italian, English

Tanya is a lifelong resident of Livorno, near Pisa. She puts her Italian language skills to work doing customer support and English-to-Italian translation in the gaming arena. When she’s not working for some of our video game industry clients, Tanya loves to pack her bags and head out to visit the most magical place on Earth. “This is something my coworkers all know because I talk about it all the time, but I love the Disney Parks. I try to go often. So far I’ve only seen Disneyland Paris, but I want to visit them all.” Her journeys take her beyond the parks as well. “I love traveling in general, and want to see as much of the world as possible. It may be a bit cliché, but there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing different places and interacting with different cultures.”

Tanya interacted with travelers in an earlier professional capacity. “I used to work as a tourist animator [also known as an activities director], which definitely contributed to my desire to travel. It was a fantastic time and a great way to see interesting places and meet people. Unfortunately, I had to dance for kids every evening, and I’m a terrible dancer! But it was lots of fun.”

Name: Julien Voiry
Country: France
Provides Services in: French

Heading over to the Grand Est region of France, new dad Julien has had his world rocked in the best possible way by his son’s arrival late last year. “This is the biggest change I’ve had in my life; it’s like a new beginning. It’s an unspeakable joy to see my son evolve and do new things every day.”

In his now-limited spare time, Julien loves video games, which fuels the passion he displays in his French-language work assisting customers of ModSquad’s video game clients via email. “What I find very interesting in MMORPGs is the interaction between the players. You can find all the richness in personalities and styles that you see throughout the real world.” When he’s not immersed in a virtual world, he studies ancient mythological ones. “I read every book about mythology I can find. I have a preference for Greek myths, but am strongly interested in Celtic myths as well.”

Name: Valentina Lamusta
Country: Spain
Provides Services in: Spanish, Italian, English

Born and raised in Italy, Valentina moved to Spain 11 years ago. “I ended up living in Los Caños de Meca, a very small village on the ocean in southwestern Spain. Caños de Meca is best known as the location of the famous Trafalgar Lighthouse, where the battle of Trafalgar took place; Trafalgar Square in London commemorates the fight. This is a region of infinite virgin beaches and wild nature. My house is a small old-style cottage located in the middle of a natural reserve and only 2 km from the beach.”

It is from this locale that Valentina provides multilingual services for clients in diverse industries, including the tourism field, one of her passions. But with two dogs and eight cats, packing up and traveling is easier said than done. Fortunately, Valentina is content to practice yoga and play guitar in her hometown. “I love hiking and swimming in the ocean. I’ve literally found my paradise here.”

Habits of Effective Social Media Managers

If you’re looking for a regular old 9-5 job where you know what you can expect every day, social media management probably isn’t for you. Social media platforms are active 24/7/365. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others are constantly evolving with new features and changes to your news feed. New platforms continue to emerge (remember a few years ago when people were wondering, “What’s Snapchat?”). To meet this ever-changing atmosphere, a social media manager needs to stay on top of their game as one day may not be like the next.

For a role whose responsibilities are constantly evolving, there are a few things every social media manager worth their salt does. These are the core habits that keep a brand healthy and growing on social media and its customers happy.

Plan, Create and Analyze

Social media is all about sharing content your community will appreciate. It’s up to social media managers to figure out what their customers want to see and how to present it in a way that draws attention. A good social media manager starts with the important messages they need to get to your audience and then peppers in additional engaging content, posts that aren’t necessarily tied to a precise business goal but will allow their community to connect with each other and the brand.

Of course, it takes some fine-tuning to figure out exactly what types of posts resonate best with your audience. Morning posts, midday, or evening? Text-only posts, or ones with photos, videos, or links? Captions with emojis or without? Native channel analytics and robust third-party tools offer a lot of information about your audience, what they like, and when they’re online. A good social media manager will also experiment with posting at different times and days, and with different styles of messaging.

Content strategy is all about iteration, so it’s good to get into the habit of analyzing and reporting on what’s working (and what’s not). It’s also good to check in on your competitors regularly to see what content seems to be working for them and drawing inspiration from how they engage their audiences.

Review and Respond

Once you’ve put content out there, it’s time to monitor how your community responds to it and reply to them when appropriate. Depending on the social channels a brand is active on, its social media manager is responsible for checking a variety of ways customers can contact them: posts, comments, tweets, and direct messages, to name the most common. A good social media manager prioritizes questions and support inquiries, ensuring their customers have the information they need. After those have been responded to or escalated, they can then move on to responding to users who don’t necessarily expect a response but whose posts offer an opportunity to build a stronger customer relationship.

Beyond those customers contacting a brand’s social media account directly are those talking about a brand. Those conversations are just as important, and that’s where social listening comes in. Using either native search terms or a third-party tool, social media managers are always monitoring content that uses specific brand or industry hashtags or keywords. For brands with a physical location, geofence monitors on Twitter or location searches on Instagram also offer great opportunities for engaging with customers and addressing concerns that may have otherwise gone unseen.

Stay Current

Algorithm changes, new features, updated functionalities, a new study about the best times to post or how to properly incorporate hashtags… There’s always something new to learn, and it’s essential that social media managers keep up-to-date on the latest industry happenings. A daily check of your favorite social media publications is a good practice to get into, as is following social media professionals on Twitter to get their perspective on what a given update might mean for brands.

Another thing to keep a regular eye on are trending hashtags. Every morning, good social media managers check to see which hashtags and topics are trending, particularly on Twitter. From hashtag holidays like #NationalPizzaDay to breaking news, social media managers can decide whether to engage or determine if the day’s news impacts their content plans.

There’s a lot to pay attention to when you’re managing an always-on brand presence, but a social media pro with the right approach will be able to get it all done.

Why Crisis Management is Essential to Any Business Continuity Plan

Whether their customers and followers realize it or not, any business worth its salt always has a plan for the unthinkable. When things go south, when complaints pile up, or a controversy arises, you need to have anticipated these events and have a strategy set in place.

Business continuity is the overarching term used to describe the planning and preparation for any task that needs to be undertaken in order to ensure a company’s vital functions continue in the event of any serious incident, from power outages to supply-chain disruptions to major disasters. A comprehensive business continuity program includes the larger continuity plan, which ensures the integrity of the company’s infrastructure; a recovery plan, to bring back any failed operational element; a contingency plan; and a crisis management plan.

The art of crisis management (for it is an art) is often confused with business continuity, and while they are similar necessities, crisis management is its own animal. It is the act of using predetermined responses and actions to help your company weather a public-facing storm, whereas the larger business continuity plan focuses on keeping the entire business up and running.

The process is undertaken well in advance of any affecting event, as you identify and determine best practices for handling an issue before it arises. After the necessary prep work, your team will be ready to respond proactively to any volatility. Should an event occur, the team will keep close track of incoming data for real-time feedback on the situation and the effectiveness of the response. Once recovery is underway, the crisis team will be on the lookout for fallout—risks that only appear after the initial upheaval. Finally, your team will use its newfound knowledge to help plan for (or better yet, avoid) the next instance.

Partners like ModSquad are often a wise choice for those unprepared or unable to deal with crisis planning and management. If you don’t have a team on hand to respond right away to the emergence of a crisis, you might be ready to bring in a partner. Having a trusted ally who has worked up your crisis plan and knows the associated risks and requirements gives you a head start on managing any burgeoning problem. Here at ModSquad, we have managed teams of experts ready to assist with a client’s crisis. It’s also worth noting that not every crisis is necessarily apocalyptic. Some of the smaller-scale scenarios that could still greatly affect any company are situations we also help manage, including:

  • Social Media: If a customer complaint goes viral or a hashtag has been co-opted for undesirable reasons, companies can find themselves under attack on social media.
  • Customer Support: Product recall? Insufficient supply of a hot new item? Marketing blitz resulting in a tidal wave of incoming queries? Any of these scenarios can leave you swimming in customer inquiries.
  • Community: Digital communities can be a hotbed of feedback, sometimes including inflammatory comments; contain the situation and ensure a positive experience for all.
  • Product Launch Boom or Bust: Whether your product launch had a meteoric rise or went terribly sideways, it’s vital to address your customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Does your business continuity plan contain a comprehensive crisis management plan? If not, procrastination is not your ally. Get started today, or get help doing it. And should your worst-case scenario comes to pass, look for a crisis management specialist to help rectify things. You’ve worked too hard for anything less.

Project Manager of the Quarter – April 2018

Back in October 2012, a young woman saw a post on Reddit about needing help testing a mobile game. An avid gamer herself, she jumped at the opportunity. It was through that opportunity that she discovered ModSquad (at the time, Metaverse Mod Squad) and became a Mod. From there, she joined more projects, honed her skills, and in April 2015 applied and was hired as a Project Manager.

Who was this young woman? None other than our Project Manager of the Quarter, Lauren McClune!

Lauren has managed a number of projects over the years and currently dedicates all her time to one of our longtime clients in the mobile app entertainment space. The project comprises one of our largest teams, which works around the clock to support our client’s customers via phone, email, live chat, and social media. In fact, the project she now manages was the first one she joined as a Mod, so she feels right at home.

Lauren’s dedication to support goes beyond the customers her teams serve and extends to the Mods and clients she works with. As a Project Manager, her mission is to always do all she can to make her clients happy and her teams as strong as they can be.

My most important task is providing a strong support system for my team. This includes being available to help if they ever need it and maintaining a strong set of resources to help them be successful. I can’t stress enough how important support is to ensuring a successful group of Mods and Managers.

Over the years Lauren experienced many moments that made her proud of the work she does. But it’s the work that the Mods on her projects do that make her the happiest. She says she feels proud any time a customer or client calls out one of her Mods for doing amazing work.

In her time as a Project Manager, Lauren has learned a lot about the things that matter most and what makes for an effective PM. Her biggest piece of advice to others: Don’t let stress get to you.

Everyone gets to stressful spots, and you just have to roll with the punches and reach out for help when you need it. I can’t even explain how supportive everyone at ModSquad is! Theresa Galle has been insurmountable in helping me along the way, and I can’t thank her enough for all her advice and pushing me to be the PM I am now.

Those who’ve worked with Lauren can attest to her growth and success as a Project Manager.

“Lauren has proven her abilities across a wide spectrum. She can dive into the details with Mods or be a part of high-level discussions with a client or admin group. She has developed strong rapport with several client contacts in a complex and frequently changing environment. Although things change rapidly on the client’s side, Lauren has proved to be the common denominator and maintains stability for the project.

“Lauren also has a stellar can-do attitude and shows leadership amongst her management peers, even in difficult situations. She has taken strategic initiative on the project and has done a great job helping us make things more efficient. She consistently impresses the client with the work the team is doing under her management.”
—Matt Ramsey, Account Manager

“Lauren has done a great job working with the client contacts and Mods on her project. When called upon, she can easily provide insight into what’s happening on the front lines and is quick to implement change when needed.”
—Josh Smith, Strategic Management Specialist

“Lauren is a valuable member of the team and wonderful to work with. She regularly exhibits a positive, can do attitude and is quick to assist those around her and our clients. Thank you Lauren for all that you do!”
—Steve Henry, VP, Client Services

Mod Hobbies: These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

We at ModSquad are a diverse crew. Not only do we speak over 50 languages, live in 70 countries, and have unique professional and personal backgrounds, but we also spend our free time in all sorts of ways.

From crochet to cosplay, cooking to coffee roasting, fan fiction and more, our Mods do it all. Below, you’ll hear from a number of us about what we do when we’re not managing communities, supporting customers, or moderating content.

My hobby is horseback riding. I started in college and rode on and off for about seven years, but last year, I finally started riding regularly at a local club. The feeling of freedom while galloping over an endless meadow is the absolute best feeling and cure for stress anybody could ever imagine. This year, I hope I can start competing with my horse in showjumping and dressage. Wish us luck!” — Matea Makek

I have plenty of hobbies, but here I’ll focus on cooking. I started cooking 20 years ago, when I was 14, but the passion really took hold when I was 18. Maybe being Italian helps a lot, but I strongly believe that cooking is an art in which you can put so much effort, emotion, and creativity.

“I have traveled to almost 80 countries, and I always try to learn some local recipes, so I don’t specialize in a specific cuisine; instead, I prepare anything that is delicious and inspires me.” — Marco Scardella

I’ve been knitting and crocheting since I was a teenager (I learned from books, because YouTube wasn’t a thing yet!), but it wasn’t until more recently that I really got into it. Finding friends and community, as well as having access to such a vast amount of patterns (oh, Ravelry) really opened up a whole new world for me.

“My favorite thing to make are blankets, particularly ‘ugly’ ones. The more ridiculous and outlandish the pattern and colors, the better. Who cares if you’re snuggled up under something garish so long as you’re warm?” — M. Leigh Green

“I have always liked art, and have started getting into Zentangle art. It helps to ease anxiety and stress.”  — Teresa Taylor

Fire spinning! I discovered it through mutual friends while I was photographing events in Atlanta back in 2011. My specialty is hoops. I love playing with fire because it’s exciting and delightful to see the looks on the faces of spectators who have never before seen fire performance. It’s also great exercise!” — Christy Conley

I make cosplay materials. I’ve been doing it off and on the last five years and find it extremely relaxing. It’s so nice to sit down with materials and watch something take shape in front of you.” — Ian Guinard

My hobby is live storytelling. In my early twenties, I had a job on a world-traveling cruise ship, and I came home with a bunch of crazy stories. I started to perfect how I told them, like a comedian crafts a joke, figuring out the best places to add a pause and playing around with the structure.

“Eventually I started a live storytelling show in the basement of a bar in downtown Portland. Now I perform occasionally at bigger theaters and festivals. I love being onstage and connecting with a large audience. In a world of mostly digital connections, it’s great to share stories and create real human connections with total strangers.” — Jason Potter

Paranormal Investigating! In 2013, I had an experience that had me curious about the paranormal and it led to me doing a lot of research. Only recently have I picked up actually investigating places for the paranormal. I know not everyone believes in the paranormal, but I truly enjoy it because I love looking into the history of the locations I investigate, and I love the thrill of not knowing what’s going to happen or who you’ll find yourself communicating with or capturing on footage, whether it’s voice, video, or photos. Overall, it’s amazing. I always find myself becoming more and more interested in it all.” — Hazel Doss

I love great coffee! When I was 19 years old, I moved to Santa Barbara, California. I walked into a coffee house that roasted its own coffee and I knew right then that I wanted to do that. About eight years ago, I started roasting coffee in a frying pan in my driveway, five of six ounces at a time, just so I could have great fresh coffee for myself. Now I roast 10 to 12 pounds at a time!” — Alisa Frye

I love to write. Right now, I’m trying to write a novel. It’s coming along pretty well. I’m four chapters in and have the first chapter and a half workshopped pretty well. I’ve been working on this particular project actively for about six months, but have wanted to be an author for years upon years.” — Rochelle Harper

How Content Moderation Can Improve Your Customers’ Experience

What if we told you there is a (relatively) simple way to boost your business by protecting your brand and ensuring your customer communications are appropriate and spam-free? And that at the same time you’d be creating a safe, enjoyable place for your customers to congregate, one that helps provide a clearer picture of your audience?

There is such a way, and it involves content moderation.

Today, a strong presence across key social media platforms is necessary to reach your customers. Comments and genuine inquiries may be interspersed with spam, scammers, or otherwise inappropriate posts. On the flipside, you may have positive reviews, customers in need of assistance, and celebrations of your product that could go unnoticed, leaving great opportunities missed.

Content moderation goes beyond text-based content, as well; you may also have images, video files, and/or GIFs to review. The same holds true for those brands with their own communities, including online forums or web pages that allow user comments. That’s a lot of content needing review.

ModSquad has the capacity to handle any amount of content moderation – text, videos, images, you name it. With over a decade in this field, we have the expertise to manage even the most active communities. When reviewing comments left on your forums or your social pages, we’ll scan content for compliance, ensuring all material on your pages is acceptable, appropriate, and follows your guidelines. We immediately alert you to content that requires attention, track and report on trends and sentiment, and escalate great opportunities for higher level engagement. Our Mods have your back — with local agents who speak your customers’ language and share their interest in your brand, you can rest easy that your UGC is being handled by experts who understand the nuances of your community and your offerings.

After expert moderation of your content, what remains is valuable content posted by genuine, engaged customers. This user content resonates more with your audience than some of your own material, as others consider such comments more authentic. It also provides valuable insight into your audience’s points of view and gives them a hand in steering the ship of your company via their feedback. What better way to foster their connection with your brand?

Need another reason? How about a boost in web traffic? Content moderation helps to free your site’s comments sections or forums from spam, inappropriate content, fake profiles, and scammers. Ensuring your site is comprised solely of relevant content helps increase your organic web traffic, and your site will be better optimized for search engines, helping to boost search rankings and visitors.

Your customers and your brand’s reputation are incredibly valuable assets. Don’t underestimate the value of around-the-clock content moderation. Rely on a smart, engaged team of Mods to help you foster your relationship with your customers and improve their overall experience with your brand.

Mod of the Month – March 2018

This name of this month’s honoree may share her name with the hue of November’s birthstone, but we’re not about to wait another seven months to celebrate her. Join us in congratulating our March 2018 Mod of the Month, Amber K!

Amber may be among our newer Mods, but it took her no time at all to win the hearts of her Project Managers. She joined ModSquad in late December 2017 as a Mod for one of our clients in the mobile app entertainment space; she did such impressive work, that she applied for an open Lead role as an employee and was hired into that position. As a Lead, Amber assists other Mods with any questions they have while assisting our client’s customers via phone, email, and live chat.

What first piqued Amber’s interest in ModSquad was our name. What sold her were the flexible hours, ability to schedule around her home life, and reviews from current Mods.

Amber is no stranger to remote work, having spent the past six years working from home. In that time she started as a customer service representative, and, just as she’s done here at ModSquad, quickly moved up the ranks.

Customer service is what I’ve always done. It’s almost second nature for me to take an issue, own it, and commit to resolving it. I like making the customer happy by solving their problem or offering a solution that works for both them and our client.

Working remotely has been a big plus for Amber lately, as she and her boyfriend just relocated to North Carolina and purchased their first home. They’ve been spending lots of their free time making it their own and exploring the area they now call home. Amber also loves heading to classic car shows with her 69 Pontiac Firebird.

In case you wondered how Amber so quickly become Mod of the Month, her Project Managers’ statements should explain it:

“A fast-paced and ever-changing project needs many special attributes from its Mods. Mods that instinctively smile while volunteering to be the first to take on any new challenges. Mods that show exceptional camaraderie with their colleagues and customers. Mods that contribute to the community. It is rare that these qualities are all found in one Mod, however, in Amber we have found every one of those traits and more.”
—Joseph Moore, Assistant Project Manager

“Amber has shone and stepped up in every way possible on our project. She will go out of her way to assist her fellow Mods and managers alike. If we could build an army of Ambers we would be golden.”
—Mark Rogan, Project Manager

“Amber is always willing to step up and help in any way. She is willing to work when we need extra help and brings a fantastic optimism and high level of knowledge while doing it!”
—Christopher Carpenter, Project Manager

Notes from the Road: ModSquad’s Whirlwind U.S. Tour

ModSquad’s roadshow across the United States was a resounding success, with stops at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas; Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. We’re still abuzz with excitement about the great people we met at these shows, the clients we got to spend time with, and the general good vibes we feel when we get the ModSquad band out on the road.

Speaking of bands, we set up shop at SXSW with our retro-inspired ModSquad Swingin’ Mod Lounge. It was a great place to gather by our 1950’s fireplace, mod couches and bar. Rounding out the set was a groovy record player accentuated by copies of our giveaway album, ModSourcing — Live in Austin, complete with a real vinyl record in each album gatefold. Happy recipients were psyched to take home an authentic bit of music history and raved about our fabulous space, which many described as the “coolest” and “most aesthetically pleasing” of the entire trade show. Aw, shucks!

The science fiction geeks among us couldn’t help but be psyched to see Steven Spielberg at the secret screening of Ready Player One, and felt like little kids again when Mark Hamill surprised the audience during Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s talk.

Over in Las Vegas, we set up shop at Shoptalk, welcoming to our space VIPs from the retail and ecommerce industries. It was a lively event with a renewed sense of retail optimism from vendors and attendees alike. The consistent message on the conference floor and in panel discussions was that retail is alive and well. After working through some kinks with new technologies, the industry is recognizing that the future is a holistic environment that intertwines the digital etail experience and the real-world physical store. Continued evolution is the key to growth.

That, no doubt, is why so many visitors were delighted to learn about ModSourcing, outsourcing, modernized. It’s how we work to help retailers maintain their relationships with customers as they expand their digital footprints. It’s always a good feeling to know you’re helping others.

The good feelings continued after the event one fine evening, as Google welcomed us to their exclusive Wyclef Jean concert. At the start of the show, Wyclef noted that the younger attendees were probably Googling to figure out who he was, whereas the (relatively) older audience members could attest he was the real deal. At the end of the night, everyone in the crowd knew that to be true.

While some of us were networking in Vegas, others were hitting the halls of the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, pumped to be part of this year’s GDC expo, where video game developers, publishers, and fans alike rub elbows.

As is the ModSquad tradition each year, we spent time meeting with industry friends, partners, and clients, as well as exploring the offerings on the expo floor. This is where many companies preview their releases for the upcoming seasons. We always have a blast checking out the new goodies. A few notable offerings included:

  • The soon-to-be-released Oculus Go VR headset, an entirely wireless and self-contained system with a $200 price tag
  • OptiTrack’s new active VR system, which sees the user donning a wireless headset and backpack and stepping into a warehouse-scale VR environment with up to 20 other players
  • The Indie Megabooth, with its collection of smart and witty new games. It’s great to see such a wide range of offerings, which just solidifies this as the second golden age of video games.

In all, it was a whirlwind tour, populated with familiar faces and great new friends. We had a blast, and to all who met up with us along the way, our thanks. Where will ModSquad go next? To find out when ModSquad’s tenacious travelers will be in your neck of the woods, just keep an eye right here on the ModSquad blog.

Director Profile: Gina Miller

Our Squad would be much smaller if it weren’t for the person at the center of our latest Director Profile. ModSquad Director, People Operations Gina Miller has been with the company since 2009 and has helped find Mods for hundreds of projects, including Sony, Kabam, NFL RushZone, and many more. She knows the ins and outs of what it takes to be successful at every level, from Mod to Account Manager. We were lucky enough to find a few spare minutes in Gina’s busy day to catch up with her about what brought her to ModSquad and why she loves it here.

What was your background before coming to ModSquad?

Out of college, I started as a teacher, teaching physical science, biology, and chemistry to middle schoolers and teaching summer school science and American government to high schoolers. I also worked part-time jobs tutoring and contracted to provide weekend support for a tech company, then transitioned into consulting full-time and eventually took an employee role in business analysis and project management. I worked in the IT department for a Johnson & Johnson company, and from there I moved to a software company managing professional services and software implementation consultants.

Being in the middle of Silicon Valley, I jumped at the opportunity to work at a startup; I rode that wave for a while and saw the company through its purchase by a public company. When the tech bubble burst in early 2001, we relocated to the Sacramento area, where I stayed home to raise two children.

I was a stay-at-home mom, had just had my second child, and was caring for my grandmother when my husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As our lives changed, I decided to get back into the workforce. After working part-time at some local companies, I got an email from CEO + Founder, Amy Pritchard asking if I was interested in interviewing for a part-time job at her company called at that time, Metaverse Mod Squad. Intrigued, I said yes. I didn’t have anyone to watch my daughter, but Amy said “Bring her, I’ll have my daughter with me, too!”

We met at a great coffee shop in downtown Sacramento and talked while our daughters played together. Amy sold me on the mission of Metaverse, and I was convinced! We had just signed the lease for our Sacramento Operations Center. Sitting on the hardwood floor putting Ikea tables and chairs together with Amy and Rich Weil gave all new meaning to building a company from the ground up.

What are your primary responsibilities here? What is an average day like for you?

I am primarily responsible for finding unique talent from across the globe to join our pool of Mods. One of the reasons I love my job is the enjoyment I get from matching the right person with the right project. We look for people who are self-motivated, have experience working remotely, have good communication skills and excellent grammar and writing skills. We look for our Mods to be cool and level-headed with a bit of sass!

I’ve reviewed thousands of resumes and am committed to ensuring that every person who applies to ModSquad receives a personalized response. It’s neat to get to know someone, their passions and then find a match – it’s a win-win!

That said, I never really have an “average” day at ModSquad, which is why I love it here. Each day brings with it new challenges and excitement to keep me motivated. I wear many hats: I’ve painted Christmas scenes on office windows, adorned new ModSquad babies in swag, sent flowers to team members who suffered a loss and life-size stuffed puppies to sick children of employees, turned a Porta-Potty into an iconic red phone booth, and organized an online baby shower… you really never know what the “Other duties as assigned” portion of a job description might entail.

What sets ModSquad apart, in your opinion?

ModSquad is a trailblazer. Our image may be retro, but we have certainly embraced the future and are redefining the traditional workplace. This awesome company runs, for the most part, remotely. While we do have three operations centers, the vast majority of our Mods work remotely, from home or wherever they can find a quiet and secure location. That impacts more than just the way we can engage: it removes the barriers of living near your office, keeps cars off the roads, and drastically reduces the amount of paper we use. So, while our logo may have red in it, we are a very green company, storing everything electronically. Not to mention, we can marshal the Mod forces and provide some pretty stellar customer service and engagement to boot.

What memorable or rewarding experience have you taken away from your time at ModSquad?

A very rewarding component to my job is interacting with people worldwide, getting them excited about ModSquad, and bringing them onboard. I’ve watched numerous different people come in as Mods and then rise through the ranks to become Project Managers and Account Managers. The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing those I’ve recruited succeed.

I also appreciate working from home so I can be there for my kids, pick them up from school, or take care of them when they are home sick. ModSquad has seen my family through many happy occasions, some challenges, and some sadness. You may remember our CEO’s blog post about being there. ModSquad has allowed me to be there for my family.

Spring Cleaning: Refreshing Your Workspace

If you’re located in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has sprung! Per the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 12:15 p.m. EDT. And while many around the world may still be seeing snow rather than spring blossoms, it’s a great time to spiff up your indoor space with a seasonal clean-up.

As a company of mostly remote workers, we can attest that keeping a clean, orderly, and enjoyable workspace is the key to success. Whether you work remotely a little or a lot, we asked our team of global Mods for their tips to make the most of your remote office.

Here’s what they had to say:

What are the key features of your workspace?

“A window for natural light, desk lamp, and also snacks and drinks!” –Amanda P.

“My home office is surrounded by my art and pictures of my family. I have to have a good desk with lots of drawers. I have two boards on my wall for calendars and important information.” –Ebony T.

“I have a home office reserved for work on my sun porch so there’s loads of natural light and plants. It’s really nice and refreshing, especially when it’s warm enough to keep the windows open!” –Matt W.

Rooms with a view emerged as a key theme, sometimes even with a double rainbow.

How do you keep your workspace clean and enjoyable to work at?

“I keep everything organized by importance. If it doesn’t pertain to work or isn’t there to help keep me motivated, it gets put in a different space. For me, as a writer, I use doodle pads to jot down new ideas.” –Leandra M.

“I clean my space at the end of my last shift every day. To freshen up my seasonal style, I like to get some new screensavers and themes to look at.” –Jennifer G.

“When you work for a stretch of time, it gets easy to accumulate things around you, but if you take a minute or two to put things away, you’ll surely enjoy the lack of clutter.” –Debora F.

“At my desk, I keep my journal, notepads and pens, colored highlighters (to stay organized!), and usually at least one or two readily available caffeine sources nearby.”
–Cassie D.

What tips would you give to someone just starting a remote job?

“Dedicate an area of the house for just you, free of traffic and noise pollution. Treat the workspace as you would if you were working on location. It’s so helpful to create an area that is strictly for work and helps you stay in that mindset throughout your day.” –Mike P.

“Invest in a well-made chair and a comfortable headset as soon as you can; these are tools you’ll need to be successful.” –Olivia L.

“Use your office space only for work, keep it relatively clean, and try to surround the space with things you love (like plants, figures, art, etc.). This can help with keeping your space comfortable, which I find makes working easier and more enjoyable!” –Matt W.

“Set your browser up so you can easily get to the pages you need for work. I have several tools, dashboards, and sites I need to do my job. This way I can just log in to the tools I need and be ready to go.” –Ali S.

“Have something near your computer that makes you smile (an old ticket from the last concert you attended, a funny pic of your friends or family). If you need to take a moment to refresh your thoughts, have a look at your little smile-maker — it works wonders!” –Cindy Z.

So there you have it, tips and tricks from our Mod-tastic team to keep your workspace clean, organized, and a great place to be. Happy spring!

Client Spotlight: Tourism Ireland

This month, our Client Spotlight shines on Tourism Ireland, the marketing entity that promotes the Emerald Isle to travelers around the world. We were delighted to speak with Brian Harte, the organization’s head of Customer Engagement and E-Marketing, as he gave us a peek inside the genesis of Tourism Ireland and how they strive to present the essence of Ireland through social media and community.

How did Tourism Ireland come about?

Tourism Ireland is responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday and business tourism destination. It was established under the framework of the Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998 and we work closely with the two tourist boards on the island, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI, and with our partners in the tourism industry at home and abroad in delivering on our remit.

Tourism Ireland’s 150 staff create marketing programs in 23 markets across the world as well as centrally in Dublin and Coleraine – we all have the same core passion and love for the island of Ireland!

Tell us how you bring Ireland to the world through joy and authenticity on a localized level. You have a presence in countries all over the world, and you engage customers locally on social. Share with us the drive behind that approach.

The Irish people and the perception of the Irish abroad are some of Tourism Ireland’s biggest assets, along with the attractions/sights and history, as well as family history connections.

The wonderful tapestry of individuals on the island give us a rich diversity of surprising, spontaneous, and “only in Ireland” experiences to use. They’re authentic, not staged, and are both historical and contemporary. We are highlighting Ireland’s captivating people, who freely give insights into our culture that are delivered in a fun, engaging, human, and conversational way.

Our brand promise is of joyful immersion, which we describe as “the feeling of living in the moment, up close and personal with a place and its people.” Our goal through our community management work with ModSquad is to make this real for our audience in advance of their visit and to build their anticipation.

What were some of the community and social media challenges you faced?

Tourism Ireland is one of the few tourist boards to offer Twitter and Facebook pages in the native languages of our key markets, so we have to ensure proper use of the relevant languages. If we’re posting Spanish-language posts geared toward visitors in Spain, we have to ensure accuracy. Tone of voice can be tricky; we absolutely want to be able to transfer the sense of joy into our messages. And there’s always the issue of localization–some posts are not suitable for all markets, and our Irish humor might get lost in translation.

Why did you choose to work with ModSquad?

What brought us to ModSquad was your ability to engage with customers on numerous social media channels and e-mail, your community management experience, the availability of multiple languages, a flexible staffing model (with which we’re able to ramp up or down the hours needed, depending on our requirements), and a good selection of reporting tools. In particular, we wanted a partner who could grow with us as opportunities are identified. We pay a lot of attention to the digital horizon – it was essential for our partner to do the same.

How has it been working with ModSquad?

Very positive! Everyone on the team is very approachable and proactive, and there’s a great attention to detail. We also get quick responses, the Mods are well-organized, enthusiastic, and always willing to take on new projects. Finally, we appreciate that there’s a wide range of knowledge throughout the management team.

Game On: It’s Time for GDC, and ModSquad Will Be in the House!

March in San Francisco may bring thoughts to its residents of the start of spring. But for hardcore gamers like us, it makes us think of only one thing: it’s time for GDC!

Every year, the Game Developers Conference (GDC), held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, is a cornerstone of ModSquad’s March planning. The event, which takes place from March 19 to 23, draws 26,000 people from the video game field, along with some of their most ardent devotees, in a gathering to celebrate and explore the latest innovations in the industry.

ModSquad’s GDC team this year comprises VP Sales Clive Jefferies and SVP Global Operations Rich Weil, a veteran of many, many GDCs. As Rich has noted time and again, GDC keeps getting bigger and better with each passing installment, and this one looks to continue that tradition. Rich and Clive will be joined by others in the ModSquad family, meeting with friends, clients, partners, and potential clients as they continue their work helping today’s top game publishers save money, scale their services, and provide top-notch support to players. If you’re attending, set aside a few minutes to say hi to the team.

Must-See Panels at GDC 2018

Here are some of the panels and presentations we’re looking forward to and think you’ll enjoy, too.

Bridging Community Divides in Cross-Platform MMOs
Tuesday, March 20, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Why we’re excited: We’ve often said that when you’re managing player communities, you have to be on top of (excuse the pun) your game. In this discussion, reps from Daybreak, Trion, NetEase, and Guild Software discuss their tips and tricks for effective community engagement across multiple platforms. Find out more…
Mitigating Abuse Before It Happens
Tuesday, March 20, 11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
Why we’re excited: Sometimes the best course of action for community managers is to formulate a comprehensive proactive plan, to quell any problems before they appear. We’ll hear how companies like Microsoft and flaregames work to avoid bad user behavior. Find out more…
Juggle ALL THE THINGS! Community Managing Tons of Games
Tuesday, March 20, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Why we’re excited: We’ve managed many, many player communities over the years, and we’re well aware of the responsibilities and challenges facing community managers in the video game world. We’re intrigued to hear speakers from Trion, Blizzard, Daxnd Games, Klei Entertainment, and Jump Gaming share ways they overcome resource issues and set player expectations. Find out more…
Community Marketing and Management at Your Best and Worst Times
Thursday, March 22, 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Why we’re excited: Our community managers work closely with clients to ensure consistent messaging across all platforms. This discussion from Paradox Interactive discusses the ways in which companies similarly partner their marketing efforts with their community initiatives. Find out more…

We hope to run into you in San Francisco next week. If you’re attending GDC, let us know — send us a message on Twitter, or set up some time to meet up. See you there!

Shoptalk: ModSquad Attends the Retail & Ecommerce Power Event

ModSquad has created some outstanding partnerships with leading names in the retail and ecommerce industries over the years. In providing our clients with top-notch customer support, moderation, social media, and community management, we’ve stayed on top of the latest trends in consumer behavior, the retail landscape, and the delicate art of supporting our clients’ customers with top-level service.

Last year, we ventured out to the inaugural Shoptalk Europe event in Denmark, a confluence of retailers, brand representatives, and vendors like ModSquad. It was a great experience (which you can read about here), one that we’ve been looking forward to replicating. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’ll be exhibiting at Shoptalk in Las Vegas, Nevada, from March 18 to 21. This event joins together Shoptalk’s U.S. and European events in a global gathering that’s expected to draw 8,000 attendees. From startups to established powerhouses, everyone who’s anyone in the retail and ecom sectors will be there.

ModSquad is pleased to represent the innovators working in support of retail and ecommerce companies. Savvy brands, seeking out cutting-edge strategies to best serve their digital customer base, look to companies like ModSquad to provide the expertise and sterling service they need to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. We look forward to meeting old and new friends from those brands, as well as our fellow innovators, later this month. We hope you’ll be among them.

Can’t-Miss Panels at Shoptalk 2018

We’ve gathered some of the panels and presentations we’re most looking forward to and think you’ll enjoy, too.

Chatbots and the Future of Messaging in Retail
Monday, March 19, 9:00 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.
Why we’re excited: We’ve been closely following the rise of AI technology and its use in customer-support chatbots, having supported chat programs for our clients for years. We’re looking forward to hearing about the experiences eBay, Facebook, and Viber have had using this technology. Find out more…
Delighting Customers Through Personal Interactions
Monday, March 19, 9:45 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
Why we’re excited: As etailers move toward more personalized shopping experiences, ModSquad remains an integral part of that customer interaction. This panel brings together representatives from Pizza Hut, Sephora, and the Lionesque Group to reveal how they create meaningful customer connections. Find out more…
AR, VR, and Advances in Product Visualization
Monday, March 19, 5:15 p.m. – 5:55 p.m.
Why we’re excited: AR and VR have dominated the digital discussion for the past year, and we’re no strangers to providing support for those environments. In this panel, we’ll hear about how the Hershey Company, Wayfair, and Google are moving the AR/VR needle. Find out more…
Building Engaged Communities
Tuesday, March 20, 5:15 p.m. – 5:55 p.m.
Why we’re excited: We’re big advocates for building a better community and advise clients on best practices in planning for and maintaining a robust online community. So we’ll jump at the chance to hear how Aerie, e.l.f., and LoveCrafts engage their online communities. Find out more…

Quick quiz for Shoptalk attendees:

What’s the best way to save your company money during your visit to Shoptalk at The Venetian Las Vegas?

  • Gondola-hopping on a shopping spree in the Grand Canal Shoppes
  • Betting it all on “17” at the roulette table
  • Sitting down with ModSquad to learn how our flexible offerings can trim your budget and better serve your customers.

If you said C, you’ll want to set aside a few minutes to talk with us at Shoptalk, Discovery Zone space ET40

Social Marketers Target an Unlikely Powerhouse Demographic: Teens

For brands looking to grow their customer base through social media, opportunities don’t come much bigger than Generation Z. This group of consumers born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s are now teenagers. In the United States alone, they number 60 million and wield an estimated $44 billion in spending power (or, if you factor in their influence on their families’ spending, more like $200 billion). Most importantly, they’ll make up 40% of all consumers by 2020. Clearly, Generation Z is the next purchasing powerhouse.

Tapping into such a massive customer base has to be high on the priority list for social marketers. So how best to connect with Gen Z?

They are a new generation in every way.
For starters, don’t lump them in with Millennials, the generation that preceded them; they’re very different. Having grown up in the post-9/11 era and during the Great Recession, these kids are seen as less coddled and less entitled than Millennials (with a deeper interest in social and humanitarian causes). They also spend far greater time on social media. Millennials spend about an hour a day on social, while 44% of Gen Z check it hourly.

And speaking of social media, here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re pursuing the Generation Z market in their natural habitats.

Not all social networks are created equal.
Gen Z uses various social platforms for very different purposes. To see their hopes and dreams, check out Instagram. To catch their real-life moments, look to Snapchat. They rely on Twitter for their news and get updates on Facebook. But they don’t post much on Facebook; not only is it for “old people,” but Gen Z understands that the internet is forever, so they’re more wary of posting on perma-sites like Twitter. That’s why they’ll often use aliases or create separate accounts, even on Instagram (or “finstagram”)—just to be safe. They much prefer ephemeral offerings like Snapchat, for just that reason.

Social plays different roles in their shopping journey.
Just as they use disparate networks for info gathering and social sharing, so does Gen Z use social media for their product purchases. A whopping 85% of this audience learns about new products through social, and they’re 59% more likely than older consumers to connect with brands via social. But how each individual network breaks down is interesting. Gen Z discovers new brands on Instagram (45%), then they turn to YouTube to learn more about a product, at double the rate of Millennials. When they’re shopping at real stores, they’re more likely to document the experience on Snapchat.

Share what you care about.
Don’t bury the lede—you only have seconds to capture their attention with a quick, compelling story; teens are eager to check out the next message and move on. In that time, be clear about what you stand for. Ideally, they’ll see your brand as being involved in social causes that mirror their interests. As a generation that’s highly interested in racial, gender, and income equality and environmental issues, these are consumers that are willing to put their money where their mouths are.

Speak to them using faces they’ll relate to.
Use real people, not models, in your campaigns. Gen Z is a group that trusts social influencers as much as mainstream celebrities. Remember, they live most of their digital lives on their smartphones; it’s where they consume the majority of their entertainment. They watch two to four hours of YouTube per day (and 50% can’t live without it), as compared with less than 30 minutes of traditional television in that same period. It’s no wonder they relate more to those they’re watching on Snapchat and Instagram Stories than the faces that grace movie and television screens.

And through it all, even with an abundance of stressful news bombarding us on a regular basis, Generation Z remains an optimistic bunch, with more than half of them believing they’ll be better off than their parents. The confidence of these young consumers should resonate with companies, reminding them that the future is indeed bright, especially for those quick to embrace this generation and engage its early adopters. From our place on the digital front line for some of the world’s leading brands, we know how important this demographic will be in the very near future.

ModSquad’s SXSW 2018 Attendee Guide

It’s almost that time! Beginning March 9, brands, organizations, innovators, and the general public will converge on Austin, Texas for the annual SXSW conference. A number of us from ModSquad will be there exhibiting at the Trade Show for the second year in a row, and as always there’s a lot – perhaps too much – to look forward to. If you’re attending, don’t wait until you get there to figure out your action plan.

Can’t-Miss Panels at SXSW 2018

If you’re reading our blog, you’re probably interested like us in customer experience, digital brand engagement, social media, and online communities. We’ve gathered some of the panels and presentations we’re most looking forward to and think you’ll enjoy, too.

What Followers Want: How Social Evolves in 2018
Saturday, March 10, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Why we’re excited: Digital communities, including those on social media, are our core passion and expertise. We’re eager to hear what folks from Instagram and Facebook predict for the year ahead. Find out more…
Brand Personality and Business Growth
Saturday, March 10, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Why we’re excited: Because we know that dry, scripted responses may give a customer the information they want, but won’t do nearly as much to drive loyalty or emotional connections as will thoughtful, consistent engagement. Find out more…
Never Lose a Customer Again: Creating Lifelong Loyalty
Sunday, March 11, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Why we’re excited: We’re all about fostering brand loyalty through awesome support and community experiences. Find out more…
Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore
Monday, March 12, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Why we’re excited: With a mostly remote workforce spread around the world, we’re thrilled to see more companies embracing the work-from-home model. Find out more…
Escape the Algorithm: Build Rad Online Communities
Tuesday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Why we’re excited: Have we mentioned already our passion for digital communities? This should be a very interesting discussion on consumers’ desires for communities over content. Find out more…
AR Gaming: What’s Now, What’s Next
Thursday, March 15, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Why we’re excited: It’s no secret there are plenty of gamers among us at ModSquad. For the benefit of our many gaming clients (and our own personal passions, too), we’re always interested in seeing what’s in store. Find out more…

Visit ModSquad

Charge up and chill out at the ModSquad Swingin’ Mod Lounge. Find us on the Trade Show floor from March 11–14, at Booth #417.

You’ll especially want to mark your calendar for Sunday, March 11 from 3–4 p.m., when we’ll be hosting Happy Hour with beer, wine, finger sandwiches, and canapés.

Click here to learn more or to set up a time to come by and chat.

4 Tips for Making the Most of the SXSW Experience

At ModSquad, we’re all about strategic planning and digital safety, so we’ve applied our knowledge to helping you stay safe at SXSW while making sure you leave satisfied.

  1. Plan ahead. Check schedules ahead of time and decide which speakers, performances, and exhibits are most important to you. Set reminders for yourself that give you plenty of time to arrive early and get in the door for what you want to see.
  2. Bring your business cards. You never know who you’ll meet at SXSW. Whether or not you’re there to network, we highly recommend carrying some business cards so you can trade and reconnect after the event.
  3. Bring an empty bag! SXSW is all about the free swag. Especially if you’re flying in for the event, make sure to pack an empty bag or leave plenty of room in your suitcase for the free stuff you’re sure to collect.
  4. Leave time to recharge and stay healthy. Drink plenty of water (ideally from a reusable water bottle), get a good night’s sleep, and carry hand sanitizer! Additionally, take time throughout the day to seek out some shade, sit, and relax.

Mod of the Month – February 2018

February may be a shorter month than the rest, but there’s still plenty of time to celebrate one of our outstanding Mods. This month’s honoree actually just celebrated her one-year Modiversary this month, and what better way to celebrate than with a feature on our blog? Please join us in congratulating our February 2018 Mod of the Month, Anna M!

Anna hails from Forlì, a small town in North Italy (you might be familiar with it if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed 2). An avid gamer, she has been a great asset to several of our video game clients and currently provides customer support for our client Wooga. Anna loves helping customers and adding a personal touch in solving any questions or issues they raise to her.

I excel in understanding a customer’s needs and crafting a customized answer to assure them they are speaking to a real person and not receiving an automated response. I believe going the extra mile to add a bit of personality when answering tickets can turn a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one.

Prior to joining ModSquad, Anna worked as a Citizen Services Operator, providing assistance in-person and via social media. It was that experience that made her realize her love for helping people and her desire to pursue a career in customer support.

Being able to calm down unhappy customers, and help them through an issue is not always easy. But when an initially upset customer comes back to apologize for an outburst and thank you for solving their issue, that’s one of the best feelings!

Anna is also a talented artist and has worked as a digital colorist for comics. In her spare time, Anna enjoys drawing, catching up on TV shows, playing video games, and spending time with her 15-year-old cat Miki. She also has a passion for travel and aspires to travel across Europe one day.

If the wonderful things our Project Managers have to say about Anna are any indication, she has a bright, customer-focused future ahead of her:

“Anna is amazing, and I couldn’t live without her. She does work in both English and Italian; she knows everything, understands everything, and helps with everything. I’m proud to say I hired her into the company and I’m ready to fight in a duel to keep her on my projects.”
—Lara Greco, Project Manager

“Anna is one of the best Mods I’ve ever worked with! She’s kind, friendly, honest and extremely helpful! She really cares for her project and her teammates; she’s an amazing Mod and she really deserves to be Mod of the Month!”
—Alessandra Ghiselli, Assistant Project Manager

“She has stellar QA, she steps up to answer questions other Mods have, and is super friendly. She is a versatile Mod, providing both English and Italian support. Our project isn’t the easiest due to the breadth of information involved, but she is consistently among the highest performers month after month.”
—Samantha Walker, Assistant Project Manager

Six Sure Signs You Need to Scale Your Support Team

At ModSquad, we’ve seen a lot in the past 10 years. We’ve worked with companies of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-level corporations. But whatever industry they’re in, no matter how large or small, they share the common need for flexible outsourced support. Every company experiences peaks and valleys, and not just the kinds that affect stock valuations. Sometimes periods of variable needs and demands are only felt internally but can still have a big effect on the overall organization.

That’s why we’ve put together this checklist of symptoms of a business that needs to scale its support team. Knowing the signs of impending demand or likely support gaps can allow you to plan, budget, and schedule accordingly. Any of the following situations may necessitate reaching out for additional support.

Vacation Time is Approaching

We’ll start with a no-brainer. During the holidays, seasonal sales tend to boost many company’s bottom lines. But they’ll only hit those heights if they’re prepared. With a huge spike in tickets, it’s critical to have a right-size staffing plan in place. Similarly, school vacation periods and summer breaks are when many of your team members will want to use their vacation time. Don’t let your queues build up because a percentage of your staff is on break; prepare for their absence with simple pre-planning. This is low-hanging fruit, and an easy situation to manage.

You’re in Pre-Launch Period

Your company has been working toward this for months, perhaps even years, and now it’s time to unveil your new product offering. What are your expected needs? Have you taken into account the possibility of your new release exceeding expectations? What if a major flaw is discovered once it hits consumers’ hands? Have an action plan in place to get the help you need, preferably from a flexible provider with the ability to add hours and team members on demand.

You’re Preparing to Enter a New Market

If you’re venturing out into a brave new world, hitting markets that you’ve not served before—either geographically, demographically, linguistically, or a combination thereof—you’re likely not prepped to properly serve your potential new audience. Make sure your team speaks and writes in the customer’s language. Are your support agents multilingual? Does your product require a certain familiarity on the support agent’s part? Put in place a team that’s comprised of enthusiasts who understand the product and its user base, so that they can have authentic dialogues with your customers.

Your HR Team is Pulling Support Tickets

When your R&D group is manning the phones, answering technical support questions that are beyond the capabilities of your core staff, and when your marketing department is busy drafting responses to customer inquiries, they’re not doing what you hired them to do. If your entire team is pitching in to help keep up with the growing backlog of customer requests, you need to hit the reset button. Free up your employees’ time by properly ramping up a support team. It not only increases your people’s productivity, it improves your relationships with your customers, who see quicker resolutions from agents with appropriate backgrounds.

You Support Queue is Becoming Unmanageable

Even though you planned your support strategy down to a T and thought you had everything in place, you’re still unable to keep up with the demands of your audience. It happens to the best companies. Step back and look at the big picture and know when it’s time to reach out for additional help. You’re not helping yourself by thinking you can manage it all when your incoming-ticket stats say otherwise–the numbers don’t lie.

You Don’t Have a Back-Up Plan

As noted above, sometimes the best-laid plans go awry. That’s why it’s smart to always have a back-up plan available. Just as companies prep crisis plans that they hope they’ll never have to use, so should you have a design in place that will inform your group how to swiftly and efficiently escalate your support team if and when the need suddenly arises. Knowing that you have a squad available to provide up to 24/7/365 support, in scores of languages and in countries all over the world, should help you rest easy.

After the ramp-up, a flexible solution will allow your company to scale down just as quickly, always providing you with just as many (or as few) support hours as you need. A partner with flexible options ensures you don’t pay for time you won’t use. We’ve put smart scaling solutions in place time and time again, helping countless clients reap the rewards of right-sized support teams.

Create Loyal Customers Through Meaningful Social Engagement

No matter the product, service, or industry, there’s one thing all brands can agree on: loyal customers are the best kind of customers.

These days, it is estimated that new customer acquisition can cost at least 5 times more than keeping an existing customer. Retaining customers through excellent customer rapport and timely service can broaden brand loyalty. Adapt these concepts to social media, and there’s an opportunity to broaden loyalty from a single customer exchange to a community of loyal customers, and potentially their subsequent networks.

Through social, business can establish a dependable reputation, deliver positive support experiences, and foster emotional connections, all of which have been shown to drive customer loyalty to a brand.

Be Dependable

Where once social media support was “nice to have,” now it’s an expectation. Customers expect a response on social media, and they expect it quickly. Research shows that almost half (42%) of customers expect a response within an hour; 32% expect a response within just 30 minutes.

If you think just responding during business hours is enough, think again. Your customers want consistency around the clock, with over half (57%) expecting the same fast response times on nights and weekends. This may seem like a lot to deliver, but it’s worth it when you see customers coming back.

As we covered in a recent article, the less effort customers have to make to get their issue resolved, the happier they will be. By maintaining a presence on the social channels where your customers are most active, they have easy access to reach you whenever they need, and your consistent dependability will help to drive that coveted loyalty.

Deliver Positive Support Experiences

Numerous studies have concluded the direct effect support experiences can have on a consumer’s feelings towards a brand. In a recent survey by our partners at Zendesk, 52% of respondents said they would stop buying from a company following a bad customer support experience; 42% said they would actually purchase more following a good experience. This is true not only for traditional support channels like email and phone, but also for social media.

Another study found that 55% of customers who call out brands on social media hope to gain an apology or solution to their issue. Considering the public nature of these complaints, it’s not enough to simply redirect angry tweeters to your email or phone support. In fact, the same study showed that a bad response was actually more detrimental than sending no response at all. 50% of respondents said they would boycott a brand after receiving a poor response to their post on social media; 26% said they would unfollow the brand’s social pages for the same reason. Upon receiving a good response? 37% were likely to purchase from that brand again, and a whopping 45% said they were likely to to post about the interaction.

Foster Emotional Connections

Your fans will quickly tire of canned responses like, “Thanks for sharing!” or “We’ll pass along your feedback.” Customers want to feel acknowledged, and that they’re dealing with a human who can help.

Additionally, not all comments you receive on social will be questions or issues, and those customers will benefit from acknowledgement or engagement as well.

Consider building social customer support programs that assure the community you real, you are listening, and you care. For example:

  • Thank customers (genuinely and specifically) for sharing feedback and concerns
  • Respond to reviews, both positive and negative
  • Recognize and acknowledge return visitors and community regulars
  • Compliment shared photos of your products or experiences (better yet, ask permission to share the best ones)
  • Identify community members who regularly help or engage positively with others (especially new members); if you can, reach out and surprise them with a small gift for being so helpful.

Customers want to feel connected to your brand and the people behind it. Robots (or responses that make you sound like one) will make even an avid purchaser question your commitment to them as a customer. Instead, reply in ways that show you share the same interests and passions.

At ModSquad, when we staff a video game project, we make sure the Mods are gamers themselves; for apparel clients, we aim to staff the project with Mods interested in fashion. This type of product and industry knowledge makes for much more engaging responses that affirm to the customer the people behind the brand are just like them.

SXSW: So Nice We’re Doing it Twice!

We had such a great time at SXSW last year, we’re coming back again!

ModSquad’s Operations Center in Austin, Texas has been up and running since May 2017, and we’ve become full-fledged Austinites, replete with our love of BBQ (here’s looking at you, Amy K!), great music, and all things weird. So when one of the biggest events in town comes around, you know that ModSquad will be there to represent. As we noted last year, we won’t have far to travel to get to this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) conference.

The Mods from Austin and beyond will be converging upon the fest’s trade show exhibition, which takes place Sunday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 14 at the Austin Convention Center. As always, SXSW is a gathering of disruptive upstarts and established powerhouses from the worlds of film, music, and interactive. The event’s trade show is similarly focused on both the best and brightest of up-and-coming business and the leaders in a diverse range of fields, from tech to creative to science.

Last year, we met hundreds of enthusiastic business professionals and spirited entrepreneurs, along with students and fans. It’s a unique blend of smart, engaged people from across the spectrums of age, background, and interests, but all with an unquenchable thirst for learning, exploration, and discovery — just like our Mods! It was great to introduce ModSquad and our service offerings to such a wide range of people, and we made many new friends and business partners at the show.

We also got tremendous feedback on our experiential set design, which was a hit both at the trade show and on social media. If you thought our space last year was a hoot, well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Be sure to visit us this year to see the ultimate Mod aesthetic come to life. We’ll be posting a more in-depth preview of this year’s SXSW in the weeks to come, but plan to stop by our ModSquad Swingin’ Mod Lounge, #417 on the Trade Show floor. (Tip: You’ll want to mark your calendar and plan to join us for happy hour at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.)

Until then, be sure to catch up on your sleep, because when SXSW rolls around, you won’t want to miss a thing. We’ll be right there with you, enjoying the spectacle and wonder, and we’d love to see you.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

ADDRESS:

SXSW
Austin Convention Center
Trade Show – Exhibit Halls 2, 3 & 4
531 East 4th Street
Austin, TX
Visit ModSquad at booth 417 of the Trade Show.

EXHIBITION HOURS

Sunday, March 11: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Monday, March 12: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 13: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, March 14: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

MODSQUAD MEET & GREET

SXSW Trade Show, booth 417
Sunday, March 11 at 3:00 p.m.

5 Tips to Maximize your Customer Support Knowledge Base

If your brand is committed to happy customers, you’ve probably worked hard to have the most helpful, personable, knowledgeable support team you possibly can. But the reality is, sometimes people prefer to find the answers themselves. Therein lies the important role an effective knowledge base plays in a holistic customer support strategy.

A knowledge base is not a replacement for a support team, but rather a supplement to one. Why have one? Because it will result in happier customers. And happier customers spend more (and more often).

Why You Should Have a Knowledge Base

Less Effort = More Loyalty. Research published in the Harvard Business Review notes that even more important to customers than good service is their own valuable time. One of the main findings of their study is about how effort contributes to customer loyalty:

Delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does.

When something isn’t working properly or you can’t figure something out about a new product, what’s the first thing you usually do? More than likely, your first step starts with a G and ends in oogle. We in the customer service industry call that self-service. Attempting to find the answer yourself is a low-effort option that (hopefully) leads to a solution. According to research from Forrester:

53% of U.S. online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question.

It’s What Many Customers Want. Over the past decade, numerous studies have pointed to increasing consumer desires for easily accessible information via a knowledge base. In a recent study by our partners at Zendesk, 91% of customers they surveyed would use a knowledge base if it met their needs. In same study, 67% of respondents said they prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.

Free up Agent Time for More Meaningful Interactions. When those who prefer self-service are able to get their answers from a knowledge base, those who prefer to interact with a support representative can still do so. An effective knowledge base should enable you to support more customers and reserve agents’ time for more complex inquiries.

Tips for Building an Effective Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is more than an FAQ page (though, an FAQ page is always good start). Of course, just like customers experience good and bad support interactions, there are also good and bad knowledge bases. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re meeting your customers’ needs:

1. Know your biggest contact drivers.

Take the time to look at the tickets and questions your support team receives, and check to make sure the ones driving the most inquiries are answered in your knowledge base. From there, you can work on adding lower contact drivers and other information your customers may seek. You can also design the landing page of your knowledge base to feature answers that are read the most or address a trending question.

2. Understand your customer.

This is important for any type of customer support, but there’s an additional factor to consider when developing a knowledge base. Not only should you understand your customer in terms of who they are demographically and what they want from your company, but also the way they communicate. This is important because it will influence the words they use when they search your knowledge base. Review the ways in which they communicate a question or issue when they contact your support team; use those to test your search function and make sure the right answers appear.

3. Anticipate customer needs.

Are you launching a new product? Releasing an update for your game or app? Changing your return policy or the layout of your website? Don’t wait until the questions start flowing in to update your knowledge base. Instead, brainstorm the questions and issues your customers are most likely to raise, and populate as much information into your knowledge base so that it can be published when your update goes live.

4. Optimize search.

If your customers are already searching the web, your website should be the first result they see. Not only will they trust the solution because it comes from you, but the clearer it is, the less effort they have to put into things like verifying the source or validity of the answer or reading through message board comments to see if the solution posted by a fellow customer actually works.

In the same vein, make sure the search function of your own knowledge base works well. Test it yourself using the keywords and phrases customers associate with certain questions or issues. Do the proper answers appear when you search for those terms?

5. Iterate, iterate, iterate.

This is where a proper analytics tool is essential. Even free platforms like Google Analytics will give you critical information about how your knowledge base is performing. For instance, you can see what terms your customers are searching and test them, as mentioned above, to ensure the right results appear. Another thing you’ll want to look at is how many people are performing subsequent searches or submitting a ticket after their initial search. Activity like this can indicate that an answer was not found or clear, or that the answer provided did not solve the customer’s issue. Use this information to improve existing answers or add new ones.

Building a knowledge base for your customers can seem like a big undertaking, but with the right planning and strategy, the long-term benefits are wholly worth it. Not sure where to start? Drop us a line; we can design, implement, and maintain your knowledge base while you rest easy knowing your customers have the information they need.

Let The Olympic Games Begin – Who, What, Where?

On February 9, 2018, the world will turn its eyes to PyeongChang, South Korea where athletes from 92 nations will gather to compete in seven sports across 15 disciplines for 102 medals. Cue the Winter Olympics.

For the first time, viewers in the U.S. will have access to over 4,000 hours of live coverage as the events happen across all time zones. Depending on where you live in the U.S., South Korea is 14 to 19 hours ahead, and for our team in Derry, Northern Ireland, it’s a 9-hour difference; that means very late nights or early mornings for many of us. To get the most out of the Games, we’ve put together a quick Who, What, Where Guide to help prepare you just in time. Minus the coffee.

The Who? What’s the next best thing than being at the Olympics? Filling your social media feeds with behind-the-scene views and experiences from star athletes, themselves. Here are just a few winter games athletes (and their Instagram handles) we can’t take our eyes off:

  • Shaun White, United States (@shaunwhite): two-time Olympic gold medalist snowboarder
  • Lindsey Vonn, United States (@lindseyvonn): holds the most World Cup titles of any woman skier
  • Pita Taufatofua, Tonga (@pita_tofua): the first Tongan to compete in Olympic cross-country skiing
  • Seun Adigun, Nigeria (@seun_msamazing): driving the first bobsled team to ever represent Africa in the Winter Olympics

The What? No more fear of spoilers before events air this year – all of the games will be broadcasted on NBC (and other various NBC Universal platforms such as NBCSN, USA, and The Olympic Channel), the BBC, as well as on YouTube. Viewers can also live-stream their favorite sports online via the nbcolympics.com portal as well as on the NBC Sports app.

The Where? Be sure to check NBC’s nifty calendar or the schedule on the official Olympics website to find out which days will have the broadcasts for which sports. First things first: the Opening Ceremony on Friday, February 9th at 11 a.m. GMT (3 a.m. Pacific Standard Time), followed by men’s & pairs figure skating, and freestyle skiing.

And just in case you find yourself at a watch party, here are a few factual treats to help ignite some conversations:

  • PyeongChang Olympic Stadium can hold 35,000 people
  • The torch relay started on October 24, 2017 in Greece and will end at the start of the Olympics on February 9, 2018
  • There will be 7,500 torch bearers to represent the 75 million population living in Korea
  • The estimated cost of hosting the PyeongChang Olympics is $10 billion
  • The most tickets ever sold for the Winter Games was in Calgary 1988
  • Germany is the most successful nation of all time with 14 total medal wins

If you’re a winter sports fan like a lot of us at ModSquad, it’s safe to say your Netflix account will miss you this February.

Will you be watching the Winter Olympics this year? What are some of your favorite events to watch?

The Traits of Top Online Moderators

When you’re enlisting the help of an online moderator, you’re looking for someone to protect and enhance your brand. You want to keep audience sentiment positive and protect customers interacting online with your brand. Of course, you want them engaged as well. To juggle each of these important tasks requires a deft touch, quick responses, and an understanding not only of your product but also your customers. Here are some of the traits you should expect of your online moderators.

Passion for the product. This is a trait that we value highly at ModSquad. When we tell potential clients that “Our Mods are your customers,” we mean it. We place Mods on projects for which they have not just an interest, but a true passion. They’re already users of the product, or fans of the game or show. This allows for an authentic enthusiasm that can’t be faked. True brand enthusiasts can sniff out a phony and will gravitate toward one who shares their sentiment. Want an engaged community? Lead by example.

A knack for starting the conversation. A good moderator knows how to get the group involved in a compelling discussion by coming to the table with strong ideas for engaging threads. Ask the community questions (great for client feedback), share insights, and give the group (who tend to be the most invested followers of the brand) enough to make them feel like valued insiders. Strong moderators will be able to maintain the flow of a conversation and sprinkle in enticing new topics to promote genuinely relevant discussions.

Attention to detail. You know how hard it can be to determine whether a written comment is meant in jest or sarcasm. Without that face-to-face interaction to let us know the speaker’s true intent, sometimes we’re left making assumptions. That’s why it’s vital to parse each response carefully. Words matter, and the ones your community members choose to share should be given their due. A strong moderator will be familiar enough with their community to properly interpret their posts and responses, and provide well-rounded feedback to the client.

Strong but fair. When one thinks of moderation, one of the roles that immediately comes to mind is that of an online peacekeeper. Any community, even one made up of like-minded individuals, will be comprised of myriad personalities. So it’s up to the moderator to suppress the trolling and flaming while being savvy enough to know the difference between haters and those expressing a disapproving or contrary opinion. Too much of the former and you eventually have tumbleweeds in what was once a prospering community. An experienced moderator will know when to delicately but firmly call out inappropriate behavior and take necessary action, even up to expulsion from the community. But it’s hardly ever a cut-and-dried situation; this is where a moderator’s years of service come into play.

A gentle touch. In situations like those outlined above, it’s often necessary to rein in offending community members. Equally important is the ability to empathize with the end user and show compassion and sensitivity. The moderator must be able to put themself in the user’s shoes to understand what works and what doesn’t. Each community has its own vibe, whether that’s because of cultural characteristics, demographics, or communication styles of that type of customer. Sensitivity to those differences will make for more effective moderation.

Anyone can approve text, image, and video content. But it’s a truly valuable online moderator who can represent and protect your brand with the right human touch. When it comes to selecting your moderator, choose wisely.

How Recent Social Media Updates May Impact Your Brand

Earlier this week, social media managers around the world exclaimed a collective “hallelujah!” as Instagram rolled out its latest API updates. With Instagram’s latest update, automatic publishing from third party tool sets – something social media managers have requested for years – is finally a reality. Those early-morning and late-night posts just got a lot easier to share.

This isn’t the only recent social media update you should know about. We’ve gathered a list of the biggest changes over the past few months and how they could affect anyone managing a social media presence.

Instagram

Follow #hashtags. In addition to following other users, you can now also follow hashtags. This is especially helpful for brands that encourage customers to share product photos using a specific hashtag. It’s also great for finding influencers and user content related to your industry or brand that you can request permission to share with your own audience.

Commenting from the home feed. In December, Instagram quietly rolled out an update to encourage commenting on content that appears in your feed. If you spend more than 5 seconds viewing a post in your feed, a comment box will appear below the post, allowing you to comment directly from your feed (rather than clicking the comment icon to add one). In addition to encouraging engagement from users, it also encourages brands to create content that leads users to view a post for at least 5 seconds, anything from a short video or album to a particularly breathtaking or detailed photo.

Recommended posts and accounts. In addition to your feed including posts from accounts you follow and Sponsored (paid) posts, you’ll now occasionally see posts that are Recommended for You. According to Instagram, these are populated based on the accounts you already follow. While there’s no way for brands to ensure their posts are recommended, this may be a good time to check out your competitors and see if you can adjust the hashtags you’re using and the keywords in your bio to more closely relate to others in your industry.

Facebook

News Feed update. Facebook started off 2018 by announcing plans for a major News Feed update that has spurred big questions for social media managers. How will this impact my post reach and overall engagement? Will I need to spend more to reach my existing followers?

According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the goal of this update is to shift from “helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.” This means that in addition to the engagement rates Facebook already uses to determine how high posts appear in users’ News Feeds, it will now “also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.”

Social media managers and marketers are in the early stages of figuring out what this means for brand pages and how content strategies may need to shift to stay visible to their followers. More than likely, it will mean a decrease in reach and a need to experiment with new post styles in order to find what gets more visibility. It also may mean needing to pay to increase the likelihood your followers will see your posts.

Messenger Kids. At the end of 2017, Facebook rolled out a new app called Messenger Kids. Available in the U.S. to start, Messenger Kids is a standalone app designed for children under 13 to use for messaging and video chat with a contact list controlled by their parents. While this kid-focused app has generated concern among some child advocacy groups, Facebook notes that the app is compliant with COPPA, contains no advertising, and children’s information is not used for advertising.

Twitter

Tweetstorm support. Tweetstorms are nothing new. For years, users have circumvented the 140 (and now 280) character limit by posted long threads of tweets, with new tweets in the thread posted as replies to the previous tweet. Twitter has now embraced this behavior and provided official support for sending multiple tweets in an organized thread, all at once.

New verified accounts. Towards the end of 2016, Twitter announced it would halt its account verification process in search of a better system. This has made it impossible for new companies to receive the coveted blue checkmark that fosters customer confidence that the account they’re tweeting at is the right one.

At the start of 2018, however, users noticed Twitter was quietly verifying some accounts again. Twitter hasn’t publicly commented, so we have yet to see whether these were one-off verifications or if a new process will soon be accessible again for everyone.

Have any of these social media channel updates changed the type of content you share or your strategy for posting? Are there updates other than these that you’ve found to impact your social presence? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Mod of the Month – January 2018

2018 is off to a roaring start, and if January is any indication, this year is going to be an exciting one. So let’s keep the excitement going with one of our favorite traditions: celebrating our Mod of the Month! For our first spotlight of 2018, we’re excited to introduce Debora F., a multi-talented Mod from Brazil.

Debora has been with ModSquad for over three years now. She has since worked on a number of different projects across several of our services: customer support, content moderation, and social media engagement and moderation. She also utilizes her Portuguese language skills to translate and review content for clients.

While Debora describes herself as shy in-person, you would never guess it from her passion and talent for communicating digitally. Debora has provided customer support and moderation for a number of our gaming clients, including moderating the social communities for a globally popular multiplayer mobile game. She currently provides customer support for our client Giving Assistant, an organization that partners with retailers to offer its members exclusive discounts that contribute to charitable giving.

Every time I’m able to solve an issue, fully help someone, overcome a challenge, or see a detail that was exactly what my client or Project Manager needed, I feel incredibly proud of my work.

Before discovering ModSquad, Debora combined her visual arts degree and her passions for baking and online media to start a baking company. She would coordinate orders via email, design unique cookies and cakes, then bake and deliver orders. She also created a YouTube channel to share her creations and the processes behind them. She’s also always been an active participant in online communities, so it’s no wonder she’s so passionate about moderating and supporting them at ModSquad.

I used to have blogs, social media accounts created especially for my interests, I would offer help on websites, create content, respond to my channel’s comments, and so on. At the time, it was a diversion; I had no idea this experience would be so helpful in the future.

Those who’ve worked with Debora have nothing but good things to say about her, especially her Project Managers.

“Debora is such a team player. She stays focused on her tasks while on shift, takes her productivity seriously and likes to learn the ins and outs of a project. Her responses to customers are phenomenal; she’s great at being empathetic, professional, and clear. Debora takes what she learns on other projects and applies it across the board, and that makes a fantastic Mod in my book. She’s been one of my rocks over the past two years, and if I could have her for more hours a week, I definitely would take her!”
—Tera Tilden, Project Manager

“I worked alongside Debora as a Mod for years, and she has consistently impressed me with her knowledge and drive. She’s super dedicated to the teams I’ve seen her on, and she’s always willing to help out. She’s an all-around great Mod and definitely contributes positively to every team she’s on!”
—Autumn Harrison, Assistant Project Manager

“She does excellent work on one of my social projects and picked up the project protocols and processes very quickly. She always keeps an eye out for things to escalate to the client, asks great questions, and is always eager to receive feedback. Any time there is an open shift, she will volunteer to help cover it. I have no shortage of good things to say about Debora.”
—Sarah Christian, Project Manager