Empower 2019: What Support and CX Leaders Are Most Excited About

Last verified May 24, 2021

Guru’s conference Empower will be here before we know it. Slated for May 7-9 in our fair city of Philadelphia, Empower will bring together support, CX, and sales leaders from 100+ high-growth companies (like Twitter, Etsy, and Zendesk, to name a few) for two days of learning, community building, and action planning.

In addition to hearing overarching insights from Google Head of Operations, Image Search Kristen Swanson, Yext Chief Customer Officer Wendi Sturgis, and Front Head of Customer Success Sarah Sheikh, Empower will also have two distinct tracts focused on both sales and support teams. We chatted with registrants from support and CX teams, and here's what they're most excited about:

Support and CX leaders at Empower

Support and CX team leaders from companies like Autodesk, FreshBooks, and AdRoll (among others) are coming to Empower and are excited to learn from some of the best and brightest minds in their field, like Christina Crawford Kosmowski, VP, Global Head of CS at Slack, Margaret Rosas, VP of Customer Care at Looker, and Allison Pickens, COO at Gainsight.


"I'm excited about attending Empower because of the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other leaders who are interested in learning and growing as professionals. As a support team leader, I'm particularly looking forward to learning from Marcie Murray (Shopify) and Christina Crawford Kosmowski (Slack). I'm excited to hear their views on support, how I can become a better leader for a growing support team, and how I can present support as a revenue driver." – Sean Cannon, Customer Support Team Lead, Illuminate Education

The topic of support as a revenue driver, as Sean mentioned above, has been a recurring theme in our conversations with support leaders recently, (this blog post aggregates thoughts on the matter from leaders at HubSpot, Hootsuite, and other companies) and was something we were excited to explore in more detail at Empower. Marcie Murray, Director of Support at Shopify, touched on this in Guru’s Shopify case study, and will be sitting down alongside Guru CEO Rick at Empower for a fireside chat called Support is a Revenue Driver, Not a Cost Center.

"As a support team, we're always looking for ways to help our customers get the most out of Harvest. By providing great support, that also makes us a revenue driver, but we don't do a great job quantifying or talking about that aspect of things. We hope that by attending Empower we'll learn new things to tackle both sides of this—new ways to support and engage with potential customers from the start, and how to talk about the impact of that with the rest of the company." – Alanna Rowan, Support Team Lead, Harvest

Other support and CX sessions include:

Listening at Scale | Nylas, Front, MaestroQA, and Guru – Sit in on a panel focused on how to glean meaningful, actionable insights from a large volume of support and customer success interactions, and how to share those insights across Product, Sales, Marketing, and other relevant teams. Panelists will include Camille Acey, Head of Support & Customer Success at Nylas, and Sarah Sheikh, Head of Customer Success at Front, and moderator Hillary Curran, Guru’s Head of Customer Experience.

Design a Customer-Centric Organization in the Subscription Economy | Allison Pickens, Gainsight – Recurring revenue business models have forced companies to rethink how they manage their customer relationships, as well as the way in which they empower the people building those relationships.

In addition to talks and sessions lead by support and CX thought leaders, Empower attendees will also be grouped into community cohorts with their peers at other leading organizations to promote valuable conversations and connections.

"As our company grows, we're challenged with aligning our service model to revenue operations and sales strategy. At Empower, I'm eager to learn from and connect with others who have met similar challenges while continuing to deliver a stellar service experience to customers." – Ben McCormack, Head of Support, FullStory

The ultimate goal of Empower is to provide an immersive experience where support, CX, and sales leaders can come together to learn from the experts and from each other in an effort to level up their teams.

"I'm excited to come to Empower to learn about how my teams can continue to be cross-functional so we can be better prepared for the ever-changing world of HR Tech. Scalability is important and we want to make sure that we're doing everything as a team to make sure that happens. 2019 will be a year of growth in many regards and I hope to learn how to bring the action items I learn at Empower home with me!" – Katie Kuhn, Customer Support Team Lead, JazzHR

We have a great two days planned and look forward to seeing you all there!