Published by Calendly - April 26, 2018

Class is in session! Happiness University just enrolled its sixth class

Learn how we train our new hires to be Calendly experts in just two weeks.

In just a few weeks, we will be graduating our sixth class of Happiness University trainees! Happiness University (HapU) is the training program that our new hires and customer happiness reps go through to gain a deep understanding of both our customers and product.

Joelle Waksman, manager of customer support, gives a commencement speech at every HapU graduation ceremony. She highlights the unique contributions of each team member and encourages the new hires to take their newfound knowledge into their respective jobs to offer world-class service to our customers:

I’d like to start with my opinion on the difference between the metaphors behind a puzzle, a Rubik’s cube and a Rube Goldberg machine. To me, a puzzle is a bunch of important pieces that were made to fit together perfectly, creating a beautiful picture or team. A Rubik’s cube is a cohesive group that is always figuring out new solutions and paths to success. A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex series of simple yet intricate ‘devices’ that are linked together for a common goal to create a positive domino effect and continue to move forward with no break.

You are an employee, a team member, part of a family at a scrappy yet thriving startup. That means ups, downs, changes, ebbs, flows, excitement, frustration, delirious giggles, hard work, lazy days, free food and staying late. As part of this team, you are an incredibly important piece of our Rube Goldberg Machine. Yup, you heard me, not just a puzzle, not even just a rubix cube, but a complex series of simple yet intricate team members linked together to create a positive domino effect, always moving forward with no break.”

HapU is more than a crash course in learning the Calendly product. It shows both the simplicity of our core product, but also the complexity of how you can think and talk about it. HapU trainees learn customer-centric language and how to empathize with users so they can effectively understand and resolve confusions. When new hires from departments outside of customer happiness take the training, they learn more about the product, our users’ experience and how to have compassionate communication.

“If we don’t know both sides of what we’ve built and how it’s used, then we can’t be the best customer advocates.” —Joelle Waksman

How do they learn this?

A good training program will take into account the many learning styles of its participants. It requires that the education model is multi-faceted—allowing for times of observation, question-asking, practice, coaching and reflection.

Observation + asking questions

HapU occurs over two weeks and teaches lessons focused on a different part of the product each day, layering on more complex product knowledge as the week progresses. Training begins on the first day with an in-depth demo of how the product works, the ways customers talk about it, related confusions and use cases.

Practice

Then trainees get hands-on by hitting “the support box” to respond to customer tickets that relate specifically to the area of the product they just learned about. This provides relief from the “firehose” of information so they can put to use what they’ve just learned. This makes their knowledge more concrete and contextual. It also ensures that they retain the information by immediately applying it instead of reaching back in their memory to recall things from days or weeks ago.

Coaching

Once a trainee drafts an answer to the ticket internally, someone with tenure on the team reviews it. Trainees are given feedback, which they implement and then take ownership by responding back to the customer on the ticket.

Reflection

During their training period, they walk through the Happiness Playbook that includes a glossary of product and company terminology, tips and tricks, best practices, policies and procedures. Trainees also get the opportunity to shadow members of the customer happiness team to get a picture of different work styles and techniques. At the end of the week, the class participates in Calendly Jeopardy where their understanding of the last week’s lessons is put to the test in a fun, engaging way.

The “learn and do approach” allows for both knowledge and skills acquisition, while sectioning lessons into digestible pieces make for a more productive and smooth ramp-up period.

Is HapU just a product training?

HapU is a very thorough training on the ins and outs of the Calendly product, but it’s also a lot more. Part onboarding, orientation and even community-building, HapU delivers the foundation for new hires to start off their career at Calendly with confidence.

Confident employees are happier, more engaged and they perform better. A new hire with exceptional talent can be a quick turnover or huge loss in productivity if they’re unsure of their responsibilities, how others perceive them or how to relate to the customer. HapU gives new hires assurance that they’ve acquired expertise and can address customer needs with authority and the full support of their team.

The training jumpstarts genuine friendships by providing intentional opportunities to collaborate, share knowledge, relax and celebrate together. The training is conducted in groups with pairings whenever possible because it helps participants to learn and form connections at work. There’s a clear person to trust with questions and numerous times to talk with senior customer happiness team members. Group outings like team lunches build on connections and promote bonding. And finally, 30 days post-HapU, there is a graduation ceremony complete with diplomas, champagne toasts, snacks and speeches.

Now don’t you wish you could go to HapU?

If you’re looking for a career in customer success, now could be your chance! We have several openings for customer happiness specialists. Check out our jobs page to see if you’re a good fit.

Want to meet our latest trainees?

Our most recent trainee group consists of four new customer happiness specialists. See how they contribute to our mission to take the work out of scheduling!

Caroline Cox

What are you most proud of with regards to your career?

I am incredibly proud of my master’s degree in higher education.

Who is someone that inspires you?

My dad! He is always supportive and encouraging in every career move I make.

What do you do on weekends?

I love exploring the BeltLine and finding new hikes!

Isa Rosario

Do you have any hidden talents (work or non-work related) that you’d like to share with us?

I make skincare products and am an awesome online detective.

One weird thing about me that most people don’t know is…

I begged my parents to enroll me in a “Junior Chocolatier” class when I was nine and learned how to make some rookie-level chocolate creations.

Why do you choose to work at Calendly?

Calendly was on my radar for a while because I loved the purpose of the software. This led me to follow the company on social media and fall in love with the culture. I love that Calendly does not limit creativity and individualism and embraces diversity and passion. Each day I help people automate and monetize their time one meeting at a time.

Kendall Berger

What are words you try to live by?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you have any hidden talents (work or non-work related) that you’d like to share with us?

I can play five different musical instruments, I make literally the best steak (seriously, it’s unbeatable; I’ve done the research) and I love to paint/draw!

How do you get to work?
A teal bike I’ve name Cecil.

Maddie Reasoner

Why do you choose to work at Calendly?

I was referred by a current employee and heard incredible things about the company and its culture—I am not disappointed!

What are three of your favorite things?

Cats, food and tattoos.

Where do you volunteer in the community or what causes are you passionate about and willing to contribute to?

Women’s rights and everything related to women’s empowerment is something I always like to contribute to! I am part of an awesome kickboxing community in Atlanta that heavily supports women and women-owned businesses!