From Customer to Customer Champion: Welcoming Jesse Parker to the Zapier Support Team

Jesse / Published February 7, 2014

A note from Wade Foster, Zapier CEO: Since day one at Zapier, providing excellent support for all users, including those who use the product for free, has been a top priority. In fact, our very first hire, Micah Bennett, came on to help with support. As our userbase and subsequently support load grew, it became obvious our support team must grow, too. And that's when I met Jesse Parker, who not only has experience in customer support roles with multiple great tech companies but is an avid Zapier user, too. I'm downright giddy to have them join us and help make Zapier customers some of the happiest around.

Hello friends! My name is Jesse Parker, and I’m the newest addition to the Zapier support team. I’m originally from a small town in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern, Pa., but have been traveling around the U.S. for the past couple of years. I love working at startups, learning new productivity hacks, and I’ve played hockey for most of my life (Go Penguins!). Although I just started with Zapier in January, my history of using Zapier starts way back in 2012, shortly after Zapier had launched.

A Small Business with Big Problems

In the spring of 2012, my father decided to leave his job on Wall Street and start his own business where he offers fixed income strategy and portfolio management for financial advisors through a website and daily commentary, which was sent out by email to all of his paid subscribers.

When I went back home for winter break in 2011, I was tasked with setting up his website and building all of the processes that would make his business function in the most efficient way possible. Only issue: Zapier wasn’t even an idea yet.

Here was my process when I received an email from JotForm, the form service we used for subscriber sign-up, alerting me of a new subscriber:

  1. Manually setup the new subscriber’s account
  2. Send them a welcome email
  3. Add the subscriber as a Google Contact, which was how my father was sending out his emails at the time, through Gmail

But probably the biggest pain point was manually updating the archives on his website with what he had sent out over email that day. This included:

  1. Copying his new content
  2. Pasting it into the archives
  3. Reformatting the content
  4. Re-adding images to the content

Repeat. Every. Day.

As you can imagine after a few months, this got incredibly tiring. The task was passed down to my brother, and this soon exhausted him as well. We were falling behind and my father’s business started to look and feel unprofessional, with missing archives and missing data. I had to find a solution.

Zapier Removes Family Tension

Though I can’t remember exactly how I found Zapier, I vaguely remember searching keywords along the line of automatic and automation. We were tired of the manual data entry—there had to be a better solution. Then, BOOM! I had found it—Zapier.

I saw how simple it was to move data between services and create intricate workflows, yet it was incredible easy to use. As I started to explore, the Zapbook became my bible. I knew that whatever service I chose to work with, Zapier would unlock hundreds of possibilities for me. It was pure automation power, and it made me look and feel, awesome.

I went to my frustrated father and told him I had a solution and that we were going to completely re-do his website and processes. He was all for it, of course.

First order of business—we needed to move him to a new website with a blogging feature. And more importantly, we needed those archive posts automatically updated. I checked the Zapbook and decided WordPress would be the best fit. Then, we needed to move away from sending out daily emails from Gmail, so again, I consulted the Zapbook, and let my father choose the email marketing service he would like to send emails from—he chose GetResponse.

After setting up a few miscellaneous plugins within Wordpress, I was eager to setup the Zap that would take the most timely task off my hands, forever—taking my father’s daily email and auto-updating the archives with its contents. To do this, I set up an Email to Wordpress (Create Post) Zap. I took the email service Zapier offers, and added the custom Zapier email to his GetResponse mailing list. Then when the email reached the Zapier generated email address, it would take the HTML email contents and automatically published it onto his Wordpress site. Done.

A process that used to take 30 minutes finished in only a few minutes after sending out his daily email. My father’s business gained back the much-needed professional feel and all stress had disappeared.

Zapier had allowed my father’s one-person business to function seamlessly, so we could all help focus on more important aspects of growing his business. My mother also enlisted the help of Zapier for her small business, but we’ll save that story for another post. =)

Helping Me Help You

To conclude here, Zapier helped my parents focus on what’s important—growing their business—instead of focusing on miniscule, time-consuming tasks. I am grateful for the ways in which this service has helped my family (and my sanity!) and I can’t imagine a better place to work and help others overcome similar feats.

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