Support on Canny

(Temporarily) being the single point of user support at a series-A startup

Relevant skills & tools: Customer success, Excel, conflict resolution, roadmap prioritization, user interviews


After the untimely departure of a previous coworker, there was no one left to fully own Canny, the platform that Fiveable used for its feedback channel and bug reporting.

After seeing the queue pile up, I did the following:

This reduced time to response from multiple days to minutes, adding up to a 15% increase in overall efficiency. This standardization also made showing qualitative trends in our user feedback considerably easier.


There appeared to be no guidelines for triaging feature requests before I took ownership of the channel.

In my first week on Canny, I wrote a lot of individual replies to questions, making sure to copy every single response I wrote to a separate Notion page so I could aggregate similar types of responses.

I worked with the brand and social media director to turn these messages into more customizable + palatable snippets and saved them into a Notion document shared with the rest of the team.

To make sure there would be adequate coverage when I left the company at the end of the internship, I also published a diagram for how any question, related to support or not, could be dealt with:

I also reported weekly to the #user-feedback Slack channel on what bugs and feature requests were most common and clarified questions from engineers who were looking to get more details on certain issues.


This experience is how I encountered the product management adage, Sometimes, what users ask for isn’t really what they want”.

When users asked for better moderation features in our online study room product, they might not necessarily have been looking for a bigger ban hammer.

They might have been looking for clearer ways to advertise the intent and guidelines of their study room so they weren’t interrupted by people who were unknowingly breaking the room’s rules.

I also learned to empathize with frustrated users and give them workarounds for what they wanted in the meantime. This presented an opportunity for user education and to deepen the user’s knowledge of our product.

Support on Canny

Added June 17, 2023 under Business Operations

About Design Business
Jonah Foss