Illustration by Saskia Keultjes

The Living Customer Service Queue

For customer support staff, the queue is more than just a list of customers needing help. It’s an actor in it’s own right, a presence that can dominate a work day, tear plans apart, and even provide a wonderful surprise from time to time.

I asked customer service professionals to describe what their support queues would be if they were alive. Then I took those descriptions to three illustrators — two of whom are full-time support professionals themselves — and had them create the excellent works below.

Terrier in the queue

“The support queue is like 25,000 Jack Russell terriers with their heads stuck in paper sacks.”

Description: Drew Clark, Internal Training Coordinator, Workwell Technologies
Illustration: Davida Fernandez, Global Head of Support — Customer Operations at Campaign Monitor

Indescribable! Indestructible! Nothing can stop it!

“The support queue is an enormous, gelatinous, sticky, messy blob, growing continually to fill all of the available space. Where is our Blob Control Engineer?!”

Description: Matt Hunter, Technical Support Engineer
Illustration: Carolina Escobedo Garcia, Support Agent at Campaign Monitor

Knock knock knocking on support’s door

“The support queue is like a woodpecker: random, flighty, intense, and requires you to wrap your tongue around your brain to prevent a concussion.”

Description: Paul Tucker, General Manager
Illustration: Saskia Wariner, regular Help Scout contributor

What does your queue look like?

How the support queue feels is different from person to person, and even from hour to hour. How would you describe the support queue on your best day? Or on your toughest day? Leave a comment below, and we’ll pick a few of our favorites to add to this gallery!

Or if you’re a support professional with an artistic side and you’d like to illustrate a queue monster, we’d love to hear from you, too. If the illustrations above make you feel like the bar is too high … rejoice in my personal quality-bar-lowering contribution:

Too many spawn points

“The support queue is like endlessly spawning salmon — you can catch them one at a time for a while, but it’s better to stop them breeding in the first place.”

Description and illustration: Mat Patterson
Mathew Patterson
Mathew Patterson

After running a support team for years, Mat joined the marketing team at Help Scout, where we make excellent customer service achievable for companies of all sizes. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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