Webcast Support Automation

Improving the Experience for Users and Staff

The Problem

Users were having issues watching live or recorded podcasts through plugin called JWPlayer. A set of instructions were given to the user asking them to provide information related to their error and to try common troubleshooting tips. The issue was that users were not providing the information requested and were not trying the common troubleshooting tips. This related in wasted time of the user in the form of additional correspondence, waiting for correspondence, and providing information that could have been sent earlier. It also wasted the time and resources of the video support staff in the form of having to remind the user to send the requested information and to try the common troubleshooting tips.

The Task

Provide a better way for users to send their error information and to remind users of common troubleshooting tips. Reduce correspondence to video support staff by empowering users to solve their own issues.

  1. Discover the Real Problem
  2. Come Up with a Conceptual Solution
  3. Review JWPlayer API Documentation
  4. Build an Interactive Prototype
  5. Build the Solution into the Content Management System
  6. Test Solution
  7. Deploy the Solution
  8. Measure Solution Results

Discover the Real Problem

I had to fully understand the problem in order to really create a great solution. I was able to quickly discover some big issues after interviewing the Video Support staff and reviewing archived customer support emails. The biggest issue was that users were not sending their technical information along with their email because they were not reading the support page due to their frustration. By not sending this critical information, the video support team would always have to ask the customer these questions before actual being able to help the customer and diagnose the issue.

Come Up with a Conceptual Solution

My conceptual solution was to leverage existing technology in order to allow users to send their system information without having to go out of the way to do so. I would capture the data needed from JWPlayer and automatically insert it into the support request form. This would naturally increase the rate at which users sent the required information for the video support team to help.

Review JWPlayer API Documentation

After spending some time reviewing the JWPlayer API documentation, I was quickly able to discover how to read the player’s error codes and display it via JQuery.

Build an Interactive Prototype

I had to put my plan into action after reviewing the technical documentation. I built an HTML5/CSS3 interactive prototype and sent it to the video support team for review. I received some feedback and incorporated it into the solution. This was helpful because it’s a lot easier to build the final solution knowing the final requirements that might not have been thought of before the video support team got their hands on a prototype.

Build the Solution into the Content Management System

Once the prototype was approved, I had to integrate the solution into our existing technology. I was able to copy over most of the code from the prototype. I made some changes to the CSS, and then modified some of the back-end ColdFusion code to support the new fields in the form.

Test the Solution

I had to start running tests the solution was finished on the development server. I used NightWatch.js to build and run the tests against the form. The tests also exist for future developers to run against new updates on the form. This will ensure that functionality requirements will keep being met through code refinements.

Deploy the Solution

Once the tests were complete it became time to deploy the solution. Once it was deployed I again did some final production tests to make sure everything was working on the back-end.

Measure the Solution Results

As new video support request emails came through I noticed that there was a higher rate of users including their system settings with their support requests. This meant actionable initial contact for the video support team, and a quicker solution time for the customer. I conducted an interview with the video support team a few months later to hear their long-term feedback and it was all positive. The video support team now spent correspondence less time requesting information, and spent more correspondence time providing solutions.