Support Omni-Search (2016)
An internal tool for HubSpot Support designed with the goal of simplifying the process of finding answers to the various questions encountered daily as a Customer Support Specialist. While helping reps achieve their goal of quickly and painlessly finding answers to questions, this tool would also help contribute to the business goals of decreasing "time-to-solve" while helping increase productivity.
My role in this project was that of designer and developer. I designed the initial concept based on anecdotal experiences from my time as a Customer Support Specialist, as well as feedback from various Support reps of varying levels. I used my experience with front-end development techniques to code the web app using AngularJS.
The primary users for this tool were HubSpot Customer Support Specialists, many of which do not have the tenure or experience necessary to guide their search decisions to help them find answers quickly. Beyond this, users across the entirety of the HubSpot organization would serve to benefit from such an app.
Customer Support Specialists at HubSpot have access to a wide range of resources for troubleshooting support tickets. These include various Slack channels, our public-facing knowledgebase, JIRA, our WIKI, and our CRM—to name a few options. However, while it is great that there are so many places to look for answers, this presents the problem of the paradox of choice: with so many resources, it winds up being harder to find the answers for which one is searching. HubSpot Support reps needed a way to cut down on the number of places in which they looked for answers, without compromising the quality of the information at their disposal.
I believed that by aggregating all of our resources into a single location for users to search—an "omni-search"—I could reduce or eliminate the effects of the paradox of choice, and decrease the time it took for users to find the answers they needed. The result of this would be a decrease in the time-to-solve for support cases, and an increase in the productivity of individual reps.
Initial feedback was very positive, but the project was put on permanent hiatus due to support ticket volumes at the time. I would like for this project to be eventually continued by myself or passed on to another individual.
Support Wallboard (2015)
An internal tool for reporting on real-time data relevant to Customer Support Specialists at HubSpot. This wallboard displayed information such as agents available and unavailable, current queue depth across channels, current case counts, SLA adherence, and volume trends.
My role in this project was that of designer and front-end developer. This was a redesign of an outdated version of the wallboard that took its original inspiration from something resembling a stock ticker. In order to meet the standards of a more modern Support team, I was tasked with redesigning this tool alongside two developers—one front-end and one back-end. Before the heavy development took place, our front-end developer moved into another role at the company, requiring me to handle the majority of the front-end development, as well as the design.
The primary users for this tool were HubSpot Customer Support Specialists, specifically those handling inbound and outbound phone calls, as well as email web tickets. Beyond this, however, Support management and C-level executives relied on the wallboard for determining how the Support team was performing.
Customer Support Specialists at HubSpot needed information about the state of the ticket queue in an easily parseable format to help make spur of the moment decisions in their day-to-day responsibilities. While the previous version of the tool offered some information to assist in making these decisions, many support reps felt the data was conveyed in an oppressive manner, and wasn't conducive to helping them do their best work. Additionally, management-level stakeholders needed a way of quickly determining how well Support was performing as a whole, without spending extensive time staring at a TV or crunching numbers.
I believed that by providing a more holistic view of Support's relevant stats via the wallboards, as well as quick methods of doing pulse-checks for the team as a whole, I could create a more productive atmosphere in Support. This would foster a better sense of responsibility across the team, and make it easier for management to evaluate Support's performance while allowing them to allocate appropriate resources for the team when necessary.
The updates to the wallboard helped the individual Support teams (inbound phone, outbound phone, and web) prioritize actions to focus on better achieving SLAs. These changes were largely successful at achieving the goals of increasing productivity and fostering teamwork, as it became more clear when we were doing well, and when we needed some help. This allowed reps to take action based on the metrics displayed on the wallboard.
This version of the wallboard was live for over a year, until it was taken over by an actual product team in the company. This decision was made in an effort to build a more reliable solution that could be regularly updated by developers. The displayed stats not only provided an impact for Support and management, but also had an impact on the Product team as a whole (the boards were displayed in Product spaces to show impact of bugs, and how Product’s decisions were affecting Support). The HubSpot executive team also found benefit in the redesigned boards, with our CEO regularly strolling through the Support department to check in on our performance.