This month marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Live Chat as part of the SUMO project. During our first year, over 20,000 chat requests were answered by over 200 community members, ranging from new Firefox users to software developers. Live Chat is unique both in its ability to troubleshoot new issues quickly and provide a way for people to get interactive help with the instructions in the knowledge base. Live Chat contributors were able to help the Mozilla QA community quickly diagnose new issues after Firefox releases, as well as find parts of the SUMO knowledge base that needed to be updated. Congratulations and a huge thank you to all the community members who made our first year such a big success!
As we begin the new year, we are working to resolve some of the outstanding Live Chat bugs and on collecting data to see how well Live Chat is solving users’ issues. Last month, SUMO 0.8 introduced support for user satisfaction feedback at the end of each Live Chat session. The data from these surveys, along with all the other metrics from SUMO, is updated weekly on our Weekly Metrics page.
Of the 20% of users who answer the Live Chat survey, around 50% say that their problem was solved, and another 10% say they are planning to follow up after ending the chat session. Of the remaining 40% who respond that their problem was not solved, over 50% answer that the chat session ended before it was finished. Based on this feedback, we are focusing Live Chat development for the SUMO 0.8.2 and 0.9 releases on reducing disconnections and helping users follow up when they do lose their connection. To prevent situations in which too few contributors are available to answer the questions in the queue, we will be changing the queue behavior to automatically close when there are too many questions for the number of helpers.
Future development efforts will focus on improving the experience for helpers, primarily by transitioning to a web-based client for Live Chat contributors. We are looking for ideas on how to develop this web client and integrate it with SUMO – this will be discussed in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned! If you can program in Java and want to contribute to the Live Chat project, feel free to submit a patch for any of the remaining unassigned bugs.
A last note of interest, Jammer400, who started helping with SUMO last July, had the privilege of answering the 20,000th live chat session in December. The 20,000th question was from a Firefox user who wanted an extension to access page zoom from the toolbar. Congratulations to Jammer400 for hitting this milestone, and to all the other contributors who helped us reach it! If Live Chat sounds like fun, we would love to have you be part of the project. You don’t need any special experience to get involved – see the Live Chat documentation for details on how to get started.