To get a better idea of what a supervisor does in a traditional shift, I asked the UX Researcher if she'd like to join me in a shadow session with one of the organization's more experienced supervisors, Alex.
The tree of us hopped on a video call for two hours while Alex performed his regular duties, providing context as he went along. We asked a lot of questions to better understand what he liked, disliked, common frustrations, and any hacks needed to do his job more easily.
Some of the major points that came from this session included:
1. Each row in the table was a new conversation.
So every time a counselor that is assigned to Alex takes a new chat, he has to find it in the table and "assign" it to himself so that he is able to monitor it in case the counselor needs any assistance. But what happens when a new chat comes in? It bumps all the other rows down, so quite often Alex would click the wrong "Assign to Me" button, as the one he actually wanted had moved.
2. The name of the person in crisis was not visible.
This meant when a counselor would reach out to Alex for help over Slack, they'd have to copy/paste the conversation's Case Number and Alex would have to search for that specific number (usually 8 digits). This gets challenging when he's looking through 15+ chats at any given moment.
3. The flagging system made finding the most important info difficult.
Because each conversation was its own row, any flags pertaining to the counselor or the chat all showed up in the same location, making it hard to tell which conversations were with folks in the most need at any given moment.
4. Supervisors needed the ability to monitor multiple chats at once.
It wasn't uncommon for Supervisors to actively monitor 7-12 chats at a time. Can you imagine how stressful that must be? Thankfully, after discussing this with leadership, it was decided we'd update the protocols to ask Supervisors to only monitor 1-2 chats at a time. More on this later.
Another important aspect of the research phase was around the new software we'd be using: Twilio Flex. I spent time looking into what this product did "out of the box" to get a better idea of where to start.
One massive challenge of using this new product was that we'd have to embed it within Salesforce, which required closely working with Engineering to figure out what constraints this scenario would pose.