A Positive-sum Game: How MetaMask Support Reflects Web3 Values
Customer support plays a vital role for any product or service. Anything from brand-new, high-end tech to mundane household purchases will come with an instruction manual, as a minimum; many also are emblazoned with contact numbers or promises of refunds if the product doesn’t meet your expectations.
But the internet is not a bottle of bleach or a new desk: it’s a tad more complex than that. Things can go wrong that the user may not understand: bugs in code can scupper the satisfaction of even the most comfortable power user; malware can throw a spanner in the works; a user accidentally deleting key files from an internet-enabled programme can ruin its functionality.
The decentralised applications (dapps), products, and projects which comprise web3 add a further layer of complexity. A Web3 wallet must face the same challenges as web2 products whilst also confronting scam attack vectors that multiply like viruses, knowledge gaps amongst users, and the question of how to tread the fine, ideological lines of decentralisation, privacy, and trustlessness – to name a few.
We believe MetaMask Support has been successful, so far, in overseeing this transition, and we want to share the story and our vision.
How does MetaMask Support work?
First, the nuts and bolts: MetaMask Support (which we’ll just call ‘Support’ from now on) adopts a tiered approach that guides users to the most appropriate form of support. These tiers include:
- Self-service content mostly housed in the knowledge base
- Community, over at community.metamask.io
- Our global helpdesk team
- Technical support.
You can roughly conceptualise these elements as a typical progression through Support if you interact with us. You might first conduct a quick web search on an issue, and find a Community thread discussing the topic. If that doesn’t help, you’d find your way to our helpdesk, accessible through a button on our Support homepage. Our conversational AI bot, developed with LivePerson, will present you with some self-service articles that might help you – but if they don’t? Not a problem – you can speak to a member of our trained helpdesk team 24/7. If your problem relates to a handful of specific areas, or you require further assistance after you’ve spoken with one of the team, your case gets passed up the chain to Technical Support, a team packed with subject matter experts.
After scaling with MetaMask’s explosive growth proved so challenging in 2021, the combined performance of these elements in 2022 has been very strong:
- For over six months, the helpdesk team has maintained an average sub-two minute hold time for users, minimising wait times before speaking to a member of the team
- Technical Support currently average a ticket resolution time of just 2.5 days
- The Community team has had over 50,000 new sign-ups to the MetaMask community forum, and has launched scam education campaigns on Twitter with tens of thousands of impressions.
Whilst we celebrate these wins, we’re also continually working to optimise the Support experience and make sure it aligns as much as possible with the values of MetaMask, ConsenSys, and web3 in general.
Practice what you preach: Support with web3 principles
This isn’t going to be a charm offensive laying out why MetaMask Support is so much better than that of other platforms and products in the ecosystem. Instead, we want to share some of the key principles underlying our decisions and objectives, and explain why – ideologically and practically – they represent some of the foundational motives of Web3.
- We help our users with more than just MetaMask. We estimate that up to 60% of helpdesk conversations involve general questions about Web3 or external platforms, and are not specific to MetaMask. Instead of dismissing these cases, our helpdesk teams advise users on key Web3 knowledge like how gas works, skills like using block explorers, and even on how to use MetaMask with third-party platforms. Our knowledge base is full of articles that not only provide targeted information on using MetaMask itself, but also educate about Web3 in an accessible way – and parts of it are now live in 15 additional languages. We’ve even collaborated with our friends in Marketing on MetaMask Learn, a brand new learning platform and a free, accessible entry point into MetaMask and Web3 – launching soon.
- We’re proactive about user safety. An internal Slack channel for reporting known phishing/scam sites to our partners Phishfort – who then restrict access to them – is amongst the most active amongst Support team members. The Content Team – including yours truly – frequently publish Twitter PSAs, new knowledge base articles, and new blog posts to share details of new attack vectors, so you can better protect yourself. In the past year, we’ve also teamed up with Asset Reality to provide victims of substantial funds loss incidents with a means of recourse. Inevitably, though, we fall short of making Web3 a completely safe place to be, and we won’t hide from this. Support is not a break-and-fix organisation: don’t doubt that we do what we realistically can to protect you and stay one step ahead of scammers.
- We combine efforts with other members of the ecosystem. A problem shared is a problem halved, and we’d be remiss in our attempts at making Web3 safer and easier to use if we didn’t collaborate. Support is instrumental in working with other organisations’ support teams to agree strategies for helping out users most effectively: Coinbase, Sardine, Opensea – the list is extensive. Though some parts of Web3 can, unfortunately, resemble the Wild West, this town definitely is big enough for all of us, and we’re all working towards overlapping goals.
Capping it all off is our decentralised customer success platform, VillageDAO, a revolutionary concept that is a testament to our desire to innovate and push support into novel, Web3-native ways of working. When we say we care about embodying Web3 principles in Support, we’re not just paying lip service: MetaMask will be VillageDAO’s first brand.
Why effective customer support is integral to the success of web3
As a department, ConsenSys Customer Success is focussed mainly on serving the needs of all the company’s customers. Fundamental as it is to a positive customer experience, customer support is often thought of as ancillary, at best – an optional extra that will probably help, but isn’t essential. Focus on delivering the product, goes the thinking; build it and they will come.
At ConsenSys we feel differently. In the decentralized future we’re working towards, peer-to-peer, community-based interactions will be the norm. And for products like MetaMask, Customer Success has more interactions with the community – MetaMask users – day-to-day than just about anybody (we’re not kidding: monthly, we average tens of thousands of live helpdesk conversations, over one million knowledge base hits, and hundreds upon hundreds of topics and posts in our Community forum). This makes support via community interaction a core part of our mission, as well as a key day-to-day task.
Having exposure to such a vast volume of user challenges, questions, and requests means Customer Success is naturally community-oriented. And, without our efforts to proactively build and support this community so that it can flourish – many inexperienced users would struggle, and the community’s growth would be inhibited. In this way, our objectives overlap with most Web3 organisations: above all, we want to see the ecosystem prosper and mature. This is what we mean by ‘positive-sum game’: disseminating web3 knowledge and supporting users is a win-win-win scenario for the ecosystem.
This, after all, is ConsenSys’ goal, and aligns with the vision of MetaMask. MetaMask is free, and doesn’t trap you in a ‘walled garden’, as has become the norm in some Web2 circles, where data and accounts cannot be ported from platform to platform. With MetaMask, you can take your wallet address and import it into a different wallet provider if you want – your digital identity is yours to manage. What matters is that you’re still a participant in Web3. You’re still a stakeholder in this space regardless of whether you’re using MetaMask or not. This is why we imagine our work as stakeholder support, rather than customer support.
Similarly: MetaMask Support will not turn you away if your issue doesn’t fall within a restrictive set of criteria; we work with other organisations to provide the most stress-free, seamless support experience we can; and we do our proactive best to inform you about – and protect you from – scams. We’re one cog in a larger machine that enables you to get the most out of Web3, and, in turn, contribute to the success of the ecosystem of which we’re part.