Customer support platform serving a large telecom engineer membership organization
We built a custom web application that helps the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) serve over 19,000 members.
Founded in 1969, SCTE is a non-profit professional association for the cable telecommunications industry. We’ve worked with SCTE’s parent company, CableLabs, for many years, so when they approached us to build a new web app for their customer support team, we jumped at the opportunity to take their internal operations to the next level.
Customer Support Platform
eCommerce with Paypal Integration
Working closely with SCTE’s customer support team, we used in-depth user research to identify the biggest pain points within their existing workflows.
Because multiple teams of customer service representatives (CSRs) used the same system for different reasons, it presented unique challenges to fully understand each use case. Following extensive interviews and research into the existing system, we were able to pinpoint SCTE’s biggest challenges:
Expensive off-the-shelf software
The customer support team was using an off-the-shelf membership management software. While this initially allowed them to avoid building a custom solution, the high annual subscription fee was adding up over time and costing more than building a proprietary app.
SCTE serves members individually, as small groups, and as organizations. Although their existing software allowed for the purchase of individual items, batching purchases for groups was time-consuming and unintuitive.
Unintuitive user interface (UI)
SCTE’s existing software was built as a one-size-fits-all solution for any membership organization, so it was littered with unnecessary UI elements and overly complicated workflows. For instance, simple tasks like finding a user record required a convoluted process that was frustratingly slow.
Data management & API challenges
SCTE stores and retrieves data from a number of sources, including Salesforce, a Learning Management System (LMS), and their legacy databases. The APIs connecting these sources weren’t implemented using best practices, putting their data integrity and response times at risk. On top of this, inconsistent input conventions led to duplicate and/or incorrect data entry.
Introducing CSAW, a better community management app
After talking with SCTE, it became clear that designing and building a custom app around their specific needs was the best way forward. The new app, named the Customer Service Administration Warehouse (CSAW), implements modern product design and web development best practices and provides a foundation for future growth.
Streamlined core customer support workflows
We identified the most common reasons people contact customer support and streamlined the processes required to address these issues. We also created programmatic data entry guardrails to prevent human error related to incorrect or incomplete data.
Scalable data governance
CSAW now serves as the central hub that connects Salesforce, SCTE’s internal databases, and their LMS. Because we built the application from scratch on a modern tech stack (Vue.JS + Node.JS), we were able to eliminate technical debt left by their previous system and lay a foundation for growth and future feature development.
Fresh & modern user experience
Building CSAW from the ground up not only eliminated technical debt, but also allowed us to implement modern user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) principles. As a result, the app looks clean, feels snappy, and is intuitive to use.
Better business logic
We helped SCTE develop business logic that informed how they rebuilt the API. CSAW now uses a single API that pulls all relevant data from third party sources, and structures that data so it can load on a single screen. This simplifies their process and improves the app’s page load speed and performance.
Powerful custom eCommerce solution
One of the most common reasons people contact SCTE’s support team is to purchase new products, such as memberships, bootcamps, online courses, or certifications. This process can become quite complex, since each item needs to be linked to a specific member during checkout, product pricing is determined by that individuals’ membership status, and overall cost is affected by custom payment/discount codes.
Since the complexity of these conditions exceeded the capability of an off-the-shelf solution, we built a custom eCommerce functionality within CSAW. It includes a Salesforce API, Paypal payment gateway, discount/payment codes, membership pricing logic, and the ability to structure and generate receipts.
- The new user experience, now streamlined for SCTE’s core workflows, increased the productivity of the user support team.
- CSAW is now the central hub for all of SCTE’s data, with API integrations to keep their 3rd party apps and internal databases in sync.
- SCTE can now count on their data to be consistent and reliable.
- The modern codebase allows for future feature development.
- Ownership of their own software freed SCTE from expensive licensing fees.